There’s just something about road trips and stopping to take photos at fun and quirky roadside attractions, like Cadillac Ranch in Texas and Foamhenge in Virginia. One of my personal favorites is South of the Border, a road stop in South Carolina. You’ll see colorful billboards, like “Pedro’s Weather Report: Chili Today, Hot Tamale!,” for miles and miles.
If you’re planning a family road trip this summer, check out RoadsideAmerica.com, which highlights roadside attractions worth a visit all across the United States. There’s even a Roadside America mobile app to help you find must-see roadside attractions and points of interest.
If you like to snap photos in front of wacky statues, museums and attractions (who doesn’t?), then take a look at the 25 most Instagram-worthy roadside attractions (in my opinion) that you and your kids will love.
1. Idaho Potato Museum
How can you not love a museum dedicated to the potato? Located along I-15, we made a stop at the Idaho Potato Museum on our way from Boise to Yellowstone National Park in 2015. And yes, I had to snap a pic of the kids standing next to the giant baked potato in front of the museum.
2. Wall Drug
My daughter, Clare, and I spent a few days in South Dakota a few years ago. I’d never heard of Wall Drug before we arrived in the state, but now I want to go back, like right now. Ride a jackalope, see the T-Rex roar, splash around in the outdoor fountains and try the maple-frosted donuts. Yum.
3. Cadillac Ranch
Located in Amarillo, Texas, if I could have squeezed in a visit to Cadillac Ranch during our cross-country road trip, I would have, for sure. It’s a bunch of brightly painted old-school Cadillacs, half-buried nose down in the dirt. It’s probably one of the most photographed roadside attractions in the country.
If you’re planning a visit to Natural Bridge in Virginia, which is a must on its own, make a stop at nearby Foamhenge. It’s a replica of England’s Stonehenge, only made out of foam. Why travel to the UK when you can snap a selfie with this world-known attraction so close to home?
5. Corn Palace
Listed as one of 500 Places to Take Your Kids Before They Grow Up, it’s clearly a must to make a stop at Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. Look for free guided tours during the summer, murals made out of corn, even a festival in August with carnival rides, food trucks and entertainment.
6. South of the Border
We traveled by car along I-95 from Virginia to Florida several times when I was in elementary school, and once, we even stopped at South of the Border. Just south of the North Carolina-South Carolina border, I love Pedro, the billboards for miles, mini golf and everything about this “highway oasis.”
7. Four Corners
Where else can you stand on four states (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico & Utah) at one time? Yup, at Four Corners. Run by the Navajo Nation, it’s not far off the highway and may be worth a quick pic, but be prepared to pay $5 per person (cash only). Children six and younger are free.
8. Leaning Tower of Niles
No plans to travel to Italy? No problem. Take your photo with the Leaning Tower of Niles. Originally built to store water for outdoor swimming pools, the Leaning Tower of Niles is a half-size replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa located just minutes from Chicago.
9. Big Beau
On our way from New Orleans to Galveston, we stopped for a quick pic with Big Beau. This 135-foot alligator welcomes visitors to Beaumont, Texas. Located on the grounds of Gator Country, we even got to wade with baby alligators (yikes).
10. World’s Largest Baseball Bat
In Louisville, Kentucky, look for a baseball bat taller than the adjacent five-story Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. For baseball fans, it’s a must-visit. You’ll also want to stop in the museum to check out the exhibits and take a short factory tour to see how Louisville Slugger bats are made.
11. Chloride, Arizona
If you plan to make the drive between Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, it’s a must to stop in Chloride, Arizona. The oldest mining town in Arizona, it’s been a wild west ghost town since 1944, though you will be able to find a restaurant, convenience store and several gift shops today.
12. Santa’s Workshop
Less than 25 minutes from Lake Placid, you’ll find Santa’s Workshop in North Pole, New York with plenty of Christmas-themed rides, games and shows. Enjoy Breakfast with Santa all summer long, as well as rides like the Peppermint Swings and Santa’s Sleigh Coaster.
13. Southernmost Point
In Key West, Florida, strike a pose with the huge buoy that marks the Southernmost Point in the United States. It’s just 90 miles to Cuba and offers fabulous views. You may need to wait in line, but you’ll find plenty of people willing to snap your photo.
14. Cathedral of Junk
In a small backyard of an Austin, Texas home you’ll find a work of art made out of ordinary junk, like TVs, bicycles, glass bottles and toys. Take your time exploring the “junk” and don’t forget to take a few pictures. The Cathedral of Junk is open weekends and by appointment on weekdays.
15. LOVE Sculpture
Take a break at John F. Kennedy Plaza (also known as LOVE Park) for a few selfies with the famous LOVE sculpture. Perfect for the City of Brotherly Love, right? It’s no surprise that this iconic sculpture is one of the 10 most photo-worthy spots in Philadelphia.
16. Make Way for Ducklings
Yup, make way. Less a traditional roadside attraction since it’s in the middle of a park in Boston, it’s a must to snap a pic with your brood posing atop the bronze duckling sculptures from Make Way for Ducklings. You’ll find them in the Boston Public Garden.
17. World’s Largest Cowboy Boots
In San Antonio, Texas, look for the World’s Largest Cowboy Boots just outside the North Star Mall (next to Saks Fifth Avenue). Since they’re the “world’s largest,” you shouldn’t have trouble spotting them for a quick snapshot.
18. Fremont Troll
Not so much a grumpy old troll as a friendly concrete giant who’s been living under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle since 1990. He may be clutching a Volkswagen Beetle, but don’t worry, the Fremont Troll is harmless. There’s plenty of area parking, so spend some time climbing and taking pictures of the troll.
19. Welcome to Las Vegas Sign
There’s a lot to do with kids in Las Vegas, and if you go, it’s just kind of thing to snap a selfie with the world-famous Welcome to Las Vegas Sign. For more neon, take a guided tour of the nearby Neon Museum, which offers one-hour tours every morning and evening.
20. World’s Largest Thermometer
People just love the World’s Largest Thermometer in Baker, California, a small town considered to be the “Gateway to Death Valley.” At 134-feet tall, the thermometer is a tribute to the 134-degree temperature record set in Death Valley in 1913. It’s also next to Bob’s Big Boy. Yum.
21. ET Fresh Jerky
Take a drive along the Extraterrestrial Highway in Nevada, but before you hop on, make a stop at ET Fresh Jerky in Hiko. It’s basically a small convenience store, but the real attraction is the cowboy alien mural adjacent to the shop. It’s practically begging for you to take a selfie.
22. LL Bean Boot
Just outside Portland, ME, it’s a must to stop at LL Bean’s massive flagship store in nearby Freeport. Before you go inside, be sure to take a photo of the 16-foot tall duck boot out front. Sign up for a class, like archery or fly fishing, with the LL Bean Outdoor Discovery School.
23. Phantastic Phils
Take a weekend and head to Punxsutawney, PA, home to the world’s most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil. While in town, pick up a map and take photos with more than 30 six-foot tall ground hog statues around town that are a part of the Phantastic Phils public art project.
24. Big Blue Bear
This past summer, I hooked up with Mile High Bike Tours in Denver for a guided bike ride to see all that’s great about the Mile High City. Along the way, we made a stop to see Big Blue Bear, a 40-foot tall blue bear sculpture that’s been peering into the lobby of the Colorado Convention Center since 2005.
25. Seven Magic Mountains
Located 20-30 minutes from Las Vegas, the Seven Magic Mountains are worth the quick trip and the diversion. When you arrive, dial into the free audio tour to learn more about this public art, which represents Las Vegas and is a cross between the natural and the artificial.