The Best Roadside Attractions by State
What Gigantic Roadside Attraction Does Your State Have to Offer?
Every community has a landmark. Sometimes it’s a house with a unique paint color, sometimes it’s a park — and other times it’s a big Jackalope statue. All over the United States, there are roadside attractions featuring a wide variety of oversized items. We wanted to know what the biggest and most popular roadside attraction in every state happens to be, and what it says about the people who call that area home.
We looked at Guinness World Records, Tripadvisor, and Roadside America to identify some larger-than-life attractions across the country. Then, we compared those attractions to find the most popular one in each state. While some of these attractions are true world record holders, others are more self-proclaimed, but all are enormous and worth a visit. Here’s what we found out.
We were surprised to see just how many giant attractions there are to visit throughout the US. Some of them made sense as a nod to local culture, such as the giant alligator in Florida or the giant frog in Louisiana. However, many more of them were downright quirky, such as the giant covered porch swing in Nebraska and the Eiffel Tower with a cowboy hat in Texas.
In order to identify the best attraction in each state, we considered the date the attraction was created (the older, the better), the size of the attraction, and, most importantly, the reviews given to the giant attraction.
Many of these states tag their roadside attractions with “The World’s Largest” title. We looked into the Guinness Book of World Records to see which states boast an official record. Only 11 states have an officially recognized world record holder as a roadside attraction. The true record-breakers are California, Alabama, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, Arizona, Washington, DC, Hawaii, Indiana, New York, and Texas.
There was a huge boom of “World’s Biggest” roadside attractions being built in the 1970s. Of the 98 World’s Largest Attractions in the United States, 25 of them were built in the 70s. In second place for most attractions constructed is the 60s, and the third most popular decade for building big roadside attractions was the 1990s.
During our research, we began to notice trends in particular items. For instance, there are 6 big coffee pot attractions in the United States. If you live in any of these areas, it’s a pretty good bet that you’re a coffee person.
The competition for the “World’s Largest Chair” was fierce! Twenty-three states competed to build the World’s Largest Chair. This has resulted in a few different states having “World’s Largest Chair” attractions. There’s the world’s largest office chair, rocking chairs, Adirondack chairs, and straight back chairs.
Some of the most popular types of attractions were oversized food and animal statues. Five states featured multiple roadside attractions that fell into these categories, and if you live in Texas, you have 10 giant animal attractions to point out to out-of-town guests.
Roadside attractions make great landmarks, and living near one means that no one will ever miss the turn to find your home. Who can forget to turn right when they see the Giant Chair or Giant Submarine? If your travels have taken you to a place you’d love to call home, let us know! Finding a great home for you is our specialty.