The United States hosts a lot of eclectic attractions by the side of the road. These make for great pit stops while driving long distance, but some make the stops part of the trip. Here are a few locations to visit during your next road trip.
1. Museum of Bad Art – Dedham, Massachusetts
The Museum of Bad Art is the only museum in the world dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and celebration of failed art in all its forms. The gallery features 400 pieces of art in its permanent collection. Why visit a traditional, stuffy art museum when you can laugh at some truly atrocious paintings?
2. Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard – South Burlington, Vermont
While you can schedule a guided tour of the Ben & Jerry's factory, visiting the flavor graveyard is free of charge. Each canceled flavor is given its own headstone in their Waterbury cemetery. Visitors can walk by and pay their respects to flavors such as Hunka Burnin' Fudge and Economic Crunch.
3. Yankee Siege Trebuchet – Greenfield, New Hampshire
The Yankee Siege Trebuchet is a huge, 25,000 pound trebuchet used to chuck things. It is famous for its ability to hurl pumpkins across long distances. In 2009, the trebuchet set a world record by throwing a pumpkin 2,034 feet. In 2013, the Yankee Siege II beat this record by hurling a pumpkin 2,835 feet.
4. Lucy the Elephant – Margate, New Jersey
Lucy the Elephant holds the title of America's oldest roadside attraction at over 120 years old. The elephant is made out of wood and tin. She stands at 65 feet tall and weighs 90 whole tons. Lucy was originally constructed in 18812 to bring travelers to the less visited sandy lots in the South Atlantic City area. Today, you can get a guided tour of Lucy for just $8 ($4 for children).
5. World's Tallest Thermometer – Death Valley, California
The World's Tallest Thermometer is visible from the interstate between Barstow and Las Vegas and displays an accurate reading of the outdoor temperature. It stands at 134 feet tall, which is the same number as the highest air temperature ever recorded in North America in 1913 near Death Valley. No need to stay out in the heat when you visit. The attraction includes an information center, gift shop and picnic tables.
6. Giant Cabazon Dinosaurs – Cabazon, California
Ever wondered what it might be like to live among the dinosaurs? Experience life-size dinosaur statues in Cabazon, California. You can walk or drive along these huge sculptures. The dinosaurs are a part of a museum that is open all year round. Inside the museum, you can also participate in a dinosaur dig and fossil panning.
7. Shoe Tree – Shaniko, Oregon
The Shoe Tree is just an ordinary tree featuring probably hundreds of old pairs of shoes. The tree holds many, many discarded shoes that were tied together and slung over its branches. No one really knows who started this tradition, but you can still see the tree (and maybe even add to it yourself) along Highway 26.
8. George Washington Bust – George, Washington
Forget Washington, D.C. There's another city in America named after our first president: George, Washington. Taking together the town's name and its state, it is the only city in America that features Washington's full name. The city hosts a bust of Washington in front of one of its gas stations. George hosts cherry pie baking competitions every year on the Fourth of July and Washington's birthday. The largest cherry pie in the world is baked every year on Independence Day and served to townsfolk and visitors alike.