Every American road trip provides a scenic movie of the nation projected through your windshield. But there’s more to see than just a carved depiction of four dead presidents, a cracked bell and the Great Emancipator lounging in an oversized marble chair. There are many other roadside attractions that are downright strange and seemingly random, but also curiously alluring.
Carhenge — Alliance, Nebraska
An automotive tribute to Stonehenge, this circle of 38 spray-painted gray cars jut out from a Nebraska prairie in the form of England’s world-renowned prehistoric monument. In the summer of 1987, Jim Reinders created this peculiar novelty after taking inspiration from the ancient stone structure in Britain. Carhenge has attracted over 80,000 tourists from across the world, according their official site.
World’s Largest Tire — Allen Park, Michigan
The tire in question weighs 12 tons and towers 80 feet into the sky. You can’t purchase this tire like you would Goodyear tires at Discount Tire. Originally a Ferris Wheel from the 1964-65 World’s Fair, someone ingeniously decided to transform it into a tire and place it off Interstate 94. Whether it’s an audacious icon of the American automotive industry or a rolling disaster waiting to happen — you decide.
Enchanted Highway — Regent, North Dakota
Metal sculptor, Gary Greff, decided to liven up 32 miles of Regency-Gladstone Road in his town of Regent. Seven sculptures have been completed so far, but Gary’s work is far from done, according to RoadsideAmerica.com. “Geese in Flight” is an especially exquisite piece of roadside eye candy — it currently holds a Guinness World Record as the world’s largest scrap-metal sculpture .
Giant Peach — Gaffney, South Carolina
Surprisingly not located in Georgia, this giant peach sweetens the view on I-85 in South Carolina. The Peachoid water tower was built by the Gaffney Board of Public Works in 1981 and boldly claims its peach-producing superiority over Georgia. According to RoadsideAmerica.com, the peach required fifty gallons of paint in twenty colors. The peach’s realism is furthered by its cleft shape, a stem and seven ton leaf.
Shoe Tree — Middlegate, Nevada
It used to be that when driving down U.S. Highway 50 near Middlegate, Nevada, you would have spotted a curious cottonwood tree that appeared to grow some very strange fruit indeed. Upon closer inspection, you’d have noticed that this “fruit” was actually a massive medley of shoes. Travelers driving along “the loneliest road in America” were encouraged to stop by the Shoe Tree and swing their footwear over the branches, adding to the highest concentration of kicks outside a shoe factory. We imagine a few boots are still home to a family of birds, Mother Goose-style.
But, sadly, the beloved Shoe Tree is no more, courtesy of an arbor assassin(s). Mourners of the Middlegate tree can still visit other shoe trees that have cropped up in New York, California, Oregon and Oklahoma, according to the LATimes.
Randy’s Donuts — Inglewood, California
This behemoth of fried dough confectionery sits atop a quaint donut shop in the Golden State. We venture to guess that this giant donut inspired an iconic animated shop (Lard Lad Donuts) with a not dissimilar d’oh-nut on “The Simpsons.”
Dave loves the smell of asphalt mixed with diesel on a hot day. He has been working on cars and going to auctions for the past 20 years and he still loves learning about domestic and foreign cars.