There are countless attractions across the United States and these have partially served to define the country itself over the years. While many articles tend to focus upon major metropolitan areas, why not instead visit the countless roadside attractions which dot the landscape?
In order to take the guesswork out of the equation, let’s take some time to highlight a handful of the top picks. You can then plan your trip well in advance.
Our research comes from a fascinating study carried out by money.co.uk to find the most popular roadside attractions from the east to west coast.
Many industry experts will argue that Salvation Mountain is the most well-known roadside attraction that the United States has to offer. At the time that this article was written, Salvation Mountain has been featured in over 165,000 Instagram hashtags as reported in a study carried out by money.co.uk, so it only stands to reason that there is something here for everyone. Originally created during the 1960s, this monument is an excellent example of the folk art movement. More than 10,000 gallons of paint were required during the initial construction and colourful decorations abound. If you desire a unique photographic opportunity, look no further than Salvation Mountain.
Although Wyoming is not necessarily associated with a plethora of tourist attractions, Devil’s Mountain is certainly an exception to the rule. Standing at over 900 feet, this unique rock formation can be seen for miles. Not only does it dominate the regional landscape, but it continues to attract avid hikers and rock climbers. The natural beauty of Devil’s Mountain cannot be denied and we are therefore forced to wonder about the origins of its decidedly imposing name. Devil’s Tower was considered sacred to many Native American tribes and it continues to attract throngs of tourists on an annual basis.
The Beer Can House
In terms of roadside attractions that will turn heads, the Beer Can House is not to be overlooked. Located in Texas and just outside the city of Houston, this structure was originally created as far back as 1968. It is also interesting to note that owner John Milkovisch first envisioned this as nothing more than a landscaping project. However, the Beer Can House soon took on a life of its own. Not only are there more than 50,000 cans to be found here, but all funds from tourism are donated to non-profit organisations.
The Mystery Hole
This next roadside attraction found in the state of Virginia is quite unique in and of itself. The roots of Mystery Hole can be traced back to 1973 when owner Donald Wilson believed that he had come across a “gravitational anomaly” directly beneath the property. Although no such oddity was ever found, this location has continued to attract visitors; particularly since it was renovated during the latter half of the 1990s. It is now open to the public and it represents another excellent opportunity to snap a handful of photos before moving on.
Hole n’ the Rock
Utah is famous for its natural rock formations and some of the caves found within the mountains here were used as dwellings by Native Americans for millennia. However, the Hole n’ the Rock is a relatively recent creation. Its owners decided to carve a home for themselves out of solid rock. Boasting more than 5,000 square feet of internal space, this was not a small accomplishment (it took just over 12 years to complete). Tours can be reserved in order to better appreciate the 14 rooms which define this unique structure.
Devil’s Rope Museum
Have you been curious to learn about the history of barbed wire? If so, it is wise to take some time to visit the Devil’s Rope Museum. This attraction is found within the state of Texas and it documents the many uses of barbed wire over the years. More than 2,000 examples of barbed wire are on display alongside documents, images and even sculptures.
The Desert of Maine
Although the state of Maine enjoys a temperate climate, this plot of 40 acres has been transformed into a desert due to poor land management and erosion. It therefore stands out from the surrounding landscape. The Desert of Maine has been open for more than 100 years and thanks to its strange appearance, avid travellers continue to visit on an annual basis.
These roadside attractions are extremely unique and they will often help visitors to better appreciate local customs. Whether you are planning to drive from coast to coast or a smaller excursion is in store, try to fit at least one of these destinations into your itinerary.