Road trips are classic American vacations that everyone should take at least once. If you live in a large city, taking a road trip gives you a chance to see the countryside and other places you might not otherwise visit. Don’t miss these six must-see roadside attractions around the Midwest.
Wall Drug Store
In 1931, Wall Drug Store started off as a roadside drug store in Wall, South Dakota, near Badlands National Park. This place was originally known for its many billboards, which has attracted visitors for over 70 years. Today, it’s so much more. The store now features an art gallery with Western artifacts and art, an 80-foot-tall brontosaurus, and mechanical characters like Dr. Feelgood.
If you’re a Spam lover or you’re curious to know more about this famous meat product, then check out the Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota. This museum is conveniently located across the street from a meat factory. Here, “Spambassadors” will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about Spam, including how the factory’s assembly line produces 44,000 cans per hour.
World’s Largest Catsup Bottle
Brook’s Old Original Tangy Catsup used to be the most popular condiment of its kind in America. To commemorate its iconic status, the company’s owners built the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle. This structure, which is actually a water tower, stands an impressive 170 feet tall. Today, you’ll find the World’s Largest Catsup Bottle off Route 159, 5 miles south of the main intersection in Collinsville, Illinois. Stop by take pictures, and then stay in Moline for a few days so you can check out other roadside attractions in the area.
Henry Ford Museum
Don’t miss the museum dedicated to Henry Ford, an iconic figure in American history. Located in Dearborn, Michigan, this museum holds many fascinating artifacts, including Kennedy’s presidential limousine, Lincoln’s blood-stained chair, and Rosa Parks’ bus. The Henry Ford Museum’s permanent collection even includes a test tube containing Thomas Edison’s last breath.
Grotto of Redemption
The Grotto of Redemption is a unique attraction in West Bend, Iowa. Father Paul Dobberstein built this structure, which contains the largest collection of precious gems and stones in the world. Known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, the grotto is actually made up of nine individual grottos, each of which tells one part of the story of Christ.
World’s Largest Ball of Twine
You can see the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. This attraction began as a scrap pile of sisal twine that local farmer Frank Stoeber began to collect in 1953. Stoeber gave the ball of twine to the town when it grew to over 1,600,000 feet of twine in 1961. At this point it was a ball with a diameter of 11 feet. It’s now 40 feet in circumference and boasts 8 million feet of twine.
Check out these and many more roadside attractions while enjoying a road trip across the Midwestern United States. You never know what unique and unusual places or attractions you’ll find here.