History

With the advent of the automobile and the American auto culture came the rise of the roadside attraction. These attractions surged in the 1940's with their heyday extending into the 1960's when the modern interstate system pulled drivers away from older highways like Route 66.

While the trend peaked between the 40's and 60's, it started long before. Lucy the Elephant, now listed as a national historic landmark, was created in 1881, and still stands today. 

Roadside attractions served to draw people in and capture their imaginations—and sometimes, a few of their dollars. The ones left standing today are a remarkable example of human ingenuity, creativity and fun. BusinessAttractions.Works is bringing them back, starting in Bucks County PA.

A forerunner to the "modern" roadside attraction,   Lucy the Elephan   t.  . The oldest roadside attraction in the U.S., this six-story, wood-and-tin elephant was built in 1881 to promote tourism and real estate sales. It has been refurbished and you can climb up to the carriage for a view of Atlantic City.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

A forerunner to the "modern" roadside attraction, Lucy the Elephant. . The oldest roadside attraction in the U.S., this six-story, wood-and-tin elephant was built in 1881 to promote tourism and real estate sales. It has been refurbished and you can climb up to the carriage for a view of Atlantic City.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

Big Duck, Flanders, NY This giant duck was once home to a shop that sold ducks and eggs. It's now a tourist center. Fun fact: Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley once lived there while Brinkley was recording a welcome tape for visitors.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

Big Duck, Flanders, NY
This giant duck was once home to a shop that sold ducks and eggs. It's now a tourist center. Fun fact: Billy Joel and Christie Brinkley once lived there while Brinkley was recording a welcome tape for visitors.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

Blue Whale, Catoosa, OK This whale was originally part of a small roadside attraction that included a swimming hole and reptile display. Eventually it fell into disrepair, but townspeople restored the whale. You can see it along Route 66.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

Blue Whale, Catoosa, OK
This whale was originally part of a small roadside attraction that included a swimming hole and reptile display. Eventually it fell into disrepair, but townspeople restored the whale. You can see it along Route 66.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

Dinosaurs, Cabazon, CA Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex were built in 1964 by a Knott's Berry Farm sculptor and artist who wanted to attract people to his restaurant nearby. It's now the site of a creationist museum.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

Dinosaurs, Cabazon, CA
Dinny the Dinosaur and Mr. Rex were built in 1964 by a Knott's Berry Farm sculptor and artist who wanted to attract people to his restaurant nearby. It's now the site of a creationist museum.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, ID The question isn't who would want to stay in a beagle-shaped B&B, but who wouldn't want to stay there?  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, ID
The question isn't who would want to stay in a beagle-shaped B&B, but who wouldn't want to stay there?

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

Hat 'n' Boots, Seattle, WA This is the largest hat and pair of cowboy boots in America and we're guessing probably the world. Now restored, the hat was once a gas station. The boots were the ladies' and men's rooms.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

Hat 'n' Boots, Seattle, WA
This is the largest hat and pair of cowboy boots in America and we're guessing probably the world. Now restored, the hat was once a gas station. The boots were the ladies' and men's rooms.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

Bedrock City, Junction of 180 and 64, AZ You can make a quick stop to check out this bizarre Flinstones theme park and campsite on your way to the Grand Canyon. Yabba dabba doo!  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

Bedrock City, Junction of 180 and 64, AZ
You can make a quick stop to check out this bizarre Flinstones theme park and campsite on your way to the Grand Canyon. Yabba dabba doo!

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

The World's Largest Chest of Drawers, High Point, NC High Point bills itself the "Home Furnishings Capital of the World," so a 32-foot-tall, freestanding chest of drawers, complete with 6-foot-tall socks, in the middle of town makes perfect sense. It's for sale -- insert dirty lingerie jokes here.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland


The World's Largest Chest of Drawers, High Point, NC
High Point bills itself the "Home Furnishings Capital of the World," so a 32-foot-tall, freestanding chest of drawers, complete with 6-foot-tall socks, in the middle of town makes perfect sense. It's for sale -- insert dirty lingerie jokes here.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

World's Largest Horseshoe Crab, Blanchester, OH This 55-foot-long sculpture sits in a biblical scripture garden outside a baptist church. Up to 60 people can fit inside. The idea behind it is that horseshoe crabs prove the creationism theory because they never evolved.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

World's Largest Horseshoe Crab, Blanchester, OH
This 55-foot-long sculpture sits in a biblical scripture garden outside a baptist church. Up to 60 people can fit inside. The idea behind it is that horseshoe crabs prove the creationism theory because they never evolved.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

World's Largest Killer Bee, Hidalgo, TX South American bees first crossed the border into the U.S. in Hidalgo in 1960, and to the town's mayor, this was a sweet deal. He milked the publicity, proclaiming Hidalgo the "Killer Bee Capital of the World" and commissioning this $20,000 mascot.  https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342 Stacie Hougland

World's Largest Killer Bee, Hidalgo, TX
South American bees first crossed the border into the U.S. in Hidalgo in 1960, and to the town's mayor, this was a sweet deal. He milked the publicity, proclaiming Hidalgo the "Killer Bee Capital of the World" and commissioning this $20,000 mascot.

https://www.topixoffbeat.com/slideshow/19342
Stacie Hougland

The Longaberger Company  headquarters in  Newark, Ohio  Derek Jensen Source Wikipedia

The Longaberger Company headquarters in Newark, Ohio
Derek Jensen
Source Wikipedia

Wigwam Motel  in  Holbrook, Arizona  (1950) Raleigh Muns Source Wikipedia

Wigwam Motel in Holbrook, Arizona (1950)
Raleigh Muns
Source Wikipedia