Video: Pacific Coast Highway: Top 10 Locals List

Shane and Sean take a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway.

Pacific Coast Highway: Top 10 Locals List

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Shane and Sean take a road trip on the Pacific Coast Highway.

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car on route 89 in utah with a long view to mountains in distance
Heritage Highway 89, Utah

Heritage Highway 89, Utah

"This route links several distinct areas of scenic beauty and Western history. Glass and woodworking studios reflect this heritage, and the towns boast numerous well-preserved historic buildings," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Visit the Butch Cassidy Museum in Richfield; take a dip in the Mystic Hot Springs in Monroe; and shop for antiques in Sevier. Finish up exploring other wonderful destinations within easy reach, including Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks." 960 1280

Adam Kliczek [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Skyline Drive, Virginia

Skyline Drive, Virginia

"This road through Shenandoah National Park in Virginia has the views to live up to its name, but get out and hike for the real reward," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. "Stop at a camp store — if only to observe the Appalachian Trail hikers gathered to rest, refuel and socialize. Strike up a conversation, and you'll hear true tales of stamina and fortitude." 960 1280

By Philip N. Wheeler [CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

Olympic Peninsula, Washington

"Seattle is known for its robust ferry system, which connects the islands of Washington state. From downtown Seattle, you can drive onto a ferry that will take you across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island, the start of a fantastic road trip around the Olympic Peninsula," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "Fantastic inns, restaurants and outdoor activities await. On a clear day, drive to the top of Hurricane Ridge for views of Vancouver Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca." 960 1280

Danita Delimont / Gallo Images / Getty Images  

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

Beartooth Highway, Montana and Wyoming

"Beartooth Highway itself is the highest-elevation highway in the Northern Rockies and one of the most rugged areas in the Lower 48 states (20 peaks surpass 12,000 feet in elevation)," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "Hit the Rock Creek Vista Point rest area (which is at 9,000 feet above sea level) and the West Summit (whose highest point is at 11,000 feet) to feel the full significance of Beartooth’s elevation. Note that gnarly weather is a factor, so double-check that the passes are open before you make the trek." 960 1280

WizardFusion [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

Sea to Sky Highway, British Columbia, Canada

"The Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler, British Columbia, is a beautiful drive with lots of great attractions along the way. The road hugs the North Shore Mountains, offering picturesque views of the many small islands in the Pacific Ocean," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Take a ride up the Sea to Sky Gondola, which takes you to the top of the iconic Stawamus Chief. This mountain is known worldwide for its rock climbing and hiking trails, as well as its stunning vistas of the valley below." 960 1280

By D. Vincent Alongi (Sea to Sky HwyUploaded by Skeezix1000) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

Great River Road, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa

"Start in picturesque Dubuque, IA, home of the shortest, steepest railway in the world and an aquarium that showcases the fish of the Mississippi," says travel writer Mark Sedenquist. "Head north on the Great River Road to Prairie du Chien, WI, a river town with a colorful past. Visit villages such as Harpers Ferry and Lansing, IA, or check out the world’s largest six-pack of beer in La Crosse, WI." 960 1280
Gulf Coast, Alabama

Gulf Coast, Alabama

"Road trip along the Gulf of Mexico, and you'll want to spend most of your time — and food budget — on Alabama's coast. Yes, you'll love its sugary white-sand beaches and Caribbean-like waters, but the real treasure here is the food," says 100RoutesAcrossAmerica.com founder Shannon Entin. 960 1280

toddmedia / E+ / Getty Images  

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

Page-Lake Powell, Arizona and Utah

"Located on the central border of Arizona and Utah is one of the most stunning recreational areas in the country, Page-Lake Powell," says award-winning travel journalist Mike Shubic. "It’s extremely scenic, with tall canyons, red-rock formations and sand dunes, and it’s an unparalleled place for activities such as houseboating, waterskiing, kayaking, fishing, hiking, camping and so much more." 960 1280

Wolfgang Staudt from Saarbruecken, Germany (Lake Powell) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

17-­Mile Drive, California

17-­Mile Drive, California

"The 17-Mile Drive through the Monterey Peninsula rivals the Pacific Coast Highway in quintessential California fame and beauty," says RoadTrippers.com CEO James Fisher. "This loop hugs the coastline, running alongside Pebble Beach Golf Links, past the landmark Lone Cypress and through the Del Monte Forest." 960 1280
Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

Extraterrestrial Highway, Nevada

"Just a short 2-hour road trip north of Las Vegas, you’ll find State Highway 375, aka the Extraterrestrial Highway. This is the place where more UFO sightings are reported than anywhere else in America. Highway 375 is located fairly close to Area 51, making it a unique road-trip experience," says avid road tripper Michelle Bucher. "Along the way, you’ll pass several alien-themed shops and roadside attractions." 960 1280

By Famartin [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Road to Hana, Hawaii
Road to Hana, Hawaii

Road to Hana, Hawaii

Hailed as one of the last unspoiled frontiers of Hawaii, Maui’s Road to Hana is a 52-mile highway filled with 620 curves, 59 bridges and too many stunning ocean views to count. The drive takes about 3 hours; you’ll want to leave more time to stop along the way to taste the local seafood. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Outer Banks Highway, North Carolina

Outer Banks Highway, North Carolina

A drive on Outer Banks National Scenic Byway is the perfect way to see the natural beauty of North Carolina’s coastline. Water is everywhere, with the Atlantic on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway on the other. You’ll feel the invigorating ocean breeze as you take in the beautiful dunes, beaches, lighthouses and wildlife, making this the perfect spring or summer drive. 960 1280

Aaron Tuell photo | courtesy Outer Banks Visitors Bureau   

Sonoma Valley, California

Sonoma Valley, California

While we aren’t condoning the shenanigans that happened in the iconic male bonding/wine tasting (more like guzzling) road-trip movie Sideways, we did like their choice of car for the drive through California's Wine Country -- a Mustang convertible! With hundreds of wineries spread across 3 counties, there’s no shortage of places to stop to sample the goods along the way; we suggest keeping safety in mind and staying the night after a day of wine tasting. 960 1280

iStock  

Bluebonnet Trail, Texas

Bluebonnet Trail, Texas

Take the top down on a spring drive to see the seemingly endless gardens of bluebonnets in Texas Hill Country. For an up close look at these blue beauties, start in Austin, TX, taking US 290 west to Johnson City’s Wildflower Loop. Then drive along US 281 north to the town of Burnet, Texas’s official bluebonnet capital. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Scenic Highway 30A, Florida

Scenic Highway 30A, Florida

The best way to take in Florida’s Gulf Coast beaches? A drive along the Scenic Highway 30A that hugs the Gulf of Mexico coastline. As you cruise along the 28.5-mile stretch, you will see white sand beaches, old seaside cottages, state parks and nature preserves, and, of course, miles of palm trees. 960 1280

Visit South Walton  

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Built specifically for sightseeing drivers, the Historic Columbia River Highway is the first scenic highway in the US designated as a national historic landmark. One of the best times of year to drive this scenic road is in spring, when waterfalls are at their maximum flow and wildflowers are in bloom. 960 1280

iStock  

Great River Road, Louisiana

Great River Road, Louisiana

Enjoy the warmer temperatures down South as you get a look at Louisiana’s antebellum past with a drive along its fabled Great Mississippi River Road. Take a ragtop drive on this 70-mile stretch of road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Hit cruise control as you drive by the Bayou State’s most famous planation homes. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

17-Mile Drive, California

17-Mile Drive, California

There is perhaps no other scenic road trip in America that calls for a convertible more than a drive on California’s dramatic coastal roads. With the wind whipping through your hair, cruise along the 17-Mile Drive on Pacific Coast Highway that curves along the coast from Pacific Grove to Carmel with jaw-dropping ocean views. Just don’t forget your Hollywood-esque shades. 960 1280

iStock  

Route 66, Arizona

Route 66, Arizona

There’s not a road in America more synonymous with road trips than Route 66. One of America’s first highways, Route 66 stretches through Arizona, New Mexico, Missouri and Illinois. It takes 5 to 6 days to drive the full byway; you’ll want to make plenty of stops along the way to check out the kitschy roadside attractions. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

Overseas Highway, Florida Keys

Driving a convertible along the Overseas Highway to the Florida Keys sounds like a dream drive, right? The 113-mile stretch from mainland Florida all the way to America’s southernmost point -- Key West -- has 42 bridges, making drivers feel suspended over the sea for much of the drive. The best part? There are plenty of places along the way to pull over and swim, snorkel and fish. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

boats in harbor during the day with houses along the shore
From Boston: Gloucester, Massachusetts

From Boston: Gloucester, Massachusetts

One of the most picturesque spots on Massachusetts’ North Shore is just 35 miles north of the city. The charming fishing community of Gloucester — the backdrop for "The Perfect Storm"— is full of historical folklore and a thriving arts scene. 960 1280
From Boston: Great Barrington, Massachusetts

From Boston: Great Barrington, Massachusetts

An easy two-hour drive into western Massachusetts, the Southern Berkshires town of Great Barrington spells romance and relaxation. Stroll through the historic downtown area, which is lined with charming boutiques and galleries, or meander along the Great Barrington Housatonic River Walk. 960 1280
From Chicago: New Buffalo, Michigan

From Chicago: New Buffalo, Michigan

Situated on Lake Michigan's Gold Coast, New Buffalo has been called the Hamptons of the Midwest and is jokingly dubbed the Irish Riviera, as a lot of Chicago's South Side Irish community vacations here. It's an easy day trip from the city, but the amazing beaches, sand dunes and prime fishing conditions make it a popular weekend getaway as well. 960 1280
From Chicago: Madison, Wisconsin

From Chicago: Madison, Wisconsin

Sure, everyone knows that Wisconsin stakes a claim to glorious cheese and beer, but what's less well-known is that Madison is the perfect family- or gay-friendly weekend getaway. Earning countless accolades for its eco-friendliness, this picturesque university town is progressive and has a burgeoning dining and culture scene. 960 1280
From Dallas: Glen Rose, Texas

From Dallas: Glen Rose, Texas

Southwest of Dallas, the quaint town of Glen Rose is home to Dinosaur Valley State Park, which is famous for its visible, well-preserved dinosaur footprints. If dino hunting doesn’t interest you, the park also offers trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding, as well as campsites, playgrounds and access to the Paluxy River. 960 1280
From Dallas: Grandview, Texas

From Dallas: Grandview, Texas

Well-heeled Texans mosey on over to Beaumont Ranch for a weekend spent in small-town, pastoral splendor. Swanky but unpretentious, this working ranch — which has 26 rooms and cabins — is the place to go for cattle drives, roping or shooting lessons, and relaxing trail rides. The real treats, though, are the traditional Chuck Wagon Meals. 960 1280

Susan E. Geissler  

From Los Angeles: Ventura, California

From Los Angeles: Ventura, California

Midway between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, Ventura is home to a vibrant Main Street, mom-and-pop antique stores, wine bars and the historic San Buenaventura Mission. The town tends to attract a hip, sophisticated crowd. 960 1280
From Los Angeles: Laguna Niguel, California

From Los Angeles: Laguna Niguel, California

Drive in to Laguna Niguel along Laguna Canyon Road from Interstate 405, winding through a canyon until you reach the ocean. In addition to providing top-notch views, this coastal community strongly supports the arts. The Laguna Art Museum showcases Californians, while dozens of crafts galleries, clothing boutiques and jewelry shops dot downtown. 960 1280
From Miami: Orlando

From Miami: Orlando

All signs point toward spending lots of vacation dollars at this popular tourist destination, but you don't have to blow your budget — or visit Disney — to have a good time in Orlando. Seek out everything else the city has to offer, including great shopping, museums, restaurants and golf courses. Or, for a more reasonably priced park experience, dive in to a water park such as kid-friendly Wet ’n Wild. 960 1280
From Miami: Everglades National Park, Florida

From Miami: Everglades National Park, Florida

Traveling the 25-mile route from downtown Miami to the Everglades along US Route 41 is like taking a step back in time, with kitschy billboards and signs along the way. Once you arrive, don't miss the opportunity to hop in an airboat and explore the middle of the swamp. There are plenty of operators that offer tours of varying lengths and costs. 960 1280
From New York: Montauk, Long Island

From New York: Montauk, Long Island

It's tough to come by deals in the Hamptons, but if you've stashed some cash and are looking for a luxe weekend away, Montauk is close by and the way to go. After hitting the waves, stay at the renovated Surf Lodge, a 32-room boutique hotel located on the shore of Fort Pond, just half a mile from the beach. 960 1280
From New York: Long Island Wine Country/North Fork Region

From New York: Long Island Wine Country/North Fork Region

The complete antithesis of the uber-trendy Hamptons, the North Fork region has retained its rural appeal despite increased interest in its winemaking efforts. Think New England charm, breathtaking water views of both the Long Island Sound and the Peconic Bay, with a healthy dose of relaxed wine-country living. 960 1280

Elizabeth Fraser  

From Philadelphia: Atlantic City, New Jersey

From Philadelphia: Atlantic City, New Jersey

This Jersey Shore town may seem as though it’s past its prime, but it still offers two things that never get old: beaches and casinos. Whether it’s a family trip, a romantic escape or a friends’ getaway, Atlantic City is always a safe bet. If you crap out at the tables, check out the live music venues and exciting nightlife options. 960 1280
From Philadelphia: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

From Philadelphia: Bucks County, Pennsylvania

City dwellers flee the demands of urban living for the leisurely idyll of Bucks County, home to the arts-filled town of New Hope. Wander among the tree-lined roads, or try nearby activities such as tubing on the Delaware River, seeing a show at the Bucks County Playhouse and taking an art class at the Mercer Museum. 960 1280
From San Francisco: Half Moon Bay, California

From San Francisco: Half Moon Bay, California

Tucked between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Half Moon Bay is one of those relatively untouched stretches of California coast that is frequently overlooked. Investigate the tide pools at Fitzgerald Reserve at Moss Beach or go bird-watching at the Pescadero Marsh and Pillar Point Marsh preserves. 960 1280
From San Francisco: Sonoma County, California

From San Francisco: Sonoma County, California

Just one hour north of the Golden Gate Bridge, budget-minded travelers can find lots to do in Sonoma County. Enjoy vineyards, orchards and redwood-covered mountains, not to mention big events such as Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, which takes place over Labor Day weekend. 960 1280
From Seattle: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

From Seattle: Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Only about 85 miles from the hustle and bustle of Emerald City rises majestic Mount Rainier. Around it are endless sights and activities for outdoor enthusiasts — miles of hiking trails, camping, lakes, streams, wildflowers and incomparable views. If you’re not brave enough to try to reach the peak, take a walk through the meadows of Paradise or Sunrise. 960 1280

Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.  

From Seattle: Westport/Olympic Peninsula, Washington

From Seattle: Westport/Olympic Peninsula, Washington

North of the Long Beach Peninsula, on the outer edge of Grays Harbor, is Westport. Learn about the history of this small fishing community at the Westport Maritime Museum and the century-old Grays Harbor Lighthouse. The town also sits along miles of beaches that offer some of Washington's best surfing. 960 1280
From Washington, D.C.: Baltimore

From Washington, D.C.: Baltimore

Baltimore’s usual tourist destinations — the Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, Fort McHenry and Fells Point — are popular for good reason and are definitely worth a visit. If you’ve seen all of those, branch out to some of the lesser-known (and lower-cost!) spots, such as the Baltimore Museum of Industry, a favorite for kids. 960 1280
From Washington, D.C.: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

From Washington, D.C.: Old Town Alexandria, Virginia

With its art galleries, boutique shopping, historic sites and restaurants, as well as access to miles of scenic trails and bike paths just six miles from D.C., Old Town Alexandria was made for impromptu weekend getaways. After exploring King Street, walk down to the riverfront to catch a sightseeing tour or dinner cruise on the Potomac. 960 1280
AAA Emergency Roadside Safety Kit
AAA Emergency Kit

AAA Emergency Kit

First-aid kit? Check. LED flashlight? Check. Booster cables? Check. Emergency poncho? Check. No matter what comes your way on your next road trips, you can rest assured you’ll be prepared with this AAA Emergency Roadside Safety Kit. 960 1280

The Home Depot  

Byer Traveller Light Hammock

Byer Traveller Light Hammock

After hours of driving, take a break in this lightweight travel hammock. It’s quick to hang after a long day on the road and packs down into a small pouch for easy storage. The only problem will be regulating the hammock hog on your trip. 960 1280

Byer of Maine  

Tablet Headrest Mount

Tablet Headrest Mount

There won’t be a peep from the backseat with this tablet headrest mount. It adjusts to fit any size tablet and is compatible with nearly all headrests. The kids (or adults) in the back won’t be asking “are we there yet?” because they’ll be too absorbed in their movie or game. 960 1280

Arkon Resources, Inc.  

RV GPS

RV GPS

While we’re fans of taking a detour, especially a scenic one, this RV GPS makes it impossible to get lost … unless you want to. Specially designed for the RV lifestyle, features include lifetime updates to maps, along with traffic and customized scenic routes. It also includes an America’s RV Parks and Services directory so it’s easy to find campgrounds that are have on-site laundry, allow pets and more. 960 1280

Garmin International  

Bobble Water Bottles

Bobble Water Bottles

Stay hydrated on the road with BPA-free Bobble Bottles that filter out impurities on the go, so you can fill up at the campground or rest stop water fountain worry-free. And with so many color options, no one will get their bottle mixed up in the car. 960 1280

Move Collective LLC  

GripTight GorillaPod

GripTight GorillaPod

Roadside photo-ops will be a breeze with this handy GripTight GorillaPod . This flexible tripod grips to any surface -- from a tree to a fence -- and has a reliable rubber grip that secures a smartphone. Perfect for road trips, it can double as a GPS stand -- gripping around your rearview mirror for hands-free driving. 960 1280

JOBY  

BioLite Campstove and Charger

BioLite Campstove and Charger

This eco-friendly BioLite Campstove is pure genius. It doesn’t need fuel, and the heat created from burning just a handful of kindling converts into usable electricity that can be used to recharge your gadgets. Cook dinner, charge your phone and feel good about your carbon footprint -- what more could you ask for? 960 1280

BioLite  

The Beats Pill Speaker

The Beats Pill Speaker

No matter where the road takes you this summer, you’ll want to bring your tunes. The Beats Pill is a lightweight, portable speaker that’s wireless and Bluetooth enabled. Its compact size means you can bring the party with you, no matter how little space you have in the car. 960 1280

Beats by Dr. Dre  

Fire Starter

Fire Starter

Building a fire just got a lot easier with this handy fire starter that produces sparks in any weather or altitude. It has an ergonomic thumb guard for comfort and an attached emergency whistle, in case you need to call for help. 960 1280

REI  

Road Trips

Road Trips Gear Guide  9 Photos

Cabazon Dinosaurs
Cabazon Dinosaurs (Interstate 10 - Cabazon, CA)

Cabazon Dinosaurs (Interstate 10 - Cabazon, CA)

Don't be surprised to see a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex perched alongside the road while driving on Interstate 10 in Cabazon, CA. Visitors can climb to the top of the dinosaur for a close-up view of its teeth. Make a pit stop to pick up souvenirs at the museum shop, located inside Ms. Dinny, a 150-ton Apatosaurus, considered the largest concrete dino in the world. 960 1280

Dan Eckert, flickr  

General Sherman Tree (Generals Highway - Sequoia National Park, CA)

General Sherman Tree (Generals Highway - Sequoia National Park, CA)

James Wolverton, a naturalist who served among General William Tecumseh Sherman's troops, named this sequoia tree after the Civil War general in 1879. According to the US Department of the Interior, it is the largest tree by volume, standing 275 feet and 52,000 cubic feet. Nature lovers can appreciate the beauty of this tree by taking Generals Highway, located off US Highways 180 and 198 in southeastern California. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Randy's Donuts (805 W Manchester Blvd. - Inglewood, CA)

Randy's Donuts (805 W Manchester Blvd. - Inglewood, CA)

Visitors should add this roadside attraction to their travel plans. In Inglewood, CA, near the Los Angeles International Airport, stands the famous Randy's Donuts. The donut-shaped façade of this landmark building is just as popular as the tasty pastries made inside this 24-hour bakery. Located on the corner of West Manchester Boulevard and La Cienega Boulevard near Interstate 405, the giant donut -- built in 1953 -- has been featured in videos and movies like 2012, Iron Man 2 and Get Shorty. 960 1280

Extra Medium, flickr  

Jimmy Carter Peanut (Route 45 - Plains, GA)

Jimmy Carter Peanut (Route 45 - Plains, GA)

The Peanut is one of the wackiest monuments built to pay homage to the 39th US President Jimmy Carter. During the 1976 presidential campaign, members of the Indiana Democratic Party built this 13-foot-tall statue to honor Carter as he "stomped" through the state. The plaster and mesh statue pays tribute to Carter's early career as a peanut farmer and currently resides on Route 45 in his hometown, Plains, GA. 960 1280

Donna Sullivan Thomson, flickr  

The Catsup Bottle (800 South Morrison Ave - Collinsville, IL)

The Catsup Bottle (800 South Morrison Ave - Collinsville, IL)

The world's largest bottle of ketchup remains in Collinsville, IL, even after the bottlers of Brooks Rich & Tangy Ketchup left town in the 1970s. This 170-foot-tall water tower was built in 1949 for the G.S. Suppiger ketchup-bottling plant, the bottlers of Brooks. The bottle reads "catsup" after the original Brooks bottle. Plan your road trip in July and attend the annual Catsup Bottle Festival, featuring a hot-dog-eating contest, ketchup tasting and crowning of Little Princess Tomato and Sir Catsup. 960 1280

Anne Hornyak, flickr  

Lenny, The Chocolate Moose (419 US Highway 1 - Scarborough, ME)

Lenny, The Chocolate Moose (419 US Highway 1 - Scarborough, ME)

Meet Lenny, the world's only life-size moose made of 1,700 pounds of creamy milk chocolate. Located in Scarborough, ME, Lenny draws tourists to Len Libby Candies, a store that sells handcrafted chocolate and ice cream just south of Portland. 960 1280

Patti Gravel, flickr  

Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox (300 Bemidji Ave - Bemidji, MN)

Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox (300 Bemidji Ave - Bemidji, MN)

Eastman Kodak recognized lumberjack Paul Bunyan, along with his trusty sidekick Babe the Blue Ox, as the 2nd most photographed icons in the nation. These oversized, mythical characters stand high above the shore of Lake Bemidji, near the Tourist Information Center in Bemidji, MN. Road trippers can also see other versions of the colossal statues in Bangor, ME; Portland, OR, and Klamath, CA. 960 1280

two stout monks, flickr  

Jolly Green Giant (Interstate 90 - Blue Earth, MN)

Jolly Green Giant (Interstate 90 - Blue Earth, MN)

This 55-foot-tall Jolly Green Giant is a must-see if you're planning a road trip from Minneapolis to Iowa. Visit the town of Blue Earth, MN, to see this roadside attraction, built in 1978 to commemorate the completion of nearby Interstate 90. The vegetable company gave the town permission to use its symbol as long as the townspeople provided 100% of the funds to build it. 960 1280

Doug Kerr, flickr  

Carhenge (Highway 87 - Alliance, NE)

Carhenge (Highway 87 - Alliance, NE)

Just north of Alliance, NE, on Highway 87, road trippers should keep an eye out for Carhenge. In 1987, artist Jim Reinders created this replica of the UK's Stonehenge using 38 automobiles placed in a circle measuring approximately 96 feet in diameter. Additional, smaller sculptures have been created at the site, known as the Car Art Reserve. 960 1280

Kevin Staff, flickr  

World's Largest Ball of Stamps (Flanagan Boulevard - Boys Town, NE)

World's Largest Ball of Stamps (Flanagan Boulevard - Boys Town, NE)

See the world's largest ball of stamps on Flanagan Boulevard in Boys Town, NE. The Boys Town Stamp Collecting Club started collecting stamps in 1953 to create this oversized sphere that today measures 32 inches in diameter, weighs 600 pounds and contains almost 5 million canceled stamps. The Ball reached its current size in 1955, and was featured in the syndicated newspaper column, "Ripley's Believe It Or Not." 960 1280

Laurence Pearlman © 2013  

Lucy the Elephant (9200 Atlantic Ave - Margate, NJ)

Lucy the Elephant (9200 Atlantic Ave - Margate, NJ)

In Margate, NJ, locals and visitors can climb a spiral staircase into the howdah, or bed, atop Lucy the Elephant. From this perch, it's possible to see views of Margate, NJ, the Atlantic City skyline and Atlantic Ocean. This 130-year-old, 65-foot pachyderm -- located along the beach in Josephine Herron Park -- has on-site, outdoor picnic tables, so pack a lunch. 960 1280

Tony Fischer, flickr  

World's Largest Pistachio Nut (7320 US Hwy 54-70 - Alamogordo, NM)

World's Largest Pistachio Nut (7320 US Hwy 54-70 - Alamogordo, NM)

One of the more recently built roadside attractions is the World's Largest Pistachio Nut in Alamogordo, NM. Built in 2009, this 30-foot-tall nut was dedicated to the owner of McGinn's Pistachio Tree Farm (aka PistachioLand), who, according to locals, was a big fan of roadside attractions. It's worth a detour. 960 1280

The Flippers, flickr  

The Shoe Tree (US 50 - Middlegate, NV)

The Shoe Tree (US 50 - Middlegate, NV)

Take a break from driving to see this cottonwood tree just off US 50 -- also known as the "loneliest road in America" -- in Middlegate, NV. Tourists and locals drape footwear on the branches of the Shoe Tree. 960 1280

LeeAnne Adams, flickr  

Enchanted Highway (Regent, ND, to Gladstone, ND)

Enchanted Highway (Regent, ND, to Gladstone, ND)

See local artist Gary Greff's collection of the world's largest scrap metal sculptures along the Enchanted Highway, a 32-mile stretch of road between Regent and Gladstone, ND. Some of the sculptures have picnic shelters where travelers can stop for lunch, or weary drivers can check in at Gary's motel in Regent, The Enchanted Castle. 960 1280

J24L, flickr  

Golden Driller (East 21 St. - Tulsa, OK)

Golden Driller (East 21 St. - Tulsa, OK)

Planning a road trip near or through Tulsa, OK? Check out the Golden Driller, a 76-foot-tall, 22-ton concrete and iron rendering of a man. The statue was erected in 1953 to celebrate Tulsa's good fortune as entrepreneurs rushed to capitalize on the growing number of oil fields in the area. Built to withstand a 200-mph tornado, this roadside attraction was declared Oklahoma's official state monument in 1979. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Dinosaur Park (940 Skyline Drive - Rapid City, SD)

Dinosaur Park (940 Skyline Drive - Rapid City, SD)

This isn't your regular Jurassic Park! Head to Dinosaur Park if you're traveling near Rapid City, SD. This 75-year-old outdoor park is full of dino statues that project a decidedly 1930s'-era understanding of these creatures. Dinosaur Park is located on Skyline Drive and is almost as popular an attraction as nearby Mount Rushmore. 960 1280

Paul Weimer, flickr  

Cadillac Ranch (Interstate 40 - Amarillo, TX)

Cadillac Ranch (Interstate 40 - Amarillo, TX)

Created in 1974 by a group of artists called the Ant Farm, this graffiti-splattered homage to Cadillacs represents the car's evolution from 1949 to 1963. Travelers along Interstate 40, near Amarillo, TX, can see Cadillac Ranch from the road. 960 1280

waxhawian, flickr  

The Beer Can House (222 Malone St. - Houston, TX)

The Beer Can House (222 Malone St. - Houston, TX)

In 1968, John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad covered his house with aluminum siding made entirely of 50,000 flattened beer cans, bottles and other beer paraphernalia. Locals and visitors can visit this artsy house located on 222 Malone Street in Houston, TX. 960 1280

  

Benewah Milk Bottle (Interstate 90 - Spokane, WA)

Benewah Milk Bottle (Interstate 90 - Spokane, WA)

Two giant milk-bottle-shaped buildings are the only things remaining from the once-booming Benewah Dairy Company in Spokane, WA. This bottle building -- pictured above -- was built in 1935 and is located just off I-90 in downtown Spokane. The other building is located on Garland Avenue and was built in 1934. Dairy owner Paul Newport hoped the bottle-shaped storefronts would attract customers to the retail outlets. 960 1280

RoadsideArchitecture.com  

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park (Wisconsin 13 - Phillips, WI)

Fred Smith's Wisconsin Concrete Park (Wisconsin 13 - Phillips, WI)

In Phillips, WI, artist Fred Smith created more than 200 concrete sculptures, scattered across 3.5 acres of this 16-acre small-town park. After Fred's death in 1976, the Kohler Foundation spearheaded the park's restoration and turned over control of the park to Price County, to be used as a public art park. 960 1280

Steve Mays, flickr  

Foamhenge (South Lee Highway - Natural Bridge, Virginia)

Foamhenge (South Lee Highway - Natural Bridge, Virginia)

Travelers visiting the Natural Bridge in Virginia should also pay a visit to its neighbor, a full-size, Styrofoam replica of the UK's Stonehenge. In 2004, American artist and entertainer Mark Cline built Foamhenge on a hillside in the Shenandoah Valley. 960 1280

Alun Salt, flickr  

Road Trips

Wackiest Roadside Attractions  21 Photos

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Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

Drivers have little choice but to take their time enjoying the serpentine Blue Ridge Parkway connecting Shenandoah National Park in Virginia with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. 960 1280

Moment / Getty Images  

Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway

The route's speed limit is a strictly enforced 45 mph, which at some points is lowered to a mere 25 mph. Traffic builds up on this popular byway during October when leaf-peepers glimpse nature’s colorful display outside their car windows. 960 1280

Jimmy_Joe Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

New Hampshire's Kancamagus Scenic Byway, a 34.5-mile section of Route 112 running through the White Mountain National Forest, is renowned for its autumn leaves, making it one of the top road trips during the fall leaf-viewing season. 960 1280
Kancamagus Scenic Byway

Kancamagus Scenic Byway

As a National Scenic Byway, the "Kanc," as the locals call it, remains unspoiled by homes or service stations, allowing visitors to watch the maple, beech and birch trees burst into color without distraction. 960 1280

Photodisc / Getty Images  

Historic National Road

Historic National Road

Maryland's stretch of the 170-mile Historic National Road -- originally built to foster settlement into the West by aiding the movement of people and goods -- takes road-trippers on a journey through 300 years of history. 960 1280

Dwight Nadig / iStock / Getty Images Plus  

Historic National Road

Historic National Road

The lush region and towns surrounding the highway have become a mid-Atlantic hot spot for fall foliage viewing and offer plenty of historic interest to travelers. 960 1280

Panoramic Images / Getty Images  

US 1

US 1

US 1 runs between the beach and Interstate 95 along Florida's east coast, allowing easy access to A1A (the road closest to the coast) while letting you hightail it past cities that don't pique your interest. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

US 1

US 1

The 2,376-mile stretch of highway between Fort Kent, Maine, and Key West, Florida, passes through every state on the eastern seaboard.
960 1280

By Wsvan [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

Acadia National Byway

Acadia National Byway

Designated an All-American Highway by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Acadia Byway winds along Maine’s coastline for 40 miles past granite peaks, craggy outcroppings, coastal fishing villages and lush old-growth forests. 960 1280

Universal Images Group / Getty Images  

Acadia National Byway

Acadia National Byway

Fresh lobster feasts and the chance to be among the first people in America to see the sunrise are just a few of the reasons to put the Acadia Byway in Maine on your road-trip radar. 960 1280
Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive takes you on an amazing ride, slithering through Shenandoah National Park along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive offers perfect views of Piedmont Valley to the east and the Shenandoah River Valley to the west. 960 1280

By Philip N. Wheeler [CC BY-SA 3.0]  

Skyline Drive

Skyline Drive

Virginia's Skyline Drive is beautiful year round, but if you're looking to enjoy it in all its splendor, there's no better time to drive down the 105-mile scenic byway than in the fall. Its route along the Blue Ridge Mountains through Shenandoah National Park is not only perfect for leaf-peeping, but also offers close to 70 scenic overlooks. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Gulf Coast Road Trip

Gulf Coast Road Trip

From Florida to Mississippi, the Gulf Coast is not only a beautiful spot for a beach vacation, but an important ecosystem that’s home to thousands of sea turtles, seabirds and other wild creatures. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Gulf Coast Road Trip

Gulf Coast Road Trip

Set off on a road trip along Route 98 through the region’s best state and national parks, and appreciate the wonders of the Gulf Coast and its unique ecosystems. 960 1280

By Ebyabe (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons  

napa valley, highway 29, road trip, california
Highway 29

Highway 29

Take California State Route 29 to see some of the region’s best vineyards and wineries. Through Napa Valley, Highway 29 passes through Calistoga, St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville and Napa. 960 1280
Silverado Trail

Silverado Trail

Hit the road early to capture the serene vineyards along the Silverado Trail, a scenic route along the eastern edge of Napa Valley. Most locals suggest taking this route to avoid traffic on California State Route 29, which runs parallel to the Trail. 960 1280

seligmanwaite, Flickr  

Wine Country

Wine Country

Northern California's wine country beckons visitors with hundreds of wineries spread across 3 counties. 960 1280

By John Morgan [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa Winery is located near Calistoga, CA. The 121,000-square-foot medieval replica castle includes 107 rooms and 8 levels above and below ground. Among its many features, it has a moat, drawbridge, defensive towers, interior courtyard, chapel, torture chamber and a great hall. Visitors to the vineyard can sample the wines sold at the castle. 960 1280

Jim G., Flickr  

Cabernet

Cabernet

Northern California's climate is ideal for growing grapes like these ripe ones used to make a fine cabernet. 960 1280

By Jakob federer (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Beringer Rhine House

Beringer Rhine House

Make a stop at the Beringer Rhine House -- Napa Valley’s oldest continuously operating winery. Enjoy the award-winning wines, rich history and beautifully landscaped grounds. 960 1280

Chuck O'Rear  

California Wine

California Wine

The best way to appreciate Northern California's wine country is to sample the goods along the way. 960 1280

By Brian Solis [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Old Faithful Geyser of California

Old Faithful Geyser of California

While you’re on your road trip, we suggestion stopping by the Old Faithful Geyser of California, located in Calistoga, CA. It’s just one of many roadside attractions you’ll see along the way. 960 1280

Kunal Mukherjee, flickr  

Picturesque Vineyards

Picturesque Vineyards

Bring along a camera for photo opportunities in the acres of rolling vineyards in Napa and Sonoma. 960 1280

By Rennett Stowe from USA (Napa Valley Vineyard) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Staglin Family Vineyard

Staglin Family Vineyard

The Staglin Family Vineyard, a family-owned Napa Valley winery in Rutherford, CA, produces a variety of wines, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sangiovese and a Bordeaux-style blend. Take a guided tour of the winery, and then at the end of the tour, experience an intimate tasting of Cabernet Sauvignons produced on the estate. 960 1280

Kopol Bonick Studio  

Wine Production

Wine Production

These terraced vineyards in Sonoma rely on biodynamic agricultural techniques to produce local wine. 960 1280
Oxbow Public Market

Oxbow Public Market

Go local! Visit the Oxbow Public Market in Napa Valley to sample the local community’s best, including fresh food, wine and cheese. Take Highway 29 to the city of Napa; take the 1st Street Exit (bear right to head east); and look for signs marked ‘Oxbow Public Market’. 960 1280

Oxbow Public Market  

Merlot

Merlot

Pre-veraison, these grapes will be used to make Merlot once they ripen. 960 1280

By David Huang (Flickr: Merlot) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Sterling Vineyard

Sterling Vineyard

Several vineyards, including the Sterling Vineyard (pictured) in Calistoga, CA, are fun getaways for tourists.  See picturesque views from their aerial tram. Guests can also travel the grounds by foot. And with a glass of wine in hand, stroll through art galleries and elevated walkways that allow visitors to see the winemaking process from grape to glass. 960 1280

Jim G., Flickr  

Years of Preparation

Years of Preparation

These vines in Sonoma have been used for growing grapes for nearly 90 years. 960 1280

By dynamosquito (Flickr: Ceps) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Di Rosa Preserve

Di Rosa Preserve

While you’re on the road, we suggest you visit the Di Rosa Preserve, a 35-acre lake and wildlife. The area is not only rich in an array of flora, fauna and wildlife, but it’s also the canvas to display a broad range of art created by Bay Area artists. Art aficionados can walk the grounds to see art work in the Main Gallery, Gatehouse Gallery, Historic Residence, Courtyard, North Lawn and Sculpture Meadow.  It’s an art lover’s paradise. 960 1280

collectmoments, Flickr  

The Grapes

The Grapes

These grapes may become a bottle of your favorite California wine, but you'll have to wait a few years to try it. 960 1280

By Tomás Castelazo (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons  

Downtown Napa

Downtown Napa

If wine tasting and tours isn’t you’re thing, then make a pit stop in Downtown Napa. The area has dozens of shops, dessert cafes, bars, restaurants and spas. Hotels and B&Bs are available in the area. It’s a perfect home-base location for visitors to explore nearby vineyards and mix with the locals. 960 1280

Napa Downtown Association  

Mud Bath

Mud Bath

Unwind and relax with a mud bath at one of several spas located in Napa Valley, including Meadowood, Dr. Wilkinson’s Hot Springs, Golden Haven Hot Springs Spa, Calistoga Spa Hot Springs, Indian Springs Resort and Roman Spa Motel. 960 1280

Getty Images  

The Pacific Coast Highway winds along the dramatic Northern California coastline. 960 1280

  

The craggy cliffs of Big Sur provide breathtaking photo opportunities. 960 1280

  

Plan a rest stop in the laid-back town of Pismo Beach. 960 1280

  

It's hard not to succumb to a fairytale fantasy driving through this misty valley near San Luis Obispo. 960 1280

  

The Santa Barbara Mission is a must-see for road-trippers driving the PCH. 960 1280

  

Pay a visit to the town of Solvang, a perfect representation of a Danish village. 960 1280

  

Gasp-worthy vistas lurk around every bend in the Pacific Coast Highway. 960 1280

  

Leave all fear of heights at home as you cross Bixby Bridge. 960 1280

  

Waves crash around the rocky shoreline along the highway. 960 1280

  

Spend time wandering the scenic beachfront in Carmel by the Sea. 960 1280

  

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle

Once the home of William Randolph Hearst, the Hearst Castle is one of the largest historic house museums in the US. It offers several tours which cover the estate's grand rooms, upstairs suites, cottages and kitchens. 960 1280

Jim G, flickr  

Oregon Dunes

Oregon Dunes

Stretching south from Florence, OR, to Coos Bay, 40 miles of Oregon's coast is home to the Oregon Dunes Recreation Area. Sand dunes, hundreds of feet high, provide a habitat for wildlife. Visitors can hike, take pictures and drive off-road vehicles. 960 1280

John Fowler via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse

Cape Blanco Lighthouse was built on 47.7 acres of land in 1870. It holds 4 unique records: It's the oldest continuously operating light, it's the most westerly, it has the highest focal plane above the sea (256 feet) and it had Oregon's first woman keeper, Mabel E. Bretherton. Today the lighthouse is all automated with a motor to rotate it, plus a special light that flashes every 18.2 seconds. 960 1280

Clinton Steeds via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Stearns Warf

Stearns Warf

Stearns Wharf was built in 1872 to serve ships. It eventually became a naval installation. Today the wharf is one of the largest attractions in Santa Barbara with shops and restaurants that bring more than 5 million annual visitors. 960 1280

Lars Aronsson, Wikimedia commons  

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay

Monterey Bay is a bay of the Pacific Ocean, on the coast of California. The area is home to many marine animals, including sea otters, harbor seals and bottlenose dolphins. It is also the breeding site for elephant seals. 960 1280

Adam Baker, flickr  

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park

Morro Bay State Park features a lagoon and natural bay habitat. It includes a museum, marina and golf course. The park has opportunities for sailing, fishing, hiking and bird watching, especially in the marsh area. 960 1280

Mike Baird, flickr  

Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is located in Oregon on US Route 101. At its highest point, the bluff rises more than 800 feet above sea level. Camping, picnicking, hiking and whale watching are all big activities within the Cape Perpetua Scenic Area. 960 1280

Amy Selleck, flickr  

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park has more than a million acres to explore, and includes 3 different ecosystems. You'll find Pacific Ocean beaches, rainforest valleys and glacier-capped peaks. The park is home to a variety of plants and animals. 960 1280

Frank Kovalchek via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

Margo Dodd Park

Margo Dodd Park

This ocean-bluff park includes a gazebo, a grassy recreation area and a large tide pool where you can snorkel. The park overlooks the ocean, and you can see lots of birds and marine life. 960 1280

Teri Vogel, flickr  

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park

Redwood National Park is home to the world's tallest trees, as well as wildlife such as bears and eagles. The park also includes 40 miles of wild coastline where animals such as sea lions, osprey and pelicans live. 960 1280

ilya_ktsn via Flickr Creative Commons 2.0  

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