New Destinations for Family Travel: Roadside Attractions

I’ll start this post off right: if you are planning a roadtrip and want some truly unique spots to stop at on the way, you must check out Roadside Architecture! It is an impeccable collection of photos and information of just about everything that’s worth a stop off the highway. For example, the Giant Animals section goes further into Insects, Cattle and Sea Creatures, just to name a few! The site is a must see, and has provided much of the inspiration for this post.

If I think about giant, roadside attractions that kids would love to witness, the absolute first thing that comes to mind is the giant baseball bat outside the Louisville Slugger Museum. It’s even called, simply, “Big Bat.” Tour the recently renovated museum and tour the factory! If you’re planning a trip there, follow them on Facebook for special deals and information. (This photo is from their Facebook page, and is copyright Hillerich & Bradsby Co.)

Another highly iconic huge object you can’t miss is the Longaberger Basket in Newark, Ohio! The seven-story basket is actually the home office for the Longaberger Company. It’s an exact replica of the Medium Market Basket, just 160 times larger. In nearby Frazeysburg, you can find the world’s largest apple basket at the Longaberger Homestead! Make your own basket (see options, including a discount for children) and visit the Homestead Restaurant and Factory Store.

For more festive fun, you can experience the liveliness and colors of Carnival year round at Mardi Gras World! Naturally in New Orleans, you can see all the work done by Blaine Kern Studios. Watch the artists create floats and sculptures for the annual Mardi Gras parade and other events around the country. Tours are offered seven days per week (except for select holidays) from 9:30am to 5:00pm.

I don’t think any discussion about roadside attractions can go without mentioning Wall Drug! “America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction,” is 76,000 square feet of free, family fun! It’s full of photo opportunities, like the roaring T-Rex and Mt. Rushmore. And as always advertised, Wall Drug’s still the place to stop for a root beer and free ice water!

Put those digital cameras to good use this summer! Visit our blog for more fun, new family travel ideas.

(The Longaberger Basket is one of many awesome photos in photo.architect’s Flickr stream. Wall Drug photos are from their website. Photo of Mardi Gras sculpture is from the Mardi Gras World Facebook page.)

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