Summer just isn’t complete without a road trip. Whether you cruise Route 66 from coast to coast or take a short drive out of the city, there are plenty of quirky attractions along the way. We looked at Google Maps data from the past few years to uncover which weird and wonderful roadside attractions are searched for more during the summer months than during the rest of the year. Here’s a curated list of some trending roadside gems across the country.
Roadtrippers leaving California for the beautiful Oregon landscape shouldn’t miss the Trees of Mystery attraction just 36 miles south of the Oregon border. Despite the name, the true showstoppers are the 49-foot-tall statue of Paul Bunyan and the 35-foot-tall Babe the Blue Ox – both of which are visible from Highway 101.
Downtown Seattle sports a notoriously sticky tourist attraction: a wall covered in gum. Although the wall was scrubbed clean back in 2015, it returned to all its glory in no time. Road trippers who find themselves at the famous Pike Place Market need only wander downstairs to Post Alley to behold the man-made (or chewed) marvel.
Just off Route 66, weary travelers can take a break to picnic, swim, or fish at the small lake that’s home to a big Blue Whale. To cool off from their long drives visitors fling themselves off his tail, slide down his fins and pose for photos in his open jaws.
Fewer than 30 minutes from Atlantic City, travelers can take in another larger than life creation – Lucy the Elephant. Lucy is a 132-year-old elephant-shaped building that towers six-stories tall. Visitors can enter the structure and climb up to the howdah (the carriage positioned on the back of an elephant) for a picturesque view of the beach below.
Take a short detour off I-95 in Connecticut to take a trip back in time to the Jurassic period. Northeastern roadtrippers will find 40 life-sized dinosaur figures on a 1.5-mile nature trail in The Dinosaur Place. And the best part is that they don’t have to worry about any real-life velociraptors.
Next time you’re on a road trip, remember to take a break and explore the roadside attractions along your route. Google Maps can help you do just that with a variety of features like offline maps, the ability to search for places along your route, and the option to create multi-stop trips (now available on Android and iOS). After all, the journey can be just as much fun as the destination.