It’s easy to spot roadside attractions when cruising down the highway, but if you’re truly up for unique experiences, there’s plenty to discover off the beaten path. Many travelers even find the cheapest car rentals and plan trips for the sole purpose of checking out bizarre diversions.
The research it takes to plan a trip like this can suck the fun out of the vacation before it even begins. There are seemingly endless websites, articles, books and maps dedicated to plotting the odd and wacky sights in the U.S. Once you’ve secured a fantastic car rental deal, here are two great resources to help make planning your trip a bit easier:
1. Roadtrippers: Tell this app where you are and where you’re headed. You’ll get an itinerary with remote and unusual stops along the way. There’s also a gas estimator to help you figure out exactly how much fuel you’ll be using up. This can help you decided whether or not that huge ball of twine is actually worth visiting. There’s also a directory of popular attractions and destinations to sort through.
2. Roadside America: Their My Sights online tool will save you a ton of research and planning time. Find interesting museums, attractions and landmarks, all of which are still up and running. Create a custom road trip from everything that stokes your interest. You can plot up to 30 spots on a map, then print it out or e-mail it to yourself.
3 Not-To-Miss Roadside Attractions
1. Lucy, The Margate Elephant in Atlantic City: This strange structure reaches up six stories and has been in New Jersey for over 124 years. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. Today, you can take a guided tour inside for a small fee.
2. North Dakota’s Enchanted Highway: This strange highway will make you feel like you’ve shrunk in size. There are six enormous structures along the way, including a huge family of farmers and deer that were suspended mid-leap.
3. The Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota: Every year, the annual corn, grain, wheat and straw harvest is used to cover the exterior of this building with a brand new mural.
It’s hard to save money on gas during a road trip, but you can pinch pennies by using car rental coupons or searching for cheap car rentals!