Roadside attractions have always held a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because I love things that are quirky and unusual. Or maybe it’s because I love the type of attractions that compel me to take a second look as I pass by, or think to myself, “There has to be a story behind that”.
Roadside attractions also appeal to the budget conscious side of me. They allow my family to stretch our travel budget just a little bit further on each road trip we take so we can see more and do more without sacrificing the quality of our trip.
Many roadside attractions are free and I’ve found that adding one or two on each trip tends to ramp up the fun factor while giving my family an excuse to get out of the vehicle and stretch our legs.
If you ask me, roadside attractions are the perfect complement to any family road trip, and Ohio has no shortage of iconic wonders to see.
Some of my favorite roadside attractions in Ohio include the World’s Largest Cuckoo Clock. You may be surprised that this honor befalls the tiny town of Sugar Creek in Ohio’s Amish Country rather than a mountainside village in Switzerland.
Sugar Creek also boasts the Chair of Giants, a 12- foot tall Adirondack chair that beckons you to jump in and rest your feet.
The World’s Largest Basket, isn’t really a basket, but happens to be a building that houses Longaberger’s corporate headquarters that can be found just outside Newark. The building is modeled after the company’s top selling market basket. If you continue on to the Longaberger Homestead you’ll find the World’s Largest Apple Basket while Frazeysburg, a bit further east, prominently displays the real World’s Largest Market basket, an actual market basket that took over 2,000 hours to weave.
The remains of the Big Muskie in the Miners’ Memorial Park in Southern Ohio will introduce you to the coal mining industry in Ohio’s Appalachian area. Once the world’s largest dragline, all that remains of this engineering marvel is the bucket that can hold two Greyhound busses parked side by side.
Minutes from the state capital you’ll find the Field of Corn, one of 7 free (or nearly free) attractions in and around Columbus. Corn fields aren’t unusual in Ohio, but these ears of corn are set apart because they stand over six feet tall and happen to be made of concrete.
Ohio also boasts the World’s Largest Pumpkin, radio, and loaf of bread. Who can forget a road trip that included a stroll through a masterpiece at the Topiary Park in Columbus? Or a peek inside the World’s Largest Horseshoe Crab in Clinton County? Or of a photo op standing beside Elektro, the world’s oldest surviving American robot who was manufactured and on display in Mansfield?
Keep in mind that while roadside attractions are a great way to add some fun to your family road trip, roadside attractions make great parent escapes too.
You can see these roadside attractions and many more when you visit the great state of Ohio, a state full of surprises!