Texas Roadside Attractions

Roadside attractions are an integral part of an American road trip. From Texas’ unique take on Stonehenge to its origins as home of Whataburger, Texas offers plenty of fascinating sites.

Paisano Pete, the world’s largest roadrunner, can often be found wandering Fort Stockton. At certain times of year he even wears an Santa hat!

1. The Beer Can House

Few roadside curiosities rival The Beer Can House as roadside curiosities go. One of Texas’s most renowned folk art monuments was created by John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer who decided to get rid of his lawnmower by covering his house in flattened beer cans instead of cutting grass – something Ripley’s Believe It or Not estimates to cover approximately 50 000 cans! Visitors are welcome to tour this strange yet fascinating house which remains open for visits today.

Texas offers plenty of offbeat attractions to delight the curious traveler, such as The Beer Can House. In Hill Country, visit Stonehenge II – a replica of an iconic prehistoric monument decorated with giant Easter Island-style heads – while in North Texas make sure to stop at Paris (name of town and center for contemporary arts) where its Eiffel Tower resembles more Yeehaw than European landmarks due to its red Stetson cowboy hat atop structure.

Luckenbach, made popular as an attraction by Texas singer Waylon Jennings’ song in 1978, quickly became one of Texas’ must-visit roadside destinations. Today it serves as a bar, restaurant, souvenir shop and post office; visitors are able to see and visit its original Luckenbach sign; this landmark survived after the nearby Luckenbach Hotel burned down in 1994 and can often be accompanied by live band music; visitors are even encouraged to sing along! Such lively atmosphere makes Luckenbach an essential stop on any road trip itinerary!

2. Stonehenge II

On a scenic drive through Alamo City, Austin and Hill Country there are many roadside curiosities worth noting. One such landmark is Stonehenge II; originally created over three decades ago in Hunt, Texas by two friends after Doug Hill offered Al Shepperd some leftover limestone slab from patio project. Once set up monolith-style Shepperd was soon gripped with what’s become known as “Stonehenge Fever.”

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He bankrolled Hill to build the structure, which stands 90 percent taller and 60 percent wider than the mysterious original group of stones in Wiltshire, England that are nearly 5,000 years old. Shepperd even added two 13-foot Easter Island heads after visiting its real counterpart!

Hill Country Arts Foundation in Ingram now oversees both Stonehenge and Easter Island heads, which can be visited from dawn until dusk for free admission.

No passport necessary! A trip to Paris, Texas offers the Eiffel Tower with added flair – as well as photo opps of that iconic “leaning” photo! Built by local iron worker’s union members in Marfa near Sundown Lane near Highway 290 near Marfa for tourists to see and visit; only one such structure exists in Texas! Sculptor Rufino Loya spent over 20 years creating it with inspiration coming from Catholic churches from his home country of Mexico as inspiration.

3. The Armadillo Palace

One of the best things about road trips in Texas is witnessing its dynamic transformation over several hours behind a bug-splattered windshield. Texas boasts many unique and impressive roadside attractions that will leave you exclaiming “Oh, Yeehaw!”

An odd roadside attraction can provide the ideal way to break up long drives through Texas Panhandle. From its own version of Stonehenge to being home of Whataburger itself, Texas boasts many quirky roadside sights worth stopping for.

Fort Stockton, Texas is home to the world’s largest roadrunner, standing 14 feet tall with its trademark horns and glowing red eyes. At Christmas time, its festive Paisano attire even shines! Nearby Wharton stands a giant caterpillar which serves more than just as eye candy; located outside Goode Company Armadillo Palace it acts as an advertisement for their manufacturing business in Italy, Texas.

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Paris, Texas offers its own version of Eiffel Tower: in 1959 Tex was installed atop it to preside over Harry Wheeler’s Western Store; since then he has seen two restoration projects!

As another nod to Texa’s rich cultural history, Lightnin’ McDuff created the 2nd Amendment Cowboy. Visitors are encouraged to leave their mark here like on Cadillac Ranch; visitors are even welcome to add personal messages on his two legs if desired! For something less permanent check out Conway’s Slug Bug Ranch which boasts an unfinished sculpture featuring two legs with space for visitors’ signatures on them – much like Cadillac Ranch where visitors leave permanent marks behind!

4. The Giant Caterpillar

Road trips in Texas can be especially exciting when searching for roadside attractions of epic proportion. From graffiti-covered Cadillac graveyards to an enormous statue of Bumble Bee from Transformers at a gas station in Terell, these huge roadside attractions provide more than just photo opps; they can also serve as great spots to stretch your legs, get some fresh air and recharge before continuing your travels.

As Texas prides itself on being the “Lone Star State”, you’re bound to encounter large creatures along its roadways proving it. From caterpillar statues and replicas of Stonehenge in beer gardens to whimsical roadside displays like those found at Big Bend National Park and more – Texas promises memorable stops along its roadsides that won’t disappoint your trip.

Beaumont’s 24-foot-tall fire hydrant stands tall against its Italian counterpart. Constructed to promote Walt Disney’s animated film 101 Dalmatians’ re-release, this 24-foot hydrant was built in 1999.

From afar, the Caterpillar may be eye-catching; up close it becomes even more captivating. The friendly creature known as Bruco serves more than just as a kitsch stop; it serves as the manufacturing facility of Monolithic Dome Institute! Plus there’s even an entire neighborhood full of funky dome homes along Dome Park Place that you can stay in!

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Every Texas town features some unique attractions to draw tourists and locals alike, from giant killer bees and second-largest Roadrunners, to where the first recorded murder by killer bee took place, statues inspired by Alfred E. Neuman in towns that call themselves Killer Bee Capital of the World; ghost brides at Hotel Grand Galvez for ghost wedding receptions; 12-story cement blocks devoted to Lyndon Baines Johnson at Hidalgo;

5. The Wharton Inn

Texas offers no shortage of cultural oddities that draw roadtrippers off their path and inspire photo opportunities, from junker Cadillacs buried nose-down in a dusty farm field to small museums that demonstrate that people and dinosaurs cohabited the earth at the same time. From giant fire hydrants to frozen missing links, here are several Texas roadside attractions that have drawn people’s interest both locals and visitors alike.

Luckenbach, made infamous by Waylon Jennings’ country hit “Luckenbach, Texas”, stands out as an exceptional roadside attraction in Texas. Its old post office has been converted into a bar, souvenir shop and musical venue; additionally it contains a replica of the guitar which inspired Jennings when writing his hit.

Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo is another highly acclaimed roadside attraction, where ten vintage Cadillacs lie face down in a dusty field – this remarkable art installation was created by artist John Wayne Gacy Jr. Caskets, hearses and other funeral industry regalia can also be found within its walls; visitors will even come across JFK’s Eternal Flame from JFK, Truman’s embalming machine as well as wax figures of Pope and Lincoln lying in their coffins!

From remnants of “Old Weird America” to more contemporary oddities, Texas roadside attractions provide a window into its culture and sense of humor. A visit to one of these Texas roadside attractions is always an adventure worth taking!

For even more fun and quirky activities in Texas, check out our guide of the top things to do in Austin or plan a road trip through Hill Country.

About the author

Boris

I love to travel and explore new places around the world. Meeting different people from various intercultural background and spending time with locals is something that makes me feel great. You can connect with me at Google+ or follow me on Twitter.