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Southern Attractions

Magic castles, lunar landers, iconic diners, and more!

  • 27
  • 59:05
  • $390
  • 3,662 mi.
Take This Trip

Created by RoadsideAttractionsUSA - February 13th 2014

Tucked away among the fields and quaint small towns of the American South are loads of hidden oddities. Bizarre natural wonders, magical castles, iconic diners, and more dot the landscape, adding a distinctive and whimsical charm to the region. These are some of our all-time favorite Southern attractions in the US!

Christ of the Ozarks
4.4

935 Passion Play Rd., Eureka Springs, AR, US

Christ of the Ozarks

Whether or not you want stop and see the passion play put on here, there's no ignoring this ginormous Jesus. It's super impressive that the 67-foot-tall statue was built entirely by hand, with layers upon layers of mortar on a steel frame, and getting up close to the figure lets you see the work and love that was put into it.

1
105mi 02h 10m
Natural Bridge of Arkansas
4.4

1120 Natural Bridge Road, Clinton, AR, US

Natural Bridge of Arkansas

1

This sandstone bridge, on the other hand, was created by Mother Nature. You can walk across the 100-foot formation, visit the log cabin onsite, and soak up the gorgeous woodland setting of this impressive natural wonder.

2
210mi 03h 22m
Half-N-Half Post Office
3.7

500 Wood St., Texarkana, AR, US

Half-N-Half Post Office

2

Texarkana itself is a quirky gem of a town, half in Texas, half in Arkansas. Stand on State Line Avenue, half in one state and half in the other, and check out the post office and the courthouse, both of which are located on the state line, to see how a town that's in the middle of two states operates!

3
265mi 04h 11m
Mammy's Cupboard
4.0

555 Highway 61 South , Natchez, MS, US

Mammy's Cupboard

3

Roadside snack stands built into massive statues are oddities these days, but back in the 1930s and 1940s they were commonplace. Mammy's Cupboard is one that's still standing: a dining room and gift shop are hidden in her skirt. The fare and prices are straight out of the 1940s as well, and it's definitely a photo op worth stopping by for.

4
89mi 01h 29m
Frostop/Giant Root Beer Mug
3.5

402 Government St, Baton Rouge, LA, US

Frostop/Giant Root Beer Mug

4

This classic, hole-in-the-wall diner is one of the few Frostops left in the country. If the giant cup on top of the building didn't tip you off, their root beer floats are absolutely incredible (and come in frosted glass mugs, to boot!) Order a po' boy to enjoy along with your frosty treat and bask in the 1950s atmosphere of this staple.

5
98mi 01h 26m
Lunar Lander Exhibit
4.1

Interstate 10, Pearlington, MS, US

Lunar Lander Exhibit

5

Near the Mississippi Welcome Center in Pearlington is a cool little tribute to Apollo 13 astronaut Fred Haise, a native of the state. You'll find a 30-foot replica of the lunar lander and his space boot print in the cement below.

6
31mi 00h 29m
World's Largest Rocking Chair
4.1

11451 Canal Rd, Gulfport, MS, US

World's Largest Rocking Chair

6

Nothing says "Southern charm" like a glass of sweet tea on a porch rocking chair. Several chairs across the country all claim to be the world's largest rocker, and this one in Gulfport, MS is big enough that it just might be the world's largest. Either way, it's a great photo op that's sure to... "rock" your world.

7
353mi 05h 27m
Crooked River Lighthouse
4.4

1975 Hwy. 98 W., Carrabelle, FL, US

Crooked River Lighthouse

7

Lighthouses are a favorite sight along coasts and shorelines, and Florida naturally has quite a few. The iron-and-steel Crooked River Lighthouse has a quirky, industrial look and offers a history museums and stunning views from the top.

8
174mi 03h 08m
Solar Walk
3.6

NW 8th Ave., Gainesville, FL, US

Solar Walk

8

Take your road trip interplanetary with a stroll along Gainesville's Solar Walk. It's a 4 billion to one scale model of our solar system (which, even then, is almost a mile long) with all of the planets, Halley's comet, and other cute little details. Bring paper and a crayon to make rubbings of the passport stamps on the models of the planets!

9
61mi 01h 07m
big gorilla statue
3.0

1960 US Hwy 19, Crystal River, FL, US

big gorilla statue

9

No one's really sure who built the big gorilla statue on Highway 19 in Crystal River, FL, but the 12-foot ape is a fun photo op. Keep going south down the road and keep your eyes peeled for dinos and sharks, too!

10
12mi 00h 19m
Monkey Island
4.7

5297 Cherokee Way, Homosassa, FL, US

Monkey Island

10

Make a point to grab lunch, dinner, or just drinks at MacRae's, because it's the best way to get a view of the Homosassa River Resort's Monkey Island. Off in the river, the island is adorned with a treehouse and a lighthouse and other little buildings, and several spider monkeys live on it.

11
152mi 02h 32m
Solomon's Castle
4.0

4533 Solomon Rd, Ona, FL, US

Solomon's Castle

11

Solomon's Castle is a found-object masterpiece, a massive fairytale castle built of random objects. Solomon himself can often be found here working on something new, and entertaining, engaging tours of the castle are offered almost every day. There's even an onsite restaurant and a room where you can spend the night in a turret!

12
205mi 03h 28m
Coral Castle
4.0

28655 S Dixie Hwy, Homestead, FL, US

Coral Castle

Viator Find Tours

Click to find bookable tours and activities here

12

Solomon's Castle isn't the only offbeat Medieval building in Florida, though; the Coral Castle in Homestead is just as worth a visit. Built by one man who immigrated to America after being left at the altar, there are rumors that he built it all himself after "unlocking the mysteries of the pyramids"... to this day, no one is sure quite how he did it, but it's a strange little attraction filled with gorgeous details.

13
245mi 03h 32m
Monument to the States
4.1

300 East Monument Avenue, Kissimmee, FL, US

Monument to the States

13

Find a taste of home (wherever you're from) at Kissimmee's Monument to the States. Fossils and rocks from every state stud the tower, and there are even some bits from other countries. It's located right on the lake and is a great stop during a shoreside stroll.

14
13mi 00h 22m

2901 Osceola Pkwy, Lake Buena Vista, FL, US

The Tree of Life

14

The Tree of Life is the iconic symbol of Disney World's Animal Kingdom, and it might not seem like much, among the rides and attractions in Disney, but if you take a moment to really notice the details, you won't regret it. It's over 140 feet tall and 50 feet wide and carved with intricate animal designs. Inside is an exhibit all about nature's most under-appreciated heroes (bugs!) but the real show begins for the tree when the sun sets. Every 10 minutes, a gorgeous light show all about the wonders of the animal kingdom is projected onto the tree!

15
155mi 02h 19m

Bowdendale Ave., Jacksonville, FL, US

Giant 7UP Can

15

If you like your roadside oddities totally random, Jacksonville's giant 7UP can is perfect. Peep it from afar, or ask for permission to get inside the gate for a close-up look at this strange sculpture.

16
157mi 02h 14m
Huge Pink & Gray Elephants
3.9

15794 Whyte Hardee Blvd, Hardeeville, SC, US

Huge Pink & Gray Elephants

16

You'll be welcomed into South Carolina by a huge pair of elephants. Conveniently located near a rest stop, the massive beasts are begging for a fun photo op!

17
230mi 03h 16m
Largest Tire in the World
1.6

13422 Hwy 131 , Bladenboro, NC, US

Largest Tire in the World

17

Since you're on a road trip, make a point to snap a shot of this massive tire outside Bladenboro, NC. It's kind of in the middle of nowhere, so enjoy the scenery and small town charm as you make your way out here.

18
101mi 01h 47m
Shark Attack
3.7

125 N Topsail Dr, North Topsail Beach, NC, US

Shark Attack

18

Beware of sharks at the beach! Shark Attack Souvenirs is the perfect seashore photo op, and it's a great place to pick up some kitschy gifts for everyone back home.

19
163mi 02h 37m
Giant Sundial
3.0

250 E. Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC, US

Giant Sundial

19

If you're looking for an offbeat gem to check out in Chapel Hill, stop by the giant sundial on UNC's campus. The shadow-casting gnomon is a whopping 24 feet long and 20 feet tall... it's really something you have to see to fully appreciate just how big it is! Poke around the college town of Chapel Hill while you're here.

20
64mi 01h 06m
World's Largest Chest-Drawers
3.9

508 North Hamilton St, High Point, NC, US

World's Largest Chest-Drawers

20

You've seen giant tires, giant pink elephants, and giant rocking chairs... but the most random giant object you'll pass by is the world's largest chest of drawers. It's just so strange, you kind of have to stop to see it!

21
90mi 01h 30m

3700 Arco Corporate Dr, Charlotte, NC, US

Metalmorphosis - Giant Head

21

Metalmorphosis is a fun stop, especially if you have kids. It's a giant head sculpture that once rotated and changed shape. The mechanics that made it move stopped working, and when repairs failed, it was simply turned into a rad fountain that kids love to splash around in. It looks especially neat at sunset!

22
53mi 00h 51m
Peachoid
4.1

266 Peachoid Road, Gaffney, SC, US

Peachoid

22

Quirky water towers are also not as commonplace as they once were, but Gaffney, SC's Peachoid still watches over the small town. Most famous for its role in the Netflix series "House of Cards", you can gaze up at it and decide for yourself if it really does look like a giant butt or not.

23
130mi 02h 15m
Goats On The Roof
4.0

3026 Hwy 441 South, Tiger, GA, US

Goats On The Roof

23

If you're looking for an offbeat place to grab a snack, stop by Big Billy's Goats on the Roof. The name pretty much says it all: this ice cream and gift shop features a few adorable goats living on the roof. Browse their wares, enjoy a cone, and feed the goats!

24
142mi 02h 44m
Flying Saucer House
5.0

Balmoral, Chattanooga, TN, US

Flying Saucer House

24

Futuro houses were a short-lived but totally awesome trend. They were flying saucer-looking buildings that were designed by the Finnish in the late 60s and early 70s. The fad never really caught on, and less than 100 were built throughout the world, but you can check out some futuro homes (from the street, of course) if you know where to look. There's one in Chattanooga that's pretty awesome!

25
140mi 02h 11m
The Parthenon
4.0

Centennial Park, West End Avenue, Nashville, TN, US

The Parthenon

25

Nashville's most iconic landmark is their full-scale replica of the Greek Parthenon. Stroll around the grounds, or head inside: it houses the city's art museum!

212mi 03h 11m
Graceland
4.5

3734 Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN, US

Graceland

Viator Find Tours

Click to find bookable tours and activities here

End your tour of Southern attractions at the Big Daddy of them all: Memphis's Graceland. Tour the massive estate, including the infamous Jungle Room, see his private jets and cars, loads of costumes, and even his final resting place.

From roadside photo ops to outsider art to offbeat adventures, there are loads of Southern attractions dotted across the region that are sure to spice up any road trip.