America's unusual roadside businesses

You never know what you'll encounter around the bend -- and that's a big part of the allure of the nation's highways.

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214Comments
Aug 20, 2013 7:58AM
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I can't believe Wall Drug in South Dakota wasn't mentioned.  I've been there and it has always been full of tourists.
Aug 15, 2013 5:39PM
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I have been in the Milk Bottle thousands of times over the past 70+ years.  The Milk Bottle was built in the 1930's and operated as the Benewah Dairy store where we went to get all our dairy products for many years as we lived only 5 blocks from there.  The restraint that is in there now is absolutely wonderful.  The hamburgers are made with in house home made buns and they are wonderful.  The milk shakes are made the old fashioned way with hard ice cream in a metal container and are the best in the country. 
If you get to Spokane Washington sometime, stop in ,you won't be sorry.

Aug 20, 2013 9:01AM
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What about the Corn Palace in Mitchel South Dakota?

Good times ,changes outside every year, real pieces of corn on outside building.

Its a keeper.

Aug 19, 2013 12:22PM
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Are there any of the old A&W wooden barrel drive ins still around? I remember one in Grand Forks, North Dakota in about 1958 1960 when I was 10 years old.
Aug 19, 2013 9:22AM
Aug 20, 2013 10:23AM
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I tried to eat the 72 oz steak at the Big Texan one time.  We drove by it on a family vacation when I was a small kid, and I was fascinated by the challenge.  Later when I was in college, I decided to drive out there and give it my best shot.  I failed miserably, that thing is huge!  The steak is so tough, and such a bad cut of meat, that it was impossible to chew the whole thing up.  My jaw gave out from fatigue after about 60 oz's.  If it were a decent cut of meat, I think I could have held it all down.  I learned afterwards that the trick is to swallow each bite whole.  Lets just say I had some serious digestive problems--over the course of about 3 days it came out looking like motor oil lol.
Aug 19, 2013 3:27PM
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The Big Texan has the worst barbecue in Amarillo.  Just a tourist trap. 
Aug 15, 2013 8:25AM
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   I'll have to pick some of these for my bucket list.    

 

 

 

 

Aug 15, 2013 2:45PM
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Nothing against these choices, but how could they have skipped The Big Chicken?
Aug 20, 2013 5:14AM
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There are several of the huge steak super meals for free in Texas. And no, I've never been to one. I know damn well I can't eat a four and a half pound steak with all the trimmings in a hour, so why try? The bordello museum sounds fun, as do the milk bottle cafe and the shaved ice place. I love Texas, but I've done a bit of traveling and find wherever I go there are people and things to enjoy. And these "roadside attractions" are no small part of the joy of exploring the lower 48. Been to Alaska too. Not alas Hawaii. If one has the time, a leisurely drive through the USofA is a trip worth taking.
Aug 20, 2013 8:38AM
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The apatosaurus at Wall, SD ... the Jolly Green Giant at Blue Earth, MN ... Don't forget the great stuff along Interstate 90!

Aug 20, 2013 10:11AM
Aug 20, 2013 10:03AM
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What?!?!? No, "The Thing"?!?!!

It's the ultimate road-side attraction, located just west of the Arizona/New Mexico border.

I'm not sure, but I think its been there since before cars were invented.  (At least since the 50s.)

Aug 15, 2013 10:35AM
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National Museum of Funeral History --- sign me up. 
Aug 20, 2013 11:00AM
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Fun article!  Too bad it only lists 7.  There are hundreds on unusual roadside attractions in this country.
Aug 19, 2013 1:58PM
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My daughter and I were making a cross country trip from PA to Arizona.  Luckily, Amarillo just happened to be a stopping point for the night.  There were signs along route 40 for at least 100 miles advertising The Big Texan.  I am so glad we stopped.  Neither of us tried to eat the 72 ounce steak, but two people were and both failed.  Besides the hype for the free steak, the food is excellent and the atmosphere, if you like old west, is magnificent.

 

I am going to have to try the big snowman.  It is only about 5 miles from home.  I have been past it several times but never stopped.  In fact, I have never seen anyone there, so if you want to try it, maybe you better make it soon.

Aug 20, 2013 10:29AM
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I've ridden by the shoe house, I never been inside yet. I have heard of some of the others
Aug 20, 2013 9:57AM
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I've probably passed the Big Texan a dozen times on trips across the state.  Must say, I've never really been tempted.
Aug 15, 2013 9:05AM
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the worlds' largest bailing wire buffalo is in Gothenburg nebraska. 
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