5 of America’s Quirkiest Family Road-Trip Stops

    When setting out on a road trip, your family surely will enjoy an itinerary including some weird, quirky, and even (slightly) scary stops. These places will break up the drive and give your family plenty of stories to tell again and again throughout the years.

    Gatorland (Hunters Creek, Florida)

    When Gatorland opened in the late 1940s, no one could have known it would turn into such a big attraction. In addition to alligator wrestling and feeding, your family will get to enjoy a zip-line, a small water park, and even rookie wrestling. And yes, they’ll let you and your children crawl into a sandpit with an alligator and wrestle it, if you so choose.

    Wigwam Village (Cave City, Kentucky)

    The whole tribe
    Image via Flickr by Richard Elzey

    If you ever find yourself near Mammoth Cave National Park, stop for the evening at Cave City’s Wigwam Village, where your kids undoubtedly will enjoy spending the night in a teepee-shaped motel room. (Apparently no one knew the difference between a teepee and a wigwam.) While these Wigwam village motels probably won’t rank among the best family resorts, they’ll certainly still provide a unique and unforgettable experience.

    Cadillac Ranch (Amarillo, Texas)

    Cadillac Ranch 2
    Image via Flickr by Ross Griff

    Take group of hippies from San Francisco, give them funding from Amarillo, Texas billionaire Stanley Marsh 3. Now throw in ten Cadillacs and 40-some-odd years. Give it all a big shake, and what do you get? The Cadillac Ranch.

    The cars, located along Route 66, are even easier to spot now than they were in the 70’s, largely thanks to vandalism. That’s okay, though, because the creators encourage people to paint the cars. So you and your kids could even get a chance to be creative bohemians too, if you feel inclined.

    Paul Bunyan and Babe (Bemidji, Minnesota)

    Babe The blue Ox, After restoration
    Image via Flickr by Minnesota Local History & Historic Preservation

    Your children have probably already heard countless stories of the legendary giant lumberjack and his blue ox, so they won’t want to miss seeing them in person. Located in Bemidji, Minnesota, the Paul Bunyan statue stands 18 feet tall and weighs a total 8 tons. Built as part of the 1937 Paul Bunyan Carnival, it took nearly 737 man-hours to build.

    And of course, Paul’s trusty companion, Babe the Blue Ox, stands ever-vigilant by his side. Your kids will stare in awe at her massive horns, which measure an impressive 14 feet across. This is a must-see for all family vacations passing through Minnesota.

    Corn Palace, Mitchell, South Dakota

    Mitchell Corn Palace
    Image via Flickr by Navin75

    Why would you and your family ever travel through Mitchell, South Dakota? Apparently, half a million people a year come to the small town to visit the Corn Palace. The Corn Palace was built more than 100 years ago as a community gathering place.

    The people of Mitchell re-decorate the building’s exterior every year with grass, corn, and grains, making it the world’s largest bird feeder. It’s a surprisingly interesting place that changes from year to year. No matter how many times you’ve visited, you always have a reason to come back.

    Have you ever discovered any quirky stops that made your family road trip more fun? What places do you and your kids hope to visit in the future?

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