Roadside Attractions

Don’t Miss These 13 Quirky Roadside Destinations

Tired of being at home? Looking for cool things to see without crowding a place or violating state orders? Check out the following 13 quirky destinations across Washington and Idaho. You may find one within a short drive from your home or be inspired to plan a future road trip.

1. Hat ’n’ Boots, Seattle

With its 44-foot-wide cowboy hat and 22-foot-high boots, Seattle’s Hat ’n’ Boots gas station was a big draw on SR-99 in the 1950s and ’60s. Sadly, the station fell into disrepair once a new highway, I-5, sent most motorists in a different direction. But local artists came to the rescue, and now the refurbished hat and both boots can be seen in Oxbow Park in Georgetown.

Photo courtesy of seattle.gov

2. World’s Largest Frying Pan, Long Beach

In 1941, Long Beach promoters needed a giant frying pan to fry a nine-foot clam fritter for the town’s first annual clam festival. A 1,300-pound iron pan 10 feet wide and 20 feet tall fit the bill and was, for a time, the world’s largest frying pan.

The local icon, refurbished with its original handle and fiberglass pan, now hangs in downtown Long Beach alongside a giant razor clam that squirts on the hour or on demand for a quarter.

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Chamber of Commerce

3. Teapot Dome Service Station, Zillah

Built in 1922 by a local gas station owner as a comment on the Teapot Dome federal oil field scandal that marked President Warren G. Harding’s administration, Zillah’s teapot-shaped gas station is on the National Historic Register. Shuttered for many years out on I-82 between Zillah and Sunnyside, the structure was moved, lovingly restored and is now the visitor center in downtown Zillah.

Photo courtesy of Yakima Valley Tourism

4. Giant Stump, Arlington

In 1939, the tunneled stump of a giant red cedar tree was placed alongside SR-99 and became a popular drive-through attraction. In 1917, the stump was moved to the Smokey Point rest area on the east (northbound) side of I-5, between Marysville and Arlington, and is now a walk-through-only attraction.

Photo courtesy of Seattle NorthCountry

5. Dinosaurs, Granger

Dinosaur sculptures have been popping up in Granger since 1994, and 33 dinosaurs now dot the town. Visitors can see them all by starting at Hisey Park and following the town’s Dinosaur Drive that passes by prehistoric portrayals of spinosaurus, brontosaurus, velociraptors, and more.

Photo courtesy of Granger Chamber of Commerce

6. World’s Largest Radio Flyer Wagon, Spokane

Created in 1989 by artist Ken Spiering, the 26-ton steel and reinforced concrete “Childhood Express” is also the World’s Largest Radio Flyer wagon. It sits in Spokane’s Riverfront Park and is 12 feet tall, 12 feet wide and 27 feet long. The photogenic roadside attraction is not just for show. Although temporarily off-limits due to COVID-19 concerns, the wagon is a play structure with a wagon bed that can hold 300, a slide in the handle and monkey bars below.

Photo by Libby Kamroski

7. City of Murals, Toppenish

Since 1989, Toppenish has been inviting artists to transform boring, blank outdoor walls into murals accurately portraying scenes from local culture and history dating between the 1840s and the 1940s. A new mural is added each year during the Mural-in-a-Day event (usually the first Saturday in June), and now close to 80 murals grace the walls of the City of Murals. Find them with this map.

Photo courtesy of Yakima Valley Tourism

8. World’s Largest Egg, Winlock

In the early 1920s, so many eggs and chicks from Lewis County farms were shipped out from the railroad dock in Winlock that the town became known as the Egg Capital of the World. To honor that heritage, Winlock holds an egg festival each June (2020’s festival is canceled because of COVID-19) and, year-round, tends to the “World’s Largest Egg” on its pedestal downtown.

Photo courtesy of cityofwinlock.com

9. World’s Only Captive Geyser, Soda Springs

Once a stopping point on the Oregon Trail, a modern-day major attraction in Soda Springs is the man-made geyser created in 1937 when entrepreneurs drilling for hot water for a commercial bathhouse hit a gas chamber underground. The cooled and capped gusher is now part of Geyser Park. It is controlled by a timer and erupts on the hour. 

Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

10. Giant Potato, Blackfoot

Blackfoot County grows more potatoes than any U.S. county, and the city of Blackfoot is the self-declared Potato Capital of the World. The starchy tuber is celebrated at the Idaho Potato Museum, which has a hard-to-miss giant potato outside. Museum staff describe the big spud as “20 feet long and 10.5 feet high from the butter pat to the bottom.”

Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

11. Another Big Spud, Driggs

Built in 1953, the classic and currently operating Spud Drive-in movie theater in the Teton Valley town of Driggs advertises its playful potato theme with, among other things, a giant potato that fills the bed of a flatbed truck out front.

Photo by Ross Walker

12. Paul Bunyan Statue, St. Maries

Paul Bunyan is celebrated in a big way in the small town of St. Maries. The three-day Paul Bunyan Days celebration, with logging competitions, carnival rides and more, occurs each Labor Day weekend. And a giant statue of a Paul Bunyan–like lumberjack stands guard in front of the town’s Heyburn Elementary school year-round.

Photo by Ricia Lasso

13. Beagle-Shaped B&B, Cottonwood

The beagle-shaped Dog Bark Park Inn is a unique bed & breakfast (with an artist studio and gift shop) that’s easy to spot from way down the road in Cottonwood. In addition to being the home of the “World’s Biggest Beagle,” there are several other oversize structures on the property, including a fire hydrant with a porta-potty inside.

Photo courtesy of Dog Bark Park Inn

1. Hat ’n’ Boots, Seattle

With its 44-foot-wide cowboy hat and 22-foot-high boots, Seattle’s Hat ’n’ Boots gas station was a big draw on SR-99 in the 1950s and ’60s. Sadly, the station fell into disrepair once a new highway, I-5, sent most motorists in a different direction. But local artists came to the rescue, and now the refurbished hat and both boots can be seen in Oxbow Park in Georgetown. 

Photo courtesy of seattle.gov

2. World’s Largest Frying Pan, Long Beach

In 1941, Long Beach promoters needed a giant frying pan to fry a nine-foot clam fritter for the town’s first annual clam festival. A 1,300-pound iron pan 10 feet wide and 20 feet tall fit the bill and was, for a time, the world’s largest frying pan.

The local icon, refurbished with its original handle and fiberglass pan, now hangs in downtown Long Beach alongside a giant razor clam that squirts on the hour or on demand for a quarter. 

Photo courtesy of Long Beach Chamber of Commerce

3. Teapot Dome Service Station, Zillah

Built in 1922 by a local gas station owner as a comment on the Teapot Dome federal oil field scandal that marked President Warren G. Harding’s administration, Zillah’s teapot-shaped gas station is on the National Historic Register. Shuttered for many years out on I-82 between Zillah and Sunnyside, the structure was moved, lovingly restored and is now the visitor center in downtown Zillah. 

Photo courtesy of Yakima Valley Tourism

4. Giant Stump, Arlington

In 1939, the tunneled stump of a giant red cedar tree was placed alongside SR-99 and became a popular drive-through attraction. In 1917, the stump was moved to the Smokey Point rest area on the east (northbound) side of I-5, between Marysville and Arlington, and is now a walk-through-only attraction.

Photo courtesy of Seattle NorthCountry

5. Dinosaurs, Granger

Dinosaur sculptures have been popping up in Granger since 1994, and 33 dinosaurs now dot the town. Visitors can see them all by starting at Hisey Park and following the town’s Dinosaur Drive that passes by prehistoric portrayals of spinosaurus, brontosaurus, velociraptors, and more.

Photo courtesy of Granger Chamber of Commerce

6. World’s Largest Radio Flyer Wagon, Spokane

Created in 1989 by artist Ken Spiering, the 26-ton steel and reinforced concrete “Childhood Express” is also the World’s Largest Radio Flyer wagon. It sits in Spokane’s Riverfront Park and is 12 feet tall, 12 feet wide and 27 feet long. The photogenic roadside attraction is not just for show. Although temporarily off-limits due to COVID-19 concerns, the wagon is a play structure with a wagon bed that can hold 300, a slide in the handle and monkey bars below.

Photo by Libby Kamroski

7. City of Murals, Toppenish

Since 1989, Toppenish has been inviting artists to transform boring, blank outdoor walls into murals accurately portraying scenes from local culture and history dating between the 1840s and the 1940s. A new mural is added each year during the Mural-in-a-Day event (usually the first Saturday in June), and now close to 80 murals grace the walls of the City of Murals. Find them with this map.

Photo courtesy of Yakima Valley Tourism

8. World’s Largest Egg, Winlock

In the early 1920s, so many eggs and chicks from Lewis County farms were shipped out from the railroad dock in Winlock that the town became known as the Egg Capital of the World. To honor that heritage, Winlock holds an egg festival each June (2020’s festival is canceled because of COVID-19) and, year-round, tends to the “World’s Largest Egg” on its pedestal downtown.

Photo courtesy of cityofwinlock.com

9. World’s Only Captive Geyser, Soda Springs

Once a stopping point on the Oregon Trail, a modern-day major attraction in Soda Springs is the man-made geyser created in 1937 when entrepreneurs drilling for hot water for a commercial bathhouse hit a gas chamber underground. The cooled and capped gusher is now part of Geyser Park. It is controlled by a timer and erupts on the hour. 

Photo courtesy of Ricia Lasso

10. Giant Potato, Blackfoot

Blackfoot County grows more potatoes than any U.S. county, and the city of Blackfoot is the self-declared Potato Capital of the World. The starchy tuber is celebrated at the Idaho Potato Museum, which has a hard-to-miss giant potato outside. Museum staff describe the big spud as “20 feet long and 10.5 feet high from the butter pat to the bottom.”

Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

11. Another Big Spud, Driggs

Built in 1953, the classic and currently operating Spud Drive-in movie theater in the Teton Valley town of Driggs advertises its playful potato theme with, among other things, a giant potato that fills the bed of a flatbed truck out front.

Photo by Ross Walker

12. Paul Bunyan Statue, St. Maries

Paul Bunyan is celebrated in a big way in the small town of St. Maries. The three-day Paul Bunyan Days celebration, with logging competitions, carnival rides and more, occurs each Labor Day weekend. And a giant statue of a Paul Bunyan–like lumberjack stands guard in front of the town’s Heyburn Elementary school year-round.

Photo courtesy of Idaho Tourism

13. Beagle-Shaped B&B, Cottonwood

The beagle-shaped Dog Bark Park Inn is a unique bed & breakfast (with an artist studio and gift shop) that’s easy to spot from way down the road in Cottonwood. In addition to being the home of the “World’s Biggest Beagle,” there are several other oversize structures on the property, including a fire hydrant with a porta-potty inside.

Photo courtesy of Dog Bark Park Inn

–Written by Harriet Baskas

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