Attraction
The old A-1 Tow Yard near Barstow was the location of the Tired Iron Museum, a display of homemade terminator vehicles built by Ed and Greg Parker. The Parker family owned and operated an auto repair and towing shop here, and created these functional desert art cars mostly out of breakdowns and...
Alcatraz Island, the notorious prison that once housed 260 federal offenders, is now visited by over one million people a year. Tourists are permitted to see the main prison areas, however, much of the rambling old facility is off-limits.
Usually called "the world's largest maze" when it is created every year at this site, the maze, cut into a cornfield, is one of several major "maize mazes" that "crop up" across the country at the end of each summer. The company that operates and promotes this attraction builds mazes in New York...
A configuration of rocks in the forest that are aligned to various celestial bodies and solstices. Also a "sacrificial table" slab, and an "oracle chamber", all mysteriously erected by unknown agents. A prehistoric, megalithic tourist attraction.
Now a national historic site, this mill operated from 1913 to 1943, processing ore brought via the 22,000 foot Argo Tunnel. At the time it was built, it was the largest mill of its type in the world. It is now a tourist attraction.
The Army Corps of Engineers, responsible for most of the dredging and filling projects around the Bay, maintains the Bay Model in one of the original Marinship warehouses. The model is a two-acre functional scale model of the entire Bay and Delta region, built originally to test bay fill projects,...
The electric shovel that operated at this coal mine was the largest single-bucket excavating machine ever built, and one of the largest mobile earth-moving machines in the world. It used as much electricity as 27,500 homes to scoop out 325 tons of material in each bite (220 cubic yards)....
A remote gold mining ghost town, north of Mono Lake, designated a state historic park in 1962. In its heyday, in 1879, it had a population of 10,000 and many of the original buildings remain, preserved in a state of "arrested decay". A sprawling ruin, in a remarkable landscape, that is only...
This resort city in the Ozarks calls itself "The Live Music Show Capital of the World." This city contains over 30 live performance theaters playing an average of 60 stage shows at any given time. While Branson is traditionally known for its country western music performances it currently features...
This American landmark, composed of ten vintage Cadillacs buried nose-first in a field outside Amarillo, was originally installed in 1974. It was conceived by a group of artists and architects known as Ant Farm (Chip Ward, Hudson Marquez, and Doug Michaels), and it was funded and "seen through" by...
A ghost town theme park, built out of the fairly extensive remains of an actual old silver mining town. Walter Knott, founder of the Knott's Berry Farm theme park, restored the ghost town, after taking much of it to Orange County, where he used it to begin his theme park there (near the present...
Calipatria has been called "the lowest-down city in the western hemisphere," because the town is 184 feet below sea level. The tip of the municipal flagpole indicates sea level.
"The world's only captive geyser" in downtown Soda Springs spews jets of water 100 feet in the air every hour, or every half hour during the tourist season. Similar to the famed Old Faithful and other geysers, the Soda Springs geyser erupts due to pressure created by the combination of carbon...
A replica of Stonehenge made out of three dozen cars, all spray-painted gray. Situated in an empty field in western Nebraska, the monument was built during a family reunion in 1987.
A massive boulder looming above town, that appears to be held in place by a large chain. In fact, the chain is ornamental, designed to attract attention and tourists.
A collection of thirty or so living trees which have been grafted, trained, and formed into unusual shapes, including grids, loops, and zig-zags. The work of a farmer named Alex Erlandson, who shaped over 80 trees from 1940 to 1963, resurrecting the medieval art of tree braiding, called "pleaching...
A building covered in corn: each year, the building's exterior is stripped off and a new one is applied, using thousands of bushels of corn, grain, and grasses. A tourist attraction and agricultural showpiece, the Corn Palace is used to host community events, shows, and sports events.
Opened in Spring 1997, the new headquarters of DeLorme Mapping Company features Eartha, the world's largest rotating globe. Eartha is over 41 feet in diameter and housed in a three-story glass atrium. It represents the Earth as it is seen from space. Every continent is detailed, with colors...
Hundreds of tall date palm trees form unusual patterns, at the remote interstate town of Desert Center. The project was started years ago by the owner of the town, Stanley Ragsdale, who trucked the trees from a date farm near Indio, 50 miles away. Many of the 70-foot tall trees, which were...
A 35 acre sandy "desert," within the pine forests of Maine, which has been exploited as a tourist attraction. The sandy patch appeared as a result of the topsoil being eroded away from land clearing, overgrazing, and other bad farming practices that took place there around the turn of the century....
A dinosaur park consisting of 11 large fiberglass dinosaurs constructed by a single individual, Donald Bean, a retired carpenter. Opened in 1981, the park is located behind his house in the small community of Moscow.
The famous park that has been a vital part of Orange County's identity and economy opened in 1955. The Matterhorn, one of the park's more notable landmarks, was built in 1959, and, in order to fit the exemption for an otherwise prohibitive height restriction ordnance, had to be built as a sports...
A complex of about ten small mines that have been turned into rustic residences. Owned, and in most cases excavated, by Dugout Dick Zimmerman, who has been working the mines since 1948, and who died in 2010, at the age of 94. He became a bit of a celebrity, after being featured in national news...
A classic of the genre, this roadside attraction and family theme park is now abandoned and crumbling, after being closed in 1989. Located on the Baltimore Pike, a highway which has been surpassed by Interstate 70, the land immediately adjacent is now a shopping plaza, which has taken the name of...
Inside the pyramid in the town of Felicity is a time capsule and a plaque indicating the exact center of the world. Though it could be said that the surface of a spherical planet could have an infinite number of "centers" this is the only Center of the World officially recognized as such by the...
Forbidden Gardens was a massive re-creation of a Imperial Chinese historic sites, built in the plains of Texas by a visionary Hong Kong businessman. Included in this sprawling attraction were 6,000 terra-cotta soldiers, arrayed as they were found in China in 1974, when Emperor Qin's third century...
What is said to be the tallest fountain in the world is, suitably, in one of the most arid cities: Phoenix, Arizona. The fountain shoots eight tons of water as much as 625 feet in the air (70 feet higher than the Washington Monument), at the rate of 7,000 gallons per minute. Though it does not...
A nice obelisk marks the spot.
A pyramidal stone monument with a brass plaque claims this site as "the Geographic Center of the United States" (the monument was installed in 1940 before Alaska and Hawaii joined the union). The site was endorsed as such by the Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1918, despite the crude process by which...
The point at which the eastbound and westbound tracks for the first transcontinental railroad met. A visitors center has been built here by the National Park Service, at this remote site, at the northeastern edge of the Great Salt Lake. Initially, the Union Pacific, building the westbound track...