South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota’s Strangest Roadside Attractions
It's one of the best things about taking a road trip. You never know what you're going to stumble across when you're out exploring the highways and byways not only in this area but around the country.
And no matter which direction you head, there are some really unusual things to see.
In South Dakota, it's a spot in one of the most remote parts of the state.
Petrified Wood Park, in the northwest town of Lemmon (population 1,154), takes up a city block with towers up to 20 feet tall, and a castle comprised of petrified wood, and petrified dinosaur and mammoth bones.
It dates back to the early 1930s, when an amateur geologist scouted out rocks and fossils from the area and relocated them to the city's wood park.
While South Dakota's most unusual attraction dates back nearly 100 years, Iowa's actually looks ahead more than 200 years in the future.
The future birthplace of Captain Kirk, in the eastern Iowa town of Riverside, commemorates the 2228 arrival of one of the biggest characters in the science fiction world, Captain James T. Kirk of Star Trek fame.
The attraction came to life nearly 20 years after the TV show made its debut in 1966. In 1985, a member of the Riverside City Council read in Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry's book, Making of Star Trek, that Kirk would be born in a small town in Iowa, on March 22, 2228. He then decided to push Riverside as that town and proposed the city declare itself the Future Birthplace of James T. Kirk. The motion passed unanimously.
In Minnesota, a tribute to the processed food item that put the town of Austin on the map is the state's most unusual attraction.
The Spam Museum, dedicated to Hormel Food's 1937 creation of canned pork and ham, first opened in January of 1991 to celebrate the company's 100th anniversary.
The location of the museum has changed twice since then, first in 2001 and then again in 2016.
Once you've crossed these three off of your 'bucket list', here are some other bizarre spots to explore around America.
OTHER NOTABLE STRANGE ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS
- Herkimer, the World’s Largest Beetle - Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Cushing Brain Collection - New Haven, Connecticut
- World’s Smallest Police Station - Carrabelle, Florida
- World’s Largest Catsup Bottle - Collinsville, Illinois
- The World’s Largest Collection of the World’s Smallest Versions of the World’s Largest Things - Lucas, Kansas
- Nuclear Waste Adventure Trail and Museum - Weldon Spring, Missouri
- World’s Largest Chest of Drawers - High Point, North Carolina
- World’s Largest Fire Hydrant - Columbia, South Carolina
- Bread and Puppet Museum - Glover, Vermont
- Upside-Down White House - Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin
LOOK: Highest-rated free things to do in South Dakota, according to Tripadvisor
Gallery Credit: Stacker
LOOK: Highest-rated free things to do in Iowa, according to Tripadvisor
Gallery Credit: Stacker