From UFOs to life-sized coffee pots and houses shaped like shoes, these unique Pennsylvania roadside oddities will make any road trip one to remember.
Stroll through the streets of Yardley to see the brand-new Yardley Duck Sculptures to spy six colorful ducks designed by local artists and displayed throughout the town. From Chester to Blue to Dapper to Dolly, make sure to stop by each of these lovable birds in various locations including Buttonwood Park, along Main Street, and Fitzgerald Park.
2. Boomer the Dino-Dog
Originally installed in 2003 as a temporary sculpture for the New Hope Annual Outdoor Sculpture Show, it wasn’t long before Boomer the Dino-Dog became a permanent resident and longstanding “guardian” of New Hope. Sculpted by local artist Dana Stewart two decades ago, the massive part dinosaur, part dog is a favorite of both locals and area visitors. Next time you’re in New Hope, be sure to swing by and wave to Boomer at the entrance to Delaware Canal State Park.
3. The Belle of Saint Mary’s at Hameau Farm
Be prepared for some cow-filled fun when driving past the Belle of Saint Mary’s. The 13-foot-tall fiberglass cow looms over Kishacoquillas Valley, a portion of the Juniata River in Mifflin County. The Belle of St. Mary’s is the perfect Instagram-photo op, greeting you and visitors alike as you make your way to Hameau Farm, a working dairy farm that is also a summer camp for girls. “The experience will moo-v you!”
4. Gravity Hill
Is it science, an optical illusion, or the supernatural? Prepare to get spooked next time you drive through McCandless Township right outside Pittsburgh. Stop on the mysterious and seemingly gravity defying road known as “Gravity Hill,” put your car in neutral and watch as the car starts moving forward, instead of backward down the hill. After experimenting with Gravity Hill, keep the mysteries going by checking out the haunted Blue Mist Road, known for being one of the scariest roads in Pittsburgh. When the sun sets on this road, it is said to become covered in a paranormal blue mist.
5. Doolittle Station
Located just minutes from the Route 219 exit off Interstate 80 in DuBois, Doolittle Station is a must-see Pennsylvania roadside attraction. A unique village, the station has restaurants, museums, a brewery, and a bed and breakfast, all found within historic train cars. Order ice cream at the popular roadside cafe and creamery, check out the museum filled with mementos of PA railroad history, and grab a delicious meal inside the authentic 1950’s diner car or farm-to-table, fresh fine dining service in the 1913 parlor car, only one of four ever made!
6. Playthings, Etc.
Located right off the William Flynn Highway, Playthings Etc. is probably the coolest toy and hobby store you’ll find anywhere in the world. One might even say it’s out of this world! After all, how may toy stores (or stores of any kind) are inside a spaceship?! Make a pitstop along your road trip and enter through the buildings “engine doors” to spend some time checking out the thousands of really cool toys throughout this futuristic and fun landmark.
7. Lincoln Highway Experience
A history museum in West Moreland County, The Lincoln Highway Experience is the largest museum in America dedicated to the story of the first coast-to-coast highway. With a century’s worth of history, the museum features several roadside oddities, including some of the highway’s roadside giants including a 25-foot-tall giant gas pump and 17-foot-tall bicycle built for two.
8. Jackson the Elephant
Standing in the parking lot outside an Eat’n Park restaurant, the life-sized statue of an elephant named Jackson is almost impossible to miss! Located just south of exit 110 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike in Somerset, the statue is a tribute to the actual 30-year-old elephant who lives at the International Conservation Center that specializes in the care and breeding of African elephants about 20 miles away in Fairhope. The statue honors Jackson who spent nearly two decades in a circus after being captured as a three-year-old in Africa.
9. Kecksburg Space Acorn
Is it a UFO, a giant acorn, or possibly both? You decide! The roadside oddity known as the “Kecksburg Space Acorn” can be found outside the Kecksburg Volunteer Fire Department in Westmoreland County. When crafted, it was meant to be a replica of an unidentified flying object (UFO) that reportedly crash-landed near the small town in the 1960s. Displayed in the town since 2005 when the TV show Unsolved Mysteries created the odd-looking monument to include in their episode about the Kecksburg incident, the statue has become a key attraction at Kecksburg’s UFO Festival held every July.
10. Serenity Glass Park
When the sun reflects off the colorful glass artwork at Serenity Glass Park, the surrounding area literally sparkles. Located at the intersection of Pennsylvania Route 6 and Mill Street in Port Allegany, prepare to be dazzled as you enjoy the creative artwork, beautiful walkways, and even a glass castle that pay homage to Port Allegany's glass manufacturing history and legacy.
11. The Haunted (Below The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos)
Featuring almost every scent imaginable of scented candle, The Candle Shoppe of the Poconos looks innocent enough during the day, despite the faux castle exterior and massive skull along Rte. 611 in Swiftwater. Travel to the basement, though, where monkeys were kept for research that helped lead to the creation of the Smallpox and Yellow Fever vaccines. While the monkeys are long gone, the cages are not and some visitors have reported feeling fur brush against their ankles and hearing the screams of monkeys long dead. Take a Haunted Tour to experience or a bit of paranormal activity, or not!
12. Schaefer's Auto Art
Located along Hershey Road in Erie, the larger-than-life sculptures of Shaefer’s Auto Art have all been crafted from old car parts. Walk through the site or simply drive by and wave to Automan as you check out the whimsical larger-than-life bugs, dinosaur, spaceship, and other auto-part creations of artist Richard Schaefer, often decorated in tune with the holiday seasons, especially Halloween.
13. Clothespin Statue
Just outside the Center City subway entrance parallel to City Hall, you’ll find a larger-than-life Clothespin. How large, you might ask. Quite large! The 45-foot steel sculpture by Claes Oldenburg has sparked awe, interest, a bit of head-scratching, and quite a few photos by passersby posing by the statue since it was installed in the City of Brotherly Love in 1976.
14. Pennsylvania’s Lady Liberty
A roadside attraction like no other, the Susquehanna River Valley has its very own Statue of Liberty doppelganger sitting smack dab in the middle of the Susquehanna River off Route 322 in a section called the Dauphin Narrows. The 25-foot-tall, metal mini Lady Liberty is actually the second one to be placed on the site and looks far more like the original than the first version, which was put up in 1986 and made from wood and venetian blinds before toppling into the river one windy night.
15. The Inside Scoop Giant Chip
Born as “Muffler Man” decades ago before being dismantled and placed in a junkyard, the 20-foot tall fiberglass statue has been reborn as Giant Chip welcoming one and all to The Inside Scoop, an ice-cream shop in Coopersburg, a small town along Route 309 near Allentown. Be sure to grab some sweet treats for the ride home and snap a selfie with the gentle giant sporting a giant ice cream scoop in one hand and rocking his white “soda jerk” hat.
16. PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden
Crafted entirely from old road signs and designed to represent the beauty of the town and the state, the 1,200-foot wall known as the PennDOT Road Sign Sculpture Garden on the Smock Highway near the Crawford County PennDOT facility has been dubbed one of the most photo-worthy roadside attractions in PA. This Pennsylvania artistic gem features colorful flowers, hot air balloons, farm animals, an iconic locomotive, scenic Route 6, and a variety of regional landmarks and imagery including the architecture of downtown Meadville, Allegheny College Bentley Hall, and the oil boom in Titusville.
17. Big Jim's
With a cocked six-shooter in his right hand and a Pennsylvania long rifle in his left, the 20-foot tall, 70,000-pound metal sculpture known as Big Jim, aka the “Giant Gunslinger,” stands guard over a Best Western hotel and the town of Bentleyville near Pittsburgh off of I-70 on Gosai Drive. Crafted by western Pennsylvanian welder, James C. Krutz, in 1978, the gentle giant watched over his welding shop for years before taking up his new hotel assignment in 2007. Give a wave to Big Jim sporting his horseshoe belt buckle when you pass by.
Found at Ollie's Bargain Outlet‘s flagship store as one of the newer must-see attractions in Harrisburg is Ollie, the World's Largest Bobblehead. Created in 2022 for the company’s 40th birthday celebration, the 16-foot tall, 600-pound bobblehead was crafted to look like the company mascot and has even been recognized at the biggest bobblehead by Guinness (the documentarian of world records, not the famed Irish brew)!
19. Koontz Coffee Pot
Located just off the historic Lincoln Highway in Bedford, the 18-foot-tall Koontz Coffee Pot was initially built in 1927 along the then Lincoln Highway to attract drivers into a service station. The pot became a part of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Corridor in 2003, and now serves as a museum for the Bedford County Fair. The giant pot is a must-see for java drinking road trip enthusiasts.
20. Phantastic Phils
A symbol of groundhog pride, 32 larger-than-life, artfully decorated, fiberglass groundhogs known as the Phantastic Phils can be found throughout the town of Punxsutawney, about a five-minute drive from Gobbler’s Knob and the home of the Groundhog Day celebrations each February. Designed by local Pennsylvania artists, these whimsical “Phils” have the famed groundhog paying tribute to a variety of adventures, activities, and local residents. Spend an afternoon driving around town and see how many Phils you can find!
21. Haines Shoe House
Located about two miles west of Hallam on Shoe House Road near the Lincoln Highway, the iconic, five-story Haines Shoe House has a living room in the toe, kitchen in the heel, and two bedrooms in the ankle. Built in 1949 by the “Shoe Wizard,” Mahlon Haines, as a guest house to advertise his shoe stores, this roadside oddity is one of Pennsylvania’s finest and recognized historical gems. Book a stay in this iconic structure through Airbnb. Even if you don’t get a chance to spend a night in the boot, drive by for a quick pic.
22. Mars Flying Saucer
The small town of Mars, 25 miles north of Pittsburgh, is home to the Mars Flying Saucer, a can’t miss spaceship-themed roadside attraction. Constructed from two oil tanks and weighing nearly 3,000 pounds, check out the town not only for its giant saucer, but also for its cosmic charm.
23. The Pagoda
A symbol of the city of Reading for decades and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the 75-foot tall, seven-story, Japanese-inspired Reading Pagoda stands atop the south end of Mount Penn, anchored to the mountainside with 16 tons of bolts. Constructed as a luxury hotel resort in 1908 and now owned by the city of Reading, there are 87 steps to reach the top. While the interior is currently closed for repairs, you can still stop to enjoy the 30-mile panoramic views of the city and beyond.
24. Fireman Drinking Fountain
Topped with a fireman dressed in blue firefighting garb from the early 1900s and holding a lantern and a baby, the Fireman’s Drinking Fountain is a beloved historical landmark on Main Street in Slatington. Built more than a century ago by the Slatington Hose Company to provide drinking water to the town, the 12-foot-tall landmark is not your everyday water fountain. With multiple basins decorated with ornate designs and carvings of firefighters and firefighting symbols, the fountain itself a symbol of Slatington’s heritage and the town’s great appreciation of its volunteer service providers.
25. Rocky Statue
One of the most popular attractions in Philadelphia, the Rocky Statue is a must-see icon in the City of Brotherly Love. Located at the bottom of the stairs at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the statue was originally created for a scene in Rocky III and now stands to celebrate the courage and inspiration of Rocky. Make sure to visit the statue, run up the steps, and imagine the crowds calling your name as you reenact the famous scene while overlooking the Philly skyline!
26. Red Caboose Motel & Casey Jones' Restaurant
Looking for a unique overnight stay on your road trip? Check out the Red Caboose Motel, a refurbished train car experience in Ronks, set amid beautiful rolling hills and Amish farmlands. Take the whole family to enjoy an overnight adventure and choose one of the 38 25-ton cabooses to stay in. Even watch Strasburg Rail Road's steam engines fly right past your room! After an epic night in one of the train cars , enjoy breakfast in one of two genuine dining cars at Casey Jones' Restaurant.
27. Mister Ed's Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a visit to Mister Ed's Elephant Museum & Candy Emporium in Orrtanna. A roadside attraction since 1975, the shop has everything from 12,000 elephant figurines to delicious homemade fudge and candy galore. Pick out some unique gifts or walk through the whimsical gardens complete with an enchanted forest. As you pull in, make sure to wave to the massive, colorful elephant that greets you at the entrance.
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