Are you guilty of taking random detours on your RV route to see oddball roadside attractions? Don’t be ashamed! These impulsive pit stops are one of the best parts of taking an RV trip. There are so many jaw-dropping and equally head-scratching sights, like the following must-see roadside attractions. And as an added bonus for RVers, many of these attractions offer RV parking, on-site camping, or are located near RV parks.
Unclaimed Baggage Center
Ever lost your luggage at the airport? If it was never returned, it might be on sale at the nation’s only retailer of lost luggage, Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama. According to the company, “Over 99.9% of domestic airline’s checked bags are picked up at the carousel. After airlines conduct an extensive 3-month tracing process there are still a small percentage of bags left unclaimed.”
Unclaimed Baggage Center purchases lost luggage and then sells, donates, or recycles the contents. Customers can find an array of everyday goods like clothes, cameras, jewelry, electronics, and sports equipment at discounted prices. And they may also find some far-out treasures like medieval armor, a vintage scuba helmet, and rare antiques…whatever fits in a suitcase.
Lake Havasu City, Arizona
The London Bridge did, in fact, fall down. But portions were sold in auction, dismantled, and reassembled to create the bridge spanning Lake Havasu City’s Bridgewater Channel today. The bridge is a marvel for history buffs.
Folks can walk or drive across and take a guided tour that points out marring sections created during World War II, like strafing scars from German aircraft fire. The lamp posts lining the bridge were made from the melted-down cannons seized by the British from Napoleon’s army after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Just east of the Salton Sea shines the colorful hillside masterpiece of the late Leonard Knight. Impassioned by his spirituality, Knight was motivated to create a message of biblical and religious proportion. Fashioned out of adobe clay and donated paint, this 50-foot tall and 150-foot wide art piece is something that must be seen in person to truly appreciate, regardless of one’s beliefs. The surrounding desert landscape is also a popular boondocking site where RVers have overnighted.
Winchester Mystery House
San Jose, California
While it is stunning on the outside, the historical Winchester Mystery House is quite bizarre on the inside. This 160-room Victorian mansion was once the home of Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester Rifle fortune. From 1886 to 1922, Winchester made unusual additions and modifications to the home, creating a labyrinth filled with staircases and doors that led to nowhere. It has 40 staircases, 13 bathrooms, and 47 fireplaces, among other additions. While the public is at odds about this wealthy woman’s motives, some speculate she built the home to confuse and trap evil spirits that haunted her. Guests can tour the home and grounds and discover the fascination behind this over 100-year-old architectural wonder for themselves.
The UFO Watchtower is essentially an observation platform with a 360-degree view of the San Luis Valley and, even better, an exceptional stargazing vantage point. It’s a location that has reportedly been the scene of countless alleged UFO sightings and activity. Extraterrestrial seekers come to glimpse a UFO for themselves, and others just want to see what all the hype is about. Folks can even opt to dry camp overnight as the attraction allows camping.
Garden of a Thousand Buddhas
Travel 20 miles north of Missoula and find the tranquil and beautiful Garden of a Thousand Buddas. In short, the site is a public park, botanical garden, and Buddhist Center. The gardens are open daily, and visitors can tour the dramatic setting that includes 1000 buddhas and 1000 stupas perfectly positioned. The gardens are meant to evoke a sense of positivity and enlightenment in all those that enter.
World’s Largest Kaleidoscope
Mount Tremper, New York
Recorded by the Guinness Book of World Records as the World’s Largest Kaleidoscope, this psychedelic attraction was created in a silo measuring 60 feet tall and 37.5 feet in diameter. Spectators are treated to a mind-bending visual and sound experience dubbed the Kaleidoshow. It can be viewed by either laying on the floor or leaning against the wall. The World’s Largest Kaleidoscope was eventually made a part of the Emerson Resort and Spa in Mount Tremper.
There’s an app for everything, and apps like Roadside America and Roadtrippers allow RVers the opportunity to locate nearby roadside attractions along their route.
The Roadside America app, for instance, helps users find unique places worth stopping at along their route. The app starts at $2.99 for its basic feature and is only available on iOS 12.3 and higher.
Road trip planner apps like Roadtrippers and RV Trip Wizard are all-in-one programs. Users can plan their road trips, including final destination, camping/lodging along the route, and even plotting pit stops like roadside attractions in the interim. These are available on iOS and Android.
There are many resources like trip planning apps to help folks along their travels. But one of the best resources you could have as an RVer is a trusted roadside assistance program like Coach-Net’s Roadside Assistance. With Coach-Net’s full suite of RV protection products like
- 24/7 RV Technical & Roadside Assistance
- Tire & Wheel Protection
- Service Agreement for New & Used RVs
- Paint & Fabric Protection
- Guaranteed Asset Protection
…you can have solid peace-of-mind coverage! Learn how you can make the connection to carefree RVing with the help of Coach-Net!
About The Author: Natalie Henley
Natalie Henley and her husband, Levi, have been full-time RVers for over 5 years. They have also been Coach-Net customers for the same amount of time. They travel and workcamp around the U.S. in their 26-foot Itasca Sunstar motorhome with their two cats. They write for multiple RV-related publications and recently co-wrote “Seasonal Workamping for a Living: How We Did It.” You can follow their adventures on the road at henleyshappytrails.com.
Robert E. ~ “I called in pretty late and didn’t think I’d get assistance with my slide out. I spoke with Mary and she helped me solve the problem I was having. She was real knowledgeable and walked me through a few steps and had my slide out going back in. Thanks for the help at a crazy hour!”