Quirky Places to Stop on a Cross Country Road Trip

Quirky places to see in the u.s.

When you are driving across the country you spend a lot of time in the car rather than outside. It can get extremely monotonous. One of the best things you will experience are road side attractions. Some of the places you stop at briefly will provide the best memories when looking back. For me, my favorite memory of the cross country trip I took with my parents is simple. We stopped in Rapid City, SD for lunch before we went to see Mount Rushmore. We stopped in town at this small restaurant that made AMAZING bison burgers. For a year and a half leading up to this point I avoided red meat completely. I’m not sure if it was the fact that I had been deprived of red meat for so long or that the burger was really magnificent, but that was the best burger I ever had in my life. Whatever you do, make sure you stop at as many unique places along the way as you can.

wall drug

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You literally can not miss the exit for this attraction. When you are driving down the highway there is nothing around but hundreds if not thousands of signs for miles on I90. There is a Wall Drug gift shop, a saloon, an Inn, and the Wounded Knee Museum on main street. It actually sits on the edge of the Badlands national park and is quite close to the entrance. The little town is full of charm and looks like something out of an old western. You won’t want to miss this famous stop. There is even a large covered wagon with plaster horses for a photo op, and they have a “traveler’s chapel”.  Check it out, you won’t want to miss it.

the corn palace

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Located in Mitchell, South Dakota off of I90 is one of my favorite quirky places. The facility is a few stories tall and located off the highway. The entire outside of the building is made of corn. Yes, that is correct. Every year murals are constructed on the sides of the palace and they are completely made of corn. Inside is a gift shop and an arena where rodeos are held. You can buy basically anything in the shape of corn at this place.

south of the border

Quirky Places

This place is a lot like Wall Drug except less western and more Mexican. South of the border has signs every mile or so leading up to the exit. As a kid we would drive to Florida from South Jersey and South of the Border was our halfway mark. South of the Border is well known for the large sombrero tower visible from the highway and the entrance is a large billboard in the shape of a man with a mustache and a sombrero named Pedro. Drive through Pedro’s legs to find a parking spot and grab something to eat at one of the many cafes/restaurants or take a ride up to the top of the sombrero in a glass elevator. Tired from a long drive? Spend the night in a hotel room here or it’s RV campground.

calico silver mines

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Check out this ghost town off of veterans memorial highway (I15) in California. This little old silver mining town is full of really cool stuff. Check out the ghost tours once the sun goes down. You can even take a look in the old school house, get locked up, and check out some of the town buildings. There are tons of quaint little stores to shop in as well with really great soaps and incense.  The old mines are still there although they are not open to the public due to safety. If you need to stay the night near by there are a few camp grounds off I15 as well as the ghost town campground on ghost town road. You can always drive a little bit further towards the California coast and stay in Los Angeles or Rancho.

 

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