Grab your family, hop in the car and take the road less traveled to these quirky and fun roadside attractions.
Just think how many eggs you could fry up in Iowa's largest frying pan in Brandon. Modeled after a 10-inch cast iron frying pan, it has an eight-foot-tall base and a five-foot-tall handle for a total length of 14 feet and 3 inches. The pan weighs in at a whopping 1,020 pounds and is just 3 inches short of being the world's largest.
Crystal Lake boasts the world's largest bullhead, measuring 12 feet long and elevated on a pile of rocks. Get your picture taken in front of it for proof that you "caught" the biggest bullhead!
Installed on the campus of Meredith Corporation in honor of their 100th anniversary, the 23-foot-tall Giant Garden Trowel (formal name: Plaintoir) is a fitting nod to the company's Better Homes and Gardens magazine.
Grab a prop pitchfork and strike a pose in front of the American Gothic House, the house made famous by Grant Wood's iconic American Gothic painting. Want to go all out? The adjacent visitors' center offers costumes you can change into to create your own unique American Gothic portrait.
Yes, that field. There are no organized activities at the Field of Dreams, located in Dyersville, but you're welcome to show up with your bat, ball and glove and play, walk out of the corn or enjoy the view from the bleachers.
Greenfield boasts being home to the original Freedom Rock. Local artist Ray "Bubba" Sorensen II paints a new patriotic theme on this 60-ton boulder each year by Memorial Day as a tribute to armed forces.
At 25 feet tall, the world's largest Indian maiden watches over the town of Pocahontas from her perch in Princess Park. The Shaw family, who completed the statue in 1956, still maintain this popular attraction.
A large steam engine wheel marks the spot just west of Adair where the infamous Jesse James Gang is believed to have pulled off the world's first robbery of a moving train on July 21, 1873. The gang learned that $75,000 in gold was to be transported through the area, but were soon disappointed to discover the gold shipment was not onboard. They only got away with about $3,000.
It's a three-for-one stop in Dysart! The Koi Pond Illusion is the only mirrored cylinder anamorphic illusion in Iowa. The Gorge is the Midwest's largest example of anamorphic illusion. Visitors can post on the edge for a unique photo-op.
Madrid's High Trestle Trail bridge includes six overlooks with interpretive panels to highlight the area's cultural and natural history. The 41 steel "frames" over the bridge represent support cribs within a historic coal mine. At night, the half-mile-long, 130-foot-tall bridge gets bathed in blue light.
In 1934, Kalbach Oil Company commissioned the Nebraska Neon Sign Company to build an image of a service station attendant in a blue uniform outlined in neon signs to welcome motorists. Drive by the attendant in Menlo and give him a wave.
The birthplace of eSports Plaque, located in the 200 block of East Main St. of Ottumwa, marks the former spot of the Twin Galaxies video arcade, where the first rules for competitive video gaming were created.
Measuring 15 feet tall and 30 feet long, this giant bike was created from industrial and farm junk by local artist Cheri Scheib. The pedals are designed to serve as seats for photo-ops.
Lock and Dam 15, located on the Mississippi River between Davenport and Rock Island, Illinois, is the world's largest roller dam. From April through December, watch boats pass through the locks. From January to March, view bald eagles soaring over the river.
If you're a Trekkie, you have to visit the birthstone of Starfleet Captain James T. Kirk. According to the popular TV show Star Trek, he will be born in Riverside on March 22, 2228..
Take a selfie with the town's former water tower that doubles as the world's largest Swedish coffee pot. Painted with decorative flowers and hearts, the Swedish-style coffee container held 50,000 gallons of water, equal to 800,000 cups of java, when operational. Fun fact: Virginia Christine, who was born in Stanton, is perhaps best known as Mrs. Olson for her long-time role in Folgers® coffee commercials.
According to the legend, when county lines were being established, the surveyor placed a green cottonwood stick into the ground at the exact point where the lines crossed. That stick grew into the present tree near Brayton.
Burlington's most famous street, Snake Alley, received that designation from Ripley's Believe It or Not. After walking, biking or driving the five half-curves and two quarter-curves dropping 58 feet over a distance of 275 feet, you'll believe it.
Located near Avoca, this arachnid is constructed from a vintage Volkswagen Beetle and other metal parts.
This plow was embedded in an oak tree after being left behind by an Exira farmer who stopped plowing to join a group of Iowa soldiers marching off to battle in the Civil War.