Call me crazy but it doesn’t matter where we go, we seek out fun and quirky stops. We’ve even been know to plan an entire trip around the roadside attractions we can see along the way. If you’ve always thought of driving along the Interstate as boring then you have to check out our list of must-see Roadside Attractions Along I-70.
Interstate 70 slices through the center of the United States, from Maryland to Utah, covering over 2,100 miles. It’s a popular road trip route that passes through Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Colorado, and Utah.
Must See Roadside Attractions Along I-70
If you are planning a road trip along I-70, chances are you will need to stretch your legs a few times. We love roadside attractions, so we thought we’d do a post all about the roadside attractions you can visit along I-70. We’ll start in the east and head west, as many travelers do in the summertime! So buckle up and let’s hit the road!
I-70 begins its journey just outside of Baltimore. There are just under 100 miles of I-70 to travel through Maryland before reaching the Pennsylvania border at Hancock, MD. Here are the Maryland roadside attractions to look out for along I-70.
- On the east side of Frederick at the Patrick Street exit, is the Jug Bridge Monument Park. Say what? It’s a bit of convoluted history with this one. The “jug-shaped” monument was erected in the early 1800s at the same time a bridge was built across the Monocacy River. The bridge became known as the jug bridge and was later replaced when I-70 came through town, but the Jug Bridge monument remains.
- Less than ten miles off I-70 in Boonsboro, you’ll find the Boonsborough Museum of History. In addition to Civil War memorabilia, the collection includes some very odd pieces, many of which are bullets carved into unusual shapes like Abe Lincoln’s head. There are also bones carved into souvenirs and perhaps oddest of all, a mummified human arm with a bullet lodged in the elbow. You really have to see it to believe it.
There are around 200 miles of I-70 that pass through Pennsylvania, with several roadside attractions along the way.
There are actually a TON of roadside attractions in Pennsylvania, including the world’s largest paint can (which has been repainted since my last trip through) and a giant quarter, but these are a sampling of the best ones along I-70.
- Less than an hour after crossing into Pennsylvania from Maryland, you’ll come upon the town of Everett, PA. By now, you’re probably getting hungry for a snack, so why not stop at the Igloo Soft Freeze (seasonal)? You can’t miss it, because the building is shaped like a giant ice cream sundae, complete with a cherry on top!
- Just a few miles down the road, Bedford is home to an 18-foot coffee pot that once served as a coffee shop when Highway 30 was bustling with travelers.
- Continuing along as I-70 parallels Highway 30, the Lincoln Highway, an abandoned Storyland theme park lies just outside of Schellsburg. Remember Mother Goose? Well, she and most of the other statues have been removed but the Pied Piper is still standing alongside the road.
- Another 30 miles down the road, we reach Somerset, home of the giant elephant statue and the Jenny Globe Tower, two roadside attractions we’ve written about before.
- 30 miles again and we arrive in Kecksburg, famous for a space acorn. This acorn-shaped UFO was even featured on Unsolved Mysteries back in the 1990s.
- Next up is the town of Charleroi, where roadside attractions go to die. Or maybe they’re born here. Tim’s Secret Treasures has an impressive collection of giant fiberglass animals, which have spilled out of the shop and into the adjacent lot.
- In Bentleyville, a 20-foot tall cowboy stands outside of the Best Western Garden Inn.
My home state is what fostered my love of roadside attractions to begin with! Here are some of my favorites that you can spot on a trip along I-70.
- It may lack the kitsch of some other roadside stops, but New Concord Ohio is home to the John & Annie Glenn Museum. The home where John Glenn grew up has been moved to Main Street and is now a museum you can tour.
- The town of Zanesville has several roadside attractions that are worthy of a detour off the interstate. A Y-shaped bridge and “Vase-Henge” are two items that made our list of Free Things to See in Ohio.
- From Zanesville, a 14-mile detour to the north brings you to the world’s largest basket.
- Next up is Columbus, another Ohio city with lots of roadside attractions. Hadley’s Bar & Grill has a Big Boy Burger with a twist. They’ve given this American icon a sleeve of tattoos. Just a few blocks away near the justice buildings, the world’s largest gavel sits in a reflection pool. Just a bit farther north, you can find the world’s largest ping-pong paddle.
- In Springfield, check out the Hartman Rock Garden.
There are over 150 miles of I-70 that pass through Indiana, with a fun assortment of roadside attractions to keep your interest.
- Starting in Richmond, just when you leave Ohio, Clara’s Pizza King is a restaurant with a vintage double-decker bus from London inside. There are even dining tables inside the bus.
- Not far down the road, Centerville has the world’s largest candle outside of the Warm Glow candle store.
- Approaching Indiana’s capital city, Indianapolis has several roadside attractions, which are a perfect distraction if you happen to hit the city at rush hour. Indy’s Teeny Statue of Liberty Museum is a personal collection of Lady Liberty memorabilia, with over 400 items on display. Just past the airport, in Camby, there’s Who North America, a Dr. Who Store and Mini-Museum.
- The small town of Brazil has a 24-foot Great Dane statue outside of Great Dane Trailers.
- The Root Glass Company in Terre Haute were the designers of the Coca-Cola bottle. At Voorhees and 3rd, there’s a roadside marker indicating the birthplace of the bottle. Six-foot Coke bottles have been painted and placed around town, similar to the “animal parades” that have seen other cities install bulls and pigs around town.
I-70 crosses southern Illinois for about 160 miles from Indiana to Missouri, with a bunch of roadside attractions to check out.
- Just 30 minutes into Illinois, you’ll reach the town of Casey, a small town full of giant roadside attractions. Casey claims to have the World’s Largest Rocking Chair, Windchime, Mail Box, Golf Tee, Wooden Clogs, Pitchfork, Knitting Needles, and Crochet Hook
- Effingham is home to the world’s largest cross, and just down the road in Altamont, On the Rox Pub has a giant Miller Lite beer can that is lit up at night.
- Vandalia is home to the Kaskaskia Dragon, a giant metal fire-breathing dragon and several other Illinois roadside attractions. Buy a token to make the dragon come alive!
At St. Louis, I-70 crosses into Missouri, where perhaps the most famous roadside attraction, the St. Louis Arch, is located.
Here are some other fun Missouri roadside attractions to be found between St.Louis and Kansas City.
- Just outside St. Louis, in Overland, make a quick detour to see Dan’s Emerald Forest. This landscaping project took on a life of its own and is now a roadside attraction, with a miniature world built in the front lawn.
- Want some Route 66 memorabilia, but Route 66 isn’t on your route? Stop off I-70 at Ozarkland in Kingdom City, which inexplicably sells tons of Route 66 tchotchkes.
- The town of Boonville is where the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales are raised at Warm Springs Ranch. Take a tour and see these magnificent creatures up close.
Kansas has the longest stretch of I-70, with over six hours of driving from Missouri to Colorado, but it’s also, surprisingly, my favorite state to road trip through.
Kansas has some cool towns along the interstate and many roadside attractions that provide an excuse to get out of the vehicle to stretch your legs.
- Just before you reach Topeka, detour to the Lessman Farm to see Truckhenge, a Stonehenge assortment made with pickup trucks. Topeka is home to several roadside attractions, including a memorial statue to honor Pioneer Women, an Evil Knievel museum and a giant wren statue in Huntoon Park.
- At Abilene, Rittel’s Western Wear has the world’s largest spur outside the store. It stands nearly 30 feet tall.
- The town of Wilson, Kansas is the “Czech Capital of Kansas” and as such, they have erected the world’s largest Czech Egg in the center of town.
- Goodland Kansas has the world’s largest easel, but also several oversized easels around town.
If you have time to venture a bit further off I-70, we highly suggest a stop at Monument Rocks. You’ll never think of Kansas the same.
After six hours of driving through the plains of Kansas, you reach Colorado. I would wager that Colorado probably contains the most beautiful and least beautiful stretches of I-70.
There are a lot of feedlots to pass through before reaching those beautiful Rocky Mountains!
- Just past Denver, in Morrison, there are dinosaur footprints you can visit at Dinosaur Ridge. It’s not just one or two footprints, it’s more like a stampede!
- The town of Glenwood Springs has several Doc Holliday sites around town, including the spot where he died, and his grave.
- Just before reaching Grand Junction, detour to Palisade, where a giant green trout has been crafted from hundreds of Colorado license plates.
I-70 enters Utah not far from Vernal, home of Dinosaur National Monument and ends when it meets up with I-15 between Salt Lake City and St. George.
- Green River Utah lays claim to the world’s largest watermelon slice, which was originally created for the annual Watermelon Festival at the end of summer.
- Carl’s Jr. in the town of Salina Utah has painted several large storage tanks outside to resemble soda cans.
- The last Utah roadside attraction along I-70 is the Big Rock Candy Mountain in Marysvale. It’s now an RV park but is the location that inspired the song, and you can rest assured that copies of the song, as well as rock candy, are still for sale in the gift shop!
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Did you know that I published a Roadside Attractions Adult Coloring Book? That’s right! I told you that I love roadside attractions and what better way to relive your travel memories (or to do some armchair traveling) than by coloring some of the places you’ve been to or want to go? Adult coloring books are a great stress reliever and ideal when we need to be indoors, stave off a long wait or just want something to calm us down.
All of the pages in the adult coloring book are based on photos that I’ve taken during my travels.
Have you road-tripped along I-70? What would you add to our list?
© 2020, Tonya Prater. All rights reserved.