Edit ModuleShow Tags

America's Quirkiest Landmarks


Published:

Bemidji's Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox

Todd Buchanan

The joy of a summer road trip is found in the open road, fresh air, regional food favorites, and, yes, that quirky roadside attraction.

Certainly the idea of that odd roadside landmark is associated with days gone by when automobiles rather than airlines were still the primary mode of travel and motorists could still meander along Route 66 making the journey itself an important part of the trip. Perhaps many such landmarks could trace their lineage to the early 20th century. Whether they are good for a memory or a modern smile, the roadside oddities remain very popular (as many selfies on Facebook and Instagram can attest).

USA Today wants to name America’s “10 best quirky landmarks,” and a Minnesota attraction has made the list. Through Monday, June 23, cast your vote for your favorite. Bemidji’s Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox attraction has made the list of finalists. Built in 1937, the statues honor the well-known legend. It is said that Bemidji’s mayor at the time, Earl Bucklen, was used as the model for Paul, according to the paper.

Here are the other finalists. I personally think they are missing a couple of other Minnesota landmarks. (Where’s the biggest ball of twine? Or the Jolly Green Giant? And if the world’s biggest bat is on the list, what about the big boot in Red Wing?) You may vote once a day if you like.

Ave Maria Grotto: Cullman, Alaska
Beer Can House: Houston
Cabazon Dinosaurs: Cabazon, California
Cadillac Ranch: Amarillo, Texas

Carhenge: Alliance, Nebraska
Dog Bark Park Inn: Cottonwood, Idaho

Enchanted Highway: Regent, North Dakota
Farnham Colossi: Unger, West Virginia
Foamhenge: Natural Bridge, Virginia
Fremont Troll: Seattle

Galleta Meadows Estate: Borrego Springs, California
Goldwell Open Air Museum: Rhyolite, Nevada
Hood Milk Bottle: Boston

Longaberger Home Office: Newark, Ohio

Peachoid: Gaffney, South Carolina
Prada Marfa: Marfa, Texas

South of the Border: Dillon, South Carolina
World's Biggest Bat: Louisville

The winners (10 best) will be announced on Wednesday, June 25 at noon.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Twin Cities Sledding Hills

Grip it and rip it, it's time to shred some powder

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: February

This month's philanthropic food events: a "Chopped"-style competition, the Charlie Awards, and cocktails with your dog

The 39th Annual International Eelpout Festival

Join over 10,000 people for a weekend of ice fishing, good-hearted competition and family fun Feb. 23–25

13 Overlooked Photo Ops in Minnesota

From Duluth to Waite Park to St. Paul, these are the iconic MN photo ops you might not know about

Art Flourishes on Frozen Lake Harriet

The Lake Harriet Kite Festival and Art Shanty Projects combine for a day of art, whimsy, and entertainment on Lake Harriet.

Snowmobiling Through Minnesota

Try a new mode of transportation this winter: snowmobile

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: January

This month's philanthropic events: the winners of a pork showdown, and Swedish pottery

6 Places That Give MN Hipster Cred

Crocodiles and third-wave coffee and decomposing plushies—these are a few of our favorite (and most "hipster-y") things across the state

Sara Groves: Hymns in a Tiny Sanctuary

The singer recorded her latest album in the small church building that she transformed into a community center for creativity

Minnesota Businesses Adapt to Warmer Winters

As Minnesota winters get warmer, some businesses struggle, while others adapt the state's snowy identity

Go Deep: MN's Most Unique Tourist Spots

Destinations for those looking for the weirder, lesser-known side of the Twin Cities

So Much to Celebrate at the Best of Minnesota Party

Nearly 700 guests enjoyed Minnesota Monthly’s inaugural Best of Minnesota Party, on November 30, at Lumber Exchange Event Center, presented by The Saint Paul Hotel.

Not Your Typical Date Night Ideas

Scrap dinner and movie and try one of these unique date ideas instead.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: December

Sue Z.'s ideas for giving back this holiday season include donating food while taking in the Canadian Pacific Holiday Train—and perusing food trucks
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags