‘If there’s one thing I like about driving across the USA’s largest state, it’s the Texas roadside wonders I stumble across on highways and back roads…’
I am a huge fan of the weird and wonderful stuff and Texas doesn’t disappoint. These are the amazingly odd but fabulous Texas Roadside wonders that can be spotted throughout the state.
It’s difficult to know what to say about the this that isn’t just that it’s a line of Caddies sticking out of the barren earth at the side of a highway.
However, do NOT let this make you think it’s not incredible. Because it’s incredible.
Cadillac Ranch is a simple row of cars, all jammed, bonnet down in the ground, with their ends sticking straight out at a slightly alarming angle.
They’re all brightly decorated with spray paint and visitors are even encouraged to leave their own mark on the roadside installation during their visit.
‘Cadillac Ranch is off Route 66, outside of the city of Amarillo, and ranks amongst the best line of cars sticking out of the ground I have *ever* seen…’
Location / Amarillo
Big Blue Crab
I’m not a fan of crabs…in any form. I’m even less inclined to like to them when they’re 25ft wide, bright blue, and have a strangely maniacal expression that makes you concerned about turning your back for too long lest you end up starring in some bizarre budget movie called ‘Crabnado’.
This particular crab shaped beauty (I use the term very loosely) is located in Rockport Beach, which is located on the Gulf Coast around 30-odd miles East of Corpus Christi. It will probably come as no surprise that this specimen is the world’s largest crab, although I’m entirely unsure how much competition there is for this title.
Location / Rockport-Fulton
The Eiffel Tower
Not being a fan of the Eiffel Tower (I just don’t really get it…), I was thrilled to find out that the city of Paris, Texas has decided not to be outdone by the iconic French attraction. And, in this vein, they’ve built their very own impressive structure. And, y’all, it’s better than (although nowhere near as big as) the real thing.
It does, however, have a ten-gallon hat perched on top of it, making it unmistakably Texan. I imagine this horrifies some purists, but it made me laugh for a very long time and I love the sense of humour.
Location / Paris
Firstly, I’m going to admit that despite living in the UK my entire life, I’ve never been to the real Stonehenge and, if I’m being honest, have no interest in doing so. This limestone creation is just a fraction smaller than the original, and I’m not really qualified to do a comparison.
However, I suspect it doesn’t have as many hippies surrounding it on the June 21st Equinox and, let’s face it, that’s enough to get my vote straight away. Again, it’s not a serious site, like England’s is, but it does have a sense of fun that can’t be underestimated. Plus, the weather’s way better at this one.
Location / Ingram, Texas Hill Country
World’s Largest Cowboy Boots
‘It should come as no surprise that since ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ this statement also applies to footwear…’
Bob Wade, who had form at designing mad attractions (the Lone Star Inguana in NY, for example) put his thinking cap on (presumably a Stetson) and designed a 40ft tall pair of cowboy boots. They were originally displayed in Washington D.C, but now reside outside a Saks Fifth Avenue at North Star Mall in San Antonio.
To be fair, Texas seems like a much more appropriate place than Maryland, anyway, so I imagine they’re far more appreciated than they were previously.
Personally, I’m pretty fond of giant cowboy boots and enjoyed having my photo taken with several in Cheyenne, Wyoming. However, those boots pale in comparison with the sheer scale of the Texan footwear.
Location / North Star Mall, San Antonio
Giant Freak Armadillo
Just outside Goode’s BBQ on Kirby Drive in Houston lives the giant freak armadillo. I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that he might be the world’s largest. He’s almost definitely the world’s largest giant armadillo with longhorns; that I can confirm.
Although this is a quirky attraction, it’s also a really great piece of public art. The 22ft tall steel plated beastie has Texas Longhorns and, despite having strangely glowing red eyes and smoke that billows from his nostrils, he’s not half as frightening as you might imagine. He’s actually kind of cute, in a strange way. Well, during daylight hours, anyway.
At night, it’s a whole other story. You can only imagine Houston tourists, full of margaritas, stumbling out of a local bar and being greeted by the sight of this magnificent beast as they veer around the corner on the way back to their hotel. It’s not exactly what you expect to see, but that, people, is the great thing about Texas.
Location / Houston
What Texas roadside wonders have you spotted on your travels?