Philadelphia, PA - If you love roadside attractions, you'll want to make a day out of visiting these unique establishments. You can't go to Pennsylvania without experiencing Stinson the Dinosaur, Coffee Pot, Haines Shoe House, and Muffler Men. You'll be pleasantly surprised by what you'll find. Read on to learn more. We'll touch on each one. Listed below are a few of our favorites.
Pennsylvania Roadside Oddities You Have to See to Believe
Stinson the Dinosaur
You can find a nine-foot-tall skeletal T-rex adorned with a name chained around its neck near the Northeast Extension in Lehighton, PA. The Stinson was a family project after Joe Bradley's friend suffered a minor stroke, leaving him unable to manage the shop. The dino is now painted red and is for sale. It is cut on a plasma table owned by the stroke victim. The dino's mailbox promotes awareness for strokes and lists the Stinson website.
The Giant Cowboy
You can visit The Giant Cowboy in Kittanning, Pennsylvania, which has been standing outside a restaurant since 1962. At 13514 US-422, he welcomes guests with a giant hamburger in his right hand. You can visit this roadside attraction with the whole family - kids and adults alike will love it! It's a fun place to visit if you're looking for an unusual way to spend a day in the area.
The Big Coffee Pot is one of Pennsylvania's most famous roadside oddities and stands over eighteen feet tall. It was a busy lunch stop back in the 1920s. The American on Wheels Museum in Allentown is another great pit stop. The museum has three main exhibit areas and several side ones. The coffee pot is a popular tourist destination, and visitors can learn about the history of roadside architecture while enjoying a cup of coffee. The Coffee Pot was first constructed in 1927. The family behind it owned a gas station next to it. Although they no longer ran the restaurant there, the Coffee Pot served as a tourist attraction. When the Lashleys bought the property in 2003, they did not even use it as a restaurant. The building was in such bad shape when the family took over. But people would still stop and enjoy the coffee and soda from the nearby vending machine.
Haines Shoe House
If you're interested in a truly odd roadside attraction, you should check out the Haines Shoe House in Pennsylvania. It looks like a shoe located two miles west of Hallam, Pennsylvania, on Haines Shoe House Road near Lincoln Highway. There are several roadside attractions worth checking out in this region, but this one stands out for its unique design. To find it, turn off the Lincoln Highway and follow the road toward Hallam, Pennsylvania. Melanie Schmuck bought the Haines Shoe House in 2015 but sadly passed away in February 2019. Her family continues her dream, and house tours are available Tuesday through Sunday. Hours of operation vary from season to season, but you can visit during the early spring to late fall. The museum is open on weekends but not on holidays. While there are no designated parking spaces for motorcoaches, Schmuck will work to accommodate them.
A 14-foot tall figure known as Dave wields an ax and is part of the tribe of lumberjacks, cowboys, and Indians known as the Muffler Men. The Muffler Men, fiberglass giants that watch over America's highways, has become a popular form of roadside advertising in the United States and Canada. Roadside America found 250 of these giants, but they are all falling apart and losing body parts. Despite their unique and zany appearance, the Muffler Men are recognizable to Pennsylvanians. These colorful figures usually have square heads and bushy eyebrows. Many of them are dressed in the style of cowboys and mechanics, while Star Trek's Spock has inspired others. These statues are hollow and are made of fiberglass or reinforced plastic. They are adorned with axes, shovels, and ice cream scoopers.
There's something about the way Pennsylvania roads roll up Gravity Hills. The bottom is consistently lower than the top, making it difficult to capture large roadside areas for the waiting line of cars. Trying to figure out why the top of the slope is consistently higher than the bottom can be difficult. To avoid this problem, the Enigma Project devised a simple experiment: they rolled a ball up a hill. One of the most famous gravity hills is in Bedford County, with a sign pointing the way to the hill. There are also two gravity hills in nearby Bedford. Be sure to look out for cars in both locations because these hills are very popular. Before taking the plunge, be sure to make sure there are no cars behind you! Afterward, it's an experience you'll never forget.
The Mary Monument overlooks the Parkway East (Interstate 376) and the Pittsburgh Technology Center, which is built on the site of the old J&L Steel plant. It's a unique roadside attraction in Pittsburgh that many people don't know exists. It was inspired by a fatal accident driving down the Parkway. A steelworker who saw the memorial in his vision had it erected on the road.
The Fountain of Youth
The Fountain of Youth is one of the roadside oddities in Pennsylvania. Located about 100 feet up a hill, this statue was constructed by the Work Progress Administration in the 1930s. It is a replica of a Roman spring house and was once a popular water source for residents. Unfortunately, it was declared unfit for human consumption in 1955 due to the high bacteria levels.
The Atom Smasher
This 35-foot-tall giant paint can is located adjacent to a Benjamin Moore Paint store in Lehighton, PA. Although it has been converted to look like a paint can, it is actually a water storage tank, meaning it could hold more than 178,000 gallons of paint. If you are in the area, you can also check out Randyland, a vibrant, colorful neighborhood in Pennsylvania.
The Trolley Graveyard
Some roadside occurrences in Pennsylvania are so bizarre that you have to see them and believe them. This Trolley Graveyard in Coaldale, Pennsylvania, is one of these. In 1891, a group of strikers attempted to seize trolleys in Coaldale. The workers were viciously beaten, dragged by heels, and left on the roadside. The man was permanently crippled from the abuse, and the mob surrounded the police department. They took their revolvers from the officers and left them for dead.