Editor’s note: This is a
monthly commentary column by staff writer Julie Fiedler called, Beyond the
Gates. In Beyond the Gates, Julie helps Soldiers, family members, civilians and
retirees discover Kansas by highlighting local destinations, fun and easy day
trips, as well as quirky Kansas attractions.
America is a land of big landscapes.
What better way to fill them than with big roadside attractions?
I love coming across a
“world’s largest” – World’s Largest Pistachio Nut (New Mexico), World’s Largest
Rocking Chair (Missouri), World’s Largest Drug Store (South Dakota). I relish
in their ridiculousness, and at my own ridiculousness for relishing in them as
much as I do.
The United States is
teeming with gargantuan art to surprise and delight intrepid travelers. Kansas
is no exception.
In addition to boasting the
World’s Largest Hairball, Garden City, Kansas; the World’s Largest Hand Dug Well,
Greensburg, Kansas; and the World’s Largest Prairie Dog, Oakley, Kansas; Kansas
boasts other creatures largest and pretty darned big.
If you’re hitting the road
and want to take in some quirky attractions – big, small or simply odd – check out
some of these gems. Stopping for a quick selfie just might make it into your
own record books as “most memorable trip.”
To plan a grand adventure
of your own, check out some of these resources for inspiration.
Search by town or attraction
name across the U.S. This website has been my trusted go-to source for finding
wacky waypoints to break up a trip for several years.
This website has a Kansas
trip planner, plus a section called Things to Do. There, you will find Yellow
Brick Road Trip with suggested day trips, roadside attractions and more.
Discover itineraries for
Kansas City, including “10 Quirky Attractions and Exhibits.” I still need to
cross a few more of these off my list!
This site provides listings
by town, many of which also have their own visitors’ websites with more
A simple web search can open untold wonders.