Taking some road trips in Georgia this year? With the Peach State’s rich history, splendid natural beauty, quaint towns and vibrant cities, there are plenty of things to see and do.
But Georgia also is loaded with scores of roadside attractions — oddities, rarities, one-of-a-kinds – that also may be worth at least a short visit. Some are quirky, some are offbeat, some are downright weird, but they can be fun for the whole family and liven up a car ride. Here’s a look at some of them.
One of the most famous is the 56-foot-tall Big Chicken, replete with moving eyes and beak, that looms over Cobb Parkway in Marietta. Another oversized fowl graces the front of Buckner’s Restaurant on Bucksnort Road near Jackson. It’s not a chicken, but the world’s biggest freestanding bird sculpture, made of stainless steel, dominates the plaza of Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta.
In Gainesville, a 20-foot-tall rabbit sits in the parking lot of the Rabbittown Café. Not far away, on Gainesville’s Green Street, is what is billed as the world’s largest tiger statue.
Some attractions are tributes to Georgia’s agriculture. In downtown Cornelia, you’ll find the Big Red Apple, a salute to Georgia’s apple growers. Along I-75 near Ashburn, you can’t miss the World’s Largest Peanut. Georgia also apparently has a thing for huge bovines. In Pendergrass in Jackson County is the Giant Fleamarket Cow at the entrance to the big market there. Columbus’s Woodruff Riverwalk Park features the imposing Kadie the cow sculpture, or the “Cowlossus of Roads,“ declared a historical landmark. Another big bovine sculpture named Dipsy welcomes visitors to the Mountain Fresh Creamery on Cleveland Highway near Clermont.
Georgia loves its native sons, too. On Augusta’s Broad Street, you can pose for a photo with a life-size statue of James Brown, the “Godfather of Soul,” who is from Augusta. In Toccoa, see the larger-than-life statue of Paul Anderson, a tribute to the “World’s Strongest Man,” who Toccoa claims as a native son. In Royston, the hometown of baseball great Ty Cobb, marvel over the bronze statue of the scrappy ballplayer sliding into home plate in front of the town‘s library.
A little risqué is Barbie Beach, a small roadside attraction in the tiny town of Turin in Coweta County, featuring naked Barbie and Ken dolls lounging around in a six-by-four-foot stretch of sand. For a more family-oriented attraction, visit the Babyland Hospital in Cleveland, home of the famous Cabbage Patch dolls
If big, hairy, humanlike creatures is your thing, visit the Sasquatch (or Bigfoot) Museum near Blue Ridge. Just up the road is Tank Town USA, where you can drive an Army tank over old, junked cars. Off Georgia 365 in Alto is a most unusual junkyard, the School Bus Graveyard, where old school buses are reborn as whimsical works of art.
But this is only a small sampling. For a long list and a map of Georgia‘s roadside attractions, visit roadsideamerica.com/map/ga.