Would you take a break on your road trip for an ice cream shop shaped like a giant owl, called “Hoot Hoot I Scream”?
Yes, of course you would! Who wouldn’t? That’s part of the point of a road trip – seeing something, eating something, doing something you only find – out on the road.
And yes, you could have stopped at “Hoot Hoot I Scream.” It WAS a real place. And also yes, we’ll show you what it looked like, in a moment.
But first, a few more stops along the road – in this case, the road through California, where a lot of the state was built around the car – so there were plenty of businesses that built themselves to catch your eye from the car.
Like the Big Donut Drive-in (You didn’t drive through the donut though – that was on the roof. And it was a BIG donut. 32 feet worth.).
Or Tail o’ the Pup (though we admit, this one looks as much like a SpaceX turned on its side, as it does a hot dog in a bun).
And who would not be tempted by the giant coffee pot on the roof of – the “Wilshire Coffee Pot”, naturally (featuring Ben-Hur drip coffee – the perfect drink for a trip in heavy traffic)? Or the “Bull Stops Here Barbecue”, featuring a GIANT cow? Or, if only because “could something REALLY be that weird” (and yes, it could), the “Toed Inn” – a drive-in with a walk-up counter that was built into a giant, yes, a toad.
You can see ‘em all here, thanks to the folks at Atlas Obscura. And if that whets your appetite, so to speak, for more road trip treats – the source for all these is the book, California Crazy.
And while these roadside attractions are all in California, most states with a highway and road trippers had their own versions, at least at one time (but if you’ve seen the world’s largest teapot, off Highway 30 in West Virginia, you knew that already).
Some say it all began, by the way, with Lucy, a six-story wooden elephant just off the beach in Margate, New Jersey (that’s the southern part of the Jersey Shore, for you fans of the TV show – and on the same island as Atlantic City). And if this summer finds you in South Jersey – drop by for Lucy’s 137th birthday party.
And if you’ve got a favorite roadside attraction, wherever the road has taken you – let us know, we’d like to hear about it.