Austin isn’t the only place in Texas that’s “keeping it weird.” When you take a trip down the highways in the Lone Star State, chances are, you’re going to see something that will make you ask, “What is this doing here?” or make you say, “Wow, I didn’t know this is a thing!” As it turns out, Texas is full of these wacky and unique roadside attractions you can see anytime. And sometimes, when you’re on a road trip, it’s good to stop and smell the flowers – or in this case – appreciate that odd thing that you’re seeing and take photos with it as proof that you’ve been there!
Here’s a list of road trip stops that can get you started on your path to explore the fun and unique side of Texas:
Tex Randall Statue – Canyon, TX
In Canyon, Texas, stands the Tex Randall Statue, an impressive 47-ft tall cowboy figure that looms over passersby. Crafted in 1959 by local shop teacher Harry Wheeler, this towering statue is made of cement and steel. Tex Randall dons a classic cowboy ensemble with a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, Levi’s jeans, a red bandana, and a sizable belt buckle, adding to its authentic charm.
While not the largest cowboy statue in Texas, Tex Randall remains a delightful and quirky roadside attraction that is well worth a visit. The statue has earned the nickname “Texas’ Biggest Texan,” which he most definitely was! Tex Randall has been through a lot and has become something of an icon that captured the hearts of his hometown.
Eiffel Tower – Paris, TX
Pose for that perfect picture, leaning against the iconic Eiffel Tower, and proudly proclaim that you had a fabulous time in Paris… Texas. That’s right – you don’t have to leave the continental United States to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower! This iconic structure stands at 65 feet (about ten times smaller than the original) and is adorned with a cherry red cowboy hat perched atop its pinnacle for a Texas twist. Constructed by the local ironworker’s union, this playful homage to the town’s famous namesake amuses travelers with its unique charm.
Nestled outside the Love Civic Center on the south side of town, this replica offers a charming photo opportunity and can be explored at your convenience anytime you visit. This funky tower welcomes visitors around the clock, offering a picture-perfect opportunity between 1-3 pm and 8 pm or later. At night, you’ll witness a dazzling display of red, white, and blue lights echoing the colors of the Texas flag.
The World’s Largest Cowboy Boots – San Antonio, TX
While Seattle, Washington, boasts its quirky Hat n’ Boots statue, San Antonio, Texas, proudly holds the title for housing the world’s most enormous pair of cowboy boots. Verified as the tallest by the prestigious Guinness Book of World Records, these colossal boots stand tall at an impressive 35 feet in height and stretch 33 feet wide. Crafted by the talented artist Bob “Daddy-O” Wade from 1979 to 1980, this larger-than-life sculpture has become an iconic symbol of the city. The stylish and snazzy pair of ostrich skin boots are expertly crafted from a combination of concrete and fiberglass.
Located in San Antonio near the North Star Mall, these striking cowboy boots are an absolute must-see attraction, as it seems to be a fitting representation of the spirit of the Lone Star State. Not only are they an awesome sight during the day, but they become even more captivating when illuminated by enchanting LED lights at night featuring captivating star-shaped LED designs.
The Munster Mansion – Waxahachie, TX
“The Munsters” has long been off the air, but driving by the Munster Mansion is a must if you’re a devoted fan. It’s a meticulous replica of the mansion from the beloved 1960s sitcom that followed the humorous escapades of a family of monsters who considered themselves an ordinary, working-class household. An iconic aspect of the show was the Munster’s home, an eye-catching Victorian-style house adorned with unique design elements. Remarkably, this very house has been meticulously recreated in Waxahachie, down to the smallest interior details, including some original furnishings used during the show.
Conveniently located at Exit 405 off Dallas traffic, the Munster Mansion entices anyone who passes by with its charm and quirkiness. Despite its appearance as a tourist attraction, it’s essential to note that The Munster Mansion is, in fact, a private residence. Nevertheless, the passionate owners, Sandra and Charles McKee, generously offer private tours on specific occasions throughout the year. For those eager to experience the magic of this TV landmark, tour arrangements can be made through their website. Private tours are $120 for up to four people or less (each additional guest must pay $30).
The Beer Can House – Houston, TX
If you’re searching for a beer-themed marvel in Texas, look no further than the renowned Beer Can House in Houston. This extraordinary house, constructed entirely of beer cans, has evolved into a museum, offering visitors a captivating insight into its origins and creation. Prepare to be astounded, as this peculiar abode comprises an astonishing 50,000 aluminum beer cans! That’s a lot of beers!
Initially an unremarkable dwelling before 1968, the Beer Can House underwent a wonderful transformation under the hands of John Milkovisch, a retired Southern Pacific Railroad worker. He masterfully incorporated marble, rocks, and metal into concrete and redwood, creating mesmerizing landscaping features that reflected light and dazzled the eye. Eighteen years later, the entire house became a mesmerizing canvas adorned with over 50,000 flattened beer cans, complemented by other inventive touches like metallic garlands that remarkably lowered the family’s energy bills.
Today, this beloved Houston attraction stands as a testament to the boundless creativity of exceptional folk art. To experience the wonder of the Beer Can House, you can visit on any Saturday or Sunday afternoon for an admission fee of $5, while children under 12 can enter for free.
Cadillac Ranch – Amarillo, TX
Nestled alongside the iconic Route 66, the eccentric Cadillac Ranch boasts an array of ten spray-painted, half-buried Cadillac cars, forming a unique and interactive sculpture park. This quirky roadside attraction is created by the innovative architectural and art collective known as Ant Farm.
Originally facing defacement, the artists behind the Cadillac Ranch cleverly turned the tables by inviting the public to contribute to the artwork. Visitors are encouraged to spray paint and add their designs to these old Cadillacs.
Cadillac Ranch stands as an ever-evolving canvas of expression, so if you visit and add your own touch to the cars, snap a photo. Whether you’re a passing traveler or a curious artist at heart, Cadillac Ranch promises an engaging and memorable stop along your journey.
Inner Space Cavern – Georgetown, TX
Conveniently located at Exit 259, Inner Space Caverns is a fascinating discovery made during the 1960s highway development. This stunning natural cave is easily accessible, and during the underground tour, you’ll find yourself remarkably close to the Interstate at certain points. Marvel at the awe-inspiring rock formations that have evolved over millennia. What’s more, Inner Space Caverns maintain a constant temperature of 72 degrees year-round, providing a pleasant escape from the weather above.
With tours lasting just over an hour and no reservations required, visiting this site when you’re on your way to Austin is a good idea. Depending on your interests, you can decide what kind of tour you want to go on, including the classic Adventure Tour, where you can see the most stunning rooms and formations. Besides cave tours, you can enjoy a zip line and a playground and even try your hand at free “gold” panning.
Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum – The Colony, TX
Everybody knows about toilet humor, but toilet art? It’s rare to find one, but a museum that features refined art made of toilet seats exists in Texas. Located in the Colony, the Barney Smith Toilet Seat Art Museum showcases the life’s work of Barney Smith, a plumber who created over 1,400 art pieces out of toilet seats, each adorned with cassette tapes, shells, magnets, light switches, flags, and countless other imaginative items. From 1992 to 2019, Smith proudly operated his unique museum right from his backyard garage.
However, in 2019, he decided to relocate his life’s work to Truck Yard, a distinctive dive bar/garden in The Colony. Surprising as it may sound, these decorated toilet seats hold a profound message, inspiring visitors with their creativity and environmental consciousness. Smith’s desire was to be remembered for his efforts in preserving items that would have otherwise been discarded and destroyed.
To visit this intriguing attraction, you’ll need to arrange an appointment. Although admission is free, the museum happily accepts donations, including, yes, toilet seats.
Cathedral Of Junk – Austin, TX
As the famous saying goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and this couldn’t be truer at the Cathedral of Junk in Austin. It’s exactly what it sounds like – a cathedral made of junk, but it doesn’t make it any less impressive. Featuring an astonishing collection of bric-a-brac, this unconventional monument features an impressive collection of scraps from various origins meticulously assembled.
Since 1989, the imaginative owner, Vince Hannemann, has been diligently curating this backyard masterpiece, ingeniously transforming what may seem like ordinary junk into an extraordinary cathedral-like creation. Within the Cathedral of Junk, you’ll encounter an array of intriguing rooms, intriguing tunnels, and even a slide, all thoughtfully constructed from just about every kind of material you could possibly think of: toys, car parts, toilets, tools, fences, mannequins, signs, baskets, furniture parts, guitars, and many more.
As this intriguing attraction is situated on private property, it’s essential for visitors to call ahead and make an appointment before venturing into this whimsical realm. Tours are offered free of charge, with donations warmly welcomed.
Stonehenge II – Ingram, TX
If the idea of a road trip intrigues you more than a journey across the pond, Texas has a surprising treat in store for you – a replica of Stonehenge known as Stonehenge II! Located right in the Texas Hill Country, this captivating site offers a unique twist with a couple of giant Easter Island-style heads as a bonus.
Stonehenge is a global icon, but you don’t have to travel far to experience its magic. In the Lone Star State, where everything is bigger, you’ll find this fascinating replica in Odessa. While Odessa’s Stonehenge maybe 14% shorter than the original, it more than makes up for it with its exceptional attention to detail and alignment. Nestled on the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, this roadside oddity was carefully crafted using limestone sourced from a nearby quarry near Big Spring. What makes this replica stand out among others is its remarkable astronomical alignment, which adds an extra layer of intrigue to the experience.
Giant Dalmatian Fire Hydrant – Beaumont, TX
Amidst the peculiar roadside wonders that grace the city of Beaumont, the Dalmatian Fire Hydrant stands proudly as a standout attraction. Located just outside the Fire Museum of Texas in downtown Beaumont, this colossal 24-foot-tall fire hydrant is a unique sight to behold. Emulating the iconic Dalmatian spots splattered across its white surface, the hydrant was constructed by Disney in 1999 as part of the celebration of the re-release of the beloved animated film “101 Dalmatians.” This quirky masterpiece carries the distinction of being the largest fire hydrant of its kind worldwide.
Though it may no longer claim the title of “World’s Largest Fire Hydrant,” it proudly boasts the moniker of “World’s Largest Functioning Fire Hydrant.” Its practicality becomes apparent, as it has the astounding capacity to unleash a whopping 1,500 gallons of water per minute! The Dalmatian Fire Hydrant adds a touch of Hollywood magic to this wacky roadside attraction in Beaumont.
Buc-ee’s – Multiple Locations
While Buc-ee’s may not look quirky on the outside (except for that cute yet slightly unsettling beaver mascot), this is no ordinary convenience store/gas station experience.
It offers a memorable roadside extravaganza, with some locations, like the one in New Braunfels, that boast an astounding 67,000 square feet – making it the largest convenience store in the world!
Any Texan who has ventured along Interstate 35 north or Interstate 10 east of San Antonio knows that Buc-ee’s is the go-to place for roadside relief. A friendly neighbor to Texas travelers, Buc-ee’s boasts the cleanest restrooms in America, a well-known fact among most Texans. And now, it’s official! Buc-ee’s won a nationwide competition, solidifying its reputation for having the best restrooms in the country.
But Buc-ee’s offers much more than just clean restrooms; it provides a wide array of delightful road trip necessities, including a diverse selection of snacks to enhance your journey. Buc-ee’s legendary selection of road trip snacks is something to behold, with Buc-ee’s brand goodies available in bulk for the ultimate snacking adventure. Among the favorites are the delectable Buc-ee’s Beaver Nuggets, which are sweet corn puffs that will leave you craving more. And let’s not forget the vast array of jerky, sweets, and packaged foods that will cater to every road tripper’s cravings. Whether you need to fuel up your car or just want to experience the quintessential Texas road trip tradition, a visit to Buc-ee’s is a must.