June 23, 2017

20 Strange Roadside Attractions Every Texan Needs to Visit

Texas is full of roadside oddities, weird historical monuments, natural wonders and unique art. Here are 20 strange attractions to go see in Texas this summer.
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Texas Eiffel Tower, complete with cowboy hat 
In order to outdo Tennessee (ceremonially, of course, since Texas is intrinsically superior in every way), who built an Eiffel Tower replica of their own in the same year, the local welders’ union who built this tower added a giant Stetson like a cherry on top to tip the scales, pushing the height to 65 feet. 
2025 S. Collegiate Dr, Paris, TX 75460 
Photo via thatmattclement
Texas Eiffel Tower, complete with cowboy hat
In order to outdo Tennessee (ceremonially, of course, since Texas is intrinsically superior in every way), who built an Eiffel Tower replica of their own in the same year, the local welders’ union who built this tower added a giant Stetson like a cherry on top to tip the scales, pushing the height to 65 feet.
2025 S. Collegiate Dr, Paris, TX 75460 Photo via thatmattclement
Cockroach hall of fame and museum  
Perhaps as atonement for a lifetime of killing them, career pest control specialist Michael Bohdan dresses up dead roaches as famous celebrities and historical characters (e.g. “Liberoachi”) that visitors can view for free. Visitors can also handle live Madagascar hissing cockroaches. 
2231-B West 15th Street, Plano, TX 75075, (972) 519-0355 
Photo via RVasquez
Cockroach hall of fame and museum
Perhaps as atonement for a lifetime of killing them, career pest control specialist Michael Bohdan dresses up dead roaches as famous celebrities and historical characters (e.g. “Liberoachi”) that visitors can view for free. Visitors can also handle live Madagascar hissing cockroaches.
2231-B West 15th Street, Plano, TX 75075, (972) 519-0355
Photo via RVasquez
The Texas Woofus 
The Woofus is a Frankensteinian hodgepodge of Texas livestock: the longhorn, the sheep, the horse, the hog, the duck and the turkey. Assuming Woofus #1 (or, as I like to call it, the Uberwoofus) is still intact somewhere, the Woofus proudly perching on display at Fair Park, Dallas is the second of its kind--the 1936 original, sculpted the same year as the original Salt Palace for the Texas Centennial, has been inexplicably missing since 1941. 
Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Fair Park, Dallas, TX  
Tomasland
The Texas Woofus
The Woofus is a Frankensteinian hodgepodge of Texas livestock: the longhorn, the sheep, the horse, the hog, the duck and the turkey. Assuming Woofus #1 (or, as I like to call it, the Uberwoofus) is still intact somewhere, the Woofus proudly perching on display at Fair Park, Dallas is the second of its kind--the 1936 original, sculpted the same year as the original Salt Palace for the Texas Centennial, has been inexplicably missing since 1941.
Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Fair Park, Dallas, TX
Tomasland
Stonehenge II and Easter Island heads 
Not to be confused with the Stonehenge replica in Odessa (also worth a visit--don’t ask me why there are multiple Stonehenges in Texas), Stonehenge II began as an unused chunk of patio slab that the late Al Sheppard erected in 1989 for reasons yet unknown to man. He then got the bright idea to build a replica of the British Stonehenge original as accurately as possible, and added a bonus package of mo’ai a year later. 
120 Point Theatre Rd S, Ingram, TX, (830) 367-5120 
Photo via Rhubarble
Stonehenge II and Easter Island heads
Not to be confused with the Stonehenge replica in Odessa (also worth a visit--don’t ask me why there are multiple Stonehenges in Texas), Stonehenge II began as an unused chunk of patio slab that the late Al Sheppard erected in 1989 for reasons yet unknown to man. He then got the bright idea to build a replica of the British Stonehenge original as accurately as possible, and added a bonus package of mo’ai a year later.
120 Point Theatre Rd S, Ingram, TX, (830) 367-5120
Photo via Rhubarble
World’s largest squirrel statue 
On the list of Texas-est Things to Do, buying a pecan pie from a vending machine is just below hunting whitetail with a LaRue on the back of a longhorn. Next to the family-owned Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company and their famous pecan pie vending machine is the world’s largest statue of a squirrel, standing friendly-eyed and proud at 14 feet. 
2626 Highway 71 West, Cedar Creek, TX 78612, (512) 321-6157 
Photo via efransen 
berdollsquirrel.com
World’s largest squirrel statue
On the list of Texas-est Things to Do, buying a pecan pie from a vending machine is just below hunting whitetail with a LaRue on the back of a longhorn. Next to the family-owned Berdoll Pecan Candy & Gift Company and their famous pecan pie vending machine is the world’s largest statue of a squirrel, standing friendly-eyed and proud at 14 feet.
2626 Highway 71 West, Cedar Creek, TX 78612, (512) 321-6157
Photo via efransen
berdollsquirrel.com
Devil’s Sinkhole 
The Devil’s Sinkhole lurks on 1,860 acres of wild and mainly undeveloped land. Some evidence suggests that prehistoric campsites existed around this roughly 400-foot gaping hole in the ground, and it may have even been a venerated site among native tribes in the area. Although Dante-style katabases into the sinkhole are not permitted, visitors can stand over the chasm on a viewing platform, and the park offers evening tours to watch the nightly spectacle of bats flying out of the sinkhole like, well, bats out of hell. 
101 N. Sweeten St, Rocksprings, TX 78880, (830) 563-2287 (address and phone number of Rocksprings Visitor’s Center) 
tpwd.texas.gov 
Photo via Steven Johnson
Devil’s Sinkhole
The Devil’s Sinkhole lurks on 1,860 acres of wild and mainly undeveloped land. Some evidence suggests that prehistoric campsites existed around this roughly 400-foot gaping hole in the ground, and it may have even been a venerated site among native tribes in the area. Although Dante-style katabases into the sinkhole are not permitted, visitors can stand over the chasm on a viewing platform, and the park offers evening tours to watch the nightly spectacle of bats flying out of the sinkhole like, well, bats out of hell.
101 N. Sweeten St, Rocksprings, TX 78880, (830) 563-2287 (address and phone number of Rocksprings Visitor’s Center)
tpwd.texas.gov
Photo via Steven Johnson
Prada Marfa 
Patrolled by ominous black vultures, this modern art project created in 2005 by Berlin-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset is jarringly located by a railroad track stretching into the Chihuahuan desert. This sore thumb of a building was originally intended to decay over time to make a statement on consumerism, but vandals and graffitists have attempted to accelerate the process: spray-paint tags, tattoo parlor stickers and mysterious poetry carpet every available surface around the store. Such artificial interference is scrubbed away by artist and Valentine local Boyd Elder, whose painted animal skulls became famous as the centerpieces of cover art for the band The Eagles. Make sure to bring a padlock to hang on the fence behind the store--it’s become something of a tradition. 
1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, TX on Highway 90, 79854
Photo via dustinzoey
Prada Marfa
Patrolled by ominous black vultures, this modern art project created in 2005 by Berlin-based artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset is jarringly located by a railroad track stretching into the Chihuahuan desert. This sore thumb of a building was originally intended to decay over time to make a statement on consumerism, but vandals and graffitists have attempted to accelerate the process: spray-paint tags, tattoo parlor stickers and mysterious poetry carpet every available surface around the store. Such artificial interference is scrubbed away by artist and Valentine local Boyd Elder, whose painted animal skulls became famous as the centerpieces of cover art for the band The Eagles. Make sure to bring a padlock to hang on the fence behind the store--it’s become something of a tradition.
1.4 miles northwest of Valentine, TX on Highway 90, 79854
Photo via dustinzoey
Bed & breakfast made of papercrete 
In Marathon, Texas at the gateway to Big Bend National Park sits a lush and comfortable ecological project: a bed and breakfast called Eve’s Garden made entirely of papercrete, intended to “provide a comfortable bed and breakfast environment and a conversational forum to address issues regarding the ecology we live in.”  
200 NW 3rd St, Marathon TX, 79842, (432) 386-4165 
evesgarden.org 
Photo via evesgardenbnb
Bed & breakfast made of papercrete
In Marathon, Texas at the gateway to Big Bend National Park sits a lush and comfortable ecological project: a bed and breakfast called Eve’s Garden made entirely of papercrete, intended to “provide a comfortable bed and breakfast environment and a conversational forum to address issues regarding the ecology we live in.”
200 NW 3rd St, Marathon TX, 79842, (432) 386-4165
evesgarden.org
Photo via evesgardenbnb
Mysterious Red Button 
In a small alcove on a brick wall in Houston is a red button that, when pushed, causes the bayou below the street to roil and bubble like some kind of swampy Charybdis. Artist Dean Ruck created this intentionally ephemeral piece of functional art in 1998 “after reviewing the Buffalo Bayou Master Plan's call for increasing aeration in the waterway.” Anyone walking by can push the button, releasing a burst of oxygen into the bayou to keep it from becoming stagnant and smelly. 
510 Preston St, Houston, TX 77002 
Photo via houstontx.gov
Mysterious Red Button
In a small alcove on a brick wall in Houston is a red button that, when pushed, causes the bayou below the street to roil and bubble like some kind of swampy Charybdis. Artist Dean Ruck created this intentionally ephemeral piece of functional art in 1998 “after reviewing the Buffalo Bayou Master Plan's call for increasing aeration in the waterway.” Anyone walking by can push the button, releasing a burst of oxygen into the bayou to keep it from becoming stagnant and smelly.
510 Preston St, Houston, TX 77002
Photo via houstontx.gov
Last remaining boundary marker of the Republic of Texas 
It just makes sense that the only international border within the U.S. is in Texas. One lone (star) antique granite trunk is left at the Texas/Louisiana border, formerly the international boundary between the U.S.A. and the Republic of Texas. This particular border stone, dating to 1840 (six years before annexation into the U.S.), is near Deadwood, TX, about 15 miles from Carthage. 
Follow FM 31 about 10 miles southeast from Deadwood, TX 
Photo, courtesy Gerald Massey, via texasescapes.com
Last remaining boundary marker of the Republic of Texas
It just makes sense that the only international border within the U.S. is in Texas. One lone (star) antique granite trunk is left at the Texas/Louisiana border, formerly the international boundary between the U.S.A. and the Republic of Texas. This particular border stone, dating to 1840 (six years before annexation into the U.S.), is near Deadwood, TX, about 15 miles from Carthage.
Follow FM 31 about 10 miles southeast from Deadwood, TX
Photo, courtesy Gerald Massey, via texasescapes.com