Alaska Roadside Attractions – Delightfully Bizarre
By: Courtney Dowd-Stanley
When you hear the saying “the goods are odd, but the odds are good” in Alaska, it’s not just referring to the male-to-female population ratio. It also applies to the quirky and distinct Alaska roadside attractions. It seems as though no matter where your highway travels take you throughout the Last Frontier, bizarre sights can be seen quite regularly en route. While this short list of 13 is only grazing the surface of awesome Alaska roadside attractions, we thought we’d share some of our faves. Enjoy!
1: Hammer Museum – Haines, Alaska
As the first museum in the world dedicated to hammers, this bizarre roadside attraction is a must-see. The museum which has 2000 hammers on display was founded in 2002 and officially became a non-profit organization in 2004.
2: Skinny Dicks Halfway Inn – Fairbanks, Alaska
Located at Milepost 328 on the Parks Highway between Fairbanks and Nenana, this unique roadside attraction comes with a name that is enough to make anyone take a second glance. Stop and have a drink while chatting with the lively staff. Novelty items are fun to check out, and are available for purchase.
3: Mukluk Land – Tok, Alaska
Located at Milepost 1317 on the Alaska Highway, Mukluk Land is said to be one of Alaska’s most unique attractions. Visitors can explore the Alaska memorabilia, tour the garden, or kick back and enjoy a round of mini-golf.
4: I Got Laid Sign – Chicken, Alaska
With a population that fluctuates from 50 in the summer to six or seven in the winter, this fun (yet mildly inappropriate) welcome sign offers the perfect amount of humor to lighten things up in an otherwise sleepy mining town.
5: World’s Largest Gold Pan – Nome, Alaska
Measuring roughly 20 feet in diameter, this fun photo-op is located in Anvil City Square in the western city of Nome. Directly next to it stands life-sized statues of “The Three Lucky Swedes” who originally discovered gold in Nome back in 1898.
6: World’s Largest Santa Claus Statue – North Pole, Alaska
Head to St. Nicholas Drive where you’ll find this towering 42-foot-high Santa Claus statue in the town of North Pole, Alaska. The nearby reindeer and Santa Claus House make this place the most Christmassy place in the world.
7: The Cat Mayor – Talkeetna, Alaska
Before retirement, the quaint and quirky locale of Talkeetna was proud to call a fair feline by the name of Stubbs the local town mayor.
8: Alaskan Animal Carousel Carvings – Soldotna, Alaska
Located at Mile 97.1 on the Sterling Highway on Alaska’s Kenai Peninsula, this roadside attraction features incredible larger-than-life wildlife themed wood carvings.
9: Igloo City – South of Cantwell, Alaska
Located off the George Parks Highway roughly 22 miles south of Cantwell and 200 miles north of Anchorage, this abandoned igloo-like structure dubbed ‘Igloo City’ was originally designed to be a lodging attraction until building code violations stopped it from being able to open.
10: Whale Bone Arch – Barrow, Alaska
This arch is made from the jawbone of a bowhead whale, and probably the most signature spot in this northern Alaska town. Said to be a symbolic gateway to the Arctic Ocean, this unique attraction is surrounded by whaling boats that were used by the Inupiats.
11: Metal Chickens – Chicken, Alaska
While summer access to this isolated town requires quite the lengthy trek, visitors are guaranteed to be greeted by all sorts of fun roadside humor. The large metal chickens are a fun sight to see.
12: Sinking Trapper Cabins – Portage, Alaska
On the scenic Seward Highway heading south towards the Kenai Peninsula, you’ll drive through the abandoned town of Portage. The town was destroyed by the 1964 Good Friday Earthquake, and remnants from the devastating flooding damage still remain today.
13: Beatrice the Bumblebee – Anchor Point, Alaska
An old airstream turned company mascot makes this one of the most unique RV park roadside attractions in Alaska. Painted to look like a bumblebee the airstream has two eyes made out of mirrors, pipe wings, and antennae, and a stinger sticking out of the bee-hind.
Did we miss any of your favorite Alaska roadside attractions? If so, be sure to let us know!
Looking for more where that came from? Check out 55 Ways Alaska Is America’s Outcast… And Why We Love It That Way. You might also enjoy the World’s Largest ZipRider That’s Located Right Here In Alaska. Be sure to also check out Girdwood, Alaska – Named Among World’s Top 10 Greatest Mountain Towns.