Summer vacation is kicking into high gear and if you’re on the road, we have a list of pit stops that not only offer you the opportunity to stretch your legs, but to see something memorable along the way. Here is our short list of favorite sights to take in that are quick to enjoy and leave quite the impression. These ideas are courtesy of the website www.roadsideamerica.com.
CARLISLE: FLYING SAUCER HOUSE
Two oblong silver looking flying saucers joined by a walkway are actually a portable, prefabricated home design from 1968 is by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. It’s a house and a conversation piece.
DEFIANCE: TOWER OF VW BUGS
Pack Rat’s Pawn Shop has five colorful ’60s VW bugs stacked on top of each other as a promotional sign for the business. It’s definitely different.
DRESDEN: WORLD’S LARGEST BASKET
This basket is a replica — 160 times larger — of Longaberger’s Medium Market Basket. It’s 192 feet long by 126 feet wide at the bottom, spreading to 208 feet long by 142 feet wide at the roofline. The iconic seven-story building opened in 1997. It now sits empty, but is still quite the site.
DUBLIN: FIELD OF GIANT CEMENT CORN COBS
Field of Corn (with Osage Oranges) is a work of 109 tall ears of corn (6 feet 3 inches) that stand upright in realistic row patterns. The installation symbolizes the history of the community’s farming legacy and serves as a memorial to rural landscapes. It stands in Frantz Park, a field once farmed by Sam Frantz, a leader in the use of hybridized corn.
HILLSBORO: THE GREAT SERPENT MOUND
One of the few effigy mounds in Ohio, Serpent Mound is the largest and finest serpent effigy in the United States. Nearly a quarter of a mile long, it lies on a plateau overlooking the valley of Brush Creek. Nearby conical mounds contained burials and implements characteristic of the prehistoric Adena people (800 BC-AD 100).
MESOPOTAMIA: LARGEST AMISH HORSE AND BUGGY
This supersized horse and buggy sculpture that can be found in western Trumbull County is made of wooden 2-x-4s. The area, home to the second largest Amish population in Ohio, is also home to Ohio’s oldest general store, which is also worth a stop.
MOUNT VERNON: FACTORY RUINS AND SCULPTURE PARK
Located on the former site of the Pittsburgh Plate and Glass (PPG) grounds, this park is 250 acres of walking trails, sculpture and glassworks including a giant river of glass.
SPRINGFIELD: HARTMAN’S ROCK GARDEN
The Hartman Rock Garden is a large collections of situ folk art — an outsider art phenomena where self-taught artists construct worlds out of concrete, metal, stone, and whatever else they can find. This garden features replicas of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, the White House, Mount Vernon and more made of tens of thousands of stones. It’s quite a creation that one man took a lifetime to create.
SUGARCREEK: WORLD’S LARGEST CUCKOO CLOCK
“The Little Switzerland of Ohio” has a clock on Main Street that features a three-foot-tall couple on tracks dancing the polka who come out every 30 minutes. It’s 24 feet tall and is billed as the world’s largest cuckoo clock.
SUNBURY: GIANT RONALD MCDONALD
Prepare to be creeped out. This giant statue of Ronald McDonald with his arms spread wide ready to hug it out is the stuff of nightmares. McDonald’s food items with eyes raise the weird factor up a notch.
WARREN: DAVID GROHL ALLEY, WORLD’S LARGEST DRUMSTICKS
Foo Fighters and Nirvana rocker Dave Grohl hails from Warren, Ohio. In August 2009 Dave Grohl Alley opened, and in 2013 artist Joel Eggert hand-carved the World’s Largest Drumsticks out of two poplar logs, each 23 feet long and weighing a half-ton to add to the mix.
WINDSOR: WORLD’S TALLEST OUR LADY OF GUADALUPE
Emerging from a rural farm field in Windsor, Ohio is a 50-foot-tall Our Lady of Guadalupe. It’s one of the last places you would expect to see her and quite the photo opportunity.