Weird and Wonderful Larger Than Life Objects in the United States

Salvation Mountain
Salvation Mountain | © Courtesy of Salvation Mountain
Julia Goicochea

The United States has a reputation of extolling excess. Considering the world’s largest Santa statue in North Pole, Alaska or the 5,000 square-foot house carved from a boulder in Utah’s Canyonlands Country, America’s obsession with size seems more magical than malevolent. From super-sized wonders to the just plain weird, here are 10 larger-than-life objects to see in North America.

Loved by over 40s

World’s Largest Santa

World’s Largest Santa

World’s Largest Santa

It’s easy to believe this Santa can see you when you’re sleeping: at 42-feet high, the Christmas season-inspired statue has an excellent vantage point. Appropriately located in the town of North Pole, Alaska, the world’s largest Santa statue is just one part of holiday lover’s haven,The Santa Claus House. Weighing in at a whopping 900 pounds, this super-sized Saint Nick requires nearly 20 gallons of paint to keep him in tip-top, toy-delivering shape.

Santa Claus House, 101 St Nicholas Dr, North Pole, AK, USA +1 800 588 4078

Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain © Brian/Flickr
© Brian/Flickr

Salvation Mountain

In the mid-1980s, Leonard Knight created a modest monument made of cement and paint, adding a little more to it each day. Three decades later, a 50-foot hill covered in 100,000 gallons of paint known as Salvation Mountain stands guard over a California desert. Although originally intended as a tribute to God, this psychedelic sight and non-profit public artwork fits right in with California’s hippie aesthetic.

Salvation Mountain, Beal Rd, Niland, CA, USA


© Ken Lund/Flickr


Gaffney, South Carolina’s Peachoid is a 135-foot tall water tower built to resemble a peach. A nod to the state’s identity as the South’s biggest peach producer, the structure features a seven ton, 60-foot long leaf and required 50 gallons of paint in 20 different colors. James and the Giant Peach references have been overshadowed by the Peachoid’s focal role in the hit Netflix series House of Cards as well as by a public debate over the object’s alleged resemblance to a certain piece of human anatomy.

Peachoid, Peachoid Rd, Gaffney, SC, USA +1 864 488 8800

Hole N” The Rock


Hole N” The Rock

Hole N” The Rock

Perhaps the only modern Americans confirmed to actually live under a rock, Albert and Gladys Christensen are the pair behind Hole N” The Rock, a 5,000 square-foot home carved out of a boulder in Utah’s Canyonlands Country. While its creators have since passed away, Hole N” The Rock lives on. Visitors are welcome to tour the house’s 14 rooms complete with a 65-foot chimney and built-in bathtub; a shop featuring vintage tools, memorabilia, and more; and the world’s largest collection of Lyle Nichols artwork.

Hole N” The Rock, 11037 US-191, Moab, UT, USA +1 435 686 2250

The Largest Burger in the World

At first glance, Clearfield, Pennsylvania’s Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub appears to be an ordinary American restaurant. Here, diners can dig in to loaded salads, chicken wings, or a 10-pound burger featuring 25 slices of cheese and a 17-inch bun. If you can complete the colossal meal in three hours or less, you’ll earn back your $30 and a spot in Denny’s hall of fame.

Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub, 1452 Woodland Rd, Clearfield, PA, USA +1 814 765 7190

The Thing

The Thing

Driving down Arizona’s I-10, riders are confronted with a number of towering billboards— 247 of them, to be exact— emblazoned with sayings like ‘The Mystery of the Desert,’ ‘The Thing,’ and finally: ‘What is it’? By the time you’ve reached the stretch’s end, you can’t help but want to uncover the mystery of The Thing. Hint: it involves Bigfoot-like footprints and a series of curiosity-crammed sheds.

The Thing, 2631 Johnson Rd, Benson, AZ, USA +1 520 586 2581

UFO Landing Port

UFO Landing Port

Lots of Americans believe in the existence of extraterrestrial life. Not many of them would erect a 42-foot tall structure proclaiming itself as a ‘UFO Landing Port’ in a Wisconsin corn field. The port’s creator, Bob Tohak, built his creation with the thought that a UFO landing port might attract visiting extraterrestrials. Equipped with flashing lights and a steel platform durable enough to support a helicopter’s weight, Tohak’s port is ready to receive guests.

UFO Landing Port, 4978 Kewaunee Rd, Green Bay, WI, USA

Redstone Rocket

In Cold War-era America, Redstone Rockets were used as ballistic missiles by the U.S. government. 50 years later, they’re treated as decor in public parks. Specifically, one park in Warren, New Hampshire, the only North American town with an authentic Redstone Rocket. Here, wooden tables and grassy lawns surround the rocket, allowing visitors to picnic in the shade of a historic spacecraft.

Redstone Rocket, Water St, Warren, NH, USA

Warren, New Hampshire’s Redstone Rocket

World’s Largest Chicken Wing


World’s Largest Chicken Wing

Think a Southern sports bar chain called Hooters featuring buckets of birds and scantily-clad servers is as stereotypically ‘American’ as it gets? Think again. Displayed on the deck of a Hooters outpost in Madeira Beach, Florida, a 1,037 pound chicken wing— the world’s largest— hangs from a fishing hook over barrels of hot sauce.

Hooters, 192 W, Boardwalk Pl E, Madeira Beach, FL, USA +1 727 797 4668

Gorilla Holding A VW Beetle

Gorilla Holding A VW Beetle

Weird even by the standards of roadside attractions, this installation of a gorilla holding up a Volkswagen Beetle was created as a promotional statue for a Vermont dealership. Since the statue’s erection in 1987, curiosity-seekers come from all over to pose for a picture in the gorilla’s right hand and admire a real VW Bug held 19-feet above the ground.

Pioneer Auto Sales, 51 Maple St, Salisbury, VT, USA +1 802 247 4242

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.