12 Crazy Colorado Roadside Attractions I’m Most Excited To See
Summer is a time for road trips and road trips are the PERFECT time to drive miles out of the way just to see things like the world's largest beetle or a 25-foot dog made out of dog tags. Yup, I'm definitely planning to do that and those two particular things are just a couple of the many wacky but fun roadside attractions to check out this summer...or anytime.
According to Silly America, pretty much every state has some wacky stuff to check out, but Colorado seriously has some cool (and wacky) roadside attractions that are sure to make you go "WOW", or something to that effect.
As I plan my summer road trips, I'm most definitely going to be planning them around a few of these attractions, and this is such a helpful resource because honestly, I never even knew most of these existed.
The way I work is like this: if I see the words "world's largest" in front of ANYTHING, I'm going to find it and check it out, and I'm excited to say that there are a few of those here in Colorado that I'm fired up to get to.
1. World's Largest Beetle
2. The Swetsville Zoo
This one is literally in our backyard...just off Harmony in Timnath right along with the Cache la Poudre. I've only seen it passing by but I'm SO going to get a closer look at this soon.
3. "Blucifer" at DIA
If you've ever driven in and out of DIA, you've seen this thing and it's pretty impressive....and it has a cool name. He stands 32 feet high.
4. Bishop Castle
Bishop Castle is an impressive roadside attraction but what even makes it more impressive is that it was built by one man, Jim Bishop. When Bishop first bought the property he intended to build a cabin for his family but, instead, it became what it is today: a castle. It's made of stone and iron, Bishop spent 60 years on this project and features a grand ballroom, bridges, towers, and a fire-breathing dragon.
5. Mike, the Headless Chicken Statue:
Mike the Headless Chicken was almost 6 months old when his head was cut off but incredibly...and creepily, he lived until the age of 2. The headless chicken was dubbed “Miracle Mike” and people flocked to see him as he traveled the country as a 25-cents-per-view act. The miracle bird is memorialized today with a sculpture in Fruita. There is an annual “Mike the Headless Chicken Festival,” and a “5K Run Like a Headless Chicken Race" that I absolutely have to do.
6. Cano's Castle
Colorado seems to have its fair share of castles...at least more than the other states that I've lived in, and is just fine with me. For example, here's this awesome castle (or at least some ruins that we hiked down in Morrison. Then, there's Bishop Castle that also made the list. This one, Cano's, is mostly made from beer cans and scrap metal. An incredible work of art.
7. A 25-foot dog made of dog tags
The dog's name is "Sun Spot" and he stands tall and proud at 25 feet tall and is made from 90,000 stainless steel dog tags. He's on the lawn of the Denver Municipal Animal Shelter. The pet tags represent the thousands of pet adoptions that occur at the shelter every year. Oh, and for an extra special treat, if you want to see this dog's collar, just head inside. Maybe you'll leave with ANOTHER extra special treat...a furry four-legged family member.
8. The UFO Watchtower
I absolutely LOVE this kind of stuff. So, yeah...I'll be checking this out for sure. Located in the San Luis Valley, a resident and alien believer Judy Messoline realized that her property was located in a prime extraterrestrial-sighting area, so she decided to do something about it: build a UFO watchtower. The tower is surrounded by rock and healing gardens, energy vortexes, and a couple of alien sculptures.
9. The Largest Fork In America
What the fork?!? This thing is 39 feet tall and weighs 600 lbs. It was hand-welded and built out of spite, pretty much...just so we here in Colorado could steal the crown of "largest fork in America" from the one down in Springfield, Missouri.
Yeah...we can be petty like that. We got the prestigious title so suck on THAT fork Missouri!
10. The Petrified Wood Service Station
This used to be an actual working gas station made of petrified wood which, in case you didn't know... is the fossilized remains of terrestrial vegetation, like trees or plants. This building in Lamar was built in 1932 from petrified wood that is over 175 million years old. The largest piece in the structure weighs 3,200 pounds and supposedly the floor is “the oldest hardwood floor in the world.” The Petrified Wood Service Station is now home to Stagner, Inc., an automotive sales and service business.
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11. Sasquatch Museum
I mean...'nuff said. I've been a Bigfoot fan for many years and YES, I'm a believer. This place looks and sounds like so much fun.
12. Stanley Hotel
I put this last simply because I've been here so many times and let's face it, we save the best for last. We may be a little biased but we have every right to be. This hotel has a history both in a spooky and haunted sense and...a Hollywood history.
It’s been open since 1909 and sits on a hill in Estes Park overlooking Rocky Mountain National Park. "The Stanley" is most famous for is its role in the movie 'The Shining'. All of the movie's indoor scenes were shot here and the movie and novel are pretty much based on Stephen King’s dream he had while staying there. The 1977 novel depicts a man going mad in a haunted hotel. King was inspired to write it the story after having a nightmare in hotel room 217.
The hotel embraces its haunted reputation and book fame by playing the movie on a loop in all rooms. You can take a haunted tour and get some neat stuff in the gift shop.
Also, another fun fact is that parts of Dumb and Dumber were filmed at the Stanley Hotel as well.