7 Best Roadside Attractions in Texas You Absolutely Have to See
The Lone Star State is gigantic, with lots to see. In fact, it has more miles of roads than any other state, so this means there’s a wealth of roadside attractions in Texas.
It would probably be impossible to see them all, so we’ve decided to narrow it down.
Hop in and join us for our tour of the must-see curiosities along what seem to be endless miles of Texas highways.
7 Awesome Roadside Attractions in Texas
Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo
Location: 13651 I-40 Frontage Rd., Amarillo, TX 79124
Why You’ll Love It: Who would have thought that 10 old Cadillacs stuck nose-first into the ground would draw such attention?
Eccentric millionaire Stanley Marsh 3 believed they would be eye-catching, but even he was surprised at their long-lasting appeal.
They were planted in the soil in 1974 along the old Route 66 as a quirky art project. Millions of people have stopped along the highway to gawk at the old cars, many adding some fresh graffiti. What’s the appeal?
It’s hard to say – it’s just hard to look away from those classic tailfins reaching gracefully reaching skyward.
Pro Tip: Cadillac Ranch is also on our list of the Best Route 66 Roadside Attractions.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 9.6
Big Texan Steak Ranch in Amarillo
Location: 7701 Interstate 40 Access Road, Amarillo, TX 79124
Why You’ll Love It: Are you really, really hungry? If so, there’s a 72-oz steak with your name on it just down the road from the Cadillac Ranch. Many have succeeded since the contest was started in 1960, but most have had to throw in the white napkin.
The huge slab of top sirloin has to be consumed in less than an hour, but so do the sides. The meal includes a baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, and a buttered roll. The current record, by the way, is an astonishing 4 minutes and 22 seconds!
You pay $72 upfront for this only-in-Texas challenge and get your money back if you swallow it all down.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 8.5
Stonehenge II in Ingram
Location: 120 Point Theatre Road S, Ingram, TX 78025
Why You’ll Love It: Farther south lies Stonehenge. Not the original one in England, but a concrete facsimile that should make you smile and scratch your head. People have the strangest ideas sometimes, and Alfred Shepperd and Doug Hill get the credit for this one.
Their recreation of this famous and baffling historic structure is 60 percent the size of the original – and 5,000 miles away. Modern lore says the offbeat project started with a spare chunk of limestone left over from a patio project.
The inventive duo later added a couple of Easter Island-style statue heads to evoke even more mystery. The entire installation used to be in Hunt, Texas but was moved a few years back.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 8.9
Eiffel Tower with Cowboy Hat in Paris
Location: 2025 Jefferson Road, Paris, TX
Saguaro National Park: You won’t mistake this place for France’s capital, but the two places do have something in common besides their name. This small city in the northeast corner of Texas pays tribute to its European counterpart with a scale version of the iconic Eiffel Tower.
At 65 feet tall, it’s miniature compared to the 1,000-foot original in Paris, France. There’s something else that sets it apart, though. It’s capped off with a red cowboy hat, set at a jaunty angle, to give it an unmistakably Texan style. There’s a similar iron structure in Paris, Tennessee, too.
A much larger Eiffel Tower replica in Las Vegas dwarfs them both.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 6.0
World’s Largest Bowie Knife in Bowie
Location: 1555-1699 E Wise St, Bowie, TX 76230
Why You’ll Love It: Jim Bowie died a hero at the Alamo, but he’s best known for the knife that bears his name. The legendary Texan designed the distinctive blade in 1830. The town of Bowie is another of his namesakes, and city leaders there have erected a 20-foot-tall knife in his honor.
The blade alone is 14 feet, and the whole thing weighs about 3,000 lbs. Don’t worry, though, it was never sharpened.
That’s in case anyone ever tries to climb it. It’s a harmless slice of Americana just off the highway in Pelham Park.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 8.1
Glass Bathrooms in Sulphur Springs
Location: 100 Gilmer St., Sulphur Springs, TX
Why You’ll Love It: You can see out, but you can’t see in – and that’s a good thing. Outside the courthouse in Sulphur Springs are his and hers restrooms with a view.
From the outside, their walls look like mirrors. From within, however, there’s a remarkably clear view of everything along the town square, even if it’s just inches away.
Reviews are mixed, but it certainly has brought some extra exposure to Sulphur Springs.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 5.9
World’s Largest Working Fire Hydrant in Beaumont
Location: 219 Main St., Beaumont, TX 77701
Why You’ll Love It: If there’s ever a huge fire in Beaumont, the city will be ready for it. The 24-foot fire hydrant has been a fixture in front of the Fire Museum of Texas since 1999.
There are other big fire hydrants around the country, but this is the only one that actually works. If needed, it can spew up to 1,500 gallons of water a minute. It’s a leftover from a promotion for the Disney film 101 Dalmatians, which explains why it’s white with black spots.
Maybe the city’s next big attraction will be the world’s largest dog.
Texas Road Trip Vibe Score: 8.8
Free Camping in Texas
We love free camping! If you didn’t know it was a thing, don’t feel bad. We learned about it just five years ago.
Free camping, AKA boondocking, is available in almost every state…and throughout all of Texas.
We’ve rounded up the best free campsites in Texas to share with you today. You can read the list here, or watch it in the video below.
Texas is Calling Your Name
A few of our favorite roadside attractions in Texas are functional, but most are just quirky or goofy. They draw lots of attention, though, and that seems to be their main reason for being.
They may just leave you with a sense of wonder – as in, I wonder who came up with that?
Here’s some additional Texas love:
- 7 Beautiful Waterfalls in Texas
- 5 Best Hot Springs in Texas
- 7 Best State Parks in Texas
- 9 Best Things To Do on Route 66 in Texas
- 7 Best Lakes in Texas (and Awesome Nearby Campsites)
Discover the Best Free Camping Across the USA
To be honest with you, we hate paying for camping. There are so many free campsites in America (with complete privacy).
You should give it a try!
As a matter of fact, these free campsites are yours. Every time you pay federal taxes, you’re contributing to these lands.
Become a FREE CAMPING INSIDER and join the 100,000 campers that love to score the best site!
We’ll send you the 50 Best Free Campsites in the USA (one per state). Access the list by submitting your email below: