Find Illinois travel tips, stories, maps, videos and news for unusual tourist attractions and sights.
Wally "Mr. Pumpkin" Thurow was founder and chief cheerleader of the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival for 50 years. The town unveiled this bronze tribute in 2014.
Sights for Oddball Excursions
History, via 20th century pop culture and you-are-almost-there artifacts. The way we like it!
D&D fan killed in an auto accident is remembered with a fantasy memorial park.
198-ft. tall interstate-convenient no-nonsense soul-saver.
Tour the company that built "prank" devices for fraternal lodge initiations. Visitors can experience the Branding Iron, the Bucking Goat, and the Spanking Machine, among others.
The life's work of Jim Hambrick, stuffed with over 65,000 items relating to Superman.
Funeral parlor owner's private basement mini-golf. Kids, keep the noise down during viewings!
Historical Peoria brought to life with the city's old clocks, cars and jukeboxes. Singing barbershop quartet of former Presidents!
An imagineered immersion in the life of the 16th President.
Spend your dragon coins wisely at this fire-breathing beast contraption.
Hollywood vehicles and outlandish Kustom Kars: million-dollar Cat-in-the-Hat car, 1966 Batmobile, Elvis's 1974 custom Cadillac station wagon.
The only house in the neighborhood with giant statue of an Egyptian god and a 3-pyramid garage.
Exhibits and statue at the birthplace of the World's Tallest Man, Robert Wadlow.
Monster bird of legend merits a tourism roost along the river.
The conceptual artistic legacy of the late Bob Moomaw, whose Hippie Memorial suggests that he liked the 1960s and disliked Ronald Reagan.
Hometown of cartoonist immortalizes Popeye's ragtag entourage with statues around town.
A water tower painted to resemble a bottle of Brooks Tangy Catsup.
Crystal Lake, Illinois
A Paul Bunyan Muffler Man, once an attraction at Ozzie Water Park in Palatine, has retired to gardening.
Crystal Lake, Illinois
Displaced by the closing of a local water park, the towering Indian brave now greets customers at a garden center.
Des Plaines, Illinois
A sacred origin spot for American fast foodies, the Store No 1 museum creates its own 1955 time warp, but stands across the street from a modern McDonald's.
A grocery clerk giant, Big John clutches three car-crushing bags of groceries in a supermarket parking lot.
No joke -- this double dumper was in service for years.
Signs claim Purple Martins eat 2,000 mosquitoes a day... and they live in luxury bird condo high-rises in town. Coincidence that purple martin houses are manufactured here?
Mecca of Albino Squirrels, Olney loves their pink-eyed squirrel colony.
Norma Jean was the star of the Clark and Walters Circus until a bolt of lightning killed her in Oquawka's town square.
A towering temptress, sometimes in a fiberglass bikini, sometimes dressed more modestly. But "Vanna Whitewall" can always stop traffic.
Exhibits on the memorable attractions, businesses and the colorful characters of the Mother Road, including Bob Waldmire's Road Yacht.
Mr. Pollard can't seem to throw any of his good junk away.
Roadside America's blog, offering news, rants and ruminations on the state of Illinois
Offbeat Landmarks and Oddities
Choice field reports and tips. Or check out: Complete list of Illinois attractions.
- Alto Pass: Bald Knob Cross of Peace [tips]
- Alton: Robert Wadlow, World's Tallest Man
- Alton: The Piasa Bird
- Alton: Historic Museum of Torture Devices [tips]
- Arcola: One and Only Hippie Memorial
- Atlanta: Muffler Man Holding Hot Dog [tips]
- Auburn: Brick 66 [tips]
- Batavia: Mary Todd Lincoln's Sanitarium Bed [tips]
- Belleville: National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows [tips]
- Belleville: Giant Lady Shoe [tips]
- Benton: Charlie Birger Gallows and George Harrison Artifacts [tips]
- Bloomington: Poppy Plane Crash Memorial [tips]
- Burbank: Frankenmufflerman
- Carbondale: Dungeons and Dragons Park
- Carmi: Big John - Grocery Clerk [tips]
- Carthage: Museum of Funeral Customs Exhibits - Lincoln Casket [tips]
- Casey: World's Largest Rocking Chair [tips]
- Casey: Big Things in a Small Town Workshop [tips]
- Casey: Giant Mailbox [tips]
- Casey: World's Largest Pitchfork [tips]
- Champaign: Giant Copper Indian
- Champaign: Sit with Roger Ebert [tips]
- Chatsworth: Horrible Train Wreck Happened Here
- Chester: Statue of Popeye
- Chicago: Sliced Human Bodies, Cow Eyeball Dissection [tips]
- Chicago: Eye Care Muffler Man Indian [tips]
- Chicago: International Museum of Surgical Science [tips]
- Chicago: Oz Park - "Wizard of Oz" Statues [tips]
- Chicago: Harry Caray: Faces in his Pants [tips]
- Chicago: Noble Horse Theatre presents "Quadrille" [tips]
- Chicago: Crown Fountain - Spraying Faces [tips]
- Chicago: The Bean - Stoners' Delight [tips]
- Chicago: The S--t Fountain [tips]
- Chicago: Cube of 1 Million 1 Dollar Bills [tips]
- Chicago: U-505 German Submarine [tips]
- Chicago: Fountain Of Time [tips]
- Chicago: Obama's Barber Chair, Encased in Plexiglass [tips]
- Chicago: Wall of Bad Art [tips]
- Collinsville: World's Largest Catsup Bottle
- Covell: Charles Lindbergh Crash Site #2
- Crystal Lake: Muffler Man - Bunyan
- Crystal Lake: Muffler Man - Indian
- Crystal Lake: Muffler Man - Lumberjacks [tips]
- Darien: World's Largest Religious Wood Carving [tips]
- Des Plaines: Meals Delivered by Train
- Des Plaines: McDonald's Museum and Store No. 1
- Dixon: Horsey Ronald Reagan [tips]
- East Moline: Tour World's Largest Farm Equipment Factory
- Effingham: America's Largest Cross
- Effingham: My Garage Museum [tips]
- Elburn: Larsen's Christmas Lights [tips]
- Eldorado: Big John - Grocery Clerk
- Ellsworth: Wind Farm Lookout Platform [tips]
- Elmwood Park: Large Radio Flyer Wagon [tips]
- Evanston: American Toby Jug Museum [tips]
- Evergreen Park: Muffler Man - Bunyan [tips]
- Forest Park: Memorial to Circus Train Wreck Dead
- Galena: John Martinson's West Street Sculpture Park [tips]
- Gays: Two-Story Outhouse
- Granite City: Old Chain of Rocks Route 66 Bridge [tips]
- Greenville: Museum of Initiation Pranks
- Gridley: Telephone Museum of Gridley [tips]
- Griggsville: Purple Martin Capital of the Nation
- Joliet: Old Joliet Prison Park [tips]
- Libertyville: Muffler Man and Bessie the Cow
- Lincoln: World's Largest Wagon And Big Lincoln [tips]
- Lincolnshire: Par-King Miniature Golf [tips]
- Livingston: Futuro, Beach Guy, Elephant, Twistee Treat [tips]
- Livingston: Muffler Man [tips]
- Livingston: Uniroyal Gal [tips]
- Makanda: Monument to Boomer, 3-Legged Hero Dog
- Makanda: Smiley Face Water Tower [tips]
- Metropolis: Super Museum
- Metropolis: Big John - Grocery Clerk [tips]
- Metropolis: Superman Statue
- Mount Carroll: Raven's Grin Inn [tips]
- Mount Pleasant: Grave Of King Neptune The Pig
- Nauvoo: Carpet Viking HS Mascot [tips]
- Niles: Leaning Tower of Niles
- Norway: Agricultural Crash Monument
- Oak Lawn: Big Chief: World's Largest Cigar Store Indian [tips]
- Olney: Home of the White Squirrels
- Oquawka: Norma Jean, Elephant Killed By Lightning
- Palatine: Miniature Golf in a Funeral Home
- Peoria: Uniroyal Gal: Vanna Whitewall
- Peoria: Wheels O' Time Museum
- Peoria: Statue of Richard Pryor [tips]
- Pontiac: Illinois Route 66 Hall of Fame and Museum
- Port Byron: Tug Fest - East Side of Mississippi River Tug-of-war [tips]
- Rock Island: Atomic Cannon [tips]
- Rockford: Home of the Sock Monkey [tips]
- Rolling Meadows: Puppet Opera in Focus [tips]
- Roscoe: Historic Auto Attractions
- Salem: Pollard's Collection
- Schaumburg: Medieval Times
- Springfield: Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum
- Springfield: 30-Foot-Tall Skinny Abe Lincoln Statue
- Springfield: Lincoln's Tomb and Lucky Nose
- Springfield: Lauterbach Tire Muffler Man [tips]
- Springfield: Captured Leg of Santa Anna
- Springfield: Defiant Tomb Of Mr. Accordion
- Staunton: Henry's Ra66it Ranch
- Taylorville: Monument to Kay the Elephant
- Taylorville: JFK in a Graveyard, But Not His Grave
- University Park: Exhausted Paul Bunyan
- Urbana: Pollinatarium: Bees and Bats [tips]
- Vandalia: Kaskaskia Dragon
- Volo: Volo Museum: Bonnie and Clyde Death Car
- Wadsworth: Gold Pyramid House
- White Hall: Monument to the Schoolteacher Tornado Martyr [tips]
- Wilmette: Bahai House of Worship [tips]
- Wilmington: Gemini Giant - Space Age Muffler Man [tips]
- Woodstock: Groundhog Day Movie Town [tips]
- Zion: Russell Military Museum