East Bethany Metal Dragon Roadside Attraction

41 Quirky Roadside Attractions

If you’re familiar with Roadside America and Atlas Obscura you’ll know both sites are dedicated to plotting out odd roadside attractions all over these United States (think America’s largest ball of twine.)

Spend a day checking out these unique & unusual roadside attractions—shoe trees, a skeleton army, a metal dragon, a shark girl—within 2 hours of Rochester.

City of Rochester
roadside attractions

Parkside Whispering Pines Mini Golf
Parkside Whispering Pines Mini Golf

1. Whispering Pines: The USA’s Oldest Miniature Golf Course

Whispering Pines is America’s oldest miniature golf course. Play a round on your way home from Seabreeze.

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Events Around Rochester Holiday Lights: Liberty Pole
Liberty Pole in Rochester NY

2. The Liberty Pole

The current pole is the 3rd iteration, erected in 1965. The original pole first stood here in 1846. Designed by James H. Johnson, the architect of The Mushroom House and Phillis Wheatley Community Library.

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Phillis Wheatley Community Library
Phillis Wheatley Community Library

3. Phillis Wheatley Community Library

Speaking of the Phillis Wheatley Community Library, it was build in 1971. The library is named for Phillis Wheatley (c. 1753 – 1784). She was the first published African-American woman and first published African-American poet. You’ll also enjoy the beautiful street art around the building.

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Susan B Anthony Frederick Douglass Lets Have Tea
Susan B Anthony and Frederick Douglass “Let’s Have Tea” Statue in Anthony Square, Rochester, NY

4. Susan B. Anthony and Frederick Douglass Enjoying Tea in the Square

While you are visiting the Susan B. Anthony Museum & House, walk down Madison Street to Susan B. Anthony Square.

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Rochester Yellow Brick Road

5. Yellow Brick Road between Park Ave & East Ave

The Yellow Brick road connects Goodwin Park at the end of Sibley Place to Park Ave just south of Alexander.

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Monroe County
roadside attractions

Powder Mills Park Rochester NY
Mushroom House

6. The Mushroom House

Private property but still great roadside-eye-candy! Located on the way to, but just outside, Powder Mills Park. Designed by James H. Johnson, the architect of The Liberty Pole and Phillis Wheatley Community Library.

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Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham
Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham

7. Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham

Have you ever found yourself driving along an average country road, turned a corner or crested a hill or cleared a hedgerow to see something completely unexpected? That’s how most folks stumble upon Wat Pa Lao Buddhadham on Martin Rd in West Henrietta, NY. Here’s the story of one person’s journey to discover more about it.

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Roadside Attractions: Vest Pocket Park Totem Pole Honeoye Falls
Vest Pocket Park totem pole

8. Vest Pocket Park Totem Pole

Vest Pocket Park, home of the famous Honeoye Falls Totem Pole, is a small park located on W. Main St. There are several picnic tables and benches and has a lovely view of Honeoye Creek and the falls.

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Genesee County
roadside attractions

Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Big Metal Dragon in East Bethany NY
Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Tiny Bus in East Bethany NY

9. Big Metal Dragon &
10. Tiny Bus

You can’t miss these when you drive up. The bus and the dragon are right across the street from each other; you will probably notice the bus first as it is closest to the road and bright yellow!

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Statue of Liberty LeRoy NY
Statue of Liberty in LeRoy NY

11. The Statue of Liberty on Wolcott Street

This Lady Liberty stands 8 1/2-feet tall—the same size as the original’s index finger. In 1950, the Boy Scouts of America, in celebration of their 40th anniversary, purchased 200+ copper statue replicas for municipalities throughout the country; only 100 remain today. She was recently restored to her original glory and place overlooking Oatka Creek.

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Rolling Hills Asylum in East Bethany, NY
Rolling Hills Asylum

12. Rolling Hills Asylum

The location is so rural Google has yet to street-view map it! Rather surprising with its well-documented haunted history.

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Wayne County
roadside attractions

Giant Book of Mormon Hill Cumorah
Giant Book of Mormon on Hill Cumorah

13. Very Large Book of Mormon

Located near the visitor center at the foot of Hill Cumorah.

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Fox Sisters
Fox Sisters original home

14. Fox Sisters, birth place of Spiritualism

One of the greatest religious movements of the 19th century began in the bedroom of two young girls living in a farmhouse in Hydesville, New York. You can continue on your journey by visiting Lily Dale.

map | learn more

Roadside Attraction Clyde Blockhouse
Clyde Blockhouse

15. Clyde Blockhouse

Clyde Blockhouse, 1758, Wayne County, Town of Galen. Constructed about 1758 near the Clyde River, supposedly by “Indian Traders.” This trading station was reported to have been a smuggling station from Canada during the American Revolution.

A settlement grew up around the blockhouse originally known as Lauraville and then later the Village of Clyde.

map | learn more

Ontario County
roadside attractions

Roadside attractions: Canandaigua Lake Boat Houses pier 2
Boat Houses on Canandaigua City Pier

16. Canandaigua City Pier Boat Houses

Take a walk or drive down the Canandaigua City Pier and check out Boathouse Row. Interesting fact: Homeowners are prohibited from actually living in these boathouses—they are for daytime use only.

Livingston County
roadside attractions

Geneseo Tree House Creations
Geneseo Tree House Creations – image from Google Maps

17. Geneseo Tree House Creations

From Facebook, “Tree Creations is a growing tree house village (at a private residence), consisting of themed tree houses connected with rope bridges for all to enjoy!”

You can make an appointment to explore or visit during an open “tree” house. According to their Facebook page, they open when leaves are on the trees, “available for visits and play from Late June until September.”

View Website | details

Orleans
roadside attractions

Roadside Attractions - Shoe Trees Lyndonvile
The Shoe Trees in Lyndonville, NY

18. The Shoe Trees

Footwear has found its way into these branches for several decades. Successfully catching your shoes in the branches will grant a wish, or good luck.

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Culvert Road in Medina Under the Erie Canal
Culvert Road in Medina Under the Erie Canal

19. The Only Tunnel Under the Erie Canal

This road is the only road known to go under the Erie Canal, with a plaque noting that it was featured in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.

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Medina Church Middle of the Road
Medina’s Church Middle of the Street

20. Medina Church in the Middle of the Street

St . John’s Episcopal, erected in 1832, was the first church in the village of Medina. It is listed in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not because Church Street divides to go around the building.

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Medina Big Red Apple
Medina’s Big Red Apple

21. The Big Apple

A symbol of the region’s exceptional apple industry.

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Niagara County
roadside attractions

Lockport Caves Tour
Lockport Caves Tour – image from Google Maps

22. America’s Longest Underground Boat Ride

The Lockport Caves Tour may not be as much a roadside attraction as it is an activity, but it’s unusual all the same!

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Lockport upside down bridge
Lockport’s upside down bridge

23. Upside-Down Railroad Bridge

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Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah

24. Second Coming House of Prophet Isaiah

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Haunted House of Wax
Haunted House of Wax – image from Google Maps

25. Haunted House of Wax

For as poor as the reviews are, and as small the attraction, I’m surprised at its prime real-estate!

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Roadside Attractions Turtle Building

26. The Turtle-Shaped Building

The building has been vacant for 22 years, but is still a major roadside attraction. Check out this 2017 news article.

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Erie County
roadside attractions

Vidlers East Aurora

27. Vidler on the Roof Statue

The most treasured 5 & 10 with candies you’ve not seen since childhood. Vidler’s is the perfect place for fun stocking stuffers.

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Large Rooftop Toothbrush
Large Rooftop Toothbrush – image from Google Maps

28. Large Rooftop Toothbrush

Looks like great advertising to me!

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Roadside attractions Outer Harbor Buffalo Wilkenson Pointe
Wilkeson Pointe Park
Wilkeson Pointe Park – image from Google Maps

29. Wilkeson Pointe Park Whirligigs

Not only a really cool roadside attraction, it’s a beautiful location on Lake Erie. There is an art installation near the parking lot, but I won’t ruin it for you.

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Patriots and Heroes Park
Patriots and Heroes Park – image from Google Maps

30. Patriots and Heroes Park

An interesting place to sit and reflect. The monuments and detail are fascinating!

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Silo City Six Pack
Silo City Six Pack – image from Google Maps

31. The World’s Largest Six Pack is in Silo City

The world’s first silo brewery open in an abandoned Buffalo grain elevator.

map | details | RiverWorks

Lake Effect Man
Lake Effect Man – image from Google Maps

32. Lake Effect Man Sitting on a Giant Beer Tap

As long as you are visiting, stop in to Pearl Street Grille & Brewery!

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Ridgelawn Gardens Cemetery Stonehenge
Ridgelawn Gardens Cemetery Stonehenge – image from Google Maps

33. Ridgelawn Gardens Cemetery Stonehenge

You can’t see it from this road, but drive in and veer left & you can’t miss it.

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Giant Martin Luther King Jr. Head
Giant Martin Luther King Jr. Head – image from Google Maps

34. Giant Martin Luther King Jr. Head

Nestled in among the hedges is a rough likeness of MLK Jr.–to be kind.

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Gigantic Buffalo Nickel
Gigantic Buffalo Nickel – image from Google Maps

35. Gigantic Buffalo Nickel

In a small corner park across from Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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Canalside Shark Girl
Canalside Shark Girl – image from Google Maps

36. Canalside’s Shark Girl

Shark Girl is an extremely popular 2014 art installation by the Albright-Knox Gallery.

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Rochester-Area Roadside Attractions - Forest Lawn Cemetery in Buffalo NY Deathbed Scene in Marble Blocher Tomb
Blocher Tomb – image from Google Maps

37. Forest Lawn Cemetery Deathbed Scene in Marble (Blocher tomb)

Albeit the most unusual, there are plenty of other places to visit in Forest Lawn. A beautiful park-like cemetery, second only to our own Mount Hope.

map | details | famous residents

Onondaga County
roadside attractions

Victorian House Atop a Factory
Victorian House On Top of a Factory – image from Google Maps

38. Victorian House On Top of a Factory

The fun part of this quirky roadside attraction is that no one ever lived in the house. I had thought maybe it was a zoning law hack, but no. It simply hides equipment on the roof.

In an article on syracuse.com, it was build as a gimmick to attract attention to the business. I’d say it worked.

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Green-on-Top Traffic Light
Green Light on Top – image from Google Maps

39. Green-on-Top Traffic Light

The traffic light at the intersection of Tompkins & Milton Tipperary Hill in Syracuse has its green light at the top–a symbol of Irish pride and resilience.

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Seasonal
roadside attractions

Not all things worth seeing are permanent! Holidays and seasons bring out the creative side in all of us. Check out these displays when & while you can.

Holiday Lights Colony Lane Henrietta
Colony Lane in Henrietta

40. Holiday Lights

Because December is the darkest month, we welcome these grand displays of holiday lights to brighten the night. These homeowners and communities go all out to celebrate the season, so let’s get out there and celebrate with them!

Find these 10 Rochester-area neighbors with extraordinary holiday lights between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve.

Roadside Attractions Skeleton Army Canandaigua Canandaigua Country Road 4
The Skeleton Army

41. The Skeleton Army

Get directions to 4017 CR-4 in Hopewell near Canandaigua for this amazing Halloween display! Over 200 skeletons (humans, horses, dinosaurs and dogs!) are marching on the home, which is heavily defended by trees (think of the Ents from Lord of the Rings).

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Where are your favorite roadside attractions?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments. Your insight and experience is invaluable!

Some of the images appearing on this page have been sourced using Google Maps.

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2 thoughts on “41 Quirky Roadside Attractions”

  1. Tree Creations (Tree Houses) in Geneseo, NY (listed on America’s Roadside Attractions) has a whimsical tree house village connected by rope bridges that includes an actual automobile and an airplane off the ground among the trees. It’s Free with an appointment and the contact info is on the website.

    1. Joe, that is a great recommendation! I actually didn’t think of Tree Creations as a roadside attraction, but I think you’re right! They are still on my list of places to visit. According to their Facebook page, they open when leaves are on the trees, “available for visits and play from Late June until September.”

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