With hundred and thousands of miles of roadway in Alaska, it’s no surprise that some odd things would pop up along the way. Maybe it’s the lack of sunlight in the winter or the overly exposed amount of UV rays in the summertime that contribute to some of these bizarre roadside ideas. Nonetheless, they all offer a great story to write home about. Some hold a delightful amount of history while others have a way of making you scratch your head in utter confusion. There are so many out there throughout the last frontier, but here are 16 to get you started.
1. Batmobile, London Bus, VW Ladybus – Houston
Not only is this where you come to get your 4th of July and New Year's Eve fireworks every year, but if you're visiting Denali en route from Anchorage, you're sure to pass this odd display of super cool vehicles. Stop and take an Alaskan photo with a retro twist.
2. 97 Pound, 4 Ounce King Salmon Statue – Soldotna
On the morning of May 17, 1985, Les Anderson caught a record breaking King Salmon on the Kenai River. He passed away years ago but the wood carving statue of his great accomplishment lives on today at the Soldotna Visitors Center on The Kenai, Alaska's Playground.
3. Benny Benson Memorial – Seward
This special area representing a little boy who was 13 when he won a contest in 1927 to design the flag for the territory of Alaska. In 1959, Alaska officially became a U.S. state. You can visit this special spot by going just south of the lagoon in Seward, right off the highway.
4. Cat Mayor – Talkeetna
Visit Nagley's General Store in Talkeetna to meet the first ever unofficial cat mayor of a town. He has been described as a true tourist attraction who is full of cuteness and personality.
5. World’s Largest Gold Nugget – Ketchikan
Visit the city park in Ketchikan to take a photo with the "world's largest gold nugget." Is it real or not? That is the question!
6. Balto the Wonder Dog – Palmer
Visit the mini-train along with Balto, a 1925 sled dog hero who died from the diphtheria epidemic.
7. Last Train to Nowhere – Nome
Head 72 miles east on the Nome road and visit the ghost town of Solomon to check out this eerie train display. This train was shipped from New York to Alaska in 1903 to serve the miners. Today, it feels as though time has been frozen in motion.
8. Igloo City – Cantwell
A large abandoned igloo-like building on the side of the George Parks Hwy as you head north from Anchorage to Denali. What was originally meant to be a cool touristy hotel, fell short of code regulations and is now just a photo op on the side of the road. In the wintertime, it is pretty eerie!
9. World’s Largest Gold Pan – Nome
As you enter the small town of Nome (just a block from the Iditarod finish line) is this welcome sign that makes for a super fun photo op experience!
10. Skinny Dicks Halfway Inn – Fairbanks
Heading south from Fairbanks to Denali, you will find this wildly zany novelty store and restaurant on the right side of the highway. Due to its large sign display, you certainly won't miss it. It is definitely for adults only, however.
11. Patsy the Dog Statue – Juneau
As the "official greeter" to those coming off the docks, Patsy the sweet dog began her work serving the incoming Alaska state capital public in 1929 and didn't quit until she died 13 years later. Today, her legacy lives on.
12. World’s Largest Santa – North Pole
If you didn't believe in Santa before, you are sure to after visiting the world's largest Santa statue along with his workshop. Send a letter from Santa to a special little boy or girl and make their holiday seasonal memorably magical!
13. Hammer Museum – Haines
Located downtown (about 10 minutes from the ferry dock terminal) is this awkward little spot that might make you scratch your head in confusion. It is believed that there are 1,700 hammers displayed and about 7,000 in storage.
14. Fur Factory Atlas Statue – Anchorage
This business was established in downtown Anchorage off west 4th avenue in 1962. Oddly enough there's a huge Greek mythology Atlas statue, proudly displaying the fact that you are sure to find furs inside. So Alaskan!
15. Boat Graveyard – Homer
Head to the 'Halibut Fishing Capital of the World' and walk down the Homer Spit (on the left hand side) to see this boat graveyard up close and personal. It is odd yet incredibly fascinating. And for a small fishing community, it is perfectly fitting.
16. Mosquito Sculptures – Delta Junction
At the end of the Alaska Highway, these gruesome blood suckers are there to greet you in true "unofficial Alaska state bird" fashion.