Utah has so much beauty that we’re hesitant to ruin it with roadside attractions such as the Largest Ball of Twine or silos painted like beer cans. That doesn’t mean that we don’t want to get in on the fun a little bit, though. Here are seven roadside attractions that just might make you pull off the side of the road when you see them!
1. Metaphor: The Tree Of Utah
Karl Momen, a Swedish artist, created this sculpture in the 1980s. The “tree” is 87 feet tall, and has an inscription of the words to “Ode to Joy” by Friedrich Schiller, on its plaque. You’ll find it along westbound I-80, about 25 miles from Wendover.
2. Hole N The Rock
This attraction’s main feature is the 5,000-square-foot home that’s carved right into the rock. You can tour the home, shop at the trading post or general store and visit the petting zoo. 11037 S Highway 191
3. Thunderbird Restaurant
The original owner of the Thunderbird Restaurant couldn’t fit the words “Homemade Pies” on his sign, so he shortened it to “Ho-Made.” The fact that the woman on the sign is dressed in a super short little skirt, with her perky cleavage showing, actually has nothing to do with the word “ho,” which didn’t have the same meaning back in 1931. Seriously though...the pies ARE really good. Find it along US-89 in Mt. Carmel.
4. Dinah The Dinosaur
Dinah was built in 1958, and stood outside the Dine-A-Ville hotel in Vernal. The 40-foot-tall fiberglass dinosaur was saved when the hotel was demolished, and moved to a small park in Vernal. Dinah continues to be an iconic ambassador for Dinosaurland National Park and the surrounding area.
5. Moqui Cave
Moqui Cave once housed Anasazi people (or their food stores). Since then, it’s had a much more colorful history. It was a speakeasy in the 1920s, a dance hall in 1952, and then a tourist attraction. Today, it includes many Native American artifacts, fluorescent rocks and dinosaur tracks. You’ll find Moqui Cave just a few miles from Kanab.
6. Fort Zion Restaurant And Virgin Trading Post
Fort Zion Restaurant And Virgin Trading Post has a full-service restaurant, trading post and petting zoo. Don’t miss the homemade prickly pear ice cream! 1000 W Highway 9 Virgin, UT
7. Newspaper Rock
Newspaper Rock isn’t exactly bizarre..but it IS really amazing and definitely worth a stop. The petroglyphs were carved about 2,000 years ago and include more than 650 carvings, created by several different Native American cultures. You’ll find Newspaper Rock about 30 miles outside of Canyonlands National Park, along UT SR-211.