We seem to have a fondness for weird, odd, unusual and fun roadside attractions here in Wisconsin. For some reason, we’ve amassed quite the collection of “World’s Largest” things you can stop by and visit or take a selfie in front of.
No matter where you wander in the state, you should be able to find one of these superlatively wonderful Wisconsin roadside stops.
1. World's Largest Barber Pole - Elkhart Lake
The painted silo is more than 115 years old and the owner has been giving haircuts nearly as long.
Located at W6036 Badger Rd, Elkhart Lake, WI 53020.
2. World's Largest Stuffed Black Bear - Glidden
This 665 pound, 7 foot, 10 inch black bear was shot nearby and broke all kinds of records. He's now been stuffed and is on display. Located just off Hwy 13 in Glidden.
3. World's Largest Letter M - Platteville
The large M is on a hill outside Plattville and sits 241 feet high and 214 feet wide. It can be seen from 30 miles away. The artwork is meant to memorialize the local mining industry. Two Platteville students outlined an M in snow in 1936. It took a long time to melt and by that time, folks were attached to it. So they used limestone to lay out an M on the hill and it's been there ever since.
Located on Platte Mound, W Mound Rd, Platteville, WI 53818.
4. World's Largest Grandfather Clock - Kewaunee
The clock is 38 feet tall and was built for the American Bicentennial. For a long time it stood outside a shop in Kewaunee, but it has since been moved next to the Ahnapee State Trail head, in sight of the Kewaunee Harbor.
Located at the intersection of WI-42 and Cty Hwy E in Kewaunee.
5. World's Largest Round Barn - Marshfield
Built in 1916 to house purebred animals in 250 stanchions, it was made without the help of scaffolding. The barn is 150 feet in diameter and 70 feet high. It's a part of the Marshfield County Fairgrounds.
Located at 513 E 17th St, Marshfield, WI 54449.
6. World's Largest Soup Kettle - Laona
Seven feet across and three feet deep, this soup kettle is the manifestation of a tradition that's been around since the 1920s where folks from the community gather at Silver Lake Beach for a communal soup. They bring their own bowls and eat with friends.
Located at US Highway 8, Laona, WI 54541.
7. World's Largest Mustard Collection - Middleton
The Mustard Museum is a truly unique experience. Admission is free and so is tasting. The place has a wonderful kitschy atmosphere. Located at 7477 Hubbard Ave, Middleton, WI 53562.
8. World's Largest Talking Cow - Neillsville
Built for the 1964 World's Fair, Chatty Belle is 16 feet wide and 20 feet long. Put a quarter in her and get a full story about who and what she is.
Located at 1201 Division St., Neillsville, WI.
9. World's Largest Corkscrew - Hurley
There's not a lot of backstory for this one - it's just meant to draw attention to the liquor store it stands in front of and the owner collects corkscrews. Located at 5619 W. US Highway 2, Hurley, WI.
10. World's Largest Bicyclist - Sparta
Between the Elroy-Sparta trail and the hometown fiberglass company, it's not difficult to understand how "Ben Bikin" came to be. He's spawned a real-life version, "Little Ben" who rides around Sparta as an ambassador.
Located on Water St. in Sparta, WI.
11. World's Largest Mechanical Globe Planetarium - Monico
Frank Kovac wanted to build a planetarium immune to being blocked by a cloudy sky. This is a 22-foot-diameter, two-ton globe tipped at 45 degrees. He meticulously hand-painted 5,000 stars, paying attention to their relative brightness. It's only the fourth such planetarium ever built, dating back to the 15th century.
Located at 2392 Mud Creek Rd, Rhinelander, WI 54501.
12. World's Largest Six Pack - LaCrosse
These cans have gone through quite a few labels, as different breweries have used the building. Now outside City Brewery, they are actually functional and store the brewery's stock.
Located at 3rd St S, La Crosse, WI 54601.
13. World's Largest Muskie - Hayward
Located at the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame, this guy is 143 feet long and up to 20 people can fit in his mouth viewing area.
Located at 10360 Hall of Fame Dr, Hayward, WI 54843
14. World's Largest Talking Loon - Mercer
"Claire d'Loon" here sits outside the Mercer Chamber of Commerce. She's 16 feet tall and she talks to you in loon voices. She turns 36 this year.
Located at 5150 N. Hwy 51, Mercer, WI.
15. World's Largest Penny - Woodruff
The penny is a memorial to Dr. Kate Newcomb, who was a traveling physician in the area that hoped to build a hospital for the people of the Northwoods. Local schoolchildren started to collect pennies and the story blew up from there. The 17,000 pound, 15-foot tall penny commemorates her work and the kindness of the community.
Located at 923 Second Ave., Woodruff, WI.
16. World's Largest Badger - Birnamwood
In the 1970s and '80s, this large badger was the mascot of Badger Country gas station. You literally drove into a large, hollowed out log to fuel up, beckoned there by this 40 foot Badger. The gas station eventually closed and then began a new life as a gentlemen's club, so part of this Badger has been relocated and is a memory of a different time.
Located at 923 Second Ave., Woodruff, WI.
Have you ever made the trek to one of these World’s Largest things? Are we missing any others around Wisconsin?