Tuesday, July 28, 2009

World's Largest Banjo and Fiddle

World's Largest Banjo and Giant Fiddle: Branson, MO
  • Directions from Hwy 65: Take the exit for Hwy 76/Country Music Blvd. Head west on Hwy 76/Country Music Blvd. These are both located in Grand Country Inn. It will be on the north side of the street.
It took us awhile to find the giant fiddle and banjo. We were coming from our hotel in Branson, and the streets changed names many times. Luckily, I was able to find a map of attractions that I had grabbed the night before. Once looking at the map, I was able to navigate us to the fiddle and banjo. It turns out that these are in a shopping/attraction area. They are in different buildings as well. You can see the necks of both of these poking out of each of the buildings. The fiddle is in a building with a buffet and mini-golf course. We went in and took our pictures of the fiddle, and were hoping for souvenirs with the fiddle and banjo at the little shop next to the buffet. We were let down with that. We then headed over to the arcade/food court building to see the banjo. The banjo is in the middle of a "food court." There are a couple of food stands in there where the banjo sits. I did want my friend to bring his banjo to pose with the giant one, but he did not. We still got some good pictures though. I'm glad I saw these, but I don't know if I need to go back to see them again.

World's Largest Rocking Chair

World's Largest Rocking Chair: Cuba, MO
  • Directions from I-44: There are signs for this attraction on I-44, and I believe it was exit 203. There should be signs as to which way to turn when you get off of the Interstate. Make sure you head east off of the ramp, and then north onto Cty ZZ. Follow for about 4 miles.
One night this spring, my sister and I were watching TV and heard about the World's Largest Rocking Chair. The site I used to plan the stops on my trip to Dallas (Roadside America) had not added this to their website (it is now), so I had no idea this was going to be on our way to Dallas! As my friend and I were driving along, counting the miles until we reached Cuba, we saw a sign for it. It was nice to know what exit to take to get to the chair. Once we got off of the Interstate, there were signs for us to follow to get onto the road that would lead us to the chair. Somehow, we passed the chair after getting onto the road! We drove all the way through Cuba, MO to find out that we had passed it. Luckily, when we turned around, there was a billboard for the rocker. It then told us how many miles until we got there, and then a picture of the shop that is right next to it. We learned that when coming from the exit the billboard on the Interstate tells you to take, the back of the chair is hidden by many trees around the rocker. Once we saw it head on, we knew why it's the World's Largest Rocking Chair. There was no way we could climb up there and sit, not only because it was so big, but the many signs around it! Again, we took pictures of the rocker, the obligatory pictures with it, and a self portrait of the two of us in the background (which didn't turn out wonderfully). Again, this is a must if heading down I-44. There is a souvenir shop right on the grounds, however, it was not open by the time we got to the rocker.


Upon telling people where I have been in the past few years while traveling the country, many people have told me I needed to start writing a blog to keep track of where I have been. This summer I have already hit a few spots that people said I needed to share. I am going to start with the tourist traps I have seen this summer on a road trip from Wisconsin to Dallas, TX.

World's Largest Catsup Bottle, Collinsville, IL
  • Directions from I-55: Exit on Hwy 159 and head east. Take this through town. Once you've gone through downtown, there will be a giant hill you will go down. This is where the base of the tower is.

When researching this site (using Roadside America) before heading out on my trip, it seemed like it was just off of the Interstate. Pulling into Collinsville, we thought we would see it right away. We had to drive for a few miles until we called to get directions from my sister. It turns out you need to drive through downtown in order to get to the Catsup Bottle. After one turn on Hwy 159, we could see the Catsup Bottle through some trees. As we got closer, it kept getting bigger and bigger. It was amazing to see! (Maybe this is because it was our first stop on our trip, and we had been driving for hours to get here.) I had to take many pictures of it. The water tower it stands on, a close up of just the bottle on top, the obligatory pictures in front of it, and of course, some goofy ones. It also turns out they sell souvenirs at Ashmann's Pharmacy & Gifts (209 Main Street, just as you're heading back to the Interstate on Hwy 159). You can get postcards, coloring books, magnets, shirts, etc. I just started looking around, and kind of felt stupid asking where the souvenirs were. The staff is friendly, and knew exactly what I was looking for. If you would rather not look like a complete tourist, the souvenirs are to the right when you walk into the pharmacy, near the Hallmark cards. I would definitely suggest this stop for those driving through Illinois on I-55!