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Famous Roadside Attractions

Hitting the road is a great way to see the country without breaking the bank, and while your final destination may be a must-see city, there are several off-highway attractions that are worth checking out.

Perhaps one of the most interesting things to see is the Grotto of the Redemption in West Bend, Iowa.
This massive structure is actually nine separate grottos, which make one super grotto. It is said that Father Paul Matthias Dobberstein, who immigrated to America when he was 20, became critically ill with pneumonia and prayed to the Virgin Mary to bring him back to health. According to the Grotto's website, he vowed to build a shrine to her if he lived. And he did.

Once he was well, Dobberstein relocated to West Bend, where he eventually began building the structure that is "to tell in silent stone made spiritually eloquent, the story of man's fall and his redemption by Christ, the savior of the world." Made of rocks and precious stones, Dobberstein worked on the shrine for 42 years until he died. It is the largest structure of its kind in the world.

The Grotto isn't the only attraction to take in -- there are plenty of other interesting sights to see. Believe it or not, you can feast your eyes on a paper house; a building that pays homage to corn; and a home carved out of a giant rock.

No matter where you're headed, consider planning a few unique pit stops along the way. We promise, it will make your trip that much more memorable.


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