And those just barely scrape the surface of some of the best and quirkiest roadside attractions that Washington has to offer. Here are six others to hit as you’re making your way around the Evergreen State.
John S. McMillin Mausoleum – You have to stroll about a half-mile through a pretty forest sprinkled with gravesites to get to this oddity, but it’s well worth the walk. Nestled in the trees not far outside Roche Harbor on San Juan Island sits a circular, pillared mausoleum complete with stone chairs surrounding a limestone table. Inside the chairs are the ashes from members of the John McMillin family, one of the founding families of the town that would become Roche Harbor. There’s symbolism aplenty, too, including one broken column representing humans’ unfinished work and a winding path suggesting the uncertainty of the future.
Giant Radio Flyer — Ever wanted to slide out of a giant Radio Flyer wagon? You can in Spokane’s Riverfront Park, where a massive red wagon beckons visitors of all ages for a fun little ride.
Maryhill Stonehenge — It’s not the real one, but the full-scale replica of England’s Stonehenge high above the Columbia River is an impressive stand-in worthy of a roadside stop. Commissioned by Sam Hill in the early 1900s as a monument to honor the casualties of World War I, the monument is free to visit and affords some incredible views of the surrounding natural beauty.
Nutty Narrows — Tired of seeing squirrels meet an untimely fate as they raced across Olympia Way in Longview, Amos Peters suspended a slim sky bridge between two trees back in 1963. The bridge has been moved and revamped several times over the years, but it’s still not far from its original location — and it’s still helping squirrels make their way back and forth across the street.
The Fremont Troll — Do trolls really live under bridges? One actually does in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood. Known as the Fremont Troll, the 18-foot tall sculpture lurks under the Aurora Bridge and clutches a Volkswagen Beetle in claws.
Humongous Frying Pan — According to the Village Voice, there are at least six giant frying pans in the U.S. that claim to be the largest in the world, one of which is in Long Beach, Washington. That one’s been around since 1941 and was actually once used in the Peninsula Clam Festival.
Wagon image by Dominic Dunbar
Stonehenge image by zrfphoto