How many “World’s Greatest” attractions have you seen in Iowa?
The state of Iowa is home to all kinds of weird and unique sightseeing stops and tourist attractions. There are some that you’ve probably spotted before, but others that you’ve never even heard of!
Thanks to the sites Only in your state, Olio in Iowa, and America roadside, I’ve put together a list of 10 of the world’s greatest attractions that Iowa is home to. Let’s see how many you have spotted during your travels!
Built in 1963, the world’s largest bull is located in Audubon, Iowa. His name is Albert, he is 28 feet tall and weighs 45 tons! According to Facebook, Albert was created as “A tribute to Operation T-Bone, as well as to the state and nation’s beef industry.” It is made of concrete and recycled windmills.
Pocahontas, Iowa is home to a 25 foot tall statue of Pocahontas designed by a taxidermist / sculptor named Warren Ballard. Also known as “The tallest Indian girl in the world”, the concrete statue has welcomed people to the city since 1956.
The world’s largest strawberry sits on a pole outside City Hall in Strawberry Point, Iowa. The sculpture is 15 feet tall and is made of fiberglass. It was designed by a local advertising agency and has been an integral part of the city since the 1960s.
Sac City, Iowa created the world’s largest popcorn ball on Saturday, June 18, 2016. According to the county website, “The recipe consisted of 2,300 pounds of popcorn, 2,500 pounds of dry syrup mix, and 4,900 pounds of sugar with just enough lecithin additive to hold it together.” With the help of volunteers, the final product lasted over 16 hours and weighed 9,370 pounds! It is now on display inside its own structure.
Elwood, the world’s tallest concrete dwarf, resides in Reiman Gardens in Ames. He is 15 feet tall and weighs 3,500 pounds! According to Olio in Iowa, “Elwood is made of an iron cage covered with a cubic meter of concrete” and “The statue was unveiled to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2010.”
Iowa not only has the largest bull in the world, but the world’s largest bullhead (the fish). The enormous catfish was built in 1958 in Clear Lake, Iowa, but was restored in 2007. It is 12 feet long and is a popular spot for a quick photo.
Stanton, Iowa is the hometown of Virginia Christine, who America roadside said was “briefly famous as ‘Mrs. Olson’, spokesperson for Folgers Coffee in TV commercials and on the sides of coffee cans.” For this reason, the city turned their water tower into a giant coffee maker. The pot is 35 feet tall and 20 feet wide and can hold 800,000 cups of coffee! In 2015 the water tower was dismantled and now sits at ground level so visitors can take photos with it.
There is, however, another water tower in town that is still standing and is painted to look like a Swedish coffee maker. It’s much smaller than the jar, holding only 150,000 gallons of water, but it’s still a great attraction for people passing through Stanton!
Iowa City is home to the world’s largest wooden nickel! It is located in a farm field off the Iowa River Corridor Trail and was built as a protest work of art in 2006. The wooden nickel is 16 feet in diameter and weighs approximately 4,000 pounds. Olio in Iowa reports that it took about 6 months to complete.
Located in West Bend, the Cave of Redemption Shrine is a religious shrine with nine caves that show the life of Jesus. According to Wikipedia, construction began in 1912 by a German immigrant named Father Paul Dobberstein and lasted 42 years. The site reports that “The estimated value of the rocks and minerals that make up the cave is over $ 4,308,000.”
And finally, we have the world’s largest truck stop in Walcott, Iowa. Built in 1964, the official website says that the truck stop houses “eight choices of restaurants, a convenience store, a gift shop, a Super Truck showroom, a hair salon, a chiropractor, a dentist, a movie theater, a workout room, a laundromat, gas, diesel fuel center, truck service center, Truckomat truck wash, Dogomat animal wash, CAT Scale, 24 private showers, trucking museum and more! ” They have never closed ONCE since their doors opened!
How many of these ten attractions have you seen before? Let us know in the comments!
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