No matter where truckers go in the United States, they’re bound to see eye-catching roadside attractions. They come in all forms, located in big cities and small towns alike. These random but amusing stops can be fun, and many offer plenty of truck parking.
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid
GPS address: 1 Bass Pro Drive, Memphis, TN 38105
Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in Memphis, Tennessee. (Photo: Shutterstock)
Truckers who are die-hard outdoor enthusiasts will feel like kids in a candy store at this Bass Pro Shops. Besides the vast amount of shopping available, it has 600,000 gallons of water features, a swamp and the Ducks Unlimited National Waterfowling Heritage Center. There’s also an archery range, shooting range, laser arcade, and an Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl and Grill. It’s located in a transformed sports arena on the banks of the Mississippi River.
For $10 each, truckers can ride the tallest free-standing elevator in America to an observation deck on top of the pyramid. More than 3 million people visited Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in the first year after it opened in April 2015.
The parking lot is massive. As soon as drivers go under the “Welcome to Sportsman’s Paradise” entrance sign, truck parking is to the left, and it’s free. There’s enough space for about 10 to 12 tractor-trailers on almost any given day.
National Corvette Museum
GPS address: 350 Corvette Drive, Bowling Green, KY 42101
Inside the National Corvette museum in Bowling Green, Kentucky. (Photo: Flickr/Alberto Cabello CC BY-SA 2.0)
Opened in 1994, the National Corvette Museum is the perfect place for truckers who are car junkies. Along with a large display of more than 80 Corvettes from every era since 1953, it has an exhibit on the 2014 sinkhole that opened up right underneath the museum. The cars are housed in a 115,000-square-foot building, noted for its award-winning architectural design. Curved walls, geometric design and full-scale dioramas tell the story of the Corvette’s past, present and future.
The museum is just a quarter-mile from the General Motors plant where every Corvette in the world has been assembled since 1981.
Parking won’t be a problem. Behind the museum there’s a lot just for truckers, with space for about 15 tractor-trailers. Admission is $15 for people ages 13 to 61, and for an additional $10 each, truckers can get behind the wheel of a C6 Corvette simulator.
South of the Border
GPS address: 3346 US Highway 301, Hamer, SC 29547
South of the Border has been a landmark of the Southeast for nearly 70 years. This place has it all — a 200-foot sombrero tower, amusement park, restaurants, shopping and the country’s largest indoor reptile exhibit. There’s also Pedro’s Truck Stop (also known as Porky’s Truck Stop), which offers plenty of free parking for big rigs, as well as diesel exhaust fluid (DEF), showers, a lounge and trucker supplies. The truck stop is located right next to all the attractions. For $8 each, truckers can see the reptile exhibit.
World’s Largest Ball of Twine
GPS address: 719 Wisconsin St., Cawker City, Kansas 67430
World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. (Photo: Flickr/Lorie Shaull CC BY-SA 2.0)
No matter where truckers go in the United States, they’re sure to pass at least one sign for a world’s largest object. One of them is the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, located in tiny Cawker City, Kansas (population less than 500). This massive landmark has been growing since 1953 and now weighs nearly 20,000 pounds. Truckers can call ahead and arrange to add more twine to the ball themselves, at the Twine-a-Thon held every August.
This unique curiosity and the charming community that surrounds it make the Largest Ball of Twine worth the stop, despite limited truck parking. There’s room for about three to four tractor-trailers in a free lot just west of the attraction, but truckers can’t park there overnight.
GPS address: 2151 County Road 59, Alliance, Nebraska
Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. (Photo: Flickr/Mobilus In Mobili CC BY-SA 2.0)
Truckers can’t drive their big rigs to England’s world-famous Stonehenge, but they can make a stop in western Nebraska to see the next best thing — Carhenge. This monument near the small town of Alliance mimics Stonehenge’s circle of standing stones. Instead of massive stones, however, Carhenge is an arrangement of stacked vintage cars and trucks that have been painted gray. While Carhenge might not be as mysterious and awe-inspiring as its ancient counterpart, truckers can still see some beautiful sunrises and sunsets breaking over the horizon and through the cars.
Unfortunately, there’s only enough space for two tractor-trailers to park, but truckers shouldn’t let this discourage them from visiting this one-of-a-kind landmark. Parking and admission are free, and Carhenge is open to the public 365 days a year from dawn to dusk. About 80,000 people visited Carhenge in 2020, down from 100,000 in 2019 due to COVID.