The tallest, the heaviest, the largest—These superlatives describe some of the country’s top attractions
By Kate Silver
Want to plan the World’s Greatest Road Trip? Start with a road map of superlative sights—you know, “world’s best,” “America’s largest,” “Iowa’s tallest” and so on. From an extreme yo-yo to extraordinary cherry pie pans, we’ve assembled a list of unsurpassed attractions to guide you on the best trip of your life.
Pack the World’s Greatest Family (yours!) into your Chevrolet Equinox and settle in for the ride. Considering the fact that the Equinox offers more rear-seat legroom than any five-passenger crossover, it’s the perfect superlative vehicle for your superlative adventure. So stretch out and enjoy the scenery on your way to…
Twine Across America
You might be surprised at just how many cities claim possession of gargantuan amounts of twine. There’s the largest plastic twine ball (Branson, MO), the heaviest twine ball (Lake Nebagamon, WI) and the largest ball of twine rolled by a single person (Darwin, MN). And yet, we’re partial to the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, KS. Weighing in at nearly 9 tons, the ball of twine is actually growing, thanks to a twine-rriffic community—visitors are invited to add their own piece of twine to keep the spirit alive.
Cherry Pie in the Sky
Sitting about 50 miles apart, in Traverse City and Charlevoix, MI, are, respectively, the country’s largest and second-largest cherry pie pans. The Traverse City pan, built in 1987, produced a pie that weighed 28,350 pounds and had a diameter of 17 feet, 6 inches, setting the Guinness record. The pastry of perfection ousted the record previously held since 1976 by the city of Charlevoix, which is home to a proud pan capable of holding 17,420 pounds of pie.
There’s No Yo-Yoing on the Size Here
Weighing in at 256 pounds, it’s fitting that the World’s Largest Working Wood Yo-Yo sits outside of the National Yo-Yo Museum and the National Yo-Yo League in Chico, CA, so that visitors can admire the enormous toy and then head inside to show off their own tricks. Walk the dog, anyone?
You know you’re getting close to Shelby, IA, when you can see the 76-foot-tall steel cornstalk through the windows of your Equinox. The statue pays tribute to the town’s agricultural history, and the park surrounding it makes for a lovely rest stop for road-trippers. Continue west to Minnesota, and you’ll find that Olivia, MN isn’t just the Corn Capital of the World, it’s also home to the World’s Largest Ear of Corn Monument, a 25-foot tall corn cob sitting atop a gazebo. While you’re collecting kernels, don’t forget the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD. This bizarre yet beautiful tribute to agriculture is covered in colorful murals made from—you guessed it—corn. It’s known as the World’s Largest Bird Feeder.
Let’s Hope It’s Decaf
The city of Kingsburg, CA is proud of its Swedish heritage, and you can see that in its architecture, flags, Dala horses and the 122-foot-tall coffee pot that doubles as a water tower. Although it’s frequently referred to as “home of the largest coffee pot water tower,” Kingsburg isn’t the only city that loves extreme coffee vessels. Stanton, IA is also home to an enormous coffee pot, and so is Lindstrom, MN, both of which also serve as water towers.
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Kate Silver is an award-winning journalist and editor based in Chicago. Her work appears regularly in Spirit Magazine, Men’s Health, the Chicago Tribune and Midwest Living, as well as on Parents.com.