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Roadside Attractions in North Dakota
If you’re in the mood for exploring some quirky and off-the-beaten path attractions, be sure to check out some of the many roadside attractions scattered around North Dakota. The Outhouse on a Pole, originally designed to help promote a port-a-potty business, is one of the quirky attractions you won’t want to miss. The outhouse is complete with a statue of a person and a vulture hovering overhead.
See the ‘World’s Largest Holstein Cow’ in New Salem, a 12,000-pound fiberglass cow that’s become a local landmark. If you’re in Garrison, get your picture taken in front of the 26-foot long fish statue in Garrison City Park. Fans of the movie Fargo will want to get a picture of the wood chipper and see a copy of the movie’s screenplay at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center. Whether you’re driving through or staying the night at one of the bigger cities in North Dakota, don’t miss out on some of these unique roadside attractions.
Outhouse on a Pole
A quirky roadside attraction, if you’re driving along Highways 23 or 1804 in New Town, North Dakota (about an hour east-southeast of Williston), look for the “Outhouse on a Pole.” Found at the corner of Main St. and West Ave., the Outhouse on a Pole is complete with someone sitting down – and a vulture above. It was designed to draw attention to a port-a-potty business, and it does.
North Dakota isn’t known for dairying, but the area around New Salem has enough of it that in 1974 the local Lions’ Club raised money to construct Salem Sue, the “World’s Largest Holstein Cow.” Made of fiberglass, Sue is 50 feet long and stands 38 feet high. She’s visible for several miles around, as Sue is perched on a hill to boot. You can find Salem Sue off I-94’s Exit 127 in New Salem, North Dakota. While females generally will not reveal their weight, we can share that Sue weighs 12,000 pounds. The New Salem exit is about 30 miles west of Bismarck and Mandan.
Located in Garrison, North Dakota – about 45 miles south of Minot via U.S. 83 and ND Highway 37 – the 26-foot long “Wally Walleye” is designed to showcase this town along Lake Sakakawea as the “Walleye Capital of the World” (a title hotly disputed by numerous towns across the upper Midwest). But if you like giant fish statues, here you go. Get a picture with Wally at the end of Main Street in Garrison City Park. While in Garrison, look for the twin water towers marked “hot” and “cold.”
Wood Chipper Exhibit
Some residents cringed when this came on display, but with the popularity of the dark comedy movie Fargo (which didn’t actually take place in Fargo, North Dakota), the city’s place in cinematic history has been forever linked. And what better way to show that link then having the movie’s most gruesome prop on display? Yes, it’s the wood chipper, complete with a fake foot sticking out.
It’s on display at the Fargo-Moorhead Visitors Center, just off Interstate 94. Fans of the film can also check out copy of the screenplay, some ear-flapped hats to wear for pictures, and if you want a real-time reenactment of the famous accent, staff just might offer up a “darn tootin’!” or “you betcha!”
World’s Largest Sandhill Crane
Located off Interstate 94 at Exit 200 – about 40 miles east of Bismarck, North Dakota – this 40-foot tall metal sculpture represents the “World’s Largest Sandhill Crane” (no word on where the second-largest is). Her name is Sandy, in case you were curious.