It doesn’t matter where you go in our glorious country, there is always something to see and do. Since the days of the Model A and Model T, Americans have loved to get out on the open roads and highways to explore. It was in the early 1900s that roadside attractions popped up to give travelers something unique to see on their trips. Roadside attractions can be big or small, and they are usually oriented around something unique to the area where they are located. They also are a bit kooky at times, since they can sometimes take weird to an entirely new level. Here are some of the best roadside attractions in and around Atlanta.
The Big Chicken
12 Cobb Parkway N.
Marietta, GA 30062
The Big Chicken is the most well known landmark in Marietta, Georgia, and it’s located right on historic Highway 41. The Big Chicken is an actual Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant that you can eat at, but the real attraction being the seven-story chicken that rises above the restaurant. In 1993, the large chicken was restored, and now the eyes and the beak even move. The Big Chicken may be the most photographed landmark in Marietta, and inside, visitors will find a small gift shop. The Big Chicken is a “can’t miss” photo opportunity while in Marietta, and the food is pretty good too.
Atlanta White House
3687 Briarcliff Road N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30345
If you didn’t know, there is a 3/4 replica of the White House right in the heart of Atlanta. This may be a private 16.500 square foot White House that you can’t visit or tour, but you can drive by this roadside attraction and admire. This was a labor of love for an Atlanta builder as the house contains 36 rooms. There is a traditional Green Room and an Oval Office, but there are also offbeat rooms inside like a Monkey “Jungle” Room and a Queen Room, adorned in pink. This is the perfect roadside attraction to take a drive by while in Atlanta.
Millennium Gate (Arch)
395 17th St.
Atlanta, GA 30363
Drive right through the popular entertainment and shopping district Atlantic Station in Atlanta, and you will gasp as you see a huge replica of the Arch de Triumph. It’s actually called the Millennium Gate as Atlanta was once known as “Gate City.” The Arch in Atlanta is also a museum with an attached exhibition and events center. This is a great photo op, and the museum is worth a visit as it houses exhibits featuring Georgia history and a celebration of the Olympic Games.
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2879 S. Main St.
Kennesaw, GA 30144
If you can get over the “wow factor,” the Wildman’s Shop on Main Street in Kennesaw is quite a history lesson and a throwback to early America. Owner Dent Myers is as eccentric as he is knowledgeable about the Civil War, especially the Confederacy. Inside the store, you will see some of Myers’s collection and have a chance to buy old magazines, newspapers, documents and flags from past decades. Myers also stocks goodies that you can purchase from World War I and II. Pay a visit; you’ve never seen a roadside attraction like the Wildman.
Terminus – Setting For “The Walking Dead”
793 Windsor St. S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30315
Terminus, the large industrial setting used on seasons four and five of The Walking Dead, is a must see for fans of the show and those passing through Atlanta. Located not far off of Interstate 85 on Windsor St., Terminus is private property, so don’t loiter. But you should be able to get an idea of this massive setting and snap a few pictures. Fans of the hit show will love this roadside attraction.
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Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer in Atlanta and he loves covering anything sports and tech-related. His work can be found at Examiner.com.