Roadside finds can spruce up any road trip! Take a drive through Georgia to check out the most unusual roadside attractions the state has to offer.
From the world’s first Coca-Cola wall sign to a residential castle, Georgia has some really interesting roadside attractions. Here are a few of the oddest roadside attractions in Georgia that are worth a detour on your next road trip.
Unusual Georgia Roadside Attractions
1. The Big Chicken
The Big Chicken is Marietta’s favorite landmark and is one of the most unusual restaurants in Atlanta. Locals like to use the Big Chicken as part of their directions (“turn right at The Big Chicken”) and airplane pilots even use it as a landmark when landing.
Built in 1963 for a restaurant called Johnny Reb’s Chick-Chuck-‘N’-Shake, the 56-foot-tall steel-sided chicken structure, designed by Georgia Tech architectural student, changed ownership to a man who turned the restaurant location into a KFC franchise.
Inside it’s just a regular KFC.
2. Cagle Castle
I love a good castle, so I was so excited to find a castle near Atlanta!
Cagle Castle is an impressive private residence located off of Hwy 140 in Alpharetta, Georgia. The castle was built in the 1960s and 70s and features turrets, a moat that is the continuation of the backyard swimming pool, and 3 drawbridges.
The entry gates are adorned with over-sized garden gnomes, and more gnomes and clownish figures can be seen decorating the property.
As this is a private residence, stick to the sidewalks for picture-taking. There is a dirt turn off on the side street where you can park your car without blocking traffic.
3. World’s First Coca-Cola Wall Sign
I love anything Coca-Cola related, so I just had to hunt down this sign!
First painted in 1894 by Coca-Cola syrup salesman James Couden, the Coca-Cola advertisement on the side of Young Brothers Pharmacy is considered the world’s first outdoor Coca-Cola sign. After that, wall signs began popping up all around advertising Coca-Cola.
The sign has been repainted several times but was restored to its original look in 1994. They had to remove 25 layers of paint to get down to the original sign!
Inside Young Brothers Pharmacy, you can find lots of great Coca-Cola memorabilia.
Pro tip: For the perfect photo op, visit the sign in the morning as the sun illuminates the bright red and white sign from the east.
4. Friendship Plaza — World’s Only Creditor Monument
Just across the street from Young Brothers Pharmacy is Friendship Plaza. The plaza features the only monument known that was erected by a debtor to honor his creditors.
Mark Anthony Cooper, the “Iron King of Georgia”, founded the city of Etowah and established the Etowah Manufacturing and Mining Company on the banks of the Etowah River near Cartersville. The operation soon became a massive industrial complex and Etowah’s four mile rail line along the banks of the Etowah River, connecting the industrial complex to the main line of the Western & Atlantic Railroad.
But in 1857, Cooper experienced financial difficulties and went $100,000 into debt. Cooper elicited the help of 38 friends to get out of debt and save his enterprise. When the debt was repaid in 1860, he erected a monument of friendship and thanks, with each name of his benefactor inscribed on the monument.
5. Home-Made Statue of Liberty and Liberty Bell
A lot of small towns in the South are very patriotic, but McRae, Georgia is taking it to a whole new level with their miniature home-made Statue of Liberty and home-made Liberty Bell.
In 1986, the Lions Club of McRae celebrated the Statue of Liberty’s 100th anniversary by building a replica of the Statue of Liberty and the Liberty Bell.
Made completely from recycled materials, this Mini Lady Liberty stands 1/12 to scale. Her head was carved of a stumped pulled from a swamp, her arm is made of Styrofoam, and her hand is made of an electrician’s glove. But she looks so pretty, you’d never know.
The Liberty Bell replica was re-purposed from the old town fire bell, which the Lions Club of McRae cracked themselves. Such attention to detail!
I absolutely love that this small town has committed to well-designed, eco-friendly art!
6. Titan I Missile
Most people aren’t used to driving down the road and seeing a missile jutting into the sky (I, however, am pretty used to the site since I was born and raised in Huntsville, Alabama, the Rocket City). So this nuclear missile on the side of the interstate in Cordele, Georgia can come as quite a shock.
When I-75 opened, the town of Cordele wanted a landmark that was eye-catching and would draw in motorists. The local Rotary Club’s president and missile enthusiast John S. Pate, Jr. convinced the U.S. Air Force to donate the decommissioned missile, and they erected the town’s unique landmark in 1968.
Titan rockets were originally built as intercontinental ballistic missiles intended to carry nuclear warheads up to 10,000 miles. They were later commissioned by NASA to launch the two-man Gemini space capsules in the 1960s.
7. Milltown Murals
Murals are all the rage nowadays, and you can find them in cities all across the world. But Lakeland, Georgia had murals before it was cool.
Lakeland is a Georgia Historical Mural City. But before it was Lakeland, it was the Roaring 20s and the city was known as Milltown.
In 1998, 73 years after the name changed, Ralph Waldrop and Billy Love painted the first murals commemorating life-sized figures of local citizens from the 1925 era of Milltown.
As you drive the main streets, you’ll find Milltown’s residents reading newspapers, chatting, and waiting for the train. And it’s a comfort to know that no matter how much older you get, the people in this town will always stay the same.
8. Eastern Continental Divide Monument
What even is the Eastern Continental Divide? Put simply, the Eastern Continental Divide separates rivers and streams flowing to the Atlantic Ocean from those flowing to the Gulf of Mexico.
On the Town Green of Duluth, Georgia sits a small obelisk with a dividing line down the middle and arrows pointing out on either side; water on one side of the dividing line flows to the Atlantic Ocean, while water on the other flows to the Gulf of Mexico.
That’s all there really is to it.
9. Twisted Guy
Twisted Guy is a homemade, hillbilly version of a Muffler Man.
Though he can’t truly be classified as a Muffler Man, poor thing, he serves the same purpose — attracting attention to his business. Twisted Guy stands on a pedestal at 4600 Buford Hwy in Norcross, Georgia in front of an auto salvage yard.
Our GPS was about half a mile off at pinpointing his location for some reason. But I spotted him waving at us as we passed him by and we were able to turn around and give him a closer look.
10. Subdivision Stonehenge
West of Athens, Georgia, the Subdivision Stonehenge sits on the side of an access ramp in the median of The Ave.
Even Roadside America, my go-to source for the bizarre, can’t confirm Subdivision Stonehenge’s origins.
But legend has it that this stonehenge was built in the 1990s for a now defunct subdivision in another location named “Stonehenge”. Recreating the actual Stonehenge for the entrance to the subdivision was an obvious choice for the developers.
But when that subdivision failed, the stonehenge was moved to its present location “for its own safety,” whatever that means. Now the ruins are just a circle of rocks with fading paint and the word “Stonehenge” written across the top, inexplicably guarding the entrance to another neighborhood.
Georgia’s Lost Roadside Attraction: The Georgia Guidestones
Note: The Georgia Guidestones were demolished in July 2022. You can see a model of the Guidestones at the free Elberton Granite Museum.
What’s a stonehenge without a conspiracy theory? In the 1970s, a mysterious stranger going by the name of R.C. Christian approached the tiny town of Nuberg, Georgia with a model of his stonehenge in a shoe box, $50,000, and detailed instructions.
He left the money in a local bank, gave the citizens of the town his instructions, and vanished without a trace.
Following his instructions, the people of Nuberg erected The Georgia Guidestones in 1980 on the highest point in the county, an elevation of 750 feet, using granite quarried from Elberton, the “Granite Memorial Capital Of The World.”
Georgia Guidestones’ Guidance
The top stone was carved on the four sides in Egyptian Hieroglyphics, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Babylonian Cuneiform, the inscription reading: “Let these be Guidestones to an Age of Reason.” On the four upright slabs were “Ten Commandments” for the coming “Age of Reason” written in eight different languages.
The guidestones offered some questionable guidance, depending on how you interpret them, which made them great fodder for conspiracy theorists. The monument was also rumored to have a time capsule, but the dates were blank, and after the monument’s destruction, officials found nothing.
The Georgia Guidestones also had some interesting astronomical features, including an angled hole through which you could find the North Star, a horizontal slot that indicated the annual travel of the sun, and a sunbeam channel through the capstone that marked noontime throughout the year.
Who knew you could do so much with a pile of rocks?
Destruction of the Georgia Guidestones
Basically, some people thought the Georgia Guidestones were evil. They were vandalized many times over and had been the site of the some questionable gathering. The far-right Republican candidate for governor in 2022 deemed it “satanic” and vowed to have it destroyed it if elected.
On July 6, 2022, someone set a bomb off at the stones, destroying one of the columns and cracking the capstone. County officials removed the rest of the stones that day as they were unstable and a safety hazard. No one has been arrested yet. And interestingly, no mention of a time capsule.
The remains of the monument are kept by the Elberton Granite Association in an unknown location. You can see a model of the Guidestones at the free Elberton Granite Museum.
Georgia Roadside Attractions Map
Ready to see all of these odd roadside attractions in Georgia? Use the map below to plan out your road trip!
I hope you found this guide to Georgia’s kooky roadside attractions helpful! Now go off and enjoy your Georgia road trip!
More Georgia Itineraries
Ready to explore even more of Georgia? Check out these top posts below:
- 10 Charming Small Towns in Georgia You Need to Visit
- 10 Incredible Winter Destinations in Georgia
- 10 Incredible Spring Destinations in Georgia
- 10 Exciting Summer Destinations in Georgia
- 10 Incredible Fall Destinations in Georgia
Ready to explore Georgia? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book Your Flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find Accommodation: You can find top hotels in Georgia using Expedia.
- Start Packing: Check out my packing list resources so you’re prepared for your trip.
Have you visited any of these unusual roadside attractions in Georgia? Let me know in the comments!