Ohio Roadside Attractions

Discover Ohio’s roadside attractions featuring the weird, strange, bizarre, and unusual curbside tourist attractions that’ll have you scratching your head in wonder.

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Mysterious Marion Revolving Ball

Mysterious Revolving Ball
at the Marion, Ohio Cemetery

The mysterious “Merchant Ball” revolving in the Marion, Ohio cemetery is a two-and-a-half-ton black granite orb atop a five-foot pedestal. Tiny stone balls surround it in its grassy perimeter. There is one spot on the giant orb that was not polished – the spot that originally rested on the pedestal when erected in 1896.

The Merchant family created this gravesite in the 1890s. The smaller balls mark individual burials around the centerpiece marker. Ripley’s Believe It Or Not featured it in 1929. Why? Because the two-and-a-half-ton black granite orb was mysteriously turning over time unbeknownst to the naked eye. But the movement was obvious because the original unpolished resting spot became visible, eventually traveling to the ball’s side.

Needless to say, this strange phenomenon has become a peculiar tourist attraction ever since. And to this day, nobody has affirmatively answered the question, why? Although plenty of speculative theories and scientific analyses swirl around the enduring oddball.

Click to enlarge the map to find
the Merchant Ball in the Marion Cemetery

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World’s Largest Basket

Welcome to The World’s Largest Basket! The Longaberger Basket Building in Newark, Ohio, has long been a favorite roadside attraction. Formerly the Longaberger Basket Company headquarters, it remains a fixture in the imaginations of those who unexpectedly see the world’s largest picnic basket rise out of the treetops along Ohio State Route 16.   Map It.

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Watlao Buddhamamakaram

Watlao Buddhamamakaram is a remarkably beautiful Buddhist Temple in Columbus, Ohio 

Location: (Map It) 3624 Bexvie Ave in Columbus, Ohio

This stunning Loa Buddhist temple is nestled in the Bexley neighborhood on the east side of Columbus. The beautiful structure is amidst a sprawling park-like setting among a community of residential homes. It is a place of peace. Although it is open to the public, be respectful, as it is a place of worship. The monks were very welcoming when I parked in the Temple parking lot and asked if I could walk around and take some photos. It’s an inspiring place for those looking to reach a deep meditative state or simply relax and unwind. It’s truly an awe-inspiring site.

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Funny Tree

Hey, you lookin’ at me! …Sometimes, when traveling, you may think people look at you funny …  But when trees do it, that’s just next-level paranoia! LOL.   FYI: This tree has a naturally grown face. It’s not one of those fake faces.  Pic taken at a McD’s in Canal Winchester, Ohio.

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Hell Is Real Sign

What are the chances our car overheated here?

Where is here? The most talked about billboard on I-71 near Mt. Sterling, Ohio, on the Northbound side, known as
The  HELL IS REAL sign.

It looks like something was added to the lower right of it.
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World’s Largest Bobblehead

The World’s Largest Bobblehead is on a hill behind the Buckeye Express Diner at 810 State Route 97 in W. Bellville, Ohio. Watch closely; the head will bobble when the wind blows. The restored 35-foot-tall statue is named Chef Jacques. He spent half a century headless, toppled, and neglected after he first served at a location in nearby Mansfield. He has a close cousin, Handless Jacques, in Marblehead, Ohio. What’s with the severing of body parts for these cousins’ Jacques? 😉 Visit https://www.ohiotraveler.com/ohio-roadside-attractions/ for more fun.

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Centerburg: The Center of Ohio


Welcome to Centerburg,
the geographical center of Ohio 

In case you were wondering, the geographical center of Ohio is in the town…. wait for it …Centerburg!

And if you ever wondered what happened to the old Ohio slogan, “The Heart of it All,” it was relocated to this small town in Knox County. Well, technically, their slogan is “The Heart of Ohio.”

One day, I was going from point A to point B and happened to pass these signs. Of course, I had to pull over and take some pics to share this unexpected roadside discovery.

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Futuro Ohio UFO House

Ohio’s Futuro House is also known as the UFO House, The Flying Saucer House, The Mating Flying Saucers House, and even the Martian House. This Ohio roadside gem is at the corner of Highway 123 and Chamberlain Road in Carlisle, Ohio. Click here to map your directions.  This style of house is a prefabricated home design dating to the late 1960s by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen. Now, I’m curious, do the homeowners also prefer Dippin Dots – The Ice Cream of the Future? By the way, the “ice cream of the future” was first tasted back in 1988. Who knows, with a Flux Capacitor, this spacecraft turned home just might travel “Back to the Future” when space dot ice cream was out of this world. For more information about Futuro Houses, click here.

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Ohio’s 200-Year-Old Lighthouse

Climb the 77 steps to the top

The oldest lighthouse in continuous operation on the Great Lakes has been shining its light for 200 years to guide sailors past the rocky shores of Ohio’s Marblehead Peninsula.

Although folks may climb to the top of the Marblehead Lighthouse (and visit the museum) from Memorial Day to Labor Day, it is still a treat to see during the off-season. Marblehead Lighthouse State Park is a perfect setting for a lakeshore picnic, lounging in the grass, or walking the grounds. Come, read a book, skip some stones, and take wonderful photos at this Lake Erie gem.

The Marblehead Lighthouse is located at 110 Lighthouse Drive in Marblehead, Ohio (Map It). The grounds are open daily. Click here for more information.

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Handless Jacques Got New Hands

At the corner of Ohio State Route 163 and Harbor Cove, look closely at the nearly 30-foot Maître d’ of Marblehead, formerly known as Handless Jacques, but he recently received new large hands. He was initially located in Marion, Ohio, where he used to stand in front of a sandwich shop. Stop by 6020 E Harbor Rd. in Marblehead, Ohio, to shake his new hands. His cousin, Chef Jacques, is in Bellville, Ohio, and is said to be the World’s Largest Bobblehead.

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