One of the great joys of a road trip is not the drive. It’s the stops. For a meal, a scenic vista, or, ideally, some fascinating roadside thing that you never knew was there. Whether it’s a museum full of curios or an enormous sculpted boulder, here are some of our favorite roadside attractions around the world.

Gnomesville Oatsy40 on Flickr

Gnomesville, Australia

Lawn gnomes are classic kitschy yard decorations, but most people are content to have just one of the little creatures lurking among the ornamentals. Western Australia’s Gnomesville, a collection of thousands of weird little statuettes set up on a roundabout, is a different beast. It began as a silent protest to the roundabout’s controversial construction 20 years ago: As tensions simmered, one gnome appeared. After a few months there were around 20. The collection continued to grow as visitors and locals alike came and dropped off their own little statues. Today there are thousands of them—if you visit, be sure to bring a new addition.

World’s Largest Collection of Smallest Versions of Largest Things, Kansas

Erika Nelson, creator of this one-of-a-kind museum–cum–art project, travels the United States looking for “monsters of the road” (things like the world’s largest ketchup bottle or ball of yarn). She then photographs them and makes tiny replicas of each, which she displays in a museum that is an homage to the roadside attraction itself.

Mukot Mirror Wall
Mukot Mirror Wall AO User Edwarddenny

Mulkot Mirror Wall, Nepal

Near the village of Mulkot Bazar, along a winding stretch of the BP Koirala Highway, a retaining wall is covered with thousands of small mirrors. The mirrors are offered to the goddess Seti Devi Mata as prayers to avoid accidents. A nearby temple sells additional mirrors to travelers who wish to add to the panoramic oblation. But be aware: Stopping to appreciate the mirrors is tricky, since this winding, scenic road has no shoulder. Anyone who does try to make the stop will inevitably be faced with the incessant honking of drivers warning you that they’re speeding around the bend.

La Cara del Indio, Puerto Rico

La Cara Del Indio is a roadside sculpture that welcomes visitors to the city of Isabela and the Portal del Sol region in the west of the island. Known as the “Indian’s face” in Spanish, the sculpture is a monument dedicated to Cacique Mabodamaca, a Taíno chief who fought against the Spanish in 1511 and died during the battle. Artist Isaac Laboy Moctezuma carved the cliff in 2000, with special instructions to make the sculpture look as if it had been carved by the Taíno themselves. Many believe that Mabodamaca actually escaped and leaped from the cliffs of Isabela rather than surrender.

Talking Poles
Talking Poles AO User Littlegreengirl

Talking Poles, New Zealand

Tokoroa, a small town on the North Island, uses public art to encourage tourists traveling between Hamilton and Taupo to stop and wander around. The center of town is dotted with sculptures made from local wood, each with a different motif or meaning. Many draw from the Indigenous cultures of the area, such as Kō Te Ngira (The Needle), representing God the creator; Life Force, representing the soul; and Ngā Iwi Nunui Katoa O Tokoroa, a harmonious rainbow.

Lion’s Head, Philippines

Kennon Road serves as an important artery to Baguio City, sometimes called the summer capital of the Philippines. This mountainous region is punctuated by large boulders and when the road was first built, passersby observed a particular limestone outcrop that resembled a lion’s head. In the late 1960s, a local club decided to make that resemblance more literal. Sculptor Anselmo B. Day-ag carved into it a feline shape, with a large mane and open mouth. Unveiled in 1972, the Lion’s Head measures 40 feet in height. Right now it is painted in shades of gold, black, and brown—though at various points over the years it has carried other colors.

The Cartoon Saloon
The Cartoon Saloon AO User Nativtxn

The Cartoon Saloon, Texas

The Cartoon Saloon in Comfort is a tiny little place off the side of the road that is open to all. It’s not technically a saloon—it only looks like one from the outside—but it is very welcoming to visitors. Inside you’ll find a Lone Star Beer Christmas tree, walls full of cartoons (hence the name), and beer cans signed by past visitors. When the owners are there, there’s beer, water, and sometimes liquor in the refrigerator. Take what you need and leave a (generous) donation.

Mamoru-kun Patrolmen, Japan

In Miyakojima, Japan, in the 1990s, the local traffic safety association tried a slightly new strategy for traffic control: They set up five policeman-like figurines at various crossings around the island. These were known as Mamoru-kun patrolmen, and more have followed over the last 30 years. Originally these figurines were considered kimo (creepy), but recently Mamoru-kun have earned something of a fanbase. With their popularity rising, you can now find Mamoru-kun cookies, soft drinks, and more.

Olmec Head Roundabout
Olmec Head Roundabout AO User Luis Morato

Olmec Head Roundabout, Spain

A large head perched atop a stepped pyramid keeps an unblinking eye on drivers as they whirl around a traffic circle in Madrid. The odd sight looks like it should be behind glass in a museum, not plopped outside and encircled by a steady stream of cars. The looming roadside structure is an exact replica of an Olmec head known as “Colossal Head 8,” which was carved sometime between 1200 and 900 B.C. This version was made in 2005 by Mexican sculptor Ignacio Pérez Solano, and donated by the Mexican state of Veracruz in 2007.

Lee’s Legendary Marbles, Nebraska

Entering Lee’s Marble Museum, the first thing visitors will notice is hundreds of marble-filled jars lining the walls. All around the museum, display cases show off specific marbles, methodically organized by category. Owner Lee Batterton is always willing to show visitors around what began as a personal collection, which he began sharing with the public in 2001. While Batterton has plenty of what he calls “cheaper baubles” for anyone seeking a souvenir, he also sells rare and antique marbles to serious collectors.