The weirdest roadside attraction in New Jersey is …
⭐ Travel site unveils the weirdest roadside attraction in every state for 2023
⭐ What is the weirdest one in New Jersey?
⭐ Neighboring New York and Pennsylvania have a couple of doozies
What is the weirdest roadside attraction in our state? Or in any state, for that matter?
As we get ready to plan our summer road trips, it might be a good idea to have a handy dandy list of some of the oddest roadside attractions in every state to visit.
Travel resource Trips to Discover did just that — put together a list of The Weirdest Roadside Attraction in Every State for 2023.
Before we get to New Jersey, let’s look at the oddities in our neighboring states: New York and Pennsylvania, first.
According to the article, the weirdest roadside attraction in the Empire State resides in Buffalo. It is Shark Girl.
Located at Canalside, the half-girl, half-shark fiberglass artwork was created in 2013 by artist Casey Riordan Millard, symbolizing the transformation of the western terminus of the Erie Canal on the Buffalo River.
The Shark Girl public sculpture appears to be sitting patiently, legs crossed, hands folded like she’s waiting for a friend to join her.
Shark Girl is so popular that many people often stop by for a selfie.
The weirdest attraction in the Keystone State is the Space Acorn in Kecksburg.
The story behind this is very cool. In December 1965, a fiery object rocketed across the sky before crashing into the woods near rural Kecksburg, according to the article. Then, 25 years later, in 1990, the TV series, “Unsolved Mysteries” came to the town to make a docudrama about the event and built a life-size replica of the UFO, known as the Space Acorn to use for filming
When the film crew left the town, the bizarre prop was left behind and now it remains a roadside attraction for tourists and UFO enthusiasts, alike.
When it comes to weirdest roadside attractions, Lucy the Elephant in Margate has claimed the title for the Garden State.
The six-story pachyderm was built in 1881 by James V. Lafferty as a spectacle to attract prospective real estate buyers to Margate, which at that time was called South Atlantic City.
Lucy has continued to be a tourist attraction since then. In fact, she is the oldest surviving roadside tourist attraction in America. So, it makes sense she would be the top pick to represent New Jersey in this article.
Over the years, the harsh marine environment and deferred maintenance took quite a toll on her appearance.
In 1969, The Save Lucy Committee was formed to raise money to move the elephant to a city-owned property a few blocks away to be restored. By 1974, restoration was complete and Lucy was once again opened to the public for the first time in 12 years.
However, since the 1970s, it’s been tough to maintain a 140+-year-old wood and metal structure. The harsh seaside environment took its toll on Lucy again with significant portions of her metal exterior being rusted completely through, exposing the wooden sheathing underneath, and even allowing water to enter the structure.
Here comes another mammoth restoration project. Originally estimated to be completed by Memorial Day Weekend 2022 at a cost of $1.4 million, work began in September 2021 with containment scaffolding being installed around Lucy to protect her from nature.
Unexpected findings delayed construction pushing the completion date to sometime in the fall of 2022. The cost to repair Lucy also ballooned to well over $2.2 million.
Through countless fundraisers and donations from those who wanted to keep Lucy alive and kicking, The Save Lucy Committee raised money to help offset the cost.
The newly refurbished Lucy the Elephant was finally reopened in December 2022.
Lucy continues to delight tourists with guided tours available. She is even available to be reserved for private dinners, fundraisers, and other special events.
Visit the website for hours of operation. Sales from the gift shop and online store, plus the guided tours help keep Lucy in existence.
Don’t forget your camera as you’re passing through the Jersey Shore town. You’ll be “shore” to want a picture with this national treasure.