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3 Weird Roadside Attractions in South Carolina

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South Carolina Welcome Sign

Photo: Famartin

The Palmetto State is home to many notable people and locations known nationwide. However, not many are aware of some incredibly unique spots that can be found along its roadways. For a truly bizarre and entertaining road trip experience, be sure to check out these three weird roadside attractions in South Carolina.

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UFO Welcome Center Bowman South Carolina

Photo: mogollon_1

UFO Welcome Center

When aliens decide to visit Earth during their travels (if they haven’t already), the small town of Bowman, South Carolina, will be ready. Just a couple blocks down from the Bowman Fire Department, off Charleston Highway, is the UFO Welcome Center. Created by Bowman resident Jody Pendarvis in 1994, the center is in the shape of two stacked flying saucers. Pendarvis created the center as a place for aliens to feel comfortable meeting humans and as a place where the extraterrestrial beings could pick him up and take him with them once they leave Earth. While Pendarvis has said no aliens have visited yet, he believes the TV coverage of his center has reached other worlds and that aliens know for sure to pick him up when they reach our planet.


Worlds Largest Boiled Peanut Bluffton South Carolina

World’s Largest Boiled Peanut

If you’re not from the South, you likely don’t know the joy of eating a boiled peanut. From the cast of Floribama Shore to the residents of South Carolina, boiled peanuts are a true Southern staple. South Carolinians love boiled peanuts so much that they are considered the official state snack. As such, the “World’s Largest Boiled Peanut” was built and unveiled in 2013 at the Bluffton Boiled Peanut Festival. Hannah Parrish, Clayton Colleran, and Jared Jester had the idea to build the nut to bring awareness of the delicious treat and to generate interest in the annual festival. The gigantic nut — which is more than 20 feet long — is made from plywood, chicken wire, pine studs, various forms of insulation, and exterior paint. You’ll have to stop by Cahill’s Market & Chicken Kitchen in Bluffton, which is the boiled peanut’s current home.


Tunnelvision and Busted Plug Plaza

The ultimate two-in-one roadside attraction in South Carolina can be found in the city of Columbia. There, you’ll find Tunnelvision, a large outdoor mural of a highway tunnel entrance created by artist Blue Sky. The mural is so realistic that both humans and animals have been deceived by its presence. To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the mural in 2001, Blue Sky created a second attraction called Busted Plug Plaza — a 40-foot tilted fire hydrant weighing 675,000 pounds. Originally, water sprayed randomly from the “broken” hydrant until 2012 when the pumps eventually failed. With its close proximity to Tunnelvision, you can get a photo of both pieces of art if you’re standing in the right spot!


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