Some people have traveled around the world to visit remote villages, the seven wonders of the world or the world’s great masterpieces without ever taking note of what’s right in their “backyard.” Washington State boasts of great natural beauty and its own unusual sights worth more than a second look. Here are the best roadside attractions that the Seattle area has to offer.

Hat n’ Boots; Credit, Jenise Silva

Hat n’ Boots
6430 Corson Ave. S,
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 684-4075
www.seattle.gov/parks

This famous landmark currently delights passers-by and visitors to Georgetown’s Oxbow Park in south Seattle. Originally built as a gas station called the Premium Tex in 1954, the whimsical structure’s hat (which served as the office) is 19 feet tall and 44 feet wide. The cowboy boots were once the cowboys’ and cowgirls’ bathrooms. After falling into disrepair, the community council raised funds to help restore the beloved landmark, and in 2003, it was sited at Oxbow Park which has a splendid lawn perfect for picnicking and a wonderful community garden perfect for a stroll.

Northern Exposure Town
Downtown
Roslyn, WA 98941
www.ci.roslyn.wa

Were you a fan of the quirky television comedy Northern Exposure?  While the dramedy was set in the fictional town of Cicely, Alaska, the exteriors were filmed in Roslyn, Washington. Just a short drive from Seattle, downtown Roslyn offers raving fans and curiosity seekers alike an opportunity to glimpse places featured in the series such as the KBHR radio station, Cicely’s Main Street, Ruth-Anne’s store and the postcard worthy Roslyn’s Cafe camel mural at Penn and 2nd. While you’re in the area, you may as well spend the night at the luxurious but family-friendly Suncadia and drop by the famous Carek’s Meat Market to get a jerky fix for your road trip back home.

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The Fremont Troll 
N. 36th St.
Seattle, WA 98119
fremont.com

The Fremont troll sits wedged under a bridge just like the one in the popular fairy tale, Three Billy Goats Gruff. The twenty-five year old two story sculpture is a wonderful example of community activism at work. When dealings under the bridge were deemed undesirable by neighborhood residents, the community launched a contest to repurpose and clean up the dead zone. In 1990, four Seattle area artists, Steve Badanes, Will Martin, Donna Walter and Ross Whitehead, were granted the commission to build the shiny metal eyed, VW Beetle crushing fellow to attract visitors to the area and keep ne’er-do-wells at bay. The statue (which weighs in at over 13,000 pounds) is a beloved Seattle landmark which attracts visitors from around the world. If you end up with some time to spare after snapping a selfie with the troll, stop by the Lenin Statue, the rocket and the neon Goldilocks who guards the Fremont Bridge in the self-described “Center of the Universe.”

World’s Largest Frying Pan
Downtown
Long Beach, WA
www.longbeachwa.gov

The World’s Largest Frying Pan was forged (just like the cast iron pan you’ve got at home) in 1941. It towers over tourists at over 14 feet tall, and not even the lankiest visitor could stretch across its 9 1/2 foot width. While the pan may have since been surpassed in size, it is most certainly the only giant pan to share real estate with the world’s largest spitting razor clam. Other road side attractions in the town include Marsh’s Free Museum stocked full of oddities and the Guinness-certified world’s largest chopsticks that clock in at 30-feet long.

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Jenise Silva is a Seattle based food & travel writer. She penned the financial planning guide Women & Money. The HUNT travel guides for Seattle and Vancouver and is a regular contributor to a number of online publications. Her work can be found at CitySearch, Seattle Refined, TravelSages and Examiner.com.

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