The pretty backdrop of fall colors may entice you travel down unexplored roads. Ramble beyond the city and watch your kids flip out about Illinois’ kitschiest treasures, including the world’s largest catsup bottle and a remake of Pisa’s leaning tower. Flip through our photo album and discover the roadside oddities that have “family photo op” written all over them.
Leaning Tower of Niles – Niles, Illinois
The Leaning Tower of Niles was originally built as a creative way to house water tanks. It pays homage to Galileo Galilei, who was known to drop objects off the original Leaning Tower of Pisa to test his theory of gravity. Since its completion in 1934, the city has since added a reflecting pool and fountain.
Located just a mile from the leaning tower (at Milwaukee and Touhy avenues) sits a life-sized Abraham Lincoln on a couch, waiting for you to nestle in for a picture with our 16th president.
If you’re in the area, a stop at Superdawg Drive-In is a must. It opened as a hot dog stand in 1948 as a way to help the owner through school, and it still stands as the only drive-in restaurant in Chicago today. Look for the two half-human weenies, Maurie and Flaurie, standing atop the restaurant in a blaze of neon at night.
Distance from Chicago: 15 miles northwest
6300 Touhy Ave., Niles, Illinois (847-647-8222)
What is your kid’s favorite roadside landmark? Let us know in the Comments section below.
— Maria Barnes