6 roadside attractions in the Philly region

Lucy the Elephant in Margate. | Getty Images
Lucy the Elephant in Margate. | Getty Images
Summertime is the time for car trips, whether it is just a day-long excursion to a local theme park or a week-long vacation to the Jersey shore. But what can be done to help deal with the monotony of hours-long rides in the car, with nothing around for miles but the open road? Roadside attractions, of course! And you don’t need to go all the way to the old Route 66 to see them, either. There are plenty in our own backyard. On your next lengthy automobile trip, here are some unique spots that are worth checking out.
Lucy the Elephant
Margate, New Jersey

Our area’s best known roadside attraction, Lucy the Elephant, has been a fixture of the Margate, New Jersey shore for over 130 years. This makes her the oldest surviving roadside attraction in the entire country! Once home to everything from a restaurant to a tavern, Lucy now houses a museum and gift shop.
Nitro Girl
Blackwood, New Jersey

Outside of the Werbany Tire Company on the Black Horse Pike in Blackwood, New Jersey stands a towering woman proudly holding a tire in the sky. This is “Nitro Girl” and she has been a fixture of the tire company since 1965. Once decked out in traditional 1960s garb, she was given a makeover in 2007 to have the appearance of a superhero.
Tire Guy in Pink
Magnolia, New Jersey

Just a short drive away from Nitro Girl is the “Tire Guy in Pink” (who, according to locals, is her “boyfriend”). Towering over the White Horse Pike, the Tire Guy in Pink got his name from the bright pink pants that he sports. Like Nitro Girl, he is a member of the “Muffler Men” family of giant roadside people and stands outside of Royal Tire and Auto on the White Horse Pike in Magnolia, New Jersey.
Cookie Jar House
Glendora, New Jersey
On a quiet residential street in Glendora, New Jersey, don’t be surprised if you have a sudden craving for cookies. On Rowand Avenue near the Black Horse Pike, you will find a round-shaped house that looks like a cookie jar. This is a relic from the 1950s, which was built in such a shape as to withstand an atomic bomb attack. If you visit, keep in mind that it is a private residence; don’t knock on the door and expect a tour or cookies.
Grumman Greenhouse
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

When you hear the word “greenhouse,” chances are that you don’t think of the wreckage of an old airplane. Nevertheless, right in the heart of center city Philadelphia, this is exactly what you will find! Nestled between two buildings of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts on Broad Street, the Grumman Greenhouse is a working greenhouse situated in the cockpit of an old 1960s era U.S. Navy Grumman Tracker S-2E plane. It was given new life—plant life, to be specific—by artist Jordan Griska in 2011.
Giant Stethoscope and Medical Bag
Newark, Delaware

Chances are that if you are a patient at the Apex Medical Center in Newark, Delaware, you never have any problem finding what building you are supposed to enter! Situated on the medical center’s property on Stanton Christiana Road is a giant doctor’s bag, complete with equally large stethoscope. With parking surrounding the facility, is it easy to pop out and snap a few memorable pictures before heading back out onto the road.

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