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Worldly Roadside Attractions

Check out the wonders of the world without using your passport. Besides Nashville's Parthenon, several sites across North America re-create exotic destinations from distant continents.

Alliance, Neb.

Sculptor Jim Reinders has brought to the Nebraska plains the ancient English monument of Stonehenge - well after a fashion. Carhenge uses 38 automobiles, some stacked on top of each other, to capture the scale and dimensions of the original stone circle. The site also includes the Car Art Reserve, a collection of sculptures using automobiles as a medium.

The Kingdom of Oyotunji African Village
Sheldon, S.C.

Explore some African culture inside American borders. The Kingdom of Oyotunji African Village in South Carolina preserves the customs and traditions of the Yoruba people in southwest Nigeria. Daily tours are available and the village hosts African festivals year round.

The Leaning Tower of Niles
Niles, Ill.

If a trip to Italy is not on your agenda, you can still see a half-size replica of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Niles, Ill. Built more than 600 years after the original, the structure supports arches illuminated by hundreds of lights every evening.

The Hjemkomst Center
Moorhead, Minn.

Created to commemorate the region's Nordic heritage, the The Hjemkomst Center houses a seaworthy replica of a Viking ship and a traditional stave church, modeled after the Hopperstad Church in Vik, Norway. The center has several temporary and permanent exhibits.

Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Vancouver, Canada

Artisans and much of the building materials were brought from the East to create the Dr. Sun Yet-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The grounds have year-round activities and tours as well as special events celebrating Chinese culture.

Las Vegas, Nev.

If re-creations of worldly destinations are what you are looking for, no place brings it all together quite like Las Vegas. Casinos such as Paris Las Vegas, New York-New York, Imperial Palace and Venetian combine the gaming experience with the feel of exotic locales.

Web Resources

For a list of interesting sites in unconventional destinations, Roadside America has a state-by-state guide to unique attractions as well as travel news and tips.