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One of the great things about taking a family road trip is finding those quirky roadside attractions so you can stop and stretch you legs. Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, is one of those fun stops. I mean, who can resist a replica of Stonehenge created from old cars? We certainly couldn’t.
Getting to Carhenge
Carhenge became a possibility to us as we traveled from Joplin, Missouri, to the Yellowstone area. For our first night, we stayed along I-80 at North Platte. When we realized that it wouldn’t be out-of-the-way to stop by, we knew we wanted the Carhenge experience to be part of our road trip memories. Incidentally, we also made stops at Scotts Bluff, Chimney Rock, and Fort Laramie.
The History Behind Carhenge
In 1987, Jim Reinders created this replica–even true to scale–on farmland owned by his father. Reinders had previously spent some time in England where he learned about Stonehenge. Later, folllowing his father’s death, Reinders, along with his family, decided to make Carhenge as a memorial to his father. The site was even dedicated on the Summer Solstice in 1987.
The sculpture consists of thirty-nine vehicles arranged in the same manner of the stones at Stonehenge. Other sculptures have been added over the years, including some of dinosaurs. In 2007, the gift shop was added.
Carhenge: What to Expect
As we drove north on Hwy 87 we could see it in the distance. I imagine it’s the same feeling you get when you spot Stonehenge in England for the first time. It’s a nice area for a break. There’s ample parking, and there’s no entrance fee, so as soon as you exit the car you can begin your Carhenge adventure.
Of course, we headed straight for the main attraction.
Though there were a few other visitors on the morning of our visit, we certainly had moments where we had the area to ourselves. We had fun checking out the cars up close and creating some “artsy” photos.
Walking among the cars, you can get some different perspectives.
Be sure to look down, too.
Other Sculptures at Carhenge
After you get your fill of Carhenge, you can take the path around the area to see the other sculptures that have been added. As I mentioned before, this is a great place to stretch your legs!
The path loops you around the sculptures so you won’t miss anything. Just follow the path.
There is one sculpture that has allowed spraypainting, much like the Cadillac Ranch in Texas. We weren’t prepared for painting on this trip, and we didn’t see anyone else painting either. Perhaps you’re not really supposed to spraypaint it during your visit. I’m not sure.
The Pit Stop Gift Shop
Eventually, the footpath ends at the Pit Stop. This is a nice gift shop with clean bathrooms. Have I mentioned what a great place this is to take a break while on a road trip?
After purchasing our magnet, we hit the road again. I must admit that the road ahead from here to Chimney Rock and Scotts Bluff is not the most exciting, so this is a nice stop before you head out into endless miles of farmland where you will probably meet very few other cars.
For families who like a quirky stop on along the holiday road, Carhenge is the perfect stop!