Roadside Attractions: Enchanted Forest, Fairy Garden, Arbutus Oak, Oddporium, & Love Butt

 | Uncustomary

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed my Friday adventures. Joe and I are both really into roadside attractions, unusual nonsense, abandoned structures, spooky stuff, urban myths, etc. so we’ve been scheduling an entire day every week for exploring all different types of things in Maryland and the surrounding states. I’ve been getting a lot of questions about the places we’ve been visiting, so decided to create a regular round-up feature of five more roadside-y attractions we’ve explored, and then a separate one for urban myths/spooky stuff.

My goal is for you to get to vicariously get to explore the areas, too, and if you’re able to visit to have some insight into what you can expect (and maybe some insider’s tips). Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s any way I can make this better/easier for you. And don’t forget there are Highlight reels on my Instagram for you to check out whenever that I’m always adding to!

1. Winterthur Fairy Gardens

Winterthur is over a thousand acres of beautiful meadows, trees, gardens, and woodlands. It’s the greenest place I’ve ever been! There are tons of different types of plants, but the original groundskeeper really loved green, and he kept his favorite color in style as his legacy. It was once a personal residence, but now is a place you can come to visit, tour, and explore! There are art exhibitions, activities, tours, and whimsical attractions. Guess what grabbed my attention?

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Winterthur Fairy Gardens | Uncustomary

They have a whole section of their grounds set up as an elaborate whimsical fairy garden! Holy hell, it’s incredible. When you think there can’t possibly be another part to it, there is! There’s a mushroom circle, multiple houses to go inside of, a nest to perch in, wings to wear, a tea garden to drink in, books to read, a labyrinth to mindfully walk in, a May Pole to twirl around, it’s so incredible! And there’s tons of little surprises along the way. The week leading up to this adventure, I was realizing I was craving more whimsy in my life, and then I found this place. It did not disappoint!

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Winterthur Fairy Gardens | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Winterthur Fairy Gardens | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Winterthur Fairy Gardens | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Winterthur Fairy Gardens | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Winterthur Fairy Gardens | Uncustomary

  • Location: 5105 Kennett Pike (Route 52), Winterthur, DE 19735
  • Distance from Baltimore: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Winterthur Website
  • Atlas Obscura Entry
  • Visitor Info: Closed Mondays; Open 10-5; Admission $22





2. Arbutus Oak Tree

I honestly can’t believe it’s taken me thirty years to finally find this tree! I literally drive by it three times a week, but it blends into the scenery because you’re whizzing by it at high speeds on Interstate 95! If you blink you’ll definitely miss it, and I certainly blink a lot. 😉 Once we found it, though, I can’t not see it. It’s so big and glorious!

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Arbutus Oak Tree | Uncustomary

The tree is about 320 years old, and they say that General Lafayette passed by this tree with his troops in 1781 during the American Revolution. It’s held up really well, despite being struck by lightning back in 2002. The giant branches that fell down as a result have yet to be removed, so you can see exactly where it was hit.

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Arbutus Oak Tree | Uncustomary

Apparently the tree used to be on private property, and although it still has a cute little gate around it with a plaque and a one long gravestone (really trying to figure out who that belongs to!), it’s now on property that belongs to the highway administration as it’s in between one of the busiest highway intersections in the Baltimore area (695 and 95).

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Arbutus Oak Tree | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Arbutus Oak Tree | Uncustomary

  • Location: Side of the road on I-95 S, right after the exit for 695 (exit 49) on the right hand side, before the bridge
  • Distance from Baltimore: 15 minutes
  • Patch Website
  • Atlas Obscura Entry
  • Visitor Info: Dangerous to stop on the side of the road and to climb down the hill! Use caution, get out on the passenger’s side of the car, use your hazard lights, and have a friend help you down the hill





3. Enchanted Forest/Clark Elioak’s Farm

There are pictures of a very young me at the original Enchanted Forest off Route 40 which is now just a graveyard of what once was turned mini shopping mall. But the good news is that most of the amazing fairy tale/Mother Goose themed statues and installations were able to be saved and slowly started to be taken to their new location at Clark Elioak’s Farm in the mid-2000’s.

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary

Today, the experience is so diverse that I go at least once a year! Not only are there a ton of whimsical houses, creatures, statues, and installations that will bring the stories of your childhood back to life, but there is also a wooded tree maze, a pumpkin patch, and even a petting zoo with some of the cutest baby goats I’ve ever seen in my entire life. There’s also cows, horses, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and more. Oh, and they do hay rides and train rides and you can have parties there and they do gem mining and it’s basically just the best place ever. They have a rainbow slide. Seriously. Go there.

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Enchanted Forest Clark Elioak's Farm | Uncustomary





4. Oddporium

Part of me really wishes this was a lot closer to Baltimore, but the other part of me (read: my bank account), is glad this is a “special trip” away because take my money. This place had some of the coolest oddities I’ve ever seen! Not just the classic taxidermy, crystals, skeleton keys, and haunted dolls you’d expect, but fabric swatches from serial killer’s prison uniforms, old timey wheelchairs, and fire escape maps of Tuberculosis centers! I was overwhelmed with all there was in the three jam-packed rooms.

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

The people running it were also incredibly sweet, and not only helped us with whatever we needed, but also shared that they had recently had a ghost hunter come in to read for any abnormal activity and she shared a picture with us that was taken in the back room (the one with the wheel chair in it), and there is the CLEAREST image of a man just hovering there. It was the creepiest thermal/ghost reading I’ve ever seen in my life. I was totally shaken. I can’t wait to go back.

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Oddporium Delaware | Uncustomary

  • Location: 2115 Marsh Road, Arden DE, 19810
  • Distance from Baltimore: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Oddporium Website
  • Roadside America Entry
  • Visitor Info: Closed Mondays & Tuesdays; Open 12-8 (closes at 6 on Sundays)





5. Love Butt [Art Collective]

We went to see the hilarious Love Butt sculpture, but what we found was an entire art collective! Holy crap! This is apparently where all the cool artists and hippies in Charlottesville hang out during the week, because they are making some pretty awesome stuff in this giant lot! There are stores, places to eat, and studio spaces, but there are also open installations you can play in and it seems like there are lots of opportunities for artists to get involved, create new stuff, and consistently transform the space. We had a lot of fun walking around!

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

If you’re turning down 2nd Street, it might seem like you’re driving into a regular lot. You’ll see a mural on your right, make a left and head to the far left of the lot space, and the Love Butt sculpture is against the bushes near the parking spaces.

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

Roadside Attractions Atlas Obscura Love Butt Art Collective | Uncustomary

PS – The Love Butt sculpture was originally driven across the country by Kurt Braunohler. He was the host of the parody game show “Bunk” that the Snail Mail Game Show is based on! I love full circle nonsense.

  • Location: 2nd St SE, Charlottesville, VA 22902
  • Distance from Baltimore: 3 hours
  • Second Street Gallery Website
  • Roadside America Entry
  • Visitor Info: Love Butt sculpture open 24/7; Art Collective closed Sundays & Mondays; open 11-6 (closes at 4 on Saturdays)

Here is some footage I was able to snag of each location! I promise I’m getting better about taking video! Stay tuned.


So which one of this round-up is your favorite? I can’t wait to share more of my adventures with you. Stay tuned for urban myths, up next!
Check out the most recent Roadside America Round-Up and Urban Myth Round-Up!

And if you want to do some roadside attraction exploring in your hometown, I strongly recommend checking out Atlas Obscura and Roadside America.