Go BIG or Go Home
What Happens When A Small-Town Family Visits The "World's Largest"... Whatever!

Help Plan the “Go BIG” Road Trip and (Maybe) Win a Prize!


Source: www.i95highway.com

There are three reasons why we’re driving from New York to Florida next month. The first is to see my family, in particular my new nephew. The second is that airfares are astronomical. (They would have to be in order to get me in a car with The Girl for 24 hours). And third, I’m hankering for a road trip adventure, with the opportunity to let the kids see some fun, maybe even educational stuff during their winter school break. I like to do what I can to keep their brains from turning to mush, since I put in so much time and effort in enriching those little sponges. If they forget to thank me when they’re grown, I do plan to remind them.

Here’s where you come in. I’m looking for recommendations on where to stop during our road trip. Particularly, I’m looking for “world’s largest” roadside attractions or other sites. For example, I’m considering the world’s largest model railroad museum in Flemington, NJ.

We’re also looking for great family-friendly places to eat, like diners, where we have half a chance of finding vegetables on the menu.

Our route for most of the trip will be I-95, with some time on I-295 around the capital and I-75 in Florida. We’re willing to veer off course up to 30 miles for a really great stop.

What’s in it for you? Well, our gratitude and a big fat online shout-out, for one. Also, everyone who provides a recommendation in the comments section below will be entered in our latest giveaway contest!

We’re offering a set of the first three books in the Wright on Time series by Lisa Cottrell-Bentley. This series of children’s chapter books are about an RV-living family who travels the USA. Each book is set in a different state with a different fun and educational theme! In addition to authoring the series, Lisa is a prolific blogger, whose sites include Do Life Right. She’s also a homeschooling mom to two daughters, who recently traveled cross-country by train and visited the world’s largest ball of twine…how COOL is that?!

Wright on Time books

The prize set includes Arizona, Utah, and Wyoming!

We’re not a homeschooling family, but the reason Lisa’s books resonate with me is that travel is one of the richest educational experiences we can offer our children. There are exciting lessons to be learned at sites like the world’s largest rotating globe, or the world’s largest light bulb at the Edison Center. There are so many opportunities to extend classroom learning when you travel, even to seemingly quirky attractions.

Never fear, there’s a second way to enter the contest. Just sign up to receive our e-mail notifications when new posts go live. All new e-mail addresses we receive from today through next Wednesday (11/24) will also be entered into the drawing. Sign up in the box in the upper right column.

Winner will be notified next Wednesday (11/24), and will be asked to provide a mailing address.  The prize will be mailed directly to them from the author, so the winner must reside in the U.S.

Thanks for your recommendations! Let’s hit the road!


Largest ball of twine

Lisa in front of the world's largest ball of twine. I'm so stinkin' jealous!



  1. Fiona said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 7:29 am

    All I can offer from our road trip to Florida is a very BIG do not eat at the wafflehouse as you cross over into Florida. It was terrifying. We did the trip in 24 hours with no stops other than food and bathroom breaks. Your trip sounds so much better, I can’t wait to read all about it.

  2. Tina said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 8:28 am

    What if you stopped at the home of your friend Tina and her crazy family. We’re at I-75 and I-285. Conveniently situated for your travels to Florida. On another note, I will give this some thought and let you know of places we’ve been. Oh, and, if you do stay over, I will personally take you to the World’s Largest Drive In, The Varsity!

  3. Jen said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 8:55 am

    Sounds like fun! I can’t wait to follow the adventure. I will try to come up with a few of the places we have stopped when we have hit some of those cities on different trips.

  4. Gerard Walen said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 9:29 am

    In Florida, world’s largest cruise ships, Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas, arrived in Port Lauderdale earlier this month.

    The world’s largest McDonald’s is in Orlando (bring earplugs!)

    The world’s largest, and controversial, Confederate flag flies at the crossroads of I-4 and I-75 just outside of Tampa.

    Unfortunately, you missed the World’s Largest Cocktail Party, which occurs each year at the Florida-Georgia game in Jacksonville.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 18, 2010 @ 11:15 am

      Thanks for the suggestions! We’ll be right near the flag, so we may check that out. I hope to get us on one of those cruise ships sometime next year! 🙂

  5. Lisa Corrado said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 9:57 am

    You might know this one depending upon where NY you live: The World’s Largest Dairy Store is Stew Leonard’s. It’s what you would get if Disney World and a supermarket had a kid. There are three locations, with the ones in Yonkers and Norwalk, CT being right off I-95. Would be great for a lunch stop as they serve prepared food and have free samples all throughout the store. Plus a petting zoo (for looking at only, no eating the animals!)

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 18, 2010 @ 11:14 am

      Thanks for the suggestion, Lisa. Coincidentally, we just posted last week about Stew’s! http://gobigorgohomeblog.com/757. We don’t live far from the Danbury location. Actually, I’ll be on the lookout for Wegman’s locations on this trip…it’s a great supermarket, too, but we don’t have any near us.

      • Lina Bedoya said,
        November 18, 2010 @ 12:37 pm

        There is a great Wegman’s in Woodbridge, NJ, right off Exit 11 on I-95! (Love that place!)

  6. November 18, 2010 @ 10:42 am

    Sadly, despite many a family road trip from Connecticut to Florida in my child hood, my dad (the former trucker) never stopped at any interesting destinations along the way. Several years ago, an old boyfriend and I stopped at South of the Border is Dillon, South Carolina, and had a cheesy-good time. We rode the elevator to the top of the sombrero, took LOTS of pictures with all the random statues around the park, and loaded up on cheap postcards. It’s a good place to stretch your legs and get silly. They have some rides, too, for the little ones.

    Also, I’m not very familiar with the east coast of Florida. I just moved back to the southwest coast. If I can find out some info for you, though, I’ll get back to you!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 18, 2010 @ 11:12 am

      I had the same childhood, Amanda, deprived of South of the Border! I think we’re going to have to stop there. I didn’t know you could go up to the top of the sombrero!!

  7. Rachel Stout said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 12:51 pm

    Richmond, VA is home to the Maymont (admission-free, but with donations requested in certain parts), which is a 100 acre “farm” (for lack of a better word). It has a petting zoo, many gardens, wildlife exhibits, an AMAZING carriage collection, hayrides, carriage rides, and a TON of other fun things to do! This is a MUST SEE in Richmond!! Here is a link to their webpage: http://www.maymont.org/Page.aspx?pid=217

  8. November 18, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    I’m in Jacksonville, FL – and know lots of fun spots in our area along I-95!

    For good diner food and local flavor – check out The Metro Diner (http://metrodiner.com) and The Cool Moose Cafe is pretty cool too (http://coolmoosecafe.net). Both are just a few miles from the interstate.

    I bet your kids (and you too) would love to stop by Peterbrooke Chocolatier (http://www.Peterbrooke.com) it’s only a few blocks off the interstate. You can watch them making chocolate and they have tasty free samples too! Their chocolate covered popcorn is to die for…trust me.

    Feel free to email me if you have any questions on Jacksonville – I’m a native 🙂

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 21, 2010 @ 10:34 pm

      You had me at “chocolate popcorn!” Thanks for the suggestions…I’m going to look into those restaurants!

  9. Frank said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 7:38 pm


    One of the “largest” things you should AVOID on your trip is the largest speed trap in America. When you shift from I-95/I-295 to I-75 in northern Florida, avoid Rt. 301, and stay out of Waldo, which apparently derives all its revenue from issuing speeding tickets on a 24/7 schedule. The sheriff and his deputies hide behind the Town Limit signs (Welcome to Waldo!) and nail anyone who fails to decelerate from 55 mph to 35 mph in less than one second. Even the AAA trip-planners will not highlight Rt. 301 on their maps, and caution everyone to steer clear of Waldo. Too bad for the nearby towns, whose small shops and restaurants rely heavily on tourist income to survive.

    Drive safely,

  10. Regina Holmes said,
    November 18, 2010 @ 8:31 pm

    Good luck! I don’t know if there is anything that is the Biggest there, but I have to say a stop in Savannah GA should be on your list. It is such an amazingly beautiful place… I recommend watching the John Cusack movie “In The Garden of Good and Evil” before you go. It was so fun to go and find the sites that are in the movie (movie is based on a true story).
    OR – for a place to stop and eat – if you like BBQ – the restaurant Sticky Fingers in Charlseston SC is amazing and worth the stop and is kid friendly!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 20, 2010 @ 9:28 pm

      Savannah is looking like more and more of a possibility! Thanks for the suggestion! My brother wants me to get him some of the Sticky Fingers BBQ sauce. I guess it must be good!

  11. Alastair G said,
    November 19, 2010 @ 6:02 am

    You could always kill two birds with one stone, and come and visit New Zealand, to see the world’s biggest bottle cap sculpture, as well as the Rugby World Cup!

    Details about the sculpture (part of Guinness World Records Day 2010) appear on my website http://www.worldrecordchase.com/records-stories/largest-bottle-cap-rugby-ball-sculpture2010.html

  12. Judy said,
    November 19, 2010 @ 7:26 am

    Twelve miles east of Fredericksburg, VA on Rt. 3 lies the grave of Stonewall Jackson’s arm. From the Chancellorsville Visitor’s Center: Today, visitors to Chancellorsville Visitor Center located inside the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park can visit the site by signing in, obtaining directions and a mandatory parking pass. You must walk approximately a half-mile walk from the gate to the plantation. From there a “Cemetery” sign directs you. At first glance nothing seems extraordinary about the farmhouse setting and the small family cemetery until you com upon the simple carved headstone (if an arm can have a headstone) simply inscribed “Arm of Stonewall Jackson, May 3, 1863.”

  13. Judy said,
    November 19, 2010 @ 7:31 am

    In Savannah, GA, one of the prettiest towns in America, you can get plenty of comfort food veggies at Sisters of the New South Restaurant, The fried chicken is truly southern fried chicken – light or dark. 2607 Skidaway Rd., Savannah, GA.

    Be sure to stop at the Florida Welcome Center for orange or grapefruit juice.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 19, 2010 @ 9:39 am

      You can never go wrong with southern-fried…anything! Matt usually brings along a portable defibrillator to places like these! Thanks for the suggestions, Judy!

  14. November 19, 2010 @ 2:33 pm

    If your route involves I-95, I recommend Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (http://www.pitstopsforkids.com/2010/05/lewis-ginter-botanical-garden/) and the attractions in Mystic, CT (http://www.pitstopsforkids.com/2010/08/mystic-seaport/)!

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 20, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

      Thanks for the suggestions! The Botanical Gardens sound great, and we could possibly see their GardenFest of Lights! Hmmm….

  15. November 19, 2010 @ 5:51 pm

    I think it’s great to take a good ol American Trip
    once in a while with family or a group of friends to explore. Road trips don’t have to be boring. You could take some stops, treat it some of treasure hunt. I think one stop you should make is to Potomac Mills Mall in Woodbridge, Va.

    Donald K Blue
    Expedition BLUE, LLC
    Expedition BLUE Motorcoach Service

  16. Mike said,
    November 19, 2010 @ 5:55 pm

    You could check out the World’s biggest waste of time at South of the Border.
    If you happen to stop at Regina’s suggested site, Sticky Fingers restaurant in Charlseston SC, please pick me up a bottle of their SC-style BBQ sauce (yellow in color). Amazing.

  17. Margie Lundy said,
    November 21, 2010 @ 10:07 pm

    Well, instead of recommendations, as we’re RVing from Florida to Maine and back this year, I’ll be watching yours! We did the northwest last year and are looking forward to the east coast.

    • Traci Suppa said,
      November 24, 2010 @ 3:00 pm

      That sounds like an even better adventure; I’ll be tracking your progress, as well! Because you have more room, there’s less chance of the kids killing each other in the back seat, which is my biggest fear.

  18. Jill Martin said,
    November 23, 2010 @ 8:01 am


    The world’s largest fresh water swimming pool is in Coral Gables, it’s called Venetian Pool. Waterfalls, coral grottos, underwater caves…it’s not only huge, it’s gorgeous! And it’s right next to your final destination of Miami (my hometown)! (And the largest hotel swimming pool in the U.S. is around the corner at The Biltmore.)

  19. Doug Rubin said,
    December 5, 2010 @ 7:42 pm

    A 1~2 hour diversion just north of Jacksonville FL, would be the Kingsley Plantation, run by the National Park Service (who generally do a great job, at these kinds of things). Combination of a historic site and a “working” plantation, the visit gave my wife, son-8 and I a sense of how hard life was on a working farm in the South. Partially reconstructed, but mostly preserved main house, slave quarters, farm buildings gave us a sense of all the work that was done to eek a living (sometimes a good one; sometimes not) from the land.
    A bit less touristy than other sites, and a little more educational, my wife picked this out as a good place to get out of the car, walk on grass, see some wildlife and learn some history in a beautiful – but also awesomely natural – environment.

1 Trackback \ Ping

  1. November 18, 2010 @ 7:02 am

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Go BIG or Go Home, Lisa Bentley. Lisa Bentley said: Help Plan the “Go BIG” Road Trip and (Maybe) Win a Prize! – http://gobigorgohomeblog.com/768 #homeschool #unschool […]