I've seen a few things claiming to be the "World's Largest _____" in the past few years—pistachio, teapot, cuckoo clock, orange, miniature circus— and the World's Third Largest garden gnome, but on our recent road trip we added several hyperbolic items to that list. I'm wary of anything claiming a "world's -est" title, but even if none of these things are actually record-holders in an official Guinness Book sense, they're still larger than they should be and make for interesting road trip stops.
The World's Largest Real Tire
This particular largest thing comes with a qualifier (as a lot of them do) that it's the world's largest permanently displayed real tire. The giant tire sits outside of Hester Tire in Blandenboro, North Carolina, and fits the world's largest dump truck, according to its owner, Reynold Hester. It is 14 feet high, 5.5 feet wide and weighs 10,400 pounds. This one seems pretty legit, and in fact the only tire that is actually larger is the Uniroyal Giant Tire, which isn't a real tire at all but a Ferris wheel designed for the 1964-65 New York World's Fair. It's currently displayed off of a highway in Michigan and hopefully it'll be the next big tire that I get to cross off my list.
The World's Largest Beer Stein
I happened across this while browsing one of South of the Border's several gift shops, and I can't find much information as to its authenticity. I did, however find this company selling what they claim to be the world's largest stein for $6,205—they look very similar, but the one at South of the Border can be yours for the low price of $3,500. I don't care much about beer steins, but I love its wooden display case and the hand-painted script lettering.
The World's Largest Strawberry
This should probably be called the world's largest strawberry-shaped building. The world record for largest real strawberry was broken in 2015 (ew) and the world's largest sculptural strawberry is located, fittingly, in Strawberry Point, Iowa. The Berry Patch in Ellerbe, North Carolina is a small strawberry farm, and the strawberry-shaped ice cream stand is 24-feet-tall and took five months to complete. In 2011, the construction of a new highway forced the owners of the Berry Patch to load the strawberry onto a truck and drive it to its current location. We used their bathroom (which was a single restroom with, confusingly, two toilets) but ultimately found their selection of strawberry-themed items a bit disappointing for a place that has the domain name worldslargeststrawberry.com.
The World's Largest Bureau / Chest of Drawers
High Point, North Carolina, aka the "Home Furnishings Capital of the World," has not one, but two large chests of drawers. I had to make a Sophie's Choice and pick just one, and the one above was closer to our route (mom included for scale). In the 1920s, the original chest of drawers was built by the Chamber of Commerce. In 1996 it was renovated and turned into a 38-foot tall Goddard-Townsend block front chest. Two socks are stuck hanging out of the middle drawer, although they were partially covered when we visited by a sign proclaiming that the chest of drawers is ... for sale! For just $249,000 you can get three lots, including the chest, but the "have demo quote, can handle if needed" makes me nervous for the fate of this roadside gem.
The World's Largest Operational Frying Pan
Like the big tire, this is the world's largest operational frying pan—there are at least five other frying pans in the US vying for the title of largest, including largest nonstick frying pan. This one, located in Rose Hill, North Carolina (I just realized that all of these, with the exception of the beer stein, are in North Carolina) weighs two tons, has a circumference of 45 feet and a six-foot handle. It holds 200 gallons of cooking oil, sits on 40 gas burners and has a capacity of 365 chickens. It was built in 1963 by the Ramsey Feed Company and is used during the North Carolina poultry jubilee as well as community fundraising events. It's so large that it's actually constructed of several separate wedges, and it's covered when not in use—without the signage (including light pole banners all over town) I might have never guessed that the tarp was concealing a world-record holder.