One of the most unique manmade landmarks in Illinois has to be a sixteen-foot-tall shark named Grace.

Road Trip To Find Roadside Attractions In Illinois

If you enjoy doing goofy little road trips, I have a suggestion for you. Go on the search for interesting roadside attractions and take a selfie with them to post on your social media.

There is plenty of strange ones in Illinois. Kind of like this antique store on Route 66, HERE. When making a list of targets, please be sure to include Grace The Shark in Charleston, Illinois.

Origin Of Grace The Shark In Charleston, Illinois

Just like any good Marvel movie, there needs to be an origin story. Of course, Grace The Shark has one.

According to, 

Rural Charleston resident Pat Goodwin has a head start on that. The retired Charleston fire chief's lawn along Coles County Road 1200E southwest of town is home to Grace the Shark, a 16-foot tall great white that leaps, jaws open, from a meadow.

The giant lawn decoration has become a local landmark since she debuted in 2011 after Goodwin built it out of steel beams, chicken wire, paper-mâché, and fiberglass coating.

The creator of Grace The Shark came up with the idea from a giant catfish sign he saw at the place he trains for scuba diving. The sixteen-foot-tall landmark was named after his late neighbor who always enjoyed his yard decorations.

Grace The Shark Gets Dressed Up For Special Occasions

Not only is this sixteen-foot-tall shark a landmark, but it is also a yard decoration. The family is constantly changing the theme. It usually goes along with whatever holiday or event that is coming up.

For more info about Grace The Shark, HERE.

LOOK: Route 66’s quirkiest and most wonderful attractions state by state

Stacker compiled a list of 50 attractions--state by state--to see along the drive, drawing on information from historic sites, news stories, Roadside America, and the National Park Service. Keep reading to discover where travelers can get their kicks on Route 66.

LOOK: TV Locations in Every State

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