World's Largest Artichoke: Castroville, Calif.
10 of the World's Biggest Roadside Attractions

The World's Largest Artichoke measures 20 feet and heads the Artichoke Festival in Castroville, California. Learn about this gigantic green veggie.

Down the coast a bit from San Francisco, Castroville, Calif., is the "Artichoke Center of the World," thanks to its famous Green Globe 'chokes and a $50 million local industry. The city pays homage to this distinction with a 20-foot-tall steel vegetable (built in 1963) and an annual Artichoke Festival, which named Norma Jean Baker (a.k.a. Marilyn Monroe) its inaugural Artichoke Queen in 1947. The artichoke, born from the mind of builder Ray Bei, was built from concrete and rebar as a centerpiece for a restaurant and vegetable stand complex. At 12 feet across, this artichoke, if real, would truly feed a small army.