Take a Road Trip to Check Out the Country's Biggest Pumpkins

Giant Pumpkin
The vibrant red and yellow hues of the changing leaves are reason enough to take advantage of long drives during the early months of fall. Between the pleasant, crisp air of a clear autumn day and the colorful foliage, you won’t find a more ideal time for a road trip. This season, find a friend and set off along the country’s winding back roads in search of the biggest pumpkins.

Before hitting the open road, be sure that your inspection sticker is up to date, your oil was recently changed and your vehicle is running smoothly. It’s also important to review your insurance policy before setting off on a long road trip. If you’re lacking any of the essential buffers, it’s a good idea to invest in collision insurance and the like. Compare.com can help you find the right match.

Streator, Illinois

Weighing in at 2,145 pounds, the nation’s largest pumpkin was grown over the course of 93 days by Streator farmer Gene McMullen, according to ABC News. The record was announced at the end of September by the Great Pumpkin Commonwealth officials at the annual Wine and Harvest Festival in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. It’s clear that McMullen knows the secret formula. After winning for the second year in a row you can expect that he’ll come back with something even bigger next year. Stop by his farm this year to see the hefty orange vegetable for yourself!

“Make a pit stop in the pumpkin capital of the world.”

Morton, Illinois

Before leaving Illinois, make a stop in the self-named pumpkin capital of the world. According to USA Today, Ackerman Farms grows almost 90 percent of the pumpkins in the nation. With so much pumpkin production taking place, you’re sure to find some big ones. The farm has been around since the early 1900s and offers a range of festive activities.
pumpkin road trip
Although you’d be hard-pressed to find any pumpkin farms in the Big Apple, a trip to the New York Botanical Gardens this season will lead you to some of the largest pumpkins in the country. The Giant Pumpkin Display will run throughout the last week of October, showcasing some of the nation’s heaviest gourds supplied by the GPC. The first weekend of the event will feature impressive carver Ray Villafane.

Mishicot, Wisconsin

Cruise on over to the Dairy State to partake or enjoy one of the many pumpkin weigh-offs this season. The annual Mishicot Pumpkin Fest has been a member of the GPC for five years and is known to round up some of the most impressive pumpkins out there.

Wichita, Kansas

Although you may not find the largest pumpkins at this destination, Walter’s Pumpkinfest is one of the most unique celebrations of the pumpkin. Fodor’s Travel recommended trying out the PumpGun Cannon, the vintage truck that shoots pumpkin seeds hundreds of feet in the air. If that’s not enough, bring your own pumpkin to shoot off in the Punkin Chunkin contest or travel through the festival yourself on a zip line.

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