In the dog days of summer, many families are packing up the mini-van and taking a good old-fashioned road trip. These trips provide opportunities for detours to see some truly unusual things. You might want to visit the World’s Largest Ball of Twine in Cawker City, Kansas. (Or is it in Darwin, Minnesota?) Or you might check out Foamhenge, a full-size replica of Stonehenge made of Styrofoam.

But roadside attractions can be more than zany, they can be fun and educational too. That’s the goal of the museums and attractions dedicated to some of our industry’s most famous companies and brands.

The Dr Pepper Museum in Waco, Texas, gives visitors the opportunity to create their own soft drink, complete with name, slogan, logo and label.

• Pepsi-Cola was invented in New Bern, N.C., in 1898. Today, New Bern has many family activities, including The Pepsi Store where you can enjoy a soft drink at an old-fashioned soda counter.

The World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta, Ga., tells the history of The Coca-Cola Company and showcases the “Vault of the Secret Formula,” where the soda’s secret recipe is kept.

Any of these attractions are worth a visit if you’re nearby, or even a special trip if you’re not. They’re a fun reminder of the humble origins of these truly American products.