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roadside attractions posts

Meramec Caverns: The Coolest Attraction On Route 66

Jun 20th, 2012 at 11:00AM: If you want to beat the heat this summer, there's no better way to do that than to explore a cool and beautiful cave. Missouri is one of the best states to see them. A combination of lots of limestone and plenty of water has honeycombed the state with some 6,000 caves, from tiny little crawl spaces to grand and glorious show caves. One of the most popular is Meramec Caverns in Stanton,...

Photo of the Day - Route 66 Signage

Photo of the Day - Route 66 Signage Oct 30th, 2011 at 6:00PM: Route 66, the legendary roadway of American lore, may be no more, but ghostly vestiges of its existence still remain. Take the lovely stretch of retro hotel signs in Albuquerque New Mexico - part of the old Route 66 route. Just off the University of New Mexico campus, you'll find a scattered collection of these aging neon beauties, sprouting like weeds among discount furniture stores,...

The Country's Biggest Tourist Trap: South of the Border

The Country's Biggest Tourist Trap: South of the Border Jul 15th, 2011 at 9:30AM: There is a tourist trap in South Carolina called South of the Border. A combination truck stop, motel, roadside attraction, carnival and snack stand, it's high kitsch of the first order, bordering on exploitative with its stereotypically Mexican "mascot" Pedro. A couple days before the Fourth of July, when I drove through, it's also a bonanza for fireworks, all manner of which are legal in...

Six roadside attractions made out of salvaged materials

Six roadside attractions made out of salvaged materials Jul 12th, 2011 at 2:00PM: The most famous example of a compulsive building project is the Winchester Mystery House, a 160-room Victorian mansion in California that was continuously under construction for 38 years. But not all people who build obsessively have the funds of a widowed gun magnate, and unlike Sarah Winchester not everyone is propelled by a need to appease spirits. Like the Winchester Mystery House, the...

The Ultimate Road Trip Detour: Go Kart Racing?

The Ultimate Road Trip Detour: Go Kart Racing? Jul 11th, 2011 at 11:30AM: At the outset of this road trip, I invited friends and readers to jump in the car with me. After more than a month on the road, one of my buddies finally took me up on the offer, planning to meet me in Virginia Beach after I toured Colonial Williamsburg. I've known Rob for more than 10 years, and while we get along wonderfully, we love competition. So it being a road trip, there was no...

The good, the bad and the tacky: Six things to do in Branson, Missouri

The good, the bad and the tacky: Six things to do in Branson, Missouri Jun 23rd, 2011 at 6:00PM: It was mostly curiosity that led me to one of America's favorite destinations: Branson, Missouri. I had heard the tiny town in the middle of the Ozarks was famous for its over-the-top roadside attractions and had more theater seats than Broadway, but I wanted to see first hand what could possibly bring in over 8 million people per year. So off I went. It didn't take long for me to figure...

Gas stations: then and now

Gas stations: then and now Mar 1st, 2011 at 3:00PM: Once upon a time, gas stations gave away all kinds of cool stuff, most of it targeted at kids. As a child of the 70's, I clearly recall of our Exxon "NFL Helmets" drinking glass collection, and my miniature Noah's Ark collectible series (What genius ad team decided that was the perfect gas station promo?). The point is, these giveaways worked. My parents would bribe me not to annoy my older...

Heading to West Virginia? Hit Hillbilly Hotdogs - Road trip tip

Heading to West Virginia? Hit Hillbilly Hotdogs - Road trip tip Mar 29th, 2010 at 6:40PM: Traveling through West Virginia? Why not check out the finest "redneck diner" you'll ever encounter? Just don't take the Homewrecker Challenge on a full stomach. If your travels take you through West Virginia, and you happen to be in the vicinity of Huntington, check out Hillbilly Hotdogs. It's a small diner decorated in what the owners affectionately call "redneck chic." The dining area...

Gadlinks for Monday 9.14.09

Gadlinks for Monday 9.14.09 Sep 14th, 2009 at 7:00PM: In keeping with the Weird America theme today on Gadling, here are some weird travel reads for you, this glorious fall (it is fall, right?) Monday. Let's face it. These ten roadside attractions are just plain odd. [via Matador Trips] If this story were to take place in America, it may not be that weird, but in Papua New Guinea it's just plain strange. [via True Slant] I'll admit it. Ever...

Gadlinks for Monday 8.3.09

Gadlinks for Monday 8.3.09 Aug 3rd, 2009 at 6:02PM: This Monday, and the first week of August, begins with an apology. It's been nearly a week since our last installment of Gadlinks, and it's all my fault. I celebrated my 31st birthday on Wednesday, and have since been in a car, traveling between Seattle and San Francisco. Here at Gadling we are celebrating roadside attractions and undiscovered America, so it seems only appropriate to provide some...

Roadside attractions along the Pacific Coast Highway

Roadside attractions along the Pacific Coast Highway Aug 3rd, 2009 at 4:00PM: I just completed a whirlwind tour of the Pacific coastline this past week and within a few days I got a taste of some pretty eye-popping roadside attractions along Route 101. While most of the sights I discovered were pretty kitschy, there were other natural wonders that inspired at least one or two ooo's and ahh's. While I'd like to say I drove the whole thing, I have to admit that I was only...

Great American Road Trip: The Corn Palace

Great American Road Trip: The Corn Palace Aug 3rd, 2009 at 3:30PM: It took three trips through South Dakota before we made it to The Corn Palace, a mecca of sorts in Mitchell, a town that seems as if it might be in the middle of nowhere. The middle of nowhere is a significant detail. Back in 1892, settlers to South Dakota wanted to showcase the harvest bounty of the state and attract people to the area. If you've driven through South Dakota in this decade--it's...

Take a star-studded vacation the sneaky way

Take a star-studded vacation the sneaky way Aug 3rd, 2009 at 3:00PM: On Location Vacations is a website which tells you where the movies are shooting -- like, exactly. People from crew members to extras to locals send in tips to the site to give you the locations of on-location movies, TV sets, and more. The tab Daily Filming Locations is very well kept-up and features a detailed list of filming locations every weekday, as well as upcoming shoots they know about...

Roadside California: World's Largest Artichoke

Roadside California: World's Largest Artichoke Aug 3rd, 2009 at 1:30PM: What else are you going do when you come to the "Artichoke Capital of the World" (as the sign to Castroville, California boasts)? Two things: take a photo next to the World's Largest Artichoke and sample all-things-artichoke. The giant artichoke sculpture is quickly visible once you get off Highway 156, just north of Monterey. Built in 1963, it's made of concrete and rebar and stands 20 feet tall...

Have you seen. . .The Thing?

Have you seen. . .The Thing? Aug 3rd, 2009 at 11:30AM: As you drive through the desert along I-10 you see them--garish signs beckoning you to explore the mystery of "The Thing?" The signs are everywhere, 247 of them stretching from Arizona to Texas. The journey is long and boring, punctuated only by bad country music and Born-Again preachers on the radio. Finally you make it to Exit 322 at Dragoon, Arizona, and see the cheap yellow, red, and blue...

Hole N" the Rock in Utah, one-of-a-kind-roadside must see

 Hole N Aug 3rd, 2009 at 10:30AM: There's Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota that pays tribute to one man's vision of turning solid rock into the faces of U.S. presidents. And there's Hole N" the Rock in Utah--one man's vision to turn a rock into a home and a gift shop. Not far south of Moab, Utah on U.S. 191, along gorgeous red rock cliffs that glow almost neon against the blue sky, you'll see billboards that shout out statements like...

Top 5 favorite roadside stores and attractions

Top 5 favorite roadside stores and attractions Jul 2nd, 2009 at 2:30PM: There are roadside stores and attractions that are worth driving to. In some cases towns wouldn't exist unless it wasn't for the store. With the bounties of kitsch, confections, food, and often an array of items that offer endless possibilities of items to buy--or wonder who in his or her right mind would buy such a thing, some places are hard to resist. According to the reader survey conducted...

Can you finish the world's largest burger?

Can you finish the world's largest burger? Aug 18th, 2008 at 11:30AM: Have you ever heard of Clearfield, Pennsylvania? Neither have I. But it's not much of a detour off Interstate 80, right in the center of the state, and the little town has a pretty amusing claim to fame. Denny's Beer Barrel Pub in Clearfield is the home of the world's largest hamburgers. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, here is where you'll find the "largest hamburger commercially...

World's largest kaleidoscope near Woodstock, New York

World's largest kaleidoscope near Woodstock, New York Jun 5th, 2008 at 10:30AM: While on a road trip, you've probably passed many an attraction that you've wondered about. Perhaps, you've thought, "Should I stop?" but didn't because there's that feeling of getting sucked into a tourist trap that's not worth the effort of pulling over and parking. The Kaatskill Kaleidoscope is one that is worth the effort, if you happen to be on your way to Woodstock, New York, or to the...

World's largest penguin in a mighty cold spot

World's largest penguin in a mighty cold spot Jan 16th, 2008 at 1:00PM: The world's largest penguin is in Cut Bank, Montana. I passed by this penguin summer before last when we were heading to East Glacier. It was one of those occasions where our thoughts were on our destination without much time to spend on the areas we were zipping by in our quest for a relaxing time. I do remember a flash of the penguin and thinking, "I wonder what's up with that?" I had hoped we...

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