Roadside Attractions

Monday, June 24, 2013

In honor of the Harris Sisters' upcoming girls' weekend and all sorts of summer road trips well underway all over this great land, I thought I would share with you a nifty little website we found last year about this time when we started planning our first annual girls' getaway weekend.   It's called roadsideamerica.com, and no matter what roadside attractions you are looking for, whether the world's largest ball of twine, or simply a random house of mud, this website is sure to help you in your quest. 



Once you make your way over to the Roadside America website, you will find all sorts of tools to help you plan your roadtrip around sites and attractions along the way.  There is a handy tool that allows users to plug in their beginning and ending locations, and it maps out all sorts of attractions for you that are either on your route or close by, if you aren't averse to getting off the beaten path a little.  You can also hunt for specific attractions, or report ones that you have found that aren't already loaded onto their map.  In addition, you can read reviews or create your own once you have explored one of their attractions.  

One of the other way cool components of their website is their Muffler Man map, which includes photos and locations for Muffler Men scattered all over the great U.S. of A.  In case you didn't know, Muffler Men are large sculptures that are placed along the road as advertising icons, roadside attractions or for decorative purposes, predominantly in the United States. Standing approximately 18-25 feet tall, the first figure was a Paul Bunyan character designed to hold an axe.  Derivatives of that figure were widely used to hold full-sized car mufflers, tires, or other items promoting various roadside businesses, thus giving them their name.

But let's face it.  No one knew his way around a good roadside attraction better than Clark W. Griswold.  Perhaps he is a contributor to Roadside America???  One can only hope.  So it is in that spirit that I leave you for today with the thoughtful words of Clark and his lovely wife, Ellen. 

Ellen Griswold: Clark, let's just skip the house of mud. I think Dodge City was enough fun for one day. Besides, Catherine and Eddie are expecting us.

Clark: It's living history Ellen. But if you'd rather see your cousins. Personally I'd rather see a pile of mud than Eddie.

Happy trails!


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