Guidelines for Tip Submission
We love to get visitor tips. Your keen eyes and descriptive powers lead to new quirky places everyone can enjoy in the RoadsideAmerica.com collection. Our editors select which places are Roadside-caliber and which of your tips and photos to post, as we stay focused on new information about the most offbeat attractions. Tips are not user-editable once submitted to us. Visitor Tips we post should provide new information and reasons other Roadside America fans might want to visit.
- Write About Sights, Sounds, Smells when you visited -- observations, factual details, things other travelers should watch for. Also, important changes to attraction hours, directions, etc. Note: most attractions apparently have "super friendly" staff, so we only need that detail if you ended up running away together....
- Length: 20-100 words. We may edit for clarity and brevity. Avoid short personal pronouncements ("Lame," "Awesome," "Worth the trip" "Not worth the trip") -- we may edit those out or not post the tip. Convey that with observations about an attraction. No need to mention geocaches or Pokeman sightings, since they're everywhere.
- Submit Your Original Text Only: Use your own thoughts. Never copy text from another source (wikipedia, official attraction web pages, etc.) without attribution. Avoid submitting text you've published in a blog or a review elsewhere.
- Submit Your Original Photos Only: Only send photos you shot personally, and you have permission from people in the photo. You must be the legal guardian of any children under age 18 appearing in your photos, provided to us with your permission. The main subject of an image should always be the attraction itself, not a "selfie." (Selfie Help). Send shots without dolls and other personal road trip totems. We may not use images due to quality (low resolution, shakiness, poor lighting, shot through car glass, reflection in museum glass) or repetition of what's already posted.
- Reporting a Closed or Gone Attraction: Provide details and a photo (empty building or pedestal) to help solidly confirm an actual closing vs. inadequate directions or mapping. Did you visit personally, or see a news article somewhere?
Places We Include
When you discover a place in your travels that is odd, outrageous, and all you talk about when you get home, then it might be something RoadsideAmerica.com readers will also find amusing or fascinating. Roadside America attractions are publicly accessible or visible: tourist attractions, classic tourist traps, museums, commercial/civic statues, historical markers for bizarre events, graves and memorials, unexplained phenomena, unusual natural features (rocks, trees, terrain, etc), unusual buildings, misplaced items (a landlocked submarine, a lighthouse in a desert), folk art environments. Yard art is permanent, large, profus,e and weird. Murals are hilarious, bizarre or uniquely awkward.
Places We Skip
RoadsideAmerica.com is not a comprehensive guide to all travel destinations, mainstream museums, zoos, county fairs, events, or guided tours. To shape our unique collection of attractions, we also apply these filters of pickiness:
- No: Beautiful
If "beautiful" is the first word that pops into your mind about a place, then it may not be right for RoadsideAmerica.com. Skip breathtaking vistas, hiking trails, pretty parks, places of natural wonderfulness, unless there's an oddity in among all that beauty.
- No: "Normal" Historic Sites/Museums
We seek the unexpected, humorous or strange side of history. A county museum exhibiting even one oddity may qualify. We skip old mills, historic houses and old timey soda fountains. But we have a soft spot for the space program, nerdy technology, pop culture, crime and punishment, disasters, war relics, factory tours, and failed utopias.
- No: Important, Serious Architecture
We're less excited about (most of) Frank Lloyd Wright's masterworks than a house resembling a shoe, or Fred Flintstone's digs.
- No: Regular Restaurants
We include only eateries with a quirky side -- a roof covered with old stoves, waiters who throw hot rolls at customers, a barbeque in a cave, a cafe shaped like a Hot Dog, etc. Please write about what makes it bizarre, rather than the service or food quality.
- No: Small/Temporary/Mass Produced Sights
- No Air-filled inflatables (gorilla, lobster, etc., such as at restaurants and used car lots).
- No Mass produced life-size statues (Elvis, Blues Brothers, Hot Dog squirting itself with mustard, saucy pirate gal).
- No standard issue decorative garden and yard bronzes (the little girl reading a book on a log, frog playing a violin, children in a fountain).
- No: Low End of the Big Scale
40-ft. turtle statue -- worthy! 4-ft. turtle statue -- no! (What if it's a 4-ft. turtle that saved a baby's life? That we'd include.)
- No: Haunted Attractions With Nothing to See
We live in a time when, according to ghost hunt TV programs, every old building and home is haunted. At Roadside America, we focus on places with objects that can be seen and photographed: a plaque, a marker, an image of eternal anguish frozen in a window. Spooky places might qualify, but only if they're interesting when no ghosts are around.
- No: Regular Wildlife Sanctuaries, Zoos, Gardens, Nature Conservatories
Too normal and serious. Exception examples: sanctuary for retired circus gorillas, zoo with an albino animal section or an elephant grave.
- No: Temporary/Seasonal Holiday Sights
We make exceptions for amazing excess, but generally do not include local Christmas light houses, winter wonderland drives, short-lived Halloween attractions, etc.
- No: Escape Rooms: Too many, too trendy
We do not publish attractions that require trespassing on private property.