Guidelines for Tip Submission
We love to get tips. Your keen eyes and descriptive powers lead to new places everyone can then enjoy on RoadsideAmerica.com. Not all tips are posted, as we strive to stay focused on the most offbeat attractions. We appreciate your suggestions, since they help us to shape what is and isn't "Roadside-caliber" in the places we include and add to our maps.
General Guidelines for Tip Inclusion on RoadsideAmerica.com
- Write about sights, sounds, smells when you visited -- interesting observations, factual details, things other travelers should watch for. Has anything substantially changed since our last tip or story? Search published tips and stories or the maps and state pages to see what's already on the site.
- At least 20 words long -- Ideal tip length is between 20-100 words. We may edit for clarity and brevity.
- Short factual updates about closings, hours, directions and admission prices help us update our info. May not be posted as separate tips.
- New Places: Provide address, directions, and/or cross-streets so we can map it.
- Avoid short personal assessments ("Lame," "Awesome," "Worth the trip"). Our readers are most interested in observations and details about an attraction, which may make the case for lameness or awesomeness.
- Poorly written tips full of misspellings, or in ALL CAPS, will not be posted.
- Never send text copied from another source (wikipedia, official attraction web pages, etc.) without attribution. Avoid submitting text you already published in a blog or a review on another website.
- Photos: Only send photos you shot personally, have permission from people in the photo. You must be the legal guardian of any children under age 18 that appear in your photos, provided with your permission. The main subject of an image should be the attraction itself.
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 interesting (See advisory below regarding sights that may be beautiful, normal, or serious). Roadside America attractions include: tourist attractions, classic tourist traps, museums, commercial/civic statues that are oversized or ludicrous, historical markers for bizarre events or claims to fame, 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, and extravagant and permanent yard art.
Places We DON'T Usually Include
RoadsideAmerica.com is not a comprehensive guide to mainstream travel destinations, museums, zoos, county fairs, events, or guided tours. Here are some place guidelines:
- Avoid 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 the breathtaking vistas, hiking trails, pretty parks, places of natural wonderfulness, unless there's an oddity in among all that beauty.
- Avoid "Normal" Historic Sites/Museums
We seek the unexpected, humorous or strange side of history. A county museum exhibiting even one oddity may qualify. Those familiar with the website know we skip old mills and historic houses, but have a weakness for the space program, nerdy technology, pop culture, crime and punishment, disasters, war relics, factory tours, and failed utopias.
- Avoid Important, Serious Architecture
We're less excited about (most of) Frank Lloyd Wright's masterworks than a house that looks like a shoe, or Fred Flintstone's digs.
- Avoid Regular Restaurants
We include 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 the food.
- Avoid Small, Temporary Statues/Sculptures put away at night, or mass produced (think Elvis, Blues Brothers, even that Hot Dog Guy squirting himself with mustard). Too common, too likely to move for us to keep up with 'em!
- Avoid Haunted Attractions With Nothing to See
We focus on places with objects that can be seen and photographed: a plaque, a marker, a ghostly image frozen in a window. Spooky places can qualify, but only if they're interesting even if no ghosts are around.
- Avoid Mainstream 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.
- Avoid Temporary/Seasonal Holiday Sights
Exceptions for amazing excess, but generally do not include local Christmas light houses, winter wonderland drives, short-lived Halloween attractions, etc.
We do not publish attractions that require trespassing on private property.