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Roadside America App for iPhone | Support

Themes

For the Roadside America App for iPhone, the editors created a bunch of fun and useful "Themes" -- some derived from the Roadside America books and the web site -- to group attractions. Some Themes are obvious ("Animals," or "Route 66") and some not so obvious ("Zombie Army").

  • Animals: Mammal, reptile, fish, bird, insect - statues, museums, taxidermy, burial sites.
  • Artistic: Exuding creative self-importance, self-aware, not naïve. We really should have paid attention in Art Appreciation 101.
  • Atomic: War, science, and power-related nuclear landmarks and milestones.
  • Beliefs: Religion, Christian, Pagan, Theology, Cult (also see "Utopia").
  • Car Culture: Relating to travel, transportation, cars, bridges, highways. Places that take our love of vehicles perhaps a bit too seriously.
  • Celebrities: Stars of movies, TV, A-D list, media personalities, historical people known even today.
  • Claims to Fame: Assertions of largest, smallest, longest, most -- promoted by towns, companies, individuals -- whether accurate or not.
  • Classic Attractions: Postcard-worthy places designed only for tourism business.
  • Collections: An ungodly amassing of one thing, or type of things. Not for general purpose museums, but a monomania museum.
  • Crime: Includes punishment, law enforcement, security.
  • Dinosaurs: Also fossils, almost-dinosaurs and cartoon dinosaurs.
  • Doom: Natural and unnatural foci of bad luck, death and devastation, mass graves, etc.
  • Dreamers: Folk artists so immersed in their vision they have created a topsy turvy world around themselves that future preservationists will try to understand.  Collectors can be dreamers if their passion takes over their lives.
  • Drive-Thru: Attractions that can be enjoyed without exiting your vehicle.
  • Eat: Restaurants, cafes, anything that involves eating something. (For giant fruit and museums about drinks or food, see "Food")
  • Factory Tours: Company-created tours or walk thrus, either of real or fake facilities.
  • Farm: Agriculture, dairy, livestock, crop-related, usually located at a -- you guessed it -- farm.
  • Flight: Man-powered, aviation, jets, balloons, dirigibles.
  • Folk Art: Sculptures or environments, often made of junk and society's cast-offs, usually by non-trained "outsiders" or "visionaries."  Includes non-standard dinosaurs and unique roadside giants.
  • Food: Statues or attractions about or representing food, drink, condiments, utensils. (For places to eat and restaurants, see "Eat")
  • Freaks: Through quirks of DNA and Nature, animals and humans that are not like the rest of us.
  • Freaky Hoo-Ha: Strange, perhaps occult, not easily classified as a simple haunting or monster sighting. Places that give us the willies, or make you feel like you've just lost your mind or entered a parallel universe.
  • Ghost Towns: Ruins of a once booming town, or decaying remnants within an existing town. Unusual features, or promoted for regular tourists.
  • Graves: Cemeteries, mausoleums, tombstones, mass graves, suspected burial spots of humans and animals.
  • H2O: Aquatic attraction, things where water is critical or plays a key role,  geysers, fountains, boats, submarines, fish, sea monsters.
  • Haunted: Ghosts, anything possessed by spirits, or cursed.
  • History: Oddities of mainstream history, what they didn't teach you in school. Not "history" of attractions themselves.
  • Holiday: Attractions about Christmas, Halloween, etc. Possibly open seasonally.
  • Indians: Statues, museums, etc. involving Native Americans.
  • Industry: Landmarks, statues, museum where a particular corporation, business or industry is an overt part.
  • Irrational Geographics:"You Are Here," map and geographic attractions, midway points, funny town names with nothing else going for them.
  • Itty Bitty: Miniature towns, railroads, buildings, tiny churches, claims of extreme smallness.
  • Last Rites: The trappings of death and mortality, funeral customs.
  • Medical: Museums, landmarks relating to disease, cures, procedures, milestones.
  • Miracles: Usually religious, site where many gathered to gawk and witness whatever was miraculous at the time.
  • Monsters: Generally the kind that might kill or eat you.
  • Movies: Location shooting site, place or people associated with a movie or movie industry.
  • Muffler Man: Barrel-chested, square-jawed comrade of the American highway.  Can be configured as a cowboy, lumberjack, etc.  Right arm up, left arm down -- unless he's an Indian.
  • Music: Landmarks, people, graves and museums relating to music, or attractions that use music as a major element (For music used in performances, see "Performance").
  • Mysterious: Possesses an "unknown" aspect -- puzzling or cryptic, but not paranormal.
  • Mythical: Involving characters from folk tradition, literary figures, tall tales.
  • Nature: Natural attractions, canyons, caves, volcanoes, forests, trees, or lifelike replicas of the natural world.
  • Nostalgia: Pioneer village, restored old timey towns, classic gas stations. It's the past with a rosy tint.
  • Odd Buildings: Any structure with a door and a window. or an interior (such as towers).
  • On the Move: Transportation, vacation, travel-related, tourism industry.
  • Over There: "Over there over here."Foreign cultures and traditions, or global attractions transplanted or recreated in the USA.
  • Patriotic: Things that are meant to instill pride in the USA.
  • Performances: Shows, plays, dances, demonstrations or things that occur with predictable regularity.
  • Pet Cemetery: Graves, statues, plaques or displays of departed but loved animals.
  • Petroliana: Relating to gas and the oil industry, gas stations, discoveries.
  • Politics: Attractions with an agenda or affiliation, sometimes subtle, sometimes not.
  • Pop: American, consumer and media culture, part of the collective awareness.
  • Presidents: Museums, statues, collections, sites of historic Presidential moments, etc.
  • Railroad: Museums with unusual aspects, engines, model layouts, unusual tracks, bridges, etc.
  • Rocks: Boulders, formations, petrified wood.
  • Route 66: On Route 66, within the Route 66 worship zone, or about Route 66 but elsewhere.
  • Signs: Where a sign is as important as the attraction, if not the attraction.
  • Sleepover: Lodging, hotels, B&Bs -- unusual, and you can personally reserve a room.
  • Space: Vehicles, museum, exhibits relating to space travel, space junk, either real or fictional.  Also meteorites, replica planets, etc.
  • Sports: Athletics, games, superstars, team competition.
  • Tech: Science, invention  Also attractions that use lots of blinking things or gee-whizzery to make us slack-jawed.
  • Television: Stars of TV, location shooting site, place associated with TV industry, technology.
  • Trees: Living trees, forests, stumps, logs, shoe trees, statues carved from trees that are still recognizably tree-like..
  • UFO: Real or fictional flying saucers, crash sites, suspected alien activity.
  • Underground: Caves, mines, subterranean city tours, buried homes and businesses.
  • Utopia: Community where a better way was attempted. And failed.  Still-existing places that are their own little world, and happy about it.
  • War: Armed conflict, mostly with other countries, but also Civil War, Revolutionary War.
  • Water Towers: Holds water for a town or facility, decorated or shaped unusually. Also an occasional gas tower if it's strange enough.
  • Weather: Meteorological, extremes or oddities, sites of weather disaster, attractions that use weather, such as windmill collections.
  • Wild West: Western frontier, cowboy, homestead outlaws, prospectors, pioneers as long as they're heading west, exotic Southwestern flora and fauna, western Indians.
  • Women: Landmarks about noteworthy females, though not necessarily role-models. Includes Transparent Women!
  • Zombie Army: Remains of any once-living thing that could be reanimated to seek vengeance.