Tips, leads, stories from travelers, plus Roadsideamerica.com Team reports on quirky museums, ironic monuments, and must-see oddities! Trip planning caution: Some tips may not be verified. Over time, attractions change, move, burn down. What's a vacation without a little risk? Submit your own tip.
Birmingham, Alabama - African Village in America
Since 1989, folk artist Joe Minter has filled his yard with homemade sculptures, shrines, and signs as a tribute to African-Americans, on orders from God. He welcomes visitors. Roadsideamerica.com Report...
- 931 Nassau Ave. SW., Birmingham, AL
- On the southwest edge of the city. I-65 exit 258. Drive west on Route 18 for one mile, then turn left onto Martin Luther King Jr Drive. Drive south and take the third right onto Nassau Ave. Joe Minter's place is the last house on the left.
- Daylight hours. Open gate policy; tours available if Joe is at home. (Call to verify)
- Free, but you can buy an African Village book and/or DVD from Joe.
- RA Rates:
- Major Fun
- Montgomery, Alabama - The MOOseum
Enough "Mad Cow" panic -- let's hear from our trusted food provider, the American cattleman. This interactive museum opened in 1995, promoted as "Alabama's only children's educational MOOseum devoted to the history and preservation of the beef cattle industry,"
"Meet Adam Bainbridge, a one-of-a-kind cattleman. As the official spokesman for the AL Cattlemen's Association, he's your guide to the Mooseum's galleries." Adam is an animatronic, we think. Find out how many everyday products contain cow. See a 21st century cattle operation. Welcome to Slim Buckaroo's Cattle Club. Billed as a "Children's Educational Center," but obviously promoting a lobbyist's view of Beef -- it's what's for dinner. You can buy items with that very slogan in the Mooseum gift shop.[Roadsideamerica.com Team, 01/01/2004]
Alabama Cattlemen's Building
- 201 South Bainbridge St., Montgomery, AL
- Two blocks south of the State Capitol, on the corner of Adams and Bainbridge, in the Alabama Cattlemen's Building.
- M-F 9 am - 4 pm. Closed for lunch noon-1 pm. (Call to verify)
- Scottsboro, Alabama - Unclaimed Baggage Center
Visiting this location only goes to prove having a great marketing director or firm brings people who would normally not enter the doors. ABC Good Morning America, Oprah and the numerous websites go on about how great it is. The first clue should have been the number of people walking out without making a purchase. Items were priced much more than I expected. Don't waste your time. If you decide to visit and are as disappointed as we were, there were some highlights: the Blue Willow House (great food within the antique store) and the covered bridges around Fort Payne.[Donna, 07/27/2009]
We were there years ago -- they had some obvious airport luggage booty then. Seem to recall buying other people's music CDs on the cheap, still in their little travel pouches.
- Eureka Springs, Arkansas - MUD street
There are TWO sites that were featured in Ripley's Believe it or not: The Basin Park Hotel, which has all eight stories ( or so I forget how many) with a direct exit to ground level from every floor! Then there is little known Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge. The largest freestanding rock formation which has a base circumference of only about 10 inches, and the top measuring around 10 feet across! We have a Live Steam locomotive here in the original train depot from the 1880's, the court house, which along with many businesses on main street, you must enter through the second floor, because the first floor of these buildings are underground! The street "MAIN" used to be called MUD street, for a reason! One year there was a great torrential rain that brought TONS of mud down from the hills and they just never dug it out!
We elected a dead mayor, one of only three towns in america to do that! One of our mayors posed (supposedly) nude for one of the state-wide papers! We have no two parallelly intersecting streets either![Thomas Hawk, 03/04/1999]
- Pivot Rock Rd, Eureka Springs, AR
- From the intersection of US 62 and Hwy 23, drive north on US 62 for one mile. When you see the sign for Brackenridge Lodge, turn right onto Pivot Rock Rd and drive north 2.5 miles. The road will get narrow, but keep going until it ends.
- RA Rates:
- Worth a Detour
Little Rock, Arkansas - Little Rock's Little Rock
We had a hard time finding anyone in Little Rock who had ever heard of Little Rock's little rock (and take it from me, you will begin to question your own sanity after you have wandered in circles asking strangers it they know where the little rock is.). So before you head down to the river, make sure you read the directions on RoadsideAmerica.com. They will get you where you need to go. Or better yet, you can visit the USS Razorback (another RoadsideAmerica.com attraction in North Little Rock) and then walk across the very cool Junction Bridge to admire the little rock.
Remember, the little rock was originally the top part of that rock that still sits in the water between the little rock and Junction Bridge. So don't forget to get a photo of the little rock so that the source rock will be visible in the background of your photo. To get that shot, you will need to face West. So on a sunny day it is better to get your photo before you are looking into the sun.
Photos taken, homage paid, you can now walk away secure in the knowledge that you have seen a part of Little Rock's history that most Little Rockers do not even know exist.[Gary Epperson, 09/10/2011]
- Ottenheimer Plaza, Little Rock, AR
- In Riverfront Park, behind the Little Rock River Market and to right of "Junction Bridge," an old railroad, now pedestrian, bridge across the river. From north: I-30 exit 141A, immediately south of river. Bear right, following signs for 2nd St. After two blocks turn right onto Rock St., then drive two blocks to Ottenheimer Plaza and Riverfront Park. You'll see the bridge and parking to the left. From the south: I-30 exit 141A. Follow signs for Clinton Ave. The ramp merges onto 2nd St., which quickly dead-ends. Turn left, then left again onto Clinton Ave. Drive 4 blocks. Turn right onto Rock St., then drive two blocks to Ottenheimer Plaza and Riverfront Park. Bridge and parking on left.