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.
Glenview, Illinois - Stuffed Moray Eel in Appliance Store
Abt Electronics is famous in the Chicago area as a huge electronics and appliance store. It's also famous for its large salt-water fish tank that was home to "RJ the Eel" for 14 years. RJ grew so old that he developed cataracts and would occasionally bonk into things. In 2004, RJ finally went belly up; he was stuffed and is handsomely mounted in a glass case under the sales counter next to the aquarium.[John Takao Collier, 01/25/2015]
John adds that the store has other attractions, such as a 5,381-pound granite "Earth" that spins on a film of water, and a Bubble Booth that surrounds visitors with a giant soap bubble.
- 1200 N. Milwaukee Ave., Glenview, IL
- Abt Electronics. I-294 exit at Willow Rd. Drive west a half-mile. Turn left onto Sanders Rd. Drive south a little over a mile. Turn left onto Milwaukee Ave. Drive one mile. You'll see the big Abt store on the right.
- M-F 9-9, Sa 9-7:30, Su 10:30-6:15
- Lake George, New York - Storytown - Vague Recollections
I remember going to Storytown several times during my childhood. My clearest remembrance is of Jonah and the Whale. That was one big blue whale, and somewhere I have a picture of my brother and I standing in his mouth. We also visited a western-themed attraction during those same years, but I no longer recall its name. Those were fun, family-oriented vacations, often camping and taking day trips.[Jeanne, 01/25/2015]
Cherokee, North Carolina - Museum of the Cherokee Indian
Visited the museum with my family, including three of our sons. You watch a film on the history of the Cherokee people. It was very interesting to see where their oral history stories originated. You go through the museum via a series of different rooms and areas. There are life-sized Indians, tepees, and dioramas. It is educational without feeling like you are getting a school lesson. We spent around two hours or so and thoroughly enjoyed it.[Bonnie Cantrell, 01/25/2015]
- 589 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC
- West side of US Hwy 441/Tsali Blvd, about a half-mile north of its intersection with US Hwy 19 in Cherokee.
- Daily 9-5 (Call to verify)
- Adults $10.
- Largo, Florida - Muffler Man: The Big Man
Drove past today and the parts store is being remodeled. No sign of the Muffler Man. Hopefully he'll be back when the renovations are complete.[Jeremy, 01/25/2015]
Sells, Arizona - Kitt Peak Observatory
The largest collection of optical telescopes in the world (24) are perched along a mountaintop ridge in the Sonoran Desert. Open to the public during the day and for skywatching at night. The best views of the complex are from the outdoor catwalk around the Mayall telescope, whose 15-ton mirror is housed in a dome 18 stories high. Daytime visitors are asked to keep their voices low, as most of the astronomers (who live in on-site dormitories) are asleep.[bobebob, 01/25/2015]
- Hwy 386, Sells, AZ
- I-10 exit 260 in Tucson. Drive south 1.5 miles on I-19. Take exit 99. Drive west on Ajo Way/Hwy 86 for 36.5 miles. Turn left onto Hwy 386. Drive south 12 miles, a twisting road up into the mountains. Follow signs to visitor parking. It can be chilly and windy; bring at least a jacket. And in the daytime, sunscreen.
- Visitor Center daily 9-4 (Call to verify)
- Free. One-hour guided tours $8.00-$10.00 per person.