Guidelines for Tip Submission
We love to receive visitor tips. Your keen eyes and descriptive powers can lead us to quirky places we can investigate further for RoadsideAmerica.com. Our editors select which places are Roadside-caliber and which tips to post, as we stay focused on new information about the most offbeat attractions. Visitor Tips should provide new information and reasons other Roadside America fans might want to visit (If you submit a lot of tips and most are not published, our Tips On Tips page may help explain).
You must be over 17 years old to submit a tip to RoadsideAmerica.com
First check what we already have: Search published tips and stories and the state pages. Also, 3- to 5- Smiley Water Tower-rated attractions indicate the kind of places we like best.
Write About Sights, Sounds, Smells
Provide observations during your visit, factual details, things other travelers should watch for. Try to narrow your submissions to only the best (if you visited 10 places on a road trip, tell us about the best two or three.). Of course we want to hear about changes to attraction hours, directions, conditions to improve our attraction info.
Length: 20-100 words
Once submitted to us, tips aren't user-editable. We edit for clarity and brevity. Really short tips may not be posted. Avoid personal pronouncements ("Lame," "Awesome," "Worth the detour" "Not worth the trip") -- we may edit those out, or not post the tip. Convey your pleasure or displeasure with observations about an attraction. No need to mention geocaches or Pokemon sightings, or "super friendly staff;" they're everywhere. If everything was closed on a particular day you visited, or you didn't go inside or didn't roll down your car window to shoot a photo, there's a good chance we won't post your tip.
Submit Your Original Text Only
Use your own thoughts. Never copy text from another source (wikipedia, official attraction web pages, etc.) without attribution. Don't submit text you posted in a blog or a review on another web site or app.
Proofread Your Submission
Please carefully review your tip before submitting; incoherent text will be rejected. No #hashtags. No emojis. No ALL CAPS.
Photos: Submit Your Originals Only
Only send photos you shot personally, and you have permission from all people in the photo. You must be the legal guardian of any children under age 18 appearing in your photos, submitted to us with your permission.
Photos: Recent is Better
We prefer submissions with new images, while on (or just back from) the road, rather than road trips from last year or earlier. Exception: attraction now closed/gone and your historical snapshot is interesting.
Photos: More Attractions, Less You
The main subject of an image should always be the attraction itself, not a "selfie." (Selfie Help) or family candid. Send shots without dolls, personal road trip totems, rally banners, intrusive vehicles, etc.
Photos: Best Quality
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. Don't send screenshots from other apps/websites, and don't add a watermark, title, hashtag, photoshopped fakery, excessive filters, etc. We crop mercilessly.
Closed or Gone Attractions
Help keep our information current! Provide details and a photo -- such as an empty building, lot, or pedestal-- to help solidly confirm actual closings (vs. our possibly inadequate directions). Did you visit personally, or read about it 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, RoadsideAmerica.com readers may also find it 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, profuse, and weird. Murals should not be just of a town's history, but also hilarious, bizarre or uniquely awkward.
Places We Skip
RoadsideAmerica.com is not a comprehensive guide to all destinations, museums, historical houses, zoos, county fairs, events, or guided tours. To shape our unique collection of attractions, we apply these filters of pickiness:
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, and places of natural serenity, unless there's an oddity in among all that wonderfulness.
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/waterwheels, historic houses, most old timey soda fountains, and carousels (except the ones with mutant creatures). 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 or Food
We want 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 wait service or food quality. Freaky food photos only ("Doughnut as big as your head."), please.
No: Temporary Exhibits and Mass Produced Sights
- No temporary installations: Art installations are often scheduled to stick around for only a brief period, less than a year. Please check whether something is more permanent before submitting.
- No "Pop-Up" attractions: Current fad for temporary museums, exhibits, churches. Might merit a visit for locals, but too ephemeral for us.
- 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). Exception: Arrayed in larger quantities or as part of a larger quirky environment.
- 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 generic bench photo ops: ol' grandpa, children, and couples on sit-with-me benches, as well as random famous historical figures without local context: Shakespeare, Einstein, Amelia Earhart, etc.).
- No Generic Photo Ops or Participation Gimmicks: Something that seems unique in the world, but it turns out many towns offer the same thing. Angel wings painted-on-walls. "Love" locks on a fence or bridge.
- No T.A.R.D.I.S. Free Libraries: When there was just one, it was funny. Plans available online!
No: Low End of the Big Scale
4-ft. turtle statue...No! 40-ft. turtle statue...Yes! (What if it's a 4-ft. turtle that saved a baby's life? Well, okay.)
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.