Road trip news, rants, and ruminations by the Editors of RoadsideAmerica.com
March 20, 2020
We held our breath, scrubbed our smartphones, washed our hands, and decided we might have something to add to the endless stream of pandemic posts. Follow us down the rabbit hole for a glimpse of abrupt changes underway across America’s pockmarked face of quirky attractions.
In response to the COVID-19 situation, it’s no surprise that many roadside attractions are closing, or changing open hours and tour availability. In particular, even if a region’s leisure road travel is unrestricted, large indoor attractions and museums have paused activity to stop community spread. Hotels in many places are shut down, public festivals canceled or postponed.
It’s most important for you and your family to stay safe. Help slow down the virus spread by staying home. While cooped up, if it seems fun at all, poke around our website or app for ideas for a someday trip.
We conducted a quick Facebook and website check on a few of our favorite roadside attractions (see table below). Some have announced closings (not expected seasonality), some still appear to be open (barring a business operation restriction). Some attraction websites are late posting notification about closing (no surprise; an outsider artist with beer bottle palace skills may not be a WordPress wiz). One Philadelphia attraction — the Mutter Museum — announced its closing between the first time we checked and an hour later when we confirmed (on the plus side, when they do reopen, we anticipate great interest in their “Spit Spreads Death!” exhibit).
As the health crisis and response unfolds, some states have closed nearly all museums, indoor attractions, and theme parks. National park entrances fees have been waived, but many parks are closed (Yosemite N.P. gates shut today until further notice). In the last few days, California’s governor told everyone to stay home and non-essential businesses to shutter. Then Nevada, Illinois, Connecticut and New York issued similar emergency declarations. These restrictions will probably spread and tighten.
Keep in mind that an attraction’s status may change, and many don’t update online. Call or email them directly to find the most current info, and be patient if you don’t hear back right away or at all. These plucky businesses and projects — mom & pop, independent, volunteer-run, educational, nonprofit — may need your love and tourism attention when the dust settles.
Status of Select Roadside Attractions
As reported on attraction FB and web pages up to March 20, 2020:
|AL||Birmingham||Sloss Furnaces||Closed until further notice|
|AL||Cullman||Ave Maria Grotto||Open, Grounds, Gift Shop|
|AL||Huntsville||U.S. Space & Rocket Center||Closed thru April 12, 2020|
|AZ||Dragoon||The Thing||Listed as open|
|AZ||Green Valley||Titan Missile Museum||Closed until further notice|
|AZ||Holbrook||Wigwam Village Motel No. 6||Listed as open|
|AZ||Picacho||Rooster Cogburn Ostrich Ranch||Listed as open|
|CA||Felicity||Official Center of the World||Listed as open, outdoor only.|
|CA||Klamath||Trees Of Mystery||Listed as open|
|CA||Leggett||Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree||Listed as open (stay in car)|
|CA||Niland||Salvation Mountain||Unofficial outdoors|
|CA||Piercy||Confusion Hill||Closed through April 6, 2020|
|CA||Santa Cruz||Santa Cruz Mystery Spot||Closed through April 7, 2020|
|CO||Colorado Springs||Dragon Man’s Military Museum||Closed until April 5, 2020|
|FL||Homestead||Coral Castle||Listed as open, outdoors|
|FL||Kissimmee||Gator Land||Closed until further notice, post daily "School of Crocs" video|
|FL||Weeki Wachee||Mermaids of Weeki Wachee||Closed until further notice.|
|GA||Lookout Mountain||Rock City||Closed until March 28, 2020|
|KS||Cawker City||World’s Largest Ball of Twine||Outdoor unattended attraction|
|KS||Lucas||The Garden of Eden||Closed until further notice|
|KY||Williamstown||Ark Encounter and Creation Museum||Closed through April 1, 2020|
|LA||Abita Springs||Abita Mystery House||Closed until further notice|
|LA||New Orleans||Mardi Gras World||Closed until further notice|
|MD||Baltimore||National Great Blacks In Wax Museum||Closed until April 2020|
|MD||Silver Spring||National Museum of Health and Medicine||Closed until further notice|
|MI||Dearborn||Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation||Closed until April 5, 2020|
|MI||Ishpeming||Da Yoopers Tourist Trap||Listed as open, partly outdoors|
|MN||Darwin||Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota||Outdoor unattended attraction|
|MO||Branson||Titanic Museum||Closed until April 10, 2020|
|MO||St. Joseph||Glore Psychiatric Museum||Closed until further notice|
|MO||St. Louis||City Museum||Closed until April 2020|
|NE||Minden||Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village||Listed as open|
|NJ||Margate City||Lucy the Elephant||Closed until April 2020|
|NV||Primm||Bonnie and Clyde’s Death Car||Closed until further notice|
|OH||Wright Patterson AFB||National Museum of the United States Air Force||Closed until further notice|
|OR||Gold Hill||Oregon Vortex||Closed until April 15, 2020|
|PA||Philadelphia||Mutter Museum||Closed until further notice|
|SC||Dillon||South Of The Border||Listed as open|
|SD||Wall||Wall Drug||Listed as open|
|TN||Memphis||Graceland||Closed until April 4, 2020|
|TN||Pigeon Forge||Alcatraz East||Closed until further notice|
|TX||Amarillo||Cadillac Ranch||Outdoor unattended attraction|
|TX||Houston||National Museum of Funeral History||Closed until further notice|
|UT||Moab||Hole N" The Rock||Listed as open|
|VA||Danville||AAF Tank Museum||Closed until April 1, 2020|
|VA||White Post||Dinosaur Land||Listed as open|
|VT||Shelburne||Shelburne Museum||Closed until further notice|
|WI||Spring Green||House on the Rock||Closed until further notice|
|WV||New Vrindaban||Prabhupada’s Palace of Gold||Closed until further notice|
I’m very patient.
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