News from the offbeat tourist attraction landscape of Roadside America. Sightings Vol. 9, No 3 August 6, 2013

The Weenies of Summer

August: an expanse of long, warm days that happily fills like a gourmet sausage -- with meaty tourist attractions, spicy diversions, and enough mystery ingredients to keep everyone guessing. We can help make your trips tastier, less predictable.

"Mmm-yummers!" sez the big hot dog stand man.

This week we marvel at Germany in miniature: Charlemagne's Kingdom in Helen, Georgia. And the world ends in 2014, but on the plus side, everyone will swoop by Prophet Isaiah's Second Coming House on their way to Niagara Falls and final judgment.

No promises on whether there will be an August next year, so enjoy while you can!


Shark Map!

Shark Map.Get out of the water -- we've spotted SHARKS -- or at least their tourist incarnations. Gift shop entrances, statues, shellacked prize catches . . . our roundup of America's Shark Attractions steers you straight to these single-minded predators.

Roadside America Shark Map


Hero of Tips

Old Leatherface.Texas Chainsaw Massacre's Leatherface made mincemeat out of annoying teens. We always wondered what happened to his revved-up cutlery -- and then first-time tipster Johnny Shaver found the chainsaw used in the original movie, enshrined in a glass case, at a tattoo parlor that also houses live rattlesnakes.

Check out more discoveries in the very Latest Tips.


Field Fresh

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Tourism News

Dixie Evans.Dixie Evans, 86, the "Marilyn Monroe of Burlesque," passed away on Saturday. Dixie was a giant of Roadside America, the zenith of our California high desert trips to her retired strippers hall of fame and museum, Exotic World, in Helendale, CA. RIP Dixie Evans.

Marilyn Monroe statue.In other giant Marilyn news, the Marilyn Monroe statue in Palm Springs, California, originally slated to be broken apart in June, sticks around until November. Palm Springs, which loves the statue, lobbied to keep it as long as possible. Stop by and pose for photos peeking up her skirt, you dog.

Vacation station wagon.National Lampoon's Vacation arrived in theaters 30 years ago this month. The road odyssey of the Griswold family began in Illinois, where you can still see their dorky station wagon -- one of hundreds of eye-popping artifacts at Historic Auto Attractions. It's a splendid museum hidden in an industrial park.

Titanic Attraction.The Really Sad Violin of Doom (our nickname for it) is on display for a brief two weeks (Aug. 1-15) in a museum shaped like the Titanic in Missouri. The violin, according its exhibitors, is the one that the Titanic's bandleader played as the big ship went down. The fragile, apparently buoyant instrument somehow survived; the bandleader did not (cue: sad violin).

Get more info about these and other breaking news stories on the Roadside America Twitter feed.


Enjoy the weenies!
The Team

Don't Miss...

Video: Prophet Isaiah takes time for a yard tour and explains why there will be no more Presidents.

Soap Box Derby Cheater's Car

World's Largest Ten Commandments

Mobile Apps

Roadside America App for iPhone: Update 1.8.4
$2.99 (inc. 1 region access); addtl. regions in-app optional purchase.
Available for iOS 5.1+ on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
9,000+ Offbeat attractions, research targets. Fun trip tools. Option to open in Google Maps.


Roadside Presidents App for iPhone: Update 1.3.4 - Full of nutty, surprising, and obscure Presidential sights, photos, maps. Factoids and fun poked at our leaders, with no regard to party affiliation! Available for iOS 5.1+ on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.

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Main image: Oktoberfest hot dog stand miniature scene at Charlemagne's Kingdom, Helen, GA