News from the offbeat tourist attraction landscape of Roadside America.
Sightings Vol. 11, No. 3 - April 23, 2015

Almost Everybody Loves a Clown

Funtown Mountain....and some people really love clowns. And roadside attractions! Both are part of one guy's mad scheme to transform Guntown Mountain into Funtown Mountain and revive the rest of Cave City, Kentucky, an aging tourist mecca. We caught up with entrepreneur Will Russell just before he launched his Carnival of Fun tour, and a Kickstarter campaign to fund the fun.

And what happens when clowns linger, long after the carnival has left town? Calico, the Evil Food Circus Clown of Middletown, NJ, has been in the scrap heap crosshairs for decades. Judgment Day approaches. Is his giant red finger really a signpost for sin? Can this giant clown be redeemed???

Teepee Bliss in Cave City

Wigwam Village Motel.It's always 1937 at Cave City's Wigwam Village Motel. Sleep on an 80-year-old bed in a cement teepee -- just like your great-grandparents did (maybe), hanging out with the cool highway hobos of the 1930s. Your noggin will never forget the novel convergence of angles in a teepee shower.

Don't Make Me Look at a Petrified Cat

Wentworth Museum.America's most famous ossified feline is just one of many crusty items collected by T.T. Wentworth and displayed in the Florida museum that bears his name. Also: the shoe of the World's Tallest Man, a piece of Thomas Edison's 1928 birthday cake, and a head of Abraham Lincoln made of $8,000 in mulched money.

Alien Attacks! Amazing Deals!

UFO themed store.Creatures from outer space have arrived -- and they're trying to take our theaters-in-a-box and stainless steel appliances! That's the terrifying scenario playing out at Fry's Electronics in Burbank, California, where flying saucers and monsters enliven the decor and encourage impulse-purchase paranoia.

World's Largest Motorcycle Museum

Motorcycle Museum.At a cost of over $70 million, George Barber has assembled the world's largest collection of motorcycles and built a massive, super-clean museum so they can be displayed like works of mechanical art. Bikes are stacked 50 feet high in the center atrium -- like fine wine -- without a drip pan in sight.

Miracle Water Tourism

Carlsbad Water.A historic multi-year drought is showing Californians what's really important: H2O shrines such as the Miracle Mineral Water of Carlsbad. A spa and statue of its discoverer greets visitors seeking to bottle the spring's healthful elixir for covert home sipping.

Hometown of The Simpsons

Simpsons mural.Matt Groening has admitted that the Springfield he had in mind when he created The Simpsons was the Springfield in Oregon. The town now provides maps to some of the local sights that inspired Simpsons parodies, and has a big Simpsons mural as proof that the cartoon was born here.


Spotted by Tipsters

Pierre.First King Kong, now this: Turns out that the artist who created the King Kong on the Universal Studios tour has spent the past five years building a goofy giant Northwoods fisherman in Wisconsin. Tipster Rich sent us photos and the story.

Fire mural.Cat Confounds Conflagration: Mega-tipster Signmanjoe spotted a lifelike outdoor trompe l'oeil mural of a building in flames; an old lady leans out an upper window, dropping her cat to safety into a net held by firemen below!

Muffler Man.Casey Jones Muffler Man: A newly found Muffler Man is always noteworthy, particularly one customized like no other. Nicholas Giraldo came across a unique Casey Jones Man on the former estate (now a business retreat) of a kitty litter millionaire.

Also check out the latest American Giants video, investigating a pair of Muffler Men in Dodge City, Kansas. They belonged to actor Dennis Hopper, who rumbled by their ancestor in Easy Rider (1969).

Spongebob.Deadly Roadside Distraction?: Built out of what appears to be pipes and suitably square-edged lumber, a giant Spongebob SquarePants waves to passing motorists in rural Maryland. Richard Zimmerman submitted a photo confirming this big, yellow discovery.

For more fun discoveries and updates from the road, head over to the Latest Tips.


Yesteryear Travel: Fashion Horizons

Yesteryear Travel.Hollywood starlets on vacation in 1940; what did they wear? Find out, kind of, watching this clip from the much longer film, Fashion Horizons. It's a glimpse of Albuquerque as Hollywood saw it long before meth labs and Breaking Bad.


Latest News on Roadside America

King Gambrinus.The Scary Lucy statue became newsworthy when her hometown foes demanded that she get a makeover -- not realizing that she draws far more visitors just as she is. Tipsters Billy/Shawn provided a welcome update on the fate of The World's Largest Cat, while a rare Doggie Diner Head is the latest addition to Bruce Kennedy's menagerie of Roadside giants. Big John of Metropolis is currently in the shop; the Viking of Virginia has been knocked on his back; the King of Beer at the World’s Largest Six Pack has been temporarily dethroned. The Cincinnati Police Museum is now in a new location (along with Handsome, its stuffed hero police dog), as is The World's Largest Frying Pan in Delaware. The Dorothy's House and Land of Oz now opens every tour with a simulated tornado. Jumbo the Elephant has a new life-size statue in Massachusetts. And Shark Girl, chewed up by a brutal New York winter, is taking a few weeks off.

Keep pace with important attraction updates on the Roadside America Twitter feed.


Climb aboard our tiny clown car!
The Team

Apps & Tools

No. 1 iPhone Travel App (paid) - US App Store
March 15, 2015

Roadside America iPhone app Roadside America for iPhone
11,000+ USA/Canada offbeat attractions, inc. new research targets, interactive "Near Me" maps.

$2.99 on the App Store (incl. access to 1 region); addtl. regions or "All Access" unlock is optional in-app purchase.
iPhone, iPod touch (iPad compatible)


Roadside Presidents App for iPhone
Find US Presidents, VPs, First Ladies, even dastardly assassins -- where they lived, worked, played, died!

$2.99. iPhone, iPod touch, (iPad compatible). Available on the App Store.


Roadside America iPhone app My Sights Route Planner - FREE! Save places you read about on Roadside America to your computer, create a trip, and then email it to friends or export a .cvs file to upload onto a GPS device (Garmin, TomTom, etc.). Learn more and try it!


Copyright © 2015, This Exit LLC, All rights reserved.
E-mail Comments, New Tips and Photo Submissions

Main image: The Evil Clown of Middletown, New Jersey.