News from the offbeat tourist attraction landscape of Roadside America.
Sightings Vol. 13, No. 4 - April 28, 2017

Root Beer Family: Mugs You Love

In the 1960s big-headed, cartoony statues appeared outside A&W drive-ins to promote the chain's four-size hamburger menu: Papa Burger, Mama Burger, Teen Burger, and Baby Burger. Those burger choices are long gone, but the figures crop up all across Roadside America in other restaurants and displays. One Oregon town loved its mug-hoisting family so much that they've been preserved as a cultural treasure. Story


House on the Rock

House on the Rock

Garnering new attention as the freakish rendezvous point for deities in the Starz series American Gods, House on the Rock was one of our original Seven Wonders of Roadside America. Yes, still great. And mere mortals still aren't allowed to climb on the mythical creatures carousel. Story


Patsy Cline Museum

Patsy Cline Museum

Examine the Country Music superstar's gold lame pants, her vacuum cleaner, and her wristwatch of death. Nashville finally gets around to honoring Patsy only 54 years after her untimely skip off life's turntable. Story


White Sands: Alien Dunescape

White Sands: Alien Dunescape.

Otherworldly White Sands is only a half hour from downtown Alamogordo, so it has breathable Earth air. Snow saucer down the white gypsum crystal dunes year-round, and watch out for unexploded bombs from the nearby missile range. Story


Mummified Human Arm

>Mummified Human Arm.

The Slater Memorial Museum is a dignified institution filled with classical art and serious scholarship -- and one ropey, withered human arm. The limb was a gift, and has been on display since the 1970s. Story


Sheriff Knocking on Heaven's Gate

Heaven's Gate at the Sheriff's Museum.

Members of the San Diego County Sheriff's Department found the "Heaven's Gate Away Team" at its 1997 suicide house. The Sheriff's Museum offers a diorama depicting the fatal comet commute, complete with a dummy wearing Nike sneakers. Story


Forest of 10,000 Glass Insulators

Stanley Hammell's Insulator Forest.

Stanley Hammell was an obsessed collector of glass electrical insulators, and he filled his yard with fake telephone poles to display his treasures. Now that he's gone, visitors can take home a souvenir insulator. Story


Lincoln's Last Train Ride

Lincoln's Funeral Train.

Virtual reality from the 1960s. Take a ride aboard a jiggly 50-year-old replica of the Lincoln Funeral Train with your host -- Abe's chatty ghost. The actor playing Abe is now also dead. Story


MOBA: Bad Art That Makes You Feel Good

Museum of Bad Art.

The Museum of Bad Art offers an ever-changing gallery of the worst in well-intended art, tastefully staged on the basement walls of an old movie theater, next to the bathrooms. Story


Gulliver's Gate: NYC's Sprawling New Mini-World

Gulliver's Gate.

$40 million worth of miniature cities and people. Lots of moving parts. All the best tiny moments of the entire world, and for an extra fee you can have yourself scanned, shrunk, 3D printed, and added to the display. Story


Dream Machine: For the Selfie List

Dream Machine.

26 feet tall and metallic, this Las Vegas outdoor art has been compared to a jellyfish, an alien fungus, or the mushroom cloud of a nuclear bomb. Story


Video: Oddity Odysseys Drives the Musical Road

Southern California roadside attraction nuts Bethany and Drew turn their car into a poorly tuned musical instrument. Originally created as a TV ad stunt, the grooves in a road in Lancaster play the William Tell Overture.

Musical Road.

Watch the video


Root beer and driving. That's okay.
The Team

Spotted by Tipsters

Spotted by Tipsters

Cave-In at the Pushpin Mine! Tipsters dig frantically for signs of life in old attractions, drill for new discoveries, and happen upon a cemetery sculptor who can no longer be bothered to wear clothes.

Latest Tips


Apps & Tools

Roadside America iPhone app Roadside America (iPhone)
12,000+ USA/Canada offbeat attractions, research targets, interactive Near Me maps. New places and "research targets" added frequently! Quirky categories, top-rated recommendations. Navigate with Waze, Google or Apple Maps.

$2.99 on the App Store (includes access to 1 of 7 regions); addtl. regions or "All Access" unlock is optional in-app purchase.
iPhone, iPod touch (iPad compatible)


Roadside Presidents iPhone app

Roadside Presidents App for iPhone
US Presidents, VPs, First Ladies, even dastardly assassins -- visit where they lived, worked, played, died! Updated for faster performance, with place maps, a new President, and turn-by-turn directions via Waze, Google or Apple Maps.

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


Roadside America My Sights Planner My Sights Route Planner - Save places you read about on Roadside America, 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!


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Main image: Burger Family, HIllsboro, Oregon.