News from the offbeat tourist attraction landscape of Roadside America.
Sightings Vol. 13, No. 9 - September 28, 2017

The Ultimate Selfie Machine

Our photographic memory may be fogged, but it seems like it was only a day after the debut of a really popular smartphone with a front-facing camera that we received our first selfie tip submission. We wrote stern guidelines of discouragement, noting that the attractions should be the stars, but travelers just couldn't get enough of themselves. A new interactive sculpture, "As We Are," makes the attraction the selfie. It pays tribute to everyday people on a scale typically reserved for national heroes and celebrity brands. Step into a photo booth, have your face digitized and projected 14 feet high on a giant human head. Honestly, you rule!

Ultimate Selfie Machine


Nick Engelbert's Grandview

Nick Engelbert's Grandview.

A dairy farmer began building statues in his front yard in the 1930s. He didn't stop for 15 years. His artworks include a drunk hobo hoisting a pint of whiskey, and Snow White wearing a scallop shell bra. Story


Featured Creatures

Featured Creatures.

Experience wild animals without venturing into the wild, or even outdoors. Wonders of Wildlife is a new aquarium/taxidermy mega-attraction built to bedazzle. Its "mesmerizing living bait ball" performs daily: live herring eaten by sharks. Story


Cardiff Giant II

Cardiff Giant II.

Full-size, faithful replica of the infamous 19th century "petrified man." Sculpted from the same rock, from the same quarry, that was used to carve the original. Pranks don't get any more labor-intensive than this. Story


Dreamland or Nightmare?

>Dreamland Wax Museum.

Criticized for its wax likenesses -- and loving the free publicity -- Dreamland Wax Museum displays all 45 Presidents, including a pucker-faced Donald Trump. Also in the house: Albert Einstein with antigravity hair. Story


Giddy-Up Daddy

Giddy-Up Daddy.

Cartoonist Bil Keane has been immortalized as a human horse for his "Family Circle" comic strip kids, which he brought to life in a daily gag for over 50 years. Story


Giant Cowpoke Needs Naptime

Giant Cowpoke.

The old sombrero playground slide in Bear Creek Park was a hit with kids, and an awkward embarrassment for adults. So it was accessorized into a giant, sleeping, half-buried cowboy. Story


Animals in the Afterlife

Wilderness Taxidermy and Wildlife Museum.

A rare look at the kill shot reality of wildlife management. The blunt-talking owner of the Wilderness Taxidermy and Wildlife Museum isn't gun-shy about it. "Bambi's gotta die sometime." Story


By the Time We Got to Woodstock, It Was Over


Gaze upon the famous field where hippies danced and played. It happened in 1969, nowhere near the town of Woodstock -- a directional bad trip for generations of subsequent tourists. Story


Stay On The Scene... Like A Sex Machine

The Godfather of Soul.

James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, with stage cape, smile, and microphone. A hometown tribute, the statue had to sit in storage until Brown was released from prison and could attend its dedication. Story


Hurricane Aftermath Update

Perky's Bat Tower, a curiosity that had weathered Florida weather for nearly 80 years, was destroyed by Hurricane Irma. But the post-hurricane roadside attraction news elsewhere out of Florida and Texas is more promising. The 54 six-toed cats at the Hemingway House survived without a scratch. Nibbles the Shark was banged up but appears to have escaped major damage. A handful of other attractions, including Monkey Jungle, Gator Country, Jungle Island, and Gatorama, are currently closed for clean-up, but plan to reopen soon. The Florida Keys have announced that their attractions will reopen to tourists on October 1.


Roadside America iPhone App Update: 1.9.1

iPhone app Filter By Rating

Our latest iPhone update introduces a few capabilities we know will be useful: 1) Filter By Rating - A user can hide attractions based on our expert Editor Ratings, making it easier to instantly see what great places are Nearby. It can also hide places marked as "Been There." 2) Export Been Theres and Saves - Sign in via the account tab and mail your personal list to import on a second device, or to preserve for import back into the app if needed.

Roadside America App for iPhone


Instagram: Roadside_America


Have an Instagram account? You might enjoy following our procession of quirky photos from current research trips, and rare glimpses of Roadside America from our archives.



Say cheese!
The Team

Spotted by Tipsters

Spotted by Tipsters

We wish we had an attraction status map like network news anchors use to show airline flight chaos and state-wide power outages. Since we don't have that, we're relying on your slightly damp feet on the ground to report on wind and water casualties. But also tell us about happy things, okay?

Latest Tips


Apps & Tools

Roadside America iPhone app Roadside America (iPhone)
Update to 1.9.1! Now you can filter maps by Editor Rating and Been Theres. Export your Saves and Been Theres for use on a 2nd device. Full app includes 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!


Copyright © 2017, This Exit LLC, All rights reserved.
E-mail Comments, New Tips and Photo Submissions

Main image: The Ultimate Selfie Machine, Columbus, Ohio