News from the offbeat tourist attraction landscape of Roadside America.
Sightings Vol. 13, No. 10 - November 14, 2017

Home Strange Home

We've entered the season where road trips start turning toward family and home -- but what if your family lived in a house from the Bizarro World? We'd all be stopping by for leftovers! Think of the fun you'd have getting lost in the labyrinthian dead-ends of the Winchester Mystery House, or climbing to the rickety summit of the Smith Mansion, or playing with the beyond-science devices scattered around the Orgonon?

It isn't surprising that normal people were disinvited to these houses while their owners were alive -- but now that they're gone, the public is welcome. Why not share them with your family? They might realize that, by comparison, you're not really that peculiar after all.

Winchester Mystery House

Smith Mansion



Goldfield Ghost Town

Nick Engelbert's Grandview.

A kid-friendly brothel, a mystery spot, and gunfights? Goldfield Ghost Town may not be totally historically accurate, but it's a sparkly nugget of Wild West fun in the Arizona desert. Story


Cocaine Bear

Cocaine Bear.

This wrong-place-wrong-time bear succumbed while eating $15 million worth of sugary stimulants dropped from a plane by a drug smuggler, who also died. Rescued from obscurity, the bear returned to its native habitat: Kentucky. Story


Stax Museum of American Soul Music

Stax Museum of American Soul Music.

Suddenly it's 1971! See flamboyant stage costumes, a hallway-o'-hits, and Isaac Hayes' custom gold Cadillac. Dance on an "Express Yourself" disco floor to videos from Soul Train. Story


Pocahontas, the Princess Giant


She's greeted visitors to her namesake Iowa town since 1954. Designed by a taxidermist whose only previous work was a giant fish. Fans of the 1990s Disney film may be confused. Story


Teapot Dome Gas Station

Teapot Dome Gas Station.

Why build a gas station shaped like a teapot? If you'd been alive in 1922, you'd get the joke -- bribery, petroleum, and politics -- maybe. Most folks nowadays just like the way it looks. Story


Abe Lincoln and Perry Como

Abe Lincoln and Perry Como.

Perry holds a copy of the Gettysburg Address; Abe gestures toward the house where he wrote it. Unfortunately the Perry Como connection is lost to anyone younger than retirement age. Story


Sonic Center of the Universe

Sonic Center of the Universe.

Is it a simple acoustic anomaly or mysterious cosmic vortex? Stand on a well-worn concrete disc and hear a distorted, time-delayed voice -- your own -- echoing into infinity. Story


Sports Stars Made of Junk

Sports Stars Made of Junk.

If you want to know what our future world of robot athletes will look like, check out the scrap metal sculptures around the parking lot of the United States Sports Academy. Story


Trunkations: Ax Marks the Spot

Ax Marks the Spot.

It's America's hottest attraction trend -- because there's virtue as well as entertainment in mastering the hatchet hurl. Zombies, and henchmen of the Chinese mob, watch out. Story


Instagram: @Roadside_America


Instagrammers might enjoy our procession of quirky photos from current research trips, and rare glimpses of Roadside America from our archives.



Thanks for dropping in!
The Team

Spotted by Tipsters

Spotted by Tipsters

The constant stream of visitor tips help us stay on top of the latest changes along the road. There's always more to be discovered and shared, such as this pair of museums where you can dunk a dummy in a water torture tank, then admire a flea outfitted with gold horseshoes.

Latest Tips


Apps & Tools

Roadside America iPhone app Roadside America (iPhone)
Update to 1.9.1! New: 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!


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Main image: Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California