My obsession with roadside attractions didn’t begin with my quest to find free and low-cost attractions for my family to visit when we traveled.
No, my love of the odd and unusual began as a preschooler when I would pile in my grandparent’s trusty van with some of my cousins and journey along the Coastal Ohio Trail through Port Clinton.
Thirty-some years ago, it wasn’t so much Lake Erie that caught my attention, but the giant dinosaurs that marked the entrance to the Prehistoric Forest.
No amount of begging or pleading could entice my grandpa to pull over to explore.
Maybe that’s why my attraction to roadside Americana grew- because I longed to stop, just once.
The attraction is now defunct, but it didn’t close until after my husband and I could visit with our own children. The disappointing visit with my family did little to diminish my fondness for all things kitsch, which has only grown stronger with each passing road trip.
I now actively seek out roadside attractions when I travel with my family. And while my husband has learned to brake and pull over at a moment’s notice, my children have, for the most part, learned to tolerate my addiction.
They can’t-fool me, I know that secretly they have enjoyed most of the attractions we’ve stopped at, even if they are unwilling to verbalize that at the moment. I only imagine at some point in their lives, they’ll fully appreciate all the quirky roadside attractions I’ve forced them (their words) to visit over the years.
Join me tomorrow when I share my Top Ten Roadside Attractions.
In the meantime, can you name the roadside attractions in the photo at the top of the page?