roadside attraction agenda


To amuse myself when it rains (and when I can wrest connectivity from the kids), I've been looking for interesting places to visit on our trip back home. The Roadside America link that Alice Yucht wrote about in a comment here has been extremely helpful in finding the most unusual spots.

I also just finished reading the amazing book American Gods by Neil Gaiman, in which the roadside attraction House on the Rock in Wisconsin figures prominently. I was delighted to find that it's not out of our way, so that's a definite stop on the tour. We'll also be making stops at the Corn Palace in South Dakota, and the Spam Museum in Minnesota. While in Minnesota we'll also pay a visit to the Mall of America.

That's in addition to the national parks and monuments we've already tagged for visits...North Cascades NP on our way out of the state, followed by Yellowstone NP , Mount Rushmore, Wind Cave NP, and Badlands NP. Alex will get new stamps for his passport, and we'll get to see some beautiful areas that none of us have visited before.

I suspect that I'll be in less of a funk when we're moving than I am here--it won't feel so much like we're pretending to be at home while we're on the road.


Make sure you give yourself enough time to enjoy these attractions. A friend of mine visited the House on the Rock on a lark, and he said that the hour that he was there was not close to enough time to enjoy it all. He said that it was really a full day experience.

As for other pertinent reading, may I suggest Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins?

On your way through South Dakota don't forget Custer State Park -- lots of free range Buffalo. Wall Drug is also another must see in South Dakota. Depending on when you travel through South Dakota, you might get a glimpse of the Sturgis Rally (August 7th - 13th, 2006), that something to be witnessed.

The MoA is worth a look, but it's not as cool as people expect it to be (IKEA right next to it, which was the only reason I ever ventured near the mall). MSP was rated by NPR or PBS as one of the top culture centers in the USA - lots of museums, theaters, and festivals. I always enjoyed the Science Museum of Minnesota in St. Paul when I was a kid. Gunther von Hagens' BODYWORLDS will be at the science museum until September 4th.

House on the Rock is definitely worth a stop and plan to spend a half day there. Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin is also near by.

If you're heading through Milwaukee, I'm told the Discovery World at Pier Wisconsin is cool.

PBS has a series called "Rare Visions & Roadside Revelations" where these two (I think it might 3) guys go around to various places across the country and find all these obscure off-the-beaten-path gems.

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This page contains a single entry published on July 12, 2006 8:32 AM.

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