My favorite offbeat travel app and my hometown’s roadside attraction
Giant balls of twine. Quirky statues. Huge chairs. Mystery spots. A corn palace. Museums dedicated to the random and the obscure.
These offbeat travel destinations, roadside attractions, and amusing tourist destinations are some of my favorite things about hitting the road.
One of my childhood vacation memories is exploring the Coral Castle in Homestead, Florida with my parents and grandparents, my first true introduction to quirky and unusual tourist destinations. To this day, no one knows exactly how it was a built, a real life mystery.
I’ve been hooked on exploring roadside attractions and destinations slightly off the beaten path ever since. In fact, today I live in a small town famous for our own roadside attraction and it makes me smile every time we pass by.
I can’t help myself. Historical or hysterical, I want to see it.
The world’s largest Rubik’s Cube? Check!
A cinnamon roll bigger than my children? Of course!
The world’s largest figurative sundial? Why not?
A giant peanut? You’d better believe it!
A palace made of corn? On my bucket list, friend!
If you love those kinds of tourist stops and small town claims to fame, if incorporating a little bit of the odd and the silly into your travels is your thing, then I’ve got an app and a website I’d love to share with you: Roadside America: Your Online Guide to Offbeat Tourist Attractions.
We’ve been using the Roadside America app for about three years and have had such a fun time with it. The attractions and the stories behind them rarely disappoint and we’ve had some good family adventures.
Our family is especially interested in discovering the “World’s Largest” attractions and that’s mainly how we use the app and the site. You can follow along with our hashtag on Instagram if you’re curious about some of our larger than life adventures: #FlecksGoBig
There are many categories to explore within the app and the website and you can search by type of attraction or by state or region.
The app has a feature that allows you to keep track of what roadside attractions you’ve visited and lets users review and add their own comments and tips.
One of my favorite things about this app is that while we can use it to discover fun side adventures while on longer cross country road trips, we can also use it to explore roadside attractions local to us and explore some of the quirky, fun sights in our own area.
You might be surprised at what silly things are within a one tank drive, just waiting for you to discover!
One of our favorite hometown characters is featured in the app, our own Pink Elephant. What’s that, you say? You have been wondering where you can see the world’s largest pink elephant drinking a martini and wearing spectacles? Well, head to Fortville, Indiana friends and meet our town’s beloved pachyderm.
If he’s not guarding his regular post on Broadway, it may because he is overseeing one of our town’s festivals. He’s been watching over Fortville, martini in trunk, since the 1980s.
While you’re here, head down Main Street and visit Indulge, a local ice cream shop where you can enjoy a sweet treat named, of course, the Pink Elephant.
A little silly, definitely fun, and a testament to mankind’s quirky side, exploring roadside attractions is one of my family’s favorite travel experiences and the Roadside America app makes it easy to find amusing and interesting tourist spots that we might otherwise overlook.
Here’s to exploring the random, the unique, and the offbeat!
Get our weekly email called
5 Quick Things,
where we share new stuff from the blog and podcast—that way you’ll never miss a thing. Tsh also shares other goodness from around the web... It can be read in under a minute, pinky-swear.
(You’ll also get her quick list of her 10 favorite essays and podcast episodes from around here, helping you wade through a decade of content.)