For some time now I’ve assumed that those over-sized ‘attractions’ you see on the side of the road – the gigantic fish, the huge cowboy boot, the worlds’s largest strawberry – were relics from a time when people travelled by car more often and made a point of stopping at various points-of-interest along the way (or at least for a pee break). I was wrong. I did a Google search the other day and discovered that there are new roadside attractions being built and opening all the time. Huh.
Online, it’s evident that there are over-sized EVERYTHINGs out there for our roadside amusement. You name it, there’s a ‘biggy-sized’ attraction devoted to it. According to one website (RoadsideAmerica.com), there are several roadside attractions slotted to open in 2014 in the U.S. and a handful more that are being developed. My favourite among these is the Slotzilla, “a giant slot machine that spits out people on a zip line”. It’s located in, of course, Vegas. I only wish my internet search had pulled up more images of roadside attractions world-wide. I’d love to see a picture of the world’s largest bowl of phở that lures in hungry road-trippers somewhere in Vietnam. It must exist.
The closest attraction of this sort to my home is called The Big Apple. After driving past it for almost 20 years now, I finally stopped in.
As expected, it had all the elements of what I assumed a classic roadside attraction would have:
- A sign welcoming tourists (and their $$’s) by the bus load
- Snacks, sweets and more treats
- A play area for little road trippers
- Souvenirs of the bigger-than-life attraction
I enjoyed my visit to The Big Apple. Was it a little tacky? Sure. But I think these roadside attractions help encourage people to continue going on road trips. Plus, they’re a fun way to promote whats unique to each town, city or intersection that they’re erected in. Besides, I left with an empty bladder and a large apple-caramel pie. THAT made the detour to get there COMPLETELY worth it.
At the Big Apple, did you notice the gallery of photos on the wall? The Big Pineapple is somewhere in Hawaii (I think). Maybe a trip out there to see the Pineapple “in person” should be on your “To-Do” List. :-)
I did! I even took a few pics of them but they are well-loved (faded) photos so my pics didn’t turn out well. Lots of Aussie attractions too.