Sunday, July 09, 2006

Five Great Offbeat American Landmarks

Having travelled across a great deal of the United States by car, and always have needed any excuse to get out of the car, here our my five great offbeat American landmarks. If they aren't on the list, I hadn't yet been by for a visit:

5. Gatorland
Outside of the DisneyWorld tourist mecca, this just screams cheese. OK, so I never actually visited it, but I really wanted to.

4. The Corn Palace
Located in Mitchell, South Dakota, there's really nothing better than going out of your way to visit a palace made out of corn. They didn't have that Internet thing when I was growing up, but I can relive my childhood by checking in with their webcam.

3. Wall Drug
Who hasn't been curious about Wall Drug after seeing the umpteenth bumper sticker and road sign. Our family went out of our way for the pitstop, but you couldn't help feel at least a wee disapointed (my brother did come away with a nifty Daniel Boone looking coon-skin hat for our sweltering August travel).

2. South of the Border
Drive by this South Carolina roadmark, just don't stop. After being barraged by some of the worst road signs in America (aka Have you ever sausage a place?) your level of excitement quickly falls after realizing that the endless gift shops, roller coasters, mini golf and fireworks stores look, well, empty.

1. The Oasis Restaurant
Located in my hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin, this roadside stop will be no more soon when developers bulldoze the place... but they are keeping the famous Cow? What makes this so special? I worked at the Oasis Restaurant as a line cook during high school summers, played for the softball team and such. And I could always say I worked somewhere with a big cow in the parking lot - and that made it into RoadSide America. Oh yeah, and their ugly signs were voted one of the worst by Life Magazine years ago too. Memories...

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