Roadside Attractions

I really enjoy traveling. My wanderlust began as a child when our family would travel up and down the east coast visiting family. I had an aunt and uncle who lived on Long Island who later relocated to Florida. I saw the neatest things on our travels. At my sister and my request, Dad stopped at many of them. Do you remember South of the Border? It’s a kitschy type of place. Loaded with colorful attractions, fun souvenir shops and eateries. Such a fun place for a child to explore! South of the border is located at the North Carolina, South Carolina line. It has fallen in disrepair over the years, but I believe it is now in the process of being restored.

Artistic rendering of the South of the Border Mexican welcoming everyone to the establishment. He is wearing a sombrero and typical attire. The entire image textured with bright colors red and blue and orange.
Drive through entrance
Red and green neon sign at South of the Border.
Hot Tamale
Three gray donkey figures watch over the visitors at South if the border.
Donkeys at South if the border.
Welcome sign displayed on a great whale at South if the border. The image is an infrared image toned in brown.
Not tale of the whale but the entire whale.

As an adult these roadside attractions still fascinate me. They are chock full of photographic opportunities. I try to seek them out when I travel. These eclectic places are all over, you just have to find them. is another great roadside attraction in White Post, VA.

Black and white infrared image of three dinosaur replicas under the trees.
Under the trees
Infrared black and white image with sign to Dinosaur Land.
Dinosaur Land sign as seen from the road.

Cadillac Ranch is another great roadside attraction. On my home to North Carolina, I stopped at this attraction. It was a chilly November day, and the winds were pretty strong. I had to walk a fair distance into the field to reach the Cadillac’s. People were spraying graffiti on the cars with spray paint. People also left their empty spray cans on the ground as the two trash barrels were full. You can find Cadillac Ranch on the south access road of I-40 in Amarillo, TX. Ten Cadillacs are buried nose-down in a field at the same angle as the Pyramids of Giza Pyramid.

Many roadside attractions are advertisements for travelers to stop and visit their shop. On our trip out west we stopped at several of this attractions. We stopped at Gila Bend Cactus & Stuff.  A colorful place that enticed us to stop and check it out. 

They make nice breaks from driving.  

Color pots and outside decor at the front of the shop.
Gila Bend Cactus & Stuff
Three dinosaurs adorn the side of Gila Bend Cactus & Stuff.
Gila Bend Cactus & Stuff

Route 66 is another great place to check out. 

“The romance of Route 66 continues to captivate people around the world. Starting in Chicago and ending in Los Angeles, over two thousand miles all the way” in the words of the popular R&B anthem, this legendary old road passes through the heart of the United States on a diagonal trip that takes in some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes. If you’re looking for great displays of neon signs, rusty middle-of-nowhere truck stops, or kitschy Americana, do as the song says and “get your kicks on Route 66.”

Old red car parked under Seligman painted on light green Side of a grocery.
Typical Rt 66 scene
Mother Road restaurant located in Seligman Arizona The white building with light blue lettering.
Mother Road Resturant
Old black and white cop car parked beside a bright yellow building.
Call 911
Walkway painted to look like Rt. 66 highway leading to a motorcycle shop.
Rt 66 sidewalk
Pink and white sign on top of building staring Mr. D’z eatery.
Mr. D’z eatery
Colorful ice cream and burger shop. A rainbow of colors adorn the white building making the appearance of the eatery very appealing.
It’s an ice cream and burger corner.

When you are planning your next trip, take time to stop at various roadside attractions and get a flavor of Americana. You will be taken back to a simpler time and away from the troubles we are living through today!

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