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I was reading a post on Lucy’s Football this morning, Getting Out of One Car and Into Another, and she was talking about an amusement park that she used to visit as a child and visiting New York and seeing Strawberry Fields and The Dakota.  I would have not thought to go to the Dakota if I went to New York, but I can see why she went.  It is a piece of Americana.  A landmark of where tragedy struck.  I don’t know why but it got me back to thinking of the places that I want to see (as well as making me sing Beatles songs in my head all morning).  These places are the kinds of places that you see on a road trip, not as a trip themselves. They are the silly, nostalgic, and sometimes strange places on the sides of the road.  They are the places that stand out from road trips I took as a child and ones that I want to see with my children.

My love for these places started when I was young when my family would road trip from California to Indiana every other summer.  I remember posing for the Anderson’s Pea Soup Hole in the Wall on one of our trips.

I need to find our photo, but thankfully Roadsideamerica.com had a picture of it.

I remember getting excited each time we got close to Baker  because I could not wait to see to see the big thermometer and what temperature it was going say it was.  We did not have air conditioning in our van, it was always good to see at what temperature we were baking at.

Postacard image found on "My Wandering Uggs".

As a child I did not fully appreciate the road trip.  I am sure I complained and drove my parents nuts, but as an adult I am so glad I have those memories.  I think I am lucky to be able to say I have seen the place where 4 states meet and have seen Mount Rushmore, Devils Tower, and Missoula, Montana.  Missoula?  Our car broke down there so I got to spend a day or two sightseeing there, by the time we left I was sure I was going to go to the University of Montana when I grew up (I didn’t go to school there, but I still fondly remember how beautiful it was).

So that is why I want to share some places like that with my kids, and why I picked these 5 places to as my top picks for places to try to go see…

  1. Wall Drug Storein Wall, South Dakota

    Picture of Wall Drug Store from Travel and Leisure (click picture to find their write up).

    I actually think we could get to this one.  Why?  It is close to Mount Rushmore and I hope to take the kids to Mount Rushmore someday.  My Daughter, The Girl, loves Teddy Roosevelt, and so she is also pushing for a trip there (all we need is a vote from The Boy and we have a majority of the vote).   Anyways, there are shows and unique collections to explore.  It also has an animated Chuck Wagon with figure that looks like Ronald Reagan… Oh, the joy I would feel to have a picture with that!

  2. The Fremont Troll in Seattle, Washington

    Photo found on thesidenote.com

    I used to live in Seattle (actually lived on Fremont Ave.)  and have seen The Fremont Troll.  It is a sight to be seen.  I would love to have a picture of the kids with the troll.  I think it would be a great way to connect my childhood with theirs.  Also, who would not want to stop off and see such a cool sculpture.

  3. The Shady Dellin Brisbane, Arizona.

    How much fun would it be to stay in these old RVs?

    The next place I want to take the kids is actually a motel.  The motel is comprised of old renovated RVs.  I would have to wait until the kids are a bit older since each RV can only sleep 2, but I think it would be such a fun experience to stay there.  It is in Arizona too, so I am sure there would be other sights to see as well.  There is the Mystery Castle… I wonder how far away Brisbane is from Phoenix?

  4. Carhengein Alliance, Nebraska.

    Photo found on clusterballoon.org

    I have been wanting to see this sculpture for a long time…but have not found myself in Nebraska or really in its vicinity.  I don’t know why but I think that recreating stonehenge with cars is a really cool concept.  One day… One day I will make it to Nebraska.

  5. South of the Borderin Dillon, South Carolina.

    It just looks like a fun place to go!

    I have driven by this place several times on road trips, but every time the people I was with always came up with excuses on why we could not stop.  Next time I drive by… I am stopping no excuses.  I want to go up to the top of the sombrero.  The new Reptile Lagoon also seems like an attraction my kids would love.

    So there is my bucket list of some of the places I want to take my kids (or really I just want to go to)… that are not the typical vacation destinations.  Do you know of some cool places that I should put on this list.  Am I missing a roadside “gem” that should not be missed?

    Update:  I should note I started this post on Thursday.  Yeah, it took me a while to get it finished.  I have been a bit under the weather… because of the weather.