As a kid I have fond memories of hitting the road with my parents and exploring the USA by car. There's nothing like getting away from home and spending quality time with family and going on a new adventure. The randomness of pitstops, exploring towns that nobody had ever heard of and seeing the most unusual of tourist sites will forever be etched in my memory. No matter what season, armed with a CAA guide, Best Western hotels booked and our van, we could get to anywhere we wanted to.
Five odd tourist attractions
In honor of that here is are some of the most unusual roadside attractions you can find across the USA that would give you as good a reason as any to pack your bags and hit the road.
1) Pike Place Market Gum Wall
Right by Pike Place in downtown Seattle, you can find a wall entirely covered with chewed and hardened over bubble gum. This sticky and colorful wall is a place that you can fascinate over and contribute to. If you're a germaphobe though, I might stay away though. Regardless, I wouldn't recommend touching the wall. There might be new strains of bacteria here that the CDC doesn't even know about!
Address: Gum Wall Pike St Seattle, WA 98101
2) Bronner's Christmas Wonderland
I remember coming here as a kid and being confused why we were visiting a store filled with Christmas stuff in the middle of the summer. In the middle of Michigan's Little Bavaria in Frankenmuth, you can find a full assortment of Christmas trims and gifts that's the size of 1.5 football fields. Now you know where to go when you need dose of Christmas all year round.
Address: 25 Christmas Lane Frankenmuth, MI 48734 (989) 652-9931 Website
3) The Big Apple
Close to home, this is something we always pass by being east of Toronto. They claim to have the biggest apple in the world and hey who am I to argue otherwise as its certainly ginormous. This is always a nice pit stop because they serve up a delicious pies, ciders and freshly picked apples.
Address: 262 Orchard Dr. Colborne, ON, Canada 905-355-2574 Website
4) Penn's Cave
In the middle of Pennsylvania you'll find America's only water cavern. Hop on a little water craft and explore the limestone curtains, pillars and columns carved from the water a millennia ago. You'd never expect something like this driving through the state of Pennsylvania but it was quite the nice surprise.
Address: 222 Penn's Cave Road Centre Hall, PA 16828 814-364-1664 Website
5) Cadillac Ranch
In Amarillo, Texas there's a graveyard of 10 Cadillacs as part of an art installation that demonstrates the glory of that classic tail fin design dating from 1949 to 1963. Nowadays, tourists are encouraged to continue to graffiti over the art to continue the conversation. It's a cool spot to stop over on the classic Route 66 that is certainly tweet and Instagram worthy.
Address: I-40, outside of Amarillo, TX Just west of the Amarillo city line. I-40 exit 60. Drive south to the frontage road (old Route 66), then turn left. Drive east one mile.
CAA maps always handy to have
My Dad has always loved CAA (Canadian AAA) because it always gave us a nice safety net whether at home or on a road trip. It's comforting to know that we can always count on CAA if we get into an accident, get a flat tire, run out of gas or lock ourselves out. Another added bonus having CAA was having access the maps. Even with everyone switching to GPS, he insists on using those CAA maps. Without these maps, I'm not sure how we would've been able to get around.
Best Western experience
When on the road, we often picked Best Western as a place to stop over for the night. They were already conveniently located by the highway, had a great price point and were clean, modern and offers breakfast. When we were visiting Finger Lakes, we stayed at the Best Western Plus Finger Lakes Inn & Suites which had well-appointed decor, was modern and extremely comfortable.