What's a Roadside Attraction?

A Roadside Attraction is an interesting sight, along the side of a road made for for travelers and tourists.

Most Roadside Attractions are places one might stop on the way to somewhere, rather than actually being a destination.

Some Roadside Attractions are advertised with big billboards along the main highways.

The highway or – Roadside Attraction was as a U.S. and Western Canadian phenomenon in the 1940s to 1960s.

Roadside Attractions

When long-distance road travel became convenient and more popular in the 1920s, entrepreneurs began building restaurants, motels, coffee shops, cafes and more unusual businesses and other sights to attract travelers.

Many of the buildings were attractions themselves like in forms of novelty architecture, depicting common objects of enormous size.

With the construction of the U.S. Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, many Roadside Attractions were bypassed and quickly went out of business.

Some remained attractive enough to divert travelers from the interstate for a brief respite and thus remain in business.

The best example of this change is to see along Route 66, where in the southwest, Interstate 40 was built for faster travel.


   Types of Roadsides Attractions

  • Muffler Man
  • Uniroyal Gal
  • Fiberglass animals
  • Fiberglass statues of all kind
  • Unusual shaped buildings
  • World’s largest or biggest
  • Old signs (advertising, funny, weird)
  • Old motels
  • Old gas stations
  • Old cafés/restaurants
  • Old or new amusements parks
  • US landmarks
  • Route 66 landmarks
  • Art (someones life’s work or collection)
  • Collections of old cars
  • Shops with unusual stuff
  • Odd things
  • Museum
  • Ghost Towns
  • Historic sites
  • Lighthouses
  • Nature (like funny shapes rocks)