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A Tour Of America’s Roadside Attractions – Part 1

By Elijah Bates
bingham canyon mine A Tour Of America’s Roadside Attractions   Part 1

Bingham Canyon Mine (Credit: Thinkstock)

Bingham Canyon Mine

Salt Lake City, Utah
Only a half-hour drive outside of Salt Lake City exists the biggest pit in the world. Still being dug to this day, the Bingham Canyon Mine only stands to get bigger with each visit. Or, for something a little more Mormon, go check out the Gilgal Garden.

National Atomic Testing Museum

Las Vegas, Nevada
Forget the Black Mailbox of Area 51. Instead, take a simulated trip into yesteryear, and have some fun experiencing the world that almost came to be by visiting the National Atomic Testing Museum. After all, who couldn’t use a little whimsy with their nuclear winter?

ok corral A Tour Of America’s Roadside Attractions   Part 1

Credit: Thinkstock

O.K. Corral

Tombstone, Arizona
Believe it or not, Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and all of his brothers were in fact real people. Likewise, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral wasn’t just a cool scene from the movies; it was real life. For the non-romanticized story of how it all went down, stop on by Tombstone.

Casa Bonita

Lakewood, Colorado
Sociopathic behavior aside, everyone deserves to let out their inner Eric Cartman every now and then. Luckily, Casa Bonita offers that chance, complete with flame jugglers, mariachis, cliff divers, puppet shows and, of course, Black Bart’s Cave.

roswell nm A Tour Of America’s Roadside Attractions   Part 1

Credit: Thinkstock

Roswell Crash Site

Roswell, New Mexico
Cliches be damned, taking a trip to the Roswell Crash Site in New Mexico will never get old… that is, not until the “visitors” return elsewhere. See this soon before its unique kitsch evolves into standard vintage, at which point no one will be able to afford it anymore.

Clay Henry: The Beer-Drinking Goat

Lajitas, Texas
Only in Texas can a beer-drinking goat get elected as mayor. Case in point: Clay Henry, a booze-swilling mountain goat who won the office in 1986. And while he’s since passed on, his son Clay Henry Jr. continues to live on and entertain passing tourists to this day.

Geographical Center of North America

Rugby, North Dakota
Sure, it might not sound as grand as setting foot on the North and South Poles, but taking a picture right at the specific geographical center of the continent is still a pretty special thing. Not only that, but it’s an actual reason to take a tour of North Dakota too!

Corn Palace

Mitchell, South Dakota
There’s no better place for “corny” puns like “ear-chitecture” to find a home than the Corn Palace. Muralized by grains, grasses and, of course, corn, this South Dakota landmark also stakes claim to being the world’s largest bird feeder later in the year.


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