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Old 05-27-2012, 07:26 PM
 
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Does anybody know if House on the rock in Wisconsin is a tourist or worth a stop. We will be driving that way next week and was thinking of seeing it, thats after we stop at Wall drug.
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Old 05-27-2012, 11:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LargeKingCat View Post
Summer is upon us, almost, and we are but a few days away from the summer travel season here in the good ole USA!
Those of you who know me know that I love to travel. I am not a travel agent or a travel expert but I am sure good at travelling !!!
This thread came out of something I saw in another thread, and made me think of something funny.
One summer, when in college, I stopped at a known tourist trap called the Natural Bridge located in Virginia. It is said that George Washington carved his intials in the rock there as a child and for a low price of $12.95 a person (back in the 80's) YOU TOO can see it.
No, I did not go past the gift shop and the 10 cent latrines, but I saw this pickup truck outfitted with a boxy travel camper on the bed, the door adorned with stickers from natural bridge and about every other known tourist trap in the southeast. I observed a lanky underfed kid getting out carrying his polaroid button camera off to see the natural bridge, and I remarked to my then girlfriend "Lokk! It's the tourist trap people! I see them every year at some tourist trap"
Well maybe not those exact ones.
But over the years I have been through and by some of the more notable ones. And I am leaving Disney and such off my list, but I will start and ask you to add your tourist trap stories, humor and sarcasm accepted.

When we were driving to Disneyland in the 70's the first time, back when station wagons had replaced covered wagons westward and Route 66 had been absorbed by the Interstates, we pass a billboard somewhere in West Texas that read "SEE THE THING 200 Miles ahead" As we got closer to that 200 Mile point in the middle of the Arizona desert somewhere before Tucson the signs became more numerous, and my dad, not happy that we demanded to stop, reluctantly agreed. We even talked him into paying the $1 so we could walk through the 3 rooms of this mildly educating and slightly entertaining museum, wasted about an hour, left with my dad remarking "you could have gone to a museum and seen that all for free"
By the end of the vacation, my mom was referring to everything between Anaheim and Dallas as either a "Gyp Joint" or a "Tourist Trap"
We took so very few vacations growing up that I am glad we crowded as much as we could into the few trips we did take. My parents were not poor, but they hated travel and they still do. They see no reason at all to go out and explore outside of their home. I see no reason not to.

As for THE THING, it was one of the many road side attractions I have visited or observed or noted in my years of travel. Most I look at and skip, I am not one for wasting money even on vacation.

I would say too that if there everr was a town that totally epitomized the term "tourist trap" it would have to be Cherokee, North Carolina, with Gatlinburg coming in at a close second. The first I hope never to go to again, the second, I don't know. I would rate a town as a tourist trap when not only hotels but tasteless bland food costs 25 to 50 percent more than anyhere else. That would be Gatlinburg.
I also want to add that along the way, I have discovered the best experiences in the out of the way towns and paces off the beaten path. I would rather stop in at a local dinerr in a town of 500 to 1000 and eat there while on a car trip than to go to a tourist spot or into a chain at a larger town. And the areas around the hotels? FORGET IT!!! Unless I have a craving for Cracker Barrel, which is rare, I'll take a trip through the local grocery store and make my own sandwich.
That being said, it will be interesting to hear YOUR Travels and your experiences with roadside attractions and tourist traps. I would bet that some of the ones mentione in are already known to me. I might even make a list of one's I know, but that would take months to remember and days to read, so probably not. Thanks


I saw the title, and before reading your post, I immediately thought of "The Thing"!!

Usually stop for gas there on my travels along the southwest, but last year, we finally paid the $1 a head and went through the tents and rough-made sheds to see this. For hokey fun, it was worth every penny.

As a side note, I have a personal love for places like that. Part rest stop, "tourist trap", gas station, and souvenir shop all rolled into one. It helps that it is the only real place out there for miles and miles and is pretty quiet at most times.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:12 AM
 
Location: Bangor Maine
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Salem Massachusetts - enough with the witches of 300 years ago. Otherwise the Northshore area of MA is very nice. Check out Cape Ann instead.
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Old 05-28-2012, 03:58 PM
 
Location: OCNJ and or lower Florida keys
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the tourist trap town of key west Florida where at Mallory square you will see great sunsets and street performers year round at dusk every night. the best was the guy with the dog he trained to retrieve dollar bills from the people watching the act. every little kid in the square was asking mom or dad for a dollar to give the doggie! I bet that guy makes more than the most tourists who visit!
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Old 05-28-2012, 07:25 PM
 
Location: On the Edge of the Fringe
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Originally Posted by WyoNewk View Post
I guess "tourist trap" means different things to different people. To me, there need NOT be anything of value or benefit to see, but the advertising lures you there to spend money. We generally call all souvenir shops tourist traps but would expand the term to include other man-made spots that entice tourists to stop and spend their money foolishly.
Now I do find tourist traps amusing to some degree, though i refuse to spend much time or money therein
But I think you hit it on the head. THey are not all bad, but they are designed to get tourists in and have things for them to spend needless money foolishly

I had Gatlinburg on the list because the one time I stopped in to eat, I noticed taht the meal price was a good 30% higher than at the same chains elsewhere.

I had THE THING in mind when I started this, but STUCKEY's was the standard of the 70's back when we travelled as a station wagon family. Now Stuckey's is still around although does not seem to be as prolific as in decades past. Stuckey's Pecan Log Roll Southern Recipes Unique Gifts Homemade Candy Pecan Divinity: About Stuckey's

I have also learned on my many miles of road trips (I venture aguess that the miles I have spent in a car on vacation weekend trips and such is close to or slighty over 1 000 000) That the Interstate is not the most interesting way to go at times. Fastest yes, but I miss the days of travelling through every small town on a US Highway and looking for roadside landmarks that were unique to each town.
Now it almost seems as though the same chains have set up in the same order in each town.

Of course Route 66 Had the best of the best, Check out the Rock Cafe in Stroud OK as an examole, I would not call it so much as a tourist trap BUT pretty much the whole clientele is tourists and the food and atmosphere was great. I can imagine that place when Route 66 was opened and serving at least 100 Bison burgers a day.


No one mentioned St Augustine FLorida, the nations oldest city. There is a main drag, from the old gates near the fort and cemetary down to the toen square that is foot traffic only, all wall to wall shops and attractions. (I know which one has the best beer and best food) There are some things worth seeing that are cheap, like the Fort (National Park) And the old churches by the square (free) But basically every museum has an admission fee
And there are no shortage of shops hawking gimmicky tourist kitsch and Thomas Kinkaide T-shirts, same as in Helen Georgia o rth eBig Txan gift shop in Amarillo
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Old 05-29-2012, 04:56 AM
 
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zyngawf View Post
Does anybody know if House on the rock in Wisconsin is a tourist or worth a stop. We will be driving that way next week and was thinking of seeing it, thats after we stop at Wall drug.
House on the Rocks was very cool. It has been many, many years since I went as a young teenager (so we are talking 18 years or so?). I've actually thought about returning to the area in the future.
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Old 05-29-2012, 03:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LeisureMan View Post
I saw the title, and before reading your post, I immediately thought of "The Thing"!!

Usually stop for gas there on my travels along the southwest, but last year, we finally paid the $1 a head and went through the tents and rough-made sheds to see this. For hokey fun, it was worth every penny.

As a side note, I have a personal love for places like that. Part rest stop, "tourist trap", gas station, and souvenir shop all rolled into one. It helps that it is the only real place out there for miles and miles and is pretty quiet at most times.
I remember The Thing (the tourist attraction/trap, not the film), maybe different one from what LeisureMan saw, in the desert along what is now Interstate 15 between L.A. to Las Vegas. My father never stopped, but I recall seeing signs as far away as Utah (on our way back from vistiing the parks there), such as "The Thing-- 500 Miles." By the time I was told enough to stop on my own, the signs seemed to be gone. Probably just as well. I've stopped at a couple of similar places over the years, and can't say I found any even fun in a kitchy way.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:09 PM
 
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Yeah, the one I'm referring to is located in AZ near the NM border.

From what little research I did on it last year, it appears there are a bunch of The Thing's and variously other named kitschy road stop/Americana-type places along the U.S. highways owned by some company that bought the rights to one of the original Thing's from some former door to door salesman back in the 70's, I believe.
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Old 05-29-2012, 11:18 PM
 
Location: Next stop Antarctica
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Cherokee and Okefonokee Swamp, the Museum in Cherokee was excellent the town a mess. The Swamp very disappointing after travelling miles to get there. Hope they have water there now.
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Old 05-30-2012, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Texas
14,078 posts, read 17,681,154 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samoi137 View Post
I remember The Thing (the tourist attraction/trap, not the film), maybe different one from what LeisureMan saw, in the desert along what is now Interstate 15 between L.A. to Las Vegas. My father never stopped, but I recall seeing signs as far away as Utah (on our way back from vistiing the parks there), such as "The Thing-- 500 Miles." By the time I was told enough to stop on my own, the signs seemed to be gone. Probably just as well. I've stopped at a couple of similar places over the years, and can't say I found any even fun in a kitchy way.

Are you sure you're not thinking about Bun Boy?
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