RoadTrip America

Routes, Planning, & Inspiration for Your North American Road Trip

Roadside Attractions: Cool Caf├ęs, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics, & Other Road Trip Fun, by Brian & Sarah Butko

Roadside Attractions

Brian and Sarah Butko have done it again with Roadside Attractions: Cool Cafés, Souvenir Stands, Route 66 Relics & Other Road Trip Fun. The authors of Roadside Giants and Greetings from the Lincoln Highway have this time focused on memorable roadside attractions, especially those built between 1920 and 1970. If you're thinking "World's Largest Ball of Twine," you've got the right idea. "Cadillac Ranch" is here, too, along with many other old favorites revered by fans of roadside kitsch. In addition, there are a number of lesser-known attractions, works of art, and buildings, some of which no longer exist except in fond road trip memories.

This book is like a virtual museum, and reading it is a tour through a nostalgia-inducing collection of wonders from Muffler Men and food-shaped diners to mystery houses and odd quirks of nature. Also featured are vintage drive-in movie theatres, mini-golf courses, roadside dinosaurs, classic diners, gift shops, tourist cabins, and attractions featuring year-round Christmas. Excellent color photographs enhance every page.

In addition to their own meticulous research and thoughtful commentary, the Butkos have included the recollections of dozens of travel writers, authors, and artists. These "Fan Favorites" add breadth and color to the book, and many of them are laugh-out-loud funny.

An attractive hard-cover book, Roaside Attractions makes a great addition to any coffee table, but it's not just for armchair travelers. "Getting There," the last chapter, includes addresses, phone numbers and Web sites for every attraction in the book, and an additional list provides more online resources. Even if a road trip was the farthest thing from your mind when you start reading this book, don't be surprised if you're making plans by the time you finish. The Butkos' descriptions, background information, fascinating trivia, and engaging photographs are sure to inspire many a sentimental journey.

Megan Edwards

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