Tourism and Kitsch

I readily admit I am a sucker for cheesy tourist traps and silly kitschy roadside stuff. On a trip to Spokane to visit family, I made my wife go a half hour out of the way just so I could go see a giant Radio Flyer. I consider the Winchester Mansion to be a holy place on par with the Vatican.

When I read Neil Gaiman’s book American Gods I learned of The House On The Rock. Gaiman uses it as an important setting in the book. The House was built by one Alex Jordan Jr., who built it as a tourist attraction – perhaps because of a grudge his father held against architect Frank Lloyd Wright, who ran a communal architectural school nearby. So far, it’s about the only thing I’ve seen that might want to make me go to Wisconsin. The official website is here, and some really fantastic photos can be found here.

This place looks like just the type of cheesy tourist attraction I’d enjoy. I’ve been to Alcatraz, I’ve been to the “ghost town” of Jerome, Arizona, I’ve been to the Roy Rogers museum (not by choice, though). What are some tourist traps you like?


~ by mattbear on September 10, 2007.

2 Responses to “Tourism and Kitsch”

  1. I’m with you on the Winchester Mystery House. I used to love the Thunderbeast Park, a dinasour roadside attraction in Oregon, but I’m sad to hear that has closed.

  2. Oh man, we used to pass Thunderbeast Park on our way to visit a friend who was going to the Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, and on our way to Burning Man (since we went through K. Falls on the way) – but I never actually went to Thunderbeast Park.

    I recall one trip en route to B. Man when a friend pulled over at the then-closed Thunderbeast Park in the dead of night for an “emergency pit stop.” I didn’t see where we were at first, and had a very surreal moment when I turned around to see a giant sloth towering over me in the moonlight.

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