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Author: Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown up near Berwyn's famed car kabob, The Spindle, and a restaurant with a cow on its roof, her fascination to roadside attractions started early. Val blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

Storybook Island in Rapid City, South Dakota

Storybook Island in Rapid City, South Dakota

Once upon a time a Silly American road tripper took a road trip to Mount Rushmore and found a fairy tale location along the way: Storybook Island in Rapid City, South Dakota. Pirate Pig Built in 1959, Storybook Island Rapid City SD is a children’s play area and family theme park with a fairy tale twist. There are play sets, interactive exhibits, and Instagram...

Twistee Treat in East Peoria, Illinois | The Twistee Treat franchise offers soft serve ice cream and hot dogs in giant ice cream shaped buildings across the US. Novelty Architecture + Cool Desserts

Twistee Treat Franchise: Ice Cream Shaped Buildings

How much do you love ice cream? Enough to eat a giant cone? How about enough to eat AT a giant cone? The Twistee Treat franchise offers fast food and ice cream delights in giant ice cream shaped buildings across the US. About the Twistee Treat Franchise In 1983, Twistee Treat was founded in North Fort Myers, Florida. The chain was known for their dipped soft served...

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List: What to Pack For a Road Trip Checklist | Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? We’ve compiled this ultimate road trip packing list to get you organized.

Ultimate Road Trip Packing List: What to Pack For a Road Trip

Hitting the road and trying to figure out what to pack for a road trip? Putting together a road trip packing list can be a daunting task, I know.  On one hand, you have the freedom to pack as much road trip gear into your car as you want. Car trips give you the luxury of trunk space and backseats to fill to your heart’s content. Plus, you don’t have to worry...

Gene's Sausage Shop rooftop cow. Giant cow statue in Lincoln Square, Chicago, Illinois.

Gene’s Sausage Shop Rooftop Cow in Chicago

Have you ever found a roadside attraction hidden in your own backyard? I have. Meet the giant cow statue at the Gene’s Sausage Shop rooftop beer and wine garden in the Lincoln Square neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. In 1972, Polish immigrants John and Gene Luszcz, opened a small delicatessen in Chicago. John & Gene’s on West Roscoe Street quickly became...

World’s Largest Coal Shovel in Rich Hill, Missouri

World’s Largest Coal Shovel in Rich Hill, Missouri

When I first heard about the World’s Largest Coal Shovel in Rich Hill, Missouri I had in my head a giant snow shovel. You know what I mean, a long metal shaft darting high in to the sky attached to a bright red plastic blade big enough for kids to sled down. Instead, I got this: That is far from the vision I had in my head on my Missouri road trip years ago, not at...

Road Trip Hashtags for Instagram & Twitter - List of the best road trip hashtags to use when sharing photos to social media sites like Instagram or Twitter. Get your photos found or browse pics.

Road Trip Hashtags for Instagram & Twitter

Who doesn’t love sharing their road trip photos with the world? When posting photos from your travels on social media, you probably want people to find them, and that’s where hashtags come in. On social sites, hashtags are a way to categorize your content so others can find your images and follow your journey. Whether you’re driving across the...

Giant cast iron pan in Roanoke, Virginia

Giant Cast Iron Skillet in Roanoke, Virginia

At home I have a mini cast iron pan. It’s about four inches long and I use it to make delectable single-serving side dishes and casseroles. This giant cast iron skillet is certainly bigger than four inches wide and may not be the world’s largest frying pan, but is by far the biggest cast iron pan I’ve ever seen! Giant cast iron pan in Roanoke...

Big Rooster in Nooksack, Washington

Big Rooster in Nooksack, Washington

On my road trip from Seattle to Hyder, Alaska we stumbled upon this Big Rooster in Nooksack, Washington. And, let me tell you, this Washington roadside attraction rules the roost! The fiberglass rooster once advertised a restaurant named Dunny’s in Everson. When I visited in 2009 it showcased a family Mexican Restaurant called Mexico Tipico. Today, both...

Wall Drug Store in Wall, South Dakota

Where the heck is Wall Drug in South Dakota?

I knew about Wall Drug in South Dakota long before I knew what Wall Drug Store was. My ten-year-older-than-me sister had taken a road trip in college and brought back for me “Where the heck is the Wall Drug?” bumper sticker. I was confused about what this slogan meant, never mind the fact that I was years from being able to drive, still I kept it in a box...

Bison in a field at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois. See Bison in Illinois.

Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie: Bison in Illinois

When I think about finding a home where the buffalo roam in the United States, I think of South Dakota, North Dakota, or Wyoming. I don’t necessarily think of Illinois. But you can find roaming bison in Illinois at Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington. About Midewin Tallgrass Prairie Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie in Wilmington, Illinois...