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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 with roadside attractions started early. Today, Val has visited over 300 roadside attractions across 31 states and is constantly on the lookout for the next BIG thing!

Val also blogs about her life, travels, and cats on her personal blog, Choosing Figs.

Big Mother Goose at Fejervary Park in Davenport, Iowa - Formerly Mother Goose Land Roadside Attraction

Big Mother Goose at Fejervary Park in Davenport, Iowa

Once upon a time the Big Mother Goose at Fejervary Park in Davenport, Iowa belonged to a different Iowa roadside attraction: Mother Goose Land. Mother Goose Land was once a popular Davenport tourist attraction. The nursery-rhyme themed kiddie park and petting zoo was open from the early 1900s into the 1970s with this giant goose serving as an entrance. Once they...

American Gothic Barn in Mount Vernon, Iowa

American Gothic Barn in Mount Vernon, Iowa

Grant Wood’s famous painting “American Gothic” depicts a farmer and his daughter standing side by side in front of a farm house. The painting is oft reproduced, copied, and parodied and has inspired several roadside attractions. There is the American Gothic House Center in Eldon, Iowa. There is Seward Johnson’s giant touring sculpture...

National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville, Iowa

National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville, Iowa

Tractors and horses and tractors and barns and tractors and machines and tractors. If you love tractors, toys, or fun museums check out the National Farm Toy Museum in Dyersville, Iowa – the Farm Toy Capital of the World! At the National Farm Toy Museum you can explore the thousands of vintage and modern farm toys on display. Around 30,000 of them! Yes, there...

Field of Dreams mural in Dyersville, Iowa

Field of Dreams Ghost Players Mural in Dyersville, Iowa

“Is this heaven? No it’s Iowa.” So goes the iconic line from the movie Field of Dreams. You can visit heaven in Iowa at the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville and while you’re in town, head downtown to see a newer attraction: the Field of Dreams Ghost Players Mural. The Ghost Players mural depicts a scene from the film in which famous...

If you build it sign at the Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa

Field of Dreams Movie Site in Dyersville, Iowa

The iconic movie line goes, “If you build it he will come.” And on this Iowa farm they actually built it and over 30 years later, tourists are still coming to check out the Field of Dreams movie site in Dyersville, Iowa.  In 1989 Universal Pictures produced the movie Field of Dreams. The film starred Kevin Costner as Ray Kinsella, an Iowa farmer who hears a...

Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk Plaque in Riverside, Iowa

Future Birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk in Riverside, Iowa

From John Wayne to Johnny Carson to Ashton Kutcher, Iowa is the birthplace to many celebrities who are celebrated around the world. But it also will be the birthplace of a man celebrated around the universe. Let’s take a trek to Riverside, Iowa to see the birthplace, excuse me, future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk. In 1966 Gene Roddenberry first...

Captain Kirk Conceived Here Plaque at Murphy's Bar and Grill in Riverside, Iowa, the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk

Captain Kirk Conceived Here Plaque in Riverside, Iowa

Riverside, Iowa is known as the “future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk,” a Star Trek legend who helms the USS Enterprise in books, TV shows, and movies. The Iowa town celebrates their self-proclaimed status with a plaque, a museum, a statue, and an annual TrekFest celebration and everyone in Riverside embraces the town’s universal appeal as a Star Trek...

Bronze Captain Kirk statue in Riverside, Iowa - the future birthplace of Captain James T. Kirk of the Star Trek series

Captain Kirk Statue in Riverside, Iowa

Small towns across America erect statues to celebrate their hometown heroes: the people who grew up there and went on to stardom. Riverside, Iowa followed in this tradition by mounting a bronze statue in the likeness of their most famous resident. The catch? He hasn’t actually been born yet. And he won’t be born until 2228. This is the Captain Kirk...

Iowa's Largest Frying Pan in Brandon, Iowa - Roadside Attraction for an Iowa Road Trip

Iowa’s Largest Frying Pan in Brandon, Iowa

Is it FRY-day yet? Of course it is! It is always FRY-Day here at Iowa’s Largest Frying Pan in Brandon, Iowa. This giant frying pan was built in 2004 to promote Brandon’s popular cowboy breakfast. The local fundraiser started as a semi-annual event in 2000 and is now held annually. Each year around one thousand people feast on favorite foods like scrambled eggs...