If you’re a sucker for roadside attractions and oddball curiosities – like the Wall Drug jackelope or a cartoon character theme park in the desert – the Roadside America app is a must-have for your next RV road trip.
See where you can ride a giant jackelope, like this one.
While on a recent cross-country jaunt we added the Roadside America app to our iPad (it’s only available for the iPad or iPhone) and discovered dozens of offbeat, weird and even creepy attractions that made even the most boring parts of the country feel adventurous.
Create theme-based roadside attraction adventures.
Roadside America App Makes Detours Worthwhile
A cheapskate like me doesn’t download paid iPhone apps without consideration. At first a little reluctant to pay the $2.99 price to download just one U.S. region in the Roadside America app, I figured since I’m already a fan of the Roadside America website the paid app had to be worthwhile. Since my husband and I are full-time RVers, I took a leap of faith and paid $5.99 for every oddball attraction in the U.S. and Canada. The price was well worth it.
The app features over 10,000 roadside attractions in North America.
From Colorado to Virginia and back through southern states like Alabama and Tennessee, we turned to the Roadside America app to add some excitement, history and much-needed driving breaks to our road trip. We love how the app allows us to locate attractions in our vicinity. We can create little detours off the Interstates that don’t (usually) add much more time to our journey – but bring a whole lot more adventure. The app has a special search feature that lets us plan theme-based road trips, too.
We had a blast discovering things like:
Isaac Hayes’ tombstone in Memphis.
The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama.
Of course, no app is perfect. We encountered a few downsides to it like:
Some information is outdated. Roadside America relies on user feedback, which is generally consistent and usually accurate. Of course things change depending on the season, staff levels, etc. Always try to call ahead to verify hours of operation. If you’re seeking a museum or other staffed location, give the attraction a call to make sure you won’t make a fruitless detour. We made the mistake of not calling more than one attraction and it added more time and gas to our adventure.
With so many attractions it might take you days longer to get where you’re going. In Illinois for instance, we found dozens of attractions on our route and had a tough time deciding which ones to check out. We ended up driving much later in the day than we wanted.
Try the “Random” feature to find crazy attractions.
The Roadside America app is better than the website because it enables you to locate attractions on the fly as you drive through a region. Unfortunately, the app doesn’t have a geo-location feature that highlights where the attractions are in relation to where you’re currently driving. Hopefully that will come soon, along with an Android version.
In the meantime, if you have an iPhone and love taking RV road trips, I recommend checking out this app. Your kids might not enjoy suffering though a tour of the barbed wire museum in Kansas, but they’ll have a blast at the Goofy Golf Course in Panama City, Florida!