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A guide to roadside attractions

A guide to roadside attractions
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Sometimes, a trip isn't about the destination, but the journey to it. That's why I love a good road trip once in a while. Sure, flying can usually get you to your destination faster, but there's only so much you can see from 30,000 feet. There are so many interesting attractions, spectacular views and fun family times to be had on the road.

No matter where your destination is, you can liven up your trip with some of the amazing roadside attractions America's highways have to offer. A couple of years ago, we were on a long stretch of highway in California with no exits for hours, or so it seemed. When we finally saw a sign labeled "services," we pulled off and followed a small country road to a beautiful little village we would have never ever visited otherwise. I love unexpected surprises like that!

From the world's largest ball of twine in Cawker City, Kansas, to "The Thing" outside of Tucson, Arizona, these offbeat yet awesome attractions draw in thousands of travelers every year to witness the world's largest or smallest or strangest ... something.

Now with the help of a handy site I've found, you won't have to miss a single crazy museum, hilarious statue or giant rocking chair ever again!

Roadside America is an awesome site with an accompanying app for the iPhone, dedicated to these offbeat locations. You'll find maps, reviews, blogs, field reports and much more.

Each attraction is organized by theme or category. You can search by the state you are traveling to, or region. Just note that the app only comes with one unlocked region - you get to choose which one. You have to pay to unlock other areas of the country.

If you know what you want to see, you can search for water towers, museums, gravesites, Muffler Men, tiny churches, rock monuments, monsters, odd architecture and much more. You never know what you might discover!

Even better, the app will tell you what's up the road if you don't have anything planned.

There is also a toolbox of special features. You can get alerts when you're running out of light for photo opportunities, check off the places you've seen and see your points of interest on a map.

What are you waiting for? Download the app and then get out there and go explore!

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