Hi – I’m Elaine. My husband CJ and our adventure hound, Crispin, are obsessive devotees of road tripping. As we both work from home, come the weekend we are wild for a change of scenery. Nothing makes us happier than throwing some snacks, water and sunblock in a back-pack and hopping in the car to explore. We love taking any interesting looking side roads, stopping and wandering in small towns we pass, and marveling at whatever attraction is presented to us. (Crispin is mostly in it for the c-a-r ride and the occasional french fry.)
A few years ago, we attended a party at The House on The Rock to celebrate the publication of Neil Gaiman’s American Gods. Part of the book is set at this most bizarre and iconic of Wisconsin roadside attractions. During the day, there was a panel talking about roadside attractions, places of power and what impels people to create an attraction. Wisconsin, as Gaiman notes, is poor soil for growing gods. But it is wildly (and rather strangely) fertile when it comes to grottos, bizarre museums, folk art gardens and more.
Always a fan of the road trip, I started doing a bit more in-depth reading and research (road-tripping!). The mid-west, and Wisconsin in particular, really does have a staggering number of things to do. There are plenty of big name and civic-sponsored places to visit – museums, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin, state parks – but there are also hundreds of smaller locations.
This page is in the works, with many more locations to be added. But if you are looking for a road trip in your neck of the woods, here are some great starting spots:
The Oddball Books (Oddball Wisconsin, Oddball Minnesota…)
RoadsideAmerica.com (ugly but quite useful)
Atlas Obscura (the holy grail of roadtrip websites)
Enjoy and please, if you have a tip of a location or interesting event not listed, please let me know! Stay tuned for plenty more listings…
Note: Sadly our original fur-beast and intrepid adventure companion Rileybear died in 2017. He was a solid tank of fur, plodding along with bright eyes, ready to see what came next. He adored riding in the car, staying in hotels, going through drive-through restaurants, hiking for miles and wallowing in the mankiest of water. We miss him like mad.