Riverside, IA – Birthplace of Captain Kirk

IMG2In the rolling, pastoral fields of southeastern Iowa, the farming community of Riverside (just outside of Cedar Rapids), has become something of a mecca for sci-fi fans far and wide over the years. Some 200 years from now, the iconic Captain James Tiberius Kirk of Star Trek fame is set to be born there. They’ve marked the birthplace with an engraved monument, and Trekkies can explore the town and its other Star Trek-related tourist attractions.  Continue reading

The Town of Old Frontenac, Minnesota

IMG_0853If you’ve ever wanted to step back in time 160 years, there is a place in Minnesota you can literally do so.  Old Frontenac, a small enclave of historic homes set on the shores of Lake Pepin, dates back to the 1830’s, before Minnesota was even designated as a state.  As time went on and Minnesota progressed along with the rest of the world, amazingly, the town of Old Frontenac somehow remained untouched, unaltered, and unfazed.  Continue reading

The Bubble Room, Captiva, FL

IMG_8294(1)Captiva Island (near Ft Myers, FL), is an unbelievably beautiful piece of real estate on the Gulf Coast. Just north of Sanibel, the five-mile long island has basically one road going through it, with gorgeous vacation homes, mansions, resorts, and ocean views flanking each side of the road.  It is peppered with small touristy restaurants, shops, and a few public beaches to explore. Retirees putter around on golf carts. But by far the quirkiest thing in the popular vacation-destination beach town is a place called The Bubble Room. Continue reading

Big Things in a Small Town: Casey, IL


Having explored the bizarre world of Roadside Attractions for almost 15 years, shame on me for somehow not knowing about little ol’ Casey, IL.  A small town of just the right size (about 2,700), sitting there right on Interstate 70 just west of the Indiana border, the conditions all came together on a Saturday in November for a fascinating discovery. Casey is home to eight Guinness-certified “World’s Largest” objects, and maybe 20 other roadside attractions, most of which are found within a few blocks of the city center.  I had to see it. Continue reading

Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Shakopee, MN

DSCN1918It’s one of the biggest and oldest Renaissance Festivals in the United States, and it runs every weekend from Mid-August through the end of September.  It’s a people-watching extravangaza, a whimsical and enchanted place, where the weirdest of the weird get to geek out, judgement-free.  Much like the Minnesota State Fair, the Renaissance Festival brings in all walks of life to experience something like nowhere else.  So what’s it like? Let’s find out! Continue reading