Textiles at Chichicastenango’s Thursday market.

Tiny little cars, so bright!

Paintings galore!

Photo of Flanders’ Big Duck, licensed under Creative Commons by Mr. Guybrarian on Flickr

Well, no, I don’t. But I have just invested a ZipCard, so I can now reserve a car, pick it up in Astoria or Flushing, and tool around for 180 miles at a relatively low cost.

All of which has inspired me to revisit the great American pasttime of idly driving to take in wacky roadside attractions. Roadside America has state-by-state listings of popular spots; I’m thinking heading out to the Secret Caverns in Cobleskill, NY, for a touch of crazy hippie culture (although, on second glance, it seems that the caverns may not open until April). Then again, I could also try and spot the Big Duck in Flanders (which I suppose would be hard to miss, seeing as it’s 20 or 30 feet tall), the 48-foot Marian shrine in Stony Point, or the two-story outhouse in Phelps.

Environment be damned. I’m ready for the open road.

Other resources for American tourist kitsch:
Wikipedia’s list of the world’s largest roadside attractions; alternative list of the world’s largest attractions
Roadside Fans
Roadside Tourist
The American Roadside
Route 40 roadside attractions
Budget Travel’s jaw-dropping roadside attractions
30-minute NPR story on roadside attractions