Gone But Not Forgotten… Lost Roadside Attractions


     As time marches on and progress continues to physically change the shape of ourlandscape around us, we’re losing so many of the places that are embedded in our memory of years past. Places we so vividly recall visiting or spending time at… happy places of our youth or our children’s younger yearsfamily-vacation-stacked-car-clipart. Some were a wonderful escape from day-to-day life, like a fantasy world, when things were much more ‘carefree’. Others were places we passed or stopped at on those long family road trips when life was moved at a much slower pace than today. Take a journey back with me into time and let’s revisit some of those places.

royer-park-train-rosevilleI started this list about 10 years ago with maybe a few dozen listings of attractions that have since closed down, due to whatever reasons, or have been abandoned, some have suffered from fires, floods, earthquakes, recession, finances, lack of funding to keep open or lack of interest from the ever-changing demographics of visitors causing loss of interest. The places listed here cover several generations, time-wise, from our parents, grandparents or great grandparents era of the late 1800’s all the way up to those that have gone out of business since the millenium. Lots and lots of pictures and links for you to enjoy & learn more about on your own.

Roadside attractions, amusement parks, theme parks, water parks, unusual city parks,
family fun parks, aquariums, zoos, petting zoos, aviaries, monterey-carousel-inside-the-edgewater-packing-company2museums, military bases with special features, themed restaurants, exotic floral gardens, strange oddities, bizarre structures & statues, and the like are all included. Some of the most difficult to keep up were all of the miniature golf courses, larger video arcades, bowling alleys, dance halls, concert venues, luxurious theaters, large recreation centers, malibu-grand-prix-redwood-citythemed campgrounds, public pools, etc. I’ve tried to include those that stood out among the rest for one reason or another. But I’m well aware there are tons more out there that you remember from growing up at.

There are now over 400 listings focussing predominantly in California, Arizona, Nevada,dinosaur-park-sun-valley-az Oregon, Washington & British Columbia, Canada. As one would imagine, the list will never be complete as that would be virtually impossible to keep up with, but I’m constantly finding more places through research that I had either forgotten about, never knew existed, discovered recently or have been referred by readers like you.  Updates, accidental omissions and additional closures will continue being added on this list on and ongoing basis as time permits for me. Please feel free to give me your input and alert me of places you know about that I have not included.

route-66-hwy-signWith all that said, please sit back and revisit, learn about and enjoy the following post.Please bookmark it or ‘follow’ so you can come back here from time to time to see what’s new. Once again los and lots of pictures and links for you to check out more in-depth are included within.


Remembering Lost and Forgotten Roadside Tourist Attractions and Amusement Parks on the West Coast

Road Trip Green Road Sign with Dramatic Sky and Clouds.




Amusingly Clever License Plates

license-plates-cleverIn the amusing world of license plates out there, it’s simply amazing how many people try to “outwit” the officials down there at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), no matter what state you’re registered in, some opt for personal or vanity plates while others try to push there ingenuity and luck to get there “statement” on their car’s license-plate-PL8Slicense plate. Some states are more stringent than others on what they’ll allow to pass through. To circumvent potentially offensive or embarrassing situations, some combination of letters/numbers aren’t allowed at all in certain states. What does occasionally does get through can simply be amusing, sometimes unintentional, but can make for some funny antidotes. Some individuals try to use the latest chat lingo or shorthand tricks, while others will try to pass through some geeky text or binary codes on state officials.  On occasion the most amusing, hilarious, or at times embarrassing ones are those that are accidental, like when the DMV just randomly assigns some poor soul a combination of letters or numbers that just shouldn’t be together. There are a few Canadian as well as European plates included here also for your enjoyment.

Sometimes these restrictions tend to go a little overboard, according to this one particular site, apparently, California plates can’t even contain the letters POW, BAD, or even FUN.

Here for your viewing pleasure are some thought-provoking, clever, always amusing or entertaining, and funny license plates.

PS – BE FOREWARNED –> Some of these maybe tasteless and/or offensive but they’re out there none-the-less 😛




license-plate-MUF DVR






























































Talk about clever! - The insert is the view from the rear view mirror


This one's PRICELESS!


miscellaneous collection

15 Driving Tips For Better Fuel Economy

fuel-wallet-gaugeFor many drivers, changing your driving habits, or improving upon your driving habits, can actually improve your fuel economy up to 30% right away (depending on how you drive). The following tips on driving more efficiently and maintaining your car will help you improve the fuel economy of your car or truck. The more you can do, the more you will save. See how many of these you already do and possibly improve upon the ones you don’t.

15 Driving Tips For Better Fuel Economy

  • Use cruise control to maintain a steady speed on the open highway.
  • Know the correct starting procedure for your particular make, model and year of car. Don’t race a cold engine to warm it up.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine. Start driving right after the engine is started and warmed up, but avoid rapid acceleration.
  • Maintain steady speeds for the best fuel economy. A car uses extra fuel when it accelerates. “As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.”
  • Minimize the need to brake by anticipating traffic conditions. Be alert for merging traffic, slow-downs and red lights.
  • Travel at moderate speeds on the open road. Higher speeds require more gasoline use to overcome air resistance.
  • Use the air conditioner only when needed. Air conditioning dramatically reduces fuel economy.
  • Spark plugs should be in good condition. Spark plugs in lesser condition can reduce gas mileage up to 12%
  • Check the air filter twice a year. A dirty air filter increases fuel consumption and can cause poor performance. A dirty air filter can reduce can reduce gas mileage up to 20%.
  • Inflate tires according to the recommendation in the owner’s manual. Under-inflated tires are a safety hazard and can cut fuel economy by as much as 2 percent per pound of pressure below the recommended level.
  • Use the right octane level for your vehicle – Using premium gasoline in an engine designed to run on regular doesn’t improve performance. Even some vehicles that call for higher octane fuels can run on regular unleaded, though with some loss of performance may occur. (Check your owner’s manual to be sure)
  • Be sure your gas cap is snug or tight. “Improperly seated gas caps allow 147 million gallons of fuel to vaporize every year in the U.S.”
  • Lighten up your load – Carry only the bare necessities. Don’t haul things around in your trunk that you don’t need. “For every extra 250 pounds your engine hauls, the car loses about one mile per gallon in fuel economy.” This will vary with the size of your vehicle (car, truck, van, suv, etc)
  • Reduce drag – About half of your vehicle’s energy is expended overcoming air resistance. (The other half is expended in acceleration.) Reduce your car’s workload — remove anything that might cause drag (such as luggage racks, bike racks, ski racks, etc)
  • Take care of car-care “incidentals” that can affect fuel use. For example, a defective radiator thermostat can waste gas by extending the engine’s warm-up time or decreasing the engine’s operating temperature. A stuck brake caliper can create drag, which also wastes fuel.

And Last … But not least … Drive less!

Walk – Ride your bike – Take public transit – Carpool – Combine errands – It’s may be obvious, but is  easy to forget … the less you drive, the less you’ll spend on gas.

Do what works best for you!

100+ Songs About Cars & Driving

2005-Ford-Mustang-GT-ConvertibleAmericans have had a love affair with their cars, among other things, for nearly a century now. It seems to transcend generation after generation and is generally passed on down the line from father to son. For some it’s a hobby, for others it’s an obsession. Could be classic sports cars, muscle cars, street racers, dune buggies other a vast array of  original concept vehicles, limited only by there imagination. Whatever the type, there is ablue_camaro euphoric feeling that is hard to explain once you get behind the wheel of that special car. The one you’ve been dreaming about since you were a young kid. So once you’re in that treasure on wheels, you just gotta have some tunes to go along with that road test or road trip, even if it is just around the block a few times to show it off. Wherever you go, you want some songs to go 60_gtoalong for the ride. With such a vast array of music that could be considered driving music, songs that get you pumped up for the open road, or songs with street vibes for cruising, I wanted to narrow down the subject matter here in this post. The feature here is mainly songs about cars or songs specifically about driving. Great songs for road trips I’ll leave for another post in the future. Again, I was trying to focus on songs with mention of a certain type or make of car such as a Trans-Am, Mustang, etc. either in the title or referred to in the lyrics. There are probably a few exceptions to the rule included here, but none-the-less, you should find a nice selection here to choose from for your next mp3 playlist or compilation cd.

As always, this is a work in progress. Songs will be added from time to time based upon suggestions from viewers as well as others that I discovered that I had unintentionally omitted — ENJOY!

Songs About Cars & Driving

  1. ’41 Ford – Grand Prix
  2. ’54 Corvette – The Customs
  3. ’57 Chevrolet – Billie Jo Spears
  4. 92 Subaru – Fountains Of Wayne (2007)
  5. 409 – Beach Boys (1962)
  6. All I Wanted Was A Car – Brad Paisley
  7. American Pie – Don McLean (1971)
  8. The Automobile Song – Benny Bell
  9. Beep Beep (Little Nash Rambler) – The Playmates (1958)
  10. Behind The Wheel – Depeche Mode (1988)
  11. Bitchin’ Camero – Dead Milkmen (1985)
  12. Black Sunshine – White Zombie (1992)
  13. Cab Of My Truck – Dierks Bentley (2005)
  14. Cadillac Assembly Line – Albert King
  15. Cadillac Boogie – Jimmy Liggins (1947)
  16. Cadillac Ranch – Bruce Springsteen (1981)
  17. Cadillac Ranch – Chris LeDoux (1993)
  18. Cadillac Style – Sammy Kershaw (1991)
  19. Camaro – Kings Of Leon (2007)
  20. The Car – Jeff Carson
  21. Cars – Gary Numan (1980)
  22. Cars – Fear Factory (1999)
  23. Chevrolet – The Black Crowes
  24. Chevrolet – Foghat
  25. Chevrolet – ZZ Top
  26. Chevy Van – Sammy Johns (1975)
  27. Coupe DeVille – Neil Young (1988)
  28. Dead Man’s Curve – Jan & Dean (1964)
  29. The Distance – Cake (1996)
  30. Dodge Dart – Patty Larkin
  31. Drag City – Jan & Dean
  32. Drive – The Cars (1984)
  33. Drive – REM (1992)
  34. Drive (For Daddy Gene) – Alan Jackson (2002)
  35. Drive My Car – The Beatles (1966)
  36. El Camino – Ween (1990)
  37. Fast Car – Tracy Chapman (1988)
  38. Ford Econoline – Nanci Griffith
  39. Freeway Of Love – Aretha Franklin (1985)
  40. Fun Fun Fun – Beach Boys (1964)
  41. Get Your Kicks On Route 66 – Nat King Cole (1946)
  42. Get Your Kicks On Route 66 – Bing Crosby & The Andrew Sisters (1946)
  43. Get Your Kicks On Route 66 – Perry Como (1959)
  44. Go Lil’ Camaro Go – The Ramones
  45. Greased Lightnin’ – John Travolta (1978) [Grease soundtrack]
  46. G.T.O. – Ronny & The Daytonas (1964)
  47. Helen Wheels – Paul McCartney & Wings (1973)
  48. Hey Little Cobra – The Rip Chords (1963)
  49. Highway Star – Deep Purple (1972)
  50. Hot Rod City – Ronny & The Daytonas
  51. Hot Rod Lincoln – Johnny Bond (1960)
  52. Hot Rod Lincoln – Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen (1972)
  53. I Can’t Drive 55 – Sammy Hagar (1984)
  54. I Get Around – Beach Boys (1964)
  55. I’m In Love With My Car – Queen (1975)
  56. Jaguar – The Who (1967)
  57. Jeepster – T-Rex (1971)
  58. Keep It Between The Lines – Ricky Van Shelton (1991)
  59. Little Deuce Coupe – Beach Boys (1963)
  60. Little Honda – The Hondells (1964)
  61. Little Old Lady From Pasadena – Jan & Dean (1964)
  62. Little Red Corvette – Prince (1983)
  63. Long May You Run – Neil Young (1976)
  64. Low Rider – War (1975)
  65. Making Love In A Subaru – Damaskas
  66. Maybellene – Chuck Berry (1955)
  67. Mercury Blues – Ry Cooder & David Lindley
  68. Mercury Blues – Steve Miller
  69. Mercury Blues – Alan Jackson (1993)
  70. Mercury Boogie – KC Douglas (1949)
  71. Mercedes Benz – Janis Joplin (1971)
  72. Mustang Sally – Wilson Pickett (1966)
  73. My Chevrolet – Phil Vassar
  74. My Hooptie – Sir Mix-A-Lot
  75. My Mighty GTO – Jan & Dean
  76. No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry (1964)
  77. Nothin’ But The Tailights – Clint Black (1997)
  78. Ol’ ’55 – Tom Waits
  79. Ol’ 55 – Eagles
  80. The One I Loved Back Then (The Corvette Song) – George Jones (1985)
  81. One Piece At A Time – Johnny Cash (1976)
  82. Paradise By The Dashboard Light – Meat Loaf (1978)
  83. Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen (1984)
  84. Pink Cadillac – Natalie Cole (1988)
  85. Pontiac Blues – Sonny Boy Williamson
  86. Racing In The Street – Bruce Springsteen (1978)
  87. Radar Love – Golden Earring (1974)
  88. Red Barchetta – Rush (1981)
  89. Riding With Private Malone – David Ball (2001)
  90. Rocket 88 – Ike Turner (1951)
  91. Rocket 88 – Bill Haley & The Saddlemen (1951)
  92. Rockin’ Down The Highway – Doobie Brothers (1972)
  93. Roll On Down The Highway – Bachman Turner Overdrive (1975)
  94. Route 66 – Depeche Mode (1988)
  95. Route 66 – John Mayer
  96. Rusty Chevrolet – Da Yoopers
  97. Sausalito Summer Night – Diesel
  98. Shut Down – Beach Boys
  99. Six Days On The Road – Dave Dudley (1963)
  100. Six Days On The Road – Sawyer Brown (1997)
  101. Speed – Montgomery Gentry
  102. SS 396 – Paul Revere & The Raiders
  103. Stick Shifts & Safety Belts – Cake
  104. Still Cruisin’ – Beach Boys
  105. Sweet Little ’66 – Steve Earle
  106. Three Window Coupe – Jan & Dean
  107. Trans Am (Highway Wonderland) – Sammy Hagar (1979)