Monday, September 17, 2012

Roadside Attractions – South Florida to Ohio Edition or “Book ‘em Danno”

Last summer, my parents and I took a road trip from where they currently live in Stuart, Florida, to where they used to live in Youngstown, Ohio.

A more than 1,100 mile journey that takes 18 and a half hours... one way.
We were planning to go there and back in five days.  My parents, for the record, are just as crazy as I am.  Which is why, when I proposed we stop at several cheesy roadside attractions along the way, they were down.  I love them.

Again, I got all of my ideas from Roadside America, which I first told you about when Frank and I drove to New Orleans.  I wanted to see at least one crazy attraction per state when drove through.

First stop, about four hours into the trip, a giant 7-UP can in Jacksonville, Florida.

You can see the can right from Interstate 95, just south of exit 345 (this was actually easier to see going southbound, I missed it northbound).

We drove into Georgia and decided to stop for lunch.  CONVENIENTLY, we stopped in South Newport, which is also home to the Smallest Church in America. 

It's a bit off Interstate 95.  You have to take exit 67 and head south on Highway 17.  It was a few miles down the road, on the left, well past the McDonalds and a lot of trees.
Not sure if you actually want to stop at the McDonalds.
It only has a "B" rating, which personally, I don't feel
is a high enough grade for my food.
Many places claim the diminutive title of smallest church, but I don’t know, this place was pretty small.

There were six chairs inside.  Hopefully no one
passes gas during the service because that could
get pretty ugly.
The sign was one of my favorite parts.

It says deeded to Jesus Christ.  I wonder if he has to pay taxes.

Onward to Ridgeway, South Carolina, where I’m not sure how much protection the law is providing at the Smallest Police Station.

Apparently, this police station was too small, so in 1990, the town built another one right next door.

Not sure why the town couldn't spring for, oh, you know, an
actual building?!

My parents and I, always up for a good time, decided to act out some scenes in front of the cop car.  Not sure if the actual cop was on lunch break or what.

In the photo on the left, my dad is pretending to break into a police car; on the right, I'm "arresting" my mom against the
back of the car. Amazing that we were so amused by this.

Ridgeway doesn’t tout the smallest library, but I’m pretty sure they hold that landmark too.

Just enough room for five or six books!
To get to this town of very small things, get off I-77 at Exit 34 and head east on S.R. 34.  Look for signs that say "downtown," at first we missed it.  And don't laugh at the "downtown," it too is quite small.

One more thing to laugh at... I think you're better off calling 911.

Once on the road again, we stopped in the darling town of Wytheville, Virginia for the night.  Mainly because I wanted to see a water tower that looked like a hot air balloon.

This sight is on I-81, just south of mile 71.  Amused by this, we then went the wrong way for 75 miles.  We didn't notice it until we saw the sign that says "Welcome to Tennessee."

Except, we weren't ever supposed to be in Tennessee.  Our 150-mile detour brought our quest for the craziest spectacles on our journey to an end.  But, at least we had some good stories to tell.

Total Cost: FREE!

Best Deal: Spending time bonding with my parents while channeling some “Book ‘em Danno” at the Smallest Police Station

How have you made your family road trips a little more fun?


  1. FYI, the building that houses the current Ridgeway Police Station was built to house the fire truck, lawn mowers, etc. When they built the new fire department (government funding -- with a tax base of 400 people you can't build much), we moved the police department over to that building.

    Now you know ...

    Glad you had a good time in our town. Come back any time.

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