The Impossible Road Trip

An Unforgettable Journey to Past and Present Roadside Attractions in All 50 States

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Pub Date 21 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 09 Dec 2021

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Filled with color photography, entertaining site descriptions and histories, and five unique infographic map illustrations, The Impossible Road Trip is your ultimate look back at America’s most famous—and quirkiest—roadside attractions, past and present.

The great American road trip is back. With its advantages for your health, budget, and the environment, now is the time to plan the road trip you have always dreamed of taking.

Following in the great tradition of the mid-century golden age of car travel, join the new wave of road warriors with a targeted itinerary chosen from the 150 roadside attractions explored in this colorful guide. From famous to quirky and covering all 50 states, author Eric Dregni gives you an unprecedented look at the breadth of roadside attractions in the US, illustrated in part by the photography of architectural critic and photographer John Margolies (1940–2016). Specially commissioned infographic map illustrations capture the spirit of mid-century automobile travel.

Each site depicted is accompanied by a lively and insightful history and color imagery. From autumnal New England to the gothic South, from the homey Midwest to the great expanses of the Desert Southwest, the dizzying heights of the Rocky Mountains, and the breathtaking Pacific Coast, The Impossible Road Trip encompasses it all: Neon-shrouded motelsMimetic architectureTourist trapsRoadside sculptureAnd much more You'll see sites both famous and esoteric, including the Cardiff Giant in Cooperstown, New York; the five-story Haines Shoe House in York, Pennsylvania; Solomon's Castle in Florida; the world's largest fish in Hayward, Wisconsin; one of several Paul Bunyan statues; Bob's Big Boy in Burbank, California; and so many more.

With The Impossible Road Trip in hand, set out to discover the nation’s oft-overlooked nooks and crannies.
Filled with color photography, entertaining site descriptions and histories, and five unique infographic map illustrations, The Impossible Road Trip is your ultimate look back at America’s most...

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ISBN 9780760370292
PRICE $35.00 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

If you like roadside art or oddities this is a book for you. With over 150 attractions from across the United States there is something for everyone. There are Giant Paul Bunyan's, buildings in various shapes, unique tributes to fish and other critters. I've traveled in 47 of the 50 states and was surprised to find I've only seen 17 of the attractions listed. (I think it hurt a little that I live in the west.) The book give some details about why the attraction is there or who built it along with a photo and the city or place to find it. If I had one suggestion it would be geographical coordinates become some sites could be hard to find even if you get to the right town. This isn't something I would probably buy for myself but I would eagerly check it out for a library and read. Thank you to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing Group for a temporary eARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Such fun! This guide to America's kitschiest road-side attractions is ordered by region and features a wonderful variety of giant oddities and gleeful tourist traps. Giving equal weight to a two-story outhouse and the Gateway Arch, readers will enjoy this irreverent exploration of the strange things one can find on the byways. Each attraction has colorful, detailed photographs as well as an interesting article about its history and significance. This would be a great gift for travel buffs and fans of classic Americana. Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review!

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I received an advance copy of, The Impossible Road Trip, by Eric Dregni. I really enjoyed this book. There are so many road side attractions I have never seen or heard of before.

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With Covid 19 still ravaging the world, there’s no better time than to hop in your car for a little vacation, rather than risking exposure in a small metal tube in the sky. Dregni takes readers across the country, stopping to visit some of the lesser well known oddities in our country. Divided into regional sections, this is a great book if you’re planning a road trip or just longing to. Filled with photos and information, Dregni showcases America at it’s quirky, weirdo best

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Fun road trip book! I have personally seen some of these spots during my cross country road trip. So many weird but interesting spots that are worth checking out. It's missing "The Thing" museum in Arizona. The Wall Drug in South Dakota is awesome! Make sure you stop there on your way to Mount Rushmore/Badlands. Also, be careful if you decide to visit the "South of the border" right on the border of NC and SC, that place is super creepy and who knows what's going there (I live in NC). I received a free digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review

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So much information packed into one book and presented through beautiful pictures about places we most likely miss on a road trip. I loved seeing Lucy the Elephant mentioned as I used to drive by her all the time and marveled at her existence. I can't wait to take this on the road to visit the "Coldest Spot in the Country" in Montana or the "Big Brown Jug" in Oregon or just about any of the many quirky monuments throughout the country. Added bonus is the short history written about each of these stops. Very excited to check these places out!

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Review to come to blog/goodreads/etc. Nov 18th. I received this book from Netgalley in exchange of an honest review. So, I just ADORE reading about roadside attractions from America, I mean, they all sound so interesting and I would just love to go to the US and go to a few of these. Sadly, not into going to the US for many reasons, so thankfully there are books like this and plenty of shows that talk about roadside attractions *looks at Gravity Falls roadtrip episode*. In this one we travel through the 50 states of American and see all the weird, wonderful, strange, and interesting attractions from past and present. From diners (which I learned were at first trains just plonked on a spot) to giant termites and giant cows (which I both want to see now) to big dog statues you can sleep in to towers both viking and of the plague variety to Lucy the Elephant to sleeping underwater to so much more and I was enjoying each and every page of this delightful book. There is also plenty of information about people who made attraction/who were famous for doing stuff. The author really has a great writing style that keeps you engaged and makes it fun to read. I love that some of these were for promoting something which just made me smile. Indeed, why make a sign when you can make a big termite or a real shell for your gas stations? I didn't even know there was so much and I love that while there are copies of things that you can see who put in the most effort and who just wanted to copy but failed. XD There are plenty of photographs, illustrations, and more. All in all, if you want to go on a road trip but can't, or just want to know more about roadside attractions, I would recommend this fun book!

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I wanted to read this book for the nostalgia an I was not disappointed. Granted only a handful of the stops were ones I had visited, but the others were just as cool! Wishing we had driving far further for our vacations when I was a child…so many of these would have been cool to see as a child. Some, I will put on list for future stops, but not all of them are still around. Memories and kitsch go hand in hand.

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I can not wait to go on my next road trip after reading Eric Dregni's "The Impossible Road Trip." This beauty of a travel book brilliantly describes eclectic road side attractions in every state in the US. Clear pictures bring to vivid life the entertaining descriptions and history of these monuments to fame and fortune. Entries include a hotel only accessible with scuba gear, replicas of famous historic European buildings, all kinds of massive statues - including Paul Bunyan, the Big Boy, fish, dinosaurs, donuts, and pink elephants, whimsical architecture including castles and a massive two story picnic basket, space ships, a 6-7 story baseball bat, the world's biggest balls of twine, the worlds largest tire, carhenge, my favorite - the Wigwam Motel, and so much more including a little known place called Wall Drug... Drengi's selection is excellent. I firmly agree with the four that I have actually visited. I look forward to visiting others on this list! This book will be valued and enjoyed by those that appreciate the Altas Obscura. I thank the publisher, author, and illustrator for kindly providing me with an electronic review copy. Happy Trails!

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Thank you NetGalley, Eric Dregni and Quarto Publishing Group for the ARC of The Impossible Road Trip. This is my personal review. I really enjoyed this book a lot. It gave me several ideas for stops when I am on my next road trip. I have been to several of the ones listed and it was great to see them included. One of my favorites was The Corn Place in Mitchell South Dakota. I have made that stop every time I am going in that direction on my way to Mount Rushmore. My favorite part of a road trip is when I see a sign for an attraction I have never heard of, and this book has added to my list of things to look for next trip. This book will be put in the car for our next adventure!

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All your state loyalties are fed in with this tidy, coffeetable-worthy book stuffed with pictures! Nostalgia, little kid memories and the "I've-been-there" feels will rise to the surface, I promise. Tripping you, the author takes you state by state, and you'll see roadside attractions you drive by every day or ones just a few miles away you didn't even know about. The ones you've not yet seen? You'll be googling and planning your next road trip as you look up from the pages of this book and yell to no one in particular in the next room, "Hey, guys! I know where we are going on our next road trip!" Full of whimsy, a big dose of weird national pride without one bit of [current] politics in it (such a nice rest), this book was exactly right to read and appreciate this week before national gratitude is observed. We really do need to be grateful for all of it, right? The weird and wonky right along with all the rest, right? (Could also be titled "Weird Things Our Ancestors Got Up To". . .just my 2 cents.) This book? Get it. Read it. Plan your trip. On your mark, get set. . . .GO! A sincere thanks to Eric Dregni, Quarto Publishing Group - Motorbooks, and NetGalley for an ARC to read and review. #TheImpossibleRoadTrip #NetGalley

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This is the perfect book to get before a big road trip! Or the perfect gift for the friend who loves to travel. The book is broken down by regions. So many cool, odd places I’d never heard of and will definitely be checking out soon.

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