Friday, March 24, 2023


RV App Reviews: Roadside America – Don’t miss a thing!

By Tony Barthel
Have you ever come home from a journey and told friends about your prior destination and they then turned around and asked if you had seen a certain landmark or tourist trap that they knew you would love? It stinks missing some of these unusual places that make travel to other localities so special. 

How do you make sure not to miss these attractions? One of the ways is with this week’s app, “Roadside America.” 

Roadside America -The app is exactly what lovers of the unusual or unique would crave, a listing of the strange, the unusual, the uniquely local, and the must-see things around you. 

The app uses geo-locating technology that’s built into your iPhone to know where you are at any given time. From there, it recommends things to see around you. For example, near me right now as I write this is a plaque put up by the city I’m visiting that pays tribute to the prostitutes who used to ply their trade in a nearby hotel. 

If that’s not what you’re looking for there’s also a hand fan museum, a 26-foot-tall coyote and even the world’s largest Redwood tree service station. Some towns are just lucky. But why wouldn’t you want to know all this? 

In addition to the information provided by the app’s creators, there is also crowdsourced information so that’s where you’ll learn that the Redwood tree station is referred to as “The Stump” by locals. You’ll also learn that when the Redwood Tree Station was a proper tree, it was over 250 feet tall. 

If you know something additional about the attractions you’re visiting, or you just want to be part of a crowdsourced rating, you can add your input as well. 

We like and use this app quite a bit. While we know lots of travelers who speed to their destinations and worry about making record time, we’re the opposite. If there’s a big ball of twine or a used-to-be something-or-other or even an office building that used to have lots of prostitutes in it, we’re likely to stop and take a look. 

Roadside America is only for those who have an iOS product but you Android folks aren’t completely out of the loop. They also have a Roadside America website, although that doesn’t have the same geo-locating technology of course. Furthermore, the ads on their website, when you’re using a phone’s browser, are quite annoying to me. 

Upside Down House listingAlso, while the Roadside America app is $2.99 on the Apple App Store, that only entitles you to one section of the country. For example, if I’m in California all you get for $2.99 is California. Well, and Hawaii – but I worry about the water damage of towing my trailer to Hawaii. 

You can add additional regions for $1.99 or get all the company’s regions for $6.99. 

This might be a good tool to use as part of the planning process, or just pop open the app as you drive down the road (if you’re the passenger) and see what’s around you as part of a break from driving. 

In fact, this is the tool we used to find the upside-down house where we got a burger from Mono Cone (and one of their world-famous shakes) and sat and had lunch staring at this most unusual destination. These kinds of unusual places are what make travel such a wonderful and special experience. Using the Roadside America app has been a great tool for us as part of the adventure. You can download it by clicking the button below. 



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Bob M
11 months ago

The trouble with App’s is they want to track you and sell your personal information. I like my iPhone, but they are over rated. I had to buy the most expensive one because they no longer make plus models. Plus being visually impaired I need the enlarged some print and my fingers are too small for the small iPhone keyboard. The iPhone Pro Max isn’t worth the extra money. Apple has the worst spell check and has glitches using. Difficult to get help like Bob p indicates. My last iPhone.

Bob Weithofer
11 months ago

I find Atlas of the Obscure for Android shows me interesting places I would miss. I pair it with Clio for more normal things. Both free.

11 months ago

It has a great premise but I saw nowhere that it is available for Android. I haven’t used iPhones for some years and have no plans to go back. It sounds like I can get out my laptop on road trips and check out the areas with my hotspot.

Thanks for the tip.

And that upsidedown house is very interesting!

Jacques Lemieux
1 year ago

Hope the entries for other areas are more current and comprehensive than the ones listed for my area. I checked two towns and was very disappointed with what was included. Very incomplete with the best not even listed and the ones which were were very dated with stale information. Disappointing to say the least.

Ron T.
2 years ago

I’ve used their website for years and yes, I’m a sucker for gimmicks!

2 years ago

Too expensive

Bob p
1 year ago
Reply to  Buster

Also expensive just buying the iPhone just to be able to buy the app. Personally I wouldn’t have an iPhone after the last two days on the phone to Apple customer service over a problem with my iPad, and after that they said it’ll take a week to a month before the problem can be resolved. Any time I had a problem with my old computer with Microsoft a simple call and within 15 minutes it was resolved. My step daughter thinks the sun rises and sets with Apple but my opinion is not the same.

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