Category: Roadside Curiosities

Roadside Americana

Da Yoopers Tourist Trap: Free Admission–Free Bathrooms!

Even among the Northern-most residents of Michigan’s lower peninsula, there is talk about “da yoopers”–those folks that live in Michigan’s upper peninsula. The U.P. is another world filled with self-referential humor and unabashed love of hunting, the outdoors, and drinking. It’s rural America with a weird sense of humor.

And it’s got TONS of Roadside Attractions! One of my favorites is Da Yoopers Tourist Trap and Museum–free admission and free bathrooms. And those bathrooms flush, I tell ya, unlike many of the rest stop restrooms that litter da U.P!

Sadly, I don’t have a photo of Gus, the world’s largest chainsaw, but I do have a pic of the world’s largest working rifle! It’s quite a machine!

What was I doing at Da Yooper Tourist Trap? Just my honeymoon! I love a good roadtrip and my husband loves to drive aimlessly. We’re a good match.

Anyway, you can check out Da Yoopers Tourist Trap with plenty of pictures here.

Included in the free museum is a series of bizarre yooper scenarios, my favorite involving the two deer turning the tables on a hunter. It’s so beyond weird. I love it. And my uncle is a taxidermist so I respect the craftsmanship, too!

There’s plenty of other photos on their site. It’s right on US-41 West in Ishpeming. It was a late fall day when I visited and took these photos in 2002.

A Guest Submission!

Only three days old and I have a guest submission!

My friend Cindy offered up this photo of her friend Will fondling a well-endowed wooden lady! She looks like she can’t decide if she likes it or if she’s going to bitch slap him. Having been in that position before (though not with Will here) I can relate!

This lovely lady is situated in the Northern outskirts of Sault Ste. Marie, Canada (our first international find).

Cindy couldn’t remeber the exact place but she said she always called it “that tourist trap”! Sounds like my kind of place! In honor of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (known affectionately in these parts as “da U.P.”) my next post will highligt a special spot along da U.P. landscape: Da Yooper Tourist Trap–giftstop with FREE restrooms!!

The Magical Swan of Elk Rapids, MI

So we were on yet another roadtrip through Northern Michigan when we drive past this beauty on US-31–a giant swan in front of the Elk Rapids Chamber of Commerce! Elk Rapids is just outside Traverse City and is fighting to become a destination spot.

According to the local paper, the Swan is 15 feet tall and was created to carry the local beauty pageant queens. Especially charming is the baby swan at momma’s wing!

Elk Rapids has one fantastic restaurant–Pearls–and a decent ice cream joint, if I remember correctly. It’s worth the trip!

World’s Largest Fiberglass Indian

I collect weird things…including images of strange roadside attractions. I wanted a place to put them all. So I’m going to put them here for now.

Roadside Americana is awesome and it’s a bit of a passion of mine.

This here is Hiawatha, the “World’s Largest Fiberglass Indian!” I made my husband drive many, many miles for this beauty in Ironwood, Michigan. I love it to bits and pieces and, honestly, I wouldn’t mind going to see it again. It was worth the trip. Check out how he towers over the neighborhood!

Hiawatha has his own page at!

My favorite thing about this big boy is that he’s sort of randomly placed in a neighborhood and not downtown or in the middle of a big park or anything. Just right in the thick of things. Imagine growing up in the shadow of Hiawatha? I think I’d feel protected. And it’s a great conversation piece at the bbq, no?