Here are some strange tourist attractions near Rockford to check out.

It's summer, so it's time to take some vacation from work. You might not have the money for a big trip to the islands or Europe, but there are still plenty of things to see within a driving distance to Rockford.

As a kid, I remember taking road trips for summer vacations. My family would pack up the car and go. There was no GPS, internet, and TripAdvisor.

My Dad would figure out our route from a paper map. Stopping at the visitor's center as you entered a state and grabbing a bunch of brochures was how you found out what sights there was to see in that location.

You never knew what would cross your path along the way. Maybe it was the world's largest something or an alligator farm. There was always something interesting and it was an adventure.

Growing up, it was my favorite part about traveling. You never knew when you would find the next Wall Drug.

If you've never experienced that kind of vacation before, I suggest checking out the movie "National Lampoon's Vacation."

Video: National Lampoon's Vacation Official Trailer

 

Technology is great, but it takes some of the spontaneity out of vacations.

Your chance to travel the old school way. Load up the family in the mini van and just hit the road.

From msn.com "Weird Tourist Attractions Across American"

"The United States offers a wide twilight zone of offbeat attractions, some amusing, some inspiring, and some quite disturbing."

Here are some ideas for places to check out not far from Rockford.

In Illinois

International Museum of Surgical Science - "In Chicago, over 7,000 medical artifacts." You might not want to go to the doctor after a visit.

The Leaning Tower of Niles - "Half the size of the original, worth a quick stop and photo." My cousins lived right by it. Definitely something you don't see everyday.

In Indiana

Santa Claus Indiana - "Visit Frosty's Fun Center, Santa Claus Museum, Santa Claus Post Office, Santa's Candy Castle, and Santa's Stables."  It's Christmas all year around. Who wouldn't love that.

John Dillinger Museum - "Going back in time to when the notorious gangster and other Depression-era thugs were hunted by the newly formed FBI." If you are into the Chicago Mob history, this is the place for you.

In Iowa

Field of Dreams - "Retrace the path of Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones from the movie." A magical place and a must see for fans of baseball and baseball players.

In Missouri

World's Largest Fork - "35 feet tall and weighing 11 tons." Any world record item is a priority stop.

In Wisconsin

The Beer Saint "Stands watch over the former Pabst Brewing corporate offices in downtown Milwaukee." As a kid, my family would take weekend trips to Milwaukee. My parents would take the brewery tour. I looked forward to seeing The Beer Saint.

Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame - "Hayward has a giant muskie 4.5 stories tall and as long as a Boeing 757." Like world record attractions, Hall of Fames have to be included in the plans.

There's some great ideas to get you started.

Please let us know some of your favorite strange attractions to visit close to Rockford.


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