This summer has been filled with road trips. It started with a trip through Ohio into Michigan, around Lake Erie through Canada and back through New York State and Pennsylvania. While I’m sure there are more road trips planned for the future, the one thing that always gets me are the unique roadside attractions. You know— those attractions that beg you to divert your course and pull over to check it out. And almost always, the busier the road, the more unique the billboard is touting said attraction. During our two trips to Nevada this year, these road trip diversions did not disappoint.
The trip from San Diego to Las Vegas takes less than 5 hours— if you’re speeding. But if you take in the sights on the way to Sin City, you’ll find some unique roadside oddities.
The first being Zzyzx Road on Interstate 15. I haven’t spent any time on this road so where it leads to, I have no idea. Maybe a vowel.
Further up Interstate 15 is Baker, home of the world’s largest thermometer. While this particular thermometer takes much of the glory, there’s a new addition at this exit: Alien Fresh Jerky. Inside the store are many varieties of flavored jerky with unique names such as Road Kill Original, Space Gator Alligator Jerky and Galactic Garlic for $8 each. They also sell olives, nuts, candy and some obscure (and expensive) glass-bottled sodas. The rest of the store is filled with janky tourist collectibles featuring aliens and whatnot. The manmade space ship parked outside will be hard to miss.
The roadside sights continued on a more recent trip to Nevada, this time to Reno. On U.S. 395 north of Adelanto in Kramer Junction is The Astroburger.
Sure, there are other places to eat on this stretch of pavement and they’re the usual offenders: Subway, McDonald’s, etc. But what other eating establishment has a spiffy sign with a rocket? The menu items at Astroburger are the usual roadside fare: burgers, tacos, chicken strips and Blue Bunny ice cream. This place is not affiliated with Astroburger in Los Angeles.
There are several signature burgers like their Loco Burger with four beef patties to fill up the road-weary truck driver. While that looks tempting after staring at a dusty road for several hundred miles, their double cheeseburger is enough to fill anyone with a normal appetite. The burger comes piping hot from the grill with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and a house sauce. You can opt to eat your food inside in the tiny air conditioned restaurant or sit outside and watch the cars stream by.
Whether you take the road to Las Vegas or to Reno, one thing is certain: there is always something to see on the side of the road if you keep your eyes peeled.