Roadside attractions are hardly recognized at the worldwide level. It takes a special person to seek out the giant balls of twine and enormous fiber glass animals that grace the highways of the United States. To honor these road warriors, Excel Distributors, the purveyor of aftermarket RV mattresses, has created the “7 Wonders of the RV World,” a list of the kookiest, most creative and completely sensational roadside attractions for roadtrippers to visit, according to a news release.
Airstream Ranch in Dover, Fla., is the first of Excel’s “7 Wonders of the RV World.” Two others have a definite RV angle: the Shady Dell RV park in Bisbee, Ariz., and the Trailer Park Taj Mahal in Zeba, Mich.
It’s about time someone has given them Wonder status.
“In 2001, Bernard Weber fronted the campaign for the New 7 Wonders of the World to highlight the significant cultural feats of the contemporary world. We loved his vision and decided to spotlight some quirky wonders that didn’t quite make it into his New 7 Wonders,” explains Scott Oster, general manager of Portland, Ore.-based Excel Distributors. “These are the wonders of the road.”
The “7 Wonders of the RV World” span across North America, with one pit stop in remote Alberta, Canada. Every Wonder is a roadside spectacle, be it the wall of Airstream trailers buried nose-down in Dover, Fla., or the eclectic Official Center of the World in Felicity, Calif. Wood Buffalo National Park in Northern Alberta is home to the largest beaver dam in the world, a 2,790-foot structure that is visible from space. “Each of the 7 RV Wonders is spectacular, and deserves to be visited,” says Oster.
“We love highlighting such a vivid part of our country’s cultural heritage. RVs have been popular in the United States since the early-1900s, and roadside attractions have been around for even longer,” says Oster. “It’s about time someone has given them Wonder status.”
To read about all seven, click here.
The Shady Dell RV Park in Bisbee, Ariz., made the Top 10 List of Quirky Places to Stay, according to a survey by TripAdvisor.com
The website said this of Shady Dell: “The Shady Dell RV Park in Bisbee has nine vintage travel trailers outfitted to look like an authentic ’50s diner. With records spinning on the turn table and lawn flamingos out the door, this property turns back the clock.”
According to the RV park’s website:
Nine lovely, fully restored vintage aluminum travel trailers await you at the Shady Dell in Bisbee, Arizona. Whether it is the 33-foot Royal Mansion built in 1951 and restored with leopard carpet, martini glasses, Diner-style breakfast booth and phonograph with a collection of 78 rpm records, or the 1947 Tiki Bus Polynesian Palace, complete with hand-carved outrigger bar and your own Tiki God, the Shady Dell’s individual trailers will surely send you back to a time when freedom was just another word for jumping in your aluminum house on wheels, finding the Rat Pack on the radio and navigating the open road in search of your own slice of the American Dream.
Our sleek collection of vintage travel trailers are all perfectly restored to combine mid-century Americana kitsch with the comforts of home in a way that only the 1950s were capable of. Each trailer, such as the 1949 Airstream, or the 1950 Spartan Manor, are available for overnight or weekly rental.
The complete list follows:
- McMenamins Kennedy School, Portland, Ore. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $104.
- Forget-Me-Not Lodge and the Aurora Express, Fairbanks, Alaska – Avg. Nightly Rate: $117.
- Dog Bark Park Inn, Cottonwood, Idaho – Avg. Nightly Rate: $88.
- Kokopelli Cave Bed and Breakfast, Farmington, N.M. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $240.
- Victorian Mansion at Los Alamos, Los Alamos, Calif. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $293.
- Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Eureka Springs, Ark. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $87.
- Wigwam Motel, Holbrook, Ariz. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $51.
- Adobe Grand Villas, Sedona, Ariz. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $512.
- Shady Dell RV Park, Bisbee, Ariz. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $92.
- Winvian, Morris, Conn. – Avg. Nightly Rate: $1,700.