Posts Tagged With: roadside attraction

Roaring Falls, a Gondola, a Carousel and a Giant Toy – Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington

Spokane Falls and SkyRide over the falls, Spokane, Washington

Spokane Falls and SkyRide over the falls

Riverfront Park in Spokane, Washington is more than your typical city park. Rarely do you find gorgeous, pounding waterfalls right in the middle of a city. But in Spokane, all you have to do is walk a couple of blocks from the downtown core, and you will find the 100-acre park and the spectacular Spokane Falls.

Spokane Falls

Spokane Falls

There are two falls – the Upper and the Lower Spokane Falls. Both falls have diversion dams built on them, but that doesn’t take away from the power and majesty of the falls. There’s a beautiful Riverfront Park located right next to the falls, and don’t for a minute think that you will just check out the park and not go to the falls. You can hear them and see the mist for quite a ways and they draw you to them. You can’t help but walk down to them and view them from several viewpoints in order to see the raging river.

Spokane Falls, Spokane, Washington

Spokane Falls and SkyRide

But if you really want to see the falls, check out the Spokane Falls SkyRide, which takes you across the lower falls. I wish we would have had the time to take the ride to see for ourselves, but just watching the gondola cars through the spray was beautiful to see. I can only imagine the thrill of feeling like you are right in the falls.

This unusual park, which was built for the 1974 World’s Fair, also contains an old 1909 carousel, an IMAX theater, rides and miniature golf, a train ride and an ice-skating rink! All that in one place!

Water Feature, Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington

Water Feature, Riverfront Park

And last but not least – you know how we like roadside attractions! You have to check out the giant Radio Flyer in the park. It’s 12 feet tall and 27 feet long and the handle is actually a slide! Even if you don’t have kids, it will probably take you back to your own childhood.

Giant Radio Flyer, Riverfront Park, Spokane, Washington

Giant Radio Flyer

Spokane’s phenomenal falls and its impressive Riverfront Park with such a tremendous variety of activities should be another must-do when you’re in the Spokane area.

If you’re wondering where to stay while in the Spokane area, check out our article on the gorgeous Davenport Hotel at




Categories: Outdoors, Parks, Roadside Attraction, Uncategorized, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Where Dinosaurs Roam” – Granger, Washington

1-IMG_2924“Where Dinosaurs Roam” is the theme for the small central Washington town of Granger. Why? Because every town needs a theme and because a mastodon tusks and teeth were found there in 1958.



So in 1994, the first dinosaur was built out of steel, wire mesh and cement. Now there are around 30 dinosaurs of all shapes and sizes scattered throughout the town.


It’s fun to drive around trying to spot them all. Some seem to just be placed with no purpose, others are in parks or near the library.


The first Saturday of June is “Dino-N-A-Day” held at the Hisey Dinosaur Park and visitors are encouraged to help restore the dinosaurs.  There is also a man-made pond with a volcano shaped water fountain in it, and the restrooms are shaped like a volcano.


When you see the dinosaurs, you can tell that they are in need of constant upkeep but they are still a joy to see. Kids will love trying to find them all and climb around on them and get their pictures taken being “eaten” by them.


My “big kid” getting eaten…

So next time you are driving south of Yakima, Washington on Interstate 82, take exit 58 and take a chance to look around for the dinosaurs. You could be traveling where the real dinosaurs did millions of years ago!

Categories: Festivals, Keatons Out and About, Outdoors, Parks, Roadside Attraction, Washington | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Teapot Dome and the Government Scandal


Teapot Dome Gas Station

What does a big government scandal have to do with a strange little teapot-shaped building sitting in tiny Zillah, Washington?

In 1915, President Wilson set aside the oil reserves in Teapot Dome, Wyoming and Elk Hills, California for the Navy to use as they were converting their ships from coal to Oil. Senator Albert Fall didn’t like the idea. When Warren Harding became president, he appointed Fall to the position of Secretary of the Interior. In 1922 Fall convinced the Secretary of the Navy to turn control of the oil fields over to him, and he promptly accepted bribes for the leases from wealthy oilmen. Once known, the Marines even had to be called in to settle the issue.

So even though the scandal did not directly involve the Zillah area, Jack Ainsworth built the 15-foot-tall Teapot Dome Gas Station in 1922 in his own version of a protest to the scandal, which some consider to be the greatest political scandal up until Watergate.

Trials on the scandal continued through the 1920’s, until 1927 when the Supreme Court ruled that the leases were not valid because they were obtained through corruption, and returned control of the oil reserves to the Navy. In 1929 Albert B. Hall was finally found guilty of bribery and sentenced to one year in prison and fined $100,000 (he accepted $400,000 in bribes).

The Teapot Dome used to sit next to Highway 12 but when Interstate 82 was built the dome was moved into the town of Zillah. The site even includes the original outhouse! However, the gas pumps are not originals. The Teapot Dome is now a visitor’s center. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1985 and is also on the list of the Most Endangered Properties List.


Moving the Teapot Dome Gas Station

To see this unique roadside protest to government scandal, take I-82 to Exit 52 to Zillah. Follow the road up the hill, staying to the right. The beautifully restored red and white Teapot Dome can’t be missed sitting on the left side of the road.

Categories: Historical, Roadside Attraction, Washington | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oregon City Municipal Elevator – “The Only Vertical Street in North America”

Elevator from the top

Need a quick stop to get out and stretch your legs while traveling in the Portland area? Here’s a fun little one at Oregon City. It’s called the Oregon City Municipal Elevator.

Oregon City was first built along the river and as it grew it of course grew up onto the bluffs above the river. American Indians had made trails up that way, so in 1867 the settlers built steps along the trails – 722 of them! In 1912 the residents finally voted to build an elevator, Now, obviously it was not like it looks today. It took several minutes to get to the top. Over the years the elevator has been rebuilt and upgraded.

We drove up to the top of the bluff and there was a small parking lot there as well as street parking.

The glass room at the top is open on one side so you can just walk right in.

View from Oregon Elevator

There is a beautiful view along with old pictures, the story of the elevator, directional and informational signs.

Map on floor.

On the floor is a sort of map that shows the various streets from that position.

When you push the button for the elevator and door opens, there’s a little surprise waiting. A woman was seated behind a glass wall. She is the operator and was very friendly and willing to answer questions.

The elevator is 131 feet high and now takes about 15 seconds to ride to the bottom, where you exit through a tunnel and end up out on the street. You can also exit directly to the right of the elevator when you get off and go out to a street that way.

The tunnel is lined with old pictures of the building of the tunnel.

Tunnel to elevator

View of elevator from below

You can of course, park at the bottom and ride to the top. And the best part of this little excursion – it’s free!

The elevator operates Monday through Saturday 6:45am-7pm and on Sundays from 11am-7pm.

So next time you need a quick little distraction on the road, check out the Oregon Municipal Elevator which, according to the Oregon City Public Works website is “one of only four municipal elevators in the world and “Elevator Street” remains the only “vertical street” in North America.”

Getting there: The elevator is located at 625 Center St., Oregon City, Oregon. From I-205 north or south, take exit 9 to Oregon City/Gladstone. Turn left onto McLoughlin Blvd/Ore-99E. Turn left onto 10th Street. 10th turns into Singer Hill Rd. which turns into 7th St. From there turn right onto Center Street and you are there!

Categories: Historical, Oregon, Roadside Attraction | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

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