I know these places are just out to make a buck, but there's just something I really enjoy about these little pieces of Americana. Sometimes I'll buy a souvenir, most of the time I don't. It's just the visiting of the place that makes the experience for me.
One of my favorite places in the world is Mackinaw City, MI. Every time I go up there, I just have to walk through all the crappy gift shops that are there. Why? I don't know, I rarely buy anything. It's not like I need a million T-shirts with the Mackinaw Bridge on them. I guess a lot of it goes back to my childhood when my folks used to take my brother and I there all the time. We loved begging them for the crappy toys they sold that usually ended up breaking before we even got back to the campground where we were staying.
Then, assuming you are traveling from West to East, you jump off the highway and do it all over again three hours later when you visit the Mitchell "Corn Palace"
So, after two or three hours of driving past the thousands of billboards, you finally pull off the road when you get to Wall because you just want to shut the billboard maker up already. Of course, when you get there, you find that it filled with the same crappy souvenirs as the last place you visited, the "Free Ice Water" is lukewarm at best, and the robotic T-Rex is broken today, but you still can't help but walk away with a smile on your face.
The places above are some of my favorite tourist traps, are there any notable ones I've missed? Let me know in the comments or via Twitter.