Staten Island, New York

Fort Wadsworth

America's longest-manned military fort is now an abandoned hulk
01 Sep 2014
San Juan County, New Mexico

Bisti Badlands

Seemingly grown on some other world, these New Mexico rock formations look like a disused science fiction set
31 Aug 2014
Santiago, Chile

Termas Geometricas

This Japanese-inspired labyrinth of hot springs is hidden in a Chilean forest
31 Aug 2014
Denver, Colorado

Denver’s Dinosaur Hotel

This otherwise unremarkable franchise hotel has been decked out in dinosaur decor
31 Aug 2014
Goodwell, Oklahoma

No Man's Land Historical Museum

On a college campus in the Oklahoma panhandle a museum honors the last piece of the contiguous United States to be classified as No Man's Land
29 Aug 2014
Naoshima, Japan

Bennesse Art Site Naoshima

A Japanese corporation has turned this small island town into living modern art gallery
29 Aug 2014


Roadside Attractions: Aliens Welcome

by Allison Meier / 02 Sep 2014

Recently we interviewed Chandler O'Leary of the fantastic illustrated travel blog Drawn the Road Again. We are thrilled to be sharing a series of O'Leary's illustrations of roadside attractions, along with their place on Atlas Obscura, in a summer series. 

article-imageWelcome to Roswell (illustration by Chandler O'Leary)

Journeying through Roswell, New Mexico, you'll find the International UFO Museum and Research Center which boasts mysterious spacecraft models and autopsy reports, and, well, a UFO-themed McDonald's (if you want to actually take a look at Area 51, the closest you can get is Tikaboo Peak in Nevada). But the truth out there isn't quite as promisingly kitschy as the myth, as Chandler O'Leary found and illustrated for Drawn the Road Again. As she writes:

There weren’t alien tchotchkes everywhere, nor were we surrounded by roadside attractions. All we really found was a museum (closed that day), a couple of sparse souvenir shops, and a handful of scattered E.T. effigies — so few, in fact, that I couldn’t even fill one whole spread in my sketchbook. And that makes me sad, because just think of the things Roswell could learn from somewhere like Wall Drug!

However, O'Leary has discovered some delightful alien roadside attractions elsewhere, such as the two below, and you can find more at her site. And for more on searching for alien life,  check out our Atlas Obscura Guide to First Contact.

article-imageAlien-themed BBQ restaurant in North Dakota (illustration by Chandler O'Leary)

article-imageUFO-shaped park shelter in Everett, Washington (illustration by Chandler O'Leary)