Listen to the dramatic reading by Thomas Eggleston:
Searching for new ideas for this summer’s vacation? Forget the humdrum beachfront house listings on your Airbnb wishlist, and visit the top historical sites you’ve never heard of in middle-of-nowhere America. There’s something for everyone on this tour: dinky little parks, forgotten battlegrounds, and commemorative monuments to no one that important. Safe travels!
Battlefield of Nothing Special
Discover the place where our nation’s soldiers bravely duked it out for no good reason, and left behind a legacy that no one can quite put their finger on. See the hallowed grounds where celebrated generals discussed pointless strategies, gave a speech or two, and rotated tiny thumbnails in a circle on a big yellow map. As you solemnly gaze once more across the vast valley before you, take a few moments to ponder what it was like to valiantly fight the country’s most worthless battle. Then get back in the car and start bickering over whose turn it is to choose the radio station.
Way-Too-Realistic Colonial Village
Get the educational experience of someone’s lifetime at this true-to-form town stuck in 1765. In order to deliver authentic reenactments, the villagers are required to wear old-timey clothing, refrain from communicating with their friends and family, and commit to live here full-time for five consecutive years. The theme changes annually, so check the website before you go to know what to expect. Previous years saw compelling renditions of of religious revivalism, famine, and witch trials—complete with bonus hangings!
Anywhereville National Park
Leave your car in the deserted parking lot (ignore the big RV with the smoggy windows, funky drug-like smells, and “No Trespassing” sign out front), and take a leisurely 4-mile trek down the unmarked trail. This is where a bunch of white immigrant dudes set out to steal land and eventually found the country as we know it today. Find your way back to the car by sniffing your way towards the parking lot.
Historic Home of Who Cares, He Lived Like a Million Years Ago
Don’t waste too much time wandering through this perfectly preserved collection of keepsakes, mementos, and piles of junk (you can fill in the gaps by reading the Wikipedia entry). But be sure not to miss the highlight of this site: the Gift Shop. As you make your way down the cramped aisles, pick up all the dusty, cracked magnets in the clearance bin, taste the stale samples of homemade butterscotch candies, and take selfies with the cheap sunglasses by the register before you walk out without buying a thing.
Monument to a National Traitor
Enjoy a low-key picnic dinner next to this impressive-looking statue of yet another Caucasian guy on a horse. Ponder out loud why selling state secrets to your country’s enemies might not be the best idea (except this specific back-stabber did get a life-sized cement rendering of himself out of it).
Memorial of Foreign Wars We Had No Business Being a Part Of
Remember the wars fought overseas in our unilateral attempts to force other countries to democratize their governments. The exhibits here attempt to explain were always on the right side of history, and why all others just didn’t have the correct religion, values, or sense of fashion. All this glorious righteousness is shot down the toilet when you step outside to partake in the multi-cultural grubfest that is the food truck.
Birthplace of a Presidential Race Loser
End your grand tour at the birthplace of the (white) man who was almost elected President in 1837. With the home’s original woodwork, black-and-white paintings, and rusty birthing stool on display, it truly takes you back to that blustery February night when the mother of this leader of the free world-wannabe finally pushed out her loser baby. As you leave the house, grab a souvenir–seriously, no one gives a fig about that failure’s stuff—and then make your merry way to the car. It’s time to drive back home to the real America.