According to, the Capital Region has a handful of roadside attractions. Two of them are graves and none of them are in Latham, where the Capital Region’s greatest roadside attraction once was.

I am not an expert on this subject and I am not trying to take anything away from Nipper the Dog or the Spinning U-Haul truck on a pole but I don’t think anyone is going to take a road trip to see ether one of these, not even a detour.

The Uncle Sam sites in Troy may attract tourists, but I find it disappointing and kind of grim that people consider a grave to be an attraction. As if Uncle Sam’s grave being Troy’s claim to roadside fame was not grim enough, someone thought it would be a good idea to have two Uncle Sam graves in Troy, one is fake of course, but that does not help lighten things up nor does the vacant lot that used to be Uncle Sam’s house.

There are some Uncle Sam themed sites in Troy that are not so grim, but if a tourist googles Troy, they’re bound to discover Troy’s legendary haunted cemeteries. So the Capital Region's biggest roadside attractions are ether scary or patriotic. I don’t know if I want “Scary” and “Patriotic” being the two words that the Capital Region are associated with because this is the Capital of New York.

The grave of Chester A. Arthur the 21st President of the Untied States of America is another Capital Region roadside attraction and yet another grave. I’ve been to see this claim to fame many times before, it’s great that we have a President buried in the Capital Region I suppose but whenever I try to tell anyone about it they have no idea who I am talking about, and Chester A. Arthur is even referenced in a Die Hard movie.

Saratoga County has some roadside attractions that are not grim: A bottle museum, water, a statue of a horse and a monument for a traitors leg.

Why can’t we have nice things?

The roadside attraction that I referenced in the beginning of this blog is the one, the only, the not there anymore Hoffman’s Play land. I know that they moved pieces of my childhood next to the train tracks but don’t get me started on that.

Hoffman’s was a roadside attraction that we could all be proud of and it was something that tourists would actually want to go to. Just imagine you’re driving along with the kids, or your friends, or your significant other. Do you want to go see a bunch of graves, or do you want to go to the Mini Amusement Park in the middle of Suburbia?

Where you can get Soft-Serve and feed pellets to caged deer, then ride the Ferris Wheel!

In conclusion: Don’t we have anything else in the Capital Region that we can call a roadside attraction?

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