I don't give many places five stars, but this is one of the few that deserve it. Conveniently located at Exit 23 (Shartlesville) of I-78 in Pennsylvania, if you are into modeling, whether it's railroads, covered bridges, cars, or whatever, you'll have a ball here. The first time you see this you won't believe your eyes. The mirror at the far end of the exhibit makes it look bigger than it is, but it is impressive nonetheless. As you tour Roadside America you see all aspects of the development of America as we know it today. There are houses being built, small towns emerging, bridges and tunnels, villages, and even an airport. There are push buttons throughout you can use to see some of the mechanical exhibits in action.
The real treat is the Night Pageant, where for four minutes you see a simulated sunset, night setting, and sunrise. When they urge you not to leave until you see that, they mean it
They do allow flash cameras, but no tripods. The one fly in the ointment is depending on the quality of your camera, getting close-up shots may be difficult due to the lighting. Also, once you leave the exhibit you cannot go back inside, unless you have to use the rest rooms.
This is the lifetime work of one man, Laurence T. Gehringer and his wife. You can read the whole story in the brochure you get when you begin your tour.
There is a gift shop on the premises, and next door there is a separate gift shop and coffee stand. Less than a half-mile away is Blue Mountain Family Restaurant, where I dined during my visit. I will review that separately.
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