What good’s a road trip without stopping in a souvenir shop to buy something that says you’ve been wherever you happen to be? You come out with your floaty pens, t-shirts, baseball caps, pennants, stuffed alligators, squashed pennies, shot glasses, key chains, refrigerator magnets, a bumper sticker, and a box of pecan log rolls to share with the folks at work (if they make it the 150 mile drive back home). Finally, before you even leave the parking lot, you slap that bumper sticker on the back of your car and drive away with a big smile, sure that everyone will now know you’ve just been to Uncle Al’s Alligator Emporium and had a great time this weekend.
With that in mind, today we want to present you with a list of what we feel are some of the best places to do a little souvenir shopping the next time you’re out their way. Whether you’re just passing through for the day or staying the night, these are the places to get more stuff to throw into your box of memories.
Castle Gift Shop │ 2249 Lincoln Hwy E., Lancaster, PA
You might know this place as the entrance to Dutch Wonderland – the 48-acre amusement park geared towards children – but the Castle Gift Shop is open year-round which means you can usually find great deals off-season on all of your Dutch Wonderland and Pennsylvania Dutch Country souvenirs. Plus, the castle-shaped building makes for some great photo-ops.
Bonanza Gifts │ 2400 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV
With over “40,000 square feet of shopping hysteria” Bonanza Gifts is about as kitschy as you’d expect from a Las Vegas souvenir stand that claims itself as the World’s Largest Gift Shop – and that kitschy appeal is what makes this place so great and so much fun just browsing around. This is the place to shop for all of your Las Vegas souvenirs and gifts.
The World’s Largest Gift Store │ 332 Pine St., Phillipsburg, MO
Outside of their claim to be the world’s largest gift store (we couldn’t find any mention of the store’s size to refute it, but truth be told, it is huge!), they do have a ton of stuff – everything from souvenirs to hand-painted ducks that’ll hold your wine bottles (available in alligator and moose, too). As the reviews on Tripadvisor will tell you, The World’s Largest Gift Store is “big and tacky” with “a little bit of everything and not a lot of anything”. You had us at “tacky”.
Wall Drug │ 510 Main St, Wall, SD
This is probably the granddaddy of all souvenir shops and tourists traps that sprouted up all along our great country’s roadsides (which is why we love it so much). Wall Drug started in 1937, promising folks on their way to Mount Rushmore “Free Ice Water!”, and 83 years later they still tout their free ice water alongside jackalopes and a myriad of other quirky kitsch in between.
Dinosaur Land │848 Stonewall Jackson Hwy., White Post, VA
Other websites might claim that parents are beckoned to this part of Virginia by the beauty of the Shenandoah Valley, but kids love coming here for Dinosaur Land. However, we know the truth – parents love coming to Dinosaur Land just as much as the kids because it reminds them of when their parents brought them here. The park features dozens of towering prehistoric creatures but this article’s about their gift shop that you enter through the mouth of a dinosaur! How cool is that? Dinosaur Land actually started as a gift shop before the owner was inspired to change it into the iconic attraction it is today. So, as a former gift shop, expect to find everything from souvenirs made of coal to…well… plastic dinosaurs.
Fort Cody Trading Post │ 221 Halligan Dr, North Platte, NE
So, there you are. You’re driving West on I-80 through the flat lands of Nebraska when all of a sudden, Fort Cody pops up in front of you like a mirage in a desert of corn. The family-run stockade-shaped building holds the state’s largest souvenir store that includes a Western village for kids and a 20,000-piece miniature Buffalo Bill Wild West show that comes to life when the lights dim and the music starts every half hour.
South of the Border │ 3346 US-301, Hamer, SC 29547
You can’t miss South of the Border, if only because they won’t let you. The ubiquitous and entertaining South of the Border signs once started over 100 miles away in both directions from this iconic roadside attraction. These iconic signs first advertise what started in 1949 as a beer stand just over the state line from North Carolina and grew to become a must-see theme park on any eastern seaboard road trip. And in case the you missed the signs (you won’t), Pedro, South of the Border’s 97-foot-tall, 77-ton mascot watches over a collection of amusement rides, gas stations, mini-golf courses and six cafés and restaurants. Don’t leave without taking home a bumper sticker, one of the more coveted South of the Border souvenirs.
Stuckey’s │ All over America
We don’t like to toot our own horn, but “Toot! Toot!” What started as a lean-to shack selling pecans grew to over 350 stores nationwide thanks mostly to their famous Stuckey’s pecan log rolls. From the late 30’s to the early 70’s, Stuckey’s teal blue roof was as famous then as the golden arches are today. Unfortunately, Stuckey’s was purchased by a large corporation in the 1970’s and began to fade from the American roadside, leaving only a handful of stores left. That’s about to change now, however, as CEO and granddaughter of the company’s founder, Stephanie Stuckey, vows to continue her family’s legacy and keep making road trips fun.
After all, where else can you get a toy alligator alongside a dashboard Jesus, and those delicious pecan log rolls and other fine pecan candies? And don’t forget some souvenir hats, t-shirts and other Stuckey’s merchandise for the folks back home. Even if you can’t make it to Stuckey’s, Stuckey’s can make it to you. Consider it your souvenir shop online as you cruise down the information superhighway. Visit stuckeys.com for more info.
Whether your next road trip is by car or by rail, it’s not really a road trip without taking Stuckey’s along. From our world famous Stuckey’s Pecan Log Rolls to our mouthwatering Hunkey Dorey, Stuckey’s has all the road trips snacks you’ll need to get you where you’re going.
For all of the pecany good treats and cool merch you’ll need for your next big road adventure, browse our online store now!
Stuckey’s – We’re Making Road Trips Fun Again!