Researching the Roadside: travel & tourism in the Pacific Northwest
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A big part of the fun of traveling is visiting the attractions along the way. Attractions are local landmarks that visitors wish to visit on their trips, such as the biggest ball of twine, the place where someone famous is buried, a festival or celebration or anything else that might be of interest to someone who doesn't live there. Attractions may be landscape--beautiful mountains, waterfalls, oceans, lakes, strange rock formations, or they may be the built environment-a signature important modern structure (such as the new Seattle Public Library building) or perhaps remnants of earlier eras, that have become interesting or amusing, such as the Teapot Dome Gas Stationin Zillah, Washington (named after a political scandal from the 1920s) or Bob's World Famous Java Jive coffeepot building in Tacoma.
Most large or important construction projects become magnets for visitors. The Grand Coulee Dam, built as part of the 1930s Columbia Basin Project was called "The Eighth Wonder of the World," and in a 1942 New York Times Magazine article, Richard L. Neuberger wrote, "Everyone in America has heard of Grand Coulee." Another important attraction in Washington State was the 1963 World's Fair. It highlighted the world of the future-the new atomic age. The signature building for the fair was the Space Needle, an unusual and elegant tower which remained after the fair and became Seattle's most famous landmark. It continues to be a major attraction for visitors to Seattle.