Get your kitsch on Route 19

Harold's Auto Spring Hill, FL

Harold's Auto Spring Hill, FL

OK, a silly attempt at playing up “get your kicks on Route 66″ but that line is what ran through my head when we drove past this dinosaur last week. We were traveling on Route 19 north of Tampa in Spring Hill, Florida, when this creature/gas station appeared. This is something you’d expect to see on the old U.S. Routes. Coffee table books have been written about the roadside America of the 1950’s and 60’s with the big glossy photos of the donut-shaped entry to the Donut Hole donut shop, the art deco diner, giant lumberjacks, vintage cars, and more.  The dinosaur fits right in.

So, if you find yourself north of Tampa, drive by Harold’s Auto on Route 19 and, while you’re in the neighborhood, drop in on the mermaids at Weeki Wachee further up the road. They’ve been ” . . . swimming their tails off since 1947.”

What’s your roadside America experience?

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