Continental US / New England

On The Road Again: Stop #1 on The Penniless Traveler’s Fabulous Road Trip


While driving back out to Ohio for my junior year of school, my dad and I stopped at various roadside attractions between Boston and Columbus. This stop was the kick-off to our adventure and it also marks the beginning of “Road Trip Week” on The Penniless Traveler!

Before our trip, I visited one of my favorite travel sites, Roadside America. If you haven’t been there it’s worth a visit. I’m not sure where else you can find giant sculptures made out of food, Muffler Men and rockets…

We left from Boston Saturday morning for our first stop in Auburn, Massachusetts. Goddard Park. This small park, hidden behind a fire station, is the home to the Polaris Missile. As in nuclear missile. You can walk right up to it and stare skyward in awe. It looks like there was once a fountain at the base which has since stopped running, but it’s still a well-maintained park and a neat site.

More historically thrilling, however, is the replica of the first liquid-fueled rocket which was set off mere miles from this location by Robert Goddard in 1926.

The replica is hidden behind a small bush so make sure you look around for it before heading out. You can see how the rocket would have had the exhaust coming out of the top to stabilize the rest of the body which would follow behind. This is different than the rockets you see today which have the exhaust coming out of the bottom (as they use a different stabilization method).

I have to admit that I picked this spot in particular to break my dad into the idea of stopping every few hours at my odd-ball, internet-researched, destinations, but in the end it was one of my favorite stops too.

Where: Goddard Park, Auburn, MA

When: Daytime!

Cost: Free!

Have you ever seen a nuclear missile this close?? Yikes!

Safe travels!!


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