One of the quirkiest tourist attractions in the United States, Roadside America (610/488-6241, daily, $8 adults) stands alongside the I-78 freeway, 20 miles northwest of Reading in the village of Shartlesville. Built by Reading native Laurence Gieringer, Roadside America is a giant 1:32 scale model of bygone Americana, fleshed out with animated scenes that trace a typical day in the life of the country—circa 1930s, when Roadside America first opened to the public. As you walk around the edges of the 7,450-square-foot exhibit, you can push buttons to make wheels spin, lights flash, and pumps pump, and you’ll see a little of everything rural: an 1830s New England village featuring a church and choral music; a canyon and lake complete with waterfalls and resort cabins; a model of Henry Ford’s workshop in Dearborn, Michigan, where he built one of the first “horseless carriages”; various turnpikes, canals, highways, and railroads; a coal mine; and a mock-up of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, the closest Roadside comes to a city scene.

Though it’s definitely a fine example of kitsch, Roadside America is also an oddly compelling place, and only the hardest-hearted road-tripper will be able to hold back the tears when, every half hour or so, the sun sets and Kate Smith bursts into “God Bless America.”