Roadside Dinosaur Parks

12/06/2013 05:43 pm ET | Updated Feb 05, 2014
  • Atlas Obscura The definitive guide to the world's wondrous and curious places

Kitschy dinosaur parks are about as abundant around the world as the thunder lizards themselves once were. Largely an American phenomenon, it seems as though there was a period of post-Depression boom times when any enterprising amateur with concrete, free time, and a child's guide to prehistory was building titanic menageries of "good enough for government work" creatures.

Not content to simply mangle the (to be fair, largely misunderstood at the time) anatomy of the saurian behemoths, most of these attractions also painted their beasts like technicolor nightmares. Whether its due to the wonders of prehistoric life or bad design, these creature collections remain a must-see stop on any road trip. Check out some of these mangy monsters that clearly spared every expense:

South Dakota's Depression-era Dinosaur Park still looks a little depressed.

Image via Paul Weimer

A Tyrannosaur-ish Rex at Kentucky's Dinosaur World.

Image via Atlas Obscura

Then there's this clever girl in Virginia's Dinosaurland.

Image via Dinosaurland

To see more derpy dinos, check out Atlas Obscura's collection of dinosaur parks!