Ripley’s is delving deep into their archives to locate 100 unusual “Odd Spots”– Ripley’s Guide to the Curious Corners of America. The first “Odd Spot” dedication took place on September 26, 2017 in Burlington for its unbelievably crooked street. In 1894, Snake Alley was constructed with an experimental street design which replicated the vineyard paths in France and Germany.
Snake Alley is composed of limestone and locally-fired blue clay bricks. The constantly changing slant from one curve to the next required a complicated construction technique. Today, the brick paving is still the original used in construction more than one hundred years ago. The physical limitations and steep elevation of Heritage Hill inspired the construction of Snake Alley. It was intended to link the downtown business district and the neighborhood shopping area of North Sixth Street, where Snake Alley is a one-block section.
“The uniqueness of this street makes it the perfect place for our very first Ripley’s ‘Odd Spot.’” says Edward Meyer, VP of Exhibits & Archives for Ripley’s Believe It or Not! “We are looking for locations that have a cultural and historical significance to the town and state, and Snake Alley is an ideal location—a perfect match, odd and usual, and a must see if you are in the area.”
Each Ripley’s “Odd Spot” will receive a bronze plaque for permanent installation, an original Ripley’s Believe It or Not! commemorative framed cartoon, and a Ripley’s representative for a dedication ceremony.
When visiting, make an extended weekend out if and make reservations for accommodations at Catfish Bend Inn & Sap. Located off of Hwy 61 this luxury property features 40 rooms and is connected to the PZAZZ Entertainment Complex which includes Fun City and Catfish Bend Casino. On-site restaurants/lounges, complimentary breakfast, indoor/outdoor pool, fitness equipment, internet access, meeting facilities, and motor coach parking. Rooms are handicap accessible, pets are allowed, and shuttle services is available.
For a a barbecue lunch with a view, try The Drake restaurant located downtown on the riverfront. On a pretty day, you can dine on the patio overlooking the Mississippi River. The four-page menu offers tempting smokehouse ribs, slow smoked brisket, shrimp skewers and wood fired chicken breast. For the hearty appetite, Sweet B’s BBQ Sampler allows a taste of all. As a seafood lover, a return visit for Florida Grouper or almond crusted walleye is in order.
If after the holidays, a January visit is in store, Burlington is a great place to watch the bald eagles. On Jan. 27, a free program will be presented at the Port of Burlington Welcome Center from 10 a.m. to noon. Then head to Lock and Dam 18 to count them. On the same day, take in the after Christmas Craft & Vendor show at Westland Mall. Open until 7 p.m.
Nightlife and live entertainment is also abundant in Burlington for a cold winter evening. So don’t wait to schedule your next weekend getaway. See you there!