Canny small-business owners long ago saw a potential opportunity to hawk their wares to American motorists. This phenomenon isn't just limited to gas stations and fast-food drive-thrus-all kinds of businesses exist along the interstate, catering to aimless wanderers, daily commuters and drivers on vacation.
The most common roadside businesses specialize in two things-gas and food, commodities without which no road trip will last for very long. But there's another category of roadside business that caters to the travelers of America's highways: the curiosity, the tourist trap, the legendary destination, that place your friends have told you you've just got to see if you happen to be going from point A to point B.
Some of these destinations have stood for the better part of a century, while others are just getting started. But all of these small businesses offer a glimpse into an offbeat side of American culture. Read ahead and see what they are.
The Profit, a reality series with multimillionaire Marcus Lemonis turning around struggling companies, premieres on CNBC Prime on Tuesday, July 30, at 10 p.m ET/PT.
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By Daniel Bukszpan