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Tacky Tourist Photos

Tacky Places. Tacky Poses. Tacky Things

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Jul '11

Prince William: Canada doesn’t suck? Who knew?

Prince William and Princess Kate cowboy up in Calgary (source: CBC).

Check out today’s CBC headline:

Prince William says Canada ‘far exceeded’ expectations

Translation: “I thought this place was going to be kinda lame.”

Canada can do far better for a celebrity tourist endorsement.

Meanwhile, Prince William and Princess Kate Middleton each received a ceremonial white cowboy hat upon entering the city of Calgary — a tradition for visiting dignitaries.  Other celebrities asked to play dress-up have included President George Herbert Walker Bush, William Shatner and the Dalai Lama.

Jul '13

How Boys Play With Rainbows

On the Canadian side of Niagara Falls, it's rare NOT to see a rainbow at every turn.

SUBMITTED BY: Kurtis and Kaden Garnick   LOCATION: Niagara Falls – Ontario, Canada (2013)

Show a girl a rainbow and her imagination will start generating unicorns and Care Bears.

Show a boy a rainbow, and he’ll try to squeeze the life out of it or karate chop it in half.


Never Make Eye Contact With The Rainbow: Young Kaden tries to sever his rainbow with a sideglance karate chop on the legendary Maid of the Mist boat ride.

(Check out other refracted light hilarity on Tacky Tourist Photos, such as “Rainbow Taffy.”)

Feb '12


Voracious Appetite: The World's Biggest Candy Bar?

SUBMITTED BY: Bill Malie  LOCATION: Niagara Falls, Ontario (2011)

In the grand tradition of Eating Big Things (“Golden Gate Appetizer,” “World’s Largest Popcorn” ), Bill takes a chunk out of Canada’s Largest Candy Bar in front of the Hershey Store near the Falls.

Does ANYONE eat the candy bar with the wrapper still on?

(Bill Malie, of Pennsylvania, makes Niagara road trips at least three times a year).

Feb '12

Sticky Fingers: The World’s Largest Football

Not-So-Super Originality -- Before the Patriots-Giants showdown, there was no shame in copying your neighbor's photo-op!

SUBMITTED BY: Jason Feifer    LOCATION: Indianapolis, Indiana (2012)

Unlike in the real Super Bowl XLVI, there were no dropped footballs outside Lucas Oil Stadium.

This classic pose essentially is a variation of the one we recently captured with the World’s Largest Potato on Prince Edward Island.

An ongoing scene in the parking lot of Canada's Potato Museum in O'Leary, PEI.

(Jason Feifer is a Fast Company senior editor, a Miami Heat fan, and a die-hard air conditioning enthusiast.)

Dec '10

Mashed by Potato

Ari is the Atlas of the Produce World.

SUBMITTED BY: Ari G.   LOCATION: O’Leary, Prince Edward Island (Canada — 2009)

It’s only a matter of time before this courageous kid’s triceps give out and he gets crushed by the potato!

The World’s Largest Potato is at the Potato Museum in Western PEI. It is far superior to any Idaho or Maine potato exhibits, a fact that Americans should be ashamed of.

The PEI Potato Museum sells burlap sacks in the gift shop and potato candy at the snack bar.

The fiberglass potato, generously funded by the O’Leary Chamber of Commerce, also provides the classic “holding the giant thing” pose.

This cute Canadian couple tries to line up the perfect Tacky Tourist Photo at the World's Largest Potato.

(If you can’t get enough of spuds memorabilia, check out how the PEI Potato Museum cleverly displays potato diseases. Cute little coffins are involved!)

Jan '10

The cuddliest Bigfoot you’ll ever meet

Quatchi, aka Sasquatch or Bigfoot, is one of three mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

Quatchi, aka Saquatch or Bigfoot, is one of three mascots for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver.

SUBMITTED BY: Steve Mandich and Eliza Truitt LOCATION: British Columbia, Canada (2009)

In all the mysterious Bigfoot sightings over the years, no one ever comes back with a sharp, vivid photo.

Until now.

Turns out that Sasquatch, or “Quatchi,” as his closest friends call him, has just been searching the wilderness for an old-fashioned hug.

(Steve Mandich and Eliza Truitt track Bigfoot’s every step, including his frequent socializing with celebrities, at their comprehensive “Quatchi Watch” blog.  Steve also is the survivor of humiliating hazing at the Colonial Williamsburg stockades).

Oct '09

Big Fat Lies: Is there any link between tourism and obesity?

Is the Fat American Tourist stereotype accurate or a devious propaganda campaign launched by Canada and France?

Is the Fat American Tourist stereotype accurate or a devious propaganda campaign launched by Canada and France?

Tourists do consume a lot of fried dough, candy apples and cotton candy.

But where is the scientific evidence that tourists are any more overweight than their non-vacationing peers?

If you are as outraged as we are about this hateful stereotype, please send a donation to the National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance in our name!

Or heck, if you’re enamored by this image, you can own it for only $19.95.

Given our fascination with tackiness, we open the floor to you, TTP fans….


Please email stories, pictures and links to tackytouristphotos@gmail.com

Sep '09

Third runner-up in the “Anne of Green Gables” lookalike contest

"Anne of Green Gables" welcomes tourists to Prince Edward Island -- and boosts the clientelle for local therapists.

"Anne of Green Gables" welcomes tourists to Prince Edward Island

SUBMITTED BY: Darren Garnick   LOCATION: Prince Edward Island, Canada (2009)

When I woke up this particular August morning, I had no idea that I later would be skipping around a Canadian village wearing braids and a vintage 1908-style dress.

Ironically, this all happened because I was checking if the Cavendish Figurines souvenir shop (at the Confederation Bridge) would display a Tacky Tourist Photos brochure.

Little did I suspect that the shop specializes in hilarious tourist photos, encouraging women and men of all ages to channel their inner “Anne of Green Gables.”

Sample "Annes" from the Tourist "Wall of Fame"

Sample "Annes" from the Tourist "Wall of Fame"

You can read about this savvy marketing strategy (and find out how often these green dresses are washed) in this Boston Herald business story.

Owners Jeannette Arsenault and Don Maxfield see themselves as Anne ambassadors and charge only $2 for the photo-op, figuring it will draw more customers into their store. It’s a successful gimmick that businesses in any tourist destination could easily emulate.

This statue, “The Spirit of Anne,” inspires many visitors to mimic the “Anne wave.”  Very few tourists pose with the Fonzie thumbs up (AAAAAAYYYYY!)

To my knowledge, I am also the first model to accessorize Anne’s look with Keen sports sandals — absolutely essential in the Prince Edward Island rain.

Next goal for TTP: Head to the “Little House on the Prairie” ranch in Kansas to channel my inner Laura Ingalls!

(Darren Garnick finds himself strangely attracted to green costumes, such as this especially attractive alligator ensemble).


Ingrid Lobo, a prominent “Anne of Green Gables” blogger and a moderator for Sullivan Entertainment’s “Anne of Green Gables” Message Boards, weighs in on how I would fare in an Anne lookalike contest:

“You’re the best male Anne I’ve ever seen, though you probably won’t be cast by Kevin Sullivan in any Anne (miniseries) sequels or prequels. It’s clear that you’re a kindred spirit, though you could use a few freckles and some more feminine shoes. You certainly have Anne’s earnest enthusiasm down.”

Thank you, Ingrid!

Aug '09

50 Ways to Kill a Potato: But at least they are immune to the Swine Flu

Nothing turns a guy on more than a baked Idaho potato!

Nothing turns a guy on more than a baked Idaho potato!

SUBMITTED BY: Darren Garnick    LOCATION: O’Leary, Prince Edward Island (2009)

Home of Canada’s largest artificial potato, the PEI Potato Museum respectfully honors potato pin-up models, potato guns and even Mr. Potato Head.  But perhaps its most meaningful contribution to Canadian culture is its mournful documentation of diseases and pests that are deadly to the potato crop.

Reminiscent of the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Graveyard, the museum morbidly places potato carcasses in cute little potato coffins!

Murder. Sickness. Plague. Suicide.  There are many ways to kill a potato.  And none of them are funny.

There are many ways to kill a potato. The Swine Flu (H1N1 virus) is not one of them.

You have to give the museum curators credit. There’s no better way to scare kids about the perils of Bacterial Soft Rot than to present the cold, ugly reality in a spud coffin — which are perfectly sized for serving French fries, by the way.

WORSE THAN THE BOOGIE MAN: Potato-munching monsters will inherit the earth. But only if we let them.

Potato-munching monsters will inherit the earth. But only if we let them.

Because Tacky Tourist Photos seeks to educate as well as entertain, the potato on the left died from Potato Warts, “a serious and destructive fungus found only in Newfoundland and Labrador where the cool rainy weather favors its development.” These warts, not treatable with Compound W or other conventional means, range in size from a pea to a full potato.

The potato on the right was a victim of the insidious Potato Scab Gnat, which lays its eggs in the soft spots of a spud.  Those eggs become insidious potato-eating maggots.

For the record, the PEI Potato Museum does not serve thickly cut steak fries or any kind of fries, claiming that the oil from the Frialator would damage the antique potato harvesting wagons.

Not to mention the arteries of the scab gnats.

(Coming soon… The Potato Disease Photo Gallery, including Bacterial Soft Rot — only at TackyTouristPhotos.com!)

Jul '09

One place you don’t want to die in a car accident

Nova Scotia's Ha Ha Cemetery is no joke

The Bay of Fundy's Ha Ha Cemetery is no joke

SUBMITTED BY: Darren Garnick               LOCATION: Albert County, New Brunswick, Canada (1995)

Imagine veering off the road in the fog and having your face implanted in a tree near the Ha Ha Cemetery. Plots have to be pretty cheap in New Brunswick. But you’d spend eternity wallowing in the mockery of passing motorists.

(Darren Garnick was once briefly detained by Australian authorities for trying to smuggle turkey jerky into the country.)

Jul '09

Hey, are you calling me tacky?

For real. Barack Obama pretends he is Superman after a 2006 town meeting in Metropolis, Illinois.

For real. Barack Obama pretends he is Superman after a 2006 town meeting in Metropolis, Illinois.

NOTHING is more nauseating than a valedictorian starting his or her speech by quoting from Webster’s Dictionary — or any dictionary.

We know that “tacky” has a negative connotation amongst the dictionary-reading public. But we consider “tacky” to be a good thing.

We liken it to “kitschy.” The reason we did not call this project Kitschy Tourist Photos is because it would kill the alliteration.

We love to connect with other travelers not afraid to act a little goofy sometimes and who do not take themselves too seriously.