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Jul '13

Cappuccino Cowboy

What's the World Rodeo Record for Steadiest Cup of Coffee?

SUBMITTED BY: Jamie Thompson    LOCATION: Boston, Massachusetts (2013)

Remember that Driver’s Ed test where the instructor would balance a cup of coffee on the dashboard and if it spilled, you’d fail your exam?

Well, try clinging to a wild bronco (well, a stationary donkey) without spilling your Starbucks!

(Jamie Thompson is the co-founder and CEO of Pongr, a computer vision technology company that turns brand logos and packaging into direct response advertising.)

Jun '13

World’s Tallest Party Hat

I love party hat architecture THIS MUCH! (The 200-foot prayer tower was built in 1966).

SUBMITTED BY: Jeff Palmucci   LOCATION: Tulsa, Oklahoma (2013)

What kind of party can you throw for $8 million?  One where you can afford to build a few more giant party hats, a.k.a. The Oral Roberts University Prayer Tower — but also a party without food.

In March 1987, TV evangelist Oral Roberts told his followers that he was climbing to the top of the prayer tower for a hunger strike. God had told him that if he did not raise $8 million by the end of the month, he would be “called home.”

That’s correct: The subtle fundraising pitch was “Send me money now or I’ll soon be dead.”

Can you imagine NPR or your college alumni fund’s telemarketers trying the same tactic?

But Oral got his money and Route 66 road trippers still get to enjoy one of the country’s most spiritual photo-ops.

The Most Fashionable Hat in the Midwest.

If you really want to channel televangelist culture, Oral Roberts University is also home to the World’s Largest Praying Hands.  Of course, you can depend on Tacky Tourist Photos to give you the full scoop. Stay tuned!

(Tacky Tourist Photos contributor Jeff Palmucci is a music photographer based in Massachusetts.)


May '13

Frozen Enthusiasm

METEOROLOGIST GROUPIE -- A starstruck Ilya Mirman yuks it up with the wax Al Roker.

SUBMITTED BY: Ilya Mirman   LOCATION: Las Vegas, Nevada (2010)

A shame that NBC weather guy and foodie Al Roker was immortalized by Madame Tussaud’s before his gastric bypass operation.

It’s not easy to perfectly duplicate a jaw-numbing smile, but it looks like Ilya has a future career as a dental impressionist.

(Rock concert photographer Ilya Mirman, co-founder of Tacky Tourist Photos, recently shared his travel picture secrets with National Public Radio).

Apr '13

Lighthouse Resistance Training

Horsing around with the Kilauea Lighthouse in Hawaii.

SUBMITTED BY: The Cole Family   LOCATION: Kauai, Hawaii (2013)

Sarah pushes with her back muscles.  Ben pushes with his chest muscles. The Lighthouse Workout is coming to a gym near you!

Kudos to photographer Jason Cole. It’s not easy to line up people perfectly for forced perspective photography, as this epic Tacky Tourist Photos FAIL illustrates at Epcot Center.

(The Cole Family are prolific contributors to Tacky Tourist Photos, responsible for such gems as “Tourist Shish Kebab” and our personal favorite, “Regurgitated Waterfall.”)


Apr '13

This is What Fear Looks Like

Run for Your Lives!

SUBMITTED BY: Stacey Dunn Reid   LOCATION: Orlando, Florida (2012)

We all know from the movie “Jurassic Park” that the T-Rex is a ruthless and heartless beast that will crush you to bits with little or no warning. Nowhere is safe. You could even be eaten while you are on the toilet.

With that actor’s motivation in mind, Stacey strikes her most fearful pose at Universal Studios Islands of Adventure theme park. It’s all in the hand gestures.

Stacey reacts to the idea of becoming a T-Rex's snack. Good thing she took that improvisational acting class in college.

A silent film actress is born!

(Do you have a funny amusement park or vacation photo to share? Please email it to tackytourist@pongr.com and be sure to include the place and date in the subject line)

Mar '13

Co-ed Sumo Wrestling

SUMO GAL -- Pre-wrestling photo-op before the roly poly action begins.

SUBMITTED BY: Carissa Joho and Helena Birtasevic   LOCATION: Tokyo, Japan (2013)

Ever fantasize about eating AS MUCH as you want and getting paid handsomely for fans to gawk at the results?

At the Ryogoku Kokugikan Sumo Arena, Carissa does her best to puff out her cheeks and pass as the real deal.

(Carissa Joho is an optometry student currently living in Brisbane, Australia)

Feb '13

Lumberjack Lore: Minnesota vs. Maine Bragging Rights

Welcome to Bangor, home to the University of Maine, Stephen King novels and Paul Bunyan.

SUBMITTED BY: Erik Paulsen  LOCATION: Bangor, Maine (1995)

The lumberjacks of northern and central Maine claim that legendary giant Paul Bunyan was born there.

The lumberjacks of Minnesota claim the Land of 10,000 Lakes as Bunyan’s birthplace.

Who’s right? Who cares. The more kitschy Paul Bunyan statues in the world, the better.

Bemidji, Minnesota has a rival Bunyan (with Babe the Blue Ox) overlooking the Mississippi River.

Here are the stats:


Minnesota: 18 feet
Maine: 31 feet


Minnesota: 5000 lbs
Maine: 3,700 lbs

Date of Construction:

Minnesota: 1937
Maine: 1959


Minnesota: Wood and Steel
Maine: Fiberglass

Number of Paul Bunyan Petting Zoos:

Minnesota: 1
Maine: 0

Winner: The Bunyan Zoo pushes Minnesota’s roadside attraction over the edge.

(According to their Chamber of Commerce, Kodak once recognized the Minnesota statue as the second most photographed icon in America. But that was way before the Apple Store.)

Jan '13

Social Media Emperor

PR King David Meerman Scott in a past life?

SUBMITTED BY: David Meerman Scott   LOCATION: Cairo, Egypt (2013)

World famous papyrus researcher and Egyptian Ambassador Hassan Ragab was charmed by Disney’s EPCOT’s theme park — which inexplicably does not include Egypt — but he thought it was a bit “too computerized” for his tastes.

Ragab’s attempt at a “more human” amusement park is the Pharaonic Village, a time travel theme park celebrating the riches of Ancient Egypt.

Apparently, now is the time to visit modern Egypt. Crowds are non-existent because the average tourist is scared to go. Not David, though. He’s absolutely fearless, as evidenced by his willingness to be publicly photographed in King Tut’s pajamas.

(Social media strategist David Meerman Scott, author of the New Rules of Marketing and PR, is on a personal quest to visit 100 different countries. His next stop, Peru, will be Country #85).

Jan '13

Ice Cream Hugger

South of the Border's Pedro wants you to indulge your lust for lactose!

SUBMITTED BY: Brian Henderson and Anne Donelan   LOCATION: I-95, Dillon, South Carolina

Anyone who has ventured on a Florida roadtrip from any East Coast destination can attest to the marketing power of the South of the Border truck stop, a.k.a. “America’s Favorite Highway Oasis.”

It’s relentless Beat Down Marketing, pummeling you with billboard updates every mile a la the “100 Bottles of Beer” song. You’re now 39 miles away… You’re now 38 miles away… 37, 36, 35.

When the attack on your senses finally stops, who wouldn’t want to hug the nearest ice cream?

(Freelance photojournalist and cameraman Brian Henderson is a prolific contributor to Tacky Tourist Photos, filing dispatches spanning from San Francisco’s scrumptious Golden Gate Bridge to Uganda’s magical Equator line).

Jan '13

Frisky and Fatigued

Stereotyping Fat Tourists in Paradise

SUBMITTED BY: Alysha Lynch  LOCATION: Key West, Florida (2013)

Mocking stereotypical tourists, the lifeblood of the Florida economy, nevertheless remains a popular sport.

(Alysha Lynch is a competitive mud runner visiting Florida for the 2013 Ragnar Relay Race, a 200-mile sprint from Miami to Key West)

Jan '13

Germ-Free Kiss With David Beckham

Getting close to Mr. Posh Spice, but not too close. (Double click for more info)

SUBMITTED BY: Lillie Marshall   LOCATION: London, England (2013)

Lillie’s smitten by David Beckham’s mannequin alter-ego at London’s Heathrow Airport. But logic wins out over lust as she keeps a “hygienic half-foot distance from the already-slobbered-on” British soccer star.

Besides imaginary romance (or “adultery” since her hubby was in plain view), check out Lillie’s other Best Things to Do on a Long Layover in London.

(Lillie Marshall is a Boston school teacher and prolific travel blogger who previously posed with menacing aliens and man-eating tigers for Tacky Tourist Photos).

Dec '12

Fairy Tale Casualty

Story Land Disaster: Pumpkin carriages are a menace on the roads.

SUBMITTED BY: Peter and Nancy B.   LOCATION: Glen, New Hampshire (2012)

“Police described the vehicle as plump and orange with no license plates…”  (Sorry, we can’t be any more clever than that. Vehicular homicide and drunk driving jokes don’t play well with our demographic).

Dec '12

Michelangelo’s David: New York’s REAL Naked Cowboy?

You just never know what you'll see on the streets of New York!

SUBMITTED BY: Laura Molta    LOCATION: New York, NY (2012)

Every Manhattan tourist is familiar with the infamous Naked Cowboy (and Naked Cowgirl) in Times Square.

But this mobile Gulliver-esque pose by King David must have been a stunning surprise!

(Laura Molta is an award-winning filmmaker and TV producer based in Boston.)

Dec '12

Pint-Sized Samson (or Delilah)

Get your Bible on at the Holy Land Experience theme park in Orlando!

SUBMITTED BY: Tacky Tourist Photos   LOCATION: Orlando, Florida (2012)

Old Testament fans surely don’t wanna miss the chance to play the role of Samson at the Holy Land Experience Bible park on the outskirts of Disney World.  As you know, Samson destroyed the Temple to the Philistine god, Dagon (Judges 16:23-30), by pushing out the two central pillars, crushing himself in the process. (Archeologists have found evidence of an earthquake in the area at the time).

The Holy Land Experience’s engineers have wisely opted for the replica Dagon Temple NOT to collapse on park guests.

Dec '12

Don’t Make My LEGOs Angry…

Doomed at Downtown Disney's LEGO Store!

SUBMITTED BY: Greg Constantine   LOCATION: Orlando, Florida (2012)

… you won’t like them when they’re angry!

(Greg Constantine is the Founding Director and CEO of Galaxy Editing).