There is no shortage of places to visit and people to meet in our great state of North Carolina. For those of you who have lived here your entire lives, we guarantee that you have yet to explore all of these unusual attractions. If you have any recommendations for unique attractions we have not mentioned, share them with us! For a summer packed with wacky road trips, we’ve got a list to get you started.
Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum – Littleton
Not far from Lake Gaston, the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum is located in Littleton, North Carolina, in Halifax County. Its mission is “dedicated to the study and display of creatures and phenomena not recognized by traditional science.” Cryptozoology involves the search and study of animals whose existence has not been proven, including Bigfoot and Loch Ness. Located at 328 Mosby Avenue, the museum is open daily to the public from 1-7 p.m.
Local cryptozoologist Stephen Barcelo is the founder of the Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum, proudly displaying his collection his research and paranormal artifacts. You may see casts of Bigfoot prints, Mrs. Beasley the haunted doll and photographic evidence of UFO sightings. Barcelo encourages visitors to report paranormal sightings and take part in one of their ghost hunts. Whether you believe it or not, you may learn something!
The Road to Nowhere – Bryson City
The Road to Nowhere is actually located somewhere and that somewhere is Bryson City. These scenic mountain highway leads visitors six miles into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and abruptly ends at the mouth of a tunnel. Lakeview Drive is a perfect route for an afternoon cruise, by car or by bike, offering unmatched views of Fontana Lake. You can actually take a walk through the tunnel, but you may want to bring a flashlight!
Lakeview Drive started as a project to provide access to old family cemeteries of displaced residents who lost their homes as a result of Swain County giving up the majority of its private land in the 1930s and 1940s. This private land became an addition to Fontana Lake and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Highway 288, which once ran to those private homes, was buried below the lake. The reconstruction of the highway, which is Lakeview Drive, ended with an environmental issue. Out of a settlement, the U.S. Department of the Interior paid Swain County $52 million.
The House of Mugs – Collettsville
Not much imagination went into the name of this attraction itself. It is, quite literally, a house made of mugs. Located in western North Carolina on the Johns River, this rural property owner has covered his house, fence and entry arch with nearly 20,000 mugs. Guests are even invited to bring their own mugs to add to the collection. What started 15 years ago as a big idea by Avery and Doris Sisk and a small box of 15 mugs from a flea market, would turn into one of North Carolina’s most famous roadside attractions.
You can visit their home at 2490 Old Johns River Road in Collettsville. The couple may even invite you inside to see their collection of dolls and police memorabilia. There is no charge to visit the home, but donations are welcome.