Collage of quirky roadside stops when traveling

Quirky roadside discoveries

Take an unforgettable road trip adventure to the Southeast’s unique attractions.

Story by Tasha Esselstein

Buckle up for a road trip adventure that redefines the mundane travel experience. Whether it’s a colossal coffee pot or a car once owned by Elvis Presley, this journey through the Southeast’s roadside attractions promises to surprise and delight with its collection of the odd, the whimsical and the downright extraordinary.

South Carolina exploration

Stumphouse Tunnel Entrance

Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel

Location: Walhalla, S.C. (302 miles from HHI)

Explore the hauntingly incomplete Stumphouse Tunnel, a relic of the pre-Civil War era Blue Ridge Railroad project. Paired with nearby Issaqueena Falls, it now is a park in Walhalla, offering a perfect pit stop for history buffs and nature lovers alike.

GREER, SC, USA 24 APRIL 2022: Closeup view of BMW Zentrum Visitors Center, showing building, water feature and BMW monument sign.

BMW Zentrum

Location: Greer, S.C. (256 miles from HHI)

Drive into the world of automotive excellence at BMW’s exclusive North American museum. Explore a series of inspiring exhibits on your own, uncovering milestones in racing and touring, and come face-to-face with rare and historic models, including the iconic Isetta “Bubblecar.”

June 29, 2009 - Gafney, SC, USA: The Peachoid is a 135 foot tall water tower in Gaffney, South Carolina, U.S., that resembles a peach.


Location: Gaffney, S.C. (266 miles from HHI)

Behold the Peachoid, a million-gallon water tower sculpted into a giant peach, complete with a leaf and stem. Constructed with 10 million pounds of concrete and 50 gallons of paint, this landmark celebrates Gaffney’s rich peach heritage. Make sure to snap a photo beside this monumental fruit. 

Georgia’s roadside wonders

Columbus Collective Museums, Lunch Box Museum

Columbus Collective Museums, Lunch Box Museum

Location: Columbus, Ga. (279 miles from HHI)

Relive your childhood at this museum containing over 3,000 lunchboxes and 1,000 thermoses, featuring memorabilia like the valuable Toppie elephant lunchbox from the 1960s. The nostalgia is palpable, with lunchboxes from floor to ceiling.

Tiny Doors ATL

Tiny Doors ATL

Location: Atlanta (286 miles from HHI)

Discover Atlanta’s creativity through Tiny Doors ATL, a city-wide installation of pint-sized doors. Use the provided map and augmented reality features on Instagram to find and interact with these miniature marvels scattered throughout the city.

Old Car City U.S.A.

Old Car City U.S.A.

Location: White, Ga. (331 miles from HHI)

Step into a sprawling 34-acre museum of over 4,000 American cars, including Elvis Presley’s last ride. Wander among vintage cars and relics from the early 20th century, and perhaps leave with an iconic photograph or
a story to tell.

North Carolina’s eccentric stops

Backyard School Bell

Backyard School Bell

Location: Angier, N.C. (300 miles from HHI)

Experience the charming sound of history at the annual “Ringing of the Bells Celebration,” featuring a collection of vintage bells from schools, churches and firehouses, all displayed for public enjoyment.

Wilson, North Carolina USA - January 26, 2019: Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park

Location: Wilson, N.C. (331 miles from HHI)

Wander among the whirligigs and kinetic sculptures created by local artist Vollis Simpson. This 2-acre park, surrounded by the mesmerizing motion of Simpson’s imaginative art, offers a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll or a picnic.

Tennessee’s unique finds

GATLINBURG TN - APR 10: Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, as seen on April 10, 2022.

Salt and Pepper Shaker Museum

Location: Gatlinburg, Tenn. (378 miles from HHI)

Marvel at a world-class collection of over 20,000 salt and pepper shakers, with an enticement: your admission fee doubles as a credit at the gift shop.

Pigeon Forge, Tennessee USA - December 27, 2022: The Titanic Museum Attraction is a two story museum in Pigeon Forge celebrating passengers, ship and crew.

Titanic Pigeon Forge Museum

Location: Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (392 miles from HHI)

Board a replica of the Titanic, where history springs to life with over 400 artifacts and interactive experiences, including touching iceberg-cold water and shoveling coal.

Airplane Service Station

Airplane Service Station

Location: Powell, Tenn. (422 miles from HHI)

Visit this service station shaped like an airplane, a nostalgic nod to creative mid-century marketing. It’s now home to John’s Barber Shop, making it the perfect place for a quick trim or a quirky photo op.

Virginia’s roadside gems

Dinosaur Land

Dinosaur Land

Location: White Post, Va. (597 miles from HHI)

Step back in time at Dinosaur Land, where over 50 life-sized dinosaur replicas offer an educational outdoor adventure, perfect for stretching your legs and sparking imagination during your road journey.

The Coffee Pot, Roanoke VA

The Coffee Pot

Location: Roanoke, Va. (440 miles from HHI)

Don’t miss this charming roadhouse with its standout 15-foot coffee pot structure, an ideal pit stop for a quick refreshment and a stretch.

Mount Trashmore Park, VA

Mount Trashmore Park

Location: Virginia Beach, Va. (487 miles from HHI)

Explore an example of environmental reclamation at this park built atop a repurposed landfill, now featuring activities for all ages across its 165 acres.

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