North Carolina is known for its beautiful mountains and beaches, but along the way to those mountains are a few roadside attractions that you need to stop and see.
44 NC Roadside Attractions: Fun And Unique Things To See
My husband was a travel RN in the Raleigh area for roughly ten months. During that time, we took many weekend road trips to various locations around the Tar Heel State, stopping for Roadside Attractions along the way.
Today I will share the roadside attractions that we saw personally and then at the bottom of the post I will list the ones we didn’t get around to seeing so that you have a complete list.
First, Exactly What Is A Roadside Attraction?
A roadside attraction is defined as a feature found on the side of the road, created to attract tourists. It is meant as a stop along the way to your destination. All but a few of what I share below are exactly that with one or two extras I threw in that don’t exactly meet the criteria, but are close by must-sees.
1. Snowball Building: Hills of Snow, Smithfield
If you see this one, you must get a snow cream or snowball. They are delicious.
2. Paul Bunyan Muffler Man and Giant Blue Ox–The Log Cabin Home Sales, Rocky Mount
It is a little tricky to get to see these up close. You must wind your way around the show homes on a concrete path.
3. Yogi Bear Eating Fried Chicken: Leon Parker Signs, Nashville
There is a personal residence at this location, but they don’t seem to mind you getting close to Yogi and his friends for pictures for your social media.
4. Various Animal Statues At The Rose Mart In Nashville
I didn’t see this one on another list of oddities, but we stumbled upon it during a backroads road trip. My favorite is the two mules painted up like Batman and Robin.
5. Mater Outside Kenly, NC
The business where Mater and the Goon are located was closed and the building was up for sale when we went past it. Hopefully the new owner will keep these two.
6. Goon With A Top Hat Outside Kenly
Also known as the orphaned Tastee Freeze Elf, this guy was once naked until his new owner gave him a tuxedo paint job.
7. Giant Rockfish In Weldon
Rockfish are also known as striped bass and are plentiful in the Roanoke River that runs through Weldon.
8. Giant Dinosaur Skeleton Sculptures, Benton & Sons in Pikeville
There are several large dinosaurs here and hundreds of other smaller metal sculptures. Many are for sale so you can bring one home if you like.
9. World’s Largest Highboy Chest Of Drawers, Jamestown
This giant highboy is found in front of Furnitureland South, the world’s largest furniture store. If you need a caffeine fix, there is a Starbucks located right beside one of its legs.
10. World’s Largest Chest Of Drawers, High Point
This guy is found in the furniture capital of the world. To give you a better idea of how big this dresser is, those socks are over six feet in length.
11. World’s Largest Duncan Phyfe Chair, Thomasville
This is the last of the giant furniture trio that pays homage to the area’s status of Furniture Capital of the World.
12. Clamshell Shaped Shell Service Station, Winston-Salem
There were eight of these clamshell shaped Shell service stations built in the 1930s. This is the last one standing and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
13. Location Of The First Krispy Kreme Doughnut Shop, Winston-Salem, NC
So this is a plaque, which means it isn’t very odd, but it is just down the street from the large coffee pot and I figured there had to be other Krispy Kreme Doughnut lovers out there who would feel like standing on the spot where it all began was kind of awesome.
14. Giant Mickey Coffee Pot Marker, Winston-Salem
If you stop to see this seven-foot coffee pot, make sure you also take the time to walk down the main street of Old Salem, a historic district where Moravians originally settled.
15. Shangri-La Stone Village, Prospect Hill
Make sure you get out of the car and take the time to look at all the detail in this tiny village and sign the guest registry too.
16. Giant Legs Of Henderson, NC
The artist of these giant concrete legs apparently was inspired by Marilyn Monroe. Between them is an arch with the word “reminiscing” written across it.
17. Giant Heels of Henderson
These giant heels are found across from the giant legs.
18. Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park In Wilson
There are 30 folk art whirligigs created by the late Vollis Simpson in this park.
19. Historic Occoneechee Speedway Trail, Hillsborough
If you need to get out and stretch your legs a bit, this trail is an excellent place to do so and learn about the history of automobile races in this area and see a few antique race cars.
20. Old Bynum Bridge, Bynum
The graffiti art here is always changing. And while you are here, also check out the Bynum Critters. I didn’t know they were just up the road from here until writing this post.
21. French Connections Gift Shop, Pittsboro
Just down the road from Bynum is the small town of Pittsboro. You will find French Connections and its lawn full of oddities on the northern end of the main street.
22. Statue Of Liberty, City Hall, Wilmington
One of 150 eight-and-a-half-foot tall replicas placed around the country in 1950 by the Boy Scouts to celebrate their 40th anniversary.
More Tar Heel State Oddities
I researched North Carolina Roadside Attractions, checking ones listed were still active to create this complete up-to-date list of NC oddities. If I missed one, let me know. Remember, for it to count, the attraction has to be free and quick to visit.
23. Metalmorphosis, Charlotte
A giant head that shifts in shape.
24. World’s Largest Frying Pan, Rose Hill
This frying pan is 15 feet in diameter and is actually functional. It is used during a few different festivals. When not in use, it is covered and doesn’t look as impressive as seeing it in action.
25. Metal Man Riding A Pig Dog, Asheville
Found at the entrance to Burton Street Community Peace Gardens.
26. Metal Zoo In Greenville
Found along Dickenson Avenue. The statues are the work of artist Jonathan Bowling.
27. The Town Of Seagrove, Pottery Capital of the United States
Home to over 100 pottery studios with outdoor displays as well as those in barns and gas stations. This might be more of an afternoon excursion than a roadside attraction, but I decided to include it because it sounds very unique.
28. World’s Largest Ten Commandments, Murphy
So big that you can see them from 5,000 feet up in the air.
29. House Of Mugs, Collettsville
Over 25,000 mugs cover this house and its outbuilding. You add a mug to the collection if you visit.
30. Fiberglass Figures At Grahamland Attractions, Bolton
This collection is constantly growing.
31. Satellite Park, Durham
Eight decommissioned satellite dishes were given new life when artists painted murals on them.
32. 80-foot Eiffel Tower, Fayetteville
Made to advertise a business center, this replica is worth visiting if you love all things Paris.
33. The Whale At Rowan Park, Fayetteville
Rumor has it that a construction crew created this whale with some leftover concrete they needed to get rid of. Great stop if you have kids who need to get some energy out.
34. Ghost Tower, Arsenal Park, Fayetteville
Although this one wasn’t made for tourists, if you happen to go to Fayetteville to see the Eiffel Tower and you have a Civil War buff with you, make sure to stop at this.
35. Civil War Ironclad Replica, Plymouth
One more for those who like studying Civil War history.
36. A License Plate Wrapped Garage, CT Auto Service, Sylva
If you love collecting license plates, this is a must-stop.
37. Largest (Real) Tire, Hester Tire, Blandenboro
Made for a 797B Caterpillar dump truck, this tire is fifteen feet high.
38. Dale Earnhardt Statue, Kannapolis
This one is for all the NASCAR fans out there.
39. Big Nut (Acorn), Moore Square, Raleigh
Kind of disappointed that I learned about this Acorn only days before we left the Raleigh area and could not squeeze in a visit.
40. Big Bill Statue, Bill’s Truck Stop, Lexington
This friendly waving guy is 31 feet tall.
41. Big Flat Iron, Asheville
If your clothes are getting wrinkled from being in the car all day, stop here (kidding). Apparently, this was made to honor Flatiron buildings, including the one in Asheville.
42. Haw River Critter Crossing, Bynum
Don’t be like me and see the Old Bridge covered with graffiti art and not the critters. How did I miss this?
43. World’s Largest Strawberry, The Berry Patch, Ellerbe
24 feet tall with an ice cream shop inside.
44. The Bronto of Ellerbe Creek Trail, Durham
The last remaining dinosaur of a museum exhibit.
Happy roadside attraction hunting! Let me know what I am missing from my list in the comments below.