Your Favorite Roadside Attractions
Top picks from our readers
One of the best parts of a road trip is the unexpected gems you find along the way — and North Carolina is teeming with them. We asked our readers to share their favorites, so take their recommendations to heart and keep your eyes peeled on your next drive. We also included some tried-and-true stops from roadsideamerica.com. Please note that all map locations are best approximations, not precise locations.
1Sunset Beach Park
Sunset Beach | [map ]
This little jewel tucked away under the live oaks sits on the Intercoastal waterway. It hosts lovely swings and walking paths overlooking the marsh. You might even see a little fishing boat testing the water.
2Big Blackbeard Statue
Beaufort, Hwy 70| [map ]
3Civil War Ironclad Replica
Plymouth, W Water Street| [map ]
4Rock Garden of America
Littleton | [map ]
This one is hard to spot in a person’s yard, and we did pass it at first. This is my daughter Bethany Neary enjoying this attraction.
5Largest (Real) Tire
Bladenboro, Hwy 131 N | [map ]
Winston-Salem, E Sprague Street | [map]
This clamshell-shaped Shell service station was built in the 1930s, and in 1976 was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It is the last remaining clamshell station out of eight in this area. It’s a short detour from I-40 and near Kermit’s Hot Dog House!
7Dinosaur Skeleton Sculptures
Pikeville, Hwy 581 | [map ]
Blue Ridge Parkway, Milepost 272.5 | [map ]
Approach the Blue Ridge Parkway turnoff to E.B. Jeffress Park and gaze upon a magnificent, expansive view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. A trail to the left takes you on a gradual descent through a deeply forested greenway, trees taller than three stories high, skirted by rhododendrons and other native plants. In no time you’re face-to-face with Cascade Falls, a broad waterway that tumbles over massive rock formations. You’ll never forget this experience!
9American Indian Statue
Cherokee, Paint Town Road | [map ]
This statue has been standing there for at least three decades and stands on a drum. His headdress is half missing now.
10World’s Largest Strawberry
Ellerbe, Cargo Road | [map ]
11Dale Earnhardt Statue
Kannapolis, S Main Street | [map ]
Lincolnton, Hwy 182 | [map ]
13House of Mugs/Cup House
Collettsville, Old Johns River Road | [map ]
14Occoneechee Trapper’s Lodge
Garysburg, 10 miles off I-95 | [map ]
This was definitely our favorite roadside attraction on our trip to visit our daughter in eastern NC. You could spend hours looking at this lodge! This is me looking out from this amazing cabin! Folk art at it’s finest.
Don't see your favorite?
There’s more to see out there not listed here! Use our comments section below to list your favorites.
More travel ideas around the NC coastal region