Since deciding to move into your new home in Rocky Mount at Belmont Lake Preserve, you have discovered many amazing attractions both locally and statewide. Parks, trails, mountains, and beaches. Just to name a few of the incredible outdoor offerings near and far in North Carolina. Museums, theatres, concert venues, sports events, and more. All here in your home state. Even with all these options considered, some more unique and even odd places across the state consistently draw interest though. Below, we will begin to introduce you to these Strange NC Attractions and Museums that you’ll have a hard time not letting curiosity bring you around to see.
As chance would have it, and this may be getting “repetitive” to hear, but now that you call the Belmont Lake Preserve community your new home, many of these Strange NC Attractions and Museums are pretty close by. In actuality, seven of these stops are under two hours from BLP, and two are less than 40 minutes away. Thus, even when it comes to the more unusual attractions, you are in a great spot. Let’s start with our closest attractions and move along from there.
Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park, Wilson, NC
If not “in the know,” a whirligig, is a large, wooden, wind-driven mechanical windmill. That being said, just over 25 miles from BLP in Wilson, the whirligig is something you really can’t miss. It’s here that they are part the local landscape, thanks to folk artist, Vollis Simpson. The devices incorporate complex movement and sound and some of those made by Simpson have been exhibited at the NC Museum of Art in Raleigh and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 37 minutes, 26.6 miles
Country Doctor Museum, Bailey NC
Yet another town not too far from Rocky Mount known for Strange NC Attractions and Museums is Bailey. This is home to Country Doctors Museum, which features three buildings of exhibits. Likewise, the guides are docents and can answer almost anything about the late 18th century or the first half of the 20th century in regard to medicine.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 38 minutes, 35.7 minutes
Strange NC Attractions and Museums Showing you Chainsaw Art and a Variety of Gourds
Now there is a sub-heading that I’m sure you never would’ve imagined you’d read. Or even would have crossed your mind for that matter. However, for the purpose of our Strange NC Attractions and Museums, both stops involved are a very interesting find. On top of that, both of these two entries are only 80-90 minutes from your new home in Rocky Mount, making for a unique road trip whenever you are ready.
Mary and Marvin Johnson Gourd Museum, Angier, NC
Gourds, who’d have thunk it, right?!?! Well, Angier’s Marvin Johnson is known as a “master gourd grower. Likewise, he and his wife have cultivated and collected over 200 different kinds of gourds from all across the world. Whether the tiniest of gourds that are the size of just a small robin’s egg. Or the huge, gigantic African gourds on-site, this is a unique museum and an interesting tour for sure.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hr 26 minutes, 88.9 miles
Clyde Jones- Chainsaw Folk Artist, Bynum, NC
Just outside of the small mill house in Bynum belonging to Clyde Jones are his “critters.” No, that does not refer to a small animal. That is the name that Jones, a “Chainsaw artist,” calls the objects he carves from large chunks of wood. Once finished with his carvings, Jones always adds his own artistic touch and objects to each of his works of art.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hr 33 minutes, 91.4 miles
Two More Strange NC Attractions and Museums Under 100 Away
Wow, it is pretty incredible that so many of these unique destinations are so close to Belmont Lake Preserve. We have already walked you through four Strange NC Attractions and Museums and not traveled further than 90 minutes from home. The next two entries both keep us under the 100-minute mark too and to say both are not somewhat odd attractions would be a lie.
Belhaven Memorial Museum, Belhaven, NC
The town of Belhaven is about 50 miles east of Greenville and locally is known for the Belhaven Memorial Museum. Earning its spot among our Strange NC Attractions and Museums, the museum showcases the collection of Mrs., Eva Blount Way. What did she collect you ask? Well, buttons, of course. She accumulated over 30,000 buttons that are displayed in a fascinating fashion. Buttons are not all though as they also display from different eras of clothing, toys, dolls, china, and even farm tools. Moving even more toward the “strange,” also on display here is a two-headed kitten, a one-eyed fetal pig, and a hare-lipped dog.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hr 37 minutes, 88.7 miles
World’s Largest Frying Pan, Rose Hill, NC
Here is another one that really speaks for itself. Likewise, here is an item that truly “must be seen to be believed.” Located at Rose Hill Town Square at Highway 117, this is one huge pan. How huge? Well measuring at 15 feet, this pan holds over 200 gallons. of cooking oil and could be used to fry up 365 chickens at the same time.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hr 39 minutes, 103.3 miles
Lastly, a Lesson in Evil at Our Last Strange NC Attractions and Museums Entry
So, we have one more of our Strange NC Attractions and Museums, and this one is near Siler City. Not exactly sure what to make of this one, as it seems a bit dark to me
Devil’s Tramping Ground, Siler City NC
Legends and lore. Evil. None of these things are normally things I’d be interested. However, the legend behind this almost makes so you have to check it out. It said that at this spot, the “devil” paces, which explains a 20 foot across bare piece of earth in his yard. Getting stranger as the night sets in, any items placed in that circle after dusk, will be moved outside of the circle by dawn.
Distance from Belmont Lake Preserve: 1 hr 51 minutes, 108.8 miles
This concludes our first of two posts on Strange NC Attractions and Museums. In the follow-up, we will look at the final six Strange NC Attractions and Museums. While these entries may be a bit further away from BLP than some, they are so unique and different, they warrant at least a one-time chance.
For more information on the Belmont Lake Preserve new home community, visit belmontlakepreserve.com