HomeLatest6 of the Most Unusual Places to Visit in the South

6 of the Most Unusual Places to Visit in the South

Now is the perfect time to embark on a road trip, and you’ll want to be aware of interesting, lesser-known stops along the way. These quirky museums and attractions will delight the whole family and make for great photo opps.

Barney Smith’s Toilet Seat Art Museum

By meligrosa from Flickr Creative Commons.

This museum was located in San Antonio, Texas, and is now housed at the Truck Yard in The Colony. Its founder was a retired plumber named Barney Smith who turned toilet seat lids into painted tapestries and hung them on the wall. At first, the entire exhibit was housed in the garage of Barney’s home, but with the expansion of a number of exhibits and his passing in 2019, the museum had to move. Visitors are allowed to write something on the toilet lid if they bring their own lid in return.

Farnham Fantasy Farm

Example of a Muffler Man by Ben Churchill from Flickr Creative Commons.

You’ll feel like a real midget when you visit the Farnham Fantasy Farm or Land of Giants in Unger, West Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Farnham organized this exhibit, collecting huge statues larger than a house. You can even find a giant Santa Claus here, but you’ll want to look for the 25-foot-tall Muffler Man at the bottom of the driveway.

Leila’s Hair Museum

Credit: Lila Haris

You can find this museum in Independence, Missouri. It is the only museum with a collection of 600 wreaths and about 2,000 other exhibits all made from hair. Some of them were made from hair whose owners lived in the Victorian era, and there’s also hair jewelry from Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe.

Robert C. Williams Museum of Papermaking

Credit: Georgia Tech News Center

This Georgia Tech museum is dedicated to humanity’s relationship with paper, from the Sumerians and Egyptians to the modern era with more than 2,000 books and 100,000 artifacts related to the history of paper production. The museum was founded in 1939 at MIT by paper expert and collector Dard Hunter. The museum was revived in 1989 and moved to Atlanta, where it is now housed in the Institute for Renewable Bioproducts at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The current name is in honor of Robert C. Williams, who was CEO of James River Corp.

Museum of Salt and Pepper Shakers

By Sparky Spirit from Flickr Creative Commons.

Andrea Ludden, an archaeologist in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, has found a hobby outside of work. For 25 years, she has been collecting salt and pepper shakers and now has a collection of more than 20,000 shakers from around the world. Andrea opened the only museum dedicated to shakers where she exhibits all her pieces, along with her huge pepper mill collection.

ESSE Purse Museum

Image courtesy of Arkansas Tourism

What do the contents of her handbag say about a woman? Explore this idea and more at the ESSE Purse Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas. Here, you’ll take a journey through the 20th century female experience through the bags she carried and have the chance to purchase handbags and accessories in the museum shop.

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  • basia simone / April 26, 2021

    Missouri isn’t the South…