From Blue Ridge Parkway to some of the best breweries in the South, North Carolina has lots of diverse activities at every turn. Among all the fun experiences is a handful of obscure places that range from strange to rare to dreamy. If you're looking for the most surreal places in North Carolina, this scavenger map will take you across the state to discover some peculiar and magical hidden gems.
Address: 300 Airlie Rd., Wilmington, NC
Why You Should Go: This 67-acre public garden in Wilmington is something out of a fairytale. In addition to the many whimsical floral and botanical exhibits, you'll find enchanting stone structures sprinkled throughout the space. There's even an interactive butterfly garden open May through October.
The Blowing Rock
Address: 432 The Rock Rd., Blowing Rock, NC
Why You Should Go: This majestic rock off Blue Ridge Parkway sits in a village that shares its name. As you sit at the tip of the formation 4,000 feet above sea level, you may be convinced that you're actually sitting at the edge of the world.
Kitty Hawk Sand Dunes
Address: 300 W Carolista Dr., Nags Head, NC
Why You Should Go: These rarities are the result of the collision of beach and dessert. This Nags Head Island treasure features large sand dunes by the beach that are perfect for exploring wide open, Sahara-like spaces, flying kites and even sand-surfing or hang-gliding.
Frying Pan Shoals
Address: Bald Head Island, NC
Why You Should Go: These shifting shoals off the coast of the Carolinas at Cape Fear provides lots of adventure. Nicknamed "The Graveyard of the Atlantic," this area has been a danger for many ships, with over 130 shipwrecks discovered from 1994 to 2008 in surrounding areas. It's an ideal spot for fishing and scuba diving (if exploring abandoned boats is your thing).
Cryptozoology & Paranormal Museum
Address: 328 Mosby Ave., Littleton, NC
Why You Should Go: This land of oddities and curiosities showcases a collection of all things strange. Literally translating to "the study of hidden animals," this cryptozoology have featured artifacts and exhibits highlighting Bigfoot, UFO encounters, lake and river monsters, ghost evidence and more.
Address: 413 S Main St., Kernersville, NC
Why You Should Go: This 1880 home has a magical gnome-like aesthetic that catches the eyes of passersby in Kernersville. Your mind may be tricked into thinking you're in a tiny European village rather than the Southern U.S. as you explore 22 awe-inspiring rooms spread across three stories and seven levels.