For your next southern road trip, visit some of these unique, off-the-beaten-path attractions. You’ll find hidden caves, historic homes, noteworthy adventures and remarkable places that contributed greatly to society. These 15 unique attractions in the South will show you a side of America that you may not have known even existed.
So fill up the gas tank, get your cameras ready and stock up on plenty of road snacks because this journey will introduce some of the neatest attractions and landmarks in the southern United States of America.
Unclaimed Baggage Center - Scottsboro, Ala.
The Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Ala. is where lost airline baggage goes to be resold. Each day, they let a customer unzip a bag and find out what is inside. Once, a man purchased a pair of ski boots and when he looked inside the boots, his wife’s name was on them. She had lost them two years ago on a ski trip. From weird to boring, the Unclaimed Baggage Center sees it all.
Castle Gwynn - Arrington, Tennessee
This five-story piece of art is the home of Mike Freeman. The castle was built out of a dream and now is the location of the annual Tennessee Renaissance Festival. You may also recognize it as the backdrop of Taylor Swift’s music video for “Love Story.”
Mega Zips - Louisville, Ky.
The world’s only fully underground zip line takes you deep below Kentucky in a system of caverns where you’ll complete a six line zip course and cross two challenge bridges. This is an exhilarating experience you won’t forget!
Birthplace of Kermit the Frog - Leland, Miss.
The Jim Henson Museum, Birthplace of Kermit the Frog, is near where the famous puppeteer first created the character of Kermit the Frog. The museum hosts “Muppets” memorabilia and includes fun activities for families with children.
Tank Town USA - Morganton, Ga.
This unique attraction lets you board an armored vehicle and crush cars. Simple as that. Enjoy!
Mike the Tiger - Baton Rouge, La.
Mike the Tiger is the mascot of Louisiana State University. But Mike is real. He resides in an on-campus 15,000 square foot habitat where visitors can stop to take photos of the famous Bengal tiger.
U.S. Space & Rocket Center - Huntsville, Ala.
The U.S. Space & Rocket Center showcases rockets, achievements, and artifacts from the United States’s space endeavors. With rotating exhibits and over 1,500 permanent display items, the museum is a family friendly attraction. The facility also hosts space camps which provides experiences, education, and real space simulations.
Oak Ridge, Tenn.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. is 25 miles west of Knoxville in East Tennessee. The town housed a production facility for the then secret Manhattan Project to develop an atomic bomb. Today, visitors can tour the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (which is still used for research and scientific development) and learn about how this small Tennessee town impacted the world in a major way. Also, actress Megan Fox was born in Oak Ridge.
Crater of Diamonds State Park - Murfreesboro, Ark.
Ever dream of discovering a diamond? In Arkansas, visit Crater of Diamonds State Park where you can get your hands dirty in a diamond producing site open to the public. No guarantees on finding a gem, but a woman recently discovered an 8.5 carat diamond after only 20 minutes of digging!
Pink Palace - Memphis, Tenn.
The Pink Palace was to be the home of Clarence Saunders, founder of the grocery store chain Piggly Wiggly, although he never lived in the home due to unforeseen financial troubles. He created the modern day supermarket as his stores were the first to provide a self-service shopping experience rather than giving a list of items to the store clerk and having him or her get your groceries. Now, the home is used as a museum and education/science center.
Stone Mountain Park - Stone Mountain, Ga.
the City of Stone Mountain is home to Stone Mountain Park where three figures (Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis) from the Confederate States of America are caved on the side of a cliff. Many special events are held at the base of the mountain including nightly laser light shows which create a spectacle worth seeing.
Walmart Museum - Bentonville, Ark.
On the same square as Sam Walton’s first store, the Walmart Museum takes visitors through an all-American success story. Learn about the company’s humble beginnings through an interactive gallery of exhibits and get a sweet treat at the Spark Café Soda Fountain.
William Faulkner Home - Oxford, Miss.
Known as Rowan Oak, Pulitzer-Prize winner and classic author William Faulkner and his family called this southern estate home for over 40 years. Tour the home and grounds for an immersive experience into the life of one of literature’s most important figures.
Old Charleston City Jail - Charleston, S.C.
This jail, originally built in 1802, housed prisoners who committed crimes from petty theft to murder. A long, eerie history surrounds the jail. If you’re feeling up to it, go check it out yourself.
The Singing Oak - New Orleans, La.
Not your average oak tree, The Singing Tree lives in City Park in New Orleans. Local artist Jim Hart installed and organized a collection of wind chimes to produce melodic sounds from the branches of the tree. After a night on Bourbon Street, you’ll want to relax and enjoy the harmonious chimes.