Sure, every town has unique quirks and oddities that residents and visitors alike find endearing. But Western North Carolina (WNC) seems to have cornered the market on the “wonderfully weird and wacky” with upwards of 50 oddball places and things to see and do. We narrowed it down to 5 quirky things to experience near Asheville NC, which you can accomplish during a nice weekend or mid-week stay at Wildberry Lodge!
1. Mush, Music & Mutts Festival in Shelby, NC
LIve-what? Livermush, that’s what. Native Ashevillians and long-time area residents know what it is. Take some leftover ground-up scrap pork and liver, add some spices and cooked cornmeal mush and the end result is livermush, a WNC local delight. Why, livermush is so popular here that it is feted annually at festivals including the 2021 Mush, Music & Mutts Festival held in October in Shelby. Livermush is somewhat similar to its’ culinary cousin, “liver pudding,” which is popular in Eastern NC, with differences in consistency and flavor. If you dare to try it, we recommend having it at breakfast, ideally with eggs.
2. Smallest Post Office in Grimshawes, NC
How small is it? Well, it’s larger than a postage stamp (okay, eye roll). Measuring just 5 feet by 6 feet, this tiny post office served Grimshawes, NC residents for 75 years, from 1878 until 1953. Located just outside the better-known towns of Cashiers and Highlands, the Grimshawes post office building was one of many small units classified as “third-class” post offices by the original Post Office Department, which established five original post office classifications (later changed to four) based on gross receipts. During the Eisenhower Administration, all third-class post offices were discontinued. Though you can no longer buy stamps at this little hut, you can still visit since it’s open every day!
3. WNC Bigfoot Festival in Marion, NC
Well, if I were Bigfoot, I think I’d want a festival in my honor. What Bigfoot wants, Bigfoot gets. The 3rd annual WNC Bigfoot Festival will be held Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, 2021 in downtown Marion, NC. Friday will feature the Bigfoot Expo held indoors at the Marion Community Center; Saturday will offer a street festival with plenty of vendors, food, gifts, and souvenirs, including commemorative pint glasses from Refinery 13 Taproom.
4. WNC Cat Museum in Sylva, NC
If I were a cat, I’d be uncorking a hairball at the thought of Bigfoot getting his own festival. So, to appease our feline friends, former marine biologist and retired professor Dr. Harold Sims created the WNC Cat Museum in Sylva, NC. Formerly known as the American Museum of the House Cat, the WNC Cat Museum was created to benefit the Catman2 Shelter, the first private, cage-free, no-kill shelter dedicated only to felines – also founded by Dr. Sims. The WNC Cat Museum houses Dr. and Mrs. Sims’s multimedia collection of feline memorabilia, artworks, and takes the visitor on a visual history quest to learn the origins of the house cat.
5. Aluminum Tree Ornament Museum in Brevard, NC
A museum dedicated to… aluminum Christmas trees? The WNC area is one of the USA’s biggest suppliers of Christmas trees annually. But did you know that WNC also houses a museum that pays homage to a staple of 1950’s life, the aluminum Christmas tree? Housed within the Transylvania Heritage Museum in Brevard, NC, “ATOM,” short for Aluminum Tree & Aesthetically Challenged Seasonal Ornament Museum, is only open between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year, and features examples of aluminum Christmas trees and other period items. Aluminum Christmas trees were first commercially manufactured and sold in the mid-to-late 1950’s and remained popular into the mid-1960s.
Stay in the Mountains and Save!
Whether it’s romance, feeding your golf addiction, or simply relaxation, Wildberry Lodge has specials to fit any budget and occasion! We also honor our military and first-responders with 10% off regular rates any time of the year! Call 828-683-2525 for more info and to make your reservation!
At Wildberry Lodge, you’ll be treated like a celebrity, not an oddball! Get ready for a vacation like no other with our unmatched scenery, incredible one-of-a-kind views from 2,500 feet above sea level, clean, crisp mountain air, and good ol’ southern hospitality. And your stay includes our own four-course gourmet breakfast served daily. Check out our specials, book online or call us at 828-683-2525.