Diamonds in the Rough

In Buzz, July 2022/August 2022 by Cameron RhinehardtLeave a Comment

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From whimsical fests to abandoned ghost towns, these NC hidden gems are worth the trip.

Take the road less traveled—read: less tourists!—this summer with an NC hidden gems adventure. First, ace our quiz on some of our state’s most mystical secret spots—then pack your bags and make it your summer adventure bucket list.

“Once you find a kindred spirit, never let them go…” If you’ve ever been to Bird Island, you’re probably familiar with the Kindred Spirits Mailbox—where visitors can leave thoughts, wishes and prayers. The mailbox served as inspiration for which popular Nicholas Sparks novel?

a. Every Breath

b. The Wish

c. Safe Haven

d. The Last Song

Now a small-town destination for restaurants, boutiques, inns, entertainment, music history and the like, which revitalized NC city was once home to the world’s largest manufacturer of household textiles?

a. Sylva

b. Mount Airy

c. Franklin

d. Kannapolis 

If you’re squirming your way through NC, the Wooly Worm Festival—which hosts wooly worm races to forecast winter—in Banner Elk is def worth digging into. How many years has the fest taken place?

a. 25

b. 35

c. 45

d. 55

Down for a whirlwind of a time? Look no further than the two-day all-inclusive NC Whirligig Festival in Historic Downtown Wilson. Whirligigs, a piece of art made from road signs, bicycles, ceiling fans (to name a few), were created by which local folk artist?

a. Minnie Adkins

b. Vollis Simpson 

c. Jimmy Lee Sudduth

d. Benny Carter

I don’t think we’re in Raleigh anymore. … Follow the yellow brick road to Beech Mountain this September for The Autumn at Oz Festival, the largest Oz fest in the world. The fest takes place at the now-defunct theme park Land of Oz, which closed in what year?

a. 1970

b. 1975

c. 1980

d. 1985

Who ya gonna call? If you’re obsessed with ghost stories and all things paranormal, the Cryptozoology and Paranormal Museum is right up your alley. Not your average museum, it offers visitors the chance to hunt for Bigfoot in which NC locale?

a. Pisgah National Forest

b. Stone Mountain State Park

c. Nantahala National Forest

d. Medoc Mountain State Park

The Judaculla Rock, an ancient boulder in Sylva that served as a sacred site before the colonization of North America, is believed to be imprinted with a seven-fingered handprint by the ancient creature Judaculla (um, spooky!). Archaeologists believe the engravings on the soapstone could be traced back to what time period?

a. 4000 B.C.

b. 3000 B.C.

c. 2000 B.C.

d. 1000 B.C.

Down for a night of haunted fun? Just an hour outside of Asheville is the abandoned Henry River Mill Village in Hildebran, single-handedly owned by a man who lives nearby. The ghost town was the site of which well-known sci-fi movie?

a. The Hunger Games

b. Divergent

c. The Adam Project

d. Arrival

Stay forever young with a visit to NC’s very own fountain of youth, located near The Cabins at Healing Springs in Crumpler. The historic healing spring, said to cure everything from indigestion to poison ivy, was discovered in what year?

a. 1791

b. 1820

c. 1872

d. 1884


Answers: 1. A; 2. D; 3. C; 4. B; 5. C; 6. D; 7. C; 8. A; 9. D

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