Roadside attractions: See the American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, North Carolina

Photo courtesy of / Founder and curator Dr. Harold Sims stands in front of the American Museum of the House Cat in Sylva, North Carolina.

The small Western North Carolina town of Sylva is home to the American Museum of the House Cat, which traces the history of the American house cat through more than 15,000 works of cat-related art and artifacts, including a mummified cat and cat drawings by Andy Warhol. The museum - one of only two museums in the country dedicated to the house cat - helps support owner and curator Harold Sims' no-kill, free-roaming shelter, Catman2. Previously located in an antique mall, the museum moved in 2020 to a new location across the street (5063 Highway 441 S). The business was hit hard by the pandemic, but its 86-year-old owner hopes to fully reopen by this summer. Until then the museum is offering tours by appointment only.

> Drive time from Chattanooga: 3 hours

Other claims to fame:

> Sylva is home to a bevy of breweries, including four of the six breweries on the Jackson County Brewery Trail: Balsam Falls Brewing; Innovation Brewing; Nantahala Brewing's Sylva Outpost; and Lazy Hiker Brewing's Sylva Taproom.