Georgia's 9 wackiest museums

There are almost 300 museums in Georgia that highlight everything from the state's rich historical past to its diverse ecological setting. If you crave the unusual, the odd or the downright strange, there are options for you to enjoy. Here are nine of the most unique museums around the Peach State.

Waffle House Museum. (Decatur) The first Waffle House opened in 1955 when two neighbors realized their community needed a 24-hour eatery. The Decatur restaurant has been restored to its original charm, and the museum features Waffle House memorabilia from the last 60+ years. Tours are free and can be scheduled Wednesday and Thursday.

Crime and Punishment Museum. (Ashburn) From the days of Teddy Roosevelt until 1993, this building served as the county jail. Now a museum, visitors can see chain gang uniforms, a cat 'o nine tails whip and an exact replica of Georgia's electric chair. Save time for lunch at the adjacent Last Meal Café.

Girl Scout First Headquarters. (Savannah) Visit Georgia's oldest city to peruse the first headquarters of the Girl Scouts. For a small fee, you can take a self-guided tour and enjoy a film about the early Girl Scouts. Daily programming is available for troops if you call ahead.

Lunch Box Museum. (Columbus) Do you remember carrying a metal lunchbox to school? Did it feature Scooby Doo, Hot Wheels or Knight Rider? Head to the River Market in Columbus where Allan Woodall Jr. showcases more than 450 lunchboxes from around 1950 through the 1980s.

Georgia Rural Telephone Museum. (Leslie) Long before iPhones and Androids were around, telephones hung from our kitchen walls and lived on the dining room tables. See the largest collection of antique telephone and telephone memorabilia in the world, with collections dating back to 1876.

The Laurel and Hardy Museum of Harlem. (Harlem) Fans from all corners of the globe donate artifacts and memorabilia to the Laurel and Hardy Museum, located in the city where Oliver Hardy was born. Explore the museum, or sit in the theatre and watch any of the 100+ movies made by the comedic duo.

Georgia Racing Hall of Fame. (Dawsonville) The Racing HOF honors the racecar drivers that have contributed to Georgia's racing history. Bill Elliot is among the most recognizable name on the list, and his name graces the bottles of moonshine at the adjacent distillery.

Paradise Garden Foundation. (Summerville) Paradise Garden showcases the life's work of renowned artist and preacher Howard Finster. At the age of 76, Finster claimed that a vision from God directed him to create 5,000 pieces of artwork. He accomplished this task and more, producing almost 47,000 pieces before his death in 2001.

Uncle Remus Museum. (Eatonton) Learn about the life and times of Joel Handler Harris and his famous Uncle Remus stories. The museum consists of a log cabin similar to the one occupied by Uncle Remus, and it is made from three slave cabins originating in Putnam County. Before you leave the area, also be sure to stop by the nearby Old School Museum and Rock Eagle.

Looking for other oddities around the state? Be sure to read 7 Georgia roadside attractions worth the drive.

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