The Wheels Through Time museum, in Maggie Valley, holds whats generally considered one of the top collections of historic bikes in North America. Were looking at roughly 300 antique motorcycles some fully restored, some with original dirt and most ready to start.
The Hayward County facility is well-known among riders: Heavy coverage in hobbyist magazines and websites, and word-of-mouth recommendations, bring most to the museum. Haywood County has long attracted cyclists: The famous Dragons Tail, an 11-mile stretch of U.S. 129 with 318 hairpin turns, is 40 minutes west. Motorcycles are a common area sight, spring through fall.
But the bikes in the 38,000-square-foot building tend to be American-made classic rarities from the pre-World War II Golden Age. The first motor vehicle to cross America was a 1905 Yale motorcycle. Only a handful were built. One is here. The 1912 Excelsior looks like a modified pedal-bike as do many of its contemporaries here, like the 1909 Pierce that once belonged to movie star and cycle fan Steve McQueen.
More modern bikes, vintage special-use two-wheelers and classic autos are on display, too.
Admission: $12; $6 for kids. Details: www.wheelsthroughtime.com.