Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau

This crazy tale will have you laughing out loud!

As Southerners, a culture of “Why not?” is threaded into our heartstrings. An impromptu road trip to Nashville? Plant more hydrangeas? Meet you on the porch for sweet tea à la bourbon? We don’t think we have to tell you our answers.

So it's no surprise that the quirkily-named Whynot, North Carolina has long intrigued us. Situated just outside of Seagrove—famous for their world-renowned ceramics—it’s a quick two miles southeast on the “Pottery Highway” (Highway 75). In fact, the town was even built atop an old wooden road dubbed“the plank road” to transport pottery across the state, according to local news station WRAL.

To get to the bottom of its oddball name, we reached out to Tammy O'Kelley, Executive Director of the Heart of North Carolina Visitors Bureau. “German and English settlers established the community in the18th century. It got its name after much debate of what to name it so that a new post office could have a name to process postage cancellations,” O’Kelley told Southern Living. Why not name it that? Why not name it this?

WATCH: Living in Asheville, North Carolina

“After several hours of suggestions during a community meeting at a local church, a frustrated farmer said, ‘Why not name it ‘Why Not’ and then we can go home?’” Amen!

The name stuck. What started out as a two-word “Why Not” later shortened into “Whynot.” So there you have it, Tar Heel travelers. Who’s ready for a road trip to the Whynot General Store?