Starting in the mid-’70s on a quiet street on the outskirts of Summerville, the late Howard Finster—a former Baptist minister and self-proclaimed “man of visions”—created 46,991 individually numbered outsider artworks dedicated to God on a four-acre compound dubbed Paradise Garden. Anchored by the five-story “World’s Folk Art Church,” the property contains a tower of hubcaps and vines, buildings filled with his idiosyncratic paintings, and a mosaic garden in which thousands of found objects—from pieces of broken plates to discarded spectacles—are embedded in concrete mounds. Now almost completely restored, Paradise Garden draws 6,000 visitors a year to northwest Georgia with the lure of finding meaning in Finster’s mysticism. Elevation: 26 feet
This article originally appeared in our June 2016 issue.