Georgia

Atlanta Motor Speedway

Hampton, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
33.448495, -84.324919

Twice a year, Atlanta Motor Speedway is the bustling center of the NASCAR Sprint Cup world, filled with hundreds of thousands of fans from all over the country. But the rest of the year, this premier racing facility is open to the public for speedway tours and a behind-the-scenes look at one of the South's finest entertainment complexes.

Official track tours include a brief track history, a visit to Petty Garden, a sneak peek at the garages and Victory Lane, and two laps in the Speedway van around the same 1.54-mile track that stars like Jeff Gordon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. race on.

Cabbage Patch Kids

Cleveland, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
34.596612, -83.760476

Known the world over as the birthplace of the "hand-stitched" Original Cabbage Patch Kids, BabyLand General Hospital is a very real place.

Our History:

1976
As a 21 year old art student, Xavier Roberts rediscovers "needle molding" a German technique for fabric sculpture from the early 1800?s. Combining his interest in sculpture with the quilting skills passed down from his mother, Xavier creates his first soft-sculptures.

1977
While working his way through school as manager of the Unicoi Craft Shop in Helen, Georgia, Xavier develops the marketing concept of adoptable Little People® with birth certificates.

1978
Xavier begins delivering his hand made Little People Originals and exhibiting them at arts and crafts shows in the southeast. He finds that many parents are happy to pay the $40.00 "adoption fee" for one of his hand signed Little People Originals.

Xavier wins a first place ribbon for sculpture with "Dexter" at the Osceola Art Show in Kissimmee, Florida. Returning home to Georgia, he organizes five school friends and incorporates Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. Xavier and his friends renovate the L.G. Neal Clinic, a turn of the century medical facility in Cleveland, Georgia, opening "BabyLand General® Hospital" to the public.

Dexter wins a first place ribbon for sculpture at the Osceola Art Show.

1981
The growing success of Xavier?s hand made Little People Originals is documented by Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The Atlanta Weekly and many others. There are reports that earlier editions are re-adopting for as much as 100 times their initial adoption fee.

1982
Original Appalachian Artworks, Inc. signs a long term licensing agreement allowing a major toy manufacturer to produce a Toy replica of Xavier?s hand made soft sculpture Originals. These Toy versions are recognizable by their smaller size, vinyl head and adoption fees usually under $30.00. At the same time, the name Little People® is changed to the "Cabbage Patch Kids®" which is used for both the Toys and the hand made Originals.

1983
By the end of the year almost 3 million of the Cabbage Patch Kids Toys have been adopted but demand has not been met. The Cabbage Patch Kids Toys go on record as the most successful new doll introduction in the history of the toy industry. In December, they are featured on the cover of Newsweek.

1985
The Cabbage Patch Kids join the Young Astronaut Program and "Christopher Xavier" becomes the first Cabbage Patch Kid to journey into outer space as a passenger on the U.S. Space Shuttle.

1990
With 65 million Cabbage Patch Kids Toys adopted to date, their continuing popularity places the Cabbage Patch Kids Brand among the top 10 best selling of the year. Meanwhile the hand made Originals, with adoption fees of $190.00 and up, remain popular with collectors.

1992
The Cabbage Patch Kids are honored by being named the first official mascot of the U.S. Olympic Team. They travel with the athletes to Barcelona for the games and many stay behind as "Friends For Life" with patients of a local children?s hospital.

1995
The Cabbage Patch Kids are once again honored to be named the official mascot of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team for the summer games in Atlanta. That same year Mildred, one of the earliest Little People readopts for $20,000.

1996
For the first time ever, limited numbers of hand made Original Cabbage Patch Kids U.S. Team mascots are offered for adoption at fees of $275.00 each. These Originals represent 12 different Olympic Sports,

1999
A nationwide public vote selects Cabbage Patch Kids as one of 15 stamps commemorating the 1980?s in the U.S. Postal Service?s Celebrate The Century stamp program.

2000
The Cabbage Patch Kids stamp goes on sale in January of 2000.

2001
Original hand made Cabbage Patch Kids make their debut on the world wide web. Adoption fees range from $170.00 to $255.00 for regular editions.

Flex-A-Bed

LaFayette, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
34.708097, -85.304859

Visit our LaFayette, Georgia factory. Visitors are always welcome at Flex-A-Bed. Watch us build the high quality beds that give thousands a great night of sleep. We would love to show you around.

You can make reservations so we know you are coming, or you can just drop in during normal production hours. Please make reservations for large groups. Email us for details at info@flexabed.com or give us a call at 1-800-648-1256.

Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen

Helen, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
34.70024, -83.726489

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen started in 1973 as a tiny shop in an alley in Helen, Georgia. The owners were a young couple, David and Janet Jones, who were full of enthusiasm, but had no idea how to make candy.

Slowly and steadily over the years, the couple and their ever-growing staff learned how to make different candies, and Hansel & Gretel now produces the widest assortment of candies of any Georgia retailer.

Whether you are looking for such Southern traditions as peanut brittle, divinity, fudge or pralines, there is simply no one who does it better.

Hansel & Gretel also specializes in a vast assortment of chocolate molded novelties and chocolate suckers, and offers a wide selection of chocolate gift boxes and other assortments.

During a visit to the large Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen in downtown Helen, you will see these and many more items too numerous to list, made right before your eyes.

David and Janet still run the company, and their now-grown daughters Andrea and Diana help when they can. David loves to answer your questions about our products and enjoys handshaking in general. If you are in town, drop by or call anytime. Our number is 706-878-2443.

Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen is open every day but Christmas.

Inside CNN Studio Tour

Atlanta, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
33.74691, -84.391239

The studio tour features a number of behind-the-scenes demonstrations. Here you'll learn just how we make images--like weather maps--appear behind our anchors and correspondents.

The Tour Finale features CNN anchors and reporters discussing the many memories, challenges and requirements of the job.

Put all you learned on the tour to work at the Interactive Area inside The Turner Store. Here you can make a video of yourself reading the day's top news stories, or have your picture taken with a variety of Turner personalities on the Studio Chromakey. Make your visit to the Turner Store complete by picking up a memento from the store's complete line of news, sports, and entertainment network merchandise.

Lane Packing Company

Fort Valley, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
32.55515, -83.828599

Originally founded in 1908 by our great-grandfather John David Duke, the farm was named Diamond Fruit Farm. In addition, John David Duke owned a facility that manufactured basket liners and built a peach packinghouse in 1942 that was named J.D. Duke. In 1950 he changed the name of this business to Southern Orchard Supply Co. but business was taken over by his son-in-law David O. Lane, and grandson, Duke Lane, Sr. The farming name remained the same but the packing portion of the business became Lane Packing Company.

Following the retirement of his father, David O. Lane, Duke Lane, Sr., became sole owner and continued to pack peaches until 1975 at the same location that his grandfather had built.
In 1976, Duke Lane, Sr. formed a partnership with the Russell Pearson family. Together they built a more modern packinghouse that was called Pearson & Lane. This partnership was in operation until 1989. After the 1989 season, the Lane family began construction of a packinghouse that is located on the family farm. This facility is one of the most modern of its kind and was ready just in time for the 1990 crop. It was in 1990 that Duke Lane, Sr. turned the business over to his four children--Duke, Jr., Bobby, Anne, and Steve who continue to run the business today.

Since 1990, Lane Packing Company has continued to grow and expand. We have added a Roadside Market which includes the Peachtree Cafe, Just Peachy Gift Shop and a full service mail order department. Also new this year is a five acre "you pick or we pick" strawberry patch. We invite you to stop by and visit our operation.

Nora Mill Granary Grist Mill & Country Store

Helen, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
34.6924, -83.714019

Nora Mill Granary - an authentic working grist mill that is nestled alongside the Chattahoochee River. At Nora Mill, we grind corn daily using either the original French burr stones that are water powered by the Chattahoochee River - or by our more modern "Meal Master" stone grinding system located on our second floor. Either way, all product is all natural and is stone ground.

Nora Mill Granary, Inc. Est. 1876

About the mill . . . .

Nora Mill Granary is an operational gristmill sitting alongside the Chattahoochee River in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains that stone grinds and produces all kinds of corn and wheat based products such as grits, corn meal, pancake & waffle mixes, flours, biscuit & bread mixes, pioneer's porridge, and the like. In addition, we have an old-fashioned country store & gift shop that we have named "Nora Mill Next Door," that is stocked with thousands of new items and even has a large kitchen built just for cooking & serving samples of our mill & store products.

A little history . . . .

The mill itself is a large four-story building that was built in 1876 complete with 1,500 pound French Burr Mill Stones and a 100 ft. wooden raceway that feeds water to a water turbine - not a vertical water wheel. The mill was constructed in 1876 by John Martin when he came to Georgia to mine for gold. Unlike most miners, Mr. Martin made Sautee-Nacoochee Valley his permanent home in 1902 Dr. Lamartine G. Hardman, governor of Georgia from 1927 -1931, bought the mill and named it "Nora Mill" in memory of his sister Nora. Nora Mill remained in the Hardman Family until 1998, when it, along with 300 surrounding acres, was purchased by a group of investors associated with Nacoochee Village, Ltd.

After a succession of millers throughout the years, in the early 1980s, Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Ron Fain worked with the Hardman family and leased Nora Mill for him and his parents to bring back to life and operate. Ron became the Miller of Nora Mill. Over the years, Ron worked with his parents until their passing, and then brought his youngest daughter Joann in under his wing to learn the art of milling and work the Nora Mill business with him.

Ron and Joann together, developed and brought to market a number of corn & grain recipes that are famous to Nora Mill. Recipes such as "Georgia Ice Cream", "Dixie Ice Cream", "Pioneer's Porridge", and the like. They expanded the product offerings and opened the gift shop next door to the mill and named it "Nora Mill Next Door". Joann and Ron worked shoulder to shoulder until his recent passing in June of 2001.

Nora Mill is now in the third generation of the Fain family operation as Joann Fain Tarpley, with husband Rich, continues to manage and operate Nora Mill Granary. The fourth generation of the same family can be seen at Nora Mill Granary as the children of Joann and Rich are actively working with them at the mill.

Ron Fain and daughter Joann

There have been many changes over the years, but the main idea is still the same, to grind fresh grains with no additives or preservatives with old-fashioned quality. Nora Mill has recently gone through a major refurbishing. The dam, raceway, and penstock have been rebuilt. We have enclosed the breezeway and have built new porch & deck that overlooks our very own gigantic rainbow trout swimming in the beautiful Chattahoochee River. We have recently refurbished our grinding and milling machinery to ensure the highest of quality in the products that we produce, hand-bag, and offer on-site in our mill and through our Internet & mail order business.

More about today's operation . . . .

Managing and operating Nora Mill Granary today is Joann Fain Tarpley and husband Rich. Together, the two oversee all aspects of the mill from overall general business management to the grinding and milling operations.

Rich & Joann Tarpley

Prior to Ron's passing, Rich was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend time with Ron to learn the rare art of milling and to learn the "inner workings" of the mill itself. Ron taught Rich how to "listen and feel" the heartbeat of the mill and how to adjust the millstones and flow of grain to achieve the perfect Nora Mill blend.

Over the years, every one has worked to develop a nice mail order business that began with the mailing of very simple brochures to the folks that sign our guest book as they visit the mill. Today, the mail order catalog is mailed out to over 30,000 "guests" that have either signed the book at the mill, or have requested a catalog via telephone or the web. To request a catalog, send Joann an e-mail with your mailing address or sign our mailing list form on this site.

Everyone working in around Nora Mill is considered family. We consider our work a labor of love and take great pride in everything we do. Whether taking an order on the phone for a single bag of grits or working with one of our wholesale accounts for a 2,000 lb order of stone ground products, we treat everyone the same! We love what we do and we love working with people.

Please stop in for a visit whenever you can. We would love to show you around. Nora Mill is open every day except Christmas & Easter.

Fain family history . . . .

The Fain Family roots began in Northeast Georgia area just a few miles from Nora Mill where Ron's father, George, resided until 1917 before moving to Ohio in search of work. While in Ohio, George met and married Florence McPherson and together raised 4 children. Ron, the youngest boy, was raised in Ohio where he met and married Rita Lepera. After graduating from the University of Akron and retiring from the US Army as a Lt. Colonel in 1979, Ron and Rita, with their 5 children settled in Helen, Ga. at his family homestead.

George & Florence Fain

Ron & Rita Fain

As Ron got involved with Nora Mill, he became so interested in preserving a bit of history that he buried himself in books and publications and sought help from knowledgeable individuals including long time miller of Nora Mill, Tom Farmer, and Clyde Keltner of Tennessee. As Ron received his on-the-job education of the lost art of grain milling by water-power, he became and stayed active in the Society of the Preservation of Old Mills.

In the early years, Ron & Rita and all of the children worked hard to keep Nora Mill running. Son David worked on the mill building, rebuilt the raceway and dam several times over. Oldest daughter Janet worked with Ron in the mill, came up with the idea of cooking and serving samples at the mill, and has published 2 Nora Mill Cookbooks which can be purchased on-line and/or at our mill. Daughters Joyce, Judy, and Joann all worked at the mill while in school. Like her father, Joann developed a deep love for the mill and has continued to work at the mill throughout the years and to present day.

Ron's spirit is alive and well within the walls of Nora Mill today. Ron's wife Rita helps whenever possible and when called upon. Ron has touched all of our lives. We are very proud to have been close to him. We all are anxious to share our most remembered "Ron Stories" amongst ourselves and with guests visiting as a number of the guests that return to the mill - visit not only to restock on the great products that we have - but also to sit and talk about Ron, who has left a great impression on their lives as well.

Susan's Elements of Arts

Helen, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
34.70969, -83.739229

Tucked away in the back of Helen Square on the west side of Main street in Helen Georgia is Susan's Elements of Art. It is here where Susan Wright does custom stain glass work and her husband, Keith, makes primitive wooden bowls from large blocks of wood.

The work produced by these two artisans is as extraordinary to behold as it is fun to watch being made.

World of Coca-Cola

Atlanta, GA

Lattitude/Longitude
33.762541, -84.392531

For more than 120 years, we?ve been putting our secret formula into bottles. Now, we?ve put it all in one amazing place ? the World of Coca-Cola at Pemberton Place®..

A visit to this dynamic facility will be engaging, entertaining and fun for guests of all ages. From a thrilling multisensory 4-D theater to a marvelously restored 1880?s soda fountain, you?ll experience something new and inviting around every corner. Take home a special one-of-a-kind World of Coca-Cola glass bottle produced exclusively for our guests on our fully-functioning bottling line. Snap a photo with our 7-foot Coca-Cola Polar Bear. Take your taste buds on a tantalizing tour with over 60 different products to sample from around the world or create your own refreshing blend. Inside, you?ll find there?s a secret formula to everything we do.

The World of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium anchor a 20-acre park that has become a premier destination for Atlanta residents and visitors alike. This site in known as Pemberton Place® in honor of John S. Pemberton, the pharmacist who invented the original Coca-Cola® formula in Atlanta in 1886.