My trip was compliments of the Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau
1. Atlanta Motor Speedway
Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the biggest highlights of Henry County. Fans come from quite a distance to visit and tour the entertainment spot. Besides NASCAR races, they have tons of other activities that happen on other nights of the week. One of the most interesting being the Thursday night racing where you can see up-and-coming drivers. Cost is only five bucks.
Make sure that you sign up for a tour when you visit Atlanta Motor Speedway in Henry County and you will get an amazing experience for just ten bucks. This behind-the-scenes tour includes a few laps in a van along the track (sorry, you can’t drive it yourself), and a tour of the entire stadium including suites. Believe it or not, some people live in the condos full time. Inside you’ll see lots of artwork attributed to drivers and racing memorabilia.
2. Helicopter Tours with the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation
The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation acquires, restores and maintains historic vintage flying aircrafts from the Vietnam and the Cold War era. We flew in a Vietnam era Huey Helicopter. Huey helicopters weigh 5,000 pounds and can reach speeds of 127 miles per hour. With a flight crew of four, they can take nine additional passengers.If you don’t like the idea of being on a helicopter with wide open doors, don’t go on this ride. I found it thrilling but it could be a bit frightening for some. Once you arrive at the AAHF in Hampton, GA, you’ll have to fill out some waivers and you’ll have to wait about 3 rides before it’s your turn. It goes by rather fast, with rides being a short 6-8 minutes.
Here’s the view you can expect from a Huey helicopter:
These helicopter rides are extremely popular, so make sure to book in advance.
3. Panola Mountain
Another reason that you will love Henry County is Panola Mountain. What’s really cool about Panola Mountain is that it is a granite mountain and there are only a couple in the state of Georgia. A second is Arabia Mountain and a third is Stone Mountain. What sets Panola apart from the other two is that people have been allowed to walk on the others so much, the ecosystems of moss and lichen have not been preserved. Visitors to Panola are limited (You must have a guide take you hiking.) to keep these thriving.
We signed up for a moonlight hike which is offered monthly. It was a bit scary when we turned up for the hike to find out we would be hiking straight up a mountain in the dark. So that was a daunting start to our trek. In a zigzag fashion we were able to climb to the top but if you have any kind of health ailments or you’re not physically fit, it may be difficult.
But I’d recommend that you do this if you can for the spectacular views of the city. And we lucked out as it was a full moon when we hiked. Be aware, you’ll descend the same way you ascended, even more treacherous is heading down a mountain at nightfall! Also note that Panola mountain is popular for movie filming and if it is booked, you will not be able to go near some of the more popular spots on the trail like the lake. Moonlight hikes at Panola are limited to about 10 people per hike so it’s small and intimate.
4. Farm Visits (Gardner and Southern Belle Farm)
5. Jailhouse Brewing
Like craft beer? Then a visit to Jailhouse Brewing, named because the building was once a jail, is a must when you come to Henry County. Beers have fun names like Restraining Order Porter, Conjugal Visit, Dead Man Walking and Partners in Crime. Skip the tour and hang out on the patio, and make sure to get your mugshot. Take advantage of the limited release brews you can try which are only available on site. I loved the Pomegranate sour I sampled as well as the wheat beer brewed with mango.
6. Miller’s General Store
7. The original Shane’s Rib Shack
8. Heritage Park Veteran’s Museum
Open since 2010, they’ve collected about 5 million dollars worth of memorabilia. This non-profit museum is run by extremely knowledgeable veterans and is free to enter. There is a tribute to fallen soldiers who are from Georgia. It is a terrific experience, especially if you have children, for them to see and touch uniforms, helicopters, grenades, and other war memorabilia. There’s even a real bunker setup which kids can peek inside.
9. The French Market
Bonus: Film and tv sites galore in Henry County
Check out this map for lots of places where famous movies and television shows have been filmed including Anchorman 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Stranger Things, The Walking Dead and We Are Mashall, mentioned above.