South of Atlanta, Henry County has culture, nature — and fun!

 

When you think of metro Atlanta, most people think of … well, Atlanta. But, there are a lot of cool counties outside of Atlanta’s capital. Take Henry County, for instance. Located 30 minutes south of downtown straight down I-75, Henry County has the best a rural setting can offer — farms, animals, a state park — and all the modern musts of everyday living — outstanding restaurants (including many vegan and vegetarian), budget-friendly activities, cultural events and lots of shopping.

 

Let’s cover the activities that you can pretty much only get in Henry County. When you’re not watching a NASCAR race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway Track, you can take a track tour, which includes three laps around the track, and a behind-the-scenes look at the NASCAR Control, the garages and Victory Lane.

Photo Credit: Atlanta Motor Speedway

For animal lovers, visit Noah’s Ark, an animal rescue sanctuary where you can say hello to the animals, while a tour guide regals you with tales of how each animal was saved. Yule Forest is another family-friendly place. Depending on the season, you can walk through the pumpkin patch, cut down your Christmas tree, enjoy the petting zoo, be scared in its Haunted House and test your survival skills at the Terror Transport and Trail and Pandemic, an 80,000 square foot interactive field of combat.

 

Book a ride on a Cobra or Here helicopter at the Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum, which offers ride events months (groups of six can book a private ride). Visit the hangar and talk with veterans who volunteer their time.

Photo Credit: Army Aviation Heritage Foundation and Flying Museum

Panola Mountain State Park is a fun place to swim, have a picnic, take a boat ride or swing from the trees. A certified tree climbing instructor will show you the ropes of tree climbing by fitting you with a harness and demonstrated how to climb into the canopy of a 200-year-old willow oak tree. Climb, swing and even hang upside down. You can even sign up for the ZZZ’s in the Trees where you settle into a tree boat (hammock) and catch a nap.

Photo Credit: Panola Mountain State Park

Don’t let the zombies get you when you take the Walkin’ DEAD Hampton tour, a one-hour tour that features a 14-stop walking tour of every major scene shot in Hampton during season 6.

 

Henry County is full of down-home restaurants to haute cuisine that will delight any foodie. Try Heaven Cafe where Chef Paul Lewis whips up a colossal cinnamon roll, Sarah’s Country Cooking, Sassy’s Jamaican Jerk, Shane’s Rib Shack, The Finish Line Cafe and The French Market & Tavern. Don’t forget the JailHouse Brewing Co. tour!

 

Shopping is another joyful activity whether it be flea markets are quaint boutiques, you’ll find something for everyone.

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