Fire Wire Zip Lines gets mankind off the ground with zipline flights in the Blue Ridge Mountains. After their daily safety inspection, the side-by-side Fire Wire lines are ready to launch riders out of the trees and over verdant hills on a 1,700-foot adventure. Fire Wire Zip Lines also offers the Blue Ridge Canopy Adventure, an adrenaline-pounding two-hour tour composed of a series of 15 ziplines that takes place at heights of up to 90 feet. As they swing through the trees, gaze into Dead Man's Gorge, and teeter at the Edge of Insanity, steely nerved adventurers enjoy the view while staying focused on the finish-line prize—the conferral of Canopy Hawk status—and keeping an eye out for opportunities to high-five the endangered High Fivin' Bird
Declared a 2011 finalist for the area's Best Mattress Store by readers of the Chattanooga Times Free Press, Mattress Outlet has culled an extensive arsenal of mattresses from top-brand manufacturers for more than 30 years. At eight locally owned locations throughout the Tennessee Valley, its knowledgeable staffers navigate showrooms that brim with cushy memory-foam slumbering surfaces from brands such as Serta and Tempur-Pedic. The staff procures the store's inventory from top manufacturers, who have partnered with Mattress Outlet for years, working to keep the prices affordable and to ensure no under-the-bed monsters are damaged during travel.
The Cartersville Parks and Recreation Department's summer pool passes inspire aquanauts to swim, splash, and celebrate the sunny season. Swimmers share splash space in Dellinger Park's Olympic-size pool (open from May 21 through September 5 and closed Wednesdays), which provides ample room for to-scale reenactments of favorite Spanish Armada battles. A diving well eases flying leaps, and a leisurely stroll through the shallows of the wading pool allows enough time to contemplate snack selections at the concession stand.
Voyaging through the mountains in search of a red rome beauty might sound like a hero's legendary quest, but in Ellijay, Georgia, anyone can do it—as long as they wait until September. That's when B.J. Reece Orchards opens its orchard for public picking. There, rows of trees hold edible jewels ready to be plucked, from the fabled red rome beauty to the golden delicious and the gala, which appears on the branch in full formal wear.
As visitors fill their baskets in the shadow of the North Georgia Mountains, aromas from the nearby country bakery drift on the wind. Chefs take inspiration from the season and setting to create apple-cider doughnuts and butter-crusted pies to the delight of parents and children alike. But kids take center stage at the petting farm. There, they can meet animal friends and lead wonderfully accurate renditions of "Old McDonald" before hopping on a wagon and riding through the hills.
The first seeds were sown in 1970, but the story of Smith-Gilbert Gardens actually starts almost 150 years ago. Though the 16 acres of emerald landscape features wooded paths, evocative sculptures, and more than 3,000 species of plants, the jewel in the garden's crown is the Hiram Butler House, an Italianate and Greek Revival blend built by a celebrated 19th century railway man. Today, the house is just one of many points of interest on the estate. An explosion of color greets visitors to the Perennial Garden, where daffodils, bearded lilies, and vivid asters mingle together and sometimes sing a capella. The conifer garden features small and slow-growing bushes and trees that thrive in the Southeastern United States, while the Japanese Maple Grove features more than 30 varieties of this ornamental tree. Other must-see spots include the Cedar Field and Rose Garden, where a single sylvan sentry stands guard over a grassy expanse, and the Bonsai Garden, one of the only gardens of its kind in Georgia.