The of Taste of Italy's legacy began 25 years ago, when proprietor Giancarlo "JC" Schiano Di Cola began to study the culinary traditions of his family in his native Napoli. At age 13, he moved stateside, where he learned under the watchful eye of his father, Giovanni, who once worked in the kitchens of the Brooklyn restaurant circuit, including his own restaurant. After proving his skill through 20 years of cooking experience and successfully untying a Gordian knot of spaghetti noodles, JC opened the first Taste of Italy Pizza location in August 2004, with a second location in Canton coming seven years late.
With the use of his father's classic New York recipes, the Canton location blossomed into a bastion of old world culinary tradition. He now feeds the hungry masses at both locations with mouth-watering New York? and Sicilian-style pizzas, as well as traditional Italian pasta dishes. Plates of homemade lasagna, hearty gnocchi bolognese, and creamy tortellini alla panna share table space with fresh caprese and antipasto. In the kitchen, vats of from-scratch marinara sauce simmer on the burners while the dining room hums with a jovial buzz of casual dining. In addition to treating visitors to meals of authentic Italian and familiar American cuisine, Taste of Italy provisions banquets and celebrations with bountiful catered trays of salad and pasta as well as special meals for any occasion.
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 Apple House 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. And during the harvest season, B.J. Reece Orchards offers more farm-fun activities?families can pick a favorite in the pig race, meander through the cornfield scavenger hunt, milk a cow, and take a bumpy ride on the cow train, while kids can play on the giant jumping pillow.
You don't need to see Mary Frankel's United States Dressage Federation bronze medal to tell she knows her way around a saddle. The owner of Sonora Creek—which opened in 1995—has been riding and showing horses for 40 years, and in that time she's coached locally, regionally, and nationally in both hunter/jumper and dressage. It's fortunate she has so much experience, since she's charged with operating such a sprawling space.
Spanning 22 acres, the facility rolls across hills and pastures and includes an indoor arena, two tack rooms, a regulation-size dressage arena, a 300'x150' outdoor jumping arena, and a 25-stall boarding facility. The scope of the facility's services is just as ambitious; staffers board and train horses, teach riding lessons, and lead a summer camp for kids aged 5–15 who grow weary of brushing and tacking their parents' motorcycles.
Upon their arrival to Fairways of Canton Golf Club, golfers feast their eyes on the club’s bucolic 18-hole course as it unfurls across 6,515 yards of rolling terrain and scenic Georgia pines. The pristine par-72 course fosters aggressive drives into generous fairways, which lead to small bermuda-grass greens teeming with subtle slopes and trick holes that lead to another dimension in Space Jam. Dimpled orbs graze the stratosphere at the club’s practice facilities, which include a driving range, a putting green, a chipping area, and a sand bunker. Back muscles weary from a day of smashing drives or wrestling a gang of rogue golf carts can recess at the club’s onsite Canyon Grill, which slings sumptuous fare such as philly cheesesteaks, pizza margherita, and pasta with a choice of sauce.
From spacious locker rooms to family-friendly facilities, BodyPlex gyms are built to take the stress out of working out. Fitness machines ranging from cardio equipment to free-motion systems beckon those familiar with the gym scene to jump right into a regime. Newcomers need not stress about a learning curve, as personal instructors power walk the grounds, ready to give one-on-one instruction with an appointment. To ease the workout worries of parents, enthusiastic staff members man the gym's onsite Kidsplex, a youth-focused playroom stocked with crafts, toys, and two different video-game systems. Additionally, those who achieve their best when with like-minded people can break a sweat and their personal fist-bump record in one of the gym's daily fitness classes.
Cherokee Valley Ranch lays out an adrenaline-filled buffet of outdoor adventures propelled by gravity. Guests soar above the ranch on the gossamer wings of harness and cable across one of two legs of the zipline course. Cherokee Valley Ranch also sends riders careening down its tobogganing and tubing course. Gravity tugs thrill seekers down two frost-free chutes for snowless year-round sledding to make up for winters of sledless snowing. Other outdoor adventures include guided horseback rides, hayrides to a wooded campsite, and a cowboy-style lunch or dinner cooked over an open campfire. Children up to 17 years old can learn basic horseback-riding skills during Summer Horse Camp, including proper riding technique, grooming, and hoof-based sign language.