In 1848, railway workers embarked on a project to open up trade between the Midwest and East Coast by digging a 1,477-foot tunnel through the base of the Chetoogeta Mountain. Around them, the town of Tunnel Hill sprouted up, as well as Clisby Austin's antebellum-style home, which would go on to serve as a hospital and the headquarters of William Sherman during the Civil War. Train cars eventually outgrew the tunnel, leading to the construction of a larger, parallel tunnel and the retirement of the Western & Atlantic Railroad Tunnel in 1928.
Today, visitors can take a step back in time by walking though the restored tunnel's stone arches or gleaning factual tidbits at the Heritage Center Museum. Civil War reenactments bring the grassy fields to life, as the Federals and Confederates engage in battle and hoop-skirted civilians struggle to stitch up the field's time-space wormhole.
Retro Bowl celebrates the long-held tradition of tossing balls into things. Groups of friends can saddle up to the alley?s lanes and try their hand at rolling spares and strikes. Fall and summer leagues bring together bowlers for evenings of friendly competition, while hosted parties celebrate birthdays and passing the third grade. When the sun sets on Friday and Saturday nights, the alley is illuminated with disco balls and colorful lights during Cosmic bowling.
Golfers across Texas, Arizona, and Georgia get an expert's opinion on their local private and public courses through AvidGolfer Magazine. The professionals also offer some basic instructions, in-depth product reviews, and careful explanations of why a lower score is better. Besides expert advice, the magazine releases an annual passbook that grants subscribers entry into several local courses.
Ellijay Marketplace changes with the seasons. During the summer, an open-air flea market sprouts at its perimeter and during the colder months, it's a purely indoor shopping center. And while it's less seasonal, the indoor space is far from static. The merchandise in the 10,000-square-foot consignment center, for example, rotates regularly, as do the antiques and curiosities sold at live auctions. Local retailers, such as The Man Cave Shop and Kristina Lee's Boutique, also show their wares at select indoor tables. Visitors can shop the market's quirky finds, or simply browse while listening to the eclectic bluegrass performances.
Covering 125 acres of mountainside, Blue Ridge Canopy Adventures? Hell's Hollow Adventure Outpost gives adventure seekers the opportunity to explore Appalachia from high above the ground. After a brief ground session, wherein instructors discuss safety, zipline etiquette, and how to speak Carolina chickadee without an accent, students soar between 12 stations across nearly 6,000 feet of cable. There are bridges and nature walks interspersed along the course, and horseback riding along the area?s old trails may be added as part of the outfit?s adventure packages.
Dalton boasts the state of Georgia's fifth largest downtown district, and that's no accident. The Downtown Dalton Development Authority strives to fill the city center with an eclectic array of businesses, from tanning salons to coffee shops. The team also draws crowds to the thriving area with special events, such as beer festivals, farmers' markets, and outdoor movie screenings, which is how people watched movies before the invention of theaters.