Bush’s Visitor Center

by Bob Hoelscher 7. June 2013 01:10

Virtually everyone will recognize Jay Bush and his dog Duke from the numerous amusing television commercials which have featured the “secret recipe” for Bush’s Baked Beans. Built around the original 1897 A. J. Bush & Company general store in tiny Chestnut Hill, Tenn., you’ll also discover a most unusual visitor facility illustrating the company’s lengthy love affair with the humble bean. 

Jay and Duke will first “roll that beautiful bean footage” and entertain you in Bush’s Theatre. Then you can walk through a giant replica can of the company’s product, learn about Bush Brothers’ history and discover what your weight is in beans. Your group might also enjoy shopping in the old fashioned General Store or eating lunch in Bush’s Café.     

Also free, when you’re in the neighborhood: 
Don’t miss magnificent Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which receives more visitors each year than any other national park in the country.  Although there are plenty of attractions, lodging and dining facilities in Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, TN, as well as Cherokee, NC, that will be happy to take your money, there is no charge to visit the park.

"Roll that Beautiful Bean Footage"

Bush's General Store

In the Neighborhood: Great Smoky Mountains National Park

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Three favorite and free commercial attractions

Walmart Visitor Center

by Bob Hoelscher 7. June 2013 01:08

Who doesn’t have a Walmart in or near their community?  Whatever one thinks of this retailing juggernaut, there is no denying that Walmart is a true American success story. Here in Bentonville, Ark., near the corporation’s sprawling headquarters facilities, you’ll find the original little 5&10¢ store that Sam Walton opened on the town square in 1950.

Now housing the Walmart Visitor Center, the building holds an extensive gallery of interactive exhibits showcasing the company’s business philosophy and incredible growth. Guests can also visit a gift shop featuring typical ‘50s merchandise, the Spark Café, the stock Ford F-150 pickup truck that Sam used for hunting, and his personal office, left as it was on the day he died. 

Also free, when you’re in the neighborhood: The Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the world-class museum complex designed to “celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of landscape.” Opened during the fall of 2011, the museum was financed by, and filled with priceless American art objects collected by wealthy members of the Walton family.

Sam Walton's office

Sam Walton's Ford F-150 pickup truck

In the Neighborhood: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

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Three favorite and free commercial attractions

Korbel Champagne Cellars

by Bob Hoelscher 7. June 2013 01:05

To my knowledge, every state now offers wineries, some great, some good, others not so much, a few of them just plain awful. But champagne production facilities worth visiting are few and far between, which is all the more reason to plan a visit to the renowned Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, Calif. This commercial attraction produces some of America’s best bubbly, readily available at stores nationwide. 

Nestled on beautiful grounds in a picturesque, out of the way setting in Sonoma County, Korbel offers a film and tours to show guests firsthand they create quality champagne. You’ll also taste the finished product without having to pay the $20 a head that other Sonoma and Napa Valley wineries regularly charge groups for a tour and tastings. 

Also free, when you’re in the neighborhood: You’ll find Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve, one of California’s great parks, right up the road. The park preserves pristine forests of towering coastal redwood trees. Just park the coach and walk the Pioneer Trail to such massive specimens as the 310-foot high, 1300-year old “Parson Jones,” and the 308-foot-high, 1400-year old “Colonel Armstrong” trees.

Beautiful grounds and facilities at Korbel

Korbel's Champagne Tasting Bar

In the Neighborhood: Armstrong Redwoods State Reserve

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Three favorite and free commercial attractions

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