This post is part of the series Around Atlanta
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There are tons of ways to have a fun weekend, but if you want an EPIC weekend? Then you, my friend, need to drive a tank. Didn’t know that that was an option, did you? I’m here to tell you that it is! I’ve started investigating fun things to do outside of Atlanta, and this was an exciting first activity.
Before you get all bummed that you aren’t from Atlanta, you can apparently drive a tank in Minnesota, Texas, Nevada, and Ireland! Some of those places let you fire the tank’s… cannon…gun…?, some let you crush cars, and one lets you drive the tank through a house! Those options are awesome, but I’ll be focusing on Tank Town USA in Georgia. I received this experience as a present from my brother, and here is my honest and unbiased review 🙂
At Tank Town USA you have the ability to drive the tank around or even crush a car! At the time, I didn’t want to fork out the extra money to crush a car, but hindsight is 20/20… and hindsight said I should have! Luckily, there was another guy who was there right after my appointment, and he DID crush the car! So if you’re trying to keep this trip as cheap but as fun as possible, call ahead and see if you can get an appointment around the same time as someone crushing. It’s still pretty cool to watch even if you don’t get to do it yourself. But I think it is worth it to splurge! Just bring a buddy to split the cost!
Tank Driving: $100
Excavator Driving: $100
Tank and Excavator: $150
Car Crushing: $550
Driving the Tank:
If you choose to just drive the tank, you can bring a friend! My friend Jill was able to come and ride in the tank with me! It was nice because it’s a fun experience that should be shared, and also because she was able to take some pictures while I was driving. That’s how I got some of these awesome shots with my 360 Camera! Todd, the owner, was a real pleasure to hang around. He’s knowledgeable and friendly.
The tank itself had surprisingly few controls. It was literally just two levers that you pull back and forth. I had a small pedal cart when I was younger that operated with similar controls, so I picked it up pretty easily. If you don’t, no worries. Todd is lounging (precariously close to the edge!) right next to you ready to correct your course, hold a go-pro camera, or tell a joke.
You’re basically popping out of the tank like a groundhog! If you’re driving, you’re standing on the seat looking out on the muddy morass of fun you’re about to drive through. Nothing but the wild blue yonder (Well, it was gray when I was up there) and a muddy obstacle course you get to figure 8 around. You can see in another tank where soldiers would be riding, but thankfully that’s not your situation. If you’re a passenger, you get to ride on the seat propped up on top. All that’s missing from that seat is an umbrella and a matching tiny umbrella in a tropical drink.
As for comfort, I’d say it’s not ~un~comfortable per-say, but not like leather bound seats and a library that smells of rich mahogany either. When you’re driving, you’re standing on the seat and leaning back against the hatch. I don’t recall any memory of that being uncomfortable, but I also might have been on an adrenaline rush. The top seat was pretty comfortable (with seat belt) and I had a blast zipping around, filming, and wondering what certain smells are (I won’t lie, there was a smell. I’m assuming because it was after a rain. It certainly wasn’t overbearing, but it did exist).
Can I push *all* the buttons?
You’d be surprised how elementary the controls are. There was a button that Todd said was the auto-off button and cautioned me not to press it. Naturally, I immediately pretended to press it. I’m sure I’m not the first! Really though, the controls are basically a gear shift, and he tells you where to put it, two handles you pull back and forth depending on which direction you want to go, and a gas pedal. Todd will caution you if you’re going too fast or slow or if your path needs correcting.
Questions my friends asked:
Did you shoot the gun? Alas, no. Although that would have been sweeeet.
What about the weather? The first time I was scheduled, it was predicted to rain! I wanted to document my trip for you fine fellows, so Todd let me reschedule. THEN the next time I was scheduled, it was predicted to snow and sleet like crazy, so Todd asked me to reschedule. Then I finally made it up there! As you can see from the pictures, it was a bit of a cloudy and ominous day, but I think it added to the atmosphere.
How much fun is it? SO much fun!! I want to go back and try the excavator and maybe squash a car!
What should I wear? Wear shoes that you don’t mind getting muddy! Todd also provides you with a shirt to wear while driving (Just give it back afterwards!) to keep your shirt clean!
Did you get a picture of yourself standing on top, hair blowing in the wind, with a giant American flag in one hand and a rifle in the other? (Thanks Amy) Man, if that’s not America, I dunno what is! Sorry to disappoint, but we didn’t have any bald eagles, rifles, flags, or Budweiser.
Is it safe? (Thanks Mom) Yes Mooooooooooooom
Things to do around Tank Town:
I came up from Atlanta, and it was about a 2 hour drive. I think if you’re going up just to go to Tank Town USA, it’s a bit of a hike. Maybe make a day trip out of it! It’s really close to Blue Ridge, and there is a whole strip of adorable shops. While driving home we passed something that I’m pretty upset that I hadn’t heard of previously… Sasquatch Museum.
If we hadn’t stayed so late in town wandering around and eating pretzels, we could have gone! It looks like it has really good reviews! Next time I’m up there, I’m checking it out! All I’m saying is, it might be fun to do something in addition to Tanks, although just the Tank was totally enough!
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