Zipping Around Canton Or Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay
|We were going to title this weekend trip "Carousing In Canton" but quickly found out that it's very difficult to carouse in Canton, primarily because it is a dry county. So then we started looking for another title and we couldn't decide on which one - which is why the article has two titles. For this weekend, we're going to experience a new exciting thrill (which has something to do with the title - oh, what could it be?) and then enjoy some good golf, go shopping, sample some wine, and spend the night in some unique lodging. So gather some friends or get the family excited about a new adventure, pack up the bags, zip up the jacket, and head to Canton for a fun weekend. On the way, start singing or humming "Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay." Here are the new words:|
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
Canton is a fun place to stay and play
For a fun long weekend or just a beautiful day
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
My, oh my, what a wonderful day
We're gonna have some fun in Canton today!
|Everybody knows that Canton is home to the world famous First Monday Trade Days which is acres and acres of over 5000 vendors selling everything from apples to zippers. You'll find rare antiques and collectibles, furniture, home decor, pets and animals, arts and crafts, clothing, jewelry, tools, produce, and much more. So, when you're planning this weekend adventure, if you like to shop, plan the trip for Thursday through Sunday before the first Monday of each month. Pack your walking shoes, cool clothes, a water spray bottle, something to carry your goodies, and a wallet full of cash and then head over to Trade Days. Be prepared to experience a hundred thousand other shoppers looking for that unique treasure.|
If you're not into shopping, then take the sticks and zip out to chase that little white ball on some great courses. Within 15 minutes of downtown Canton, you'll find Garden Valley and Twin Lakes, both of which are fantastic courses. Garden Valley is beautiful and known as the "Augusta National of Texas." The course is consumed with towering pine trees, blooming azaleas and dogwoods, rolling elevation changes, and some unique, fun, and challenging holes. Garden Valley is normally in very good condition and a real a real joy to play - you'll be tempted to want to play it twice during this trip. Check out the Garden Valley's Stay & Play.. Garden Valley has a great Stay & Play package with fantastic lodging right on the 18th hole - so consider staying there if you can't find a place in Canton - read our review of
Twin Lakes is also a great course, pretty challenging, and a lot of fun to play as it winds itself around the lakes - to learn more click on the review of Twin Lakes. Van Zandt Country Club is semi private and it's the closest course but not that exciting - in our review of Van Zandt Country Club we rated it a 5.5 out of 10. You're also close to Tyler which has also has some great courses - the Tyler Golf Map will help you locate a course.
|You can golf and shop anywhere, so the main reason we're headed to Canton is to go zipping (Zip-a-dee-doo-dah) from platform to platform at the new and exciting Wired Zip Line Course. Don't leave Canton without stopping at Wired which is a block or so from First Monday Trade Days - this unusual and exciting adventure will easily be the highlight of a great weekend. Wired has six platforms/towers that are interconnected with zip lines and swinging rope bridges just waiting for you to give them a try. The first step at Wired is to get some basic instruction on zipping. So after getting cinched up in a harness and fitted with a helmet and gloves, you're lead to a short zip line that is only 5 feet off the ground to get used to a short zip and how to slow down. Once you're comfortable with that you're ready for the big time.|
You and two or three young, friendly, cute guides climb 45 feet up a spiral staircase to the first zip line. After a short pep talk ("don't be afraid, you can do this, remember how to stop, don't panic...") from one of the expert guides, you're ready to zip 800' to the next platform. You take a deep breath, put your legs up, and off you go. You'll be zipping quickly across the line 40' above the ground to the next platform thinking this is really fun until you see the platform rapidly approaching - and then you're thinking "do I remember what they told me about how to slow down" so I won't slam into the guide with his arms wide open waiting to stop me and also hoping that I remember how to slow down!
What a thrill and I didn't have to get intimate with the guide praying he would have to grab me in a bear hug to stop me from going off the other side of the platform! That may be a different story for the young girls who would like to get to know the cute and friendly guides much better - "oh, tell me again how I slow down!" or "wow, nice save, thanks for the hug. "
After you have safely arrived at the second platform and taken a big breath, you take a swinging rope bridge up to a 75' tower for a 1200' zip (the longest in Texas) across to the next tower. On this zip line, you can reach speeds of 35 to 40 miles per hour hanging on a wire 80' above the ground - how fun is that! From there you take another rope bridge to the highest platform in Texas at 85' and a 1000' zip to the final tower. Here is a hint for the 1000' zip - if the wind is blowing in your face it may be hard to make it to the next tower but if you are young and single and want to get to know the guide a little better you have two choices. First you can try to get as wind resistant as can as you zip over the lilly pads or just relax, zip as close as you can to the platform, and if you don't make it, that handsome stud will zip to where you stopped and pull you in - how cool is that! When we zipped, the wind was howling so fat boy me made it fine, but my petite wife didn't make it and was pulled back in - was that on purpose? She claims no! Girls, before you do this, make sure you check out the guide on the receiving platform. Guys, if it's a women guide on the platform you have a choice, but if its a male guide then do your best to get wind resistant unless you want to get to know the him better or do the self rescue which is to pull yourself back in hand over hand, neither are fun choices.
From that final platform you zip 650' back to earth near where you started, pat yourself on the back, and say I want to do that again! It takes an hour and a half to two hours to complete the course and when you're done it seems like it took ten minutes - make sure you get a picture to hang on your wall at the office or home!
Wired is constructed by professionals and is approved, certified, and inspected frequently by Adventure Experiences. Adventure Experiences is accredited by the ACCT (Association of Challenge Course Technology) to inspect the course and certify the guides. In fact, safety is first and fun is second! There are always two or three experienced and well trained guides with you at all times. This is suitable fun for anyone 10 and older - young or old you're going to enjoy this unique and fun adventure. Reservations are recommended, particularly during First Monday Trade Days. Give them a call at 903 567-2681 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
|For your weekend in Canton, you'll find a few choices for some good grub. One of our favorites is Savannah Winery & Bistro. The food is good (Friday night was steak and lobster, Saturday was prime rib) and they have two outside patios and a unique and cozy white table cloth setting inside. Best of all they serve wine in a dry county, most of which are local Texas wines, and they offer a $5 wine tasting which we thoroughly enjoyed. Ed, the owner, will pour you a sampling of wines progressively letting you sip yourself to that perfect wine for you. As you sip, he is listening to your feedback and taste buds, telling you about the wine and wineries, and selecting a wine to take you a step closer to something you really enjoy. Ed is a character and makes the sampling a lot of fun and very informative - what a hoot! Give it a try. On the weekends, you'll find live music at Savannah Winery & Bistro and during our visit Bill Clinkscale played guitar and sang a wide variety of songs. He has an excellent voice and helped make this a very enjoyable evening at Savannah Winery & Bistro.|
Some of the other choices for food include: World Famous Hamburgers (I don't think they are world class, but pretty good burgers and a good breakfast of 2 eggs, hashbrowns, biscuit & gravy, 2 huge pancakes, toast and ham, bacon, or sausage all for under $7), four Mexican food choices (we like Ochoas or Two Senoritas), BBQ, and of course the typical fast foods. On the Canton town square, we enjoyed a very good Italian meal at Val's and the sandwiches at Canton Square Bakery which served the first big and juicy 3 napkin burger I've had in many years. Breakfast at Jewels was good and the service was fast and friendly.
Canton also has a slew of the standard hotel rooms and quite a few B&Bs, but this is your weekend to get out of a rut and try something new. So zip you lips and surprise everyone by staying at Mill Creek Ranch RV & Cottage Resort - an outstanding place to stay for a weekend or longer. If you have an RV, Mill Creek Ranch is a no brainer - they have over 100 full hook-up RV sites and all the amenities you expect. If you don't have an RV, then book one of their unusual and cozy cottages nestled under the trees and near a small creek. The cottages are fully equipped (TV, DVD, refrig, fireplace, coffee maker, utensils, etc.), very comfortable, and spotless. With over 390' square feet, the cottages will sleep from 2 to 6 and the kids will love the loft area. But what makes this a great place to stay is the pretty setting, the ponds and nature trails, the pool with a waterfall, the beautiful new lodge with an infinity pool and spa (an outstanding choice after golfing, shopping, and zipping all day!) overlooking the valley below, plus the fantastic and friendly service! To learn more, read the Review of Mill Creek RV Resort & Cottages.
While you're shoppin' or golfin' drop the kids off at Splash Kingdom (water slides, wave pool, lazy river, arcade, and miniature golf), which is a mile or two from the Trade Days. Instead of just dropping the kids off, you might also consider staying - you'll enjoy the lazy river and water park on those hot Texas summer days.
To find any of the above businesses, type their name in the search box. Have good time and let us know if you found any additional fun things to see and do.
On the way home, don't forget to sing:
Plenty of sunshine headin' my way
In the search box below the map, type in any business that you would like to find on the map and you'll usually get back the name, address, a link to the website, and more