The Heart of Cartersville, Georgia

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Old Car City owner Dean Lewis

Cartersville, Georgia, may be made up of small-town charm and unique cultural attractions, but it’s the people who give the city its pulse. People like Chef Chris Lyons. A culinary maestro in flavor and imagination, Lyons brings big city creations to this quaint part of the Peach State. After working for million-dollar restaurants in Atlanta, Lyons relocated to Cartersville to bring those big flavors to the locals with his modern farm-to-table restaurant, Table 20.

Another community influencer, Dean Lewis brings a one-of-a-kind flare with his Styrofoam cup art. Lewis began drawing on the cups while giving up cigarettes. Lewis is the owner of the World’s Largest Know’d Junkyard, also known as Old Car City USA. This junkyard has become a favorite destination for photographers who want to interact with 4,000 rare and rusty classic cars displayed along six miles of trails, plus Elvis’ last automobile. Inside visitors can chat with Lewis and take in his folk art and general thoughts about life.

And, no trip to Cartersville is complete without an interaction with Ray Thacker. Smiles don’t get any warmer than Ray’s, the owner of Grand Oaks—a local historic home that plays host to lavish special occasions throughout the year. Thacker exudes Southern hospitality and was honored in 2016 for his role in economic development.

Art Wiggins, though not a Cartersville-area resident, visits almost daily to pursue his passion for wakeboarding. It’s a passion that has taken him to California and back all on water. Wiggins, who will be 70 in 2017, got started with the sport after watching Terminus Wake Park being constructed. Wiggins said he thought it was something cool that he and his grandson could do together. Immediately “hooked”, Wiggins started counting his daily laps as a workout and within a year’s time had lapped 4,000 miles on Terminus’ lakes. Today Wiggins is just one of the guys at the wake park, where he openly shares advice, wisdom, and his love for one of the finest wake parks in the world – and you won’t believe where his next goal will take him! In Cartersville, Georgia, it’s not just the unique sites that give the city its heart; it’s the people who bring it to life.

To get in contact with these local favorites, call the information specialists at the Cartersville-Bartow Convention & Visitors Bureau 770-387-1357.