With Mini Camp upon us, I'd like to welcome any and all who are about to make the trip up to my little hometown to see our Falcons this week. Hopefully I'll answer some questions about the way camp works and give you a little info so you can help you find your way around.
Let me tell you about Flowery Branch, GA. We are a little town by most standards with about 6500 or so residents. The Cherokee named the area Anaguluskee, which literally means, Flowers on the Branch. Another Cherokee location near the town was called Nattagasska, or as we locals affectionately call our town, Blossom Creek. The town boasts one famous resident in the form of Phil Niekro, who pitched for the Braves for many seasons. There really wasn't much here before the Falcons decided to call Flowery Branch home, but the recent years have seen a lot of growth and a revitalized old town area.
Flowery Branch is off Exit 12 on 985NB (or SB if you are further north, but this is mostly for the city folks driving up). Most directions will tell you to turn left on Phil Niekro, then right on Thurmond Tanner Rd. Let me suggest an alternative route - same distance, but much more scenic. As you get off the freeway, take a right onto Spout Springs Rd. Then at the second red light, take a left onto Hog Mountain Rd. Follow Hog Mountain Rd for about a mile until it ends in the front of the Falcons Headquarters. Stop for a second and take in the sights because you can see the Appalachian mountain range Rising Up in the distance. Take a left at the light and follow the signs to the parking area. Flowery Branch's finest will be out to show you where to go. If you think the air smells minty, that's because the Wrigley's Gum Factory is located just across the street. If you think you smell a delicious bakery, the King's Hawaiian Bread Factory is only about a mile away.
Don't worry so much about parking too far away. The Falcon's have done a great job the past few years offering free shuttle service from the parking lot to across from the front gates. Be prepared for a security check if you have any bags. And there is no outside food or drink allowed but they have reasonably priced concessions once you get inside the compound. You can bring folding chairs, but be aware that most of the sitting area is on a hill. I've found that a blanket is a better option. You can normally find someone handing out roster lists, so you won't be confused on why #28 is taking better angles and #33 isn't getting crushed repeatedly in the back field.
If you want something to eat before or after the practices, Flowery Branch has only a few of the well known options: Subway, Bobby's Cheeseburgers, Shane's Ribshack, Chili's, Chic-fil-a, Little Caesars Pizza. There are also several local places; Napoli's Pizza, Fini's Pizzeria, Burger and Shake, Crossroads Bar and Grill, Green's Tavern, El Sombrero. Mooney's BBQ. The only Starbucks in the area is located inside the Target.
Well there is your quick overview. If you have any other specific questions, feel free to ask in the comments.