Need for Speed: The Porsche Driving Experience
ATLANTA, GEORGIA// NOVEMBER 2016
THE PORSCHE EXPERIENCE
If the guy in your life is anything like mine, to say new and unique gift ideas for him are hard to come by is an understatement. So when even the slightest mention of an idea comes out of Greg's mouth, I'm thrilled and make a mental note! Not long ago one of those mentions was a day at the Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta. He knew very little about it but was intrigued by the concept, and since we love the idea of gifting experiences, I did a little research, thought it sounded amazing and gave it to Greg for Christmas in 2015.
We had been looking forward to making a weekend trip of it all year, but before we knew it 10 months had gone by and we still hadn’t made plans. With the year drawing to an end, we penciled it in for what would have been our only weekend at home in November. That Saturday morning we hit the road and drove the four hours from Nashville to Atlanta through the season's beautiful changing foliage. The perfect fall road trip!
Located adjacent to the Atlanta airport, the Porsche Experience Center is the sports car company's North American headquarters. The impressive and stunning 40,000 square-feet facility grabs your attention as soon as you step inside and allows its visitors to experience the Porsche brand up close and personal. It transports your imagination to being in a James Bond film (even though he was evidently more of an Aston Martin guy...).
The main event is a 90-minute driving program in the car of your choosing with a coach that gives you one-on-one attention. Greg hopped into a sleek 911 Carrera S, starting off with an easy (but still fast) couple of laps around the track. Then they jumped into the skills tests - mastering breaking and accelerating through curves for optimal performance, recovering from a spin-out on a black ice simulator, even spinning the car out on a circular slick track like something you'd see in the movies. Really fun for me to watch, even more fun for him to experience as the driver. Once his time was about up and he felt he had mastered some of the challenges, the instructor took him around the track for a few laps and showed him how much more the car could handle - pretty amazing machines!
Though it's a destination for driving, so much is offered off the track. Between driving simulators, tours and a museum, to multiple restaurants and shopping, you can easily spend a full day here. And if you're in the market to purchase, designing your dream car is also an option. I was ready to take blue beauty below home!
They say their mission is that every guest that visits leaves with a smile, and we most certainly did! Even as a spectator I had such a fun afternoon watching Greg on the track, exploring the facility and learning more about the brand's heritage. Not only would we recommend the experience, but we plan on visiting again in the future! Greg said it would make for a great team building offsite or guys' weekend. We finished the day with a delicious meal at Chops Lobster Bar in Buckhead and checked in to the Mandarin Oriental. It really was the perfect gift for the guy who has everything! And somehow we made the drive home to Nashville in just one car...