Stranger Tours celebrates all things Stranger Things in Jackson, GA.
My recent Sunday afternoon took a pleasantly “strange” turn thanks to Stranger Tours.
The original plan
I nestled into Lucy Lu’s Coffee Cafe in Jackson, GA, the town that serves as the backdrop for the fictional Hawkins, Indiana of Stranger Things. I had visited the town once before to take a look at some of the buildings used in the popular series. It seemed like a fun, nostalgic place to sit and work on my podcast edits.
Little did I know at the time that the Duffer brothers had done some work right next door in the early days of Stranger Things. In fact, you can sit where the brothers spent some time writing in the adjacent alcove now complete with a gorgeous character mural and the Radio Shack sign from Bob Newby’s store.
Let’s do this
Thinking back, my first brush with Stranger Things that day was my parking spot right next to a replica of the Surfer Boy pizza van that Argyle drove in season 4. The van was parked outside of the “Hawkins Headquarters” storefront, home to Stranger Tours. I was intrigued.
So, instead of delving right into the work I had planned, I decided to check out some of the social media posts for Stranger Tours. I sure am glad that I did! I could tell immediately that this group was seriously “strange” in the best way possible. Even though I could see the buildings from the show right outside the cafe window, I suspected this tour had something more than just locations. So, I signed up for the 2:00 pm tour.
I arrived 15 minutes early to the Hawkins Headquarters as instructed. I was greeted by Cameron Thompson, who owns the tour company with wife Hannah Thompson. It did not take long at all to learn that Cameron and Hannah grew up in the 1980s just like me, kindred spirits of Gen X. These two are passionate about Stranger Things and the nostalgia that it celebrates. Hannah (dressed in costume as fan favorite Dustin Henderson) would be our tour guide.
A unique “view”
Stranger Tours adds so many special touches to the tour, but one of my favorites has to be the View Master toys that function as a tool to compare scenes from the show to the locations before you. Each tour guest carries a View Master with custom slides for the experience. While it was fun enjoying a toy from my childhood, it served as an incredibly practical tool for visualizing the scenes that had occurred right where I stood.
Since each person had their own View Master, there was no struggle to see a shared screen while standing behind other guests. There was no concern about missing a scene as I had my own copy right in my hot little hands. (Actually, I was not all that hot because Stranger Tours offered us neck fans to wear and a complimentary cool beverage while we toured!)
No, I did not pay anything additional for an extended tour. It simply extends beyond visiting the locations. Back at headquarters we indulged in Surfer Boy pizza and a popular 80s treat, Bomb Pops. We played Stranger Things themed trivia while we enjoyed our food. I am proud to say I walked away with an authentic Palace Arcade pin for getting all the questions right for season 4. But that’s not all!
Hawkins Headquarters is chock-full of goodies from the Stranger Things era. Seriously, you can make a free local call on a working pay phone, you know, the kind that hangs on a wall or inside a booth. You can play a round of Dig Dug, dress up in character costumes, sit inside the Surfer Boy Pizza van and so much more. And don’t forget the shopping. Souvenirs abound at headquarters.
- Adult ticket price: $35 (Tickets for children 10 and under are $25)
- Taxes & fees $6.14
- Optional tip $15 (which was well-earned)
You will just have to guess how many souvenirs I purchased, that’s my little secret!
It is officially spooky season – what a great time to celebrate Stranger Things with a tour. I highly recommend Stranger Tours for fans of the show. Hannah and Cameron love the show just as much as their guests, and it shows. There are so many thoughtful touches included throughout the tour experience. I did not include them all here, go see for yourself!
Reach out to Stranger Tours via their website to plan your visit and ask any questions you may have about the tour.