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There is always time to take a weekend vacation that you will never forget in one of the most scenic areas in the country. North Georgia is home to acres of lush and green land open to public recreation, crisp and clear waterways, a diverse wildlife population, and miles of paved trails where you can enjoy taking in all of the aforementioned. North Georgia is unofficially split up into two areas, the Northeast Georgia Mountains area and the Historic High Country area in Northwest Georgia. Whether you’re an adventurer, photographer, nature enthusiast, or just looking for a fun family vacation destination there is something for everyone to appreciate.
When using the phrase “all roads lead to…” to describe an area, perhaps a good candidate would be to scenic Springer Mountain. The best known road that leads to Springer Mountain is actually not a road at all but a trail, the Appalachian Trail to be specific. Here hikers can explore or camp along one of the most famous hiking trails in the world or begin the approximately 2,200 mile journey to Mount Katahdin, Maine.
Zip Lines and Canopy Tours
If you’d rather keep your feet off the ground than on it then you’ll be hard-pressed to find better canopies than the ones in the Peach State. There are dozens of companies that offer zip-lines and canopy tours and even may offer package deals that include camping or nature walks. Photographers will find that the canopies are home to diverse flora and fauna and will be able to produce gorgeous stills which will last as long as the memories.
Chattahoochee and Coosawatee Rivers
If you prefer the waterways over the trails and the zip-lines you will find it impossible to resist the beauty and natural wonder of the Chattahoochee and Coosawattee Rivers. With over 48 miles of clean and crisp water specifically dedicated to recreation, visitors can raft, canoe, kayak, or motorboat to their heart’s content on the Chattahoochee River, however you’ll have to leave your jet skis at home as they are not permitted. For those who want to kickback and vacation in a more leisurely fashion, the Chattahoochee River is abundant year-round with bass, catfish, and trout. Northwest of the Chattahoochee is the Coosawattee River which also has around 48 miles of dedicated recreational area. The Coosawattee is famous for being a prime tubing spot where visitors can lazily drift down the river for two hours of pure relaxation.
Campers will be able to find campsites at near where any of the above activities can be found. Campsites have a variety of amenities from very basic sites where campervans and RVs can be parked to more luxurious lodges that are available for rent.
In addition to relaxing rivers, North Georgia also is home to some of the most breathtaking waterfalls in the South. From the unusual Raven Cliff Falls which originate from a split in the face of a solid rock to the twin waterfalls known as Anna Ruby Falls, North Georgia’s waterfalls make for a great day trip for campers in the area.
Getting outside and in touch with nature is not only eye-opening and exciting but it is affordable as well. A great vacation doesn’t have to break the bank and once you experience all that North Georgia has to offer you’ll wish you had vacationed there sooner!
Enjoy cooler temperatures, falling leaves, kettle corn, candied apples and smiling faces at these fine fall festivals!
9/6/13 – 9/14/13: Northwest Georgia Regional Fair in Calhoun
9/7/13 – 10/27/13: Apple Pickin’ Jubilee at Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay
9/12/13 – 10/27/13: Oktoberfest in Helen
9/13/13 – 9/14/13: 5th Annual Atlanta BAR-B-Q Festival in Atlanta
9/14/13 – 9/15/13: Arts Festival at Rose Lawn in Cartersville
9/14/13: Atlanta Dragonboat Festival in Gainesville
9/14/13: Mountain Music and Arts & Crafts Festival in Blairsville
9/14/13 – 9/15/13: 7th Annual Atlanta Arts Festival in Atlanta
9/14/13: Downtown Vidalia Music Festival in Vidalia
9/18/13 – 9/22/13: Bainbridge Bikefest 2013 in Bainbridge
9/19/13 – 9/28/13: Coweta County Kiwanis Fair in Newnan
9/20/13 – 9/22/13: Elijah Clark Annual Bluegrass Festival in Lincolnton
9/20/13 – 9/21/13: WILD About Screven Festival in Sylvania
9/20/13 – 9/22/13: Shrimp & Grits: The Wild Georgia Shrimp Festival on Jekyll Island
9/21/13: Appalachian Celtic Festival & Highland Games in Ringgold
9/21/13 – 9/22/13: Festival of Fine Arts in Dalton
9/21/13 – 9/22/13: Roswell Arts Festival in Roswell
9/21/13 – 9/22/13: Shakerag Arts & Crafts Festival in Peachtree City
9/21/13: Fall Fair on the Square 2013 in Buchanan
9/21/13: 28th Annual Roopville Homecoming Festival in Roopville .
9/21/13: Sumner Egg Festival in Sumner
9/21/13 – 9/22/13: European Market on Milton Avenue in Alpharetta
9/21/13: Farm Fest in Hartwell
9/21/13 – 9/22/13: 10th Annual Arts in the Square Festival in Gainesville
9/21/13 – 9/22/13: Ocmulgee Indian Celebration in Macon
9/28/13: 16th Annual Bear Creek Festival in Hampton
9/28/13 – 9/29/13: McIntosh Reserve Fall Festival in Whitesburg
9/28/13 – 9/29/13: Plains Peanut Festival in Plains
9/28/13 – 9/29/13: Summer’s Last Kiss, An Affair with the Arts in Hiawassee
9/28/13: Agri-Fest Country Market & Pottery Show in Cleveland
9/28/13: Berrien County Harvest Festival in Nashville
9/28/13: Newnan Oak Leaf Arts Fest in Newnan
9/28/13: International Festival & Dragon Boat Races in Peachtree City
9/28/13: La Fiest del Pueblo in Tifton
9/28/13 – 9/29/13: The Cotton South Fine Arts Festival in Madison
9/28/13 – 9/29/13: Riverside Arts & Crafts Festival in Canton
9/28/13: Downtown Dalton Beer Festival in Dalton
9/30/13 – 10/5/13: Hahira Honeybee Festival in Hahira
10/1/13 – 10/31/13: October Fest in Bainbridge
10/1/13 – 10/31/13: Scarecrow Bash & Monster Mash in Hartwell
10/1/13 – 10/6/13: Saint Simons Island Food & Spirit Festival on Saint Simons Island
10/3/13 – 10/13/13: 24th Georgia National Fair in Perry
10/3/13 – 10/13/13: Cumming Country Fair & Festival in Cumming
10/4/13 – 10/5/13: Bridgefest Festival in Stockbridge
10/4/13 – 10/6/13: Oktoberfest in Savannah
10/5/13: Scarecrow Harvest in Alpharetta
10/5/13 – 10/6/13: Andersonville Historic Fair in Andersonville
10/5/13 – 10/27/13: Rocktoberfest in Lookout Mountain
10/5/13 – 10/7/13: Kingdomwood Christian Film Festival in Atlanta
10/5/13: Chili Cook Off & Fall Festival in Madison
10/5/13: Fair on the Square in Millen
10/5/13: Foxfire Mountaineer Festival in Clayton
10/5/13: Mt. Zion Founders Day in Mt. Zion
10/5/13: 45th Annual Rock Shrimp Festival in St. Marys
10/5/13: 3rd Annual Save the Udders Day in McDonough
10/5/13 – 10/6/13: Shady Days in Gay Arts & Crafts Festival in Gay
10/5/13: 34th Annual Great Miller Lite Chili & BBQ Cook-Off in Conyers
10/5/13 – 10/6/13: 32nd Annual Turpentine Festival in Portal
10/11/13 – 10/13/13: 46th Annual Thomasville Fly-In 2013 in Thomasville
10/11/13 – 10/12/13: Jeff Davis Cotton Festival in Hazelhurst
10/12/13 – 10/20/13: 42nd Annual Georgia Apple Festival in Ellijay
10/12/13 – 10/13/13: Arts and Music Festival in Alpharetta
10/12/13 – 10/31/13: Hay Days in St. Marys
10/12/13 – 10/13/13: MeccaFest Arts Festival in Carrollton
10/12/13 – 10/13/13: New Salem Mountain Festival in Rising Fawn
10/12/13: Big Red Apple Festival in Cornelia
10/12/13 – 10/20/13: Georgia’s Official Sorghum Festival in Blairsville
10/12/13 – 10/13/13: Prater’s Mill Country Fair in Varnell
10/12/13 – 10/13/13: 44th Annual Glynn Art in the Park Festival on St. Simons Island
10/12/13: Royston Fall Festival in Royston
10/18/13 – 10/20/13: Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival in Richmond Hill
10/18/13 – 10/19/13: Tennille BBQ Blast in Tennille
10/19/13 – 10/20/13: Fall for Chatsworth’s Black Bear Festival in Chatsworth
10/19/13 – 10/20/13: Gold Rush Days in Dahlonega
10/19/13 – 10/20/13: Johns Creek Art Festival in Johns Creek
10/19/13 – 10/20/13: Mossy Creek Barnyard Festival in Perry
10/19/13: Brooks County Skillet Festival in Quitman
10/19/13: Georgia Peanut Festival in Sylvester
10/19/13: Randolph County Crossroads Festival in Cuthbert
10/19/13 – 10/27/13: Boo at the Zoo in Atlanta
10/19/13 – 10/20/13: Hogansville Hummingbird Festival in Hogansville
10/19/13: Art-Oberfest in Helen
10/19/13: Fall Festival in Jonesboro
10/19/13: Cartersville Bluegrass & Folk Festival in Cartersville
10/21/13 – 10/26/13: Kiwanis Ogeechee Festival in Statesboro
10/25/13 – 10/26/13: Hillbilly Hog BBQ Throwdown & Fall Leaf Festival in Cleveland
10/25/13 – 10/27/13: Taste of Atlanta in Atlanta
10/26/13: Briar Patch Arts Festival in Eatonton
10/26/13: Chitlin Hoedown in Yatesville
10/26/13: 19th Annual Beaver Creek Festival and Duck Race in Montezuma
10/26/13: Albany Flint Music and International Festival in Albany
10/26/13: 34th Annual Boston Mini-Marathon Festival in Boston
10/26/13: Trick or Treat Alley in Trenton
10/26/13: Scare on the Square in Statesboro
10/26/13 – 10/27/13: Braselton Antique & Holiday Festival in Braselton
10/31/13: KidsFest in Woodstock
10/31/13: Trick or Treat at Mill Creek in Statesboro
Lauren Cleland is the voice of Explore Georgia on social media. She loves ice cold sweet tea, anything peach flavored, channeling Scarlett O’Hara in her daily life and sharing the wonders of her beloved Georgia with all of you!
Everyone is familiar with Atlanta as Georgia’s state capital, but did you know it is the 17th location of the capital? While some cities have had the honor as many as four times, other locations were temporary and some cities no longer exist.
Before Georgia was a state, it was a territory and its governing matters were settled by England’s King George II. But even before that, in the mid-1700s, various Indian tribes made agreements with James Oglethorpe, the British general, member of Parliament, philanthropist and founder of the colony of Georgia.
Oglethorpe signed a treaty with the Yamacraw chief in 1733 that ceded Creek lands from the Savannah to the Altamaha rivers, inland from the coast as far as the tide flowed, to the king and his trustees in England. The trustees were to be given control over Georgia for 21 years, after which Georgia would become the responsibility of the British crown.
As Spanish forces built their presence at St. Augustine, Oglethorpe worried for the fate of the colony, causing him to sail to England to seek military reinforcements. In 1736 he returned to Georgia with civilians and military personnel and established Fort Frederica on St. Simons Island. Because of the presence of Oglethorpe and the colonists, historians commonly refer to Frederica as Georgia’s first capital city, albeit informally.
One year after Oglethorpe returned to Georgia, the trustees designated William Stephens, who resided in Savannah, as secretary of the colony of Georgia. That made Savannah the seat of government for the colony (though not technically a capital).
Oglethorpe’s stay at Frederica lasted until 1743 when he returned to England, and confusion over the capital of Georgia ended when Stephens was declared “president” of Georgia. For the next 11 years, however, Georgia still wouldn’t have a formal capital city. In 1754 as the Georgia territory moved from trustee-driven to a full colony, the Board of Trade designated Savannah as Georgia’s capital city, calling it the “seat of government” and established it as the home of the Royal Governor, legislative assembly and courts.
In 1776, Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton signed the Declaration of Independence, and Georgia became a state in the United States with Savannah as its capital (though it was an informal designation).
During the Revolutionary War, in late 1778, Savannah fell to British forces, and members of Georgia’s government fled to Augusta, ending Savannah’s run as the capital of Georgia, at least for a few years.
Fort Frederica National Monument– Located on St. Simon’s Island, Oglethorpe’s settlement is a 90-minute drive from downtown Savannah. Part of the National Park Service, the land now contains remnants of Oglethorpe’s time there, including the fort, barracks, magazine and houses, as well as plenty of space for children to let off some steam. To extend your trip, visit Christ Episcopal Church just down the road from Fort Frederica, which has gorgeous grounds and a historic cemetery.
Eileen Falkenberg-Hull is a digital marketing professional based in Atlanta who first visited Georgia in 1994 and decided that when she graduated from college she would make Georgia her home. Since 2007 that dream has been a reality. She is the founder and executive director of Occupy My Family.