Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Randy Clegg. Submitted via Facebook.

St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Randy Clegg. Submitted via Facebook.

Tidwell Park on Lake Lanier in Cumming, Georgia. Photo by x376. Submitted via Flickr.

Tidwell Park on Lake Lanier in Cumming, Georgia. Photo by x376. Submitted via Flickr.

Henderson Village in Perry, Georgia. Photo by @sarahmastrariocook. Submitted via Instagram.

Henderson Village in Perry, Georgia. Photo by @sarahmastrariocook. Submitted via Instagram.

 

 

Georgia Holiday Gift Guide

Enjoy these Georgia-grown gift ideas for everyone on your list! For more Georgia-made gift ideas, click here.

  • seaFor the animal lover – Adopt a sea turtle: For only $50, you can adopt a patient at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and follow their journey from hospital to sea. The donation helps offset operating costs such as medication and food for in-house patients as well as sea turtle research. Click here to begin the adoption process.

hanggliding

  • For the adventurer – A gift certificate to Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding: Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding in Rising Fawn, Ga., is the largest and most popular hang gliding resort and school in the United States. Your friends will love taking in the view of Lookout Mountain from 2,000 feet above!

cocacola

  • For the collector – Coca-Cola Merchandise: Choose from an array of decorative items, apparel, accessories and one-of-a-kind art pieces bearing the logo of Atlanta’s favorite fizzy drink when you visit the gift store at the World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta.
  • For the amateur brewer – Tour of Eagle Creek Brewing Company: For only $10, your friend can get a souvenir pint glass, six complimentary 5-ounce tastings and a tour of Statesboro’s newest craft brewery. Tour hours are Thursday – Saturday, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
  • For the artistic friend – Gourd pottery: Priscilla Wilson began experimenting with gourds and selling her wares at craft fairs in 1976. Today, she has a shop called The Gourd Place that is filled with unique gourd artwork, including dinner plates, luminaries, platters and more. Stop by her store in in Sautee-Nacoochee, Ga., or shop online here.

peaches

  • For your “peachiest” pal – Peach products: Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley has been dedicated to planting, growing and harvesting the best-tasting peaches and pecans in Georgia since 1908. Stop by their market or shop online for their famous peach bites, peach bread, peach salsa and peach cobbler mix!

 

flat-creek-lodge

  • For the outdoorsman – A Flat Creek Lodge getaway: Do you have an avid fisherman or huntsman in your family? Give them the gift of nature this Christmas when you send them to Flat Creek Lodge for a weekend of hunting and fishing in the heart of Swainsboro, Ga.
  • For the foodie - Georgia Olive Farms Olive Oil: In early 2009, five farmers in Southeast Georgia gathered with the dream of resurrecting olive oil production in the state and the Southeastern United States. In 2011, Georgia Olive Farms harvested the first commercial crop of olives grown east of the Mississippi from their orchards near Lakeland, Ga. Buy your foodie friend a bottle of this Georgia-grown gem here.

 

1025498_10200401820144233_1171921963_oLauren 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!

 

 

Christmas in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Snowy Blue Ridge credit Fannin County Chamber of Commerce

Situated about 90 minutes north of Atlanta off Interstate-575, Blue Ridge, Georgia is all at once outdoorsy, earthy, upscale, fresh, historical –  a collision of opposites resulting in a picture-perfect getaway for crafting memories, whether seeking solitude, uniting family, gathering friends or igniting romance. Upscale cabins dot the landscape offering time in nature and sweeping visitors a million miles away from the fa-la-la-la of “real life” while keeping within close proximity the upscale shops, restaurants and multi-generational activities that inspire cheery holiday memories.

Bring your Christmas shopping list to the Holiday Art Show and Sale, going on through January 10th, at The Art Center, Blue Ridge Mountains Arts Association.  Hand turned wooden carvings, hand-crafted items, jewelry, holiday ornaments and homemade soaps are only a few of the things that will be available.

Watch a family comedy destined to become a theatrical holiday favorite, A Christmas Story, play at the Blue Ridge Community Theater through December 15th. 

All aboard the Santa Express train excursion where you will hear a Christmas story, sing Christmas Carols, meet Christmas characters and, of course, visit with Santa. Each child receives a traditional Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad memento, BRSR Christmas Activity Book and a candy cane.  The Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad runs through Christmas Eve.

Take a spin on the outdoor ice skating rink located in downtown Blue Ridge City Park. The ice rink will be open until February 16, 2014.

katieMom-on-the-go and Laurie Rowe Communications PR pro Katie Reeder graduated at the top of her class from the Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University with a degree in Communication Studies. Katie resides in Cumming, Georgia – between the beautiful mountains of North Georgia and the lights and action of nearby Atlanta.

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Sunset on Lake Burton in Rabun County. Photo by Laurie Ausley.

Sunset on Lake Burton in Rabun County. Photo by Laurie Ausley. Submitted via Facebook.

Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, Georgia. Photo by Ryan McKee. Submitted via Flickr.

Amicalola Falls in Dawsonville, Georgia. Photo by Ryan McKee. Submitted via Flickr.

Okeefenokee Swamp by @jacobzilla. Submitted via Instagram.

Okeefenokee Swamp by @jacobzilla. Submitted via Instagram.

 

Christmas in Helen, Georgia

Christmas Helen

Ho! Ho! Ho! From Alpine to Appalachian, get ready to celebrate the holidays with these events in Alpine Helen, a Bavarian beauty set in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, about an hour and a half north of Atlanta.

December 7-8, 2013: Fill up your shopping bags at Helen’s 6th annual Christkindlmarkt, a German tradition where the center of town is filled with booths offering specialty gift items, decorations, assorted savory food, drinks and candied treats at Helen Market Platz.

December 7, 2013: The Helen Christmas Parade, sponsored by the Helen-White County Convention and Visitors Bureau, winds through Downtown Helen at 2 p.m.

Festival of Trees will sparkle at Unicoi State Park and Lodge until December 14, 2013.

December 7, 2013: Deck the Halls with a festive event at Unicoi State Park and Lodge.

December 7, 2013: Don’t miss the Annual Christmas in the Mountains Lighted Parade at 7 p.m. in Downtown Cleveland.

December 7, 14 and 21, 2013: Enjoy Kinderfest, a German tradition for children offering games, face painting and balloon tying in Downtown Helen.

December 13-15, 2013: Savor the sounds of the season with the Community Chorale Holiday Concert at Sautee Nacoochee Community Center.

Find one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts with German flair, sample pastries and raise a pint to the most wonderful time of the year all while making your holidays brighter with a weekend or week-long getaway. Spend time in the village of Sautee where authentic Appalachian artwork, pottery and hand-made toys make it easy to find something for everyone on the Christmas list. After shopping, relax at one of the area wineries, complete with breath-taking views: Habersham Winery showcases 150 medals awarded in both national and international competitions; Serenity Cellars offers a Tuscan-style tasting room that seems to spring from the ground, even as the vines sleep; The Cottage Vineyard and Winery has a vineyard wedding setting and 360 degree mountain views; Sautee Nacoochee Vineyards is a family farm winery creating hand-crafted wines; Frogtown Cellars now has a tasting room in Helen, and Yonah Mountain Vineyards is home to Georgia’s only wine cave.

Don’t miss a thing: stay in downtown Helen or immerse yourself in a true mountain experience by renting a nearby cabin. Visit www.HelenGA.org for accommodation details and complimentary assistance planning your getaway.

katieMom-on-the-go and Laurie Rowe Communications PR pro Katie Reeder graduated at the top of her class from the Calhoun Honors College at Clemson University with a degree in Communication Studies. Katie resides in Cumming, Georgia – between the beautiful mountains of North Georgia and the lights and action of nearby Atlanta.