10 Prime Picnic Spots in Georgia

Grab your blanket and head to these prime picnic spots in Georgia. Food just tastes better outdoors! 

Piedmont Park photo courtesy of atlanta.net.

Piedmont Park. Photo courtesy of atlanta.net.

Piedmont Park in Atlanta: Piedmont Park has hundreds of great picnic spots, including pavillions, brickstands, tables and more. Want to grill? There are 22 grills provided throughout the park for your use and enjoyment.

Forsyth Park. Photo courtesy of visitsouth.com.

Forsyth Park. Photo courtesy of visitsouth.com.

Forsyth Park in Savannah: This beloved 30 acre park is nestled in the heart of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, making it the perfect Savannah picnic locale.

University of Georgia. Photo courtesy of Online Athens.

University of Georgia. Photo courtesy of Online Athens.

University of Georgia North Campus in Athens: Spread out a blanket underneath a magnolia tree or next to Legacy fountain on this historic college campus.

Manchester Railfan Platform in Manchester: This picnic locale was made for train enthusiasts! Each picnic table provides an excellent view of the North-South and East -West mainlines and comes equipped with a scanner, rail line map and electricity.

Augusta Canal. Photo courtesy of Georgia Tourism.

Augusta Canal. Photo courtesy of Georgia Tourism.

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area: After walking, biking, canoeing or kayaking through the Augusta Canal National Heritage area, stake out a picnic spot for a peaceful lunch by the water.

Dodge County Public Fishing Area in Eastman: Work up an appetite while fishing this 104-acre lake stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill (bream), redear sunfish, crappie, and channel catfish. Picnic areas are a short walk from the pier.

Help yourself to a drink of delectable water flowing from this cave, and take a tour inside.

Cave Spring. Photo courtesy of J. C. Boehm, Tumlin House.

Rolater Park in Cave Spring: Enjoy a picnic lunch next to a natural limestone cave and the city’s namesake mineral spring. No need to pack a beverage in your picnic basket, Cave Spring is known for its 99.9 percent pure water. Learn more about Cave Spring here.

Lake Chehaw in Albany: The Georgia Power Dam, built in 1921, forms this 1400 acre lake. After canoeing Lake Chehaw, enjoy a picnic lunch by the lake in the covered picnic area.

Watson Mill Bridge. Photo courtesy of Sussman Imaging.

Watson Mill Bridge. Photo courtesy of Sussman Imaging.

Watson Mill Covered Bridge in Comer: Eat alongside the longest covered bridge in the state which spans 229 feet across the South Fork River. Find more Georgia covered bridges here.

Georgia State Parks: All 63 of Georgia’s state parks and historic sites offer perfect picnic spots.

LaurenLauren 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!

Where to Eat Pecan Pie in Georgia

Gooey, crunchy and packed full of nuts — pecan pie hits all the right spots. Whether you prefer classic pecan pie, served à la mode or with a special kick, Georgia has a slice that won’t disappoint.

Fox Brother’s Bar-B-Q in Atlanta: The chocolate pecan pie at Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is topped with cinnamon whipped cream and served warm.

Photo courtesy of Ellis Bros. Pecans

Photo courtesy of Ellis Bros. Pecans

Ellis Brothers Pecan Farm in Vienna: These folks know pecans – and their pies prove it. Their pie features caramelized pecans atop a filling that is gooey, sweet, and rich with flavor.

Jaemor Farms in Alto: Visit the pie kitchen at this 350-acre family-owned and operated farm for a dessert that will make you squeal with delight.

Chester Brunnenmeyer’s in Blue Ridge: Order their Southern Bourbon Pecan Pie if you prefer your desserts with an extra kick.

The Olde Pink House. Photo courtesy of http://flavorsforfriends.com/

The Olde Pink House. Photo courtesy of http://flavorsforfriends.com/

The Olde Pink House in Savannah: This beloved Savannah restaurant serves up slices of pecan pie that will make you come back for more…and more…and more!

Dovetail in Macon: The Cracked Pie features a crust made of fresh baked oatmeal cookies that is filled with pecan filling and topped with home made salted caramel ice cream.

Burt’s Butcher Shoppe & Eatery in Columbus: Get a $2 slice of perfect pecan pie (yes, you read that correctly – only $2) at this Columbus institution.

Pecan pie & lemon cupcake. Photo courtesy of Lisa M. via Yelp.

Pecan pie & lemon cupcake. Photo courtesy of Lisa M. via Yelp.

Smallcakes: A Cupcakery in Evans: Get your pecan fix with this pecan pie-inspired cupcake. The cream cheese icing is light and the cake is deliciously moist – a true pecan lover’s dream.

The Pie Hole in Roswell: This downtown Roswell pie shop offers pecan, of course, but they also have variations: lemon pecan, orange pecan, and pineapple coconut pecan.

Chophouse on the Bricks in Thomasville: Although thinner than more classic versions, this Thomasville treat packs a flavor punch – especially when accompanied with cinnamon ice cream.

Bay South Restaurant in Statesboro: Call ahead to make sure this nutty treat is on the menu before you visit this meat and three restaurant.

LaurenLauren 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!

RECIPE: Reynolds Plantation’s Root Beer Braised Lamb Shanks

Reynolds Plantation Lamb Shanks

By Chef Edward G. Leonard, CMC

Ingredients

6 lamb shanks from Quality Lamb like Colorado

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 Sweet Maui onions diced medium

3 large red or yellow carrots, cut into 1/4″ rounds

6 cloves garlic (sliced)

2 tablespoons whole butter

2 tablespoons flour

3 tablespoons tomato paste

3 bottles Artisan Root Beer

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup lamb broth

15 small roma tomatoes (peeled)

2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary

1 teaspoon fresh chopped thyme

2 teaspoons chocolate mint (minced)

Method

  1. Season shanks with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat oil in heavy bottomed SS pot (medium-high heat).
  3. Working in batches, brown shanks nicely on all sides, about 6-8 minutes.
  4. Transfer shanks on a platter and reserve.
  5. Add oil, onions, carrots and garlic to pan and sautee until golden brown (about 6-8 minutes).
  6. Add butter, stir for about a minute.
  7. Add flour and tomato paste, stir and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  8. Add root beer and deglaze pan.
  9. Add tomatoes whole, plus herbs.
  10. Return shanks to pan, dredge in sauce.
  11. Cover and place in a 325-degree oven for 2.5 hours or until shanks are tender.
  12. Remove shanks and reserve in a warm oven.
  13. Take liquid and vegetable and puree in a blender until smooth.
  14. Place in a sauce pan, whisk in four tablespoons of whole very cold, diced butter.
  15. Transfer shanks to platter
  16. Spoon sauce over shanks, top with fried onions and serve with olive oil mashed potatoes.

Where to Pick Strawberries in Georgia

Whitley Farms strawberries - Whitley Farms

Pick fresh strawberries at these Georgia farms

Due to climate differences, some farms will be open before others. We highly encourage you to call the farm for information about their season, hours, etc.

Photo courtesy of Elliott Farms

Photo courtesy of Elliott Farms

Things to Do in Augusta During the Masters Tournament

Photo courtesy of Masters Tournament

Photo courtesy of Masters Tournament

Fabulous food, music and Augusta history are all available for visitors to Augusta during Masters Week, and provide an opportunity to experience Augusta’s southern hospitality. There are a number of off-the-course attractions and activities open to the public.

Saturday, April 4th
Full Moon Hike
Phinizy Swamp
Augusta, Georgia

Admission: FREE
From the summer serenade of tree frogs to the soothing calls of Barred Owls, the sounds of the Swamp come alive at night! Join us as we celebrate a walk in the light of a full moon.
Visit PhinizyCenter.org for more information.
Monday, April 6th
Mayors’ Masters Reception
Augusta Common
Downtown Augusta, Georgia

Admission: $12
This annual event is held each year. Attendees are invited to sample food from local restaurants and enjoy family festivities. The program will honor those who have contributed to the game of golf. This year’s honoree will be Augusta native Carl Jackson. Jackson had caddied 53 times at the Masters Tournament and will be the first non-golfer to be honored during this event.
Call 706.823.6600 for details or go to VisitAugusta.com .
Tuesday, April 7 – Sunday, April 12, 2015
JAZZ MASTERS

Jessye Norman School of the Arts
Downtown Augusta, Georgia

Admission:
Garden City Jazz and the Jessye Norman School of the Arts combine creative forces to present JAZZ MASTERS, a pop-up jazz club in historic downtown Augusta during Masters Week 2015.
Visit GardenCityJazz.com for more information.

Tuesday, April 7th
Rock Fore! Dough Concert
Lady Antebellum Pavilion at Evans Towne Center Park
Evans, Georgia

Admission: $30 – 35
The 11th Annual Drive for Show, Rock Fore! Dough is Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at the Lady Antebellum Pavilion in Evans Towne Center Park. Darius Rucker returns to Augusta to headline the show, which will also feature performances from Sam Hunt, A Thousand Horses and Phillip Lee, Jr.
Visit RockForeDough.com for ticket and event information.
Thursday, April 9th
The Major Rager
The Augusta Common
Downtown Augusta, Georgia

Admission: $30 – 100
Get ready for an unforgettable night with Gov’t Mule, Lettuce, The Revivalists, and an After Party with Omega Moos.

Visit TheMajorRager.com for ticket and event information.
Friday, April 10th
Augusta Canal Moonlight Music Cruise
Augusta Canal Discovery Center
Downtown Augusta, Georgia

Admission: $25
Enjoy live music aboard a replica Petersburg Boat. Bring refreshments of your choice and be delighted by the sounds of Mike Frost and Lauren Maccia, an excellent Jazz Duo. Reservations are required.

Visit AugustaCanal.com for more information.

Saturday, April 11th
The Whigs
Sky City
Downtown Augusta, Georgia

Admission:
The Whigs are an American garage rock band from Athens, Georgia, consisting of lead singer and guitarist Parker Gispert, drummer Julian Dorio and bassist Timothy Deaux and will be performing at Sky City the night before the final round of the 2015 tournament.

2015 Exhibitions:
American Dreams: Paintings by John Mellencamp
Morris Museum of Art
Downtown Augusta, Georgia
Tuesday, April 7th – Sunday, April 12th

This exhibition features fifty oil and mixed-media paintings, some of which have never been seen by the public, by legendary rock-and-roll star John Mellencamp. Mellencamp’s work seems to mirror certain aspects of the contemporary South and its past.

Visit TheMorris.org for more information.
In Celebration of Golf: Landscapes by Linda Hartough
Morris Museum of Art
Downtown Augusta, Georgia
Tuesday, April 7th – Sunday, April 12th

Perhaps golf’s leading artist, Linda Hartough graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1970. She made a living as a professional artist in Chicago until 1980, when she moved to South Carolina. She painted landscapes, portraits, and horses until 1984, when Augusta National Golf Club commissioned her to paint the famed thirteenth hole, which began her career as a golf landscape artist. Her work has since gained international fame. The only artist ever commissioned by the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews to do the annual, official paintings and prints for the U.S. Open and British Open Championships, she has painted golf courses from Scotland to China. Her paintings are in the collections of the Augusta National, Pine Valley, and Laurel Valley golf clubs and in many private collections, including those of Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones.

Visit TheMorris.org for more information.
Celebrating a Grand Tradition, the Sport of Golf
Augusta Museum of History
Downtown Augusta, Georgia
Sunday, April 5th – Sunday, April 12th

Explore the history of golf and its legacy in Augusta. Exhibit includes two galleries, totaling over 2,000 square feet.

Jeff Tilden Art Exhibition
Sacred Heart Cultural Center
Downtown Augusta, Georgia  
Known for his mastery of horticulture and gardening, Jeff Tilden has begun painting scenes that he wants to see. He seeks inspiration always, and hopes people feel good when in his places and looking at his work. Exhibit through April 30, 2015.

Visit SacredHeartAugusta.org for more information.



Trolley Tours:
Historic Trolley Tours of Augusta
Augusta Visitor Center
Downtown Augusta, Georgia
Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., Thursday at 10:30 a.m., and Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

Admission: $15
Board the Lady Liberty trolley and explore Augusta’s Historic Downtown. You will see historic homes, hear about the bones in the basement of the Medical College of Georgia, see where a U.S. president lived as a boy, get a glimpse of the Augusta Canal and hear the legend of the famous Haunted Pillar. Price includes admission to the Augusta Museum of History, where you can explore Augusta’s journey through time. Advance reservations are required.
Call the Augusta Visitor Center today to reserve your spot at 706.724.4067
Augusta Golf Heritage Trolley Tours
Augusta Visitor Center
Downtown Augusta, Georgia
Mondays at 10:30 a.m.

Admission: $21.50
“All Aboard” for history, legends and more! Participate in an amazing sightseeing journey and discover grand hotels, golf courses and other historical sites that played key roles in Augusta’s transformation into the golf capital of the world.
Call SouthStar Trolley at 706.432.8883 to make your reservations today!
Augusta Black History Trolley Tours
Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History
Downtown Augusta, Georgia
Fridays at 10 a.m.

Admission: $15

The Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History Trolley Tour is a one-hour experience that takes patrons to over 25 significant historic sites related to Augusta’s Black history. Price includes admission and tour at the Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History.
Visit LucyCraftLaneyMuseum.com to make your reservations today!
For more information about these and other events in Augusta, Georgia, please contact the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau at 877.AUGUSTA.