Atlanta’s Exotic Bird Fair


Photo by Stefanie Barber

Atlanta’s Exotic Bird Fair is happening this weekend! Breeders from all over the region come to the North Atlanta Trade Center to sell all sorts of breeds, from beautiful multicolored finches to the most uniquely hued macaws. Vendors also attend, selling items specifically for birds such as seeds, toys and cages, all at huge discounts compared to pet stores.

For bird lovers of all kinds, there is plenty to find at this fair. When my adorable budgie Jasmine needed a friend we had an amazing selection to choose from. Cinderella was just a sweet baby when we got her, but she has grown into the biggest diva around.  My two budgies are spoiled by all the fun toys and treats I get each time we visit the fair. One of the best deals I got from this fair is my budgies’ amazing cage that I purchased for 50% less than I saw in stores and online!

So if you love birds, head over to the show this weekend. You can even get $1 off admission by going to the website and either printing or pulling up the coupon on your phone.  If you can’t make it to this show the next one is on April 25th and 26th.


North Atlanta Trade Center
1700 Jeurgens Court
Norcross, GA 30093-2219


Saturday  9am to 5pm
Sunday 10am to 4pm


Kids 12 and under: Free
13 and older: $5

Tickets are valid for both days
Free Parking

525868_337136273015782_693027213_nOur names are Stefanie and Adam and we are a married couple who grew up in Augusta. After graduating from college, we both set our sights on the big city of Atlanta to further grow in our careers and lives. During the week we maintain our respective office jobs. The weekends, however, are spent exploring all that Georgia has to offer – every hidden gem and fascinating locale. We run to share our exciting adventures and explorations with the world.

Georgia’s Best Pies

Photo Credit: The Pie Hole

Photo Credit: The Pie Hole

It’s National Pie Day! In honor of this delicious holiday, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite pies in the Peach State. Fair warning: this list will make you very hungry.

Buttermilk Pie courtesy of

Buttermilk Pie courtesy of

Buttermilk Pie at Yesterday Café in Greensboro: Arguably the most famous pie in Georgia, the Buttermilk Pie at Yesterday Cafe is so good that Southern Living named is one of the South’s Best Pies and Carrie Underwood ordered 300 for her wedding.

Photo courtesy of  Savannah Candy Kitchen

Photo courtesy of Savannah Candy Kitchen

Pecan Pie at Savannah Candy KitchenSavannah Candy Kitchen’s recipe uses fresh eggs, real butter, corn syrup, sugar and fancy Georgia pecan halves. You can purchase your own pecan pie at the store in Savannah or online. We suggest serving your pie with whipped cream and/or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Your taste buds will thank us.

R&A Orchards, photo courtesy of

R&A Orchards, photo courtesy of

Fried pies at R&A Orchards in Ellijay: What could be better than a pie? A FRIED pie! R&A Orchards in Ellijay serves up a wide variety of fried pies everyday. We’d tell you our favorite but we can’t choose just one.

Anything from The Pie Hole in Roswell: Busy bakers, tiny tables and a display case full of sugary treats welcome you to The Pie Hole in Roswell, Georgia. Slices are available daily but the menu is different every day. However, we’ve never tasted a Pie Hole pie that didn’t make our eyes roll back into our head with delicious delight.

Mary Macs photo courtesy of

Mary Macs photo courtesy of

Peanut Butter Pie at Mary Macs in Atlanta: Nothing cleanses the palate after a southern feast like a piece of Mary Macs’ famous Peanut Butter Pie. It’s silky-smooth texture and cookie crust will make you want to give up your day job and become a professional pie eater. Seriously. It’s that good.



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!

5 Must-See Civil Rights Landmarks in Atlanta

MLK Birth Home - ©2015, Kevin Rose/

MLK Birth Home – ©2015, Kevin Rose/

Atlanta is known as the cradle of the civil rights movement, and as the birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Walk in King’s footsteps along Auburn Avenue, reflect on the Dream at The King Center and relive the movement at the Center for Civil and Human Rights. There’s no better time than MLK weekend to explore Atlanta’s most inspiring civil rights landmarks.

  1. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site: Start your journey at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, a 35-acre area encompassing historic landmarks including King’s birth home and Ebenezer Baptist Church. Start at the birth home and take in family stories of young King while imagining life in Atlanta’s bustling Sweet Auburn neighborhood during King’s day. Visit the church where Dr. King served as minister, Ebenezer Baptist Church. Hear audio of King’s sermons on love and nonviolence in the very pews frequented by the King family. Finish your visit by reflecting on the Dream at the tomb of Dr. King and Coretta Scott King. The couple’s massive final resting place is etched with the words, “Free at last, free at last, thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.”
  2. APEX Museum - ©2015, Kevin Rose/

    APEX Museum – ©2015, Kevin Rose/

    The APEX (African-American Panoramic Experience) Museum
    Atlanta’s APEX Museum traces history from prominent African civilizations to the period of slavery in America, and onto the civil rights movement. Much of the Museum is dedicated to the history of Auburn Avenue in Atlanta, the main thoroughfare for African-American business and civil life from the mid-1900s to the 1960s. Step inside the Museum’s replica of Yates and Milton Drug Store, one of Atlanta’s first black-owned businesses. After, step aboard the museum’s Trolley Theatre, a historic reproduction of the streetcar that ran up Auburn Avenue during the 1900s.

  3. Sweet Auburn Curb Market - ©2015, Jay Jordan/

    Sweet Auburn Curb Market – ©2015, Jay Jordan/

    Sweet Auburn Curb Market
    Sweet Auburn Curb Market is situated in the heart of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, King’s boyhood neighborhood and the hub of African American life in Atlanta during ‘40s and ‘50s. Established in 1924, the Market was segregated at its start with white patrons browsing inside and black patrons shopping at curbside stalls; a phenomenon that dubbed it the “Curb Market.” The surrounding Sweet Auburn neighborhood was so influential in subsequent years that it was named a National Historic Landmark. Today, Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Curb Market is a downtown hotspot frequented by local business people, students, creatives and foodies. Grab a bite from popular stalls like Bell Street Burritos and Grindhouse Killer Burgers. Take home an edible souvenir from Sweet Auburn Bakery.

  4. Paschal’s - ©2015, Paschal’s Restaurant

    Paschal’s – ©2015, Paschal’s Restaurant

    Paschal’s Restaurant: Brothers James and Robert Paschal opened Paschal’s Restaurant in 1947 on Atlanta’s Westside. At the time, it was a small, 30-seat diner. The restaurant grew to be Paschal’s Motor Hotel and Restaurant, a 120-room hotel, restaurant and lounge –a venue that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. used as a home base for the movement. Paschal’s quickly became the place for leaders of the civil rights movement to eat, meet and strategize – the brother’s secret recipe fried chicken served as fuel for the activists’ bodies and souls. Today, Paschal’s has a new location in Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill neighborhood and remains a mainstay for the city’s movers and shakers. Take a seat and feast on the famous fried chicken enjoyed by the likes of John Lewis, Dr. King and Jesse Jackson, to name just a few.

  5. Center for Civil and Human Rights - ©2015, J Glenn Photography

    Center for Civil and Human Rights – ©2015, J Glenn Photography

    Center for Civil and Human Rights
    The Center for Civil and Human Rights is the newest civil rights destination in Atlanta. The Center utilizes compelling exhibits paired with audio and motion to immerse guests in the journey of the civil rights movement. Sit in protest at a simulated lunch counter, or join in the march on Washington. Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection gallery which features a rotating selection of King’s artifacts, papers and hand-written notes. Complete your visit by learning about today’s movements from global human rights activists and challenge yourself to get involved.

10 Amazing Pictures of Last Night’s Georgia Sunset

On the evening of January 7, 2015, skies over Georgia lit up dazzlingly in pink and orange. Our social media channels were flooded with stunning sunset imagery – like these! Share your Georgia photos by using the #ExploreGeorgia hashtag on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or by joining the Explore Georgia Flickr group.

Tonight's sunset from the #Kroger parking lot #visitsavannah #exploregeorgia #views #vsco #vscocam #sunlight #sunset #clouds #SavannahNights #savannahphotographer" - @adrianairis via Instagram

Tonight’s sunset from the #Kroger parking lot #visitsavannah #exploregeorgia #views #vsco #vscocam #sunlight #sunset #clouds #SavannahNights #savannahphotographer” – @adrianairis via Instagram




"#sunset #cumberlandisland #exploregeorgia #southend #lovelife #gratitude" - @cumberlandislandemily via Instagram

“#sunset #cumberlandisland #exploregeorgia #southend #lovelife #gratitude” – @emilycumberlandisland via Instagram

"That's one amazing Georgia sunset. #exploregeorgia @exploregeorgia" via @brandyangelphotography via Instagram

“That’s one amazing Georgia sunset. #exploregeorgia @exploregeorgia” via @brandyangelphotography via Instagram

"Gorgeous sunset tonight #georgia #exploregeorgia" - @jenilyn001 via Instagram

“Gorgeous sunset tonight #georgia #exploregeorgia” – @jenilyn001 via Instagram

"Sunset over Savannah's skyline. #visitsavannah #sunset #igers #savannah #exploregeorgia" - @jimodonnell via Instagram

“Sunset over Savannah’s skyline. #visitsavannah #sunset #igers #savannah #exploregeorgia” – @jimodonnell via Instagram

"#nofilter #sunset" via @salowi

“#Gordonia Altamaha State Park nofilter #sunset” via @salowi


Roundup: First Day Hikes at Georgia State Parks

Seminole State Park in Donalsonville

Seminole State Park in Donalsonville

Georgia State Parks invite the public to get a head start on their New Year’s fitness resolutions with their First Day Hike program. On January 1, 2015, more than 35 Georgia State Parks will be hosting hikes and outings. Use our guide to help find a First Day Hike near you.

Middle Georgia

A.H. Stephens State Park First Day Hike: Get started with your New Years resolutions with a pet-friendly, ranger-led hike.

Elijah Clark State Park’s First-Day Fitness Hike: Ring in the New Year with a revitalizing lead hike on a three mile trail that includes a beautiful view of Clark Hill Lake.

First Day Fitness Hike at George L. Smith State Park: Join the fun on New Year’s Day for a hike down a 3-mile nature trail.

1st Day Hike on Blue Mountain Bike Trail at Hard Labor Creek State Park: This 6-mile guided hike is the perfect winter outing for the first day of the new year.

First Day Hike at High Falls State Park: This staff-led, 3.5-mile moderate hike will take you past several scenic and historic sites including the falls, the old powerhouse, and through a mixed pine/hardwood forest.

First Day History Hike at Indian Springs State Park: Join a park ranger for a journey through time. Discover the history of Indian Springs State Park, sample the famous spring water, and tour the park museum. This moderate hike will involve some steps and hills.

First Day Hike at Mistletoe State Park: Discover nature’s winter wonder along the Cliatt Creek and Rock Dam trails.

Atlanta Metro

First Day Hike at Panola Mountain State Park: Hike to the top of the mountain to symbolize all the great things you will accomplish in 2015. Finish with s’mores and hot chocolate around a campfire.

“Bark in the Park” Dog Hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park:  Bring your four-legged companion on this moderate mile long hike to the rapids of Sweetwater Creek and to the five-story Civil War era New Manchester Mill ruins. Ages 6 years and older. Sturdy, closed toe shoes required.

Native American Heritage Hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park: Take a two-hour, moderate hike focusing on the first inhabitants of the area, the Native Americans or American Indians.

Historic New Manchester History Hike at Sweetwater Creek State Park: This mile-long hike (easy to moderate) will lead to the five story ruins of the Civil War-era New Manchester textile mill and focus on the history of the Sweetwater Creek Valley.

North Georgia

First Day Hike at Cloudland Canyon State Park: Start the New Year off with a hike around the top loop of the West Rim that includes some of the best overlook views in the park.

First Day Hike on Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park: This 2 mile cross country adventure will follow old road beds, ridges, hills and valleys. Moderate to strenuous.

First Day Hike at Fort Mountain State Park: Start the year off right with a First Day Hike to the Stone Wall, Fire Watch Tower and West Overlook at Fort Mountain State Park. This is a moderate rocky 1-mile hike, closed toe shoes required.

First Day Hike at Fort Yargo: Bring in the New Year with a brisk 1/2-mile hike around Bird Berry Trail. No minimum age and ADA Accessible.

First Day Hike at James H. (Sloppy) Floyd State Park: Start your New Year off right with a ranger-led hike (one and 1/2 miles) around the Lower Lake to view the flora and fauna that call James H. Floyd State Park home. Participants will see one of the best views found in the park, as well as, getting a bit of history. This hike is good for all ages and the difficulty is easy.

First Day Hike at Red Top Mountain State Park: Meet at the Visitor Center for a moderate 3.5 mile hike on the scenic Sweetgum Trail.

First Day Hike at Richard B. Russell State Park: Take a pet-friendly, naturalist-guided, half-mile fitness hike on their brand new Fitness Trail.

First Day Hike at Rocky Mountain Recreation & Public Fishing Area:  Start your first day of the New Year with a ranger -ed hike around the Nature Trail. The trail is one mile long and is considered easy.

First Day Hike at Smithgall Woods State Park: Hike a monderate 1.3 miles on flat roadway to Smithgall’s beautiful cottage facility. Staff will lead the hike to one of the cottages where hot cider will be waiting.

First Day Hike at Tallulah Gorge State Park: Join a ranger on a moderate 3.5-mile hike along the rim and through the woods. Children must be 8 yrs. or older.

First Day Hike at Tugaloo State Park: Welcome the New Year with a 1.2 mile moderate hike on the Muscadine Trail.

First Day Hike at Victoria Bryant State Park: Meet at the office for a Ranger led hike on the Victoria’s Path trail. This trail follows along Rice Creek which runs through the middle of the park.

First Day Hike- Bear Hair Gap Trail at Vogel State Park: Ring in the new year with a 4-mile hike along the Bear Hair Gap Trail. The hike will be lead by Georgia Appalachian Trail Club.

Georgia Coast

First Day Hike at Crooked River State Park: Greet the New Year with a “First Day” hike on the Bay Boardwalk trail. Vistas include wetland habitats plus our unique long leaf pine/saw palmetto ecosystem.

First Day Hike at Fort King Georgia: Enjoy a twilight “Hike into History” at Fort King George. Visitors will be guided through the half-mile nature trail as they encounter various Fort King George historic figures.

First Day Hikes at Fort McAllister: Arrive at 10:00 a.m. for a 3-mile nature hike with Ranger Rowe on the Redbird Creek Trail. This hike is medium difficulty and requires sturdy shoes and water. At 1:00 p.m. there will be a History Hike. An Interpretative Ranger will walk you through the past and tell you about the daily life at Fort McAllister during the war.

First Day Hike at Fort Morris: At 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. site interpreters will present soldier talks, musket demonstrations and a guided walk around the historic remains of the Revolutionary War fort, Fort Morris (Sunbury Fort).

Laura S. Walker First Day Hike: Enjoy a 1.3 mile ranger-led nature hike along the Big Creek Nature Trail. The trail is approximately 1.3 miles.

First Day Avian Loop Hike at Skidaway Island State Park: Enjoy an guided hike through the marsh.

West Georgia

First Day Hike at F.D. Roosevelt State Park: Hike in the New Year with park staff and Pine Mountain Trail volunteers on the Mountain Creek Trail. Geared towards ages 8 and older.

First Day Hike at Kolomoki Mounds State Park: Take a ranger-led hike through the woods at dusk followed by a hike up the Temple Mound. This is a night hike so please dress appropriately with closed toe shoes and bring a flashlight.

New Year Hike at Reed Bingham State Park:  Wind down with a relaxing night hike on the Upland Loop Trail followed by a bonfire with s’mores.

First Day Fitness Challenge at Seminole State Park:  The event will begin with a 2.2-mile, guided First Day Hike at 10:00 a.m. Other challenges will include mini golf, canoeing, kayaking and more!

Stephen C. Foster State Park’s First Day Hike: Take a hike on the 3/4 mile Trembling Earth Nature Trail.

South Georgia

First Day Hike at General Coffee State Park: Take a ranger-guided birding hike on the 1.5 mile Gopher Loop Trail.

“First Day Hike” Swamp Bay Nature Trail at Gordonia-Altamaha State Park: Learn about the park’s animal and plant life while enjoying a 1-mile hike on the Swamp Bay Nature Trail.

First Day Hike at Magnolia Springs:  At 11:00 A.M., enjoy a Camp Lawton history tour led by a Park Ranger. At 2:00 p.m., take a guided hike of the 3-mile fitness trail.

First Day Hike at Providence Canyon State Outdoor Recreation Area:  Kick off 2015 with a visit to Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.”