Day Trip to Helen, Georgia

Photo by Davenport346 via Flickr

Photo by Davenport346 via Flickr

Helen is a piece of Bavaria in the North Georgia Mountains. A great day trip any time of year, but I hear its Oktoberfest celebration is spectacular.

Anna Ruby Falls by Sussman Imaging

Anna Ruby Falls by Sussman Imaging

There is a road in, and a road out of Helen. We arrived in Helen sitting in a very slow moving line of traffic. You’ll quickly discover that the traffic is a direct result of Helen being synonymous with tubing trips!

The rain started to fall, our stomachs were growling and Bodensee had high reviews on TripAdvisor. Thanks to the covered patio, we were able to eat outside with the scent of rain enveloping us. The portions were huge. Our server actually recommended we share a meal if we ordered wienerschnitzel off the dinner menu, since it is not offered as a smaller portion on the lunch menu.  A side of spaetzle and two German beers completed this rich, and quite delicious, meal.

The rain subsided just as we were finishing up and we headed to Anna Ruby Falls. Adjacent to Unicoi State Park, we found that no one was scared off by the rain. Tons of campsites were set up and people were enjoying the scenery.

Fred's Famous Peanuts

Fred’s Famous Peanuts

Anna Ruby is the daughter of a local resident who owned a lot of land in the area. The hike is about a mile and well worth the photo opportunities at the top. Be prepared for a lot of people. The wet conditions we experienced did not dissuade anyone.

After the hike to Anna Ruby Falls, we didn’t miss the chance to stop at Fred’s. Fred’s Famous Peanuts is a roadside stand that Fred and his wife, Dianne, have has been running for nearly 30 years. Fred’s homemade peanut brittle is not to be missed. In fact, I wish we bought more.

lorisusslebonanniLori Sussle Bonanni spent her career in New York City and relocated to Atlanta in December 2013. Lori loves immersing herself in local culture and going off the beaten path. She is excited to explore all that Atlanta and Georgia have to offer. Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialization in Advertising and Public Relations from Rowan University. Say hi to Lori @smplythreecents on Twitter or visit her blog, simplythreecents.com.

Day Trip to Callaway Gardens

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Pine Mountain and Callaway Gardens were recommended to me by a coworker and I’d like to pass on the recommendations.

The Tourism Office in Pine Mountain was super helpful in recommending what to see in Pine Mountain, at Callaway Gardens and the food options in town.

Covering thousands of acres, the Gardens offer something for everyone. Attractions include the Birds of Prey show (with multiple birds flying just overhead), Day Butterfly Center and Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden (recognizable to PBS viewers).

callaway (1)While it would take days to cover all the land by foot, there is ample parking throughout the park as you hop from attraction to attraction.

The Discovery Center is a great starting point for your trip. The Ida Cason Memorial Chapel is a work of art and not to be missed. There are many trails which offer the opportunity to observe the gorgeous gardens. Depending on the season, each experience is bound to be different.

In addition, Callaway Gardens offers scenic drives, gorgeous views and golf. If you are looking to fish, bike or zip line, Callaway has you covered.

10 MastersWaterSki 094Don’t miss the beach at Callaway! The Masters Waterski and Wakeboard Tournament is held every year on Memorial Day Weekend. Pack some chairs and a picnic and you’re set for hours. When the tournament isn’t happening, I’m told there are lots of opportunities to get into the water.

We chose The Bakery and Café at Rose Cottage for dinner. Great choice! Starters and mains were delicious. For a starter, I highly recommend the Darden’s Smithfield ham, thin sliced with olive oil and shaved Manchego cheese!

lorisusslebonanniLori Sussle Bonanni spent her career in New York City and relocated to Atlanta in December 2013. Lori loves immersing herself in local culture and going off the beaten path. She is excited to explore all that Atlanta and Georgia have to offer. Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialization in Advertising and Public Relations from Rowan University. Say hi to Lori @smplythreecents on Twitter or visit her blog, simplythreecents.com.

Neighborhood Eats: Virginia Highland

Photo by Deborah Weiner

Photo by Deborah Weiner

At the heart of Virginia Avenue and Highland Avenue, there is no shortage of culinary variety. Here are three favorites, so far!

Goin’ Coastalgoin-coastal2

This ‘sustainable seafood joint’ doesn’t mess around. Whether it’s a dinner menu or a brunch menu, there is no shortage of good eats. Goin’ Coastal ensures the acquisition of their seafood does not harm the environment or have a negative impact on marine life.

Dinner offers an array of seafood but don’t forget Sunday brunch where warm banana bread is served at every table; I dare you not to ask for more! There are a variety of eggs benedict options to choose from along with sandwiches and sides. It’s is pretty much impossible to make the wrong choice with this menu.

latavola-9La Tavola

La Tavola which literally means ‘The Table, has more than enough delicious choices to make everyone in your party a very happy customer. The menu offers hearty choices as well as lighter fare. The mozzarella burata is not to be missed as a starter. La Tavola offers a cozy dining room inside. If you prefer to dine al fresco there is a wrap-around porch with fans keeping you cool in summer.

Two favorites? The Tagliatelle Bolgonese and the Ricotta Gnocchi.

946547_10152062978699569_388689383_nMurphy’s

An icon at this intersection for 30 years, Murphy’s is upscale comfort food that is not to be missed.

If you choose to dine in the restaurant, it feels like you are in someone’s living room – with a few rooms offering different ambiance. You can choose to sit at the wine bar for drinks or dinner. Murphy’s is a fine place to take out-of-town guests in order to give them a taste of the South and an interesting take on classic dishes. Brunch is a big hit but be prepared to wait.

lorisusslebonanniLori Sussle Bonanni spent her career in New York City and relocated to Atlanta in December 2013. Lori loves immersing herself in local culture and going off the beaten path. She is excited to explore all that Atlanta and Georgia have to offer. Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialization in Advertising and Public Relations from Rowan University. Say hi to Lori @smplythreecents on Twitter or visit her blog, simplythreecents.com.

Atlanta’s Great Outdoors

piedmont park

The luxury of being in Atlanta is the opportunity to get outside early in the year. Want to spend time outside? Here are three suggestions.

Piedmont Park

Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, Piedmont Park is the green space city dwellers crave. Olmsted was responsible for the landscape architecture of many parks including Central Park and Prospect Park, both in New York City.

Piedmont Park offers the Green Market, fitness classes, festivals, educational walks, dog parks, fields and trails. Easy access to the Atlanta BeltLine guarantees a ‘choose your own adventure’ kind of day.

2011-10-16-Atlanta-Botanical-Gardens-102Atlanta Botanical Gardens

As the elevator door whisks you from the parking garage to the ABG level, you will be transported into a world of color and aromas that did not exist a few minutes earlier. The gardens are a colorful maze of unexpected flowers and plants.

Enter the Fuqua Orchid Center for sensory overload. See colors you wouldn’t have anticipated, enjoy the symphony of frogs and feel the warmth of a tropical climate.

The garden hosts many exhibits, events and classes. The current exhibit, Imaginary Worlds, is an incredible array of living plants formed to create magical creatures. It is the largest of its kind ever presented in the United States. Imaginary Worlds will run through October.

 

Turner Field

Turner Field

Atlanta Braves Game

Now is the time to take advantage of the Ted before the stadium relocates.  From my first two games, it doesn’t look like there’s a bad seat in the house.

Want to commemorate your first Braves game? Stop at a Guest Relations booth to receive a First Time Visitor’s Certificate. As for food, you’re guaranteed a wait, but the Holeman and Finch burger is worth it.

The Atlanta Braves offer 101 things to do at Turner Field. See how many you can check off this summer!

lorisusslebonanniLori Sussle Bonanni spent her career in New York City and relocated to Atlanta in December 2013. Lori loves immersing herself in local culture and going off the beaten path. She is excited to explore all that Atlanta and Georgia have to offer. Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialization in Advertising and Public Relations from Rowan University. Say hi to Lori @smplythreecents on Twitter or visit her blog, simplythreecents.com.

Favorite Food Finds in Atlanta

As I quickly learned upon my relocation to Atlanta, the food scene in Atlanta is outstanding. There is no shortage of restaurants to try at all price points. Before, during and after my recent move, the one thing I kept asking for was restaurant recommendations. I shouldn’t have been surprised that so many people were willing to share their favorites!

As with every list of this nature, it’s all subjective. Here are a few that have become instant favorites.

Photo_Parish

Parish

Billed as a restaurant, market, deli and community haven, it’s a perfect description. There’s a deli vibe with community tables downstairs and upstairs is a cool lofty place. The prices are reasonable and Parish offers two outside patio areas to enjoy the Atlanta weather with your meal.

Photo_Fat Matt's

Fat Matt’s

Seating is first come, first served so be prepared to wait a few minutes if you arrive at a peak time. The space is small but the taste is big. I highly recommend the pulled pork sandwich. Make sure to leave room for a side of Rum baked beans or macaroni salad.

antico

Antico Pizza Napoletana

When people say you are sitting in the kitchen, they aren’t kidding. Seating is communal, at benches and it can get packed, so be prepared for people to eye your table while you are eating. Antico allows you to bring your own alcohol making the price of a “beer and pizza” night relatively inexpensive.

lorisusslebonanniLori Sussle Bonanni spent her career in New York City and relocated to Atlanta in December 2013. Lori loves immersing herself in local culture and going off the beaten path. She is excited to explore all that Atlanta and Georgia have to offer. Lori earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a Specialization in Advertising and Public Relations from Rowan University. Say hi to Lori @smplythreecents on Twitter or visit her blog, simplythreecents.com.