Georgia Fall Bucket List

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  1. Admire the fall foliage at Georgia State Parks: A blanket of red, orange and yellow covers Georgia each fall and there is no better place to take it all than at a Georgia State Park. Check out the Top 15 Georgia State Parks for Peak Color and plan your autumn visit. Don’t forget to keep an eye on Georgia State Park’s Leaf Watch to make sure you visit when fall color is at its peak.
  2. Cheer on your favorite football team: ‘Tis the season for tailgating! Whether you’re a Bulldog, Yellow Jacket, Falcon or an Eagle – fall is the perfect time to sport your team colors and cheer on your favorite team!
  3. Find the perfect pumpkin at a Georgia patch: Pile the whole family in the car for a pumpkin pickin’ adventure! Georgia is full of fantastic farms that produce some of the prettiest pumpkins you’ve ever seen. Click here to find a pumpkin patch near you.
  4. Get lost in a corn maze: Combine #3 & #4 for the best fall day ever! There are top-notch corn mazes all across the state each bearing a unique design. Click here to find your way to amazing family fun.
  5. Rent a cabin for the weekend: Take advantage of the cooler temperatures by cuddling up in a cabin with the ones you love! Trust us, a cozy cabin will be exactly what you need after a day full of leaf peeping, corn mazin’, and pumpkin picking! Search Georgia’s cabin rentals here.
  6. Scare up some fun at a haunted house: Be prepared to face your fears at one of Georgia’s famous haunted houses. Georgia is home to such famous haunted houses as Netherworld & Haunted Cavern. Learn more about Georgia’s haunted houses here.
  7. Pick apples in northwest Georgia: Autumn is apple season in Georgia and several Georgia farms offer U-Pick apples during the fall season! Pick a bushel full of apples and impress your friends with fresh apple pie, apple cider, apple cobbler (we could go on). Click here to learn more about apple picking in Georgia.

13 Budget-Friendly Things to do in Augusta, Georgia

Riverwalk

Georgia’s second oldest and second largest city, Augusta, has been welcoming guests with Southern hospitality for decades and continues to with its charm and easily accessible location along Interstate 20, 150 miles southeast of Atlanta. Steeped in history, culture, art, music and more, this is the place for nonstop fun that doesn’t break the bank.

Did you say “free?!”

1. Plan to visit Augusta during a free First Friday event, a family-friendly celebration in downtown Augusta held on the First Friday of each month from 5 until 9 p.m. Watch as local artists create masterpieces on the sidewalk, browse art galleries and watch live musical performances.

2. During the week Tuesday’s Music Live is America’s largest luncheon concert series. Held in the nave of Saint Paul’s Church, the concerts include musical styles ranging from classical to jazz. After the concert, eat a catered lunch in the River Room. The concert is free, but lunch is $10 and served at noon.

3. Take a hike! Well, maybe just a stroll. Walk along the Augusta Riverwalk, Augusta’s top attraction, featuring a children’s playground and various gardens. Two museums are located off the walkway along with the Jessye Norman Amphitheater and several restaurants. Great for families out for some fresh air along the Savannah River. This two-tiered park runs for three blocks.

4. Did you know? Sundays are free at the Morris Museum of Art. See the work of Southern artists and art of the South at the Morris Museum of Art. Look for Artrageous! Sunday activities for children are also free.

5. Have your picture taken anytime with the Godfather of Soul, Mr. James Brown. His life-size statue is located in downtown Augusta across from Augusta Common Park.

6. Do you dare? Tempt your fate at the Haunted Pillar, at the corner of 5th and Broad Streets. According to legend, an attempt to move or even touch it could result in death.

7. Visit the oldest independently formed black Christian church, Springfield Baptist Church, and then see the sculptures next door at the Springfield Village Park.

8. Sacred Heart Cultural Center, c. 1897, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and features towering twin spires, graceful arches, 15 distinctive styles of brickwork, ninety-four stained glass windows, a barrel vaulted ceiling and intricately carved Italian marble altars. Free tours are available as well as a gift shop showcasing local artists, gifts and accessories.

Hungry for more? Try these almost free options:

Enjoy regular admission into any of the following Augusta museums and historic homes for less than $5: Augusta Museum of History, Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, Lucy Craft Laney Museum of Black History and the Morris Museum of Art.

Nacho Mamas BurritoGet your fill-up at Nacho Mama’s in downtown Augusta where they “roll’em fat.” Enjoy unusually large portion sizes for unusually low prices. Don’t believe us? How about grubbing out on The Godfather – loaded with pulled pork, guacamole, black beans, their house-made spicy mango habanera salsa, piled high with cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream. Served with Spanish rice and pinto beans all for $8. We recommend grabbing a to-go box in advance.

Free fall fun! 

Ferris WheelAugusta is the destination for fall fun…sample these options without touching your savings during the annual Westobou festival, October 1-5.

1. Wander and wonder at art exhibits by Savannah College of Art and Design Alumni.

2.Take a ride on the Westobou Wheel, a Ferris wheel, set up on the Parade Grounds of the Old Richmond Academy, offiering a bird’s-eye view of Westobou, October 1-5.

3.Catch a screening of “The Goonies,” 6 p.m., October 4, at the Historic Parade Grounds at the Old Academy of Richmond County. Check out all of Westobou’s offerings.

Where to Stay?
With a convenient location just off Interstate-20, Augusta is just a short drive from many southeastern cities. Budget-friendly hotels and packages are available with rates ranging from $40-$139 a night. For more information about Augusta, please contact the Augusta Convention and Visitors Bureau at 800.726.0243 or find them online at VisitAugusta.com.

Five Kid-Friendly Activities at Oktoberfest

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Helen is Georgia’s hub for everything German. It became known as a tourist capital shortly after remodeling the whole town to look like a German village in the Bavarian Alps. The town is also known for the longest running Oktoberfest in the United States, which is running now through November 2nd. The festival ushers in the fall leaf season, which puts visitors right in the middle of the changing of the leaves in the beautiful North Georgia mountains. Oktoberfest is a celebration. This means tasting Bavarian beer and bratwurst and learning how to dance, and there are plenty of things to do that the whole family will enjoy!

1. Have a night on the town: Take a horse-drawn carriage ride through Helen’s downtown. Shop for souvenirs and gifts while listening to German music from outdoor speakers. Make sure to pick up sweet treats from a German bakery or visit Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen. Paint your own toy at Elfmade Toys.

427871_157991154328711_1396450194_n2. Take your kids on an adventure: Zip lining through the North Georgia trees at Nacoochee Outdoor Adventures, or Cool River Zip lines is the perfect activity for kids starting around age 9 and up.  Take a hike and experience the changing of the leaves. Every Saturday in October, Unicoi State Park Lodge hosts a guided hike from the lodge to Helen.

3. Experience Halloween: There are some really fun haunted adventures in the North Georgia area. Take a haunted hayride, or find your way through a corn maze. Petting zoos and outdoor movies are also a must of the fall season!

5. Attend the annual Oktoberfest parade: A German parade kicks off the celebration and normally occurs on the first Saturday of the festival. Afterward, play a game of mini golf or walk around the town.

Photo Credit: Sussman Imaging

4. Experience Germany: “Oompah-central” is the Hall where the bands play and people dance. Although it may be overwhelming for some parents because of the crowd, kids are allowed. It is the perfect place to try hot-off-the-grill German-style wursts or sausages, and dance to traditional German music.

 

Bring the whole family to the North Georgia mountains and experience Oktoberfest and Germany without leaving Georgia! Hotels fill up very quickly, so book your trip today. Click here for more information on Helen, Georgia and Oktoberfest.

 

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Nacoochee Indian Mound in Helen, Georgia. Photo by Randy Clegg. Submitted via Facebook.

Nacoochee Indian Mound in Helen, Georgia. Photo by Randy Clegg. Submitted via Facebook.

The Cotton Exchange in Savannah. Photo by @Ale_Na_va. Submitted via Twitter.

The Cotton Exchange in Savannah. Photo by @Ale_Na_va. Submitted via Twitter.

Photo by Todd Evans. Submitted via Flickr.

Photo by Todd Evans. Submitted via Flickr.

LaGrange, Georgia. Photo by @richardjv. Submitted via Instagram.

LaGrange, Georgia. Photo by @richardjv. Submitted via Instagram.

 

Where to Eat (& Drink Coffee) in Savannah

Photo Credit: Visit Savannah

Photo Credit: Visit Savannah

I first made it a point to visit Savannah in depth for my Girl Meets City: Savannah project on my website Make It Work Molly. I was able to discover quite a few culinary favorites while there, and even went back later for a few more, and plan to go again for those that have opened since and will open soon. Come take an epicurean journey through Savannah with me!

GirlMeetsSavannahPhotos-4Goose FeathersGoose Feather’s is a “go-to” spot in Savannah, Georgia on Barnard Street- just a turn off of Broughton. They have this amazing bacon, egg, and cheese croissant… and amazing coffee!

The Paris MarketAnother coffee shop here (you will soon see a trend)! This time within the confines of an antique/jewelry/book/everything store. This is one of those fun unique to Savannah spots with the feel of a European Store and also a classic American South boutique with a little bit of everything.

The Coffee Fox and Foxy LoxyThese sister stores are in opposite parts of Savannah: The Coffee Fox on Broughton and Foxy Loxy on Bull Street across from SCAD. Upon my visit at The Coffee Fox I would get the Café Cubano: a sweetened double shot of espresso. This both kicked my rear and left me begging for more. Savannah local roaster, Phillip Brown (owner of PERC coffee) locally brews their coffee.

Foxy Loxy is the parent location of The Coffee Fox. This is the perfect spot where every busy lady (or gentleman) can stop and reenergize with tacos and coffee and a spot to plug in and catch up on work.

GirlMeetsSavannahPhotos-17The Savannah Bee CompanyThe Savannah Bee Company is well known both in and out of Savannah- they have this lovely little honey bar where you can sample different types of honey! They also have an amazing coffee.

jazz’d tapas barDuring Savannah Fashion Week I stopped by jazz’d tapas bar with my crew for a late night cocktail and food. I’m not a big martini drinker but the bartender convinced me to try their Sweet Tea Martini- we’re in Savannah, after all! It’s made with Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, peach snapps, and a splash of sweet and sour and Sprite. It was truly rather good. While there we would order the hummus, Chorizo sliders and Jalapeno BBQ shrimp and grits. All very very yummy, and I highly recommend the Chorizo sliders- especially if you need something just a tad on the heavier side of a tapas.

GirlMeetsSavannahPhotos-186Wright Square CaféDo you love chocolate? Do you love truffles? Be sure to stop in here- they’ve got the most amazing truffles. Even an Earl Grey truffle. But the Key Lime might be my favorite!

Since my last visit to Savannah, Hugh Acheson’s The Florence has opened up- and I’m hearing it’s simply to die for. If you want to take a look at what they’ve got going on I would follow them on Instagram, they’re also super quick to respond to questions on there. And…. They have a coffee car too! If they have the Cortado then get it, I’ve had it at both Empire State South and 5&10- Acheson’s places in Atlanta and Athens. Soon to open in Savannah is Rue de Jean, of the Holy City Hospitality Group out of Charleston, South Carolina.

Suffice it to say- there are a LOT of dining options in Savannah! It’s worth doing your research prior to your trip just to make sure you don’t miss out on anything you really want to experience.

Molly McWilliams Wilkins is a freelance writer based in Macon, Georgia writing about fashion, food, and Southern lifestyle topics. You can follow her journeys at www.makeitworkmolly.com, on Twitter @MakeItWorkMolly, or Instagram at makeitworkmolly.