5 Things to Do in Greensboro Without Moving Your Car – Shopping Edition

Maggie Lane in Greensboro, Ga.

Shop for clothes, accessories and gifts at Maggie Lane in Greensboro, Ga.

Maggie Lane’s, 102 N Main Street

You won’t want to go home empty handed after taking a step into this boutique. Treat yourself to a new outfit (complete with accessories, of course). You might even stumble upon gifts for friends!

The Clothing Depot in Greensboro, Ga.

Pick up outdoor gear and clothing perfect for an active weekend on Lake Oconee at The Clothing Depot.

The Clothing Depot, 108 N Main Street

This store is known for its outdoor gear, but it also carries clothing lines for men, women and kids. Add to your wardrobe for the upcoming season or take home a little something for your favorite outdoorsman.

Greensboro Jewelers in Greensboro, Ga.

Be dazzled by the selection at Greensboro Jewelers!

Greensboro Jewelers, 118 N Main Street

Let yourself enjoy the beauty that is found at Greensboro Jewelers. Spend an afternoon in the most sparkly corner of Greensboro. From engagement rings to custom designed jewelry, you never know what you may fall in love with!

Genuine Georgia in Greensboro

Shop for locally made, handcrafted items filled with great stories at Genuine Georgia.

Genuine Georgia, 102 S Main Street

A marketplace for handcrafted art and home decor, Genuine Georgia is a hub for both story and art. Previously featured on a Watch Lake Oconee episode, the owner, Cynthia Smith, has made sure this Greensboro shop is stocked with the best Georgia has to offer. Each piece sold is uniquely made by Georgia artists and makes the perfect gift to take home to a loved one.

Greensboro Antique Mall

Test your antiquing skills at the Greensboro Antique Mall!

Greensboro Antique Mall, 101 S Main Street

Do you get a thrill from finding an antique treasure? This stop on Main Street is perfect for you. Test your antiquing skills at the Greensboro Antique Mall. It is the largest antique store in the Lake Oconee region hosting more than 50 dealers selling antiques and decor in 11,000 square feet of space.

Visit visitlakeoconee.com to discover more at Lake Oconee!

hannah-webHannah Ian is a contributing writer for Visit Lake Oconee from Athens, Georgia. She enjoys beauty and lifestyle blogging alongside the perfect cup of coffee. 

Finding Olympic Gold in Georgia

Twenty years ago, the eyes of the world were on Georgia as the state played host to the Centennial Olympic Games. Atlanta was the official host for the games, and there are several venues in the city, such as Centennial Olympic Park, where you can remember the games and experience your own Olympic glory.

The fountain in the shape of the Olympic rings is a popular feature of Centennial Olympic Park.

The fountain in the shape of the Olympic rings is a popular feature of Centennial Olympic Park.

In addition to Atlanta, several places around the state hosted events. Here are three places outside of Atlanta where you can follow in the footsteps of athletes who came home with Olympic gold.

Georgia International Horse Park, Conyers

Ride horses or mountain bikes like an Olympian at Georgia International Horse Park

Ride horses or mountain bikes like an Olympian at Georgia International Horse Park

Conyers was the site of the equestrian events in 1996, as well as mountain biking. Bring your horse or your bike out to the park and explore the trails. There are more than 15 miles of horse trails that wind through wooded areas and open pasture, offering scenic views of the former Olympic Endurance Course. If you don’t ride, take in one of the numerous horse shows at the center each year. Mountain bikers can enjoy eight miles of trails with 1,032 feet of elevation change.

Wassaw Sound, Savannah

Go sailing like an Olympian on the Zingara in Wassaw Sound

Go sailing like an Olympian on the Zingara in Wassaw Sound

Wassaw Sound, near Wilmington Island, was the site of Olympic yachting events. Not everyone travels with a sailboat, but you don’t have to when you visit Savannah. Climb aboard the Zingara, a 38-foot yacht, for a chance to sail through the Wassaw Sound with Compass Sailing. If you ask right, Captain Steve may even let you take the helm. If you do travel with your own sailboat, Captain Steve offers private sailing instruction on your vessel.

University of Georgia, Athens

See potential Olympic gymnasts compete at Stegemen Coliseum

See potential Olympic gymnasts compete at Stegemen Coliseum

Stegemen Coliseum was the site for gymnastics events, and the University of Georgia has a long and storied gymnastics history. The women’s gymnastics team, affectionately known as the Gymdogs, has won 10 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics championship titles, including five consecutive wins from 2005 – 2009. In fact, former Georgia gymnast Brittany Rogers made her second Olympic appearance at the Rio games. Catch a Gymdog meet in the spring.

To find more Olympic gold in Georgia, read Six Olympic Venues in Georgia You Can Still Visit Today.

SueSue Rodman is Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer and the editor and publisher of the award-winning family travel blog Field Trips with Sue. Click here for more Smart Travel content from Sue.

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The Return of Athens PopFest … and Bulldog Students


The Georgia Theatre is one of three venues hosting PopFest performances Aug. 10-13, 2016

Athens’ dual roots as a music and a college town have always been intertwined. These two cultures will converge even more than usual on Wednesday, Aug. 10 when Athens PopFest returns to town, mere hours before University of Georgia students resume classes for the fall.

“It’s their first weekend back, so the kids all want to go out, and townies can have a last bit of fun downtown before it’s full-on students and football,” jokes festival organizer Mike Turner. Launched in 2004, PopFest established itself as a highlight of Athens’ summer calendar before going on hiatus in 2012. According to Turner, one of three promoters behind the earlier run, both fans and bands worldwide continually asked when the party would resume, and this year he finally felt sufficiently recharged to give it another go.

His Name Is Alive

His Name Is Alive

PopFest has always championed the outsiders and up-and-comers, with a heavy dose of local flavor. This year is no exception. Headliners include legendary Austin eccentric Daniel Johnston and long-running Athens favorites Elf Power. My personal picks include the newly reformed Love Tractor — who deserve to be uttered in the same sentence as R.E.M., the B-52’s and Pylon as the apex of 1980s Athens — and genre-smashing Detroit iconoclasts His Name Is Alive, who are equally likely to dispense cosmic jazz as swirling dream pop. Meanwhile, the roster of Georgia bands stands at 18.

One of the changes from past years is a smaller number of shows, but at larger venues with more extensive lineups. “None of the performances overlap this year, which was a really big thing for me,” explains Turner. “I hated that the festival had grown to a point where you had to make choices between which bands to see.” The nighttime bills at the iconic Georgia Theatre run into the wee hours, while Little Kings Shuffle Club is hosting afternoon throwdowns and World Famous (recently named one of the 100 Best Bars in the South by Southern Living) a pair of early evening interludes on Friday and Saturday.

Dudley Park railroad trestle in Athens

Featured on the back cover of R.E.M.’s 1983 debut album, the Dudley Park railroad trestle is one of the stops on the Athens Music Walking Tour.

There’s enough music to keep you busy from Wednesday through Saturday (assuming you sleep in, or spend the morning scrambling for textbooks), but Turner also recommends spending any spare time at the following:

glen-headshotGlen Sarvady is Georgia’s official Music Explorer. He has lived in Atlanta for more than 20 years, and has written about music both locally and nationally for at least as long. More recently, he has written regularly for the music/arts publication Stomp & Stammer as well as GeorgiaMusic.org.

4 Ways to Get Outdoors in Dunwoody

Dunwoody Nature Center's Butterfly Festival

Dunwoody Nature Center’s Butterfly Festival

If you are looking for ways to get outside with your family, then head to Dunwoody for these awesome adventures. From playgrounds to zip lines to a FREE nature center, there is a weekend of excitement waiting for you!

Soar through the trees at Treetop Quest Dunwoody

Treetop Quest Dunwoody. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Treetop Quest Dunwoody. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Little ones as young as 4 years old can enjoy the Kiddie Quest ropes experience at Treetop Quest Dunwoody. Kids 7 years and older can play Tarzan on three courses, including a 300-foot zip line, and those over 12 years old have an extra challenge on the fourth course. Bring the whole family for an adventure in the trees! You can read more about our family’s antics here.

Climb and jump at Brook Run Park

Treetop Quest is just at the entrance of Brook Run Park, so don’t be scared to venture in a little farther once you finish your treetop excursion. Brook Run offers an incredible playground with shade awnings, an off-leash dog park, and a skate park arena. Read about Brook Run and other playgrounds we love in Atlanta.

Savor custard on the patio of Village Burger

Village Burger in Dunwoody

Village Burger in Dunwoody

Nothing will help you beat the heat like a frozen custard treat from Village Burger. You can enjoy it on the patio (shade umbrellas included), or take a breather at a table inside. We also LOVE the burgers and onion rings!

Explore Dunwoody Nature Center

Explore the teepee just inside the entrance to the nature center. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Explore the teepee just inside the entrance to the nature center. Photo by Lesli Peterson

You can spend hours and hours at the FREE Dunwoody Nature Center and still not experience all they have to offer. Play in the creek, walk the trails, climb the new playground structures, listen for frogs on the boardwalk….the possibilities are endless. Don’t miss the Dunwoody Butterfly Festival Aug. 20, and see our post on 22 great ways to get more out of the nature center.

LesliLesli Peterson is Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of 365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.

Swimming at Georgia State Parks

Swim in Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park in Gainesville.

Swim in Lake Lanier at Don Carter State Park in Gainesville.

The heat is on, and you’re invited to cool down at Georgia State Parks with plenty of swimming options at beaches, spraygrounds and natural waterslides.

Lakeside Beaches

The lakeside beach at Fort Mountain State Park. Photo by Candy Cook.

The lakeside beach at Fort Mountain State Park. Photo by Candy Cook.

Nestled among the rolling hills, Fort Mountain‘s sandy beach and cool, refreshing waters offer an ideal summer retreat. The park features outstanding views along relatively easy hikes, primitive backcountry camping, and one of the most exciting trails included in the park system’s Muddy Spokes Mountain Biking Challenge. Vogel and Unicoi State Parks also offer magnificent views of waterfalls and mountains nearby their sandy swimming beaches.

Red Top, Fort Yargo, Don Carter and Hard Labor Creek State Parks all offer lake swimming for a getaway day near Atlanta. Bring your bikes, go on hikes, and enjoy a swim in the lake. Stay overnight in a yurt or cabin, and explore the trails in addition to swimming areas.

Splashpads, Spraygrounds and Pools

Little Ocmulgee's splash pad. Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.

Little Ocmulgee’s splash pad. Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.

Perfect for play dates, several parks feature splashpads and spraygrounds. Let the fun rain down at Magnolia Springs and Little Ocmulgee State Parks. They both have pools and spraygrounds. Look for aquatic wildlife in crystal clear waters from the Magnolia Springs boardwalk, or search for signs of the state reptile, gopher tortoises, on an easy hike at Little Ocmulgee.

Natural Waterslide Rocks

Watson Mill Bridge State Park in Comer, Ga. Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.

Watson Mill Bridge State Park in Comer, Ga. Photo courtesy Georgia State Parks.

The rock formations at Watson Mill Bridge and Tallulah Gorge make natural water slides in these unique landscapes. The strenuous Canyon Climbers hike descending into Tallulah Gorge is best rewarded with a little playtime on the sliding rocks.

Coastal Campouts

Cumberland Island National Seashore. Photo by Candy Cook

Cumberland Island National Seashore. Photo by Candy Cook

Make a last minute escape to camp on the Georgia Coast at Crooked River and Skidaway Island State Parks. Make day trips to Cumberland Island National Seashore, Jekyll and St. Simons Islands from Crooked River, or visit Tybee Island beaches and Savannah from Skidaway.

candycookCandy Cook is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.