Springtime in Georgia marks the beginning of beautiful flower blooms, warm afternoons outdoors and popular spring celebrations. Georgia’s scenic beauty, nationally known attractions and beautiful coast offers an array of vacation opportunities for college students and families.
While spring traditionally signals the flock of beach goers searching for a sunny escape, the peach state can become more than what the traveler bargained for while considering their spring vacation or weekend getaway. With enchanting floral displays, world-class golf courses, storybook like colonial history and miles of untouched beaches – Georgia has something for everyone during spring travel!
The following are just some of the many offerings that are sure to make a spring getaway a memorable one.
- International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon has been an iconic state event for 32 years, clearly stabilizing its recognition as the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. Festival-goers experience one of the most extravagant flower displays as more than three hundred thousand Yoshino cherry trees are bursting with pink blooms.
- Spring Celebration at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain features special activities and events for families and friends to share against the backdrop of Callaway Gardens’ twenty thousand dazzling display of colorful native blooms. But Callaway Gardens is more than just flowers, providing amenities such as golf, outdoor adventures, a beautiful sandy lakeside beach and so much more. There is a lodge and spa located at the garden as well as cottages and an inn.
- Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been an Atlanta staple for more than 75 years. With every kind of art you can image from nationally renowned sculptors, painters, photographers and jewelry makers the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the hand-made shoppers dream. There is something for everyone to enjoy with dozens of activities everyday including live music, contests, arts-and-crafts and even a walk climbing wall!
The Great Outdoors
- The Augusta Canal was once a water source for textile mills and factories that used hydro-power to operate large machinery. Today, it is an outdoor lover’s dream, with tours via boat, bike or foot. Take your own kayak to the canal head gates and paddle the seven miles down the waters calm current. This nature excursion is incredibly surreal, with an abundance of wildlife and a dirt path trail, all while heading through the heart of downtown Augusta.
- Blood Mountain offers the best in hiking as you can truly immerse yourself in the Appalachian nature. There is a two and a half mile hike to the top of beautiful Blood Mountain which is lush and green during spring. Hikers can enjoy the serene nature as they make their way up to the top and experience the gorgeous view.
- Flat Creek Lodge in Swainsboro is east Georgia’s premier hunting and fishing resort and spa. The avid outdoorsman will be one with nature as they experience an unforgettable hunting and fishing adventure at this pristine and private woodland preserve. The lodge and spa offers 12 lodge rooms, 6 two bedroom cottages and two 4 bedroom cottages. Each room at Flat Creek Lodge is built over a pond with beautiful balconies and patios where guests can enjoy stunning sunsets as they watch the ducks, swans and geese glide peacefully over the water.
Soak Up the Sun
- Tybee Island is only a few miles east of Savannah, making it the perfect vacation setting to unplug and recharge. Tybee Island offers a variety of lodging options including homes, cottages, and condos that will fit any traveler’s needs. Take a break from the textbooks and emails as you bask in the sun on Savannah’s own beach – Tybee Island.
- Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest barrier island and is considered one of the most remarkable natural habitats in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s known for being the perfect spot to completely disconnect from the world because of the seclusion. Cumberland Island is only accessible by ferry or private boat and has restricted motor traffic as well as limited shops and restaurants. This oasis is completely untouched! Visitors can fish, bike, kayak, hike Cumberland’s wilderness and catch a glimpse of wild hogs or horses roaming freely. Accommodations on the island consist campsites or the Greyfield Inn.
- St. Simons Island is a postcard worthy vacation stop that has been a family favorite for decades. The islands sandy beaches, natural beauty and rich history offers a wide variety of activities that will create lasting memories for family and friends. St. Simons offers local shopping and dining as well as all the beautiful scenery the southern coast has to offer.
Many spring vacation destinations can be found throughout the state as well as seasonally themed events and activities. For more Georgia travel ideas and special offers, please visit ExploreGeorgia.org.
What: 7th Annual R.A.D. Studio Cruise
When: Saturday, March 15th from 12 noon to 8:00 pm
Take a cruise through the ever expanding Rail Arts District, a burgeoning arts district coalescing around a one-mile stretch of CSX rail line highlighting Avondale Estates, Decatur and Scottdale. This one day event gives you the opportunity to visit a variety of studios to get the behind the scenes look of what it takes to create art. Six anchor studios along with dozens of individual artist studio locations will host live demonstrations, performances, exhibits and art sales from painting, pottery, glasswork and paper arts to photography, sculpture, jewelry, fiber arts and more.
Downtown Avondale Estates will feature two major locations hosting special events. The Market Events building in Tudor Square will be open (formally the Academy Theater). Sample artisanal foods and beverages, and enjoy the popular Root City Market that will set up its spring pop-up shop in this location. Avondale Mayor Ed Rieker will be on hand to discuss the remarkable re-development plans that will transform this area. Additionally, the charming Towne Cinema in the city’s Tudor Village will be open to the public for the first time in years and will offer free music performances by DeKalb School of the Arts students and visual art on display.
Visitors can download a RAD Studio Cruise Map and view Schedule of Events at www.railartsdistrict.com.
The free, open-to-the-public event will offer FREE trolley service between participating venues.
“Like” R.A.D. on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/railartsdistrict
And, a clever little page for RAD cruisers: RAD Studio Cruise Survivor’s Guide.
As chosen by Sheffield Hale, President and CEO of the Atlanta History Center.
- Two-seat Privy at Smith Family Farm: The Atlanta History Center searched for years to find a true, 19th-century outhouse to add to the collection of period buildings that form the distinctive Smith Family Farm, the site of some of the History Center’s most successful craft and gardening programs for kids and families. Since no one was willing to part with their own historic outhouse, the History Center built a new one using specifications from an actual antebellum privy. Though a reconstruction, nothing shows the true impact of the lifestyle differences between Then and Now like the “necessary.” Our two-seat privy always reminds me of the seven-seat privy at Roseland Plantation in Alabama.
- Daguerreotype of Richard Peters’ House on Mitchell Street, ca.1850: The daguerreotype was the first successful form of photography and the image of Richard Peter’s house is the oldest surviving photograph ever taken of Atlanta. In 1861, the property was appraised by the city for $10,000. “A year before my marriage,” Richard Peters wrote, “I purchased from Samuel G. Jones his house and two-acre lot at the corner of Mitchell and Forsyth streets for the sum of $1,400. There we resided and there all my children were born.” I also have a crackpot idea that I’ve been peddling for the last 17 years. In essence: I claim to know who Rhett Butler was. Or at least who he was based on… Richard Peters. You can read more on my theory HERE.
- Pair of Swan Console Tables at Swan House: “Chosen with impeccable taste,” is how Swan House architect Philip T. Shutze described the Inman’s furnishing of his masterpiece. The most important objects are the pair of eighteenth-century swan console tables attributed to the English architect, Thomas Johnson. Purchased by the Inmans in Bath, England, in 1924, they may have inspired the swan motif that appears throughout the house. Shutze repeated the delicately curving cattails found in the base of the table in his design for the carved cornices above each window. The swan tables and more of Swan House play a part in the upcoming film, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. On November 22nd, the Atlanta History Center unveiled the Capitol Tours. The experience includes a guided tour through Swan House showcasing the rooms in the film and exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes exhibition. For information visit http://www.atlantahistorycenter.com/swan-house-capitol-tours.
- Dave Drake Jars: In an area of South Carolina known for its exceptional clay, a slave named Dave created huge pottery pieces that he often inscribed with his name and a short verse of poetry. Dave’s simple act of literacy was illegal at a time when it was forbidden for the enslaved to read and write. Yet he countered the slavery system not by writing words of protest, but by daring to write at all. No other slave artist is known to have put his name to his work. Following emancipation, he took the last name of one of his owners, Reuben Drake, and continued to create his art until his death in the mid-1870s. Many of Dave’s astounding jars are found in America’s finest museums and two of his largest are at the Atlanta History Center in our exhibit, Southern Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South.
- Confederate States National Flag, 1864: Remember the famous scene in the movie Gone With the Wind when the camera pans back from a sea of wounded soldiers to reveal a tattered Confederate flag waving in the foreground? Well, this is that flag – sort of. This twenty-by-ten-foot Confederate national flag (not a battle flag, as shown in the movie) was flying over downtown Atlanta when the city was surrendered on September 2, 1864. Iowa soldiers took the flag home as a souvenir and it eventually ended up in the collection of Beverly M. DuBose Jr., who donated it and 7,500 other Civil War artifacts in the 1980s. It is the largest artifact in the Atlanta History Center’s collection. The Atlanta History Center is home one of the nation’s most comprehensive Civil War collections, 1,500 artifacts from which are exhibited in Turning Point: The American Civil War, along with photographs, dioramas, videos, and interactive components.
Prior to joining the Atlanta History Center in 2012, Sheffield Hale served as Chief Counsel of the American Cancer Society, Inc. and was a Partner practicing corporate law in the firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Mr. Hale serves as a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the University of Georgia Foundation, Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center, and Fox Theatre, Inc. He is a Past Chair of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the Atlanta History Center, and the State of Georgia’s Judicial Nominating Commission. Mr. Hale received his B.A. in History from the University of Georgia summa cum laude in 1982, and received his J.D. in 1985 from the University of Virginia School Of Law. He is a member of the American Law Institute.
ABOUT THE ATLANTA HISTORY CENTER:
Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, thirty-three-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the nation’s largest history museums; two historic houses, the 1928 Swan House and the 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and 22 acres of Historic Gardens with paths and the kid-friendly Connor Brown Discovery Trail.
In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta. For information on Atlanta History Center offerings, hours of operation and admission call 404.814.4000 or visit AtlantaHistoryCenter.com.
Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:
Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Gene Phillips. Submitted via Facebook.
Oak trees in Glynn County. Photo by Evangelio Gonzalez MD. Submitted via Flickr.
St. Simons Island sunset. Photo by @thetrvlprincess. Submitted via Instagram.
Monadnock Madness is your chance to stimulate your senses, challenge yourself physically and discover the scenic beauty at each of Metro Atlanta’s monadnocks. What? You don’t know what a monadnock is? Stone Mountain, Panola Mountain, and Arabia Mountain are all actually monadnocks; special types of mountains that are formed when hard blobs of lava are compressed under the Earth’s crust. Now that the softer rock around the granite clumps has been eroded away, Georgians are treated to three amazing geological oddities right in their backyard.
Exciting guided tours, fun classes, and events are scheduled throughout March 2014 to showcase the highlights of each mountain. As a special bonus, participants who visit all three parks in March can earn a surprise souvenir which they can wear as a badge of honor.
Feeling adventurous? Join the Triple Hike Challenge on March 8th or 16th and conquer each peak in one action-packed day. On the 16th you can even watch the moonrise from the peak of Panola Mountain. You can learn more about this event, see photos from last year, and RSVP for the Triple Hike Challenge at the Monadnock Madness website.
When not putting her savvy communication skills to use at the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Kimberly Estep can most often be found wandering over hiking trails with her two dogs. Most of all, Kimberly loves sharing her knowledge of the hidden gems of Georgia with anyone who will listen.