32 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Georgia

Fort Mountain State Park

Fort Mountain State Park

With Valentine’s Day on a weekend this year, you have lots of time to celebrate with your special someone. Make a date with your sweetie to check out these festivals, plays, concerts, art exhibits and activities in Georgia.

Atlanta Metro

Feb. 13: Big Band Valentines Dance at Stardust Ballroom Dance Club in Fayetteville 

Feb. 13-14: “The Elephant Man” at Act3 Playhouse in Sandy Springs 

Middle Georgia

Feb. 13: Southern Soul & Song: Sam Bush at The Imperial Theater in Augusta 

Feb. 13-28: “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” at Warner Robins Little Theatre 

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Wagon Ride at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge

Feb. 14: Kiss My Grits! at George L. Smith State Park in Twin City

Feb. 14: Family Day: Love and Lerda at the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens

North Georgia

Feb. 13 – March 15: Winston Churchill Art Exhibition at Berry College in Rome

Feb. 13-14: Valentine’s Dinner at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville

Feb. 13-15: Valentine’s Marriage Retreat at Lanier Islands Resort in Gainesville

Feb. 13-21: “Antigone” at UNG-Gainesville’s Ed Cabell Theatre in Oakwood

Feb. 14: 5th Annual Fire and Ice in Blue Ridge

Feb. 14: Fasching – German-style Mardi Gras in Helen

Feb. 14: Neil Berg’s “102 Years of Broadway” at Brenau University in Gainesville 

Feb. 14: Reserve the Valentine Package at Don Carter State Park in Gainesville

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Hightower Creek Vineyards in Hiawassee

Feb. 15: Behind the Scenes Tour at North Georgia Zoo & Farm in Cleveland

South Georgia

Feb. 12: “Back on Broadway” at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center in Statesboro

Feb. 13-15: Dublin Farm’s Valentine’s Day Weekend nbso online casino If justin bieber quiz were Hispanic he would have been deported a long time ago but he is white so he gets away with everything. Celebration in Dublin 

Feb. 13-15: “The Importance of Being Earnest” at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro 

West Georgia

Feb. 12: Cocktails & Acrylics at the Albany Museum of Art

Feb. 13-14: Dance The Night Away in Albany

Feb. 13-22: “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at Theatre Albany 

Feb. 14: Music City Hit Makers at the Bill Heard Theatre in Columbus 

Feb. 14: “Notes from the Balcony: Romeo and Juliet in Music” in Thomasville 

Feb. 14: Under the Night Sky – Valentine’s Day Hike at Chattahoochee Bend State Park in Newnan 

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain

Georgia Coast

Feb. 12-14: 7th Annual Mardi Gras Tybee on Tybee Island

Feb. 13-14: Valentine’s Dinner Cruise in Savannah 

Feb. 14: Mardi Gras Festival in St. Marys

Feb. 14: Mardi Gras Ball in St. Marys 

Feb. 14: Valentine’s Day Weddings in the Davenport House Garden in Savannah 

Love Stories of Oakland Cemetery

LSInstagram

It’s well known that love can be found in the most unlikeliest of places, and Oakland Cemetery is no exception! This Valentine’s Day weekend, bring your loved ones along for an afternoon among the gardens and mausoleums of Atlanta’s oldest burial ground at the Love Stories of Oakland Tours.

On Feb. 14-15, Oakland Cemetery invites lovers, families and friends to learn more about the stories of devotion and symbolism found within its hallowed grounds. A costumed guide will tell the stories of a few of the 70,000 people who lie in rest at Oakland, including famous Atlantans and ordinary citizens alike. Read on to get a snippet of a few of the stories you can expect:

Rawson Mausoleum

Rawson Mausoleum

Two residents of the Rawson mausoleum, Julia Collier and Julian Harris, had a “storybook marriage” that spanned more than 60 years — and the nickname is especially fitting, as Harris was the son of Tales of Uncle Remus author Joel Chandler Harris.

Margaret_Mitchell_NYWTS

Margaret Mitchell

Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell drew on family lore to develop the characters from her iconic novel, but some of the most touching love stories can be drawn from real people buried in her family plot.

Marsh Urn

Marsh Urn

Oakland’s iconic urns outside the Marsh mausoleum are tributes to the Marsh family children, one bearing the inscription: “When she had passed, it seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music.”

Tours will be offered at 3 p.m., 4 p.m. and 5 p.m., and spaces for this limited-time engagement must be reserved in advance. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for students and seniors 65+ (with valid ID); $26 for families of two adults and two children; and free for Oakland Cemetery Members and children under 3. Order tickets online at www.ticketalternative.com.

For more details, visit www.oaklandcemetery.com or call 4040-688-2107.

Atlanta’s Top Tasting Menus

By Kate Parham Kordsmeier

Photo courtesy of Nikolai’s Roof

Photo courtesy of Nikolai’s Roof

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner (read: a romantic night out at one of the city’s best restaurants is on most everyone’s radar), it seemed apropos to highlight Atlanta’s top tasting menus.

Nikolai’s Roof: For one of the best skyline views in town, savvy Atlantans know to book a window-facing table at Nikolai’s Roof, an upscale French-Russian hotspot located on the 30th floor of the Hilton Atlanta hotel, where decadent four-course tasting menus (diners choose from a handful of options for each course) are the norm. On Valentine’s Day, a special five-course menu ($110 per person, plus $58 for five wine pairings) featuring items like lump crab terrine, seared foie gras, sautéed swordfish and dark chocolate soufflé, will wow your beloved.

Woodfire Grill: Give Cupid a run for his money by booking a table at this Buckhead gem where chef Matthew Weinstein regularly offers five and seven-course tasting menus (including a vegetarian option) emphasizing local produce, sustainably-raised meats and seafood and avant-garde techniques. This V-Day, expect a five-course feast ($100 per person; wine pairings available) chockfull of indulgences like lobster with local caviar (it’s from UGA!), short ribs with black truffle and dark chocolate cheesecake.

Restaurant Eugene: Ask any local where they spend special occasions and you’re likely to hear Restaurant Eugene, one of Atlanta’s foremost farm-to-table restaurants with a reputation for exquisite fine dining and unparalleled service. No better time to finally check this one off your list than Valentine’s Day, when an exclusive four-course menu will be offered all weekend ($125 per person, with wine pairings available for $70). Don’t miss the crab bread pudding and celebration of cauliflower with Tennessee truffle.

Better Half: Though this Midtown eatery is decidedly more casual than some of the other spots on this list, chef Zach Meloy’s three-course tasting menu (which can also be ordered a la carte) is no less impressive. Meloy’s cooking is always a lesson in balance, contrast and intrigue—just see his seared Brussels sprouts with coconut curry gnocchi and peanuts for proof. Take your sweetheart here on Valentine’s Day for a festive five-course menu (available all weekend for $80 per person or $100 with wine pairings) showcasing inventive creations like tender beef with blue cheese, crispy potato, mushroom veloute and marmite caramel.

Aria: This Buckhead mainstay has been wooing locals for more than a decade with its sumptuous, often slow-cooked fare, served up in a swanky, yet intimate dining room complete with a candlelit wine cellar. A $68 per person, six-course tasting menu is offered every night, but on Valentine’s Day, star-crossed lovers can indulge in a special four-course tasting menu.

KateKate is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and a freelance food and travel writer for more than 100 publications. Click here to read more culinary content from Kate

6 Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day Outdoors in Georgia

By Candy Cook

CLASSIC ROMANCE

Create classic romance, for your outdoorsy Valentine at one of these escapes.

Romance on the River

There’s nothing that better represents the timeless nature of love like Georgia’s rivers. Find river walks with dining nearby at Porterdale’s Yellow River Park and at the Chattahoochee River Walk in Columbus. For something a little more rugged, make a day of hiking or mountain biking Bear Creek in North Georgia. Home to the giant Gennett Poplar, Bear Creek Trail offers a moderate hike and bike along the water, several creek crossings and a relaxing area perfect for a picnic. Speaking of picnics…

Plan a Picturesque Picnic

Pack a blanket and carry a favorite meal to an overlook, for a charming change of scenery. Hike to a spacious wooden deck and a stunning view on Fort Mountain State Park‘s West Overlook Trail or take a more leisurely stroll to picnic on the boulders of Arabia Mountain.

Arabia Mountain. Photo courtesy of Candy Cook.

Arabia Mountain. Photo courtesy of Candy Cook.

Serenade your Sweetheart

Take a scene from classic love stories and serenade your sweetheart, guiding a canoe among the Cypress trees, at the secluded George L Smith State Park.

Waterfall Wonders

Taking the plunge this Valentine’s Day? Georgia’s waterfalls create a stunning backdrop for popping the question.

Coastal Combinations

Well-known for romantic inns, coastal cuisine and southern strolls, a stay in Savannah weaves a weekend of nature and nightlife. Further down the coast, hop on a bike to explore 30 miles of historic sites, ocean views, shopping and eateries on St. Simons Island.

Enchanted Evening

A Valentine’s night hike at Chattahoochee Bend State Park will lead lovers to an observation tower to gaze at the heavens with astronomers. [Reservations required. Click here to learn more.

Camp Cuddles

Cuddle up at a campsite in Crooked River State Park followed by a day of walking with wild horses on Cumberland Island.

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

5 Ways to Make Your Savannah Book Festival Experience Spookier

By Eileen Falkenberg-Hull

Colonial Park Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Flickr user MrTinDC.

Colonial Park Cemetery. Photo courtesy of Flickr user MrTinDC.

This year’s Savannah Book Festival (February 12-15, 2015) features acclaimed spooky stories author Anne Rice as one of it’s featured authors and if you’re coming to town for the event, here are five ways to enhance your trip with the city’s spooky surroundings:

1.)  Take a ghost tour. Savannah is famed for their ghost tours and there are several tour groups that take people around the city either on foot or by trolley.

2.)  Stay at a haunted hotel. Whether you’re booked at the Foley House Inn, a bed and breakfast where human skeletal remains discovered behind a wall have set off an otherworldly chain of events or The Marshall House which served as a Federal Hospital during Sherman’s March to the Sea, there’s a type of haunted lodging for everyone.

3.)  Have a beer at a local pub. Considered one of Savannah’s most haunted attractions, Moon River Brewing Company on West Bay Street, the building was originally the City Hotel, built in 1821. Today they brew their own beer with a rotating, seasonal selection on tap.

4.)  Walk through one of Savannah’s cemeteries. Though not all of Savannah’s cemeteries claim to be haunted, many are well worth a walk through.  Colonial Park Cemetery on Abercorn Street has the spookiest reputation and is the final resting place of most of Savannah’s original inhabitants.

5.)  See a house featured in a famous Savannah novel. The backdrop in the famous novel, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, The Mercer Williams House on Monterey Square was the site of the infamous murder, which resulted in in four murder trials in the 1980s.  Today, the house is home to The Mercer Williams House Museum.

EileenEileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.