Monadnock Madness

Sunset at Arabia Mt (3)

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.

monadnockFeeling 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.

Kimberly EstepWhen 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.

10 Ways to Use the 2014 Georgia Travel Guide

TravelGuide2014The official 2014 Georgia Travel Guide is the state’s premiere marketing resource for visitors and vacation planning. This FREE full-color, magazine-size guide provides visitors with information on Georgia’s tourism assets including trip ideas, attractions, accommodations, events and more. The Georgia Travel Guide is organized by nine travel regions to help you plan your visit.

To get a copy of state’s official 2014 travel guide – visit our brochure room on ExploreGeorgia.org, stop at one of our 11 Visitor Information Centers or call 1-800-VISIT GA.

  1. Relive the excitement of the 1939 premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on page 12
  2. Go to page 15 and make note of Georgia’s unique seasonal offerings
  3. Use the Georgia State Parks guide on page 27 to plan a year full of outdoor adventure
  4. Take a road trip through time with our Civil War feature on page 34
  5. Make plans to visit all of the featured locations on our list of “100 Inspiring, Engaging Arts & Culture Attractions” on page 10
  6. See fan-submitted Instagram photos & tweets about Georgia on page 49, 73, 89, 99, 111, 119, 135, 151 and 161
  7. Get a full list of Georgia’s festivals
  8. Find an attraction that fits your interests in any Georgia city
  9. Discover Georgia’s small towns and best kept secrets
  10. Use our accommodations listings to find a hotel, bed & breakfast, resort and more in any city in Georgia

Valentine’s Day in Georgia

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge in Dawsonville, Georgia.

Love is in the air in Georgia! Whether you’re single, married or looking for a date night - we can help you find the perfect Valentine’s Day plans.

For the couple who wants to get away:

2/13/14 – 2/15/14: Dublin Farm’s Valentine’s Day Weekend Celebration in Dublin.

2/13/14 – 2/15/14: Full Snow Moon – Valentine’s Day Weekend Celebration at Paradise Hills Resort in Blairsville.

2/14/14 – 2/15/14: Valentine’s Day at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain.

2/14/14-2/15/14: Valentine’s Day Specials at Seventy-Four Ranch in Jasper.

 2/14/14 – 2/15/14: Valentine’s Day at Lake Lanier Islands Resort in Buford.

2/14/14-2/15/14: Valentine’s Day Packages at Chateau Elan in Braselton.

2/14/14-2/15/14: Valentine’s Day Special at Hilton Garden Inn in Albany.

2/14/14 – 2/15/14: Valentine’s Day at Ashford Manor Bed & Breakfast in Watkinsville.

2/14/14-2/17/14: Romance Package at The Colonels Bed & Breakfast in Athens.

2/14/15: Romance Package & Zip-lining at Historic Banning Mills in Whitesburg.

For the artistic couple:

2/13/14-2/15/14: Drive-By Truckers at the 40 Watt Club in Athens.

2/13/14 – 2/15/14: “Heartbreaks & Hallelujahs” at the Averitt Center for the Arts in Statesboro.

2/14/14: “A Viennese Valentine” at RiverCenter for the Performing Arts in Columbus.

2/14/14: Valentine’s Day Big Band Explosion at The Grand Theatre in Cartersville.

 2/14/14: Travis Tritt Acoustic Valentine’s Day Concert at The Classic Center in Athens.

2/14/14: Valentines Concert featuring Jazz legend, Francine Reed, at The Melting Point in Athens.

2/14/14-2/15/14: Valentine’s Date Night Wine & Canvas at Fancy Doodle Art & Canvas in Helen.

2/15/14: Country Sweetheart Tribute Concert at Unicoi State Park & Lodge in Helen.

For the foodie couple:

Every Weekend in February: Wine & Chocolate Lovers Celebration at Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega.

2/11/14-2/14/14: Valentines Events at Heirloom Cafe in Athens.

2/14/14: Terrapin Valentine’s Beer Dinner at Hotel Indigo in Athens.

2/14/14: Valentine’s Day Dinner at Woodfire Grill in Atlanta.

2/14/14: Be Mine? Valentine’s Day Dinner at The National in Athens.

2/14/14: Cooking Healthy for the Love of Your Life at Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange.

2/14/14 – 2/15/14: Athens Food Tour Valentine’s Edition: Sweets & Drinks in Athens.

2/14/14 – 2/15/14: Romance Under the Stars at Hunter Cattle Company in Brooklet.

2/14/14-2/15/14: Valentine’s Dinner at Barnsley Resort in Adairsville.

2/15/14: Wine & Chocolate Celebration at Tiger Mountain Vineyard in Tiger.

For the couple who is ready to say, “I do”:

 2/14/14: Valentine’s Day Weddings in the Davenport House Garden in Savannah.

2/14/14: Cupid at the Castle at Rhodes Hall in Atlanta.

 

For more romantic ideas, visit our Find Romance in Georgia Pinterest board. 

Georgia Roots Music Festival

1213-ED-GA Roots poster (2)

The Georgia Roots Music Festival, celebrating Georgia’s rich musical heritage, hits Atlanta on January 18 and, best of all, it’s FREE. “Roots music” refers to the music rooted in our culture and the traditions that reflect the past and present residents of our state — Native Americans, Europeans, Africans, and our growing immigrant communities. This year’s festival, which will take place at the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown, will deliver a diverse and dynamic collection of music from a variety of genres, and here are five performances that are just too good to miss:

1. McIntosh County Shouters: The “ring shout” is a tradition that has endured generations, and no one has done more to preserve and promote the practice than the McIntosh County Shouters. The Shouters tell a story through centuries-old Gullah Geechee slave shouts that have a deep meaning and an equally compelling appeal to the ear. With driving beats derived from nothing more than a stick pounding a board and the clapping of hands, this call and response style of song evokes a sense of how faith, music, and community can lift our spirits. Performance: 12:00 p.m.

2. The AJ Ghent Band: The AJ Ghent Band brings an energy and excitement to the stage that electrifies every crowd. AJ describes himself as “overall, a soulful kind of guy,” although he tends to blend other styles into his playing. His music speaks of love, life, relationships, changes, and hardship, and has been described as providing a “melodic high.” AJ has opened for Zac Brown Band and was recently signed to Southern Ground Records. Performance: 3:15 p.m.

3. The Albany Civil Rights Institute Freedom Singers: Rutha Harris lived the Civil Rights Movement and logged over 50,000 miles traveling the country with the original Freedom Singers. Miss Harris reinstituted the group to keep the songs of the movement alive, and they also know how put on a good show. What better time to have them in Atlanta than on the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend! Performance: 5:50 p.m.

4. The Skillet Lickers: The Skillet Lickers’ name is synonymous with string band music in Georgia. Phil and Russ Tanner, grandson and great grandson of band founder Gid Tanner, keep the band’s nine-decade tradition alive. The music of the Skillet Lickers helped lay the foundation for today’s country and bluegrass genres. The band performs breakdown songs, comic folksongs, and a variety of country and bluegrass standards. Performance: 1:20 p.m.

5. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra: This is not your typical ASO. Members of the Orchestra will bring immigrant roots into the mix with traditional huapangos arranged by ASO violinist Juan Ramirez. These dances, originating from the Huasteca region of Mexico, never fail to bring the crowd to their feet. You can look forward to sensational violin solos by Assistant Concertmaster Justin Bruns, accompanied by the rhythmic guitar work of Mr. Ramirez, and an energetic string ensemble. Performance: 4:10 p.m.

Additional details are available at GaRoots.org. We hope to see you there!

Georgia Roots Music Festival: January 18, 2014 from Noon-6:30 PM.

Atlanta Symphony logoThe Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (ASO), currently in its 69th season, is one of America’s leading orchestras. The ASO performs more than 200 concerts each year for a combined audience of more than a half million in a full schedule of performances, and reaches more than 87,000 students and underserved members of the community through its education and community outreach programs (www.aso.org). 

Fan Photo Friday

Submit your Georgia photos for the chance to be featured:

Cloudland Canyon State Park on New Year's Day. Photo by Xuan Zheng. Submitted via Facebook.

Cloudland Canyon State Park on New Year’s Day. Photo by Xuan Zheng. Submitted via Facebook.

Jekyll Island. Photo by Evangelio Gonzalez. Submitted via Flickr.

Jekyll Island. Photo by Evangelio Gonzalez. Submitted via Flickr.

New Year's Eve in Duluth, Georgia. Photo by @murphy5360. Submitted via Instagram.

New Year’s Eve in Duluth, Georgia. Photo by @murphy5360. Submitted via Instagram.