Full Moon Parties, Paddles & Hikes for the Lunar Eclipse

There is no reason to limit outdoor adventuring to the day. Georgia’s most enchanting evenings glow with the silvery light of the moon shining through the pines. September’s harvest moon dazzles hikers and paddlers with a total lunar eclipse on the 27th.

full moon

Photo by Candy Cook

Saturday, Sept. 26

Tallulah Gorge State Park
Paddle along the shimmering waters of Tallulah Lake, guided by the light of a full moon. Space is limited for this ranger-led paddle. Register in advance! $15/706-754-7981

Panola Mountain State Park
Watch the sunset over Atlanta from one of Georgia’s most fascinating places, Panola Mountain. This magical 1.5-mile hike ends with s’mores around a campfire. Register in advance, as space is limited on this special guided hike. $10/770-389-7801

Sweetwater Creek State Park
Choose a tandem kayak or a canoe for this relaxing paddle. This night paddle is limited to swimmers over 18 years old, making it a perfect date night. Limited space for this event requires advance registration. $25/770-732-5871

Sunday, Sept. 27

Tallulah Gorge State Park
Bring a flashlight and a sense of wonder along on this moderately strenuous one-mile hike for beautiful views from the suspension bridge crossing the gorge. Call in advance. $5/706-754-7981

Sweetwater Creek State Park
ECLIPSE VIEWING: Go to the bait shop area of Sweetwater Creek State Park to view the rare total eclipse of the harvest moon over Sparks Reservoir. Special hours for the event keep this park area open until 11 p.m. 770-732-5871

PADDLE: Sweetwater’s second enchanting paddle under the harvest moon includes viewing the total lunar eclipse from kayak or canoe on Sparks Reservoir. Limited to swimmers 18 and over. Register in advance. $25/770-732-5871

Hard Labor Creek State Park
Paddle Lake Rutledge to watch the total lunar eclipse over the water. Eclipse begins near 8 p.m. and peaks at about 10 p.m. Space is limited for this rare event. Please register. $20/706-557-3001

Fort Yargo State Park
Join a ranger for a paddle to enjoy the beautiful night sky and witness the total lunar eclipse. Limited space requires advance registration for this special event. $20/770-867-3489

Fort Mountain State Park
Go to the dam at Fort Mountain Lake to watch as the Earth’s shadow casts over the moon in a total lunar eclipse. This rare event combines September’s harvest moon with the reddish tint of an eclipse to produce a spectacular sight that’s known as a “blood moon.” Call for further details and reserve a spot. $5/706-422-1932

Tellus Science Museum
Visit on the evening of Sunday, Sept. 27 for the final total eclipse of the 2014-2015 lunar eclipse tetrad (a group of four consecutive total lunar eclipses). General admission.

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.

Fall Fun on the Atlanta BeltLine

Outdoor fun is found in the city this fall! The Atlanta BeltLine hosts everything from free fitness classes to art installations. Here are a few to enjoy as the cool crisp autumn air moves into Georgia.

Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade

Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade. Photo courtesy of the Atlanta BeltLine.

Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade – September 12
Art on the Atlanta BeltLine opens each year with a magical Lantern Parade along the Eastside Trail. Five fun bands add to the sounds of celebration as the parade-goers walk the trail with glowing colored lights. This free event coincides with the festivities of Old Fourth Ward Fall Fest. Attend lantern making workshops on Sept 9 & 11 to get ready!

Adults & Kids Learn to Ride a Bike + Basic Mountain Biking – September 12
Biking is an excellent way to enjoy our beloved BeltLine, and REI wants to make sure you can do it! Patient instructors combine group and personal coaching as new cyclists build basic skills such as balancing, braking, and maneuvering bikes. Basic mountain biking techniques will be taught in another exciting class. Adults (12 and older) can borrow a bike and helmet on the scene! After mastering the bicycle, join one of the BeltLine bike tours happening throughout October. Register for all events.

Play Day on the Atlanta BeltLine – September 20
Meet friends and discover outdoor games at this fun-filled day of play on the BeltLine. Local coaches and organizations come together at Washington Park to offer free family activities, arts, and fitness education. A variety of fun for all fitness levels encourage everyone to get out and play!

Atlanta BeltLine Yoga

Atlanta BeltLine Yoga. Photo courtesy of the Atlanta BeltLine.

Yoga, Trail Yoga, Yoga for Families – Throughout September
Bring your yoga practice outdoors with professional yoga instructors. A variety of evening yoga classes offer great ways for beginners, families, and advanced yogis to enhance their practice and outdoor experience. Yoga For Families encourages parents and kids to strengthen bonds, while Trail Yoga builds flexibility and endurance by including a hike. Register in advance for Yoga For Families.

Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum Walking Tour with Trees Atlanta – Throughout September and October
Join Trees Atlanta for a walking tour to explore the dynamic nature of the Eastside Trail. Focusing on interesting facts and plant-based history, this guided walking tour gives participants a renewed appreciation for natural spaces in the city.

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 Things Everyone Attending TomorrowWorld Needs to Know

The Gathering | TomorrowWorld 2015

Photo courtesy of Joe Silberzweig, TomorrowWorld

You don’t have to rent a car. If you’re flying into Atlanta for TomorrowWorld, you won’t have to rent a car or worry about dealing with public transportation to the TomorrowWorld site (about 20 minutes from the airport) because there are quick, convenient TomorrowWorld specific shuttles. Get your shuttle pass in advance to ensure they have a space for you here.

You don’t need to bring cash. There’s no need to worry about bringing cash to TomorrowWorld. Your TomorrowWorld Bracelet serves as your entry ticket to the festival and Dreamworld plus it’s the only form of payment accepted inside TomorrowWorld. You can load your bracelet before you go or at Top Up stations throughout the event.

You can store your stuff and charge your devices all at once. Want to keep your possessions safe while you party? Both TomorrowWorld and Dreamworld will have lockers for your convenience. Also, each locker has a charging device inside that is compatible with most major devices.

TomorrowWorld isn’t just about the music. It’s the full event experience that makes the festival unique. Don’t miss spin class, yoga, a full body workout incorporating EDM called Bass Bodies, meditation, pilates, speed dating and more!

House of Books | TomorrowWorld 2015

Photo courtesy of Joe Silberzweig, TomorrowWorld

It’s a great excuse to Explore Georgia. TomorrowWorld is in Chattahoochee Hills, about 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta, home of the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center and Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Very close to the event location is Serenbe, a live/work/play community focused on sustainable country living. You can tour their farm, go for a horseback ride or indulge in their regular wine and beer tastings. Their local restaurants, The Farmhouse and The Hil, are worth making a reservation for.

Just minutes away from Chattahoochee Hills is Historic Banning Mills where you can zipline on the World’s Longest Zipline, drop down the 100-foot power free fall and watch a birds of prey show.

Also close is the town of Senoia where The Walking Dead is filmed. Tours of filming locations are regularly offered. In the same town, TV host Rutledge Wood’s parents have a restaurant, Katie Lou’s Café where he can be often found when he’s in town, and musician Zac Brown owns Southern Ground Social Club.

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.

September in Savannah

Savannah Bacon Fest

Bacon Fest | Photo courtesy of the Savannah Waterfront Association

September in Savannah is filled with festivals and fun. Every weekend there’s a new reason to explore one of the state’s most historic cities!

Bacon Fest – Rousakis Riverfront Plaza plays home to the second annual edition of the popular pork-filled festival on September 4-5, 2015. While you’re in town for the festival, be sure to check out some of Savannah’s great breakfast locations where you can get bacon like Henry’s on Drayton Street.

Savannah Craft Brew Fest – On September 5 200 different beers from 68 different breweries are able to be tasted during the annual event. While you’re in town for the Craft Brew Fest, be sure to check out some of the city’s local breweries like Moon River Brewing CompanyService Brewing Co. and Southbound Brewing Company.

Savannah Craft Brew Fest

Savannah Craft Brew Fest

Tybee Island Beach Bash – Though not properly in Savannah, if you’re in town you won’t want to miss the kid-friendly event featuring live music during the day and fireworks at dusk. Be sure to bring your camera to capture the beach and pier scene at sunset.

Savannah Pride Festival – On September 12, everyone is invited to celebrate the diversity of the city during the annual Savannah Pride Celebration in Forsyth Park.

Savannah International Food and Wine Tasting – This September 13 event features 50+ wines and dishes from nearly 20 of the city’s most beloved restaurants with proceeds benefiting Meals on Wheels.

Coastal Arts Fair – The first edition of this Tybee Island festival kicks off September 26 in Memorial Park. Artists from across the Southeastern U.S. will be showcasing their work. While you’re in the area, be sure to check out local artists’ work at galleries in City Market in downtown Savannah or at Art by the Sea on Tybee Island.

2013 Savannah Jazz Festival in Forsyth Park

Savannah Jazz Festival | Photo courtesy of the Coastal Jazz Association

Savannah Jazz Festival – For eight days, September 20-27, individuals and families are invited to listen to the sounds of the festival, all for free! While you’re in town, be sure to check out Savannah’s nightlife when live acts play in local clubs and bars around town.

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.

Labor Day Outdoors!

Labor Day Weekend is coming up quick. Make your plans for the last blast of summer! Here are some ways to enjoy the outdoors September 5-7.

Labor Day Paddle at SweetwaterThe beautiful blazing colors of fall are almost upon us. Get ready to experience the seasonal change in a brand new way by learning to kayak! Imagine taking in the breathtaking scene of trees topped with brilliant golds and reds reflected along the banks of lakes and rivers. Sweetwater Creek State Park offers the perfect chance to prepare with Introduction to Kayaking Classes this Labor Day Weekend. Women, join qualified instructors on Sunday, September 6 or join the co-ed class on Monday, September 7. Reservations are required: 770-732-5871

Biking & Blading
Labor Day on the Silver Comet TrailHead to Rockmart to ride the Silver Comet Trail with Georgia’s Rails Into Trails Society. This annual Labor Day event brings cyclists, runners and rollerbladers together to celebrate the multi-use paved trail. Several options for participating include 13 miles to Brushy Mountain Tunnel, 27 miles to Cedartown, and a 62-mile ride to the Georgia-Alabama state line. Register online or on-site.

Labor Day Camping at Stone MountainMake camp near Stone Mountain Park‘s tranquil lake and enjoy the last blast of summer this Labor Day Weekend! Spend the day exploring the 5-mile Cherokee Trail, enjoying the view from the top, and playing with the kids on the Crossroads attractions. When night falls, relax on Memorial Lawn for the special Labor Day Lasershow Spectacular.

Labor Day Hiking at Tallulah GorgeJoin the Canyon Climbers Club at Tallulah Gorge to enjoy the last swim of summer near Bridal Veil Falls. This is a strenuous trek that takes hikers from the overlooks deep into the gorge. Along the way, hikers encounter a suspension bridge, river crossings and new hiking friends. The 3.5-mile hike takes most of the day, so pack some snacks and wear sturdy shoes! Space is limited, so register in advance for one of the hikes happening Labor Day Weekend. Sept 5, 6, and 7. 706-754-7981

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.