The Spookiest Places in Georgia

Instead of just listening to a good ghostly tale, why not visit the actual setting of the story where you can actually feel the presence of the spirits. Here are three of the spookiest places in Georgia. A visit to any of these is sure to get the hair on the back of your neck to stand up.

The Windsor Hotel in Americus

Windsor Hotel

The Windsor Hotel in Americus

Legend has it that at night you can hear the laughter of a little girl running down the halls. The hotel was built in 1892, and the girl is said to be the daughter of a former housekeeper. The housekeeper and girl were pushed down the elevator shaft in the early 1900s and have haunted the hotel ever since. Floyd Lowery is another Windsor Hotel employee that loves the hotel so much he can’t leave. He served as a doorman and elevator man for 40 years, and is apparently still quite helpful. The hotel celebrates their paranormal activity with a 45-minute guided tour highlighting the deep history of the hotel, as well as the ghost stories. More haunted hotels here.

The Old Medical College and Cedar Grove CemeteryAugusta

The Old Medical College and Cedar Grove Cemetery in Augusta

The Old Medical College and Cedar Grove Cemetery in Augusta

When you learn the true history behind the ghosts at the Old Medical College of Georgia, you can understand why they still haunt the place. Of course, budding doctors performed many autopsies here to learn their profession, but when you learn that the bodies were buried in the basement, it gets a bit creepy. Seems finding those cadavers was difficult, so the college hired a slave to dig up bodies in the nearby Cedar Grove Cemetery. The ghost of the Resurrection Man can sometimes be seen walking along the headstones.

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

The Johnny Mercer plot in Bonaventure Cemetery. Photo from Bonaventure Historical Society, Inc., Facebook.

The Johnny Mercer plot in Bonaventure Cemetery. Photo from Bonaventure Historical Society, Inc., Facebook.

Bonaventure Cemetery was made famous in the movie (and book) “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” but if you are looking for the bird girl statue from the book cover, it has been moved to the Telfair Museum. What you will find is the gravesite of songwriter Johnny Mercer, who wrote “Moon River.” Visit on the second Sunday of each month for free walking tours from the Bonaventure Historical Society. On other days, stop by the Visitors Center for a copy of the Historical Society Guide which gives a history of the property and residents. More Georgia cemeteries here.

For more eerie fun, take one of these Atlanta area ghost tours.

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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5 Things to Love About PCM’s Skyline Park

Head to the top of Ponce City Market to enjoy Skyline Park. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Head to the top of Ponce City Market to enjoy Skyline Park. Photo by Lesli Peterson

There’s a buzz in Atlanta about the opening of Skyline Park atop Ponce City Market, with questions about the family-friendliness of the new-school amusement park with old-school charm. Good news – it’s GREAT for families. Here are five reasons to get there now!

Putt-putt Fun

Putt-putt fun at Ponce City Market. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Putt-putt fun at Ponce City Market. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Our family adores the colorful (and challenging) putt-putt course that takes up much of the space on the rooftop. There are great views of the city to take in while awaiting your turn. Go before 4 p.m. to get the best price – kids under 3 years old are FREE to play.

Old-school Arcade

Catch a stunning view of Atlanta from Skyline Park. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Catch a stunning view of Atlanta from Skyline Park. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Visions of Coney Island come to mind as you try to ring bottles with hoops, toss Skee balls, shoot basketballs, or take a ride (or three!) down the Skyline slide. Don’t miss the climb on Heege Tower for the best views of the city.

Flex Entry

Access to the roof at Ponce City Market. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Access to the roof at Ponce City Market. Photo by Lesli Peterson

Yes, you do have to pay to get to the roof (kids under 3 years old are FREE,) but the good news is that your wristband allows you to come and go as you please throughout the day. That means you have no excuse to pass up a meal at the PCM Food Hall.

Read Culinary Explorer Jennifer Hill Booker’s recommendations for 5 Must-Try Food Stalls at Ponce City Market 

Snacks and Libations

Enjoy snacks and drinks while you play arcade games on the PCM roof. Photo credit: Skyline Park.

Enjoy snacks and drinks while you play arcade games on the PCM roof. Photo credit: Skyline Park.

If you need a snack or a drink while you’re on the roof, Skyline aims to please. There are sodas and waters for the kiddos and a bar for adults. When we were there, hubs and I tried a frozen whiskey drink with mint and peaches. Divine! There are also pretzels, frozen bananas, cotton candy and other old-fashioned faves. Look for the new Beer Garden coming in Fall.

Date Night Options

Ponce City Market in Atlanta. Photo: Party on Ponce 2015, Facebook.

Ponce City Market in Atlanta. Photo: Party on Ponce 2015, Facebook.

If you’d rather venture without the kiddos, I recommend heading there after 6 p.m. The rooftop with a night sky and string lights is very romantic. Also, rooftop access for kids is strongly discouraged in the evenings, so it’s a little easier to enjoy a real adult conversation.

We’ve got more details and a short video of Skyline Park here.

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.

Best Georgia Fall Festivals for Shopping

If you’re shopping for the perfect gifts, new décor or tchotchkes for any occasion, Georgia has festivals that you won’t want to miss.

St. Simons Island Antique Show, Sept. 3-4, 2016

St. Simons Island Antique Show takes place in September under the live oaks in Postell Park

St. Simons Island Antique Show takes place in September under the live oaks in Postell Park

Each autumn, Postell Park in St. Simons fills with dealers from across the Southeast selling furniture, collectibles, primitives, jewelry, silver, glassware each year. Its proximity in the Pier Village area makes the St. Simons Island Antique Show a favorite, giving attendees plenty of shopping opportunities.

Yellow Daisy Festival, Sept. 8-11, 2016

You know fall is in the air when the Yellow Daisy Festival comes to Stone Mountain Park!

You know fall is in the air when the Yellow Daisy Festival comes to Stone Mountain Park!

More than two miles of festival grounds welcome visitors to Stone Mountain Park during this annual event. The Yellow Daisy Festival consistently hosts over 400 vendors selling their wares during the four-day event.

Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival, Sept. 16-18, 2016

See why Arts in the Heart of Augusta is a festival-fan favorite in September!

See why Arts in the Heart of Augusta is a festival-fan favorite in September!

The Arts in the Heart of August Festival, consistently ranked as one of the best arts festivals in the country, takes over Augusta each fall. It features a number of artists alongside art-centric experiences, a children’s area, and five stages of entertainment.

Cotton Pickin’ Fair, Oct. 1-2, 2016

Don't miss the pumpkin patch at the Cotton Pickin' Fair!

Don’t miss the pumpkin patch at the Cotton Pickin’ Fair! Photo from Facebook.

Happening each spring and fall, Georgia’s Cotton Pickin’ Fair features skilled artisans and antique specialists selling their wares. Popular items for sale include jams, watercolor paintings, jellies, clothing, sculpture, pottery, quilts, flowers, wood carvings, oil paintings and jewelry. 

Braselton Antique & Artisan Festival, Oct. 21-23, 2016

Explore art, antiques and much more in historic downtown Braselton in October.

Explore art, antiques and much more in historic downtown Braselton in October.

Festival-goers drive from hours away to attend this festival in historic downtown Braselton each year. Braselton Antique & Artisan Festival organizers advertise that shoppers will find antiques, rustics, repurposed creations, local art, furniture, vintage, salvage, primitives, architectural, vintage jewelry, repurposed materials, advertising pieces, ironworks, statuaries, glasswork, pottery, and wood workings for sale alongside locally produced food.

Indie Craft Experience, Atlanta

Shop the Indie Craft Experience in Atlanta for unique craft and vintage items. Photo by Bonnie J. Heath, from Facebook.

Shop the Indie Craft Experience in Atlanta for unique craft and vintage items. Photo by Bonnie J. Heath, from Facebook.

Throughout the year, Indie Craft Experience hosts various maker fairs and pop-up shops. Salvage, a vintage market experience happens each April and September (18, 2016). Summer ICE is set for June, while their Holiday Shopping Spectacular happens right as the holiday season is kicking off.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen Falkenberg-Hull 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.

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. 

5 Things to Do Besides Get a Pumpkin at these Patches

Pumpkin patch at Burt's Farm in Dawsonville

Pumpkin patch at Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville

The lure of a big, fat, fresh pumpkin may get you to a pumpkin farm in Georgia, but these five fall activities will keep you there long after the pumpkins have been put into the trunk.

Make S’mores

Reserve a fire pit at Southern Belle Farms to cap off a day at the farm with s'mores

Reserve a fire pit at Southern Belle Farms to cap off a day at the farm with s’mores

In addition to pumpkins, a corn maze and huge jumpy pillow, Southern Belle Farm in McDonough also has several fire pits available for rent during the fall season. Bring some s’more fixings and enjoy a perfect fall evening under the stars. You’ll need to plan though; you must reserve one of the fire pits at least eight days ahead of your desired date, but the good news is you can request a campfire reservation online. Open weekends Sept. 17 – Nov. 6, 2016.

Wander Through the Corn

Uncle Shuck's 2016 Corn Maze

Uncle Shuck’s 2016 Corn Maze

Several pumpkin patches in Georgia also have corn mazes. Uncle Shucks Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch in Dawsonville, also has the Dark Rows haunted corn maze, which is lit only by the clear blue glow of the moon. Visit for a wickedly fun nighttime journey into the twisted trails of the moonlit cornfield. Open weekends in September and Nov. 1-20, and daily in October.

More North Georgia Pumpkin Patches and Corn Mazes here.

Roll Around

Take a spin in the Roly Poly at the Still Family Farm. Photo from Facebook

Take a spin in the Roly Poly at the Still Family Farm. Photo from Facebook

At the Still Family Farm in Powder Springs, there are lots of kid-friendly games, but pretty much anyone can enjoy the pump duck races and the roly poly, a human-sized hamster ball. Open weekends in September and October.

Watch for Zombies

Venture into the woods at Poppell Farms and brave the Trail of Terror in October

Venture into the woods at Poppell Farms and brave the Trail of Terror in October

Friday and Saturday nights in October, take a stroll along the 800-foot walking trail at Poppel Farms in Odum. But be careful of zombies, the woods along the trail are full of them! Open weekends in October.

Cheer a Pig

Cheer for your favorite pig at Washington Farms in Watkinsville this fall

Cheer for your favorite pig at Washington Farms in Watkinsville this fall

At Washington Farms in Watkinsville, cheer your favorite little piggy in a race to the finish. Not only do the pigs run around a track, but they swim, too! Open weekends Sept. 24 – Oct. 30, 2016.

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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