Georgia’s Spookiest Places

Battle of Pickett's Mill by Rick Reeves

Battle of Pickett’s Mill by Rick Reeves

The sight of brutal hand to hand combat during the Civil War, Pickett’s Mill Battlefield is no stranger to tragedy. Open to the public, battlefield visitors have reported the sound of strange moans and shadowy figures running through the forest. Click here to learn more about Pickett’s Mill Battlefield’s eerie past.

Central State Hospital. Photo Credit:

Photo Credit:

Driving around the largely empty and decrepit campus of Central State Hospital in Milledgeville, Georgia, there in an eerie calm that belies its often chaotic past, when it was overrun with patients committed for all manner of mental afflictions. Learn more about the hospital’s history here. The public is not allowed access to the buildings


Battle of Chickamauga (lithograph by Kurz and Allison, 1890).

Chickamauga Battlefield was the scene of one of the Civil War’s bloodiest battles. Ever since the Civil War, people have encountered strange going-on at the battlefield grounds. Some have heard the sound of gunshots at night, or of soldiers marching, moaning and crying. Learn more about Chickamauga Battlefield’s spirited side here.

Photo Credit: The Grand Opera House

Photo Credit: The Grand Opera House

The Grand Opera House in Macon’s resident ghost is Randell Widner, the former managing director who committed suicide in a room above the stage in 1971. Be careful – Randell may pop out and chastise you if you are not respectful of “his” grand old opera house.

Haunted-Pillar-of-Augusta - hankering for history

Photo Credit:

Augusta’s Haunted Pillar is all that remains of a farmer’s market that once stood at 5th and Broad Streets in downtown Augusta. The market stood from 1830 until February 7, 1878, when it was destroyed in a tornado. According to local legend, an attempt to move, destroy the pillar, or even touch it will result in death.


Best New Restaurants in Atlanta to Try this Fall


Expedia Viewfinder and Explore Georgia joined efforts to celebrate some of the newest restaurants in Atlanta this autumn.

Georgia has a sense of charm, especially during the fall, and there’s no better way to experience it than with a healthy appetite. Famous for comfort food, Georgia’s restaurants don’t disappoint. The culinary scene, in Atlanta in particular, is branching out to deliver patrons exciting new tastes this autumn. Here at Expedia Viewfinder, we teamed up with the Peach State experts over at Explore Georgia to showcase some of the best new restaurants to try this fall in Atlanta:

South Main Kitchen

Located in Historic Downtown Alpharetta, South Main Kitchen features a rustic lumber interior with industrial touches. This 1900s brick building boasts a rooftop deck, communal seating, and live music, which create a warm and welcoming ambience, especially in the cooler months.

The South Main Kitchen owners know how to keep a menu Southern fresh. Currently filled with seasonal local vegetables, the menu offers grilled chicken with goat cheese, caramelized Vidalias (onions from Vidalia, Georgia), pecans, and sweet fig compote. This fall, order the pork rinds with Cajun seasoning and savor the flavorful kick.

Victory Sandwich Bar

On a cool autumn evening, Victory Sandwich Bar is the perfect place for late-night dinner and drinks. The quirky sandwich bar sits in the middle of Decatur, surrounded by restaurants and pubs.

The restaurant’s food menu includes simple, tasty sandwiches. The Han Cholo, filled with chorizo, feta, tomatillo salsa, and pickled onions, is one particularly scrumptious sandwich selection. Victory’s Southern roots are also apparent in several favorites such as the boiled peanuts and Low Country shrimp and grits.

This stop is truly a one-of-a-kind find in Atlanta, as it features a full bar that mixes up creatively-named concoctions. Cocktails like Dark ’n’ Stormy and Walk of Shame pique the curiosity of diner’s as they skim the menu. As enticing as the entire selection sounds, the good ol’ Jack & Coke Slushie is the most famous treat by far.

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

With an enthusiastic and patriotic camping theme, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall not only has an interesting ambience, but a distinctive menu, too. The epitome of southern dining, this restaurant touts picnic tables and a screen porch–perfect for Georgia’s fall days.

Ladybird’s menu is a mix of traditional camping food with off-the-wall categories, including trail snacks, campfire, and base camp selections to keep with the rustic route. The restaurant serves up nibbles, such as crunchy homemade cracker jacks, as well as heartier meals of chicken and dumplings, and braised pork shoulder.

What’s campsite grub without s’mores? Don’t worry, Ladybird’s dessert menu features a delectable peanut butter s’mores pie made with graham cracker crust, homemade peanut butter, dark chocolate mousse, and marshmallow fluff to fulfill camping cravings this fall.

Gypsy Kitchen

Set in the posh neighborhood of Buckhead, this Spanish-Moroccan-inspired eatery is trendy, whimsical in its décor, and a testament to the growth of worldly restaurants in the area. Gypsy Kitchen’s menu remains true to the Moroccan and Spanish spirit, as it serves up traditional spices and herbs with a touch of contemporary flair.

The dishes embrace the flavors of the Iberian Peninsula with hints of saffron, mint, paprika, and sherry. Although small dishes and appetizers appear on the menu, Gypsy Kitchen also offers Platos a la Planxa, large dishes for the table to share. The Majorcan-style whole branzino is an especially noteworthy dish, which includes an entire European sea bass with potato, piquillo pepper, kale, tomato, pine nuts, and golden raisins. The bold and spicy flavors at this restaurant are sure to turn up the heat on any autumn day in Atlanta.

From Southern comforts to late-night eats, the Georgia culinary scene invites hungry travelers and locals to chow down as the sweater weather rolls in. This fall, explore Atlanta and let your taste buds lead the way. Test out these delectable new restaurants to complete your autumn-inspired travels in Atlanta.


Written by Expedia Staff Writer

Ghost Sightings in Dahlonega, Georgia

cemeteryghostgirl smaller

She’s a ghostly little girl who died at age eight from consumption in 1884. When she’s seen, Betsy wears a long white dress, mostly playing in the Dahlonega Public Square, where she peeps out of windows in the upper floors of the historic building that houses Paul Thomas Chocolates and Giggle Monkey Toys.  When the chocolate shop relocated there, many employees quit, especially the ones working late, who were creeped out over the feeling that someone was watching them.  She’s apparently fond of chocolate. One morning two canisters were completely empty, with no bits remaining as there would have been if animals had torn into them. She’s also fond of the song, “You Are My Sunshine,” for many people have heard their cellphones or other electronic devices playing the tune – over and over – until they were unplugged or the batteries were removed.

For skeptics, here’s a fact about that ghostly little girl:  A visitor to The Crimson Moon Café once left their young daughter in an upstairs room for a few minutes, only to come back and find her playing hide and seek.  “With whom?” asked the parent. “Don’t you see that little girl in the white dress over there?” answered the daughter.

Dahlonega, Georgia has a very haunted history, thanks to its gold-mining, Civil War and Trail of Tears past, as well as its geology. Two new tours give guests the tingly details. Sightings of Civil War soldiers playing cards in Mount Hope Cemetery, ghosts who rattle dishes and pans in restaurants on the Public Square, chairs and chess pieces being moved when no one was there…the stories go on and on and are corroborated by town residents.

Dahlonega Ghost Walk – Historic Hauntings Tour

Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.

Adults $15, Children $5

Tour guide and founder Jeremy Sharp has studied Dahlonega’s history and worked with paranormal researchers using thermal cameras and other equipment to document some sightings. Tour is approximately 1.3 miles long. Tours, all on paved, designated walkways, with the exception of Mount Hope Cemetery, end in front of the Visitors Center, 13 South Park Street.

Haunted Dahlonega: Spirits, Legends & Lore

Conducted by the Friends of the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site

Saturdays at 7 p.m.

November 1

$10 tickets available at the Dahlonega Gold Museum to benefit the Historic Site


The not-for-profit Friends of the Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site, conducts fun, interactive tours suitable for adults and children. The narrative was written by local author Trisha Slay, who explains why Dahlonega is such a hotbed of activity, includes Cherokee folktales, and explores local mysteries and hauntings.  Proceeds assist in keeping The Gold Museum open seven days a week.

Fan Photo Friday: Fall Foliage Edition

Submit your photos for the chance to be featured!

Taken from the View Mount Mitchell Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Melissa Bartlett Owens‎ via Facebook.

Taken from the View Mount Mitchell Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Photo by Melissa Bartlett Owens‎ via Facebook.

October morning in the North Georgia Mountains. Photo by @RickAndersonOBX via Twitter.

October morning in the North Georgia Mountains. Photo by @RickAndersonOBX via Twitter.

Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. Photo by Clara Williams via Flickr.

Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. Photo by Clara Williams via Flickr.


How Fernbank Museum Does Halloween

Blog Photo 2Fernbank is changing Museum to BOO-seum! This Saturday, October 25 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. get ready to trick-or-treat, do the monster mash with DJ Mikey, win the monster toss and brave the spider swamp at Fernbank’s annual Halloween bash! Halloween isn’t complete without lots of candy and treats, and you can even watch the Georgia Bubbleman’s “tricks” with giant bubble fun! Costumes are encouraged and fun is inevitable, so practice your witchy cackle and get ready to dance your socks off!

Blog Photo 6A little too old for trick-or-treating? Never fear, Martinis & IMAX will celebrate Fright Night on October 31 from 7 p.m. -11 p.m.! Try our devilishly-delicious specialty cocktails and dance the night away with live music from Bogey and the Viceroy. Make sure to come dressed in your Halloween-best in order to walk away as the winner of our costume contest! Need a break from the scary good time? Never fear, we’ll also be serving up two killer IMAX® films: Pandas: The Journey Home and Galapagos: Nature’s Wonderland. Guests will also get a special night time viewing of Fernbank’s new special exhibition Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear.


Admission to Fernbank BOO-seum and Goose Bumps! The Science of Fear is free with Museum admission. Museum ticket prices are $18 for adults, $17 for students/seniors, $16 for children ages 3-12 and free for children ages two and under.  Fernbank members receive free Museum admission.

Tickets for Martinis & IMAX Fright Night, start at $8 for cover charge. Fernbank members do not have to pay a cover charge. Additional ticket options available online.