New York Cuisine, Southern Hospitality at The General Muir

New York City is synonymous with art, high fashion, finance and great food — but not necessarily with great hospitality. So, imagine my surprise when I enjoyed a very hospitable New York-style dinner at The General Muir.

Pan Seared Trout with Fresh Butter Beans at The General Muir. Photo by Jennifer Booker.

Pan Seared Trout with Fresh Butter Beans at The General Muir | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Booker

Charred Tomatoes and Field Peas with Creme Fraiche at The General Muir. Photo by Jennifer Booker.

Charred Tomatoes and Field Peas with Creme Fraiche at The General Muir | Photo courtesy of Jennifer Booker

I sampled the Pan Seared Trout with Fresh Butter Beans, Charred Tomatoes and Field Peas with Crème Fraiche, Chicken Liver Pate, and bowl of Poutine (hand-cut french fries, covered with gravy and topped with cheese curds and crisp pastrami) — all served with a side of exceptional Southern hospitality. For those of you interested in more traditional Southern fare, don’t despair. I also noticed Pecan Crusted French Toast, Deep Fried Springer Mountain Farms Chicken, and even Pickled Eggs on the menu.

Did I mention that The General Muir is a refreshing take on the traditional New York City Jewish delicatessen and located right here in our lovely state? It’s at Emory Point in Atlanta, to be exact. They also offer an amazing brunch menu and a list of some pretty inventive cocktails — for those of you who like that kind of thing. There is even a deli counter attached to the main dining room for those of you wanting to get your bagels and smear to go.

jennifer-hill-booker-1436890751-thumb-230-230-438-151-820-444-90Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.

Georgia’s Tastiest Adventure: BBQ

Old Clinton BBQ rated Georgia the number one state for BBQ in 2014. In 2015, Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge captured the honor of Best BBQ in America. Sufficed to say, Georgia’s got some great ‘que.

How to Find the Best BBQ in Georgia
The problem with great BBQ joints however, is they aren’t always the easiest to find. The best ones are usually a little off the main drag. When on a road trip, our family generally consults Yelp to find a place nearby. After consulting the reviews, the final decision on whether to visit usually rests with the sign outside. If it doesn’t have a pig on it, we question the food quality.

The Brews and Q’s Passport to Flavor
There’s always the Best of Lists too. We’ve found tasty establishments, like Joe’s, based on those lists, and then seek them out when we are in the area. Georgia’s Historic Heartland has gone a step further. They’ve created a Brews & Q’s BBQ Trail. What a brilliant idea! The trail features 30 locally owned locations in 14 counties and each restaurant is listed in an easy to use brochure that serves as your passport to flavor. Many of these country kitchens have been featured on various TV shows and have won awards from numerous outlets. Get it stamped at each place and once you’ve visited a third of the sites (or 10 locations), you can mail in the passport to receive a free Brews & Q’s t-shirt. Download a brochure and get started on a delicious tour through Georgia’s heartland.

For more Fall Fun, visit the Field Trips with Sue Fall Guide.

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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Become an Outdoorswoman at Georgia’s Annual BOW Workshop

Becoming an Outdoorswoman: Wildlife Tracking

Wildlife Tracking

Becoming an Outdoorswoman: Fly Fishing

Fly Fishing | Photo courtesy of Jenn Joh

Last year, I had the pleasure of joining women from all over the country for Georgia’s annual “Becoming an Outdoorswoman” (BOW) program. This exceptional program brings new outdoor experiences to women of all different ages and fitness levels. Participants spend three days attending hands-on workshops led by experts in outdoor skills. You’ll learn more about fishing, backpacking, firearm safety, shooting, scuba diving, wilderness survival and countless other options. This fun weekend serves as a great getaway that prepares women for year-round adventure! Read more about my experience, here.

Becoming an Outdoorswoman: WIlderness Survival

Wilderness Survival

Women, come to BOW if you want to enjoy nature, learn new skills and meet friends in an outdoor environment. BOW is dedicated to empowering women in the wilderness. Becoming an Outdoorswoman workshops taught me wildlife tracking, fly fishing and wilderness survival techniques in a comfortable setting with women like me. I met single mothers, widows, teachers and grandmothers who came to gain knowledge and experience that furthers their enjoyment of the great outdoors. The all-inclusive program offers shared rooms in the beautiful lodge at Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center, with three delicious meals a day and time for socializing. This year’s BOW is on the calendar for November 6-8, 2015 and registration is now open. Hurry, spaces fill quickly! Register online.

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.

Things to Do on Labor Day Weekend in Georgia

Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens

Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens, Labor Day Weekend

As the unofficial end of summer, Labor Day signals the upcoming season of fall festivals, football, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, apple picking and brilliantly colored scenery. Don’t miss the chance to squeeze in one more summer blast at these Georgia Labor Day events! Find more information about these and many more things to do in Georgia on

Food & Drink

Sept. 4: Food Truck Friday, Duluth

Sept. 4-5: Bacon Fest, Savannah

Sept. 4-5: 33rd Annual Kingsland Catfish Festival, Kingsland

Sept. 5: Grape Stomping Festival, Blairsville

Sept. 5: Boos and Brews Pub Crawl, Dahlonega

Sept. 6: August Wine Cruise Series, Lake Lanier

Follow Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer Jennifer Hill Booker for fall recipes and culinary trip ideas, and follow Georgia’s official Festival Explorer Eileen Falkenberg-Hull for more fall festival trip ideas!

At the State Parks

Sept. 4: Labor Day Twilight Paddle, Fort Yargo State Park, Winder

Sept. 4-6: Laborless Day, Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge, Helena

Sept. 5: Red Fox Fun Run, F.D. Roosevelt State Park, Pine Mountain

Sept. 5: Labor Day at Jarrell Plantation, Juliette

Sept. 5: Labor Day Face Painting, Fort Mountain State Park, Chatsworth

Sept. 5: Labor Day Celebration, Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill

Sept. 5: Dirty Spokes Trail Run, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge

Sept. 5-6: Wild Cave Tours, Cloudland Canyon State Park, Rising Fawn

Sept. 5-6: Labor Day Weekend Night Kayak, Hard Labor Creek State Park, Rutledge

Sept. 5-6: Tightrope Lessons, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls

Sept. 5-6: Twilight Night Paddle, High Falls State Park, Jackson

Sept. 5-7: Holiday Gorge Floor Hike, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Tallulah Falls

Sept. 5-7: Tools and Skills That Built a Colony, Wormsloe Historic Site, Savannah

Sept. 5-7: Labor Day on the Lake, Florence Marina State Park, Omaha

Sept. 7: Labor Day at Fort King George, Darien

Sept. 7: Labor Day Commemoration, Fort Morris Historic Site, Midway

Follow Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer Candy Cook for more outdoor trip ideas this fall!

Family Fun

Sept. 4: Hot Rods on Main Cruise-In, Douglasville

Sept. 4: Dive In Movie, Atlantis, Lake Lanier

Sept. 4-5: Fiddlin’ Flea Market & Family Festival, Newnan

Sept. 4-6: Sky High Hot Air Balloon Festival at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain

Sept. 4-6: Stone Mountain Park’s Labor Day Weekend Celebration, Stone Mountain

Sept. 5: Dive In Movie, Finding Nemo, Lake Lanier

Sept. 5-6: St. Simons Island Antique Show, St. Simons Island

Sept. 5-7: Labor Day Weekend at the Zoo, Cleveland

Sept. 6: Tybee Island Labor Day Beach Bash, Tybee Island

Follow Georgia’s official Family Explorer Lesli Peterson for more family-friendly fall trip ideas!

Free Things to Do

Sept. 4: 1st Friday Concert, Rome

Sept. 4: Friday Night Live: The Great Downtown Tailgate, Woodstock

Sept. 4: First Friday Fireworks, Savannah

Sept. 4: First Friday: The Benders, Thomasville

Sept. 4: First Friday Concert Series, The Swingin’ Medallions, Monroe

Sept. 4: First Friday Concert Series, Top 40 Pop Night, Dublin

Sept. 4: First Fridays, Historic Downtown Brunswick

Sept. 4: First Friday, Valdosta

Sept. 4: First Friday Fest in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, Clayton

Sept. 5: Good Life Drum Circle, Albany

Sept. 5: Buchanan Cruise Night, Buchanan

Sept. 5: Bluegrass on the Square, Tallulah Falls

Sept. 5: First Saturday Programs, Andersonville

Sept. 5-6: Perspectives 2015 – Georgia Pottery Invitational demonstrations and gallery talks, Watkinsville

Follow Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer Sue Rodman for more inexpensive fall trip ideas!

Sports & Racing

Sept. 4-6: IPRA World Championship Fall Rodeo, Cumming

Sept. 5: South Hall Rotary 5K, Gainesville

Sept. 5: 21st Annual Duck Race, Glenwood

Sept. 6: Callaway Gardens Family Fitness Series Triathlon, Pine Mountain

Last Chance! Events Ending Labor Day Weekend

Through Sept. 7: Summer Music Weekends, Lookout Mountain

Through Sept. 7: Blue Star Museums, Albany

Through Sept. 8: Festival Springs Fountain, Albany

Opening Labor Day Weekend

Sept. 1-Sept. 30: Blue Morpho Butterfly Month at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain

Sept. 4-Oct. 30: Augusta Canal Moonlight Music Cruise, Augusta

Sept. 5-Oct. 11: Blue Ridge Mountains Photographers National Juried Show, Blue Ridge

Find special offers and discounts on great places to stay in Georgia on the Deals page.

Your Reynolds Plantation Family Bucket List

The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation is an elegant getaway just east of Atlanta. If you are familiar with the Ritz-Carlton brand then you already know the incredible family–friendly atmosphere of their properties. From the rooms to the activities, kids are not an afterthought. Reynolds Plantation is must-do escape for every family. Here is your bucket list of adventure at this Greensboro escape.

Reynolds Plantation

The Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation


Celebrate with fireworks! There is still enough time to enjoy the final Lake Summer Concert Series. AiA, a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, will play on the lakeside lawn Sept. 6 from 7:45 p.m. – 9:45 p.m. Fireworks immediately follow the concert. If you miss this one, be sure to watch their Facebook page for upcoming events, including extraordinary fall and winter celebrations for the kids.

Ride the train. My little guy loved riding the Linger Longer Express around the Reynolds Plantation property. The 10-minute ride is complimentary for hotel guests, and leaves the lobby at 3 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Nosh on s’mores by the lake. Ask my kiddos about their favorite event of our stay and they will both tell you, “S’mores!” Every evening the Ritz-Carlton team lights the cozy lakeside bonfire and offers gigantic sticks with marshmallows for kids (and parents!) to roast. You’ll also find graham crackers, chocolate and plenty of lemonade. The celebration is complimentary for guests and begins at 8 p.m. each evening, running until 10 p.m. (and later on weekends).smores-by-the-lake-reynolds-plantation

Play at the lake. With Lake Oconee as the beautiful backdrop to this Ritz resort, you can’t miss the opportunity to enjoy the water. Play at the beach with plenty of sand for the kids, jumping mats and more. Venture further with Yolo boards, pedal boats, kayaks or canoes for rent (or opt for the Resort Activity Package for unlimited access.) Jet skis and boats are also available for rental.

Relax at the outdoor pool. The infinity pool overlooking Lake Oconee is breathtaking. The deck was recently renovated with additional seating and restrooms, also. Don’t miss the small kiddo-pool. It’s perfect for toddlers under the shade of an umbrella, but I could not keep my guys out of the big pool. With wait staff on hand from Gaby’s By The Lake, you can order lunch or drinks while you swim.

Sip on an (Un)Buzzed Lightyear. Speaking of drinks by the pool, ordering your kids an Unbuzzed Lightyear is a must! This mocktail is a blue lemonade filled with gummy bears. While hubby and I enjoyed piña coladas, the boys felt special with their “fancy drinks.” Another Ritz-Carlton touch that makes staying here special for kiddos.

Ritz Kids Camp. This is the only bucket list item we didn’t check off; kiddos must be 5 years old to participate so we have a few years to go. Mom and Dad can take a short respite at the spa or on the golf course while the kids enjoy a structured program with activities that are both physical and creative.

This is just the tip of the iceberg at Reynolds Plantation. It’s more than a resort…it’s an oasis for the entire family. Read more about why we named it The Best Family Resort in Georgia.

LesliLesli is the Georgia’s official Family Explorer and the owner of365AtlantaFamily, which offers a daily dose of inspiration for metro-area families. Click here for more Family content from Lesli.