Tour #GeorgiaEats with Georgia Crafted

Have a love of Georgia products, made with locally-sourced Georgia ingredients? Well, this might not come as much of a surprise, but so do we! That’s why Explore Georgia has partnered with Georgia Crafted on their August subscription box full of #GeorgiaEats goodies!

Georgia Crafted BoxGeorgia Crafted shares their obsession with Georgia artisan creations – ranging from bath and body products to candles that share the scents of the state – through subscription and gift boxes, which they mail right to Georgia lovers’ doors! Each month brings a new box with a new theme and new Georgia surprises.

For example, the November 2014 subscription box focused on the tastes of fall. Georgia Crafted brought Georgia-lovers carefully selected  tastes of the North Georgia Mountains to add a little fall flavor to their day. The box’s surprises included products sourced from R & A Orchards, Malvi Marshmallow Confections, K-Teas, Cartwright’s Popcorn and other local North Georgia makers. Their boxes celebrate everything from The Masters and South Georgia to the Southern Gentleman, Southern Belle and Southern Hospitality.

It’s that love of Georgia and the dedication to showcase all the state has to offer that excited us about partnering with Georgia Crafted for the #GeorgiaEats box! And we can barely wait until they arrive at your door this August, because we are working together to immerse you in Georgia’s culinary scene. Each box will come with 5 amazing Georgia food products highlighting local culinary treasures from every corner of the Peach State. So head on over to Georgia Crafted’s website and subscribe and we’ll take you on a tour of #GeorgiaEats!

Oh! And don’t forget to post a picture of your box with the hashtag #GeorgiaEats for the chance to be featured on Explore Georgia’s Instagram feed!

Tour #GeorgiaEats

A Foodie’s Perfect Day at Avalon

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve likely been to (or at least heard of) Alpharetta’s Avalon by now—the $600 million, 86-acre live-work-play development opened last October and the city has been abuzz ever since. To see what all the fuss was about, I carved out an entire Saturday to spend at the sustainably-designed, 2.4 million-square-foot mixed-use mecca. And let me tell you—it was delicious. Take a look:

8 a.m. Breakfast at Bantam + Biddy
Unlike so many outdoor shopping areas that are littered with mediocre chains, Avalon is home to dozens of locally-owned restaurants. Start at Atlanta’s favorite poultry project: Bantam + Biddy, where fried chicken makes an appearance in many breakfast items, like the Fried Chicken & Cheddar Waffle topped with Steen’s Cane Syrup, honey butter and homemade vanilla bean apple sauce. For something on the lighter side, try the Protein Scramble, made with three farm eggs, roast chicken, cheddar or goat cheese, scallions and fresh fruit.

Bantam + Biddy

Bantam + Biddy | Photo courtesy of Alpharetta CVB

9:30 a.m. Core Fusion Barre at Exhale
To counteract all of the calories planned for the day, head to Exhale, the second Georgia location of the award-winning, mind-body boutique studio, where fat-blasting classes are offered alongside chic fitness apparel and gifts (there’s locker rooms and showers, too!). Try the Core Fusion Barre class, Exhale’s signature full body, ballet-inspired workout focused on isolated exercises, alignment, flexibility and posture.

11 a.m. Drybar
Look your best at the restaurants scheduled for the day by popping into Drybar, a sleek hair salon where blowouts are offered alongside chick flicks and complimentary beverages, like champagne. Their tagline says it best: “No cuts. No color. Just blowouts, for only $40.”

12 p.m. Lunch at Bocado Burger
It used to be that if you wanted one of Atlanta’s best burgers, you’d have to fight traffic on the Westside—but now Bocado has opened a second location in Avalon almost exclusively devoted to America’s favorite sandwich. Though I’m partial to the classic burger stack—melty American cheese cocoons two thin, charred patties made from a trio of house-ground meat (chuck, brisket and short rib)—you can also build your own burger (choose a beef, turkey or veggie patty) and choose from Southern-inspired toppings like pimento cheese, fried green tomatoes and Alabama white BBQ sauce.

Afternoon Shopping:
To burn off some of those delicious burger calories from lunch, get in some casual cardio by walking around the dozens of shops calling Avalon home. With your next dinner party in mind, hit up Crate & Barrel for some pretty serving platters, Anthropologie for vintage-inspired glassware and West Elm for gorgeous table linens. Make a stop into Paper Source for some fun place cards and party favors before perusing Whole Foods for recipe inspiration.

5 p.m. Wine flight at Cru
Whether you prefer relaxing on a sunny patio or people watching on the rooftop deck overlooking The Plaza, Cru is the perfect spot to kick off happy hour. We recommend trying one of the many wine flights offered at this wine bar—there’s more than 350 wines to choose from, and a flight (which comes with three tastes in different categories) will help you make a dent in that list. I’m partial to the Rose flight, but summer is also a perfect time for any of their six white wine flights.

Colletta

Colletta | Photo courtesy of Alpharetta CVB

6:30 p.m. Dinner at Colletta
If you’re looking for a special evening, The Indigo Road restaurant group has you covered—Oak Steakhouse and Colletta are both located in Avalon, though after a day of heavy eating, Colletta, a modern Italian restaurant specializes in fresh, light and local fare, sounds like the perfect finish. Go for the scallop crudo to start, a dish that’s as beautiful as it is delicious, and share a few pastas with your tablemates—we can’t get enough of the black pepper tagliatelle carbonara, which is spiked with crispy pork, chives, a creamy egg yolk and pecorino romano cheese. The spit-roasted bone-in pork chop is a clear summer standout, served with tomato and peach panzanella salad and housemade ricotta salata.

8 p.m. Movie at Regal Cinema
Date night isn’t complete without a movie, and this new theater not only plays the latest Blockbusters in the country’s first 12-screen, premium VIP theater, they’re also equipped with a full-service kitchen and bar to make your experience all the more delicious.

KateKate is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and a freelance food and travel writer for more than 100 publications. Click here to read more culinary content from Kate

Stay, Play and Eat in Augusta

Augusta TitleMost people know Augusta as home to The Masters, but that’s only part of the story. There are tasty local eateries, outdoor adventures galore and something for everyone with arts, history, sports and hiking opportunities around every corner. Attractions are relatively close together and many of them are free or affordable. Augusta makes a memorable weekend adventure for the entire family.

Stay
With newly renovated rooms and public spaces, Partridge Inn is the hotel of choice. This beautiful Summerville landmark dates from the early 1800s, but recent updates showcase the architecture with sleek lines and modern touches. Families will love the two-room suites with extra closet space, swimming pool and corner rooms brightened with gorgeous sunlight from large picture windows.

Partrige Inn

Partrige Inn

Play
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. Tour the Discovery Center; the kids learn from the hands-on exhibits and scavenger hunt. Once you’ve exhausted the museum, take a cruise down the Augusta Canal in a Petersburg Boat. Don’t miss the chance to stamp your National Parks Passport.

Augusta GreenJackets Game. Every seat in the house provides a super view. We welcomed the creat concessions, Cool Zone for the summer heat, and a Kid’s Zone for the littles. It’s adjacent to the field so you won’t miss a pitch. Read more about the GreenJackets here. Sign up for the Kids Club for free kiddo admission on Sundays.

Savannah River Rapids. See the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal…at one time. Walk between the two, or rent a bike for a lovely ride. Don’t miss a stop at the head gates or a kayak adventure down the canal. Free.

Phinizy Swamp Nature Park. Spend an hour or all day. Hike the trails, taking bridges over beautiful streams. Try to spot a turtle or gator in the lakes. Free.

Morris Museum. Morris is the first museum dedicated to the art and artists of the American South. Their collection includes over 5,000 pieces including paintings, artifacts, sculptures and more. Visit on Sunday for free admission.

Augusta Museum of History and Trolley Tour. Purchase tickets for the Trolley Tour and you can visit the museum for free. Will you be brave enough to touch the Haunted Pillar?

Cakes at Boll Weevil

Cakes at Boll Weevil

Eat
The Bee’s Knees. Family-friendly and focused on local, sustainable vegan/vegetarian selections – served tapas-style.

New Moon Café. Very kid-friendly; great patio, too. Love the made-to-order smoothies. After lunch, head across the street for a picture with James Brown.

The Pizza Joint. Great pizza pies, live music, outdoor seating and our boys loved playing corn hole during dinner.

Boll Weevil. Best cakes for miles around, and so many options to choose from. The Ahi tuna salad is can’t-miss.

Saturday Market on the River. Technically, there is much more here than food, but it’s a great breakfast stop on Saturdays. Cinnamon rolls and coffee beckon you to linger longer.

See more details and photos of our Augusta Adventure here: 365atlantafamily.com/AugustaWithKids

 LesliLesli is the 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.

Taste the State with Georgia Restaurant Week

Georgia Restaurant WeekThe culinary scene in Georgia is wonderfully diverse, with restaurants across the state offering an array of delicious options ranging from traditional Southern cuisine and locally-sourced treats to flavorful ethnic dishes and amazing seafood. The inaugural Georgia Restaurant Week, held July 13th though 19th, celebrates the state’s unique and varied culinary scene by offering patrons the opportunity to enjoy some of their favorite local eateries and discover some new dining experiences through exclusive deals and menu options!

Each participating restaurant selects a Prix Fixe Menu to offer diners during Georgia Restaurant Week, hosted by the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division and the Georgia Restaurant Association. These menus are available during dinner service at the fixed prices of $15, $25 or $35 per person or per couple, depending on the eatery. This annual event celebrates the flavors of Georgia by showcasing the state’s culinary experiences and highlighting unique local flavors, notable chefs, award-winning restaurants, agritourism destinations and much more.

So what kind of dining experience do you want? Because Georgia Restaurant Week can offer it. If you want dinner with a view, make your way to the 30th floor at Nikolai’s Roof, in Atlanta, where you will find an amazing view of the city skyline while enjoying more than 300 hand-selected wines. Or perhaps you like some live entertainment with your meal? Then you won’t want to miss dinner at Scott’s Downtown, in Gainesville, where you’ll enjoy jazz music while you dine in their comfortable atmosphere. Appreciate fine art in The Library at Epic Restaurant, in Columbus, where you can’t help but be enveloped by the warm, welcoming atmosphere alongside the Chattahoochee River. If you want to eat outdoors, the patio at Joe’s on Juniper, in Atlanta, within walking distance of Piedmont Park, is the place to be. Keen to try something foreign to the American pallet? Cinco Mexican Cantina, in Cumming, and Der Biergarten, in Atlanta, provide authentic selections of both traditional and contemporary ethnic dishes. These are but a few of the amazing dining experiences offered by participating venues; find more by visiting GARestaurantWeek.com.

With a vast array of restaurants to choose from, you could find your new favorite eatery any day of the week. Georgia Restaurant Week runs from July 13th to July 19th in accordance with participating restaurants’ regular hours. We recommend you make a reservation, as these deals won’t last forever. So come on out and have your appetite ready! Join the conversation online using #GeorgiaEats and enjoy Georgia’s incredible culinary scene!

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Hey! Did you enjoy your Georgia Restaurant Week experience? Fill out the official survey and you could win great prizes!

4 Ways for Families to Explore Atlanta

Georgia AquariumHigh-Profile Adventure:

  • Explore the newest exhibit at Zoo Atlanta – The Scaly, Slimy Spectacular Amphibian Experience, housing more than 60 animal species, including rare Cuban crocodiles.
  • Using high-tech RFID chips, each exhibit at the College Football Hall of Fame spotlights your favorite team.
  • The LEGOLAND Discovery Center has more than 15 activities for families to build, play, ride and explore together.

Multigenerational Fun:

  • The Atlanta History Center mixes history and fun through interactive exhibits, living history interpreters, and a grand outdoors to explore.
  • The Center for Civil and Human Rights uses fully immersive exhibits to teach visitors of the American civil rights movement and current human rights issues.
  • Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the fabulous Fox Theatre to learn about its history and a few mysteries of the famous Atlanta landmark.
Atlanta History Center

Swan House at the Atlanta History Center

Travel with Teens or Tweens:

Little City-Explorers:

  • Visit the Georgia Aquarium for a peek at dolphins, whales, colorful fish and more.
  • Watch a performance from the in-house puppeteers at Center for Puppetry Arts, and take a puppet-making class afterward.
  • Grab an adventure pass at Stone Mountain Park to gain access to all 10 of the park’s attractions as well as seasonal events.


Lesli
Lesli is the 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.