A Guide to Georgia’s Covered Bridges

Auchumpkee Creek Bridge. Photo by @reneelangston via Instagram.

Auchumpkee Creek Covered Bridge in Thomaston: Built in 1892 and rebuilt in 1997, Auchumpkee Creek Covered Bridge measures 96 feet long with a town lattice truss. The bridge is not open to traffic. [Photo Credit: @reneelangston via Instagram]

watson

Watson Mill Bridge in Comer: Spanning 229 feet across the South Fork River, Watson Mill Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the state. [Photo Credit: Sussman Imaging]

Big Red Oak Creek. Photo by Lynn Hall Photography.

Big Red Oak Creek Bridge in Woodbury: Only 12 miles north of Warm Springs, the old bridge is a rare surviving example of the ingenuity of famed bridge builder Horace King. Including approaches, it stretches for 391 feet, making it the longest wooden bridge in Georgia. [Photo Credit: Lynn Hall Photography]

Coheelee Creek Bridge. Photo by  @cfowler65 via Instagram.

Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge in Blakely: Nestled in the piney woods of Southwest Georgia, Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge is the southernmost covered bridge in the United States. [Photo Credit: @cfowler65 via Instagram]

Concord Covered Bridge. Photo by Barbara Gaddis via Flickr.

Concord Bridge in Cobb County: Built in 1872, Concord Bridge (also known as Nickajack Creek Covered Bridge) has the highest traffic count of all the covered bridges in the state combined. [Photo Credit: Barbara Gaddis via Flickr]

Cromers Mill Bridge. Photo by gadoodles.com.

Cromer’s Mill Covered Bridge in Carnesville: Built in 1907, Cromer’s Mill Covered Bridge is 132 feet long with a Town Lattice design. [Photo Credit: gadoodles.com]

Elder's Mill Covered Bridge. Photo by Don Hunter via Flickr.

Elder Mill Covered Bridge in Watkinsville: Built in 1897, Elder Mill Covered Bridge is one of only 13 functional covered bridges left in the state of Georgia. You can drive through the beautiful bridge and enjoy the sights and sounds of Rose Creek. [Photo Credit:  Don Hunter via Flickr]

Euharlee Creek Bridge. Photo by  Etowah Valley Historical Society.

Euharlee Covered Bridge in Euharlee: Located next to the Euharlee History Museum,  the Euharlee Covered Bridge is the perfect spot for photographs. Its allure is enhanced by the picturesque 1850s village surrounding it. [Photo Credit:  Don Hunter via Flickr]

George L. Smith State Park Covered Bridge. Photo by B&S Photography.

George L. Smith State Park Covered Bridge in Twin City: With natural beauty, refurbished Parrish Mill and a stunning covered bridge, this secluded park is a wonderful south Georgia retreat. [Photo Credit:  B&S Photography]

Howard Bridge. Photo by nss12166 via Flickr.

Howard’s Bridge in Lexington:  Howard’s Bridge, also known as the Imlac Bridge, is 252.5 feet long. It is not open for traffic. [Photo Credit:  nss12166 via Flickr]

Lula Bridge. Photo by gadoodles.com.

Lula Bridge in Lula: Also known as the Lula Covered Bridge, this is Georgia’s smallest covered bridge. It was constructed in 1988 and is a Howe (King-Post) truss-covered bridge built in 1915. This wooden bridge still stands on the original slab. [Photo Credit:  gadoodles.com]

Pooles Mill Bridge. Photo by @cgmccall via Instagram.

Poole’s Mill Covered Bridge in Cumming: A one-of-kind passive park, Poole’s Mill is 10 acres of property that showcases a unique covered bridge. The Bridge, built in 1901, spans the shoals of Settendown Creek. After periods of disrepair, the structure was converted from private ownership and dedicated as a county park in 1997.  [Photo Credit:  @cgmccall via Instagram]

rockdale

Haralson Mill Covered Wooden Bridge in Conyers: Built in 1997, the covered wooden bridge replaces a historic ford, which crossed Haralson Mill Road, formerly an unimproved dirt road in North Rockdale County.This bridge is the first of its kind to be built in Georgia since the 1890s.  [Photo Credit: Scott M. Comptois]

Stone Mountain Covered Bridge. Photo by @cgmccall via Instagram.

Stone Mountain Bridge at Stone Mountain Park: Listed in the “World Guide to Covered Bridges,” this quaint and historical pine and cedar bridge leads to Indian Island, a picture perfect place for a lazy day of picnics or reading. This century old bridge is nearly 20-feet high and was moved to Stone Mountain Park from Athens, Georgia, in 1969. [Photo Credit: @cgmccall via Instagram]

Stovall Mill Bridge. Photo by Roadtrippers.com.

Stovall Mill Bridge in Sautee Nacoochee: Located in an area of White County, rich in history and legends of the Cherokee, Stovall Mill Bridge spans Chickamauga Creek. This is a wonderful place to relax, have a picnic, cool off in the rushing water and enjoy the beautiful northeast Georgia mountains. [Photo Credit: roadtrippers.com]

7 Ways to Experience James Brown’s Georgia

James Brown Statue2A hotbed for arts and culture, the colonial city of Augusta, Georgia, has been welcoming guests since 1736 and continues to do so with artistic and historic points of interest and easy accessibility along Interstate 20, just 150 miles southeast of Atlanta. With the release of ‘Get On Up,’ the new major motion picture about the life of world famous soul singer James Brown, now is the perfect time to visit his hometown and delve into the unique cultural climate Augusta has to offer.

Brown was born in South Carolina near the beginning of the Great Depression, but spent most of his youth in Augusta after his parents left him in the care of his Aunt Honey. Although Brown grew up in poverty – performing an array of menial and even back-breaking tasks as a child and young teen picking cotton, shining shoes, dancing for spare change, and washing cars – these struggles did not keep the young, talented performer from reaching stardom. At thirteen, Brown and two friends formed the Cremona Trio and sang for those passing by, and thus began his long musical career setting him up to be known as “The Hardest Working Man in Show Business.”

Walk in James Brown’s footsteps when you visit these Augusta points of interest:

  1. grant_exhibitfront_57611Begin your journey of Brown’s Augusta with the Augusta Museum of History, founded in 1937 and home to the largest historical collection in the Central Savannah River Area, detailing Georgia’s second-oldest and second-largest city’s nearly 300 years of history. The museum houses the first and most comprehensive major exhibition dedicated to The Godfather of Soul. See some of his classic dance moves as you watch his concerts on DVD. Listen to some of his all time hits, and learn about his life, legacy and contribution to music. Highlights of the exhibit include ever-changing costumes and other personal artifacts owned and worn by Brown, family photos, original vinyl albums, and other unique memorabilia.
  2. Before leaving the Museum, step into the Augusta Visitor Center, located inside the lobby of the Augusta Museum of History, and pick up a self-guided walking tour to determine additional points of interest located throughout the city of Augusta.
  3. As you stroll downtown, make sure to stop and have your photo taken with Augusta’s life-sized James Brown Statue using the mounted camera. Your photo will be sent directly to your phone or email! The statue is located between 8th Street and James Brown Boulevard (9th). What a great free souvenir!
  4. imperialBefore leaving Augusta on world tours, Mr. Brown and his band, the Soul Generals, would rehearse at the Imperial Theatre. It is also where he held his toy giveaways to needy children at Christmas. A tradition that still continues today. The Imperial is one of Augusta’s most beautiful theatres and still continues to host music performances along with plays, ballets, comedies and more.
  5. While in town, check the schedule of events at Augusta’s James Brown Arena, where more than 8,000 mourners gathered for a memorial service after Brown’s passing in 2006, including such notable characters as M.C. Hammer, Michael Jackson, and the Reverend Al Sharpton.
  6. Looking for a place to “Get on the Good Foot”? Stop in for a drink and dancing at the Soul Bar. This bar is dedicated to the rhythm and soul of music and its biggest talents. A plethora of James Brown mementos and memorabilia adorn these walls.
  7. All this walking, exploring and dancing may make you tired, so why not eat at one of Mr. Brown’s favorite places? T-Bonz Restaurant, located minutes from the Augusta National Golf Club, offers a James Brown Corner. Ask the owner to whip you up one of the entertainer’s favorite dishes. Mr. Brown loved a good steak and T Bonz’s has one of the best in Augusta.  Or maybe you’re in the mood for seafood? Deshawn’s Seafood, located right over the Savannah River in North Augusta is run by Mr. Brown’s son-in-law and former bodyguard. Sometimes if guests ask the family may share a personal story of two.

Augusta is proud to have played such an important role in the life of a world-renowned musical artist and is thankful Mr. Brown called Augusta his home. There are many spots in Augusta that were special to Mr. Brown, as you visit these spots in Augusta you can walk where he walked and stand where he once stood. Come on Over to August and get a little closer to Augusta’s son.

‘Get On Up: The James Brown Story’ starring Chadwick Boseman, was released to theaters August 1 and is rated PG-13. Check your local theaters for show times, and the movie’s official website for more information.

 

 

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: themoonlitroad.com

Photo Credit: themoonlitroad.com

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

Chickamauga

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: http://hankeringforhistory.com/

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

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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

Go Retro in Savannah, Georgia

Built in 1938, the Streamliner Diner was moved to Savannah in 1990. The Art Deco Societies of America honored SCAD for its restoration. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Built in 1938, the Streamliner Diner was moved to Savannah in 1990. The Art Deco Societies of America honored SCAD for its restoration. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Doing Beats Seeing When You Go Retro in Savannah, Georgia USA –A chat with Mark Thomas, The Thunderbird Inn, Savannah, Georgia

Against its background of staid and important history, Savannah, Georgia also offers a fun, relevant and appealing retro layer, showcasing some of the fun remembered from the mid-century. Best part? This is action-oriented fun, better done than seen.
“Retro is full of vitality rather than passive here,” informs retro travel champion Mark Thomas, general manager of The Thunderbird Inn. “”We’ve got history but we’ve also got neon!”

Start with the stars! You’ll find them under a neon marquee and beneath crisscrossing searchlights in the sky. Presented by the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Savannah Film Festival (October 25 – November 1, 2014) is on Broughton Street in SCAD’s Trustees Theatre, right next door to the nostalgic Leopold’s Ice Cream. Honored guests for the 2014 festival include Gena Rowlands, Renee Zellweger, Matt Bomer, Asa Butterfield, and Analeigh Tipton.

Need a beard or mustache trim, or razor cut? Barber Pole on Bull Street near Wright Square holds true to its retro ways. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Need a beard or mustache trim, or razor cut? Barber Pole on Bull Street near Wright Square holds true to its retro ways. Courtesy Photo © Adam Kuehl. | Link is http://adamkuehl.com/

Retro tastes good, too! Take your seat in Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room next to whomever Fate sends your way and chow down on the classic Southern cooking that kept farm hands working in the Depression. Save room for a sundae with freshly made chocolate fudge at Leopold’s Ice Cream, which boasts a circa-1920s pedigree. When asked for his retro breakfast recommendation, quickly Mark names Clary’s Café, renowned for plate-size buttermilk pancakes, thick southern ham slices, and made-to-order omelets. You may remember it from the book and movie, “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil,” but it predates that fame by decades.

What about lunch? Mark favors the Crystal Beer Parlor where nostalgic Savannah photographs line the walls and titillating tales of the Prohibition-era Speakeasy swirl. As famous for its fried chicken as its barbecue, Johnny Harris Restaurant is where Capitol Records’ co-founder and “Hooray for Hollywood” lyricist Johnny Mercer liked to dine when he was at home in Savannah. Located on Victory Drive near Grayson Stadium, diners can eat-in-the-kitchen or dine in the ballroom ‘under the stars’ (in the ceiling). Grayson Stadium is where the New York Met’s minor league affiliate Savannah Sand Gnats play baseball April through early September. And, the grand ole stadium where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt spoke November 18, 1933, when he and his mother came to celebrate Georgia’s 150th year celebration.

Take in a performance in a place where you really ache for the walls to talk – be it the lively musical productions in the historic Savannah Theatre or a performance of the Savannah Philharmonic in the Lucas Theatre’s carefully restored Jazz Age glory.
Mark adds, “Have you met the Forrest Gump impersonator featured by Old Savannah Tours, or the dapper tour guide, Savannah Dan, who wears a seersucker suit, walking through the streets and squares of the National Landmark Historic District telling his stories? People are in search of human contact, don’t you think?”

Back in the Day Bakery. Photo by @wittyclevername via Instagram

Back in the Day Bakery. Photo by @wittyclevername via Instagram

More don’t-miss spots opened with a vintage spirit — The Distillery (showing silent movies), Green Truck Pub (featuring grass-fed beef and organic, homemade condiments), and Back in the Day Bakery, THE place for 1950s décor, artisan breads, banana pudding and brownie desserts. The Back in the Day Bakery Cookbook by Cheryl Day and Griffith Day boasts weeks on the New York Times best seller’s list.

The Thunderbird Inn – located in the ‘Canal District’ and known as the “hippest hotel in Savannah”™ — is getting some new, hip neighbors. They include Chatham Area Transit’s (CAT) free downtown shuttle and Greyhound Bus station – both in the newly renovated CAT hub. “International travelers adore bus travel, train travel, and cycling – those things Americans consider retro. The Savannah bike share rental program and Amtrak travel are gaining in popularity. Like running, cycling is also abuzz, thanks in part to Savannah’s flat terrain and village-like setting downtown. Over the last few years the Georgia Railroad Museum has also enjoyed new interest, much like SCAD’s restored Streamliner Diner (West Henry Street),” said Mark.

Can things get any better?

“Oh, yes!” Mark adds. “Wonderfully surprising, Savannah’s retro experiences are very affordable! Plus, the mischievous-little-beach-town vibe of Tybee Island is due east, 20 minutes from downtown.”

The hip Thunderbird Inn champions retro in Savannah, Georgia USA. Courtesy Photo © The Thunderbird Inn / Michael Edde, Beacon Photography

The hip Thunderbird Inn champions retro in Savannah, Georgia USA. Courtesy Photo © The Thunderbird Inn / Michael Edde, Beacon Photography

ABOUT MARK THOMAS AND THE THUNDERBIRD INN
General Manager of The Thunderbird Inn was voted among Savannah’s 40 Under 40 young professionals, a graduate of Leadership Savannah and recently beamed when acknowledging that The Thunderbird Inn — @TbirdInn on Twitter — was named to USA Today’s “Top 10 Best Retro Hotels in the USA” (July 2014). “What perfect timing for this inn’s 50th birthday year – 1964-2014!” Mark adds.

“Groovy geeksarrive for GeekEnd (November 13-15, 2014) annually, SCAD students, parents, Baby Boomers, artists and the pop culture crowd adore this place. They boast about our southern MoonPie® and RC Cola ® among in-room treats, hot popcorn on arrival, and freshly delivered Krispy Kreme® doughnuts in the morning” and the big neon sign that sports groovy messages. “The intersection of Yes, Ma’am and Dude” and “Run, Forrest Run” are among the ones we receive the most comments and grins.”

Recommended by Southern Living and Every Day with Rachael Ray magazines, the Thunderbird Inn was built and opened in the Swingin’ Sixites (circa 1964). “Sure, it’s changed. Like retro, this place is in vogue again. Plus, we are going green, and we’re uber dog friendly,” the preppy manager explains.

In 2014 the retro inn’s 50th birthday celebration joins more famous milestone celebrations – the first USA performance by The Beatles, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passing (73-27 vote), and the first Ford Mustang was produced ($2,368 base price).

It’s too close to Halloween to bypass telling you that ‘Bewitched’, ‘Munsters’, and ‘The Addams Family’ premiered on TV in 1964, too.

It’s late now. “Say goodnight, Gracie,” George Burns would say. More retro stories tomorrow. “Goodnight.”