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 ExploreGeorgia.org.

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 ExploreGeorgia.org Deals page.

Georgia Farms and Their Star Products

Sure, Georgia may be famous for sweet peaches, but the state also lays claim to dozens of incredible farmers, growing everything from pasture-raised meats to succulent strawberries and blueberries. Take a look at some of the star products from Georgia farms.

Jaemor Farms strawberries

Jaemor Farms’ Strawberries

No trip to Georgia is complete without a stop at Jaemor Farms, one of the largest roadside markets across the country. Though this family-owned farm offers more than 50 varieties of produce, its strawberries are perhaps most prized. No surprise, considering more than 12 acres on the farm are devoted to growing 150,000 delicious strawberry plants. Don’t miss their annual strawberry festival, where you can pick your own berries straight from the plant, taste test tons of samples in the market and participate in a strawberry cook-off.

Pearson Farm peaches

Pearson Farm’s Peaches

It would be impossible to talk about Georgia produce without mentioning the iconic peaches; likewise, conversations around Georgia peaches almost always lead back to Pearson Farm, a family-owned farm growing three types of juicy peaches: Clingstone, Semi-Clingstone and Freestone Peaches. You can’t throw a stone without finding these peaches on the menus of some of the best restaurants in town, from Miller Union to BoccaLupo.

White Oak Pastures meat

White Oak Pastures’ Meat

Peruse nearly any local grocery store’s meat case and you’re likely to find grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chicken from White Oak Pastures, a 145-year-old, 1,000-acre farm in South Georgia acclaimed for its sustainable, humane practices. In fact, the multigenerational family farm raises and hand-butchers 10 varieties of meat (cows, hogs, sheep, goats, rabbits, chickens, turkeys, guineas, ducks and geese), not to mention pastured eggs and certified organic vegetables. You can even visit the farm to see for yourself just how special it truly is. There’s even a restaurant and lodging cabins on-site.

Mountain Fresh Creamery milk

Mountain Fresh Creamery’s Dairy

Scott Glover, a fourth generation dairy farmer in North Georgia, has what feels like a stronghold on local dairy products in the state. Not only are his all-natural (read no hormones or antibiotics), non-homogenized milks and ice creams seemingly everywhere, but ask any other local farmer whose milk they drink and you’ll likely hear Mountain Fresh Creamery. Be sure to try their chocolate milk — it’s velvety smooth, and like their whole milk, bursting with delicious creamy flavor.

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

Make a Splash at these Georgia Water Parks

Escaping Georgia’s heat takes a thrilling twist on one of the giant water roller coasters around the state. No matter what part of the state you are visiting, you’ll find a refreshing place to take a dip. In addition to the coasters, these parks have lazy rivers, wave pools, and even splash pads for those that don’t swim. Here are three of our favorite Water Parks in Georgia.

Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia

Photo courtesy of Six Flags Over Georgia

Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Over Georgia, Atlanta. Six Flags Over Georgia opened Hurricane Harbor in the summer of 2014. It includes a 38,000 square foot wave pool, a multi-slide tower, and a ‘world’s first’ single slide tower combining two extreme slide thrills, plus an interactive children’s water play area. A tropical island theme includes food locations, shopping, cabanas and expansive deck, lounge and shade amenities.

Summer Waves- Summer Waves

Photo courtesy of Summer Waves


Summer Waves, Jekyll Island.
Take a break from the sandy beaches and fly down Pirate’s Passage water slide. My boys like to mix the coasters with a lazy lap around turtle creek at Summer Waves Water Park.

Photo courtesy of Wild Adventures

Photo courtesy of Wild Adventures

Wild Adventures, Valdosta. This Southwest Georgia theme park includes Splash Island Water Park. Ride the waves in the 20,000 square foot wave pool or take a thrilling spill down the Bonzai pipelines. To avoid the longer lines, hit the water park in the morning, before the heat of the day.

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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These Spring Cocktails Will Wet Your Whistle

By Kate Parham Kordsmeier

While asparagus, peas and morels might signal the arrival of Spring in the kitchen, strawberries, gin and lemonade indicate Spring has sprung in the glass. To wit, here are four Springtime cocktails around the state of Georgia to sip on this season:

Photo courtesy of The World Famous

Photo courtesy of The World Famous

The World Famous, Athens: There’s perhaps no sip more refreshing on a warm Spring day than lemonade—this spiked rendition is like sunshine in a glass. Fresh lemon juice co-stars alongside gin, vanilla simple syrup and Prosecco—it’s called The Rod Van Winkle (a tribute to Vanilla Ice’s real name).

Photo courtesy of Miller Union

Photo courtesy of Miller Union

Miller Union, Atlanta: Few restaurants embody farm-to-table as much as James Beard semi-finalist Steven Satterfield’s Miller Union. Their new spring cocktail menu features seasonal concoctions, like “Strawberry Fields” made with bourbon, strawberry, lime and agave.

Photo courtesy of  Craft & Vine

Photo courtesy of Craft & Vine

Craft & Vine, Augusta: Get a taste of the season at Augusta’s newest upscale cocktail bar and eatery—Craft & Vine is part of the city’s beloved Frog Hollow Hospitality Group—where a strawberry balsamic shrub shines in the “White Shirt, White Shorts” cocktail, alongside gin, acid phosphate and egg white.

Photo courtesy of Iberian Pig

Photo courtesy of Iberian Pig

The Iberian Pig, Atlanta: No color represents Springtime in Georgia quite like green. Head to this Spanish tapas favorite where their “all the world is green” cocktail is bursting with the hue from honeydew puree and a green chartreuse rinse—there’s also Carpana bianco vermouth, St. Germain and gin swimming in this sea of green.

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

 

5 Rooftop Dining Destinations in Georgia

By Kate Parham Kordsmeier

It’s that time of year—the sun is shining, the days are long and al fresco dining is in full swing. Fortunately, Atlanta has no shortage of killer rooftop patios—some of our favorites include Tuk Tuk Thai Food Loft, The Garden at Community Smith, Whiskey Blue at the W Atlanta-Buckhead, new-to-the-scene Shake Shack and, of course, the ever-popular Six Feet Under. But Atlanta’s not the only city in Georgia with sky-high dining destinations. Take a look at these five other spots upping the rooftop dining ante:

Georgia Theatre Rooftop - Elliott Anderson

Georgia Theatre Rooftop. Photo courtesy of Elliott Anderson.

 

The Branded Butcher at Georgia Theater (Athens, GA): You may have read about this incredible restaurant in our recent guide to Athens. Though dining inside is always an option, if you head to the top of Georgia Theater, Chef Trey Rayburn’s delicious food (think burgers and banh mis) can also be enjoyed on the rooftop patio—you may even get to hear the downstairs show.

Pure Taqueria, Roswell. Photo courtesy of  Patrick F. via Yelp.

Pure Taqueria, Roswell. Photo courtesy of Patrick F. via Yelp.

Pure Taqueria (Roswell, GA): Atlantans have long loved the carne asada tacos at this locally-owned Tex-Mex chain. Though their other locations boast great patios, the Roswell outpost has a new open-air, adults-only bar where margaritas flow like water while live music plays.

The Florence. Photo courtesy of Eater.

The Florence. Photo courtesy of Eater.

The Florence (Savannah, GA): We first introduced you to celebrity chef Hugh Acheson’s newest hotspot, The Florence, in our dining guide to the New Savannah. Our favorite seat in the house just may be the rooftop patio—wood-fired pizzas and scratch-made pastas always taste better in fresh air.

Cru Wine Bar. Photo courtesy of Occupy My Family.

Cru Wine Bar. Photo courtesy of Occupy My Family.

Cru Wine Bar (Alpharetta, GA): Suburbanites have been flocking to Avalon since it opened last year—there’s no better spot to take it all in than on the rooftop bar at Cru. We recommend the Royal Riesling flight, perfect on a cool summer night.

View of the courthouse from the Steel Magnolias rooftop. Photo courtesy of S D.

View of the courthouse from the Steel Magnolias rooftop. Photo courtesy of S D.

Steel Magnolias (Valdosta, GA): Situated in the heart of downtown Valdosta is this charming Southern eatery with an open-air rooftop dining room that’s not to be missed. Go for the pimento cheese wontons and deviled eggs, the ideal accompaniment to the live music often playing in the background.

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