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

10 Prime Picnic Spots in Georgia

Grab your blanket and head to these prime picnic spots in Georgia. Food just tastes better outdoors! 

Piedmont Park photo courtesy of atlanta.net.

Piedmont Park. Photo courtesy of atlanta.net.

Piedmont Park in Atlanta: Piedmont Park has hundreds of great picnic spots, including pavillions, brickstands, tables and more. Want to grill? There are 22 grills provided throughout the park for your use and enjoyment.

Forsyth Park. Photo courtesy of visitsouth.com.

Forsyth Park. Photo courtesy of visitsouth.com.

Forsyth Park in Savannah: This beloved 30 acre park is nestled in the heart of Savannah’s Landmark Historic District, making it the perfect Savannah picnic locale.

University of Georgia. Photo courtesy of Online Athens.

University of Georgia. Photo courtesy of Online Athens.

University of Georgia North Campus in Athens: Spread out a blanket underneath a magnolia tree or next to Legacy fountain on this historic college campus.

Manchester Railfan Platform in Manchester: This picnic locale was made for train enthusiasts! Each picnic table provides an excellent view of the North-South and East -West mainlines and comes equipped with a scanner, rail line map and electricity.

Augusta Canal. Photo courtesy of Georgia Tourism.

Augusta Canal. Photo courtesy of Georgia Tourism.

Augusta Canal National Heritage Area: After walking, biking, canoeing or kayaking through the Augusta Canal National Heritage area, stake out a picnic spot for a peaceful lunch by the water.

Dodge County Public Fishing Area in Eastman: Work up an appetite while fishing this 104-acre lake stocked with largemouth bass, bluegill (bream), redear sunfish, crappie, and channel catfish. Picnic areas are a short walk from the pier.

Help yourself to a drink of delectable water flowing from this cave, and take a tour inside.

Cave Spring. Photo courtesy of J. C. Boehm, Tumlin House.

Rolater Park in Cave Spring: Enjoy a picnic lunch next to a natural limestone cave and the city’s namesake mineral spring. No need to pack a beverage in your picnic basket, Cave Spring is known for its 99.9 percent pure water. Learn more about Cave Spring here.

Lake Chehaw in Albany: The Georgia Power Dam, built in 1921, forms this 1400 acre lake. After canoeing Lake Chehaw, enjoy a picnic lunch by the lake in the covered picnic area.

Watson Mill Bridge. Photo courtesy of Sussman Imaging.

Watson Mill Bridge. Photo courtesy of Sussman Imaging.

Watson Mill Covered Bridge in Comer: Eat alongside the longest covered bridge in the state which spans 229 feet across the South Fork River. Find more Georgia covered bridges here.

Georgia State Parks: All 63 of Georgia’s state parks and historic sites offer perfect picnic spots.

LaurenLauren Cleland is the voice of Explore Georgia on social media. She loves ice cold sweet tea, anything peach flavored, channeling Scarlett O’Hara in her daily life and sharing the wonders of her beloved Georgia with all of you!