St. Patricks Day Events in Georgia

Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia

Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia

Break out your cheesiest shamrock jumper and put on your best Irish accent: it’s St. Patty’s Day and we know exactly how you can celebrate! From rediscovering your Irish roots in Dublin to marching in the Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade: one of the largest parades in the country. However you choose to celebrate, make sure to wear green and find the luck o’ the Irish here in Georgia.

3/14/14 – 3/17/14: St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on River Street in Savannah

3/14/14 – 3/16/14: Irish Balloon Fest & Carnival in Dublin

3/15/14: St. Patrick’s Annual Book Sale in Dublin

3/15/14: St. Patrick’s Day at Tiger Mountain Vineyards in Tiger

3/15/14: Leprechaun-a-thon in Rome

3/15/14: St. Patrick’s Day Happy Hour in Ringgold

3/15/14: Cypress Grill’s St. Patty’s Day Party in Cordele

3/15/14: St. Patrick’s World Safari Collection Exhibit in Dublin

3/17/14: Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade

3/21/14: Shamrock Dulcimer Blast in Blairsville

3/22/14: St. Patrick’s Arts & Crafts Festival in Dublin

3/22/14: Leprechaun Road Race in Dublin

Springtime in Georgia

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

Springtime in Georgia marks the beginning of beautiful flower blooms, warm afternoons outdoors and popular spring celebrations. Georgia’s scenic beauty, nationally known attractions and beautiful coast offers an array of vacation opportunities for college students and families.

While spring traditionally signals the flock of beach goers searching for a sunny escape, the peach state can become more than what the traveler bargained for while considering their spring vacation or weekend getaway. With enchanting floral displays, world-class golf courses, storybook like colonial history and miles of untouched beaches – Georgia has something for everyone during spring travel!

The following are just some of the many offerings that are sure to make a spring getaway a memorable one.

Floral Events

  • International Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon has been an iconic state event for 32 years, clearly stabilizing its recognition as the Cherry Blossom Capital of the World. Festival-goers experience one of the most extravagant flower displays as more than three hundred thousand Yoshino cherry trees are bursting with pink blooms.
  • Spring Celebration at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain features special activities and events for families and friends to share against the backdrop of Callaway Gardens’ twenty thousand dazzling display of colorful native blooms. But Callaway Gardens is more than just flowers, providing amenities such as golf, outdoor adventures, a beautiful sandy lakeside beach and so much more. There is a lodge and spa located at the garden as well as cottages and an inn.
  • Atlanta Dogwood Festival has been an Atlanta staple for more than 75 years. With every kind of art you can image from nationally renowned sculptors, painters, photographers and jewelry makers the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is the hand-made shoppers dream. There is something for everyone to enjoy with dozens of activities everyday including live music, contests, arts-and-crafts and even a walk climbing wall!
Blood Mountain

Blood Mountain

The Great Outdoors

  • The Augusta Canal was once a water source for textile mills and factories that used hydro-power to operate large machinery. Today, it is an outdoor lover’s dream, with tours via boat, bike or foot. Take your own kayak to the canal head gates and paddle the seven miles down the waters calm current. This nature excursion is incredibly surreal, with an abundance of wildlife and a dirt path trail, all while heading through the heart of downtown Augusta.
  • Blood Mountain offers the best in hiking as you can truly immerse yourself in the Appalachian nature. There is a two and a half mile hike to the top of beautiful Blood Mountain which is lush and green during spring. Hikers can enjoy the serene nature as they make their way up to the top and experience the gorgeous view.
  • Flat Creek Lodge in Swainsboro is east Georgia’s premier hunting and fishing resort and spa. The avid outdoorsman will be one with nature as they experience an unforgettable hunting and fishing adventure at this pristine and private woodland preserve. The lodge and spa offers 12 lodge rooms, 6 two bedroom cottages and two 4 bedroom cottages. Each room at Flat Creek Lodge is built over a pond with beautiful balconies and patios where guests can enjoy stunning sunsets as they watch the ducks, swans and geese glide peacefully over the water.
Tybee Island

Tybee Island

Soak Up the Sun

  • Tybee Island is only a few miles east of Savannah, making it the perfect vacation setting to unplug and recharge. Tybee Island offers a variety of lodging options including homes, cottages, and condos that will fit any traveler’s needs. Take a break from the textbooks and emails as you bask in the sun on Savannah’s own beach – Tybee Island.
  • Cumberland Island is Georgia’s largest barrier island and is considered one of the most remarkable natural habitats in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s known for being the perfect spot to completely disconnect from the world because of the seclusion. Cumberland Island is only accessible by ferry or private boat and has restricted motor traffic as well as limited shops and restaurants. This oasis is completely untouched! Visitors can fish, bike, kayak, hike Cumberland’s wilderness and catch a glimpse of wild hogs or horses roaming freely. Accommodations on the island consist campsites or the Greyfield Inn.
  • St. Simons Island is a postcard worthy vacation stop that has been a family favorite for decades. The islands sandy beaches, natural beauty and rich history offers a wide variety of activities that will create lasting memories for family and friends. St. Simons offers local shopping and dining as well as all the beautiful scenery the southern coast has to offer.

Many spring vacation destinations can be found throughout the state as well as seasonally themed events and activities. For more Georgia travel ideas and special offers, please visit

5 Things You Must See at the Atlanta History Center

As chosen by Sheffield Hale, President and CEO of the Atlanta History Center.

  1. PrivyTwo-seat Privy at Smith Family FarmThe Atlanta History Center searched for years to find a true, 19th-century outhouse to add to the collection of period buildings that form the distinctive Smith Family Farm, the site of some of the History Center’s most successful craft and gardening programs for kids and families. Since no one was willing to part with their own historic outhouse, the History Center built a new one using specifications from an actual antebellum privy. Though a reconstruction, nothing shows the true impact of the lifestyle differences between Then and Now like the “necessary.”  Our two-seat privy always reminds me of the seven-seat privy at Roseland Plantation in Alabama.
  1. Daguerreotype of Richard Peters’ House on Mitchell Street, ca.1850: The daguerreotype was the first successful form of photography and the image of Richard Peter’s house is the oldest surviving photograph ever taken of Atlanta. In 1861, the property was appraised by the city for $10,000. “A year before my marriage,” Richard Peters wrote, “I purchased from Samuel G. Jones his house and two-acre lot at the corner of Mitchell and Forsyth streets for the sum of $1,400.  There we resided and there all my children were born.” I also have a crackpot idea that I’ve been peddling for the last 17 years. In essence: I claim to know who Rhett Butler was. Or at least who he was based on… Richard Peters.  You can read more on my theory HERE.
  1. swan_tablesPair of Swan Console Tables at Swan House“Chosen with impeccable taste,” is how Swan House architect Philip T. Shutze described the Inman’s furnishing of his masterpiece. The most important objects are the pair of eighteenth-century swan console tables attributed to the English architect, Thomas Johnson. Purchased by the Inmans in Bath, England, in 1924, they may have inspired the swan motif that appears throughout the house. Shutze repeated the delicately curving cattails found in the base of the table in his design for the carved cornices above each window. The swan tables and more of Swan House play a part in the upcoming film, Hunger Games: Catching Fire. On November 22nd, the Atlanta History Center unveiled the Capitol Tours. The experience includes a guided tour through Swan House showcasing the rooms in the film and exclusive access to a behind-the-scenes exhibition. For information visit
  1. Dave Drake Jars: In an area of South Carolina known for its exceptional clay, a slave named Dave created huge pottery pieces that he often inscribed with his name and a short verse of poetry. Dave’s simple act of literacy was illegal at a time when it was forbidden for the enslaved to read and write. Yet he countered the slavery system not by writing words of protest, but by daring to write at all. No other slave artist is known to have put his name to his work. Following emancipation, he took the last name of one of his owners, Reuben Drake, and continued to create his art until his death in the mid-1870s. Many of Dave’s astounding jars are found in America’s finest museums and two of his largest are at the Atlanta History Center in our exhibit, Southern Traditions: Folk Arts in a Changing South.
  1. CSA_flagConfederate States National Flag, 1864: Remember the famous scene in the movie Gone With the Wind when the camera pans back from a sea of wounded soldiers to reveal a tattered Confederate flag waving in the foreground?   Well, this is that flag – sort of.  This twenty-by-ten-foot Confederate national flag (not a battle flag, as shown in the movie) was flying over downtown Atlanta when the city was surrendered on September 2, 1864.  Iowa soldiers took the flag home as a souvenir and it eventually ended up in the collection of Beverly M. DuBose Jr., who donated it and 7,500 other Civil War artifacts in the 1980s.  It is the largest artifact in the Atlanta History Center’s collection. The Atlanta History Center is home one of the nation’s most comprehensive Civil War collections, 1,500 artifacts from which are exhibited in Turning Point: The American Civil War, along with photographs, dioramas, videos, and interactive components.


hale2Prior to joining the Atlanta History Center in 2012, Sheffield Hale served as Chief Counsel of the American Cancer Society, Inc. and was a Partner practicing corporate law in the firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP. Mr. Hale serves as a Trustee of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the University of Georgia Foundation, Robert W. Woodruff Library of Atlanta University Center, and Fox Theatre, Inc. He is a Past Chair of the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation, the Atlanta History Center, and the State of Georgia’s Judicial Nominating Commission. Mr. Hale received his B.A. in History from the University of Georgia summa cum laude in 1982, and received his J.D. in 1985 from the University of Virginia School Of Law. He is a member of the American Law Institute.


Founded in 1926, the Atlanta History Center is an all-inclusive, thirty-three-acre destination featuring the Atlanta History Museum, one of the nation’s largest history museums; two historic houses, the 1928 Swan House and the 1860 Smith Family Farm; the Centennial Olympic Games Museum; the Kenan Research Center; the Grand Overlook event space; Chick-Fil-A at the Coca-Cola Café, a museum shop, and 22 acres of Historic Gardens with paths and the kid-friendly Connor Brown Discovery Trail.

In addition, the History Center operates the Margaret Mitchell House located in Midtown Atlanta. For information on Atlanta History Center offerings, hours of operation and admission call 404.814.4000 or visit

10 Ways to Use the 2014 Georgia Travel Guide

TravelGuide2014The official 2014 Georgia Travel Guide is the state’s premiere marketing resource for visitors and vacation planning. This FREE full-color, magazine-size guide provides visitors with information on Georgia’s tourism assets including trip ideas, attractions, accommodations, events and more. The Georgia Travel Guide is organized by nine travel regions to help you plan your visit.

To get a copy of state’s official 2014 travel guide – visit our brochure room on, stop at one of our 11 Visitor Information Centers or call 1-800-VISIT GA.

  1. Relive the excitement of the 1939 premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on page 12
  2. Go to page 15 and make note of Georgia’s unique seasonal offerings
  3. Use the Georgia State Parks guide on page 27 to plan a year full of outdoor adventure
  4. Take a road trip through time with our Civil War feature on page 34
  5. Make plans to visit all of the featured locations on our list of “100 Inspiring, Engaging Arts & Culture Attractions” on page 10
  6. See fan-submitted Instagram photos & tweets about Georgia on page 49, 73, 89, 99, 111, 119, 135, 151 and 161
  7. Get a full list of Georgia’s festivals
  8. Find an attraction that fits your interests in any Georgia city
  9. Discover Georgia’s small towns and best kept secrets
  10. Use our accommodations listings to find a hotel, bed & breakfast, resort and more in any city in Georgia

Surprising Suburbs: Watkinsville

All-inclusive resort vacations aren’t limited to the Caribbean; try this concept — a surprising suburb of Athens.

Point is—vacationing with indulgences is within reach! If this checklist works for you, head to Watkinsville.

  • Luxurious accommodations
  • Abundant art
  • Massage and yoga
  • Gardens and gentle walking paths
  • A bit of history
  • Convenient dining
Ashford Manor

Ashford Manor

Sleep in Ashford Manor, an 1893 Queen Anne home that is a sumptuous inn where breakfast is a work of art.

I might make arrangements in advance to see about dinner there too, or a picnic packed to enjoy on the terraced yard.

“We’re very high service oriented,” says Dave Shearon. “Breakfast can be in your room, on the porches or in the gardens.”

Wherever you like and whatever you like seems to be their style at the Ashford Manor.


Choose the 1840s cottage with three suites if you are an antebellum purist or the elegant main house. Expect almost 10 acres, four terraces, gracious yards and a gazebo.

Cottage at Ashford Manor.

Cottage at Ashford Manor.

What else is all-inclusive? You could arrange a massage therapist for in-room treatments.

Walk across the street—busy but with a traffic light—and choose from several eateries.

There is a yoga studio across the street too and that’s an all-inclusive feature many claim in the resort world. Could splurge on a four-day yoga renewal retreat in March, at Ashford Manor.

Artland is Watkinsville’s moniker, and one way to immerse yourself is in the 1827 Haygood House, now home and gallery for Jerry and Kathy Chappelle.

Watkinsville Chappelle Gallery

Chappelle Gallery

As if their fine pottery weren’t reason enough, 125 artists have works here. Happy Valley Pottery, the community of artists a few miles south of Watkinsville, is all wrapped up in the art movement here since the 1970s. Ask for pointers to the Watkinsville mural art that is located in several locations around town. The last population census was 2,832 so you know you won’t have to drive far.

The pewter is polished and the wood handsome in Watkinsville’s Eagle Tavern. Could have purchased a half-pint of cordial there had I visited in 1819, according to ledgers with flowing handwriting. Instead I mused about the wonder of standing in a 1790s former stagecoach, then hotel, then tavern on land given to a Revolutionary War veteran. That classic George Washington portrait hanging in thousands of classrooms meant more in this place.

Oconee is the county name, and Athens is just 10 minutes north.

Christine 12. 2007 4Christine Tibbetts claimed Georgia as her home state in 1972.  She covers Georgia destinations, and the world, always offering prompts for exceptional experiences and opportunities to muse. Tibbetts earned a Bachelor of Journalism from the prestigious School of Journalism at the University of Missouri and is the recipient of numerous gold, silver and merit awards from North American Travel Journalists Association writing competitions. Follow her at