8 Selfie-Worthy Jekyll Island Vacation Spots

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island. Photo by Lisa Westberry via Facebook

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island. Photo by Lisa Westberry via Facebook

Photograph and be photographed at Jekyll’s favorite sites. No trip to Jekyll is complete without a visit to Driftwood Beach. Check with the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and make plans to capture a sea turtle release on video (complete with your reactions). Relax and learn while enjoying a horse-drawn carriage tour of the island or take adventure into your own hands and explore on a Segway (extra points for posted selfies while you’re wearing a helmet).

Visit the Jekyll Island Club Hotel. Escape to the historic heart of Jekyll Island and stay in one of five historic buildings on the property. While you’re there, make plans to explore the grounds by bicycle and try your hand at croquet on the historic green outside The Clubhouse.

Take the “can you believe I’m eating this” photo at the Jekyll Island Shrimp and Grits Festival. Each year, guests from across the world pack the island ready to chow down on the cuisine made popular on Georgia’s coast. Start making your plans for next autumn’s festival now to ensure you get a ticket and your choice of accommodations.

Toes in the sand, drink in my hand. Visit the island’s St. Andrews Beach for your perfect Jekyll suntanning moment selfie. The setting is made perfect by pristine sand, dunes, picnic space and the often-spotted leaping dolphin. Climb to the top of the two-story wildlife viewing platform to give your followers a different type of beach view.

Dolphins seen on a Sunset Dolphin Tour, Jekyll Island

Photo courtesy of Sunset Dolphin Tours, Jekyll Island

Take a ride. Whether you’re wind blown from a ride on Captain Larry’s air boats, gazing at the sunset from a dolphin tour, or riding a horse on the beach, your friends will be instantly jealous of your Southeast Georgia adventure when they see your selfie. A visit to the island is also the perfect excuse to rent a convertible and go for a cruise to explore Jekyll like a local.

Get out on the water. This one’s selfie taking is probably best left on-shore, but that’s no reason why you should miss out on the opportunity to explore Jekyll Island, the Atlantic Ocean and Jekyll River by paddleboard, kayak or canoe. Grab your “wetsuit time” selfie at the beach and then head out to enjoy an uninterrupted adventure.

Dine outdoors. As if all your other adventures aren’t going to drive your followers into a fit of jealously, be sure to grab as many meals at restaurants that have a view of the water as possible. At sunset, be sure to snag your spot early to get the best seat in the house for capturing the setting sun (and your beautiful face).

Go shopping! It’s time to get yourself a new pair of sunglasses. Snap your selfie to determine which is best. Heck, even let your followers decide. The island does not have a shortage of sunglasses retailers, so be sure to shop around to find your favorite.

eileen-1437426635-thumb-230-230-10-58-1000-783-90Eileen is Georgia’s official Festival Explorer and the editor of Occupy My Family, the Atlanta area’s most comprehensive resource for family fun. Click here for more Festival content from Eileen.

Fall Deals You Don’t Want to Miss in Atlanta

If you’re celebrating fall break or simply exploring the city, Atlanta’s main attractions are offering a discount this season that you don’t want to miss!

Center for Civil and Human RightsThe Center for Civil and Human Rights is a powerful new addition to Atlanta. It marries the civil rights crusades with today’s global human rights movement. While these can be difficult topics to discuss with children, the Center offers an excellent contribution toward that conversation. Through Nov. 14, 2015, children 7-10 years old can enjoy a 50 percent discount on admission. Kids will also enjoy story time at 11 a.m., 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. Don’t forget to read the Family Guide before you go; it was a treasured resource during my own visit with the boys.

World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca-Cola

World of Coca-Cola – Residents of Coke’s home state have cause to celebrate. Through the end of October 2015, Georgia residents receive discount admission to World of Coca-Cola. Georgia residents can receive two general admission tickets for $25, a total savings of $7. That’s more than 20 percent off regular adult admission! It’s only available at the walk-up window (not online,) and you’ll have to show proof of residency. See the WOCC website for more details.

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium

Georgia Aquarium – Now through Oct. 23 save 20 percent on walk-up pricing at the Georgia Aquarium when you purchase your ticket in advance online. But wait, there’s more! Kids get a FREE meal with one side and a drink. Make sure to get your tickets in advance because this offer is not available at the ticketing window.

Looking for more affordable options in Atlanta? Be sure to visit our HUGE list of FREE things to do in Atlanta with kids.

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.

Leaf Watch Website Tracks Best Fall Color in Georgia

Leaf Watch 2015

Leaf Watching at F.D. Roosevelt State Park

F.D. Roosevelt State Park

“When will the leaves change?” That’s the question park rangers hear most often once the calendar turns to October. Only Mother Nature knows, of course, but peak color in Georgia is usually toward the end of October or early November. The key for a vibrant autumn is warm sunny days coupled with cool – not freezing – nights.

To help leaf peepers find the best scenery, Georgia’s State Parks offer an online “Leaf Watch” travel planner, found at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/leafwatch. Beginning in October, regular updates will keep travelers posted on how fall color is progressing across Georgia’s Blue Ridge. The website is filled with top trails and overlooks, mountain cabins and campsites, fall events, and safe hiking tips. Shutterbugs are encouraged to post their favorite shots to the Georgia State Parks Facebook page and Instagram.

Georgia’s top 15 state parks for leaf watching include Amicalola Falls, Black Rock Mountain, Cloudland Canyon, Don Carter, F.D. Roosevelt, Fort Mountain, Hard Labor Creek, Moccasin Creek, James H. (Sloppy) Floyd, Red Top Mountain, Smithgall Woods, Sweetwater Creek, Tallulah Gorge, Unicoi and Vogel. For quieter getaways, visitors may want to explore parks further south, which can offer pretty autumn color as well.

Georgia’s State Parks offer a variety of accommodations where leaf peepers can stay right in the heart of autumn scenery. Park guests can choose from fully equipped cabins, modern campsites and even yurts – a “glamping” trend that is like a tent-cabin. Georgia State Parks’ most sought-after accommodations are often reserved 13 months in advance, and many campgrounds fill up on weekends. Guests are encouraged to make plans as early as possible or visit during weekdays. Reservations can be made by calling 1-800-864-7275 or at GeorgiaStateParks.org/reservations.

Leaf Watching at Red Top Mountain State Park

Red Top Mountain State Park

Kim Hatcher

Kim Hatcher has handled media relations for Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites since 1993. She grew up in Smyrna, Ga., and earned her journalism degree from the University of Georgia. She and her husband enjoy camping, hiking, paddling and exploring the great outdoors. Kim works with reporters and travel writers, manages the park system’s Facebook and Twitter accounts, and serves as a spokesperson for the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

4 Favorite Fall Activities That Won’t Break the Bank

Although it isn’t officially fall on the calendar, Labor Day ushers in the fall season for many. Fall is the perfect time to get out and explore Georgia when it’s not quite so hot. To celebrate the cooler weather, here are four ways to get active with your family that won’t break the bank.

Pick some Fruit: September is the perfect time to pick apples in Georgia, and it’s one of our family’s favorite ways to spend time together. It’s also a nice way to show kids where their food comes from, and get them to enjoy eating more fruit.

Take a Bike Ride: Our family loves to explore Jekyll and St. Simons Island by bike. With so many paths, you can park the car and just travel on two wheels during your vacation. Near Atlanta, we like the Silver Comet Trail in Cobb County or the Atlanta BeltLine’s eastside trail, which has lots of fun stops like Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward Skate Park. The bike trail along the Chattahoochee RiverWalk in Columbus takes you from Uptown to several tourist attractions. For the more adventurous biker, Georgia’s State Parks offer great single-track mountain biking trails too.Biking on Jekyll Island

Go on a Scavenger Hunt: Clue Town Books is a perfect way to explore Atlanta, while learning a bit about the city. Solve puzzles and clues to get you to your destination. ClueTown Books are available for Oakland Cemetery, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Beltline and the City of Decatur. If you’d rather get away from Atlanta, try Geocaching at a local state park, through the town of Blackshear or Clayton County.

Take in a Movie: The cooler weather and shorter days are the perfect combo for an outdoor movie at one of Georgia’s drive-in theatres. Pull your car up to the Starlight Drive-In Theatre & Flea Market in Atlanta, Jesup Drive-In, Tiger Drive-In or the Swan Drive-In in Blue Ridge.Jesup Drive-In

For more fall fun, visit the Field Trips with Sue Fall Guide, with lists of pumpkin patches, u-pick apple orchards, ghosts tours, haunted houses and more.

SueSue Rodman is Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer and the editor and publisher of the award-winning family travel blogField Trips with Sue. Click here for more Smart Travel content from Sue.

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Georgia’s Tastiest Adventure: BBQ

Old Clinton BBQ

TripAdvisor.com rated Georgia the number one state for BBQ in 2014. In 2015, Joe’s BBQ in Blue Ridge captured the honor of Best BBQ in America. Sufficed to say, Georgia’s got some great ‘que.

How to Find the Best BBQ in Georgia
The problem with great BBQ joints however, is they aren’t always the easiest to find. The best ones are usually a little off the main drag. When on a road trip, our family generally consults Yelp to find a place nearby. After consulting the reviews, the final decision on whether to visit usually rests with the sign outside. If it doesn’t have a pig on it, we question the food quality.

The Brews and Q’s Passport to Flavor
There’s always the Best of Lists too. We’ve found tasty establishments, like Joe’s, based on those lists, and then seek them out when we are in the area. Georgia’s Historic Heartland has gone a step further. They’ve created a Brews & Q’s BBQ Trail. What a brilliant idea! The trail features 30 locally owned locations in 14 counties and each restaurant is listed in an easy to use brochure that serves as your passport to flavor. Many of these country kitchens have been featured on various TV shows and have won awards from numerous outlets. Get it stamped at each place and once you’ve visited a third of the sites (or 10 locations), you can mail in the passport to receive a free Brews & Q’s t-shirt. Download a brochure and get started on a delicious tour through Georgia’s heartland.

For more Fall Fun, visit the Field Trips with Sue Fall Guide.

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.

Click here to order Sue’s book, 100+ Things to Do in Atlanta.

Click here to follow Sue on Facebook.

Click here to follow Sue on Twitter.

Click here to follow Sue on Pinterest.

Click here to follow Sue on Google+

Click here to follow Sue on Instagram.