Swayin’ to the Music at Cole Swindell’s Favorite Georgia Venues

Cole Swindell shares his favorite places to catch (or play!) a show around his home state.


Cole Swindell is taking the country music scene by storm! He releases his EP, Down Home Sessions, on November 6, before hitting the road for his first headlining tour on Nov. 11 in New York City with stops in Georgia in Carrollton (Nov. 19) and Athens (Nov. 20)

Cole’s song off of his self-titled album, Swayin’, talks about a taking a girl to see her favorite band play at a concert, savoring the experience and living in the moment. This is what #GeorgiaMusic is all about; seeing your favorite performers and experiencing it all at one of Georgia’s incredible venues.

Now, Cole, who grew up in Bronwood, Ga., and graduated from Georgia Southern University in Statesboro, shares with us his favorite places to catch (or play!) a show around his home state:

Aaron’s Amphitheater at Lakewood – Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Aaron's Ampitheatre

Spanning 75 beautiful, wooded acres, Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood is specifically designed with live music in mind. Its high quality acoustics make it a favorite for many artists, including Cole.

Albany Civic Center  – Albany

Photo: Animation Options
The Civic Center holds a special place in Cole’s heart. This is where he saw Reba McEntire perform every year when he was growing up! The center provides a wide variety of entertainment for visitors of Southwest Georgia each year.


Atlanta Motor Speedway – Hampton

Located 30 miles south of Atlanta, the 1.54-mile track at Atlanta Motor Speedway is one of the premier motorsports facilities in the country. It’s a dream come true for any musician to play before thousands at a NASCAR race.

Bluewater Bar – Valdosta

Located in a rambling old house in the former mill village of Remerton, Bluewater regularly presents singer/songwriters like Cole Swindell for Valdosta State Blazers and country music fans from all over.

Georgia Theatre –  Athens


After a fire that nearly destroyed the theatre, the historic venue reemerged in 2011. This year, the ticket company Pollstar ranked the Theatre as No. 15 in the world. It is a must-see on every music lover’s bucket list. The theater also has an amazing rooftop bar, The Rooftop, where guests can grab a bite to eat while overlooking downtown Athens.

Wild Bill’s  – Duluth

 Located in Duluth near Gwinnett Place Mall off of I-85, the venue holds up to 5,000 fans and features different bands and artists each weekend.

Turner Field – Atlanta

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“It ain’t every day you have a view like this at sound check. Can’t wait to see everyone at Turner Field tonight! We gonna #BringTheChopBack” – @cswinde2 (Instagram)



What’s better than America’s favorite pastime and a concert? Home of the Atlanta Braves (and Cole’s favorite baseball team), Turner Field hosts the Braves Summer Concert Series each year. After you take in a game – catch a free show!

The Gin
– Tifton

A premiere music venue and night club in South Georgia, The Gin hosts a variety of artists each week. Cole and other big names in country music like Florida Georgia Line, Tyler Farr, Parmalee, Sam Hunt and Chase Rice have played the stage. However, The Gin isn’t just for country fans! It also hosts a variety of other artists such as local favorites, hip hop and tribute bands.

Philips Arena – Atlanta


From the first time Cole saw one of his idols, Kenny Chesney, play Philips Arena, it has been on his list as a favorite venue. Every concert at the Atlanta Hawk’s home is an experience like no other. The venue can hold up to 18,238 of your closest friends!

The Coliseum –  Carrollton

Win TWO tickets to the show!

Coming back down South for his Down Home Tour, Cole Swindell will perform at The Coliseum on November 19th at the University of West Georgia! Performing all his latest hits, with special guests, Adam Sanders and Jon Langston, Cole’s show is guaranteed to be some “down home” fun! Don’t miss it!

And guess what? We’re giving away TWO free tickets to the show so you can be Swayin’ too! Enter HERE to win! 



Atlanta Chinatown Mall

As a true lover of food, I’m always looking for a great meal. You may be thinking that since I’m a Chef, a great meal means lots of fancy food, served as lots courses-all costing lots of money. Nope. To me a great meal means delicious food with big flavors, lots of fresh ingredients and affordability. I also like to step out of my comfort zone from time to time and try something new. I’ve found all of that, and more, right here in Atlanta at the Chinatown Mall. It’s tucked away off I-285 and New Peachtree Road, and offers Chinese, Taiwanese, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Laotian and Korean culture all in one small community.

Atlanta Chinatown Mall

Photo courtesy of Atlanta Chinatown Mall

My favorite location at the mall is the food court. No surprise there, especially considering it offers six restaurant stalls, a bakery and two dine-in restaurants. The food selections are all authentic cuisines from around China, recipes passed down from generation to generation. I’ve enjoyed Peking Duck, which is a whole duck cooked until the meat is tender and the skin crisps up crunchy and delicious. The Crispy Pork Belly with a Spicy Hoisin Sauce is another dish I like that cooks the pork belly until the fat and lean are both rich and crisp, before being dipped into a sweet and spicy sauce. And then there is my all-time favorite, a big piping hot bowl of Red Pepper Fish Stew. This stew is thick with chunks of succulent white fish swimming in a broth thick with red hot peppers and Chinese vegetables. Yum! The main thing to remember when checking out the Atlanta Chinatown Mall is to bring a big appetite, your sense of adventure and cash-they don’t accept plastic.

jennifer-hill-booker-1436890751-thumb-230-230-438-151-820-444-90Jennifer is Georgia’s official Culinary Explorer and the author of “Your Resident Gourmet,” full of innovative recipes, cooking trends and fun kitchen gadgets. Click here for more content from Jennifer.

Summer in Rabun County


Rabun County sits high in North Georgia, situated comfortably just south of the North Carolina and South Carolina state lines surrounded by the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. When you’re looking to beat the late summer heat, Rabun County has great places to stay and play.

Stay and dine at The Dillard House. Generations of Rabun County visitors have stayed at The Dillard House and tasted their signature Southern dishes as part of a menu that changes daily. Accommodations include standard and luxury rooms, cottages and cabins while spa treatments and horse riding are also offered.Dillard House

Visit a state park. The county’s state parks offer a peek into the state’s diverse topography and are both family-friendly, easily accessible, and offer a wide variety of activities to visitors.

Black Rock Mountain State Park is Georgia’s highest state park and features streams, waterfalls, a richly forested landscape and expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Tallulah Gorge State Park highlight’s Georgia’s ecological diversity with must-see waterfalls and lush hillsides. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes for the hiking portion of your visit. Even if you don’t hike, a stop at the family-friendly visitors center offers an education on the area’s history and a chance to see live native animals.Tallulah Gorge Bridge

See a drive-in movie. Step back in time by taking in a movie at the Tiger Drive-In. The outdoor theater originally opened in 1954 and today’s incarnation of the attraction features a digital projector and a snack bar.

See the goats on the roof. No visit to Rabun County is complete without a stop to Goats on the Roof. The quirky attraction features live goats living and playing on the roofs of several buildings that house shops and snacking opportunities. Kids will love the opportunity to  feed the goats using the various unique mechanical devices around the site.Goats on the Roof - Tiger GA

Attend the Dillard Bluegrass Festival & Georgia State Championship Barbeque Cookoff. The annual festival showcases the best barbecue not just in Rabun County but across the neighboring areas. Be sure to bring cash and your appetite.

Visit a local vineyard. Tiger Mountain VineyardsStonewall Creek Vineyards and 12 Spies Vineyards are all nearby offering tasting opportunities.

Go whitewater rafting. There are numerous whitewater rafting opportunies throughout Rabun County and the heat of the summer is the perfect time to explore the region’s rapids.

EileenEileen 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.

Mountain Biking at Boundary Waters Park


Set alongside the Chattahoochee River, Boundary Waters Park is dedicated to active recreation like swimming, sports, fishing, and mountain biking. This Douglas County park is home to the paved Chattahoochee Hill Country Greenway, as well as natural surface trails. Beginning behind the park’s Aquatic Center, the Greenway cuts a 3/4-mile out-and-back path through the woods.Boundary Waters Park

The mountain biking fun begins when bikers leave the pavement and hit the dirt. About 12 miles of natural trails are broken up into three off-shoots from the Chattahoochee Hill Country Greenway. Originally designed for equestrian use, these shaded trails are characterized by mostly flat terrain perfect for beginner mountain biking practice. The multi-use natural trails are marked with red, yellow, and blue blazes. Bikers encounter some gear-changing hilly sections on the red trail and learn to cross simple root systems on the blue and yellow trails. Boundary Waters Park

Experienced mountain bikers might enjoy the speed of this easy ride. But, the real benefit to new mountain bikers is the combination of paved and natural trails. This gives beginners the opportunity to move between the paved greenway and natural trails as often as they need. The entire trail system is open to pedestrians and bikers, with the natural surface trails also being used by horseback riders. Mountain bikers, please remember to yield to equestrians.

candycookCandy is Georgia’s official Outdoor Explorer and the author of the blog “Happy Trails Wild Tales.” Click here for more Outdoor content from Candy.

Weekend Family Fun in Rome, Georgia

Family Fun in Rome, GeorgiaRome, Georgia is amass with family friendly activities. Spend time on the trails or walk back in time. Head to the ballgame or cool off in a natural spring. We couldn’t cover everything in a weekend, but here’s how to whet your appetite in this Northwest Georgia town.

Day 1

Walk the Historic “Between the Rivers” district. Tour Myrtle Hill Cemetery and take the free Tree Tour. More than 35 different tree species are rooted here, many of which are rare or non-native. See the Capitoline Wolf, the Town Green Interactive Fountain, the Clocktower and Rome Area History Museum. The museum offers free admission, and visitors can climb to the top of clock tower March – October, the first Saturday of each month from 12:00 – 1:15 p.m.

Lunch on Broad Street in Downtown Rome. Enjoy lunch at Harvest Moon Café, then head next door to Honeymoon Café for a special treat. Gelato, cupcakes and pastries fill the air with heavenly aromas. Kids can watch a cakemaker designing a special treat through the looking glass while enjoying a baby gelato cone or mini cupcake.

There are plenty of clever local shops on Broad Street, so take your time enjoying them.

Visit Chieftains/Major Ridge HomeBe humbled as you tour this National Trail of Tears Certified Historic Site, dating back to 1796. It was once the home of Major Ridge, a prominent leader in the Cherokee Nation.

Eat at Brewhouse Music & Grill. Enjoy brews, burgers and live music in a family-friendly American pub setting.

Rome Braves Baseball. From April – September you’ll want to grab tickets to a Rome Braves Baseball game. The Rome Braves are a Class A Affiliate of the Atlanta Braves.

Labyrinth in Rome, Georgia

Rome Labyrinth

Day 2

Tour Oak Hill & the Martha Berry Museum . See a short film about Berry College then tour the Martha Berry Museum with artifacts such as the first diploma ever given by the school and Martha Berry’s personal typewriter. Follow that with a tour of the Oak Hill Home, Aunt Martha’s cottage and the award winning gardens.

Explore Berry College. Berry College is the world’s largest college campus, covering 26,000 acres. Kids love seeing the wildlife roam freely throughout the campus. Explore over 40 miles of trails, walk the grounds of Ford Castle, see the second largest working overshot waterwheel in the world, watch the swans at Swan Lake, hike to the house of dreams, visit the original settlement at Possum Trot and view the world famous Berry Eagles.

Lunch at Martha’s Skillet. The menu changes daily, but it’s always southern country cooking at Martha’s Skillet.

Cool off at Cave Spring. The town is named for the cave and natural mineral spring in the center of town. Bring an empty jug to fill with mineral water. Enjoy a cave tour, then swim in the spring fed Rolater Lake.

If you’re looking for more family fun ideas, check out 8 Free Things To Do In Rome, Ga on 365 Atlanta Family.

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.