Where to Cool Down in Georgia

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Six Flags White Water

Are you tired of making small splashes in the rain puddles this summer? Make a big splash at Georgia’s water parks this summer!

1. Six Flags White Water in Marietta: Six Flags White Water is one of the Travel Channel’s Top Family Water Parks in the United States. The park is packed with over 50 water rides from the Cliffhanger’s 90-foot free fall to the S.S. Feathersword, an interactive play ship that is perfect for kids.

Splash in the 'Boro

Splash in the ‘Boro

2. Splash Island at Wild Adventures in Valdosta: South Georgia natives can be swept down the Wahee Cyclone at Wild Adventures’ Splash Island. The cyclone will flush riders down a 45-foot funnel into the waves below. Splash Island also offers a less adrenaline-pumping tube ride down Paradise River among other rides.

3. Splash in the Boro in Statesboro:  Splash in the Boro is home to the only dual flowrider in Georgia. Surf Flowrider’s unbroken wave, and ride up the wave’s surface. If you aren’t up for hanging ten, grab an inner tube, and float down the 800-foot Lazy River at Splash the Boro.

4. SoakYa Water Park at Lake Winnepesaukah: Celebrate SoakYa Water Park’s five-acre expansion, the largest expansion in the park’s history. Splash in the pools, fly down the new slides and soak up the sun on the poolside beach.

Summer Waves

Summer Waves

5. Summer Waves Water Park in Jekyll Island: Watch out for the larger-than-life splash bucket in the Splash Zone at Summer Waves Water Park. The bucket will tip over and drench you if you aren’t careful. Also, beware of Nature’s Revenge on the Tornado and Hurricane water slides.

6. Lanier World at Lake Lanier Islands Resort: The Big Beach at Lake Lanier offers fun in the sun for kids and adults. From the kid-friendly Wiggle Waves to the twists and turns of the Twister, Lanier World has something fun for the entire family.

Collins_Goss_HeadshotA Georgia native and UGA alumnae, Collins Goss is the summer communications intern for the Georgia Department of Economic Development. Currently, she is working on her Masters in Fine Arts in Arts Administration emphasizing in communications at The University of Alabama. Collins will graduate in December and hopes to return to the Peach State.

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Georgia's Old Capital Museum in Milldgeville, Georgia

Georgia’s Old Capital Museum in Milldgeville, Georgia

Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia

Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Valdosta, Georgia

Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia

Hills & Dales Estate in LaGrange, Georgia

Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, Georgia

Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, Georgia

Steve Bell Lake in Eastman, Georgia

Steve Bell Lake in Eastman, Georgia

coast

Tybee Island, Georgia

The Landing at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia

The Landing at Reynolds Plantation in Greensboro, Georgia

ATL

Atlanta, Georgia

Surprising Suburbs: Harlem

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Silly is good in the suburbs, especially when you choose little Harlem, Georgia.  Consider this a suburb of Augusta and Thomson in Columbia County, which Grammy winner Lady Antebellum calls home.

Laurel and Hardy pull raucous laughter out of thousands of visitors all year long, and by the thousands during the annual first Saturday in October festival tied to their museum in Harlem.  Movie dates are noisy, a cause and effect of laughter from the Laurel and Hardy Museum’s non-stop run of classic film.

Family travel builds bridges here, with some children seeing their first silly slapstick black-and-white short films; first wondering why their parents are stricken with the giggles, before contracting them, too. Laurel and Hardy films are a good counterbalance to the werewolf and vampire dominance in film-watching America today.

Laurel.Hardy.MuseumThe Laurel and Hardy Museum is a homey, unpretentious, sort of simple place with thousands of memorabilia items. Most everybody poses for a picture with Stan and Ollie in their car, known from their 1929 film “A Perfect Day.”

Museum docents are proud to tell this is the only Laurel and Hardy museum in America, and one of only three in the world. As such, it attracts visitors from all over. You don’t see signatures listing Saudi Arabia as home in just any museum guest book, but I did here. This idiosyncratic museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

You might consider staying overnight at nearby Red Oak Manor bed and breakfast. That will give you another day to watch more films and laugh longer.

horizonal tree through trees webBuilt in 1885, seven years before Norvell “Oliver” Hardy was born, Red Oak Manor has five guest rooms; the downstairs room and bath are handicap accessible. Two upstairs guest rooms have private baths, and two share one. Acorn is the name of the Manor’s restaurant with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Pass under centuries-old oak trees walking through the yard to the museum.

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 www.TibbettsTravel.com.

Just Off The Highway – Old Mill Park in Roswell

IMG_7974Atlantans are famous for their OTP vs. ITP rivalry. Ask anyone who has lived in the Atlanta metro area for more than a few weeks, and they’ll tell you that OTPers have to have a reason to head downtown, and when they do, they go to the Dome or the Fox. You may also hear that ITPers think anything beyond Dunwoody is “the sticks” and a trip to Dahlonega takes an entire day.

Whether you’re Team OTP or Team ITP, you’ll want to take full advantage of some of Georgia’s best restaurants, plenty of hiking and a ton of history. Two out of three of those combine at Old Mill Park, an area along Vickery Creek where Roswell’s original cotton mill was established and where remnants and ruins sit today.

IMG_8003I recommend parking at the Old Mill lot close to the covered bridge (follow the signs from Mill Street). Plentiful mounted maps guide you along the site, and you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing sneakers for the journey, which covers areas with stairs, wooden planking and muddy slopes. Some parts of Old Mill Park are handicapped accessible.

Heading left from the parking lot will take you through the twisted remnants of a building original of Roswell Manufacturing Company. Head a little further toward a 30-foot dam, which has water roaring over it because of all the rain northern Fulton County has had this year. Hike a bit further up the patch and you’ll come across the calm area above the dam, a great spot to practice skipping stones.

IMG_8008Heading back down toward the parking lot, your trek will take you to a repurposed mill building where there are clean bathrooms and a beautiful covered bridge that you can cross to continue your journey through the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Besides sneakers, make sure you bring your camera when you take your trip to Old Mill Park. It’s a favorite spot in North Georgia for photographers.

 

 

eileenEileen Falkenberg-Hull is a digital marketing professional based in Atlanta who first visited Georgia in 1994 and decided that when she graduated from college she would make Georgia her home. Since 2007 that dream has been a reality. She is the founder and executive director of Occupy My Family.