Sunday, March 11, 2012


Being from the south, I’ve been to, and driven through Georgia many times.  My favorite place of all-time in Georgia is the Georgia Pig on the Rt. 17 exit off of I-95 in Brunswick (http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-georgia-pig-brunswick).  The 1st time I visited I was told it was worth the 45 minute, one-way trip from where I was working to this SHACK!  My coworkers and I never regretted the trip, and we made two other trips later that week to the Georgia Pig for dinner.  My boss even took 5 lbs of BBQ home on his lap in the airplane!  You have got to order the BBQ and their Brunswick Stew!  An old southern saying, “it was so good that I’d smack my momma if she tried taking it away from me!”  It was THAT good.

Another favorite is the Dillard House Restaurant in Dillard (http://www.dillardhouse.com/restaurant/index.php).  The view of the rolling hills and the amazing family style southern cooking is just wonderful!  Please do check it out if you are ever in the area.

Picture of Dillard House from their website
Most people that have been to Georgia have visited the city of Atlanta.  You might have flown or driven through Atlanta.  There is plenty to do there.  I suggest you start your trip to Atlanta with my favorite spot – THE VARSITY (http://www.thevarsity.com/).  It’s the world's largest drive-in that can accommodate 600 cars and over 800 people inside.  It sells more than 2 miles of hot dogs daily, a ton of onion rings, 2500 pounds of fresh cut potatoes, 5000 homemade fried pies, and 300 gallons of chili, all of which are made from scratch daily.  Every time I’ve gone to Atlanta for work or with school, we’ve stopped there.  It’s yummy. 

Next, you’ll need to visit the state capitol building (http://www.sos.ga.gov/archives/tours/about.html), which I’ve already mentioned in previous posts is always a must visit in every state especially in your own state.  A beautiful part of town to walk around is the Centennial Olympic Park (http://www.centennialpark.com/), which was built for the 1996 Olympics.  Atlanta is also home to CNN where you can get the inside scoop during a 55-minute tour inside the CNN Studio (www.cnn.com/tour).  I’ve never done that before, however, it’s on my list of things to check out next time I’m in the area.  Another must is a tour of the World of Coca-Cola (www.worldofcoca-cola.com).  Whether you’re for Coca-Cola or Pepsi, this tour is a must.  One of their exhibits is a tasting station with over 60 different Coca-Cola products from around the world.  YIPPEE!

Picture of 1 of the tasting stations at the World of Coca-Cola.  Picture found online.
If it’s a nice day outside you’re wishing for, then you need to visit Georgia’s #1 attraction.  Fifteen minutes outside of Atlanta is Stone Mountain Park (http://stonemountainpark.com/).  You can either take their skyride up to the top of the mountain or walk the 1.3 mile trail up the mountain to see a beautiful view.  Also, they have a 45-minute laser show on the face of the 825-foot tall granite outcropping (or “stone mountain”) most nights through out the year. 

Lastly, while in the Atlanta area, you should visit the Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthplace and burial site (http://www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm).  You can even step inside of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church that Dr. King, his dad, and grandfather all preached in.

When thinking about the south, some movie fans recall the old classic, “Gone with the Wind.”  If you love that movie, you can immerse yourself in all things Gone with Wind in Georgia.  Last year was the 75th anniversary of the book being published back in 1936.  You can visit the Gone with the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square in the town of Marietta (http://gwtwmarietta.com/), The Road to Tara Museum in the town of Jonesboro (http://visitscarlett.com/), or you can visit author Margaret Mitchell’s, house and museum in Atlanta (http://www.margaretmitchellhouse.com/).

Now, if you’ve been to see one of the major mountain ranges around the world or in the USA, you might not consider the “mountains” of Georgia and South Carolina to be mountains because they’re very old and not that tall comparatively.  However, they are still beautiful, especially in the fall.  Just keep in mind that the leaves’ color peaks in these states later than the rest of the Appalachian Mountain range because they are so far south.  There are two mountainous areas to check out in Georgia.  One is the beginning of the Appalachian trial that starts in the northeast part of the state in Dawsonville at the Amicalola Falls State Park (http://www.ngeorgia.com/ang/Amicalola_Falls_State_Park, http://www.georgiatrails.com/gt/Appalachian_Trail_in_Georgia), and the other is The Lookout Mountain Parkway in the northwest (http://lookoutmountainparkway.org/).  It’s right outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Both places have breathtaking views of Georgia’s mountains.

Picture of Amicalola Falls found online.
One place I would love to go to someday is Savannah.  The pictures of Savannah (www.visitsavannah.com) remind me either of New Orleans, LA or Charleston, SC.  While there, I want to go to Paula Deen’s restaurant called Lady and Sons (http://ladyandsons.com/).  I think she’s like to country cooking as Julia Childs was to French cooking.  I’ve eaten dishes from Paula’s cookbooks that were DELICIOUS, so eating food that was actually made in her restaurant has got to be phenomenal.  
Picture of Lady and Sons found online
Savannah is the home of not only Paula Deen but the Girl Scouts!  Girl Scouts is turning 100 years old this year!  Juliette Gordon Low (founder of the Girl Scouts) was born in Savannah and the first headquarters building was in Savannah as well, both of which you can visit (http://www.juliettegordonlowbirthplace.org/, http://www.gshg.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=135&Itemid=149).  A town near Savannah, Port Wentworth, hosts the Annual Collard Green Festival in March with a collard green n’ cornbread cook-off.  Yummy!  According to the festival’s website, they encourage “Ya’ll come and have a mess o’ greens.”  Can’t get more southern than that!  (http://www.visitportwentworth.com/#self)  I think the best way of seeing Savannah would be either walking along the city market (http://www.savannahcitymarket.com/) or taking in a riverboat cruise (http://savannahriverboat.com/).  There is so much on my list to see in Savannah.

Another area I would like to visit in Georgia is the Golden Isles on the coast.  The pictures of Jekyll Island (http://jekyllisland.com/) are just so beautiful and peaceful looking.  Plus, they have a shrimp and grits festival that I’d love to visit. (http://www.jekyllisland.com/Events/AnnualFestivals/ShrimpandGrits.aspx).  MMMM GOOD!  Also, my love for lighthouses would take me to St. Simons Lighthouse (http://saintsimonslighthouse.org/), a lighthouse that is beautiful and has a gorgeous shore surrounding it.
Pictures of Jekll Island and Saint Simons Lighthouse found online 

If you’re into golf, then you have heard about Augusta, home of the Masters Tournament held every April (http://www.augusta.com/).  But, they also have a picturesque Riverwalk in town (http://www.augustaga.org/Things-to-Do/Attractions/Augusta-Riverwalk).

Your kids might like the next two places that I found.  First, the Bruce Weiner Microcar Museum in Madison (http://www.microcarmuseum.com/index.html) houses the largest collection of microcars in the world, and most of the cars in the collection were built between the late 1940s and early 1960s in Europe after World War II.  It might sound a little odd, but I bet any boy (or boy at heart) would love to see that collection.

Second, your little girl will love visiting Cabbage Patch Kid’s Babyland General in Cleveland (http://www.cabbagepatchkids.com/visit/).  It’s the only place in the world where you can witness the birth of a hand-sculpted Cabbage Patch Kid and the best part is that admission is FREE.

These are just a few of the great places you need to know about in the peach state of Georgia.  If you know of anywhere else in Georgia we should check out, please leave a comment below.  See you next week when we explore what’s just round the corner on the paradise shores of Hawaii.

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