Travel and outdoors product reviews and trips


GEORGIA

News
Atlanta
Brooikhaven
Dahlonega
Richmond Hill
Rock City
St Simons Island
Savannah
Tybee Island
Waverly
Whitesburg

NEWS (Cities and Towns Follow after the News)

Historic Banning Mills outdoor adventure park--The Bridges of Banning - Longest Suspension Hiking Bridge in North America

Rock City Installs Newest Commissioned Sculpture Combining Art, Nature and Folklore

Something's NEW in Atlanta -- PLUS 2 NEW deals to try Atlanta's All New Sonesta Gwinnett Place Hotel

Tybee Island Wedding Chapel Unveils Stunning New Grand Ballroom and Conference Center

Bass Pro Shops Open in Emerson & Includes a Nature & Education Center

The Horse Stamp Inn Opens! -- For Guests Who Enjoy Tranquilty, Beauty & Luxury

"Savannah Memories" Girls Getaway -- Plan a Vacation with your BFF, Mother, Daughter, Sister or Cousin

Savannah's Azalea Inn and Gardens Joins Prestigious Innkeeping Assocation

2017 Georgia State Travel Guide Available

The Travel Guide serves as the state's main fulfillment piece and encourages travelers and Georgians to explore the state and are distributed through consumer orders online at www.georgia.org/travel or via 1-800-VISITGA. You can also find it at Georgia's 11 Visitor Information Centers along major arteries throughout the state, at the 42 regional Welcome Centers, and at consumer and industry trade shows in the U.S.

An abbreviated version of the guide is produced in five foreign languages: UK English, German, Spanish, Korean and Chinese. Foreign-language versions of the guide also are being developed in Japanese and Portuguese. The international guides are distributed through the state's foreign offices, group tour operators and at international trade shows.

For more information, visit www.georgia.org or call (404) 962-4075.

Two of Georgia’s Most Popular State Park Lodges are Offering Great Winter Deals for Mountain Getaways 

Georgia’s two most popular State Park Lodges at Amicalola and Unicoi State Parks have the perfect getaway. Both of these favorite mountain Lodge facilities will stay open throughout the winter months featuring great winter getaway deals, enhanced service and upgraded dining.

The Lodge at Amicalola and the Lodge at Unicoi are now under the management of Coral Hospitality, the same professional hospitality industry management company that also manages Brasstown Valley Resort in Young Harris, GA. Under the direction of Coral Hospitality guests will see upgrades to services, amenities and dining at each of the Lodges, while retaining the natural ambience and character of the facilities.  

The Lodge at Unicoi State Park – Now Open All Winter with Special Package Savings

The Lodge at Unicoi State Park, which includes 100 Lodge guestrooms and 30 Cottages, will remain open throughout the winter months . Guest may also enjoy dining at the Unicoi Dining Room throughout the winter months including an expansion of the buffet, as well as the addition of an a la carte menu.  The Unicoi dining Room is open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The Lodge at Unicoi is situated on 1,063 acres nestled between the Chattahoochee Forest and the alpine village of Helen. It is a beautiful retreat with panoramic mountain views and a lake that offers a white sand beach. Guests may enjoy cottages with wood-burning fireplaces, or contemporary Lodge guestrooms, many with lofts and views of the park. The park features 12 miles of nature and hiking trails, a lake and trout stream for fishing, four lighted tennis courts, softball and volleyball area, picnic facilities, a world class mountain bike trail, and a year-round schedule of activities, as well as comprehensive conference facilities. For more information and reservations at The Lodge at Unicoi call: 800-573-9659, or online at www.gastateparks.org, and like Unicoi State Park Lodge on Facebook to receive special offers.

The Lodge at Amicalola

Only one and a half hours north of Atlanta, The Lodge at Amicalola Falls is a stunning 57-room hideaway, overlooking the Southeast’s highest and most spectacular waterfall at 729 feet. In addition to the Lodge accommodations, Amicalola State Park also offers a selection of 14 cottages, as well as the park’s famous hike-in only accommodations. Now guests who want to enjoy the rustic hike-in experience can also add an additional night at The Lodge and enjoy a 10% discount off of the published Lodge rates as well as a complimentary continental breakfast in the Maple Restaurant. Lodge rates begin at $69* per night. For more information and reservations call: 800-573-9656 or online at www.gastateparks.org.

The Lodge is a beautiful setting for group meetings, family gatherings and conferences with facilities that can accommodate up to 250 people, offering full catering facilities as well as the Maple Restaurant which is open year-round and features a selection of regional cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

ATLANTA

Where to Stay

Something's NEW in Atlanta -- PLUS 2 NEW deals to try Atlanta's All New Sonesta Gwinnett Place Hotel

There's a new look in Atlanta - southern hospitality with airy, open spaces and warm, modern style. The newly renovated Sonesta Gwinnett Place is just minutes from a variety of shops, restaurants and sports venues yet far enough to peacefully rest and relax.

Dine in at Kaets Steakhouse featuring locally sourced fare. Lounge by the pool, both indoors and outdoors. Host a meeting, event or wedding in the ballroom or one of many beautiful, flexible meeting spaces. Or just wander the grounds and take in the charm.

See what's new at Sonesta Gwinnett Place or book now using the exciting NEW package below.

Suite Life Package

Receive free daily breakfast for two
Enjoy a complimentary upgrade to a suite (based on availability)
Use Promo Code: RENONW

The Glenn Goes Green -- Guests to Downtown Atlanta Can Now Green Up their Travel

In addition to the high-end style and dedication to personal comfort that make the Glenn Hotel popular among both business and leisure travelers alike, the Glenn is now allowing ecologically concerned guests to leave smaller footprints when they travel. Guests with the most refined taste will continue to experience premium standards of service and luxury, while the Glenn utilizes non-intrusive, eco-friendly products and methods.

As one of Atlanta’s most innovative hotels, the Glenn is proud of the practices it has set in place to reduce impacts on the environment. Their dedication to ultimate guest comfort is only matched in their commitment to the environment by improving energy efficiency, reusing existing structures and leveraging and enhancing the assets of the existing urban environment. Through its renovation, The Glenn worked to incorporate building components that reduce overall energy consumption. New windows increase the hotel’s insulating capabilities, and improving on traditional hotel PTAC units, high-efficiency water source heat pumps provide heating and cooling to guest rooms. Finally, smart thermostats in each guest room control the HVAC and lighting systems. These thermostats sense when each room is occupied, and turn off lights and HVAC units when the room is unoccupied.

The adaptive reuse of the historic Glenn Building, which had been vacant for 20 years, in lieu of a building demolition and rebuild reduced the amount of new construction materials needed to create the hotel. This approach saved an architecturally significant building as well as reducing the project’s environmental footprint.

The Glenn is also making use of the existing urban environment to create convenience for guests and employees. The location, within easy walking distance of several train and bus stops, allows guests and hotel employees to take mass transit to and from the airport and around the Atlanta metro area. These efforts help reduce auto usage of employees and guests, improving air quality and traffic congestion in the city. With the hotel in close proximity to all Atlanta’s major event and tourist destinations, guests are able to walk to and from their destinations rather than travel by vehicle, helping to reduce traffic congestion and promote walking within downtown. In return, the renovation of the hotel turned a dilapidated corner of downtown into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly amenity for the city. The hotel’s restaurant, lobby bar and rooftop bar provide new restaurant and nightlife opportunities for residents and visitors to Atlanta, helping create a ‘live, work, play’ community in Downtown Atlanta.

Joining in the Glenn Hotel’s green initiative is Maxim Prime steakhouse.

The Glenn Hotel is a boutique hotel offering style, sophistication and impeccable service. It is located at 110 Marietta Street in downtown Atlanta, Ga. The Glenn is within walking distance to the CNN Center, Philips Arena, the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center, Centennial Olympic Park, the new World of Coke and Georgia Aquarium. The first Maxim Prime restaurant debuts in the Glenn Hotel in March 2008. Maxim Prime, a modern Steakhouse developed in partnership with Maxim magazine, the leading young men’s lifestyle magazine, and famed restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow. Please visit the Glenn Hotel online at www.glennhotel.com or call them at 404.521.2250.

What to See & Do

Art & Rich History in Atlanta

Shop OnlineAtlanta's extensive art scene and rich history create cultural offerings unmatched in the South. From historic to modern, visitors can enjoy art, performances, beauty, and education throughout the city.

If you like museum hopping, try:

Woodruff Arts Center:

Now the largest performing and visual arts center in the nation, encompassing the Alliance Theatre, the Atlanta Symphony Hall, the High Museum of Art (hosting world-renowned exhibits with works by Van Gosh, Norman Rockwell and Michelangelo, with a permanent collection of more than 11,000 works of art including African, American, decorative, European, folk, modern, and contemporary art, plus photography), Young Audiences, the 14th Street Playhouse, and the recently added Table 1280.

Atlanta History Center:

Explore Atlanta's story - the Civil War, civil rights and the antebellum South through two historic homes -- the 1928 Swan House and the Tullie Smith House, an 1840s plantation farmhouse with outbuildings, beautiful gardens, and nature trails.

Michael C. Carlos Museum:

This hidden jewel features the art of the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean and the Americas, including Egyptian mummies, pre-Columbian pottery, ancient Greek and Roman sculptures, artifacts from the Middle and Far East and European and American works on paper.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum:

Carter's life and administration and the Oval Office are portrayed through films, videos, and displays. Popular exhibitions are also shown here, such as First Ladies: Political Role and Public Image, developed by the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, Behring Center, and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service.

William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum:

The largest museum of its kind in the Southeast, the Bremen museum offers two core galleries depicting "Creating Community: The Jews of Atlanta from 1845 to the present" and "Absence of Humanity: The Holocaust Years." Also featured are special exhibitions, archives, a hands-on Discovery Center, library and museum shop.

There are several more museums in addition to theaters including

Atlanta Ballet

-- is the longest continually operating ballet company in the United States. Catch presentations of classical and contemporary works are presented at the Fox Theatre and the Robert Ferst Center for the Arts); the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (performing over 250 concerts a year, many with the world's most prominent musicians, soloists and conductors); and the Atlanta Opera, (presenting full-staged grand opera performances in the Boisfenillet Jones Civic Center).

Atlanta Botanical Garden --

(a 15-acre oasis bordering Piedmont Park featuring outdoor display gardens, five acres of shade-loving ornamentals from around the world and walking trails.

Children's Garden

Across the Flower Bridge is a two-acre --

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site;

where you can visit Dr. King's grave, the King birth home and Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached.

Events are held year round, such as the Atlanta Jazz Festival; National Black Arts Festival; and much more.

For more information, contact the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau, 233 Peachtree St., Suite 100, Atlanta, GA 30303; 404- 521-6600, or check web site www.atlanta.com..

BROOKHAVEN

more soon

DAHLONEGA

Where to Stay

Smith House Inn

Georgias premier family-style restaurant and luxury inn, The Smith House Inn, in Dahlonega, Ga., announced today, they will be featuring the nature photographs of area-resident, Dallas Kinney, under the thematic title: My Appalachia: The Smith House Experience.

Each month, a new Appalachian study, by Kinney, will be featured. The free, four-color, calendar will be available on The Smith House, web site for downloading and printing, by The Smith House customers and the general public at www.smithhouse.com/gallery/my-appalachia-the-smith-house-experience/

Dallas Kinney, award-winning photographer, for this exclusive series, studied with the icon of nature photography, Ansel Adams, and is the recipient of a Pulitzer Prize for his photojournalism series: Migration to Misery. He has a long history in communications as a writer, photojournalist, director of graphic arts, and editor, for the Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, and numerous national and international magazines and organizations.

Kinneys area photographs, which will constitute the exclusive My Appalachia: The Smith House Experience series, will be most visible for The Smith House customers and the public, in a variety of attitudes.

The first in a series of dynamic seasonal My Appalachia: The Smith House Experience Flash presentations will be available on the Smith House web site. The seasonal Flash presentations, photographed and created by Kinney, will feature scores of Appalachian nature scenes, accompanied by regional music.

Also, The Smith House, will establish a My Appalachia: The Smith House Experience gallery, featuring framed prints from Kinneys Appalachian series. The, Giclee prints, using the most advanced pigment ink technology for archival stability, will be hand signed by Kinney, and available for sale, exclusively at The Smith House luxury inn.

Appalachian photographs, by Kinney, were also used to decorate the newly restored luxury rooms, and public areas, at the historic inn. Kinney, acknowledged his appreciation for having The Smith House, as the exclusive home for his Appalachian photography series. 'The Smith House is, to me, quintessential Appalachia. I can think of no better place to showcase my work. It is an honor and privilege to be part of The Smith House family.'

For more information contact Chris Welch 706.867.7000 - PH
The Smith House MGT Co. 706.864.3070 - FAX
84 South Chestatee Street chrisw@smithhouse.com
Dahlonega GA 30533 www.smithhouse.com

EMERSON

Bass Pro Shops Opens New Outpost® Store In Emerson -- Featuring a 300-acre Nature Park & Adjacent Product Testing/Education Area

Bass Pro Shops, America’s most popular outdoor store, has opened a 100,000 square foot Bass Pro Shops Outpost® store in Emerson The new store is a leading anchor of the recently announced 1,200-acre LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center located at the Red Mountain and Emerson exits off Interstate 75.

The LakePoint Sports Village will be one of the world’s largest and most unique amateur sports complexes and will feature 16 major league sized baseball fields, 14 soccer/lacrosse fields, 16 fast pitch softball and junior baseball fields, a 20 acre wake park, 2 Miracle League fields, and a 100,000 SF indoor facility for gymnastics, wrestling, volleyball, basketball, cheerleading and other sports, as well as 5 million square feet of retail, hotels, restaurants and other amenities.

In addition to being the world’s leading supplier of premium fishing tackle, Bass Pro Shops is also America’s leading supplier of hunting gear and is the top retailer of Bowtech and PSE archery equipment, plus the world's leading brands of fishing boats--Tracker, Nitro, SunTracker, Tahoe, Grizzly and Mako factory direct to fishermen. Bass Pro Shops is also the No. 1 dealer in the U.S. for Arctic Cat ATV’s and UTV’s.

More than just a fishing and hunting store, Bass Pro Shops offers equipment and clothing for hiking, backpacking, wildlife viewing, camping, outdoor cooking and more. A gift and nature center will serve up a wide variety of outdoor-related items, from lamps and dishes to bird feeders and furniture.

About Bass Pro Shops®:
Bass Pro Shops® currently operates 77 retail stores and Tracker Marine Centers across America and Canada visited by over 120 million people annually. Bass Pro Shops® also conducts an international catalog and internet retailing operation—the American Rod & Gun® wholesale division--which sells to more than 7,000 independently, owned retail stores worldwide. Outdoor World® Incentives also sells Bass Pro Shops® gift cards through over 132,000 retail outlets across America. The Bass Pro Shops® restaurant division has 28 locations. The company’s Tracker Marine Group® manufactures and sells Tracker®, Nitro®, SunTracker®, Tahoe®, Grizzly® and Mako® boats through Bass Pro Shops® retail stores and over 400 dealers worldwide. The Resort Group includes Big Cedar Lodge® and other resort properties including restaurants and golf courses.

For more information regarding Bass Pro Shops® store locations, products or special events, please visit www.basspro.com. To request a free catalog, call 1-800-BASS PRO. Follow Bass Pro Shops on Facebook at www.facebook.com/bassproshops.

RICHMOND HILL

ABOUT THE GREAT OGEECHEE SEAFOOD FESTIVAL:

The Great Ogeechee Seafood Festival is an annual event held at J. F. Gregory Park the third weekend in October. People from all over the southeast come to sample southern hospitality while enjoying some of the best seafood you‚ll find anywhere. The festival features continuous entertainment on two stages with local and national entertainment. Thrill-seekers will enjoy the carnival midway and shoppers will enjoy perusing the hand-made arts and crafts and business booths. Foodies will delight in the wide variety of delicious food including some of the most tasty seafood found anywhere in Coastal Georgia.

ROCK CITY

Rock City Installs Newest Commissioned Sculpture Combining Art, Nature and Folklore

Rock City’s most recent commissioned artwork has just been installed where guests can now enjoy a new sculpture along the Enchanted Trail. Artist Matthew Dutton was selected earlier this year to create a new exhibit for the park, which he has entitled Maloria, Mother of the Wild. Dutton was chosen anonymously out of several outstanding artists to commission a piece tying in art, nature and heritage of Rock City Gardens. Dutton’s sculpture makes the seventh art installation for the Rock City Art Initiative since 2009.

“The site for installation was chosen due to its 360-degree viewing opportunity, which is unusual in the Gardens given the nature of the rock formations and the trail,” said Will Jackson, senior manager of innovation for SRC. “The space is on a high rock shelf above our Fallow Deer Habitat and below the Swing-A-Long Bridge, which gives guests incredible views including the opportunity to see the piece from above. This installation also marks our first piece to be placed on the lower half of the Enchanted Trail, which has a more woodland, fairytale presence that is perfect for the content of Dutton’s work.”

“The Rock City outdoor sculpture I have created is of a figure designed to evoke a sense of whimsy, history and magic,” said Dutton. “Maloria reaches out to gesture the deer below, while a small songbird lands on her finger. Her appearance is stoic, reminiscing days of lore and fairytale. Her long cloak drapes to the ground like heavy sackcloth sheltering her from the elements, while adding to the mystery of her identity. A protector and guardian of the gardens, she communicates with the animals and gnomes that reside at Rock City to ensure the longevity of its natural splendor.”

“In keeping with Rock City Gardens’ commitment to the local art community, we are so pleased to have awarded this outdoor sculpture space to Matthew who is certainly an accomplished local artist, longtime friend and past employee of the company,” said Jeff Raabe, director of operations for SRC. “The piece meets all of our criteria including the connection to European folklore and Rock City’s rich heritage. It is a perfect fit for bringing out the original historic vision of the gardens as well as being beautifully sculpted.”

Dutton was born in Winter Park, Florida and has lived and worked nearly 20 years in Chattanooga, Tennessee where he earned a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture at UTC. He has had many distinctive art-related experiences including a solo exhibition in New York, as well as published work in print media like the New York Times and Hi-Fructose Magazine, studio assisting with well-known artists, teaching at the Hunter Museum of American Art and several sculptures featured both locally and abroad. Dutton credits these contributions to the real-world knowledge and skillset he uses today.

More recently, he was the art specialist at Rock City Gardens building and restoring gnomes and fairytale statuary alongside Kim and Will Jackson. Currently, he is a display coordinator for Anthropologie where he focuses his artistic efforts towards installation-based art happenings and thematic site-specific narrative painting and sculptures. His other notable roles include being a husband and father.

Previous artists whose works live at Rock City Gardens include Roger Halligan, Isaac Duncan, John Henry, John McLeod, Michael Brandt and Jack Denton.

Rock City Gardens strives to serve as a leading cultural entertainment innovator. By partnering with local artisans, along with the growing festival and event calendar at the attraction, Rock City provides high quality and variety to the hundreds of thousands of guests annually.

Just six miles from downtown Chattanooga, Tenn., Rock City is an enchanted, 4,100-foot walking trail showcasing lush gardens, caves and soaring rock formations.

ROCK CITY ART INSTALLATIONS:

April 2009 - Roger Halligan’s Iron Age installed at Rock City’s first EarthDayz event.

May 2009 - Isaac Duncan III installed his standard steel piece Perched Raptor, fittingly near Critter Classroom, home to the Birds of Prey Show.

July 2009 - Prometheus installed by John Henry.

July 2010 - John McLeod completed his outdoor sculpture, Elder Flame.

July 2011 - Michael Brandt trellis piece installed, Invitation.

    (Interesting fact: Brandt was later married at the site of this artwork)

May 2012 - Jack Denton installs Villa Aviana, a welded aluminum piece.

August 2016 - Matthew Dutton installation Maloria, Mother of the Wild.

Rock City is also home to a recasting of Jules Moigniez’s Eagle, perched near Lover's Leap.

ST. SIMONS ISLAND

Where to Stay

The Castle Makeover Is Complete At The King and Prince ~ St. Simons Island,

The historic King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort has completed its renovation project, complete with new culinary offerings and updated common areas. The stunning new atrium space and complete renovation of the lobby was designed with the guest experience in mind. It’s a fresh, contemporary take on the relaxed, easy-going vibe that visitors have come to love at the King and Prince.

The new restaurant, ECHO, gives a nod to St. Simons’ brief naval history during World War II. Serving classic coastal cuisine and handcrafted cocktails, the atmosphere is casual and friendly…perfect for drinks after coming in from the pool or an evening out. The lobby Atrium welcomes guests to sit by the fireplace and the ECHO bar open daily from morning til late night. Our Resort, managers and staff are proud to present a spectacular ‘castle by the sea’, which many generations to come will enjoy.

ECHO Bar Banquette

Step outside to the King and Prince oceanfront pool complex and meet friends by the warming oceanfront pool ~ fun in any season!

Voted: Top 10 Islands in U.S. – Conde Nast Traveler
America’s Most Romantic Town ~ Travel + Leisure
America’s 10 Best Islands ~ AOL Travel
St. Simons Island is #3 in Huffinton Post’s AMERICA’S FAVORITE TOWNS!

Location: The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, 201 Arnold Road, St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522. For more information call 912-638-3631 or go to web site www.kingandprince.com

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort Can’t Wait to Show-Off! -- History Surrounds a Spectacular New Pool Paradise Positioned on the Atlantic Ocean

www.KingandPrince.com

The King and Prince Beach and Golf Resort is bursting with excitement as the Resort prepares to WOW their guests with one of the most luxurious oceanfront swimming experiences on the Georgia coast.

Approaching its 77th birthday, The King and Prince continues to embrace its legacy as one of America’s true Historic Hotels while bringing a contemporary state-of-the-art pool ‘paradise’ to its guests.

The new pool complex includes three unique pool offerings surrounded by various seating options for swimmers, readers and water spectators. It will tempt all of the senses with well designed amenities:

Sound – ambient music system that allows guests to also enjoy the waves crashing beyond the Hotel’s sea wall
Smell – landscaping that embraces aromatic flowers and indigenous plantings
Sight – broad open sightlines for pool guests and guestrooms around the deck
Touch – contemporary new finishes throughout the deck, pool and outdoor seating
Taste – the new Ocean Terrace Grille offers a refreshing menu of Southern culinary traditions

The King and Prince pool complex is designed for guests of all generations:

Toddlers ~ Family Friendly wading pool offering water feature, beautiful shaded areas and castle-building space
Kids – Lagoon-style pool with underwater benches for children to interact and deck-jets for others to splash!
Adults – Formal relaxation pool with chaises, umbrellas and attentive food & beverage service

·         The Young at Heart/All Ages – Oceanfront deck for the sun-lovers while The Ocean Terrace Grille proudly offers an extensive dining menu & seating

For more information contact The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort at 201 Arnold Road, St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522; 912-638-3631

The King and Prince Hotel History

If walls could talk, The King and Prince, (on the National Register of Historic Places and a member of Historic Hotels of America), shares a rich legacy of its place in American history for 75 years. Originally opened as a private dance club, friends of owners Frank Horn and Morgan Wynn coined its name that befitted its regal atmosphere. This island beach resort has maintained a reputation for elegance and warm hospitality throughout each decade. The King and Prince has been a tranquil island haven for dignitaries, celebrities, discerning families and business travelers since pre WW II until today.

The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort
201 Arnold Road
St. Simons Island, Georgia 31522
www.kingandprince.com

Eagle Lodge

Eagle Lodge sits alone – surrounded by wildlife and plants in their natural environment, offering peace, quiet and complete seclusion while completely outfitted with luxurious amenities. Thousands of acres of Georgia coastal marsh cut the lodge off from the rest of the world, although the wild beaches of Sapelo Island are only a short boat ride away from this uninhabited 10-acre private retreat. Explore the dazzling and miraculous Georgia salt marsh eco system, take coastal cruises or watch a full moon rising. 

Eagle Island is a “5-Moon Getaway” – no agenda, no clock, no deadlines.

For more information contact:

Private Islands of Georgia
(office) 202 Marina Drive
St. Simons Island, Ga. 31522
(912) 222-0801
www.PrivateIslandsofGeorgia.com

The Nature Conservancy named this region of the Georgia Coast one of ’75 Last GREAT PLACES Left in the World’

SAVANNAH

Where to Stay

Azalea Inn and Gardens Joins Prestigious Innkeeping Assocation

The Azalea Inn and Gardens, located in Savannah was recently honored by admittance into Select Registry, Distinguished Inns of North America, the premier innkeeping association in the United States and Canada. Out of the thousands of inns in North America, only an elite few will be invited to join Select Registry this year. The Azalea Inn and Gardens joins more than 350 other exceptional properties that are already members of the Association.

The Azalea Inn and Gardens exemplifies the high quality and service championed by this Association,” says Select Registry Membership Director Carol Riggs. “Select Registry assures the traveler that each of its inns is regularly inspected—anonymously and with an overnight inspection that measures the quality of hospitality, as well as the physical plant. Our members share a high standard of excellence, and each of our country inns, luxury B&Bs, and unique small hotels has its own distinctive character.”

Founded in 1972 as the Independent Innkeepers’ Association by Norman Simpson, “the Father of Country Inn travel in America,” Select Registry is an offshoot of Simpson’s popular and pioneering book, Country Inns and Back Roads. A marketing association, Select Registry partners with other brands and organizations—such as BMW, UK Tour Operator Vacations to America, FDM Travel, a leading leisure travel agency in Denmark, NAVTEQ, a world leader in premium quality digital map data, to name a few, to promote its members to target audiences.

The owners of the Azalea Inn and Gardens are Teresa and Michael Jacobson. They became innkeepers in August, 2005, novices at the’art’ of guest experiences and Inn management. They aspired to the future possibility of qualifying as a member of Select Registry, which held a certain mystique as an elusive group that was honored for their exemplary offerings to bed and breakfast guests. Six years into the rebuilding and revitalizing of their Azalea Inn & Gardens, they felt they had all the ‘right stuff’. Two weeks after being anonymously inspected, they were accepted into the organization.

To find out more about the Azalea Inn and Gardens, call 912-236-6080 or visit it on the web at www.azaleainn.com. www.selectregistry.com.

Luxury Living Savannah: Relish An Enchanting Southern Wedding

Create a storybook wedding with Luxury Living Savannah, a collection of renovated historic properties that offers beautiful, traditional Southern settings as well as friendly, impeccable staff who can gracefully handle even the smallest detail for weddings of up to 175 people.

Luxury Living Savannah can plan every facet of the wedding event that the bride and groom desires -- from luncheons, rehearsal dinners and after-reception brunches to meet-and-greets, wedding party outings, and stunning receptions and ceremonies. Private chefs are available to customize a menu that will fit the wedding couple's palates. If you‚re planning a destination wedding -- or even one a bit closer to home - rely on one of the event planners to eliminate the stress associated with planning and managing such an important day.

The Luxury Living Savannah Collection offers three venues perfect for weddings and wedding accommodations:

The Forsyth Park Mansion: Located a block from one of the country‚s most beautiful parks, the Forsyth Park Mansion has undergone a painstaking renovation, earned its historic certification and created one of Savannah‚s finest and largest private gardens ˆ a beautiful spot for a wedding ceremony. This four-bedroom home also has five spectacular bathrooms, a formal living and dining room, a gourmet kitchen, rambling side porches, and garden with a soothing fountain. Weddings of up to 150 people can be accommodated. This mansion also can handle sleeping arrangements for up to 20 guests.

The Washington Square House: Just two blocks from the popular River Street, the circa 1790 Washington Square House retained much of its original details throughout its renovation, such as the original staircase, heart pine floors and plaster ceiling medallions. Conducted in accordance with stringent federal preservation guidelines, this award winning home has earned historical certification. The Washington Square House has four bedrooms and four, luxurious bathrooms, a formal living and dining room, a gourmet kitchen, sun room, and a courtyard with fountain. There is also a charming 2 bedroom, 2 bath Carriage House. This gives you the option of 6 bedrooms and 6 baths to. Weddings up to 50 people can be accommodated; the home can also handle sleeping arrangements for 16 guests

The Wedding Cake Mansion: The Wedding Cake mansion earned its name for its elaborate white bay window with ornate stained glass and white ornamental ironwork. This award-winning mansion, which has undergone a $3 million renovation and has earned historical certification, is located on Savannah≠s Monterey Square, made famous by the movie Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. This 1869 2nd Empire Baroque home features a main house with 4-5 bedrooms, 5.5 ornate, lavish bathrooms, a formal living and dining room a gourmet kitchen and lovely courtyard with fountain. There is also a 2 bedroom, 2 bath garden suite and a 1 bedroom, 1 bath carriage house. This gives you the option of 8 bedrooms and 8.5 baths to accommodate up to 21 guests. Weddings up to 50 people can be accommodated. The mansion can also handle sleeping arrangements for 21 guests.

Home to one of the U.S's largest historic districts, Savannah is an elegant, refined city that evokes images of the Old South and its impeccable hospitality. Guests who come for the wedding can also take time to visit some of the beautiful spots seen in movies like Forrest Gump or Something to Talk About. They can savor fabulous food at the city's popular restaurants, such as Lady and Son's Restaurant and Uncle Bubbas Oyster bar from Paula Deen. No visit to Savannah is complete without a trip to River Street, a cobblestone road that runs along the Savannah River and is known for its shopping and restaurants.

Luxury Living Savannah showcases a collection of five historic properties: the Wedding Cake Mansion, the Forsyth Park Mansion, Washington Square House, The Jones Street Suites and The Cathedral Inn. Additional guests can rent an entire home, or choose from several, smaller rental options within an individual home of their choice.

For more information, or to make a reservation, visit online at www.luxurylivingsavannah.com or call (866) 886-0809

What to See & Do

About Historic Savannah Foundation

Historic Savannah Foundation is a non-profit historic preservation organization supported by a strong and dedicated membership. HSF was established in 1955 in order to save the 1820 Isaiah Davenport House from demolition. From this initial project, Historic Savannah Foundation launched a Revolving Fund which has since saved nearly 360 buildings. The mission of Historic Savannah Foundation is to preserve and protect Savannah‚s heritage through advocacy, education and community involvement. For more information, visit www.myHSF.org or www.DavenportHouseMuseum.org.

TYBEE ISLAND

About Tybee Island

Tybee Island, Georgia, a quirky island paradise located just 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah, offers five miles of sandy beaches, America's most intact historic lighthouse complex, a picture-perfect fishing pier, romantic sunsets, fresh seafood and plenty of family-friendly fun. Defined by its colorful beachfront style, Tybee Island stands apart as an authentic Southern beach town along the scenic Georgia coast. This laid-back, eclectic vacation destination hosts a wide range of festivals and special events throughout the year. For more information about Tybee Island, please visit www.VisitTybee.com online or call 912.786.5444.

Tybee Island's Most Recent Accolades:
· 'Perfect Little Beach Town: The All-American Hamlet' -- Southern Living
· 'Best Family Beaches on the East Coast' - Fodor's
· 'Best Beaches for Families' - Parents Magazine
· 'Best Beach Retreat' - Creative Loafing Atlanta
· Top 10 Best Places to Watch a Sunset - USA Today

What to See & Do

Tybee Island Wedding Chapel Unveils Stunning New Grand Ballroom and Conference Center

Tybee Island Wedding Chapel, an award-winning special event venue located on Tybee Island, recently unveiled its stunning new Grand Ballroom and Conference Center, which features seating for up to 330 people and unparalleled event and conference services and amenities.

Conveniently located just 20 minutes from historic downtown Savannah, Tybee Island Wedding Chapel is the ultimate venue for a destination wedding or upscale event. Highlights include over 11,000 square feet of outdoor space, six half baths, caterer's kitchen, beautifully landscaped grounds overlooking the marsh, two dressing rooms, breakout meeting space, expansive veranda, black Chiavari chairs, round and banquet tables, off-street parking and security attendants.

Adjoining the Chapel's Sanctuary, the new Grand Ballroom and Conference Center features an expansive open floor plan, vaulted ceilings, arched windows, plating and catering staging area, 13 elegant chandeliers, commercial grade LED lighting system, cocktail lounge and bar that opens into the ballroom, 10 foot projection screen, hands-free microphones and state-of-the-art audio/visual system that syncs throughout the entire venue.

Inspired by the look of a 1908 seaside Baptist church, this former movie set was transformed into an award-winning, non-denominational chapel in April 2011 and has since earned several coveted wedding industry awards including The Knot‚s "Best of Weddings" in 2012, 2013 and 2014 and Wedding Wire's "Bride's Choice Awards" in 2012, 2013 and 2014. In addition, the Chapel was also featured on the Travel Channel as one of the 'Top 5 Charming Places for a Wedding in Savannah,' with weddings included in Savannah Weddings Magazine, The Knot, South Magazine, Borrowed and Blue, Rock-n-Roll Bride and Style Me Pretty.

For more information on Tybee Island Wedding Chapel, please visit www.tybeeweddingchapel.com or call 912.786.0054 or 800.786.5889.

ABOUT TYBEE ISLAND WEDDING CHAPEL:
The Tybee Island Wedding Chapel, located just 20 minutes east of historic downtown Savannah, is one of the largest venues on Tybee Island and includes seating for up to 330 guests for special events including weddings, rehearsal dinners, meetings, trade shows, festivals, seminars, corporate events, fundraisers and more. For more information on Tybee Island Wedding Chapel, please visit www.tybeeweddingchapel.com or call 912.786.0054 or 800.786.5889.

For more information about Tybee Island and for a complete schedule of events, please check out www.VisitTybee.com.

WAVERLY

The Horse Stamp Inn -- For Guests Who Enjoy Tranquilty, Beauty & Luxury

Tom and Kris Hutcheson have created a sanctuary where one can feel that time stands still. Waverly, Georgia is a quiet little hamlet on the Georgia coast, nestled midway between the famous Golden Isles (Jekyll, St. Simons and Sea Island) and historic St. Marys.

Drive through the gate to #2418 Horse Stamp Church Road and arrive at their handsome Southern mansion that whispers ‘relax’. The 5-bedroom Inn is nestled on a sprawling and secluded tree-covered property with expansive green fields, rustic horse barn and artesian fresh water pond.

Together the Hutcheson’s have designed an Inn where simple pleasures mean so much. Moving to the Georgia coast from Denver, their dream was to create an environment that’s an oasis of tranquility where guests could visit and leave their cares behind. Kris comments “Our guests will have time to daydream, read a book, pet a horse, gather eggs in the barn and even feed our chickens”.

Kris and Tom Hutcheson

Tom’s early impression of the Inn and property were equally appreciated by Kris. “When I first drove up the driveway, I felt that I was home. I knew Kris would love the country around us, the land’s natural splendor and the beautiful house – not to mention her country kitchen!”  

At Horse Stamp Inn, the Hutcheson’s begin each day with breakfast prepared from fresh and locally produced ingredients. Guests can have breakfast served in their room or suite, choose to dine on the al fresco verandah or in the homey Inn kitchen. Preparing generous meals made from scratch, each breakfast will include warm baked goodies from Kris and Tom’s collection of family favorite recipes. A sampling includes:

Grilled Prawns & White Cheddar Grits w/Tomato Jam,
Caramelized Onion-Gruyere Cheese Scramble
Homemade Biscuits and Herb Sausage Gravy w/Roasted White Cheddar Potatoes
Thick-cut French Toast w/cinnamon Syrup
Cream Cheese Blintzes w/Blueberry Lemon Glaze

INN AMENITIES:

Oversized accommodations with exquisite rural country views
Artesian Pond stocked with bass, brim and fresh water trout
Private salt water swimming pool 16’ x 32’ – comfy pool chaises and chairs
Horse-friendly stable ~ 4-stall barn with tack/saddle room.
Large chicken coop for fresh farm-to-table eggs
Brick fire pit for bonfires, picnics AND cooking fresh caught fish from the pond!
Farm-to-table breakfast featuring family favorite dishes that also respect guests’ dietary needs
Picturesque Fountain for Special Events
21’ boat ~ 2012 Nautic Star XS2000 ~ seating for (8). 30-gallon fresh fish well. 150 HP outboard for water skiing and tubing. It’s a great sightseeing boat to cruise on the Intracoastal Waterway for barrier island day tripping!
Privacy for small VIP corporate retreats – Security provided if requested
Rustic & elegant ‘location settings’ for weddings on property. Pictures are worth 1,000 words

HOW TO FIND THE HORSE STAMP INN:
For nearly ten years, the state of Georgia planned to build an exit on I-95 for Horse Stamp Church Road. Its timely opening has coincided with the Horse Stamp Inn’s debut. Whether driving north or south on the interstate, it’s a short 3.5 mile journey to the HORSE STAMP mailbox and Inn sign.

Although the Horse Stamp Inn is far from reality and a world apart, the Hutcheson’s warm welcome will make guests feel like they’re coming home.

HORSE STAMP INN
2418 Horse Stamp Church Road
Waverly, Georgia 31565
912.882.6280
www.HorseStampInn.com

Plan Your Fall Escape states:

HORSE COUNTRY:
“Get away to coastal Georgia for a fun equestrian weekend, a short drive from Jekyll Island. Giddy up with Three Oaks Farm for a beach ride. REST YOUR HEAD: At the 5-room, newly opened Horse Stamp Inn, you can fish the on-site artesian pond, enjoy farm-to-table breakfasts from the property’s own fresh eggs, and ride the Intracoastal Waterway on the Inn’s private boat”

WHITESBURG

What to See & Do

About Historic Banning Mills

Historic Banning Mills Adventure, Retreat and Conservation Center is a 501c3 non- profit organization located in the beautiful Snake Creek Gorge of Carroll County, Georgia, and is approximately 19 miles south of Douglasville and 45 minutes west of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Proceeds from the retreat and adventure treks are used to subsidize the educational, leadership and conservancy programs. Historic Banning Mills also has lodging and meeting room options, Day Spa opportunities and live Bird of Prey educational shows and two falconry programs.  There is a little something for all outdoor enthusiasts at Historic Banning Mills. For additional information, reservations or lodging options, please visit www.historicbanningmills.com or call 770-834-9149.

Historic Banning Mills outdoor adventure park--The Bridges of Banning - Longest Suspension Hiking Bridge in North America

Historic Banning Mills Adventure Park, home to two Guinness World Records and a variety of gravity defying adventures, has added yet another accolade to its’ list- North America’s Longest Hiking Suspension Bridge. Affectionately titled, “The Bridges of Banning”, the outdoor adventure park has connected over nine hiking suspension bridges woven throughout 12 miles of hiking trails with the appropriately named “The Sky Trek” being over 640 feet long and others reaching up to 200 feet high. Guests visiting Historic Banning Mills can fly through the treetops on over ten miles of zip lines, and can now walk among them and traverse the picturesque conservancy from a completely different vantage point.

Guests will have the option to defy gravity on these bridges with three bridges reserved for the most adventurous guests. These bridges boast impressive specs-the three longest and highest varying between 530 feet to 640 feet and between 150 feet to 200 feet in the air. Guests are challenged to conquer all nine of the bridges, each replete with a sway in the breeze and with breath-taking views of the gorge below between evenly spaced planks. Guests willing to take on this harrowing challenge will begin with hikes on the ground and gradually work up to each bridge, all of which weaves throughout the captivating property. For guests who wish to take it easy and take on a scenic stroll, Banning Mills’ other bridges give guests the chance to slow down and take in a 360-degree view of their surroundings.

For guests who want a to vary their adrenaline rush have the chance to continue their journey by reaching speeds up to 60 mph on a variety of exhilarating zip lines, including the World’s Longest Continuous Eco-canopy Zip Line Tour or by free falling from 100-feet in the air off the World’s Tallest Freestanding Climbing Wall. Banning Mills offers the one- or two-day rush packages for these guests who just can’t get enough thrills and want a completely adrenaline-filled experience.

Guests can round out their trip by continuing the treetop adventure in Banning Mills’ newest lodging addition, the Tree House Village. The village has seven tree houses, two of which are two stories, large enough for the whole group. Each tree house has amazing views of the beautiful gorge below and is only accessible by a swinging rope bridge.
To book a vacation to Historic Banning Mills, please visit www.historicbanningmills.com, or call 770-834-9149.

During Fall, Skip the Pumpkin Patches and Cornmazes and Try Zipping Through the Trees and leaves at historic Banning Mills.

Step away from the traditional fall festivities of corn mazes and pumpkin patches and ignite the inner thrill-seeker at Historic Banning Mills for a weekend getaway in the trees. What better time of the year to zip, walk, and climb through the treetops than when the leaves are changing color and air is crisp? This is the perfect season to “Fall” in love with zip lining.

Hidden in the beautiful and luscious hardwood forests of Whitesburg, Georgia, Historic Banning Mills has plenty of exciting things to offer, from zip lines to sky bridges, and aerial adventure courses to a 100 ft free fall, there are activities for guests of all adventure levels. Zippers can test the limit with over 100 zip lines and three aerial adventure parks on property.  And with two onsite Guinness World records for the canopy tour course and the climbing wall, rest assured these are very unique adventures.

Soaring over the Snake Creek Gorge and through stunning old growth trees in a dense hardwood forest, adventurists will experience breathtaking views on one of a kind course. Get up close to the colorful leaves and be one with the trees on one of Banning Mills’ Aerial Adventure courses. Guests will enjoy swinging, balancing and stumbling their way from tree to tree on the swinging planks, the Tarzan Slide and Loop to Loops without even touching the ground. These aerial adventures will keep the adrenaline pumping and hearts pounding, and is also a good way to see details that are not visible on the ground or from above.

While visiting during a fall getaway, guests have the option to stay overnight in a cottage or lodge room. For a more non- traditional experience, book one of the unique stand-alone tree house rooms. No more sleeping bags, instead, visitors will enjoy slumbering in the trees in a king size bed, with a jetted tub, and amazing panoramic forest views. So come on, pack the car and getaway for a weekend to Historic Banning Mills for a new and fun-filled fall adventure.

For additional information, reservations or lodging options, please visit www.historicbanningmills.com or call 770-834-9149.

Home | New Jersey Books | Outdoor Tips | Travels | Product Reviews | Holidays | Contact Us

All information and photography © 2007-2011 Arline Zatz. All rights reserved. Contact us if reprint permission is needed.