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Hot-lanta is actually pretty temperate in December, making it a premiere location for conferences, events, and even a personal trip down to enjoy the best of what Georgia’s biggest peach has to offer. In an effort to get you outside of the boardroom and into the wilds of Atlanta, we’re offering up two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.
If your second home for the week is the Georgia World Congress Center, you may need a spot to take a client for a taste of what’s local. If so, there’s a spot called Glenn’s Kitchen just a quick hop away. It’s upscale local, with items like bread pudding and North Georgia Trout. As a bonus, those that can’t get enough can return and ask for the wine menu – it’s even bigger than the the grub menu, if you can believe it. Read more
Making sure the kids (and adults) are entertained while on a summer road trip can really make or break your vacation. The new book What’s Great About . . . I-95 by road trip expert Barbara Barnes offers a fun and educational way to pass the time while cruising down one of the U.S.’s most-traveled stretches of highway.
“It really does make [the ride] go faster,” says Barnes of the book. “It keeps the driver alert, and it makes the drive more fun.”
With sections broken down by state and points of interest designated by mile marker, Barnes maps out all 1,925 miles of I-95 from Houlton, Maine to Miami. The book highlights sights to look out for from the highway (like the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania and the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Virginia) while providing little-known facts about notable people and places (The first woman to run for president? Victoria Woodhull, in 1872).
Now that you’ve got the car ride entertainment covered, we asked Barnes for her advice on planning the rest of your vacation. Here are five tips for the perfect I-95 road trip:
The historic Jekyll Island Club Hotel, situated on Georgia’s nature-rich Jekyll Island, has reduced rates on all of its rooms to just $125/night for the month of January – a savings of as much as 70 percent – in celebration of the property’s 125th anniversary. Former playground and hunting retreat for the likes of the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts, the property was fully restored and converted in the mid-80s to a luxury hotel. The only four-star resort on the island, the Jekyll Island Club Hotel’s 157 rooms and suites unfold in five historical structures, along with a day spa, lending library, putting green, croquet lawn, heated outdoor pool, fitness room, and more.
THE VALUE: Book any room for any night during the entirety of January for just $125/night – this is the first time the resort has ever offered such a low property-wide rate. Nightly room rates in January would normally run from $169 to $419, translating to a savings of anywhere from 26 to 70 percent with this promotion. Choose from one of the opulent cottages or even the Presidential Suite, tucked into the hotel’s signature turret, for the most spectacular savings. Lock in even more value, courtesy of the hotel’s historic weekday hotel tours, intra-island transportation, and WiFi, all offered on a complimentary basis.
THE CATCH: An additional resort fee of $10.60 per day applies.
THE DETAILS: Visit www.jekyllclub.com for more information, then call 800-535-9547 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and mention the 125th anniversary promotion to book.
WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights to nearby nearby airports like Brunswick’s Golden Isles Airport (BQK), Savannah (SAV), or Jacksonville (JAX).
Why should Cinderella get to hog up all of the fairy-doled out fun? Upscale Barnsley Gardens Resort in Adairsville, Georgia (set about 60 miles north of Atlanta), strives to share the fairy wealth with its guests, courtesy of the services of their very own on-site Fairy Godmother. Don’t believe it? Just check out her special wand that’s on display in the reception area. Need more proof? Well just let her work her magic – the Fairy Godmother (we’ll call her “FG”) is equipped with a bag of tricks designed to make guests’ wishes come true. Read more
Even though we’re no longer kids, Halloween makes us feel nostalgic for that spooky feeling that ghost stories inspire. If you want your romantic getaway to give you goose bumps, consider a visit to Savannah (shown at left) or Charleston – or even both as they are just a 2.5-hour drive apart. In these charming, but undeniably haunted, historic Southern cities (Charleston dates to 1670, Savannah to 1733), the weather in November is still mild and once all the kitschy Halloween décor is taken down, their authentic ghostly pedigree shows. I have visited both cities twice and would return to either in a heartbeat – knowing it will certainly beat faster when the sun goes down and the spirits come out to play!
Every spring, hundreds of hikers tackle the Appalachian Trail, which stretches 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine. Those who make it the entire length are called thru-hikers, and they usually complete their expedition in five to seven months.
Not Asheville-based hiker, ultra-marathoner, and author Jennifer Pharr Davis, who, starting in Maine next week, will attempt to break her own women’s record for an assisted thru-hike on the AT, which currently stands at 57 days, 8 hours and 35 minutes. (Just five men have finished faster.)
Supported by her husband, Brew, and several friends, Pharr Davis expects to set off from Maine next week, depending on the weather forecast, and average 46 miles a day before wrapping up in Springer Mountain, GA, sometime in early August.
In honor of Great Outdoors Month and National Camping Month in June, I spoke to 28-year-old Pharr Davis – who, after logging close to 9,000 miles hiking and backpacking on six continents, could be the poster girl for both – about her upcoming adventure. (You can follow her journey at www.blueridgehikingco.com.)
The Luxury The modern boutique AVIA Savannah burst onto the scene in January 2009 with a brand-new building in the city’s historic district. The 151 sleek rooms and suites have 9-foot ceilings, minibars stocked by upscale provisioner Dean & Deluca, and free Wi-Fi. Though late fall is a bit chilly for swimming outdoors, a spacious second-floor terrace offers an excellent lounging space around an outdoor pool and a fire pit. AVIA Kitchen serves a hip take on Southern cuisine, while the AVIA Lounge wine bar is an ideal place to while away an evening.
The woman most associated with green in Savannah? The easy answer is Paula Deen, raking it in with a culinary empire that includes local eatery The Lady and Sons. The less obvious answer is a source of great pride to Savannahians and a potential fun fact for any ladies in your brood who have worn the green Girl Scout uniform: Juliette Gordon Low, founder of the Scouts, was born in Savannah and her home became the city’s first National Historic Landmark in 1965.
Deen’s restaurant and Low’s house are two of the more touristed points of interest in Savannah, but your green tour shouldn’t end there. General James Oglethorpe not only named Georgia “Georgia” when he sailed there in 1733, but he also envisioned Savannah as a city with some shade. Of the 24 squares in the general’s urban plan, 22 of them remain for family-friendly strolls. Read more
Normally, we’re all about bringing you news of exciting new hotel openings, updates, expansions – but what of the hotels that haven’t made it through the economic storm? Despite the influx of good news on the travel front – destinations bouncing back (hello, Mexico), beaches seemingly unscathed along the Gulf, spurts of hotel openings in cities across the globe (New York’s 2010 hotel boom alone brings over a dozen newbies) – there is also the sad reality that some great properties are on the fast road to ruin. Herewith, the ugly truth . . . Read more
Every October, hundreds of hot air balloons take to the skies over Albuquerque, NM, for Balloon Fiesta, the world’s largest balloon festival. People and teams come from all over the world to compete and watch this spectacular event.
As dazzling as the sight of about 600 colorful balloons filling the skies is, there are plenty of opportunities for those seeking a more active experience. But while actual rides are thrilling, they’re also expensive: Expect to pay about $375 per person, per hour-long ride, during the festival, which is October 2-10.
A more affordable, hands-on option that just might earn you a free ride? Joining a chase crew: the on-the-ground support team that inflates the balloon and keeps overzealous onlookers from stepping on it, tracks and follows it in-flight from a vehicle, and, depending on the wind, makes sure the balloon doesn’t drag along the ground after landing.
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