Summer Travel: Destination GeorgiaBy: Stacy Gusek
Stroll on the beach at Tybee Island
Photo (c) 2010 Lighthouse Inn by Adam Kuehl
Flat Creek Lodge
Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa
Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club
Monarch butterfly at Callaway Gardens
We all pack our bags in excitement for the ever-popular summer vacation... yet don't you always dread the drive? Are we there yet?! After our last family excursion, if I had a dollar for every time I was asked that question, I would be able to retire! With my sanity in mind, I did a little research. I was amazed at the number of wonderful destinations and historical places we have in our great state; I broke it down by region and picked just a few places to highlight for you - all within a few short hours of home. Enjoy!
GEORGIA COAST. Don't miss out on the beautiful beaches and great coastal cuisine that Georgia has to offer. Miles of shoreline and windswept dunes drift you down the coast to historic ports and towns, filled with culture and wonder. Explore forts and lighthouses, nature trails, museums, luxurious resorts, quaint hidden treasures and sandy beaches!
CLASSIC SOUTH. A combination of quaint historical charm and exciting excursions, all served up with a healthy dose of that rare commodity - southern hospitality. Discover festivals and home-grown treats, antebellum homes and championship golf. Explore state parks, lakes and lost treasures found in these small towns, seemingly untouched by time.
NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS. Stunning scenery, trickling streams and rushing waters nestled amidst the mountain peaks makes this region a natural paradise for visitors. The mountains bore folk art, wonderful wines and America's first gold rush. Now, relax at spas, resorts and B&B's, take a wine tour, hike to Amicalola Falls, go rafting or take a dip in one of many pristine lakes.
PRESIDENTIAL PATHWAYS. Rich with natural wonders, blaze a path along the rails, trails and waterways of W. Georgia. Bask in the simplicity of life and enjoy the peaceful retreat. With ties to not one, but two American Presidents, brush up on history and indulge in nostalgia along the way.
Lighthouse Inn B & B | Tybee Island
Built in 1910, this quaint establishment has been welcoming guests the beautiful coastal Georgia for years. Just 20 minutes from historic Savannah and only 4 1/2 hours from home, you'll experience true southern hospitality from innkeepers Susie and Stuart in the simple yet sophisticated atmosphere of the Lighthouse Inn and Tybee Island.
Each room features a private bath, a small refrigerator, TV, DVD Player, Wi-Fi, original art and window views. Homemade biscuits are a signature item in the morning, as is the free-flowing and welcoming conversation at the table. Sit a spell on the neighborly porch and sip a glass of sweet tea or wine, but be sure to wave at the passersby. One of the beloved cottages in the Fort Screven National Historic District, the Lighthouse Inn exudes the relaxation, exuberance and coastal living of Tybee Island.
Explore Tybee Island, hit the beach and visit the historic lighthouse. Take a walking tour of nearby Savannah, day-trip on a 5 minute boat ride to Hilton Head or Daufauski Island or head down the coast and explore all the Golden Isles of Georgia have to offer: historic Brunswick, St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island.
Flat Creek Lodge | Swainsboro
Roughly 3 hours from home, amid a pristine and private woodland preserve in eastern Georgia, Flat Creek Lodge is an extraordinary resort tucked neatly away on 1,860 acres. Savor the refined comfort of unique lodging, distinctive dining, a luxurious spa, hunting, fishing, numerous outdoor activities and plenty of memorable evenings.
The property boasts an award winning sustainable dairy farm, rustic lodge and individual spacious cottages, as well as a spa and relaxing Japanese bathhouse. The 12 lodge rooms and 8 uniquely appointed cottages offer breathtaking sunsets and scenic views from your lakeside verandah. The Dining Room at Flat Creek Lodge offers farm to table fare with a seasonal menu inspired by foods raised or grown on the land.
An excellent adventure for experienced and novice sportsmen and women, Flat Creek Lodge offers all necessary equipment and expertise from trained outfitters. Even a first-time fisher will find success in the ponds filled with largemouth bass, bream and crappie. Hunts, sporting clays, paintball and more tranquil activities like bike rides and nature hikes are also featured. Enjoy a wine and cheese reception every Saturday from 4-6pm to whet the palette. There truly is something for everyone.
To make a reservation call 877-352-8273 or visit www.FlatCreekLodge.com.
NORTHEAST GEORGIA MOUNTAINS
Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa | Young Harris
Nestled on 503 acres among the North Georgia Mountains, just 2 short hours from home, Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa redefines the typical mountain getaway, reminiscent of days gone by. At the main resort, gaze through any window for a panoramic view of exquisite golf links and glorious mountain vistas. Set back in the woods, enjoy the seclusion of their cozy cottages to escape it all. You'll feel pampered from the moment you step foot onto the grounds.
Busy yourself with golf, tennis, stream or pond fishing, an outdoor and indoor heated swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and over 9 miles of interpretive hiking trails. The golf course was named among Golf Digest magazine's top places to play. The well appointed Stables offer guided horseback trail-riding for every skill level, and the 7,500-square-foot Equani Spa, offers native Cherokee inspired treatments to maximize health and spiritual balance.
Enjoy nearby rock climbing, white water and tube rafting, kayaking, canoeing, mountain biking, bird watching and botany excursions. Among the wide range of activities to enjoy, make sure to complete your stay with exceptional dining.
To make a reservation call 800-201-3205 or visit www.BrasstownValley.com.
Lake Blackshear Resort & Golf Club | Cordele
Nestled in the middle of Georgia Veteran's Memorial State Park, a short 2 hour drive from home, Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club is the ultimate destination. Enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of the lodge and cabins, beautiful lake vistas, on-site marina, 18 holes of great golf and abundant outdoor activities.
Up for excitement? Rent a boat or watercraft, schedule a hunting excursion or hit a round of sticks. When you're ready to relax, go hiking, grab a fishing pole, take a leisurely dip in the pool, or settle into a relaxing chair on the veranda with a good book.
Enjoy a view of the sparkling lake while you enjoy a casual lunch or sunset dinner in Cordelia's Restaurant. After a busy day, kick back in EightyEights bar or drop in for a late night drink. With 4 on-site dining options, you simply can't go wrong.
The 14 lodge rooms and 64 private villas offer incredible lakeside views, and every room is well appointed with comfortable furnishings, high-speed Internet and cable television. Looking for more privacy? The 10 cottage-style cabins are furnished in rustic décor with 2 bedrooms, 1 bath, kitchen, fireplace, large screened porch with rocking chairs, outdoor grill and picnic table.
To make a reservation call 800-459-1230 or visit www.LakeBlackshearResort.com.
Callaway Gardens | Pine Mountain
A mere 1 1/2 hours away, you'll find Callaway Gardens Resort nestled on 13,000 acres in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, boasting 2 award winning golf courses, 4 lodging options and countless outdoor activities. The gardens feature the world's largest azalea display, birds of prey facility, an amazing backyard wildlife habitat area, miles of nature trails and more.
Bring your family to play on Robin Lake Beach - the world's largest manmade white sand beach - or splash in 65-acre Robin Lake. Dry off and explore the 10-mile Discovery Bicycle Trail, combining sightseeing and adventure as it winds you through the resort and gardens. Reel in impressive bream, bass and shellcrackers on a lazy afternoon or sign-up for a weekend fly fishing school. Grab a club to try your swing at the Mountain View Golf Course, stunning Lake View Golf Course or grab a racket and challenge someone to a game of tennis on one of 10 outdoor lighted courts.
Hungry yet? With 10 on-site dining options, you'll find dishes to please every palate and wallet. Their menus utilize sustainably grown, regionally produced food from talented farmers, fishermen and food artisans throughout the South.
Ready for bed? Choose the charming Mountain Creek Inn, the spacious 2 bedroom Southern Pine Cottages, the 1 to 4 bedroom Mountain Creek Villas for more deluxe features or the Pine Mountain RV Resort.
Call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225.5292) for reservations and accommodation packages or visit www.CallawayGardens.com.