Tag: Georgia

Historic Banning Mills

An hour west of Atlanta is the world’s longest zip line, Screaming Eagle. Surrounded by 300 beautifully wooded acres, Historic Banning Mills offers visitors an adventure resort. The facility offers multiple levels of ziplining courses, high and low ropes courses, Guinness World Record climbing wall, nature trails and more.

If you are looking for a high adventure, close to home, then Historic Banning Mills is the place to visit. With multip tour levels, there is something for every level of daredevil. We opted for the Extreme Tour, which provided us the opportunity to fly through and over the treetops with around 24 ziplines and to traverse 20 sky bridges. This tour included the Sky Trek Bridge that is 600 feet long and 190 feet high over the gorge, and Screaming Eagle, which is like stepping off a 30-story building. If you are going to do an adventure course, I highly recommend this tour!

I will say in spite being terrifying, the view of Snake River from the sky bridges is absolutely beautiful!

In addition to the ziplining adventure, Historic Banning Mills offers a number of accomodations so you do not have to worry about driving back after a day swinging int he trees. I topped our time at the resort with a stay in one of the tree house rooms and dinner at the lodge. It was absolutely worth it! The food was absolutely fantastic, and the atmosphere was quite intimate. The tree house itself was perfectly cozy, and had all the amenities of a hotel…but in a tree! Plus the view from the porch makes the perfect setting for sipping your hot beverage of choice before heading to breakfast in the lodge.

Next time you are looking for an adventure be sure to add Historic Banning Mills to your list!

What’s your favorite high adventure activity?

World of Coca-Cola

The World of Coca-Cola is the only place where you can experience the fascinating story of the world’s best-known beverage brand, and it is located in the heart of downtown Atlanta.

World of Coca-Cola | Atlanta, GA

I recommend starting with the Vault of the Secret Formula exhibit. Through this multi-media exhibit, you can view not only the vault where the secret formula is stored but also 125 years of history, special moments and memories of this classic beverage. I particularly liked trying my hand at the Virtual Taste Maker to see if I could duplicate THE secret formula. I failed.

Coca-Cola has touched millions of lives. In the Milestones of Refreshment exhibit, navigate your way through Coke’s history. This exhibit is composed of ten galleries and a thousand of original artifacts, some dating back to the earliest days of the beverage’s history.

In Bottle Works, you get a behind the scenes look at an operating Coca-Cola bottling process. Bottle Works showcases some of the same equipment and processes that are found in a full-size bottling plant. You even get a complimentary commemorative bottle as you are leaving the World of Coca-Cola.

Your last stop is the Taste It! room. Here you can try 100 different beverages from five different regions around the world. Beverly from Italy is a fun one to try! But we really liked Inca Cola from Peru and another from Africa.

Last not least, be sure to grab a picture with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear!

World of Coca-Cola | Atlanta, GA

Open Happiness, and visit World of Coca-Cola next time you are in Atlanta.

What is your favorite Coca-Cola product?

Getting Around Atlanta: MARTA Stops & Attractions


Atlanta is a big city to navigate, and with the added traffic factor, getting around to see the memorable landmarks can be even more difficult. MARTA is the quickest, most efficient way to navigate around Atlanta, and some of the best attractions minutes from a MARTA rail station.

MARTA Stops and Attractions

Here are some not-to-miss MARTA stops and attractions:

Peachtree Center MARTA Station

Apex Museum
The Apex Museum, just minutes from the Peachtree Center MARTA station, celebrates the historical significance of African-Americans, the Civil Rights Movement, and the profound culture and history of the city’s African-American community.

Get off at the Peachtree Center MARTA station for Skyview, another big Atlanta attraction, located near Piedmont Park. It offers one of the best ways to see the city lit up at night as well as panoramic city views during the day. Visitors can also visit the Ferris wheel during other big events, such as Music Midtown.

Atlanta Streetcar
The Atlanta Streetcar, a new addition to the Atlanta public transportation system, is the 21-century symbol representation linking Atlanta to its past with train and rail transportation. Functioning as a piece of the MARTA system, the Atlanta Streetcar, now in Phase One, shuttles passengers on the East-West route to several other area attractions and landmarks.

Inman Park/Reynoldstown MARTA Station

Atlanta BeltLine
The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the biggest developments to hit the city in recent years. With planned hiking trails, parks, and neighborhood strengthening programs in place around the city, the BeltLine is a must visit. Take advantage of the free year-round tours of the 22-mile railroad corridor encompassing Atlanta. The tour leaves from the Inman Park Station on Friday and Saturday mornings.

Little Five Points Shopping District
Little Five Points is one of Atlanta’s alternative neighborhoods. Lining Moreland and Euclid Avenues, storefronts and consignment shops sprinkled throughout the small district, it is easy to see why the small district attracts Atlanta locals.

Shops like Junkman’s Daughter and Criminal Records or restaurants like Vortex and Savage Pizza lend an eclectic vibe similar to the Haight-Ashbury counter-culture in the 60s and 70s, but without the psychedelic tie-die and drugs.

Arts Center

Unifying design and functionality, MODA or Museum of Design Atlanta, incorporates the best parts of design fused with functionality. It enriches the local community through exhibits and educational events for all. Exhibits range from the art of 3-D printing to sustainable architecture.

Discover exhibits highlighting the best in functional design and art, or if creation is your fancy, consider immersing yourself in a creative design class offered at the museum.

Center For Puppetry Arts
Children love the Center for Puppetry Arts. A community favorite in Atlanta, the center is known for their lively shows and hosted events throughout the year. The center really comes to life during the holidays with puppet shows such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty, The Snowman.

Additionally, the center is also a focus the performance industry with knowledgeable staff leading on-site workshops and museum tours.

Atlanta, a hub for multi-cultural dining, events, and history, is brimming with activities and excitement for locals and visitors. Don’t miss the most iconic places in Atlanta: World of Coke, Georgia Aquarium, or CNN Center. Visiting Atlanta? Explore Atlanta like the locals do.


About Holiday Inn Express® Hotel & Suites Atlanta North-Perimeter/Dunwoody

Neel Shah is the principal of The Holiday Inn Express® Hotel & Suites Atlanta North-Perimeter/Dunwoody located directly off Georgia 400 and I-285. This means they’re just minutes from several corporate offices and training centers. Additionally, Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, the Dunwoody Medical Centers, Northside Hospital, Children’s Health Care, St. Joseph’s, and the Dunwoody MARTA station are nearby. Enjoy a memorable stay at our modern Perimeter hotel, part of Atlanta’s upscale corporate Perimeter Center. With our courteous staff, reasonable rates, and terrific amenities, this Atlanta Perimeter hotel is the place to “Stay Smart” in the Perimeter Center area.

For more information visit: http://www.PERIMETERHOTEL.com


Southern Exhilaration was not compensated for this post. 

Georgia Aquarium

Did you know Atlanta is home of the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere?

Georgia Aquarium | Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Aquarium, located in the heart of the city, is among one of the world’s state of the art exhibits. The aquarium offers a fun and educational experience for all age groups! There is always something going on at the Georgia Aquarium, so I highly recommend checking the website to see how you can get the most out of your visit.

The Georgia Aquarium is divided into four main regions: Coldwater Quest, River Scout, Ocean Voyager and Tropical Diver. The aquarium also has a theater (Deepo’s Wondershow), a hands-on-experience for parents and children (Aquanaut Adventure) and a dolphin show (Dolphin Tales) that are also available with general admission.

Take a stroll with me through the Georgia Aquarium.

For a little extra, you can experience a Behind the Seas tour of the aquarium. SO much fun!

What is your favorite aquatic animal?

Brasstown Bald

Rising above the clouds stands Georgia’s highest point, Brasstown Bald, at 4,874 feet above sea level. It offers a commanding view of not only Georgia but the surrounding states and cities. They say on a super clear day you can see Atlanta, which is a little over 101 miles away.

Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point

Hiking to the top of Brasstown Bald has been on my bucket list for a while. So, for my 27th birthday we headed up to north Georgia to tackle the mountain. The trail begins at the Brasstown Bald Visitors Center, but for those who don’t want to attempt the trail there is a shuttle option that goes to the top. I opted to walk it. I mean when in Brasstown…

Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point

The trail is a nicely kept, asphalt trail that is a little over a mile long. The trail increases in elevation of 500 feet over the course of that mile. According to my iPhone, that’s equivalent to 30 flights of stairs.

Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point

Once you reach the summit, it is completely worth the effort. You are greeted with 360-degree views of the Blue Ridge and the Appalachian Mountains. You can see Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina from the summit.

Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point Brasstown Bald | Georgia's Highest Point

It was absolutely worth the hike! And I can officially check reaching the highest point in Georgia off my bucket list.

What is your favorite hike?

Tallulah Point Overlook

Who doesn’t love a good road trip?! The backroads of America are full of little treasures. You never know what you are going to find. So, when my mom and I made the trip up to Asheville, NC we decided to take Highway 23 to see what we could find.Tallulah Point Overlook | Tallulah Falls, GeorgiaTucked off Highway 23 in the North Georgia mountains is Tallulah Point Overlook. Since 1912, this little roadside attraction has been offering free views of Tallulah Gorge. Tallulah Gorge is considered to be one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia and is the deepest canyon east of the Mississippi River. The gorge is approximately 2 miles long with cliffs up to 1,000 feet tall.

Tallulah Point Overlook | Talulah Falls, Georgia

Tallulah Point Overlook | Talulah Falls, Georgia

The Overlook is the perfect place to stop and relax. With a two-story covered porch and cute little convenience store, it’s the ideal spot to break up your trip, grab an ice-cold soda and snack, and sit on the porch a spell before getting back on the road.

Tallulah Point Overlook | Talulah Falls, Georgia

Tallulah Point Overlook | Talulah Falls, Georgia

What are some of your favorite Georgia roadside attractions?

Atlanta Botanical Garden

I have a confession to make. My family has called Atlanta home for 14 years and I have never been to the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Well I remedied that problem a couple of weekends back on an overcast Sunday afternoon.

Southern Exhilaration: Atlanta Botanical GardenFor those that don’t know, the Atlanta Botanical Garden consists of 30 acres of blooms and woods in the middle of Midtown Atlanta.

The 30 acres is divided into smaller gardens. There is an orchid center, a rose garden, Southern seasons garden, the Storza Woods (which makes up about half of the Botanical Garden and one of the few remaining mature hardwood forests in the city of Atlanta), and more. Take a look at this map to get a feel of all the different gardens that are available in the heart of Atlanta.

So, without further ado let’s take stroll through the Garden with these shots of pretty flowers!

Great Lawn & Rock Garden

Atlanta Botanical Garden | Atlanta, GA

Fuqua Orchid Center

Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory

This conservatory focuses on plants that are native to tropical and desert environments.

 And there you have it, a small glimpse into one of Atlanta’s gems. Thanks for taking a stroll with me through Atlanta’s Botanical Garden. I’ll leave you with this cutie…
Atlanta Botanical Garden | Atlanta, GA


Have you ever been to the Atlanta Botanical Garden? Does your city have a Botanical Garden?

Gone With The Wind Trail: Part 2

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about two of the four attractions for the Gone With The Wind Trail. If you missed it, you can read it here.

Margaret Mitchell House

The best way to understand the woman behind the beloved book, Gone With The Wind, is to visit where she wrote the novel. The Margaret Mitchell House is a three-story apartment building that is located in Midtown Atlanta at the intersection of 10th Street and Peachtree Street.

Southern Exhilaration: Margaret Mitchell House | Gone With The Wind Trail Southern Exhilaration: Margaret Mitchell House | Gone With The Wind Trail

Southern Exhilaration: Margaret Mitchell House | Gone With The Wind Trail

This guided tour of Margaret’s apartment, which she affectionately called “The Dump”, will provide you a brief background of her life before, during, and after Gone With The Wind. Margaret was a bohemian, and in her early days she created quite the scandal in Atlanta! Despite her rebellious nature, she was a very private person. The only person to read her manuscript before it was read by an editor was her husband, John.

On the second floor of the Margaret Mitchell House you can learn all about the premiere of Gone With The Wind in Atlanta. It is filled with pictures and videos of the parade welcoming the celebrities to Atlanta, and of the premiere at Loew’s Grand Theatre.

There is also a stand-alone building that contains the picture of Scarlett from Rhett’s bedroom, and where you can learn all about the production of the film and see a replica entrance to Tara.

Oakland Cemetery

Oakland Cemetery is located less than a mile from the heart of downtown Atlanta, founded in 1850, and is the final resting place of many of Atlanta’s settlers, builders, and most noted citizens, like Margaret Mitchell.



If you are interested in learning more about the Civil War’s impact on Atlanta, check out these places!

Atlanta History Center
130 West Paces Ferry Rd
Atlanta, GA 30305

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park
900 Kennesaw Mountain Drive
Kennesaw , GA 30152

The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History
2829 Cherokee Street
Kennesaw, GA 30144

Bonus! When you’re in Jonesboro be sure to drive past Rhett Butler Drive and Scarlett Drive!

Rhett Butler Drive and Scarlett Drive | Jonesboro, GA



Margaret Mitchell House
Hours of Operations: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Sunday, Noon to 5:30 pm.
Apt. No. 1 Tours
Hours of Operations: Monday to Saturday, 10:30 am  to 4:30 pm. Sunday, 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm.
General Admission: $13.00  Adults | $10.00  Seniors 65+, Students 13+ | $8.50 Youth 4 to 12
Historic Oakland Cemetery is a public park, and is open from dawn until dusk 365 days a year.

Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery

Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery is situated in the heart of Georgia Wine Country and was established in 1995. The vineyard consists of 184 acres and boasts to be Dahlonega’s first family farm winery.

TurnerSouth named it the Best Winery In The South, and it is certainly my favorite Georgia winery. The environment is very relaxing with a patio overlooking the Dahlonega Plateau, and winery with a beautiful bar with the most friendly staff. Their store also includes a unique collection of folk art and pottery.

I highly recommend trying the 43 Pound Possum, Fat Boy Red, Walasiyi White and Cynthiana. And I promise you are going to want to buy a case before the day is through.

They have wine tastings every Saturday and Sunday, and several events throughout the year. It is the perfect little day trip from Atlanta to explore the Georiga Wine Country.

What is your favorite Georgia winery? What is your favorite Three Sisters wine?

Gone With The Wind Trail: Part 1

Atlanta, Georgia is home to Gone With The Wind. A novel by Margaret Mitchell, Atlanta native, that has sold over 30 million copies worldwide. A novel turned award-winning movie. If you have not read the book or seen the movie, then I highly recommend you do so now!

The Gone With The Wind Trail consists of four main attractions and a couple of other recommendations! To get a full appreciation of each GWTW Trail attraction, it is recommended you plan to spend a couple of hours at each location, and then follow it up by watching the movie!

Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square

For those not familiar with Atlanta geography, Marietta is located about 20 miles northwest of Atlanta. The Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum is located in the old Old Thomas Warehouse Building right off of Marietta Square. It houses a private collection of memorabilia provided by Dr. Christopher Sullivan.

Southern Exhilaration: Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail

This exhibit is quite extensive! Some of the highlights of the exhibit are several first edition books in multiple languages, the locket worn by Ann Rutherford in her role as Carreen O’Hara, a case in memory of Margaret Mitchell that contains an invitation to her memorial service and a memorial edition of The Atlanta Journal Magazine, photos of Cammie King in her role as Bonnie Blue Butler, a replica of Bonnie Blue’s blue riding habit, and more. There is one part of the exhibit that is full of GWTW dolls, memorabilia and collectibles.

Southern Exhilaration: Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail Southern Exhilaration: Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail

My favorite was an actual dress worn by Vivien Leigh! If you are familiar with the movie, it’s the Bengaline Honeymoon gown. It is exquisite, and the details are amazing! You can definitely see how amazing Walter Plunkett was as a costume designer!


Road to Tara Museum

If you drive 17 miles south of Atlanta you will come to Jonesboro, home of another stop on the GWTW Trail and home of the fictional Tara. The Road to Tara Museum is located in Jonesboro’s historic train station (built in 1867).

Southern Exhilaration: Road to Tara Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail

The museum starts by going over the history of the Battle of Atlanta and the Battle of Jonesboro. The Battle of Jonesboro has the biggest impact with the movie, because this is the battle that was fought around Tara and the loss is what led to the burning of Atlanta.

Southern Exhilaration: Road to Tara Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail

Sherman's Hairpin or Bowtie | Road To Tara Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail | Jonesboro, GA
Sherman’s Hairpin or Bowtie

After a brief history lesson, we move to the fun stuff! This museum is full of fun facts about the movie! Like, did you know that David Selznick (GWTW Producer) bought the rights to the movie a month after the book was published?!? Or that GWTW was published in 42 countries and into 38 languages?!?

Some of the highlights of the museum are the replica dresses worn by Vivien Leigh, Ann Rutherford and Ona Munso, information about all the actors and actresses, awards won, and, of course, all about the set of Tara!

The museum also contains Vivien Leigh’s 24-inch waistline pantalettes worn during the film!

Vivien Leigh's Pantalettes |Road To Tara Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail

The pièce de résistance, though, are the 64-inch roundel portraits used at the film’s 1939 premiere in Atlanta!

Southern Exhilaration: Road to Tara Museum | Gone With The Wind Trail


Check out Part 2 of the Gone with the Wind Trail here.

Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum 
Hours of Operations: Monday to Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. Closed on Sunday.
General Admission: $7 Adults | $6 Seniors & Students | $5 Groups of 15 or more
Road to Tara Museum
Hours of Operations: Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Saturday, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. Closed on Sunday.
General Admission: $7.00 Adults | $6 Seniors & Children (6-12)
Note: If you are planning to do the whole Gone With The Wind Trial, ask about the GWTW Trail Pass ($33). The pass will provide one-time access to the four main attractions.