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Best Places To Visit In Georgia – Travel Guide

Best Places To Visit In Georgia

Best Places To Visit In Georgia

Contents:

  1. Intro and Inspiration for this post
  2. Outdoor adventures
    1. Stone Mountain Park
    2. Tybee Island Beach
    3. Callaway Gardens
  3. Museums
    1. World of Coca Cola
    2. National Infantry Museum
  4. Historical Interest
    1. Savannah (all of it)
    2. Westville
    3. Fort McAllister State Park, Richmond Hill
  5. Overall

Best Places to Visit in Georgia Inspiration

I’m very excited to write this post as Georgia is not just a beautiful place to visit, but it’s also where I was born and raised! Most people think of rednecks and country music when they mention Georgia (and they’re partially right to do so), but there’s so much more to see and do in this amazing state!

There’s actually so much to do that I tried my hardest to narrow down the possibilities, but still had to organize them into separate categories just to make it a little easier to read. So let’s not take all day, what are the best places to visit in Georgia?

OUTDOOR ADVENTURES!

Georgia is a gorgeous collection of forest and greenery, so it’s only right to start with the outdoor adventures you can take. I’ve listed my favorite three below but by no means is this list comprehensive.

1. Stone Mountain Park:

Stone Mountain Georgia

Stone Mountain Park is only 26(ish) minutes east from the center of Atlanta. It’s a fairly well-known place and can get crowded during the summer months. We went a little later when it was starting to cool off, so there was minimal foot traffic and no stampedes thankfully. Also BRING WATER! Not because there isn’t any, but you will be walking around a lot and staying hydrated is important! Especially if you’re going during a summer month.

Depending on what you’re into, Stone Mountain has options for camping, winter events, and other live events that go on throughout the year. I recommend checking out their website to see what kind of things they have planned. In fact, there’s a bit too much to do there for me to mention in one post. Personally, Linn and I just wanted to get some hiking in and see the top of this gigantic rock!

Stone Mountain Park - Georgia

We were grateful to see they have a lift to the top of the mountain (probably because hiking it would be near impossible), so we began our journey there! Now I’m not necessarily afraid of heights, but being in a tin bucket that high made my nerves a little shaky. But you do get used to it after a while. We made it to the top and were greeted by park workers and were allowed to explore the top of the dome. They also have quite a bit of information on how it formed and the history around the mountain (I love learning on trips!).

Stone Mountain GA

Stone Mountain Park Atlanta

2. Tybee Island

Tybee Island Georgia

This magnificent place is just along the coast next to Savannah, GA. You’ll see Savannah mentioned here more than once since it’s basically the best place to visit in Georgia if you’ve never truly experienced the south.

I spent the fourth of July here and there’s tons of rich culture to explore and oh man the FOOD! I grew up with things deep fried and this was nostalgia central.

I didn’t stay too long on Tybee island, and regret it. But if you’re looking for some beach fun and experience a Georgia coast, this is the best place to do it!

3. Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens Georgia

Callaway Gardens is mentioned here and there for things to do in Georgia, but personally I loved the free roam aspect and it became one of my favorite places (it’s a bit romantic too given the right time of year). Callaway Gardens is similar to Stone Mountain in that there is a plethora of things to do and so little time. So, we focused on only the gardens and just exploring ourselves. If you’ve interested in events, golf, or other things happening during your time there, definitely check out their schedule!

As far as the gardens themselves go, there are walk paths basically everywhere. Plus, most of the gardens can be experienced indoors as they manage the climate and other conditions, so it can still be enjoyed in bad weather. There’s also an awesome butterfly garden where we learned a little more about them than we bargained for and got to basically live a Disney princesses dream for half an hour.

GEORGIA MUSEUMS!

Ok, so those are awesome places for outdoor adventures in Georgia. But what if you’re a history buff like me? What if you want to learn and experience some past culture? Well the next two are perfect suggestions for that!

1. World of Coca Cola

World of Coca Cola

I know, a strange ‘museum’? But trust me, Georgians love their Coca Cola and put plenty of effort into make this museum worthwhile! There are numerous exhibits inside with plenty to see and experience. Their general admissions tickets are roughly $17, or were when I went, and of course there are discounts for seniors, youth, and toddlers. It’s honestly not a steep price for what they offer.

You get to sample different flavors of coke dispersed and sold in other countries, see the rich history behind the company and their secret formula, and even a sneak peek into bottling! I know, probably not the most exciting thing when you read it here. But trust me, it’s a wonderful experience.

2. National Infantry Museum

National Infantry Museum - Columbus Georgia

This one is special on my list since I not only loved it, I also grew up about 30 minutes away. So as soon as they opened (both of my grandfathers and myself served, so we’re pro military history), we went straight there to check it out.

I do have to offer a bit of warning. This place is not something you go to just see. The way the curators have the exhibits laid out for you to experience is truly awe-inspiring and will be emotional. Especially if you’re like me and have a family and personal history in the military. There really isn’t any experience like this museum and to be honest, if you’re into truly experiencing history, forget about the other destinations on this list and just go here.

You walk through the exhibits and are greeted with some of the best history curation you can find. All of your senses are bombarded and emotion rushes over you. You see sites of infantry soldiers storming beaches and navigating trenches, while simultaneously hearing the roar of helicopters drowning out the sounds of leaders shouting orders to their men. The vibration of tank tracks rolling on the ground next to you. While no group of sensations can bring you close enough to the stress felt by the soldiers who lived it, this museum does the best in my opinion, to bring you to an emotional point that no other place does.

It’s been quite a while since I’ve visited so I’m not sure if things have changed much. But I strongly believe that experiencing history should be felt, not simply read. And this museum over delivered on my expectations.

If you’re curious about a few of their exhibits, or just want more information, check them out here! 

HISTORICAL INTEREST

I didn’t put too many museums since Georgia has some interesting museums, but none jump out quite like the ones mentioned, onto historical interests!

1. Savannah (ALL OF IT)

Savannah, GA

I mentioned earlier in this post that Savannah would pop up again. Oh man, this city is so rich in history and there’s so much to experience. Keep in mind, the United States of America isn’t that old in comparison to other nations. So, when you’re comparing the history of Bavaria or London, to the history of a place in the USA, then of course there will be more that happened in Europe. Even considering that, the amount of crazy history that has occurred in this amazing city is astonishing. I mean, it’s been around almost 300 years and has burned down twice and almost a third time during Sherman’s March. Basically, this city has seen some s@*#.

Despite the terrors and negative occurrences that have plagued Savannah’s past, it emerged a more beautiful city than any other in Georgia (in my opinion). In fact, I usually recommend that you explore a city by yourself and just research the history… Not this time. There are hidden gems and amazing things to learn from this place and I STRONGLY recommend booking a professional tour! There are history tours through the city, about the filming of Forrest Gump (since some awesome shots were taken there), and even ghost tours!

For more info on Savannah, check out Explore Georgia’s section on Savannah.

Westville

Westville, GA

Oh boy, I remember going here for a field trip when I was in middle school (yes, I’ve been experiencing Georgia that long) and have been back a few times throughout the years. At the time of writing this, they are currently moving from their previous location and will now be in Columbus GA. I’m not sure if the grand opening has happened yet, but hopefully it has, because I loved this place! Be sure to check their availability here.

Basically, the whole place is an 1800s town, literally everything is old fashioned. You walk around getting to experience a culture long gone. Get carted around in a horse drawn carriage, visit your local blacksmith, even see how they make cotton into clothing! This was definitely a highlight of my childhood that I look forward to taking the girlfriend to when it reopens!

Fort McAllister State Park

Fort McAllister State Park, GA

The final destination recommendation for exploring Georgia. There’s quite a bit to do here depending on what you fancy. From picnics, camping, hiking, cottages, and a civil war museum. There’s plenty of history to be felt here and a lot to experience.

There are still remnants of confederate fortifications and barracks, so you can walk the grounds and have a glimpse into the past during our nations civil war. Obviously this isn’t a historical site you go to ‘enjoy’. It’s a place to be somber and take in what it took for the USA to get to where it is.

Overall

There’s a lot to do in Georgia. I’ve spent roughly 19 of the last 26 years of my life in Georgia and was always fascinated at the rich history to be discovered. If you want to look at more places, Explore Georgia is a great resource and very easy to navigate (link below). If there are any questions or something specific you want to ask a Georgia native, just leave a comment below! Especially let me know if you have some better ideas for best places to visit in Georgia!

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Destinations

Benefits of Traveling the World

Benefits of Traveling the World

Benefits of Traveling the World

The Benefits of Traveling

One of the best examples of why to travel I found, was the description on Quora’s travel section. It reads “To get away from one’s working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one’s self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change.”

As modern men and women, we find ourselves complacent and sometimes afraid of change. The average person has a 9-5 and although may claim to be comfortable, always feels just a little bit off when the silence sets in. Usually set in front of a television or computer with no other purpose in it other than entertainment, never for a sense of self fulfillment.

Granted traveling isn’t for everyone. There are many people who do in fact enjoy the common hum drum beat of everyday life. However, if you’ve found yourself to this article and have stayed in even this far, I can only assume that might not be you.

So here are the benefits of travel and how it can make you a better person.

Benefits of Traveling the World

LEARNING.

There is no better way to improve your knowledge of the world than going out and experiencing it first-hand. A book or show on the travel channel will never compare to feeling the breeze hit you when climbing through the Alps mid-summer.

Nor is there a course at your college that can truly engrave the emotional impact of tasting the foods of a foreign culture and meeting their native community. Your ignorance will evaporate with every step forward as you navigate your way around the globe.

CONFIDENCE.

Traveling, regardless of where you go, takes you out of your comfort zone. The first trip may be incredibly stressful trying to navigate the airport terminals and unfamiliar bus stations. But after you’ve completed your journey, there are few more satisfying actions than solving a problem through the process of adventure.

The first few trips I’ve taken we’re so surprising on how different things were, that it was definitely a perfect test for self-sufficiency. After all was said and done though, there is no greater confidence boost than knowing you’ve taken on a piece of the world and came out triumphant.

SOCIAL.

Through improving your knowledge of the world and gaining confidence through your problems in navigation (like the GPS you know is going to die and you still don’t bring a map),  you will meet people with view on life that you would’ve never considered. These people will test your ideas and beliefs and may become foes in your journey. But they can’t take away the joy you’ll gain from those who become friends.

Take Away:

You’ll be nervous undoubtedly, but don’t let it deter you from traveling. Travel to learn, gain confidence, and meet people who may become the best friends you’ve ever had.

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DestinationsEurope

Travel Guide To Santorini, Greece – [Oia Guide]

Travel Blog Santorini Greece Oia

Santorini Greece

Contents

  1. Santorini Greece at a glance
    1. Map
  2. Itinerary
    1. Getting to Santorini
    2. Finding lodging
    3. Traversing Santorini

Oia, Santorini at a glance

Santorini is one of the most recognizable islands of Greece. It’s panoramic views of blue domed white washed buildings makes it a favorite destination of many! You’ll even see a few shops and restaurants bragging that they were a favorite of some celebrities such as Oprah herself. Sadly they didn’t want to hang a picture of me on the wall :/

While the island is somewhat large and has numerous destinations to visit, we spent the majority of our short time exploring Oia (where those pretty blue domes are). It was a dream to be there and while it may be crowded from noon to evening, it is a must for a bucket list, just bring some comfy shoes because you won’t want to stop walking around.

Below is a nice overview of Santorini and all that the island contains. It may look like a small simple island, but I promise you’ll need something motorized to get around, unless you love hiking just that much. Thankfully there are plenty of options for transportation and ways to move about the island.

Travel Map Santorini, Greece

Santorini Itinerary

Getting to Santorini!

We expected the usual jet liner to take us to Santorini when we were preparing to get onto the plane, well we were mistaken. We walk through the gate to our plane and notice giant propellers! I had never been on a plane that looked like it was out of an Indiana Jones movie, so my first and only thought was “sweet!”.

Flying to Santorini

We get on and take off, roaring like thor… as a child. Thankfully the trip was only a little bumpy but was definitely interesting to say the least.

There are options to also get there via boat/ferry that may be a little cheaper and more information can be found here if you’re interested.

Getting to our lodging

We booked an AirBnb that was beyond beautiful and very accommodating! We wanted to find a place near Oia so that we wouldn’t have to pay for extra transportation, and we could just hike to the town in the morning, which in itself was an adventure!

If you decide to go through Airbnb, don’t be intimidated by the price, it will be costly. But also be aware that all accommodations will be more expensive the closer you get into Oia. If you’re looking for other lodging options, you can check out booking for affordable offers!

Below are some of the Airbnb pics we got of our awesome room!

Santorini, Oia AirBnb

Santorini Outside Airbnb

The adventure begins

It was still early in the day and we only planned to be there for the weekend so we immediately took of to explore Oia! At first we struggled and got a little lost, we weren’t in Oia yet so none of it looked familiar to the pictures we had drooled over. But, knowing Oia was on the top of the island, we simply focused on going UP! We figured as long as we kept on an incline, we’d get there eventually?

Arriving to Oia

Thankfully we saw a collection of buildings that somewhat resembled the white wash we were expecting, but still no beautiful blue domes? We being trekking through the town’s narrow walkways to emerge with a view of the other side of the island!

You could see the beauty of the ocean crashing into the crescent shaped island, numerous boats were moving about below the cliffs. We glance to our right, BLUE DOMES! The town of Oia, forming a tiered structure on the cliff side, slowing rising up the island and reflecting the sun and being blindingly beautiful. It was definitely a surprise and sight for tired eyes.

I strongly recommend finding a place near or in Oia, as transportation can get costly and it’s so much nicer having freedom to roam.

Travel Blog Santorini Greece Oia

Travel Guide To Santorini Greece

More adventure!

After seeing them we decided that we should probably get a closer look, and by closer look, I mean walk down every street getting distracted before we finally make it to what we were looking at. We tend to get lost in shops and interesting sights before finally making it to our final destination.

Traveling in Oia Santorini, Greece

Eventually, we made our way to the tip of the island. Looking down, we saw so many nice villas and interesting things to explore. Starting from the top down, we went to what looked like an old church and then made our way down the hill, after an espresso break of course.

Trekking Oia Santorini

Trail in Oia Santorini, Greece

NOTE: They do have donkey rides up and down for those who don’t want to make the trek, it was pretty tiring.

By the time we made it down, we were greeted by a cool ocean breeze, crashing waves on the docks, and donkey shit. Yup, all those donkey’s that were used for riding were kept right in the walkway and just dropped their previous meal whenever they felt the need. Thankfully it didn’t smell any other place than at the bottom of the trail.

After walking a little and finding a place to eat, we saw a trail circling back around the island, but now we were at the base of the cliffs. So we walk our way around and find a group of people diving off a stone area and swimming around. It was a nice secluded spot that very few people seemed to know about. Sadly we didn’t have our bathing suits at the time…

Ending the day with a Santorini sunset

By the time we finished waltzing around and went back up to the top of the town, we decided to relax with a nice dinner and heard that an Oia sunset is something that can’t be missed. So of course we venture to a spot and realize that the word has spread around and there are a plethora of other people watching the sunset with us.

The next day was fairly similar, more exploration of old spots and finding trinkets to bring home to family and friends. If you’re making a trip to Santorini, Oia is a place that can’t be missed.

Santorini Sunset

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DestinationsEurope

5 Must See Attractions in Venice, Italy

Saint Mark's Square Venice, Italy

Where do I go in Venice Italy???

If you don’t have tons of time but still want to make a trip of Venice, then here are the top 5 recommended sites to see and where to go! Even better, we tried to keep them close together in case you have limited time!

These are notable parts of Venice with rich history. So 4 are must see and a final recommendation that’s a slight distance away from Venice, to get some breath from the active city and explore. Onward to our must see attractions in Venice Italy!

1. Doge Palace

Venice Doge Palace

First, a must see is the Doge Palace! Rich in history and amazing interior design/architecture is a spectacle and marvel to look at. It’s also something that will take up a few hours of your time so expect to be there for a few. Thankfully, it’s right next to our next destination.

2. St Mark’s Square (source)

Saint Mark's Square Venice, Italy

Secondly, Saint Marks Square is less of a destination and more of a place to experience. Being able to do a 360 and take in the great history of the city at it’s center is truly a great experience. I do have to warn you, there will be a lot of people trying to sell you things. Just be polite and continue exploring the square!

3. St Mark’s Basilica (source)

St Marks Basilica

Next on the trip, st marks basilica! This place is a church, so if you’re a woman, they will require you to have your shoulders covered and dress conservatively or else you won’t be able to go inside. The same goes for men so avoid wearing shorts. After meeting the dress code, it’s a beautiful site inside that you won’t regret taking time to see. Additionally, you can go to the top of the basilica and go out on a balcony area where pictures of the square can be taken.

4. Grand Canal (source)

Grand Canal Venice Italy

Next is the Grand canal! There are multiple viewing points along the canal but many people prefer the bridge. Either way, it’s a beautiful and active place to see.

5. Burano (source)

Burano Venice Italy

Finally, Burano! This is an island away from the main city that requires a boat ride to get to. I only recommend this because it’s a colorful island with its own history and fun to explore!

That’s all! If there’s questions, please comment!

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