Category: Georgia

Celebrate MLK Day in Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia

If you are planning to visit this southern city, consider a visit to the Birth Home of  Martin Luther King, Jr. Thanks to funding from Delta Airlines this site is open through February 3rd during the partial government shutdown.

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MLK House

Birth Home of Martin Luther King, Jr

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, is actually a cluster of sites operated by the National Park Service. As we planned our visit to Atlanta, we knew Dr. King was born and raised in Atlanta, but did not realize his full impact on this southern city. We added this site to our list of places to visit along with The Atlanta History Center.

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Ebenezer Baptist Church

As you continue to explore the area, don’t miss the Ebenezer Baptist Church, located just down the block from the Dr. King’s Birth Home. Dr. King was co-pastor with his father and this is where his mother was murdered.  However, most will know this church as the place where Dr. King’s funeral was held.

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Funeral Wagon For Dr. King’s Coffin


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The Atlanta History Center

The Exhibits – Atlanta History Center

During my visit to Atlanta, I wanted to explore the history of what made Atlanta what it is today- the past and present, if you will. The Atlanta History Center seems to be the best start to our two days in here.

One can drive here and find free parking or even take the subway, but expect a bit of a walk from the subway station, which is about a mile away. I opted for my own transportation parking in the covered garage.

This center has several areas to explore both inside and outside, a full museum with multiple themed rooms, special exhibits, and three historic house museums outside.  Two of these houses were moved to this property. You can spend a whole day exploring here and even grab a bit at the coffee and read a book from their bookstore. Highly recommended!

So what do you see… a mix of the history of Civil War, business, and industrial revolution of Atlanta detailing the some hints to the daily life individuals during this time.

Front of Swan House

Front of Swan House

One shocking find is the KKK shield, but it is a reminder of the dark side of southern history.

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KKK Shield

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Confederate Widow In Mourning

This exhibit was intriguing for a couple of reasons including the background depicted and the plaque that detailed some of the differences in the struggles Southern widows experienced versus their Northern counterparts.

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Diseases, Tents, and the Civil War

The above image looks deceptive as it does look like a a tent setting for the civil and the exhibit does cover several historical items here including: the weight in the backpack (around 50lbs.), the tent setup, and disease. What is striking is the description of this exhibit of the diseases causing the majority of deaths during the Civil War.  These included: diphtheria, dysentery, cholera, typhoid fever, malaria, and small pox–just to name a few.

Indian Removal Act of 1930

The Trail of Tears exhibit was rather skimmed over here. There was some first hand written accounts of Native Americans concerning their present-day experience and experience of their ancestors. As I left this exhibit, I was wanted more info and felt like something was missing. Maybe we will not know the full story?

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Bobby Jones Exhibit

Confession here– I skipped this exhibit as I am not a golfer and you will not find me watching any sports. Don’t even ask me the current score of the latest game on TV. So this was not an exhibit for me. I moved on to the historic homes outside.

Swan House

Swan House

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Model T Car

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Staircase Swan House

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Tullie Smith’s Farmhouse (circa 1840)

Smilth Fam. Farm

Smith’s Family Farm

The last exhibit for my day’s adventure was the Smith Family Farm, which was an 800 acre farm with 200 of these acres farmed and the rest left for the pigs and cows to roam-the early part of free range farming.  This was one of the houses moved to the Atlanta Historic Center site and is the oldest surviving farmhouse in the city. It is worthy of a visit.

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Inside- Living Room

Slave quarters

The Slave Quarters

Exploring Atlanta?  Check out these links:

Atlanta History Center

Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

Restaurants Explored 

Swan Coach House  

This is the coach house of the Swan House with a gift-shop and restaurant. It was very busy and serves only lunch until around 2:30 pm. So, plan your schedule accordingly if you wish to eat here. I would park at the Atlanta Historic Center, explore, and walk over to the gift shop, if you wish to avoid paying for valet parking. This seemed to be only option here behind the 20 minute limit few spaces in the front for visiting the gift shop. As for the food prices, they are $$-$$$.

Mary Mac’s Tea Room.

Don’t skip trying out this local favorite for over 70 years. It is well worth a visit. We were not disappointed.


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Historic Roswell….

Historic Roswell

During our visit to this small town about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta, we had plans to only visit one historic plantation, The Archibald Smith Plantation. Then, we found out about the Trilogy pass. The opportunity to explore two additional historic homes at a discount rate; Barrington Hall and Bulloch Hall. The map of these can be found from Historic Roswell Business Association by clicking here

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The Archibald Smith Plantation (circa 1845)

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Old Well

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Kitchen House

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Interesting Statue of A Lion….

The second home on the trilogy pass was Barrington Hall, a nice Greek-revival style home built in the 1830’s. The foyer was decorated nicely and there old Icehouse to the right of the home had a display of some interesting artifacts (see image below). This home is also within walking distance to the historic downtown of Roswell  and worth a visit, if you only have time to see one home during your time in this small-town.

Barrington Hall

Barrington Hall

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Icehouse with Bathtub display

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Foyer of Barrington Hal

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Bulloch Hall

The third historic home on this day trip to this historic town was Bulloch Hall. For those who are wondering what is the big of this house. It is the childhood home of Mittie Bulloch, the mother of President Theodore Roosevelt.  The grounds have some rosebushes, but none were in bloom as it seems the heavy rains recently did not lend to a good season for them. The interior of the house is decorated with various wedding gowns from the decades.

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Here are the details on Bulloch Hall 

Cell Phone Tours of each home is available (Grounds Only)


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Stately Oaks Plantation

Our exploration of Georgian plantations continues with the Stately Oaks Plantations in Jonesboro. This relocated plantation is about a 30 minute drive outside of Atlanta and offers one perspective to Margaret Mitchell’s novel Gone With the WindOf course, this is not the actual plantation and there is no known plantation of Tara in Georgia as described in the novel. One can image this one sitting on some 500 acres pre-dating the Civil War. Too bad we couldn’t take any picture inside.

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Stately Oaks Plantation

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Garden Sculpture

Downtown Jonesboro

This little town has a wonderful downtown with area that has railroad track running right through it. The old depot has been turned into the Road to Tara Museum and worth a quick visit for any Margaret Mitchell fan.

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Road to Tara Museum

This little town is worth a day trip during your travel to or stay in Atlanta. We enjoyed our adventure here. So on to Atlanta….

Learn more about the Stately Oaks Plantation

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Covered Bridges in Georgia

On our drive back to NC, we decided to take a 20 minute or so detour to explore one of the many covered bridges still standing in Georgia. To see a full map of these covered bridges, check out this blog by James Walsh 

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Elder’s Mill Bridge on Rose Creek

This one is located about 15 minutes outside the town of Watkinsville and we were easily able to find it using google maps.

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Side View of Elder’s Mill Bridge

A brief description of what makes this covered bridge unique is that this 1897 bridge is also known as Rose Creek Bridge was originally spanning Calls Creek. In 1924, the bridge was moved by wagon to its present location over Rose Creek. It is the one of a few bridges in Georgia that still carries traffic without the assistance of any underlying steel beams.  To find out more about this bridge click here

Below is a list of the remaining covered bridges to explore on your next visit through the Peach State.

Bridges Are: Auchumpkee Creek Bridge in ThomastonBullet Big Cloud Creek Bridge in Lexington
BulletCallaway Gardens Bridge in Pine Mountain BulletCoheelee Creek Bridge in BlakelyBulletConcord Bridge in Smyrna BulletCromer’s Mill Bridge in Carnesville BulletElder’s Mill Bridge in Watkinsville
BulletEuharlee Bridge in CartersvilleBulletHaralson Mill Bridge in ConyersBulletLula Bridge in GainesvilleBulletPoole’s Mill Bridge in CummingBulletBig Red Oak Creek Bridge in Woodbury
BulletStone Mountain Park Bridge in Stone MountainBulletStovall Mill Bridge in Helen
BulletWatson Mill Bridge in Comer

Thank you for reading…..

Madison: Days Three & Four on Georgia’s Antebellum Trail

During our third and fourth day on Georgia’s Antebellum Trail, we spent exploring Madison and its surrounding areas. Madison is about halfway along this 170 mile drive of what General Sherman decided not to burn on his ‘March to the Sea’.

During our two day visit in this beautiful and historic city, we had the pleasure to see even more of the rich and historic south. In addition, we found what makes for true southern charm enjoying some great food and spending time with friends. Not to mention some much needed relaxing times on the deck at the charming B & B we stayed at—the Brady Inn 

Our first stop here was at Heritage Hall

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Heritage Hall (circa. 1811)

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A walking tour or a slow drive (as we saw several cars doing) is a must through the historic district while listening to the free audio walking/driving tour guide. It can be found on your Apple device. Search App Store for:   “Madison GA Downtown Tour”

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Madison’s Welcome Center-Old Firehouse

Old firehouse Madison

Welcome Center-Old Firehouse

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Town Park

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Dovetale House’s Bird House

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Madison’s Courthouse

Consider These Eats

Madison Chophouse Grill

Amici Italian Cafe 

Stay Options

Brady Inn   – Highly recommended

James Madison Inn – A little pricey (a few movies filmed in and around the hotel, if this interests you).

Kirby House

What to Do

Explore this site for ideas on what to do

Madison-Morgan County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Enjoy your visit to Georgia and thank you for reading….


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Macon-Day Two of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail

On our second day on Georgia’s Antebellum Trail we explored Macon and its surrounding areas as we began to travel South.  Macon is considered to be the heart of the trail for traveler’s drive North to South. In this charming town, we saw Hay House, the Cannonball house, Rose Hill Cemetery, a walking tour (self-guided) of the many Antebellum homes just to name a few.  Not to mention enjoying some great food and relaxing times with friends.

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Hay House (built b/t 1855-59)

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Door to Hay House

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Some Great Looking Pocket Doors-Original

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The Cannonball House

The Cannonball house is aptly named because a unexploded cannonball hit one of the columns, went through the wall, and landed in the foyer per the docent during our tour of this house museum. The former owner-a dentist appeared to love to collect things.

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Civil War Surgical Instruments

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Civil War Surgical Instruments

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Lady’s Spittoon

Other Things to Do

 Ocmulgee National Monument of Native American History. This unusual rock formation is free to visit and is a good end to the day. It just outside of the historic area o Macon.

We continue our journey South with a brief stopover to the film-location for the movie: “Fried Green Tomatoes” in Juliette, Ga… Check out The Whistle Stop Café. This is the setting for many scenes in the movie. Except it to be rather busy and I would say a bit of a tourist trap, but worth the 30 minute drive if you are a fan of the movie or the Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe: A Novel

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The Whistle Stop Café

Since we were slow close, we had to explore Jarrell Plantation part of the Georgia State Park System, but was once a more transitional working  plantation in Juliette.

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Jarrell Plantation

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Don’t Disturb The Hen…

We continued our drive south to check in to our Bed & Breakfast for the next two nights stay in Madison… coming up with the next post.

Thanks for reading….

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Georgia’s Antebellum Trail Day One-Eatonton and Milledgeville

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This Antebellum heritage trail begins in Macon, follows 441 North to Rt. 129 to Milledgeville to Eatonton to Madison, and then, Watkinsville, and finally, Athens.

Georgia’s Antebellum Trail – by mycitywalkabout.com

For our most recent  southern adventure… we did a little customizing from the recommended Antebellum Visitor’s Guide

After a wonderful day and evening exploring Augusta,  We begin our journey further driving about 90 minutes south to the start of Georgia’s Antebellum Trail exploring two small historical towns, Eatonton and Milledgeville (Milly for short).

The Uncle Remus Museum

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Uncle Remus Museum

This little find is worth a visit just to listen to the docents tell the stories. It bigger than the image depicts. The museum is dedicated to the works of Joel Chandler Harris, author of the Uncle Remus stories and features artifacts from his life.

The downtown area of this very small town is just rather small, but with a quick review of its Antebellum style homes.

Andalusia

If you are fan of American author Flannery O’Connor, the Andalusia cotton plantation and farm where she spent the few years of her life could be of interest to you. We stopped in and found the site a pleasant surprise. The cost of admission is reasonable at $7.00 for adults. This gives you a guided tour of the house. Walking the grounds is free.

Find out more about Andalusia by click here

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Andalusia

Milledgeville (Milly) 

The next stop on our first day’s driving adventure along the Antebellum Trail is Milledgeville, which about 20 minutes NE of Eatonton on our way to Macon.

Old Governors’ Mansion (circa: 1839)

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Old Governor’s Mansion

(Image courteous of http://www.exploregeorgia.org/)

This is definitely worth a couple hours of your day as this Mansion was home to many governors of Georgia. The architecture and style both outside and inside will make you wanting more from this era of the Antebellum heritage and you will find them just a short walk from the Mansion.

There is something of a hidden gem that can’t be seen from anywhere outside. Here is an image. My description will not do this justice, but here it is: the ceiling is 50 feet tall with 23 karats of gold in this circular waiting area for guests who wish to meet with the governor.

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Check out the Visitor’s Guide to Milledgeville—Visitor’s Guide

Rose Hill at Lockerly Aboretum (circa 1852)

Continuing our journey south, we arrived mid-afternoon on this very hot and humid to the Lockerly Aboretum.  First, we we disappointed with the weather being so hot with heat indexes above 100, but the attendant offered an alternative- self-guided tour of Rose Hill.  We jumped at the chance to explore another Georgian home during our visit.

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Rose Hall

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Foyer of Rose Hill

Macon

We arrived late afternoon to Macon, Ga for our one night here to explore this gem on the Antebellum Trail.  Day Two coming up next…..

What to Do

Check out explore Antebellumtrail.org for two itinerary options.

4 days and 3 nights

3 days and 2 nights

Also, there is Bike Route 

Where to Stay

Burke Mansion 

Macon Marriott City Center

Residence Inn Macon

Other Options can be found on Booking.com



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Augusta, Georgia

Our drive to Georgia’s Antebellum Trail really begins with a visit and a night’s stay in Augusta. This is Georgia’s second largest city.  Some views of our exploration of our early afternoon arrival here. First is a lovely fountain just outside a chain Marriott hotel, which we decided against for a local inn in the historic Olde Town area.

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Fountain Along the Riverwalk

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Baptist Church

This was a pleasant surprise and for the life of me, I just couldn’t find the name of this beautiful church. Unfortunately, it was closed for renovations. The small cemetery is well maintained and slight creepy.

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Graves Under a Magnolia

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Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson (circa 1859)

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Boyhood Home of Woodrow Wilson

We just caught the last tour of the day for the Boyhood home of President Woodrow Wilson. It is must see for history explorers and anyone who is interested in former presidential homes. I must say the image of the looming apartment complex makes one wonder how long this lovely home will stand over the years?

We stayed in Olde Town at the Olde Town Inn  This is highly recommended for its ease of walking and bar within the building known as the Fox’s Lair.

Live music at night. During our stay a band from Asheville, NC called “The LazyBirds” played.  Listen to their great song by clicking below

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Enjoy your travel to Augusta…..


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Savannah in the Springtime

Welcome to Savannah

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Forsyth Park Fountain

The Hostess City of the South welcomes you to the glorious Spring. This is truly the best time to visit this colonial city of Georgia. Do it soon before the hot, hazy, and humid days of Summer arrive. You will want to take a leisurely stroll through the city’s 22 historical squares.

Historical Squares

Each of these squares offer a glimpse back in time of how this colonial city has grown over the centuries. Check out savannah.com to learn more about the each of the squares.

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General James Oglethorpe in Chippewa Square

Some Things to Do

As the oldest city in Georgia, this city shines with history and colonial charm. I recommend starting your visit in the Historic District taking a leisurely stroll along Bull street, which you can walk all the way to the State Capital Building near the river. This city shares some wonderful distinctions as the first capital of Georgia, a old British colony with this history running deep, and holds one (if not the largest) St. Patrick’s Day Parade in the South….. just to name a few….

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View of Bull Street

Check out Viator for some addition tour options.

You can explore several historical homes during a stay in Savannah including the Owen-Thomas Home, Andrew Low House, Juilette Low’s Birthplace, and of course, the Mercer-Williams House-famous for the “Midnight in the Garden in Good and Evil” –the Savannah Bed and Breakfast was originally owned by Jim Williams.

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Explore River Street and Bay and the City Market

Explore the Victorian District,

Calvary Cemetery,

Laurel Grove Cemetery, and Bonaventure (our favorite)–both require some planning as these are outside the Historic District

 

Where to Stay (some options)

We stayed at the Mansion at Forsyth Park

I must confess that we used Marriott points for our stay at this well appointed Autograph Collection by Marriott across Forsyth Park. We enjoyed our one night here and the room is quite, service superior, and welcoming staff. We did not try the food or drinks here, though.

and the Savannah Bed and Breakfast 

We truly enjoyed our stay here as this historical inn sits on Gordon Row. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea on the back patio while your individually prepared breakfast is being made.  The owner Mary is a wonderful hostess and has made this B & B a relaxing, historical, and easy going home away from home.

More options for stays in Savannah can be found on Booking.com 

Enjoy your visit!