Friday, March 27, 2009

This Week on Georgia Traveler: Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders

Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders

On this week's episode of Georgia Traveler, we explore Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders. Join us to experience Amicalola Falls, the Okefenokee Swamp, Providence Canyon, Radium Springs, Stone Mountain, Tallulah Gorge and Warm Springs. If you're wondering how these seven were chosen from all of Georgia's fabulous natural resources, check out the New Georgia Encyclopedia's article about the history of the select seven. Georgia Traveler explored the generally recognized Seven Natural Wonders listed below.

Amicalola Falls

The highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi, Amicalola Falls’ seven cascades drop 729 feet to the base. Cherokee for “tumbling waters”, Amicalola offers spectacular views and incredible natural beauty. We view the tumbling waters at Amicalola Falls State Park and explore unique accommodations at the Len Foote Hike Inn.

Okefenokee Swamp

It’s the largest swamp in North America and the fact that most of the swamp is a National Wildlife Refuge makes it a wildlife paradise. There are many sites around the swamp from which you can explore, but the primary entrance is Stephen C. Foster State Park. We experience the swamp itself and a celebration of the Okefenokee in nearby Folkston.

Providence Canyon

Often called “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon”, Providence Canyon offers breathtaking splendor in addition to 3 miles of trails, picnic areas, pioneer and backcountry campsites. If you haven’t visited the Providence Canyon State Park just west of Lumpkin, you should- and don’t forget your camera!

Radium Springs

The largest natural springs in Georgia are found just outside of Albany. The waters, which are consistently 68 degrees, contained traces of radium and the site was dubbed Radium Springs. A casino was built overlooking the springs in the 1920s and the area experienced a tourism heyday as a spa and resort. Flooding of the Flint River in 1994 and 1998 severely damaged the casino and it was ultimately demolished in 2003.

Stone Mountain

Just ten miles northeast of Atlanta is the largest exposed mass of granite in the world. You can explore the mountain itself and many other activities at Stone Mountain Park. Many attractions are year-round, but there are great seasonal events and festivals as well.

Tallulah Gorge

The name Tallulah, which means fearsome, originally described the waterfalls which used to rage through this part of Georgia. In its tourism heyday, the site was called “the Niagara of the South”. But in 1912, Georgia Power dammed the falls to create a hydroelectric facility. The result is the gorge you see today. Two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep, Tallulah Gorge is one of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern United States. You can view the gorge from rim trails or get a free permit to explore the gorge floor at Tallulah Gorge State Park.

Warm Springs

Located on the lower slopes of Pine Mountain in Meriweather County, Warm Springs had long been known for its healing waters. But it was during the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt that Warm Springs became internationally known. Our friends at Meriwether County and the FDR/Warm Springs Welcome Center maintain a great website that can help you plan a visit to the area. You can visit FDR’s residence, the Little White House and his favorite picnic spot at F.D. Roosevelt State Park.

Georgia Traveler's Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders
episode airs Friday, March 27 at 9 pm, Saturday, March 28 at 7 pm, and Wednesday, April 1 at 7:30pm. You can also see this episode on GPB Knowledge Saturday, March 28 at 8 PM & Sunday, March 29 at 8 AM.

For more information, check out our website at:

Georgia Traveler is produced in partnership with the Georgia Department of Economic Development and the Georgia Tourism Foundation.

Georgia Public Broadcasting is Television, Radio and Education: your PBS station serving all of Georgia; your source for great music and NPR news; and Georgia's source for top-quality multiple media educational products and services.

Watch Georgia Public Broadcasting on these nine stations across Georgia: Atlanta - WGTV/Channel 8; Albany - WABW/14, Augusta - WCES/20, Chatsworth - W
NGH/18, Columbus - WJSP/28, Dawson - WACS/25, Macon - WMUM/29, Savannah - WVAN/9, Waycross - WXGA/8.

This Weekend in Georgia

Now that spring is finally here, there's lots to do outdoors in Georgia. Let's take a look!

The famous Macon Cherry Blossom Festival is back! The Cherry Blossom Festival is the winner of the 2006 and 2007 Southeast Tourism Society's Shining Example Award for the Best Festival or Event in the southeast, and is not resting on its laurels. This year's festival will feature hot air balloons, parades, historic tours, fireworks, and so much more! And don't forget what the Cherry Blossom Festival is famous for: cherry trees! The entire festival takes place under a canopy of 300,000 bloming Yoshino cherry trees, which makes for one spectacular sight! This year's festival runs from Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29. For more information and directions, visit Georgia Traveler Host Emeritus Gerald Bryant visited the Cherry Blossom Festival in 2006; you can watch that episode of Georgia Traveler here.

Shrimping season is getting underway, so that means it's time for a tradition that goes back decades. The Blessing of the Fleet in Darien is a spectacular way to have a great time and participate in the well-wishing of the Shrimping Fleet. A shrimp boat tour and marine animal exhibit are being held by our friends at the Department of Natural Resources, and of course, lots of food, arts and crafts, and music will be featured. The event runs from Friday, March 27 to Sunday, March 29. Visit the Blessing of the Fleet's website for more information. Georgia Traveler host Phil Proctor visited the Blessing of the Fleet; click here to see how he lived it up on the Coast!

Coastal Georgia is known for its food, and A Taste of Glynn at the King and Prince Resort on St. Simon's Island will surely help the Coast live up to its reputation. The event is an annual fundraiser for the Amity House Women's Shelter in Brunswick, and with 25 restuarants and caterers participating, you won't go away hungry! In addittion to the great grub, three music groups will be performing, and the Platinum Silent Auction will be giving away a vacation trip and other prizes. Tickets are available by calling Amity House at 912-264-1348. A Taste of Glynn begins at 5 PM on Sunday, March 29. More information is available at To see a Georgia Traveler visit to the Brunswick Rockin' Stewbilee, vist the Georgia Traveler website.

And those are just a few of the great ways to explore Georgia this weekend. For more information, check out the Explore Georgia website operated by Georgia Traveler's production partners at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

This Weekend in Georgia

It's the third weekend in March and Spring officially begins on Friday, March 20. Time to get out and about in our great State and discover something new in Georgia. Here are a few suggestions:

The AJC International Auto Show in Atlanta
through Sunday, March 22 at the Georgia World Congress Center
This is an annual showcase of over 600 new 2009 import an domestic cars, light rrucks, van and sports utility vehicles. There will be factory and dealer representatives on hand to answer questions. for more information, including directions and ticket prices, visit the website.

Robert Osborne's Classic Film Festival in Athens
through Sunday, March 22 at the Classic Center
This four-day festival celebrates classic motion pictures through the screening of several newly
remastered films. Hosted by Robert Osborne, this festical is a treat for movie enthusiasts of all generations. Special guests will appear on stage with Robert Osborne after the screenings to discuss the works with the audience. For ticket prices and details, visit the festival's website.

The Savannah Music Festival in Savannah
through Sunday, April 5 at various venues
The Savannah Music Festival is dedicate to presenting a world-class celebration of the musical arts by creating timeless and adventurous productions that stimulate arts education, foster economic growth and unite artists and audiences. For more information about performances, ticket prices, directions and details, visit the festival's website.

And those are just a few of the great ways to explore Georgia this weekend. For more information, check out the Explore Georgia website operated by Georgia Traveler's production partners at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Weekend in Georgia

We're fast approaching the second weekend in March! Here are some suggestions for exploring the great State of Georgia:

Celebrate Girl Scout Week at the Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace
Through Saturday, March 14 in Savannah
Celebrate 97 years of Girl Scouting in the United States and the life of the Girl Scout Founder, Juliette Gordon Low, at her childhood home. Tour the Birthplace to learn about this famous American woman and the movement she started in Savannah, GA. Explore funny anecdotes, courageous and inspirational stories, and ideals of patriotism and character. Girl Scout cookies served. Juliette Gordon Low was an individual with hearing and mobility impairments. During Girl Scout week, in honor of all individuals with different abilities, admission will be FREE to all visitors in a wheel chair. From 10 am – 4 pm daily through Saturday, March 14. For more details or to get information about the events on a specific day, check out their website.

Cherokee Basket Making Workshop at the Chieftains Museum in Rome
Saturday, March 14 from 12 noon-4 PM
Learn the history of one of the oldest crafts of the Cherokee, as well as view over 25 beautiful baskets on loan from local basket collections. Many baskets available for purchase. Basket making workshop on Feb 14th Noon - 4:00pm. Call 706-291-9494 or visit the website for details.

The Amazing Castle at Imagine It! The Children's Museum of Atlanta
Through May 26, 2009
The Amazing Castle transports children and adults to a magical place and time and celebrates the citizens who make a community special. Travel within this castle to a peaceful little community where, from entertaining to sewing, every citizen has an important job to do. Children join the fun as they dress up as knights, princesses, court jesters, and other workers needed to make this community thrive. This exhibit addresses core concepts in social studies, reading, and language arts. Students don costumes and role-play lords and ladies or castle villagers. Visitors can work in the Royal Workshops with “Trim the Tailor” or “Gable the Carpenter”. They pick vegetables in the garden, tote them to the Great Hall to cook up a royal meal and visit the tower to wake “Herald”, the sleeping dragon! The children will be engaged in helping each other solve problems and communicating through developmentally appropriate playful experiences about what it means to be a part of a community. For more information, check out their website.

And those are just a few of the great ways to explore Georgia this weekend. For more information, check out the Explore Georgia website operated by Georgia Traveler's production partners at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Friday, March 6, 2009

This Weekend in Georgia

Well, March certainly lived up to its promise of coming in like a lion; we'll have to wait and see if it goes out like a lamb. The folks here at Georgia Traveler certainly hope you all had some fun in the snow. Our own snowman didn't fully melt until last night!

For some fast fun this weekend, the Kobalt Tools 500 NASCAR race is at the Hampton Motor Speedway. Things get started Friday, March 6 with the Georgia Power NASCAR Spring Cup Qualifying Night. On Saturday, March 7, truck racing fans can get their kick at the American Commercial Lines 200 NASCAR Camping world Truck series race. Then on Sunday, March 8, the big event! The engines start running for the Kobalt Tools 500 at 2 pm. For more information on these races, and ticketing information, visit the Atlanta Motor Speedway's website.

The timeless Mark Twain story of a mischievious little boy and his friend, a runaway slave, comes to life before your eyes. Big River - the Musical is an adaptation of the Adventures of Huckbleberry Finn by Roger Miller and William Hauptman, and is playing at Columbus's historic Springer Opera House on Friday, March 6, and Saturday, March 7. This is one for the whole family! The curtain goes up at 7:30 both nights. For tickets and additional information, visit the Springer Opera House's website. You can watch the Georgia Traveler segment about the Springer Opera House by clicking here!

In Valdosta this weekend, travel the world for only the fraction of the cost of a round-the-world cruise at the Azalea International Festival! There's an international folk dance competition, ethnic-traditional wedding ceremonies, music, costumes, and food! Exhibits are hosted by 40 different countries! Also featured are international shopping, arts and crafts, and so much more. The festival runs from Friday, March 6 to Saturday, March 7. Admission is $6 or less! Information is available at

And those are just a few of the great ways to explore Georgia this weekend. For more information, check out the Explore Georgia website operated by Georgia Traveler's production partners at the Georgia Department of Economic Development.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This Week on Georgia Traveler: Corridor Z

Although we're pre-empted for our membership drive and GHSA Basketball in the coming weeks, some of your favorite Georgia Traveler episodes will be airing on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM. This week it's Georgia Traveler Episode 212, "Corridor Z”. Here are some more details about the places we visit in this episode, which airs at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, March 11:

On this week’s episode of Georgia Traveler, we explore Georgia 520, known as Corridor Z, from Albany to St. Simons Island. David enjoys the family fun at the Parks at Chehaw while Phil finds great food at Jimmie’s Hotdogs, both in Albany. We explore the local legend of Hogzilla in Alapaha and Keely takes Phil on a canoe ride through the Okefenokee Swamp. The whole team “coasts” to a stop and experiences fabulous luxury at The King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island.

Family Fun: The Parks at Chehaw (Albany)
While traveling down Corridor Z, our own Z Man, David Zelski, stops off to see some great wildlife at the Parks at Chehaw. Home to such exotic species as the black rhinoceros, the wild cheetah, and even the blue tongue skink, the Parks at Chehaw boasts the state’s most impressive collection of animals from all over the world. Jim Fowler of Wild Kingdom fame had a hand in the design of the zoo, and David takes a hand cleaning up W’s mess, which is followed naturally by a ride on the Wiregrass Express.

Food Find: Jimmie’s Hotdogs (Albany)
If you find yourself in Albany and have a hankering for some hotdogs, the best course of action is to pull over and make a stop at Jimmie’s Hotdogs. Cheese, chili, onions, whatever your heart desires on your dogs, Jimmie’s has it, along with their custom of no seats inside the restaurant. Jimmie’s has been around since 1947, and with such a long tradition in serving up wieners, they’ve got to be doing something right! Rumor has it Jimmie’s serves up to 2,000 hotdogs a day. Well, that’s before they met our Phil Proctor. Following Phil’s visit, we think that number has significantly increased.

Local Legends: Hogzilla (Alapaha)
Stories have come have through the ages of great tusked-beasts who leave nothing but a path of death and destruction in their wake. One such story was uncovered by our supernatural correspondent, David Zelski. Come with us on a journey into the macabre world of giant killer hogs! The Hogzilla legend has its birth at River Oaks Plantation and Ken’s Fish Farm in Alapaha, Georgia. Owner, Ken Holyoak says the legendary hog had 20-inch tusks, and its head weighed over 100 pounds. David tries to get to the bottom of the mystery, and in the process stumbles upon Hollywood’s own take on the tusked-terror!

Outdoor Activity: Okefenokee Swamp (Fargo)
Keely and Phil hook up with Okefenokee Adventures and set out on a canoe adventure through the Okefenokee Swamp. The Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge is a four hundred thousand acre wilderness in the southeast corner of Georgia. It’s some of the wildest terrain in the United States. This is Phil’s first time through the swamp, and for a guy from the city, canoeing the six miles to Coffee Bay Shelter was some experience! After a lunch break and a little relaxation, it’s time to canoe the six miles back. In a 12-mile canoe trip, team work is important, and Keely and Phil soon find their respective places on the team! Stroke, stroke!

Getaway: The King & Prince (St. Simons)
The Traveler Trio takes a break from the daily grind of bringing you fun things to do and see, and kicks back at the King and Prince Resort on St. Simons Island. Founded as a dance club in 1935, the King and Prince is on the National Registry of Historic Places. David and Phil squeeze in 18 holes at the resort’s own golf course. They find out it takes a little teamwork. Keely hangs back at the beach with her daughter, Tuesday, showing you don’t have to work yourself to death to have a good time! After spending a few days relaxing at the resort, eating amazing breakfasts in the Delegal Dining Room, playing the links, and hanging out by the pool, the guys are ready for their next set of adventures!

You can also catch this episode of Georgia Traveler on GPB Knowledge on Saturday, March 7 at 8 PM and on Sunday, March 8 at 8 AM. GPB Knowledge is available to those with digital television receivers at .3 of your local GPB transmitter, for example 20.3 in Augusta, or 8.3 in Atlanta.

Monday, March 2, 2009

This Week on Georgia Traveler: Mid-Georgia Meander

Although we're pre-empted for our membership drive and GHSA Basketball in the coming weeks, some of your favorite Georgia Traveler episodes will be airing on Wednesdays at 7:30 PM. This week it's Georgia Traveler Episode 207, the “Mid-Georgia Meander”. Here are some more details about the places we visit in this episode:

Food Find: Mom’s Kitchen (Plains)
Plains, Georgia is the home of former President Jimmy Carter. Most Sundays the people of Plains can find Mr. Carter teaching Sunday school. But after school is over you’ll usually find him at Mom’s Kitchen, which he brought to his home town by convincing the owner that she should open up a second location for her down home country cooking restaurant. Keely feels if it’s good enough for the President, then it’s good enough for her. They don’t have a website just yet, but you can find the Mom’s Kitchen in Plains at 203 E Church Street, Plains, GA 31780. They can be reached by phone at 229-824-5458.

Local Legend: Koinonia Farm (Americus)
Founded in 1942, Koinonia Farm is a Christian farming community that is also the birthplace of Habitat for Humanity. Persecuted in the 1950s and ‘60s for its commitment to brotherhood among all races, Koinonia has flourished into the present day. Pecans and chocolate are produced onsite, and members of the community also operate a bakery. Koinonia is a popular retreat for church groups, and people of all faiths are welcome.

Getaway: Little Ocmulgee State Park (McRae)
Known for its peaceful lodge and cottages near the lake, Little Ocmulgee State Park offers visitors lots of options when they come for a visit. David takes a canoe trip, and then brushes up on his golf game at the putt-putt course. The Wallace Adams Golf Course is located in the park, so David and pro, Don Gillis, take a few swings on the front nine. His golf game not withstanding, David has a great time, and you will too, when you visit Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge.

Outdoor Activity: Altamaha River (Darien)
Known as the Little Amazon, the Altamaha River winds through middle Georgia all the way to the coast. Along with the owner of Southeast Adventure, Michael Gowen, Georgia Traveler explores this majestic wonder. With only a kayak and a sense of humor Phil tackles the Altamaha and all of its splendor. To set up your own trip or find out more information visit Southeast Adventure at their website at

Family Fun: Vidalia Onion Festival (Vidalia)
Known for its famously sweet onions, Vidalia, Georgia is home to the only festival dedicated to our state vegetable, it’s the Vidalia Onion Festival! Phil and David take in all the sites, which include monster trucks, and the death-defying Black Daggers sky diving team. The smell of all those delicious onions in the air draws the guys to the onion eating contest and Phil is declared the winner (big surprise)! And David Zelski…well, he makes a good showing. The Vidalia Onion Festival is held every year near the end of April. Oh, and it’s pronounced “VI-DAY-YA!”

The Mid-Georgia Meander airs on GPB this Wednesday, March 4 at 7:30 PM.