Georgia State Parks And Historic Sites Offer Affordable Star-Spangled Celebrations

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 - by Kim Hatcher

Grilling burgers in the shade and camping under the stars are some of the favorite July 4th activities offered in Georgia’s State Parks and Historic Sites.  Want to learn about our nation’s independence?  Visit Fort Morris near Darien for their Colonial Faire and cannon firings. Want to see fireworks? Gather at Seminole State Park on July 2 for early festivities on the lake.  Whether you have just a few hours on the 4th or the extended weekend, Georgia’s State Parks make for a fun-filled holiday.

July 4th weekend is always one of the busiest holidays in Georgia’s state parks, so visitors are encouraged to reserve campsites, cabins, picnic shelters and yurts in advance.  Reservations can be made up to 13 months in advance by calling 1-800-864-7275 or online at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org

Can’t get away for the whole weekend?  State parks welcome visitors to come for just the day as well.  For a $5 parking fee, guests can cool off at lakeside beaches, explore hiking trails, and even fish for their dinner – all for free. Many state parks rent stand-up paddleboards, aquacycles, bikes and kayaks for a small fee.  Some of the state’s historic forts will showcase America’s history with musket firings, military drills and displays.  

Park rangers encourage visitors to bring picnics, but to leave fireworks at home because sparklers and explosives are not allowed in Georgia’s state parks.  However, many parks are close to towns with their own displays planned, such as Crooked River State Park near St. Marys.

Want more ideas on affordable July 4th activities?  The State Park System has these suggestions:

• Find ranger-led hikes, old-timey games, firework displays and more programs at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/events.

• Covered picnic shelters and enclosed group shelters can be reserved for family reunions and parties.  All offer pretty views, and grills and restrooms are nearby.  Reservations should be made in advance for these popular shelters.  Individuals can use picnic tables scattered throughout all of Georgia’s state parks for free.

• Lakeside swimming beaches are free once visitors pay a $5 parking fee.  Popular spots include Don Carter State Park on Lake Lanier, Tugaloo on Lake Hartwell and Hard Labor Creek near Rutledge.  More sandy beaches are listed at www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/swimming.

• Splash pads for small children are offered at Magnolia Springs in Millen, Gordonia-Alatamaha in Reidsville and Little Ocmulgee near McRae.  www.GeorgiaStateParks.org/swimming



2018 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide Honors Civil Rights Icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development today released its 2018 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide. The cover features an inspiring, artistic rendering of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with the Lorraine Motel, the site of his assassination, which is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum. Fifty years ago, Dr. King was in Memphis, where he marched with striking ... (click for more)

What's New In Tennessee Travel For 2018

Tourism in Tennessee continues to expand with new attractions, impressive state-of-the-art developments and milestone anniversary celebrations of iconic attractions that help shape “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” 2018 marks several milestones in Tennessee, including honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Civil Rights Museum on the ... (click for more)

Bitter Cold And Icy Roads To Continue Through Thursday Morning In Chattanooga; Some Flights Cancelled; Hamilton County Schools Closed

Bitter cold temperatures will continue for Chattanooga, the National Weather Service has warned, The NWS also is advising motorists to watch for patchy icy roads. Hamilton County Schools will be closed  on Thursday " due to areas of the county with too much ice still on the roads for buses to pass safely.    “The roads in many areas of the county ... (click for more)

City Council Considering New 2-Year $600,000 Contract With Father To The Fatherless

The City Council is considering whether to approve a new two-year contract of up to $600,000 with Father to the Fatherless for the Violence Reduction Initiative. Council members had a number of questions during a lengthy hearing on Tuesday afternoon, but Police Chief David Roddy said the program has helped bring a 35 percent reduction in gun-related shootings and a 16 percent ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Once In A Blue…

On August 21st this past summer, four black women were walking down the street in Dayton, Tn., when a white man asked from his porch, “Are you ladies here to see the eclipse?” Told that yes, they most certainly were, the gentleman pointed to his back deck and another white couple and said, “If you don’t have plans, would you care to sit with us?” The ladies were delighted and ... (click for more)