40 Facts About the History of the Banjo (From Africa to Appalachia)

Banjo History - Bluegrass Banjo Man

American folk music, and particularly traditional Appalachian music, would be incomplete without the signature twang of the banjo. Along with the accompaniment of the fiddle, the banjo has echoed from porches across the Blue Ridge Mountains region for centuries. Before becoming part of larger string-band ensembles, banjos historically supplied the background music for storytelling. Later, the banjo … Read more

Exploring Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park in Lookout Mountain

Cannon and plaque at Point Park in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee

The battles at Chickamauga and Chattanooga were a major turning point in the Civil War. Winning the Battle of Chattanooga in late November of 1863 created a path for the Union Army to take Atlanta, which had a direct effect on the end of the war. Today, these historic battlefields are preserved at the Chickamauga … Read more

The 15 Best Campgrounds in North Georgia

Campground at James Sloppy Floyd State Park GA

[Updated 5/25/2022] Taking day trips to explore the myriad North Georgia State Parks, hiking trails to waterfalls, and other outdoor attractions are fun and rewarding in their own right. But camping overnight (or for the weekend) allows us to explore these natural wonders in much greater depth. There’s nothing quite like being fully immersed in the … Read more

The 20 Best Hiking Trails in the Chattahoochee National Forest

Sunset view from atop Brasstown Bald GA

[Updated 5/25/2022]  Comprising 867,000 acres of gorgeous, largely pristine land, the Chattahoochee National Forest offers some of the most rewarding and scenic opportunities for outdoor adventure in Georgia. The forest spans a whopping 26 counties and is truly a nature lover’s paradise. There are hundreds of miles of hiking trails that lead to picturesque, wildflower-lined streams, … Read more

How Gold Mining in Georgia Led to Land Lotteries & the Trail of Tears

Gold Mining in Georgia

In the late 1820s, gold was discovered in North Georgia near the mountain towns of Dahlonega and Helen. This discovery– the first major gold rush in the US (after a smaller discovery in North Carolina)– led to an influx of prospectors, all looking to find their fortune by gold mining in Georgia.  The Georgia Gold Rush lasted for … Read more

The 15 Best Breweries in Georgia

The best Breweries in Georgia

Whether you’ve lived in the state of Georgia your entire life or are visiting for the first time, taking a road trip to explore the best breweries in Georgia is a great way to immerse yourself in local culture. From tasting high-quality brews made with locally sourced ingredients to hearing fascinating local folklore and chatting … Read more

Hiking the Yonah Mountain Trail in Helen GA

Yonah Mountain in Helen GA

On a recent “Moms Only” weekend getaway to the Sautee-Nacoochee Valley in North Georgia, I convinced my girlfriends to join me on a morning excursion, which included hiking the Yonah Mountain trail.  We had all celebrated my 40th birthday a few years ago at the nearby Yonah Mountain Vineyards. But none of us had ever … Read more

The 20 Best Things to Do in Dahlonega GA & Lumpkin County

Carriage Ride in downtown Dahlonega GA

[Updated May 17, 2022] Back in 1828 (21 years before the famed California gold rush), thousands of prospectors descended upon the town of Dahlonega, Georgia in search of their fortune. Located in the heart of North Georgia’s Cherokee Indian territory, Dahlonega grew like wildfire in the wake of this frenzied mining activity. A U.S. Branch … Read more

The 10 Best Places for River Tubing in North Georgia

Tubing the Chattahoochee River in Helen GA

Growing up in Georgia, long before country singer Alan Jackson made the Chattahoochee River famous, “shooting the ‘hooch” on an inner tube was basically a rite of passage.  Tubing in North Georgia has only grown more popular since then. For us, it ranks right alongside lazy days at our local lakes among our favorite ways to … Read more