Everyone knows that Green Global Travel is crazy passionate about ecotourism and nature conservation. But unless you’re a long-time reader, you might not know that our family is equally kookoo for Christmas. From mid-November right up through Christmas Eve, we make a point of attending as many Atlanta Christmas events as we possibly can. We won’t even travel in the weeks before the holidays, to make sure we have ample quality time to celebrate the season! What follows is a list of our Top 20 annual Atlanta Christmas events, from concerts and theatrical performances to fundraising parties and parades:
When visiting a major metropolis like Cancun, it’s easy to forget that the area known as the Yucatan Peninsula was once the heart of the mighty Maya empire. But the Museo Maya de Cancun (a.k.a. Cancun Mayan Museum) offers an amazing overview of Mayan history, art and archaeology that makes it a must-see for anyone intrigued by one of the world’s most powerful ancient civilizations.
Autumn has always been my favorite time of year. From the cool, crisp weather to the rich hues of the changing leaves, there’s something magical about these months before the craziness of the holidays holds sway over everyone.
In recent years my lady and I have been doing a lot more traveling at this time of year, which only serves to make us appreciate the beauty of autumn in Georgia all the more. Whether we’re taking our pontoon boat out on Lake Allatoona for a sunset barbecue, listening to live bluegrass music on the public square in Dahlonega, or simply taking our dog for a hike near our home at Rope Mill Park, we always seem to spend a lot more time outdoors in October and November.
Fortunately, there’s no shortage of things to do and places to go within an hour’s drive of Atlanta, in the foothills of the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains. Whether you want to go for a hike, pick apples, or simply take a scenic ride to see the leaves change, north Georgia is a remarkable place to witness the beauty of nature in all its splendor. And autumn is the perfect time in which to do it. Here are a few of our favorite autumn activities around Atlanta:
When most people think of New Orleans, the first three things that come to mind are Bourbon Street, booze and Mardi Gras beads. But anyone who scratches beneath the surface of the Crescent City will discover a rich tapestry of cultures, from the French and Spanish influences of Cajun and Creole to the African elements introduced during the Colonial era.
Nowhere in New Orleans is this rich mixture more evident than at Preservation Hall, the French Quarter hotspot where jazz musicians of all races have been cutting their teeth since Pennsylvanians Allan and Sandra Jaffe opened the place in 1961. Their son Ben Jaffe, born 10 years later, is now the Creative Director of the world renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary with the release of a new album, That’s It!
A longtime jazz fan, I was delighted to get a chance to talk to Ben about Preservation Hall’s mission, the challenge of preserving New Orleans’ cultural identity, and how Hurricane Katrina made him more passionate than ever before about doing so.
Created in 1934 and encompassing 522,419 acres, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited national park in America, attracting 9 million travelers each year. People come from miles around to camp, fish, hike the Appalachian Trail, and take in stellar views from the summit of Clingman’s Dome (the park’s highest point at 6,643 feet). We didn’t do any of these things during our brief visit, but we had several other reasons to be excited.
The park was the first stop on our family’s 8-day Spring Break road trip, which took us from Atlanta to Asheville, and then on to North Carolina’s Outer Banks. It was the first time all three of us had traveled together since the previous summer, and also the first time meeting and hanging out with our good friends Cristina and Hal Brindley from Travel For Wildlife, who’d been to the park many times before.