Lysa Speaks, Writes, Travels

Posted on 8/2/2019 by Shelby Nichols

Categories: Family FriendlyHistoryOutdoorTravel

Off the beaten path, about an hour from I-10 and only 45 minutes from I-75, an ideal resting place or stopping point when in route to/from Savannah and Charleston--or even Florida, Albany, Georgia, offers daytime options for outdoor adventure while the evening scene sparks romance.

 

Albany's southern location makes it an ideal destination for H2O adventures. Float the Flint River by kayak or canoe via the Georgia Power Dam, Riverfront Park Launch, Ray Charles Plaza Launch or the Marine Landing input areas.

The float can range in time from one to seven hours depending on where you put in. Check out Kayak Attack Adventures for all of your rental needs, including kayaks, canoes and life jackets.

Continue outdoor explorations with a visit to the area's six-acre Riverfront Park, spread out along the Flint River, featuring a beautiful lawn for family picnics and gatherings, music- and light-animated play fountain, pavilion areas, Turtle Grove Play Park with Dino Dig and Tot Lot, the Horace King Overlook, the Albany Welcome Center, located in the Historic Bridge House and a three-mile Riverwalk Greenway Trail ideal for bike rides.

TIP: The Albany Welcome Center offers bicycles for visitors to rent, perfect for a relaxing ride to explore everything downtown Albany has to offer. Each rental bike comes with a helmet, a lock and basket at no extra charge. $10 for 4 hours, $15 for all day.

Pursue longer paths through the Flint River Trails, an expanding project offering an interconnected trail system throughout the City of Albany, Dougherty County, Lee County, the city of Sasser and Terrell County, with over 21 miles of greenway trails, 11 points of water trail access and more than 600 acres of land available for mountain biking and equestrian activities. Run, walk or cycle along the pathway or go off-road on mountain bikes, take a ride by horseback or access the Flint River by canoe or kayak.

One of Georgia's Seven Natural Wonders, Radium Springs Gardens 70,000 gallons per minute of clear, 68-degree water from an underground cave. Walk through a courtyard where the former Radium Springs Casino once stood, enjoy foliage-draped hillocks, crystal clear waters and flora both indigenous and exotic. The park features a restored terrace, new sidewalks, a casino garden and gazebos.

Cool off from outdoor explorations with brews at Pretoria Fields Collective where the four core beers, as well as seasonally released limited editions available only in the tasting room, offer sudsy sips for everyone. Flights of beers are available to those who have a tough time choosing.

The brewery also serves as a community space with something for everyone, a place for gathering old friends and making new friends over a shared enjoyment of craft beer. The outdoor courtyard is the perfect place to toss a game of corn hole or practice your disc golf putt. Indoors, board and card games, as well as an exceptional view of the 30-barrel brew house make for a relaxed ambiance. Field Guides offer free guided tours of the brewery on the top of the hour--just let them know when you order a beer that you'd like to join a tour. Ongoing events, including live music and food trucks round out the experience. Well-behaved children and dogs on leashes are always welcome, too.

Continue sweet sips with a quick day trip to Still Pond Vineyard and Distillery. Enjoy strolling through the lush vineyards. Sample some of Still Pond's 18 award-winning wines and savor sips of the vodka awarded a Double Gold medal by The Fifty Best, an online guide to fine living, featuring rated listings from unbiased, proprietary blind tastings by wine/spirits journalists, spirits professionals, retailers, mixologists, spirits consultants and connoisseurs.

Complete the getaway with a retro experience at Merry Acres Inn with its Southern historic charm. Catch up over cocktails at the Manor House Pub located at the hotel while live music on the hotel's veranda fills the air with sweet sounds.

TIP: Take the inn's free shuttle to The Catch for dinner. Start off with the best hush puppies the South has to offer! Order from their oyster bar--eat em' raw off the shell or baked to perfection.

For an elegant dining experience, take the complementary shuttle to another Stewbos favorite, Henry Campbell's Steakhouse. Choose from their seven cuts of premium steak or shrimp and grits.

The next morning, start the day with comfort food that's good for the soul with breakfast at Pearly's. There's a reason they've been voted "Best of the Best" three years running! This family-owned diner will take you back to the way grandma made it.

And last but not least, for an artistic twist on date night head on over to

Renaissance Art Café where you can create a souvenir to remember your Albany experience. They provide all the art supplies and instruction and guests can bring snacks and beverages. Afterwards, head to The Flint for unique cocktails and a memorable dinner, including specialties like crab-stuffed flounder or lamb.

Information for this article provided by the Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau and Laurie Rowe Communications.

Albany is one of several cities in the south where participants in the civil rights movement meet with groups to tell their own stories of courage.

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