Patrick Swanson / December 12,2022

Tips to choose the perfect family-friendly trails to explore over the weekend


If your family loves to explore the great outdoors then hiking the trails, mountains, and awesome National Parks of the US is a dream come true. Escaping the confines of your home and getting out into the fresh air of the backcountry is an experience that brings families together and soothes the soul.

Of course, not everyone has time to plan grand expeditions to the best National Parks or highest mountain peaks. But thankfully this really isn’t necessary! There are brilliant, kid-friendly hikes and trails across the length and breadth of the US, and chances are you are only a couple of hours away from amazing places to explore, wherever you are in the country.


So whether you want to explore the Pacific coast, wander through the rugged Appalachian Mountains, or just pack your bags and find your nearest bit of nature and get outside, here are some of the best family-friendly hiking trails to explore over the weekend.

The Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches for 2,650 miles from Mexico to Canada and is one of the most iconic and scenic hiking trails in the US. It passes through some of the most beautiful and diverse landscapes in the country, including the Mojave Desert, the Sierra Nevada mountains, and the North Cascades. There are plenty of sections that are perfect for a weekend hike with kids like Sequoia and Kings Canyon where you can discover towering redwoods, gorgeous waterfalls, and breathtaking mountain vistas.

The Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail is another legendary long-distance hiking trail that runs for 2,180 miles from Georgia to Maine. It’s a great option for families, with plenty of easy and moderate sections that are perfect for kids.

Patrick Swanson / December 10,2022

Is distracted trucking still a major problem?


In recent years, distracted driving has been a persistent problem in Georgia and across the United States. When drivers of passenger vehicles do it, there is undoubtedly danger of an accident with serious injuries and death. If truckers do it, the risk is exponentially worse because of the size of the vehicles they are driving. Georgia has taken steps to tamp down on distraction and there has been a notable improvement. However, truckers are still prone to the practice. When there has been a collision, it is imperative for people who were involved to think about the cause and take steps to determine if distraction was a factor. This could be crucial as they decide on their options in the aftermath of the accident and as they move forward. Georgia cracks down on unsafe trucking with distraction a focus Recently, there was a three-day crackdown on truckers who are behaving in unsafe ways in Georgia. Initiated by the Georgia Department of Public Safety, commercial vehicles were targeted for enforcement. This happened in mid-November on the interstate and other locations. Officers were specifically looking for safety lapses and distracted trucking. Over those three full days, there were 36 drivers who were taken out of service. Thirty-four trucks were taken from the road. Among the citations that were handed out included 41 for speeding, eight for following too closely and 20 for distracted driving or using a cellphone behind the wheel. Study shows how distraction can raise the risk of an accident To highlight the danger of distracted driving, a recent study emphasizes the problems it causes with road safety.

Patrick Swanson / November 10,2022

Hurricane Nicole Makes Landfall in Florida, Kills at Least 5


At least five people were reported dead after Hurricane Nicole made landfall in Florida Thursday morning.

AccuWeather reports that Nicole made landfall in Florida as a Category 1 hurricane. It was downgraded to a tropical storm on its way to Georgia Friday morning.

According to the Orange County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO), one man and one woman were killed after being electrocuted by a downed power line outside of Orlando.

“We are urging all of our residents and visitors to use extreme caution if they are outside in the wake of the storm today,” the office wrote on Facebook. “Never touch a downed power line. If you are driving and see a downed power line, change directions immediately.”

Authorities in Orange County reported two other storm-related deaths. The Cocoa Police Department reported the fifth death after a woman called 911 early Friday morning and said her husband was in distress. The couple had been on their yacht, docked at Lee Wenner Park, as it was tossed around by the waves.

While fire firefighters came onboard the vessel and performed CPR on the woman’s husband, the yacht broke loose from the lock and began to drift. Shortly afterward, responders managed to secure the boat, and the man was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. No cause of death has been confirmed at this time.

During a storm briefing on Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis shared that the storm brought heavy winds and rainfall to the state, including “3 to 5 feet in storm surge” in several areas and possible flash flooding.

Patrick Swanson / September 27,2022

3 of the Best Places to Visit in Georgia with Your Significant Other

  • Tallulah Gorge State Park
  • SeaQuest Stonecrest Aquarium
  • The State Botanical Garden of Georgia
  • Conclusion
  • If you’re dating someone special, finding ways to spend time together is important. The stress of everyday life can make finding time for a significant other challenging, so why not plan a trip together? There are plenty of unique and exciting places that offer an excellent opportunity to get away from the daily grind and truly spend quality time with your significant other. 

    Whether you’re dating your high school sweetheart or just started seeing someone new, there are lots of places you can visit with your significant other. Finding fun locations where you can enjoy each other’s company will go a long way in strengthening your relationship. 

    Georgia is one of the best states for couples to visit, home to many unique locations perfect for romantic getaways. In fact, there are numerous places in Georgia that can be great for couples. Check out these 3 locations if you want to embark on a perfect Georgia trip with your special someone.

    Table of Contents

Patrick Swanson / September 27,2022

Moscow tries to draft fleeing Russian men at the borders


LARSI, Georgia (AP) — Long lines of Russians trying to escape being called up to fight in Ukraine continued to clog highways out of the country on Wednesday, and Moscow reportedly set up draft offices at borders to intercept some of them.

North Ossetia, a Russian region that borders Georgia, declared a state of “high alert” and said that food, water, warming stations and other aid should be brought in for those who have spent days in queues. Volunteers on the Georgian side of the border also have water, blankets and other assistance brought.

North Ossetia restricted many passenger cars from entering its territory, and set up a draft office at the Verkhy Lars border crossing, Russian news agencies said. Some media outlets released photos at the crossing showing a black van with “military enlistment office” written on it.

Another such draft checkpoint was set up in Russia along the Finnish border, according to the independent Russian news outlet Meduza.

Tens of thousands of Russian men have fled in the week since President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization to bolster struggling Russian forces in Ukraine. Although Putin said the callup was “partial,” aimed at calling up about 300,000 men with past military service, many Russians fear it will be much broader and more arbitrary than that. There are numerous reports of men with no military training and of all ages receiving draft notices.

Patrick Swanson / September 26,2022

Mass exodus of draft-eligible men continues from Russia as fears grow that it may close borders

Mass exodus of draft-eligible men continues from Russia as fears grow that it may close borders

Mass exodus of draft-eligible men continues from Russia as fears grow that it may close borders

New satellite images released Monday appeared to show a large number of vehicles lining up at Russia’s border crossings with neighboring Georgia and Mongolia.

Maxar Technologies, a U.S. defense contractor, said its imagery collected Sunday showed a large traffic jam at the Upper Lars border crossing between Russia and Georgia that likely extended beyond the 10 miles that the satellite could capture in a single image. 

On Tuesday, the Russian state news agency Tass quoted Russian border officials as saying that around 3,600 passenger cars were waiting to cross into Georgia.

Russian media has also reported a rush of its citizens trying to enter Finland and Kazakhstan.

Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said Tuesday there was “no crisis or panic” in the country over the influx of Russians, Interfax news agency reported, but called the situation “difficult” and promised to discuss it with the Russian side. Kazak border authorities said 98,000 Russian citizens have entered Kazakhstan since the mobilization was announced, according to Russia’s state news agency Ria.

NBC News reached out to border officials in both Kazakhstan and Finland for further comment.

Finish border officials said in a tweet Tuesday that the traffic on its land border with Russia was still busy, but reduced from the peak of the weekend.


Patrick Swanson / August 30,2022

124 Room Mercure Telavi Hotel to Open within the Kakheti Area of Georgia in 2024

124 Room Mercure Telavi Hotel to Open within the Kakheti Area of Georgia in 2024

124 Room Mercure Telavi Hotel to Open within the Kakheti Area of Georgia in 2024   Rendering of the Mercure Telavi Hotel

124 Room Mercure Telavi Hotel to Open within the Kakheti Area of Georgia in 2024

Patrick Swanson / February 15,2022

How to Pick Between the Georgia Islands [a Visitor’s Guide]

How to Pick Between the Georgia Islands [a Visitor’s Guide]

With only 100 miles of coastline, it is easy to forget that the Peach State has beaches, let alone consider the islands scattered off the coast of Georgia. On the east coast of the U.S., usually when people think about vacationing to the islands, they are thinking of the Caribbean — or maybe a few islands in Florida like Captiva, Amelia Island, or the Florida Keys — not the Georgia Islands.

Yet there are 15 Georgia barrier islands, from Tybee Island off the coast of Savannah, to Cumberland Island, just north of Jacksonville, Florida. The sandy beaches are generally wide and flat with waves meant for jumping and body surfing.
The salt marshes are ideal for kayaking and fishing, and the laid-back vibe makes for the perfect family vacation destination in the state of Georgia. You won’t find rowdy boardwalks and party people here. It is a spot for appreciating nature and good, old-fashioned family fun.
Georgia’s Barrier Islands are not just for locals either. With plenty of flight options into Savannah, Jacksonville, or even the smaller Brunswick airport, the Georgia coast is an accessible getaway for many, including New Englanders like me.

Patrick Swanson / September 14,2021

The North Georgia State Fair is Coming Back to Cobb County

The North Georgia State Fair is Coming Back to Cobb County

Ranked the Best Festival and Family Amusement of Cobb 2021, one of the largest fairs in the state is coming to town! Attracting over 300,000 people every year from Cobb County and surrounding area, the North Georgia State Fair is a highly anticipated, family-fun event! The fair features affordable tickets, a variety of free attractions and concerts, petting zoos, iconic fair foods, and the most exciting roller coasters, rides, and carnival games. You will not want to miss out on the delicious dining, local shopping, and thrilling entertainment the fair has waiting for you!  
The North Georgia State Fair is Coming Back to Cobb County
Come One, Come All
When does the fair take place? 

  • The North Georgia State fair will take place on Thursday, September 23, through Sunday, October 3, 2021. Hours are Monday through Thursday: 4pm-11pm , Fridays: 4pm-12am, Saturdays: 10am-12am, and Sundays: 12:30pm-10pm.

Where is it located? 

  • The fairgrounds are located at Jim R. Miller Park, and the address is as follows: 2245 Callaway Road S.W., Marietta, Georgia 30008.

How much is the fair? 

Patrick Swanson / September 13,2021

What to Do With Kids in Calhoun, Georgia

What to Do With Kids in Calhoun, Georgia

Conveniently right off I-75 and almost midway between Chattanooga and Atlanta, the city of Calhoun, Georgia, is the perfect stop for your next road trip. It has plenty of family-friendly fun, from farms to the historic downtown to one of Georgia’s coolest roadside attractions, and you won’t have to blow your vacation budget, either.
Here’s what you can’t miss when you’re in town.
Copper Creek Farm
If you’ll be in Calhoun during the summer or fall, you’ve got to visit Copper Creek Farm.
Their summer Sunflower Festival features fields of yellow blooms towering above you, for u-pick or just cool family photos. You can enjoy a taste of farm life, browse the old-timey general store and catch fireworks on select nights. Plus, there are plenty of kids’ activities: pig races, pony rides, an animated chicken show, corn pit, petting barn, slide and gem mining, among others.
What to Do With Kids in Calhoun, GeorgiaImage Credit: Copper Creek Farm
In late September, the Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch opens. It includes many of the same activities as in the summer with some tweaks, such as a pumpkin cannon instead of a watermelon cannon and corn mazes and a pumpkin patch instead of sunflowers. If you’re traveling with teens, take the hayride to the back of the farm for the haunted corn maze, and be ready to scream.
New Echota Historic Site


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