Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Georgia State Parks Beckon Families with Summer Fun Close to Home

Summer vacation doesn’t need to cost a fortune or involve a hefty gas bill. Georgia State Parks offer a plethora of recreational offerings that make it easy for families to save money on gas and enjoy trips close to home. Simply pack a picnic lunch, grab a beach towel or hiking boots, and head to Georgia’s State Parks for affordable recreation that’s not only fun, but also encourages kids to get fit and spend time outdoors this summer. From free park admission and Junior Ranger Camps to swimming beaches and even a splash pad, there is something for everyone without breaking the bank.

• Swimming Beaches, Pools and Splash Pad Make Fun Day Trips
Skip the trip to the coast this year and head to one of Georgia State Parks’ many lakeside swimming beaches. Grab your sunscreen and enjoy the simple pleasures of a sandy beach right near your own backyard. Or, if your family is more interested in getting in a few laps at the pool, Victoria Bryant, Magnolia Springs and High Falls state park pools are sure to please. Little Ocmulgee State Park offers a Splash Pad just for the youngest water lovers. For a list of recreational offerings, visit

• Cabin Rentals Offer Affordable & Memorable Staycations
Start a new family tradition this summer by planning a getaway to the mountains, lake or marsh. Spend the day fishing, canoeing, hiking or just hanging out at a lake beach, then retreat to a comfy cabin without ever leaving the park. Many state parks feature cabins with fully equipped kitchens, rocking-chair porches and spectacular scenery ~~ ideal for spending quality family time together. For help in planning a summer staycation, visit or call 1-800-864-7275. Rates range from $85 to $160 per night, and dogs are welcome in select cabins.

• Free Park Admission & Natural Recreational Offerings
Planning a daytrip with the kids can be affordable and heart-healthy. No need to spend another day at a fast-food kids’ gym or the same neighborhood playground. Pack a nutritious picnic lunch and head to your favorite Georgia State Park for the day instead. A Georgia public library card is all you need to check out a ParkPass or Historic Site Pass. The passes are good for free parking or admission at any of the 63 state parks and historic sites statewide. For a listing of Georgia’s public libraries, go to Most Georgia State Parks offer playgrounds, picnic areas, miles of hiking and biking trails, and even wildlife viewing or nature centers. With a diverse geographic topography, Georgia’s state parks and historic sites offer adventures in northern mountains, midland swamplands, piedmont plains and along the beautiful Georgia coast.

• Junior Ranger Day Camps (ideal for young explorers ages 6-12)
Kids ages 6 to 12 are invited to explore Georgia’s wildlife, nature and fascinating history first-hand as they earn their way through three badge levels. Nature hikes, arts and crafts, water games, fishing and outdoor cooking are just a few of the daily camp workshops offered at Georgia’s state parks. With more than a dozen Junior Ranger Day Camps offered through August 5, kids can meet new friends as they build self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment. And, parents can have the satisfaction of knowing their children are entertained and learning an appreciation for the great outdoors. Families can also pick up a free Junior Ranger Activity Book at any state park or historic site and work through the activity requirements at their own pace. Or, receive the latest park news and learn more about Georgia nature and history by subscribing to The Georgia Junior Ranger, a free e-newsletter.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vision Airlines Gives Passengers $200* When Booking a Vacation Package for 2 to Destin/Ft. Walton Beach*

/PRNewswire/ -- Vision Airlines announced today that the company will offer the first 1000 passengers a $200 Visa gift card when they book a qualifying vacation package with Vision Airlines to Destin/Ft. Walton Beach. To qualify for this $200 Visa Gift card, customers must book a vacation package for 2 adults, which must include airfare, hotel/resort accommodations, and car rental with a minimum 3 night stay. The first 1000 customers to book a low-cost, minimum 3-night stay, vacation package for 2, will receive a $200 Visa gift card upon arrival at Northwest Florida Regional Airport located in Ft. Walton Beach. These special vacation packages may be booked at or by calling 1-877-FLY-A-JET (1-877-359-2538).

Vision Airlines' discounted vacation packages deliver maximum value with some of the lowest prices available anywhere. Consumers are urged to check and compare with other online travel companies. Vision Airlines offers vacation packages to numerous cities but the $200 Visa gift card will only be awarded to the first 1,000 customers that book a qualifying package to the Destin/Ft. Walton Beach area, with flights arriving and departing Northwest Florida Regional Airport.

"This is another step to make travel affordable this summer for the family. The Destin/Ft Walton Beach area offers some of the best beaches in the US and was recently voted one of the Top 10 best places to live and boat by Boating Magazine," said David Meers of Vision Airlines' Chief Operating Officer. "With our low fares and great hotel rates, our packages are some of the best values for vacation travel this summer," added Meers.

Vision Airlines currently services 23 markets from its hub at Northwest Florida Regional Airport, located in Destin/Ft. Walton Beach, including non-stop flights to Las Vegas and many other popular leisure destinations such as Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale, and Ft. Myers.

While some passengers may not need the hotel or rental property, they can still take advantage of Vision Airlines great low airfare specials. Visit to check out the lowest fares to these great destinations.

* Details on $200 Gift Cards:

In order to receive the $200 Visa gift card, the reservation must be made for two guests and include airfare, hotel accommodations, and rental car. The reservation may be booked at or by calling 1-877-FLY-A-JET (1-877-359-2538). This offer is good for passengers flying from any of the 22 Vision Airlines markets to Destin/Ft.Walton Beach. Accommodations and car rental reservations must be made in the Destin/Ft. Walton Beach area. The first 1000 travelers to book this type of vacation package will be able to pick up a $200 Visa gift card at the Vision Airlines ticket counter at Northwest Florida Regional Airport, located outside of the terminals and gates. The passenger that books the reservation will need to show government issued identification in order to receive their $200 gift card. This promotion ends when 1000 vacation packages in Destin/Ft. Walton Beach are booked for two guests.


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Friday, May 20, 2011

Dollywood’s Splash Country Dives into 2011 Season May 21

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dollywood’s Splash Country opens Saturday, May 21, for another season of fun in the sun in the Great Smoky Mountains.

“After the cold winter months, we’re anxious to welcome guests to Dollywood’s Splash Country where soaking up the sun and enjoying the Great Smoky Mountains outdoors is a truly one-of-a-kind experience,” said Mike Brown, Dollywood’s Splash Country General Manager.

Named America’s Must-See Waterpark in 2009 by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions, Dollywood’s Splash Country features more than 35 water adventure slides, along with The Cascades leisure pool, the Mountain Waves wave pool, the Downbound Float Trip lazy river, children’s water play areas and much more.

New for the 2011 season, Dollywood’s Splash Country offers waterside Swedish massages. Guests staying in Riverside and Waterside Retreats, private 200-square-foot rental facilities, can schedule a 30-, 60- or 90-minute massage or neck and shoulder massage. Guests renting Canopies, which offer a 65-square-foot shaded area and two chaise lounge chairs, can enjoy neck and shoulder massages. Prices start at $40. All are performed by a licensed massage therapist and offered in the privacy of the Retreat or Canopy. Massages must be scheduled in advance by calling 1-800-DOLLYWOOD. Visit for more details.

Saturday exclusives return this season for the waterpark’s season passholders. Passholders and their guests (park admission required) are admitted one hour prior to the posted opening time each Saturday. Plus, a selected ride is open during this exclusive hour and an exclusive merchandise offer is available. The park’s popular Slick Rock Racer is open from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 21.

This season, Dollywood’s Splash Country features several events that welcome Guest participation:

* 9th Annual Dollywood’s Splash Country’s Float-A-Thon on May 28, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. benefitting the Knoxville Ronald McDonald House
* Water Safety Day on June 8, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
* World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on June 14, 2011, at 11 a.m.
* Eco Awareness Fair on July 18, 2011, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Valid Dollywood’s Splash Country admission required for all events. For more information, please visit

Dollywood’s Splash Country is located adjacent to Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Dollywood Vacations offers all-inclusive vacation planning through which cabin guests receive complimentary admission and free parking at Dollywood’s Splash Country. For more information, call 1.866.857.2123.


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Celebrate the Start of Summer at Callaway Gardens' Memorial Day Weekend Festival

It’s time celebrate the arrival of Summer at Callaway Gardens’ Memorial Day Weekend Festival, May 27-30, 2011. Catch a few rays, kick up a little sand, enjoy a variety of music and watch world champions compete at the 52nd Annual Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament®.

Memorial Day Weekend opens Robin Lake Beach for the Summer – with lots of new, exciting activities for 2011, including Light Striker Laser Tag*, Blaster Boats* and Aqua Island*, an expansive floating playground. Robin Lake Beach also will continue to offer its traditional activities of swimming, shuffleboard, table tennis, miniature golf and performances by The FSU Flying High Circus.

Inside the Gardens, guests can add some adrenaline to their day on Callaway Gardens’ newest year-round attraction, TreeTop Adventure*, which features 24 aerial challenges and zip lines. Reservations are suggested.

As is tradition at Callaway Gardens, Memorial Day Weekend is full of championship waterskiing and wakeboarding on Robin Lake, as well as the brand new sport of wakeskating. Watch dozens of the world’s finest water sports athletes representing more than 14 countries compete for more than $110,000 in cash and prizes in the Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard Tournament. Competition events include tricks, slalom, jump, wakeboard and wakeskating. The Junior Masters elimination rounds and finals will be Friday, May 27, at 8 a.m. The Masters elimination rounds will begin at 8 a.m. Saturday. Sunday will start with Opening Ceremonies at 10 a.m. and finals at 11 a.m. with participants competing for the coveted title of Masters Champion.

Special tournament activities on Robin Lake Beach will include water sports exhibitors, concessions and other festivities for spectators to enjoy throughout the event.

Growing the festivities for Memorial Day Weekend in 2011, Callaway Gardens has planned tons of fun following the competition each day. Friday will feature live music by pop/rock artist Kurt Scobie, a beach cookout* and the new Callaway Gardens Farmers Market, an opportunity to purchase locally grown produce and products. Saturday evening will take on a Cajun theme with a Low Country Boil*, live music by The Charlie Wooton Project and Zydefunk, and Beach Olympics for some friendly competition. To celebrate the end of the tournament, Sunday evening will feature the introduction of the newly crowned Masters Champions, a Barbecue* and live music by Running Down Romance. Since it is a long holiday weekend, the fun continues on Monday with two ski stunt shows by the Tampa Bay Water Ski Show Team, and a demonstration of Nautique boats.

Guests can enjoy the many attractions unique to Callaway Gardens that are available year-round including the Birds of Prey show featuring free-flight hawks, owls and falcons; butterflies flying about in the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center; beautiful horticultural displays in the John A. Sibley Horticultural Center; and a bounty of growing vegetables and flowers in Mr. Cason’s Vegetable Garden. The 10-mile Discovery Bicycle Trail takes guests on a leisurely ride by all of these great attractions. A tennis match, round of golf, or time spent fishing by boat are enjoyable ways to begin or end a great day at Callaway.

Admission to this special event Memorial Day Weekend is $25/adult and $12.50/child (age 6 to 12). Children 5 and younger are admitted for free. Callaway Gardens Annual Passholders receive half-price admission. For this special holiday event, military personnel receive free admission for themselves and up to five guests in the same vehicle with presentation of active or retired military identification. Preferred Pavilion Passes are limited and are available on a first-come basis.

Make this experience a weekend getaway. Stay for the weekend and enjoy the new TreeTop Adventure and Callaway Gardens’ array of facilities, attractions and special events.

For more information or to make a reservation, call 1-800-CALLAWAY (225-5292) or visit

Make this Memorial Day Weekend one to remember for a lifetime!

*Fee charged


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