Over 5,500 drive-in movie theaters once existed throughout the world at the height of the drive-in theater craze, most of which were located in the United States. Today, however, there are now less than 350 drive-ins still in operation worldwide. It’s a shame since these drive-in theaters offered so much affordable fun for families and guests of all ages. Fortunately, the state of Georgia still has five drive-in movie theaters still open to people who want to experience movies like “old times.” One of these even features the largest outdoor movie screen in the world. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.
1.Starlight 6 Drive-in
5.Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater
5 Best Drive-in Theaters in Georgia
- Starlight 6 Drive-in, Photo: Starlight 6 Drive-in
- Swan Drive-in, Photo: Swan Drive-in
- Jesup Drive-in, Photo: Jesup Drive-in
- Tiger Drive-in, Photo: Tiger Drive-in
- Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater, Photo: Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of waynerd - Fotolia.com
More Ideas: Georgia Museum of Natural History
The Georgia Museum of Natural History is located in Athens on the University of Georgia’s east campus within the Natural History Building. The museum collects, preserves, and exhibits specimens of biological, archeological, geological and paleontological significance for Georgia and the surrounding southeastern United States region. The museum is supported by the University of Georgia and the departments of Botany and Plant Pathology, Entomology, Geography, Geology, and Anthropology, which oversee fourteen separate areas of collection.
Highlights of the collection include the Anthropology collection. Over 4 million anthropological artifacts span a history of over 12,000 years of humans living in Georgia and the southeastern region of the United States, and make the museum one of the largest in the region. The collection consists of mainly pottery shards, as well as skeletal remains, stone tools and plants. A Botany Collection consists of more than 230,000 preserved and pressed vascular plant samples. The herbarium plays an important role in contributing research on the flora of the southeast to state and federal agencies.
Arthropod Collections include over 1.3 million preserved and pinned specimens, as well as slide mounted specimens. An Invertebrate Collection includes over 25,000 species from the ocean, freshwater and land, many of which are extinct or threatened. The Herpetology Collection is among the strongest in the United States. Specimens dating back to 1940 include many rare and threatened species. The Icthology Collection also dates back to 1940 and includes over 300,000 preserved specimens of fish, spanning 100 families.
The Mammalian Collection consists of skins, skeletal remains and partial specimens of southeastern U.S. mammals. Some specimens date back to the early 1900’s. The collection serves as a depository for U.S. Department of Agriculture research. An Orinthology Collection contains over 5,000 bird skins as well as over 800 eggs clutches. The collection includes rare bird eggs from around the world, with a focus on Central America. A Zooarchaeology Laboratory servers as a resource for archeologists looking to identify animal remains from paleontological sites around the world.
History: The University of Georgia has maintained collections among the various departments since the 1940’s. These collections were formally recognized as the Museum of Natural History in 1978. In 1999, the museum was deemed the official state museum of Natural History by the Georgia General Assembly. The museum is supported in part by The Friends of the Georgia Museum of Natural History. The non-profit organization supports the museum for fundraisers, increased public awareness and outreach programming. Together, the museum and the Friends of the museum work to promote understanding and awareness of Georgia’s rich natural history with the hopes of fostering interest in continued conservation, habitat protection and environmental preservation.
Ongoing Programs and Education: The museum offers a range of education programming both on and off site. Museum tours are available to groups, and specialized tours can be arranged for groups of any age or area of interest. As the primary mission of the museum centers on education and teaching, the University offers teacher workshops and internships to prepare educators to best make use of the collections in their classrooms. In addition, the museum offers collections and museum management courses.
The Science Box Project is an off-site educational program in which teachers can arrange for a box of specimens to visit their classroom, based on a chosen area of interest. Online educational programming includes the Habitats of Georgia interactive Google Map. The map highlights the plants and animals of each distinct geographical area, and discusses the environmental issues facing each site. The museum runs ten websites dedicated to cataloguing the wildlife of Georgia, and empowering the public to assist with conservation by reporting invasive species.
Past and Future Exhibits: Gallery space at the museum hosts rotating exhibits from the permanent collection. In 2005, the museum partnered with the University of Georgia Libraries to exhibit ‘Preserving Natural History at the University of Georgia’ a special exhibit on methods of collection, research and display. ‘Insectival’ was a special presentation of the insects of the permanent collection, with academics on hand to answer questions from the public. A Rainforest Festival showcased specimens from the museum’s rainforest collection, while Bird Day focused on ornithological specimens. In 2012, the exhibit ‘Leopards, Hyenas, and Bears - Oh My!’ highlighted the newly acquired Collins Collection, consisting of a preserved grizzly bear, leopard, hyena and Cape Buffalo.
101 Cedar Street, Athens, GA 30602, Phone: 706-542-1663
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More Ideas: State Botanical Garden of Georgia
The State Botanical Garden of Georgia is a unit of the University of Georgia. The 313-acre preserve is located three miles from the center of Athens, just south of the University’s main campus. Flower gardens celebrate beauty and teach visitors about the importance of pollinators, who evolved alongside their colorful floral partners. Plantings in the Flower Garden change with the seasons.
The garden also includes a Meditation Walk and a Woodland Walk. The Heritage Garden evokes history with brick walls and manicured hedging of pass-along perennials. Modeled after the historical gardens of the rural south, Savannah and Charleston, the heritage gardens include Dogwood, Magnolias, Azaleas and Confederate Roses, as well as crops such as tobacco, cotton and indigo. Many of these same flowering trees are found in the Shade and Native Flora Gardens. In the spring, this garden showcases native wildflowers in bloom and offers a leisurely stroll with plenty of places to stop and sit on benches under the shade of structures and climbing plants. The International Garden combines history with botany by exploring the connection between plants and humans. The International Garden contains a Cloister Garden and Herb Garden representative of the Middle Ages. Plants from the Mediterranean and Middle East are found in the Age of Exploration Garden. A Threatened and Endangered Collection represents today’s Age of Conservation.
Five miles of nature trails wind through the Botanical Garden. Seven different hiking trails are identified by color and traverse alongside a river, through wetlands, across prairies of wildflowers and into the woods. The White Trail is the Garden’s most challenging hike, and takes guests away from the river into the hills through Hardwood Forests. The trails offer robust wildlife viewing. In addition to deer, wild turkeys and squirrels, many birds can be seen. A Hummingbird Trail, active from May through October, consists of 21 markers that point out areas frequented by hummingbirds, and the plants that attract them.
A Children’s Garden was added in 2017. The environment inspires learning and an appreciation of nature through play across more than 2 acres designed specifically for young visitors. Over 50,000 children visit the State Garden each year.
Greenhouses grow the seedlings that will be planted outdoors when seasons change. The state-of-the-art facilities are climate controlled. Although not open to the public daily, Greenhouses may be toured by special appointment. A Tropical Conservatory is located in the Visitor Center. Tropical plants are displayed in the Great Room, which, alongside the Day Chapel and Garden Club Terrace Room, may be rented for weddings and special events.
History: Land for the State Botanical Garden of Georgia was gifted by the University of Georgia in 1968. The living laboratory provides educational and research facilities and programming for the University, alongside its role as a public service for the citizens of Georgia. The Garden’s mission includes fostering appreciation for nature, as well as the acquisition and dissemination of information related to botany and the local flora of the American southwest. Friends of the Garden is a charitable organization which supports the State Botanical Garden of Georgia through membership, plant sales, and educational programming.
Ongoing Programs and Education: The Garden participates in the Georgia Plant Conservation Alliance by cultivating and storing seeds of endangered or threatened native species, as well as growing, propagating and augmenting populations of native plants where appropriate. The Georgia Native Plant Initiative programs, supported by the Botanical Garden, encourage local gardeners to make use of native and local plant species. The Connect-to-Protect program reaches out to gardeners across the state to encourage best practices for the protection of local species and to support their role in feeding and sheltering the local insect population.
At the Garden’s Center for Native Plant Studies educational programming for adults includes a Certificate Program in Native Plants. Garden Symposia are one-day educational programs that teach about native plants and more. The Native Plants Symposium is an annual event sponsored by the Garden Club of Georgia each January. Garden Rambles and Nature Rambles are led by Professors at the University of Georgia and take visitors on walks through the Botanical Garden to learn more about seasonal topics. Classes, workshops and series cover everything from beekeeping to flower arranging and are offered throughout the year. Students at the University of Georgia are exposed to public horticulture, restoration ecology and conservation science through undergraduate courses sponsored by the Center for Native Plant Studies.
2450 S. Milledge Avenue Athens, GA 30605, Phone: 706-542-1244
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More Ideas: Taylor-Grady House
The Taylor-Grady House is a historic home and museum in Athens, Georgia available for tours and event rentals. The Greek Revival mansion, built in the mid 1800’s, is named for its most famous owner, Henry Grady. Grady was the editor of Atlanta’s daily newspaper at the turn of the century, and a leader in reintegrating the south after the U.S. Civil War. The home’s first owner was General Robert Taylor, whose family built the home in the 1840’s.
The two-story wood-frame home sits on a sizeable lot surrounded by lawn and gardens. Thirteen grand Doric columns surround the home on three sides where the roof overhangs the front porch. The interior plan follows a traditional center-hall plan. Woodwork, plaster, and fireplace mantels have been refurbished and are presented in their original design.
The home’s Boxwood Garden was designed by Hubert B. Owens, who in 1928 founded one of the United States’ earliest Landscape Architecture Programs at the University of Georgia. A boxwood garden is characterized by its trimmed stylized boxwood hedges, which form geometric shapes and formal borders throughout.
History: The home was built in the 1840’s by General Robert Taylor, as a summer residence. Robert Taylor had immigrated as a child to the United States in the late 1700’s from Ireland and settled in Savannah, Georgia. General Taylor grew up to be a wealthy cotton farmer and merchant and was commissioned a Brigadier General in the Georgia Militia. The General and his wife Eliza moved to the Athens home permanently when their three sons enrolled nearby in the University of Georgia. When General Taylor passed in 1859, his estate included more than 17,000 acres of land throughout Georgia.
In the 1860’s the house was occupied by Anne Gattrell Grady and Henry W Grady, her son. Henry lived in the home between 1865 and 1868 while he attended the University of Georgia. Although he lived there briefly, Henry had fond memories of what he referred to as his “old southern home.” Known as an impressive, nationally known orator, Henry was also the managing editor of the Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta’s daily newspaper. Under his management, the Constitution became a major regional force. His speeches stressed the need for reconciliation after the Civil War, and encouraged the north to invest in the south to promote economic development and assist the south with the transition away from an economy that previously relied on slave labor. Grady is known for coining the widely used phrase, “the New South” at a famous speech in New York City in 1886. Mr. Grady passed from pneumonia at the young age of 39.
Through the 1900’s the home passed through several owners and with that, more changes. An attached kitchen and rear sleeping porch were added in the 1890’s while the home was occupied by Mrs. Louise D. Dubose. Plumbing and electricity were added in the early 1900’s under the occupancy of Jesse Hoyt Beusse. During the stock market crash of 1929 Mr. Beusse was forced to sell the home at a loss, roughly ten years after he bought it.
In the 1950’s, the home was abandoned, vandalized and looted. Most all of the interior architectural elements were destroyed. It wasn’t until the mid 1960’s that it was sold to the Athens Junior Assembly by way of the City of Athens, who immediately went to work on its restoration. The Assembly became the official stewards of the home in 1968, and then one year later, after close to ten years of renovations, the house was opened to the public in May of 1969. Today, the restored historic home is managed by the Junior League of Athens, who utilizes it as an event space in addition to offering tours. The home achieved National Historic Landmark status in 1976.
Ongoing Programs and Education: Individual visitors to the home may opt for a self-guided tour, while group tours are available for groups of 10 or more. The Taylor-Grady House is just one stop in the popular Classic City Tours, organized by the Athens Welcome Center. These include the Museum Mile Tour and the Athens Heritage Tour, both of which make several stops at historical sites and sites of interest throughout the city of Athens.
Both the indoors and outdoors of the Taylor-Grady House are available for weddings or corporate event rentals for up to 350 guests.
634 Prince Avenue Athens, GA 30601, Phone: 706-549-8688
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