Go on Now Press Your Luck, Merrily Not Warily at Casey’s Irish Pub

Psst, beloveds, over here.  Quit looking behind you, I’m talking to you.  Shhhhhh, I’ve got a secret…  Whoa now just slow down don’t knock me over!  I can’t tell you the secret if I’m dead now can I?  All right then.  So, did you know for instance that there is a very good Irish bar?  Yes of course there are good Irish bars in Ireland, but I’m talking about here, in Los Angeles!  Where you ask?  Well now that all depends, who’s asking?  Stop crying and play along will you?  No, that is not fair! I am not a banshee!  Are my eyes smiling now?  Are they?  All right then.  So…now that I’ve caught your attention, my sweets, there is a very nice little Irish Pub on the kind of gray and glassy Isle known as downtown Los Angeles. There is a pub known to those in the know, as Casey’s Irish Pub.

Casey’s Irish Pub is owned and operated by the 213 group and is located under an emerald green awning at 613 South Grand Avenue between 6th St  and Wilshire blvd.  You may take notice that Casey’s occupies the only single story building on the block.  Don’t let Casey’s height make a fool of you however, because there’s plenty to discover.  Start by looking down and over the railing.  Casey’s Irish Pub sits one level below the street.  Walk lightly down the stairs and onto their patio.  Then continue if you will inside and enter the pub proper.  When you do you’ll find a spacious well, space filled with dark wood booths, tables  and green and brick walls  so cozy, you’ll wish it was raining outside.  Explore further and uncover a backroom with a stage (for live music) and other cubbyhole rooms good for private parties or conversations.   Now turn yourself around and tread merrily up to the bar.

Casey’s Irish Pub has a good selection of Whiskeys from 3 solid Irish distilleries; Jameson, Bushmills and Cooley.  Peruse their menu, try if you dare; the Pickle back.  It’s a healthy shot of Whiskey with a pickle juice chaser.  The pickle juice is house made, and reminiscent of the bread and butter pickles maybe your ma used to make.  Another to try is the Dublin Ass, a sweet concoction consisting of Whiskey, ginger beer and lime juice over ice, in a nice copper cup.  There’s a lot to choose from at Casey’s including beer.  Casey’s Irish beers include Guinness Stout (how could they not?) Smithwicks Irish Red Ale (don’t mispronounce it) and a Killkinny Irish Cream Ale.  Casey’s Irish pub also serves Black and Tans, Shandys and other beer cocktails offering plenty of opportunities to sample a spot.

Now perhaps in part to keep you from getting really twisted and eating the head of your neighbor, and in part just because everyone needs to keep a wee bit of food in their belly Casey’s offers a fine selection of Irish staples to eat instead.  If your belly is cavernous try the Shepherd’s Pie; the Shepherd’s Boxty (potato pancakes stuffed with lamb, potatoes, carrots and herbs) or Corned Beef and Cabbage.  There are also Irish Pies.  You can get a regular pie or if you order off the appetizer menu, a wee one. Options are beef and Guinness stew, chicken or vegetable, all are served under a crisp puffed pastry crust.  There are also “non” Irish faves including steak, seafood, burgers, sandwiches and salads.  Casey’s Irish pub offers options varied and modern enough that even James Joyce might have decided to put down roots were he to have eaten here.

All right then…. soooo

Who?  Well you, Leprechauns, Selkies, Faeries, everyone really, even Banshees are welcome

Where:  What are you, an eejit?

What:  A cozy Irish pub, called Casey’s

Casey’s Irish Pub, 613 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles CA, 90017. http://www.caseysirishpub.com  213-629-2353

When:  Pay attention now

Mon, 11:30am – 11pm

Tues and Wed, 11:30am – 12am

Thurs and Fri, 11:30am – 2am

Sat, 2pm – 2am

Sun, 9:30am – 9pm

Kitchen is open until 10pm Mon – Wed and until 12 Midnight Thurs – Sat

Casey’s has Happy Hour drink specials

Mon, all night

Tues-Sat, 3pm-7pm

Irish Happy Hour!

Tues and Wed, 11pm – 12 Midnight


Sláinte! Éire go Brách

Be Ye Naughty or Nice, Have thrice the Fun at Villains Tavern

You’re walking down a dark street on a hot night see?  It’s the part of town that is called the part of town. A car approaches and stops dead at the corner in front of you.  Taillights glow as the car door opens and a dame hops out. From her silhouette you can see she’s the kind of broad who knows a good saloon when she sees one. In the loft above, a curtain drops; a fella hides his mug from view. If you didn’t have bigger fish to fry, you’d go up and give him a piece of your mind see? But there’s fish to fry here, really big fish you follow?  So you slink around the corner and WHAM!  Right there square in front of your eyes is a bar, a glorious bar. And in the twinkling light the dame looks over her shoulder and smiles daring you to follow her into Villains Tavern.

Villains Tavern harks back to drinking establishments from the days of yore.  You half expect Bonnie and Clyde to sidle up the bar with a wink throw back a shot and toss you their Tommy.    Don’t fret, there’s no danger; because the joint is swank.   And the person winking at you is a talented barkeep who’s asking you to pick your poison.  And boy oh boy if you’re going to be poisoned the drinks at Villains Tavern are the way to go.

The main bar has a hearty beer list sorted by Blondes and Brunettes.   A rare find is a Framboise Lambic on tap.  There’s liquor too so if you add a shot you’d be well on your way, if you know what I mean. But the main attractions here are the specialty cocktails.  Try the Belladonna.  It’s a blend of Maker’s Mark, citrus, mint, and muddled blackberries over ice in a Mason jar, yum. Try the Russian Mule, a kicky blend of Russian Standard, mango, ginger and fresh lime. Try them all.

The crowd’s a dapper bunch, but Villains Tavern ain’t about rubber necking my friend.  Villains Tavern is about what’s good in life, right here, right now.  The mastermind behind Villains is one Dana Hollister.  You may know her as the woman behind other great outfits such as Cliff’s Edge, 4100, Bordello and The Brite Spot.  If you need to grab a bite, a breather or your inner voyeur needs to be let loose; hit the seating area above the main bar.  When you do, look out over the room below.  Notice the beautiful antique dark wood bar and mirror.  See that the big glass windows in front are lined with hundreds of brightly colored bottles. It’s a snappy apothecary and obvious a lot of care went into giving you the party-goer a pleasant place to pass the time.

Outside there are two patios. One has a bar with a fine selection of beers, liquor and live music every night on a small stage in the back.  The other side has table top shuffle board.  The players there are wicked sharp but it’s all in good fun see and if you beat them they might even buy you a drink.

The food’s simple but savory.  Burgers, sandwiches and snacks, so bad it’s good kind of eating. Keeps the fuzz at bay you follow? You know what I mean pal? I’m sure you and your empty stomach do, I’m sure you do.

The Sweet Low Down:

What: Villains Tavern, 213-613-0766, http://villainstavern.com/

Who: Dames and Gents

Where: 1356 Palmetto Ave Los Angeles, CA 90013 (Downtown Loft District)

When: Wednesday through Saturday 5:30PM-2:00AM.

Why: Can’t you read?


Beers and Shots  – $8 and above

Specialty Cocktails –  $13 – 16

Food – $7-22

Here’s Mud in Your Eye!

Be a Poet or Just Know it – Whiskey is Your Lover When You Sip at 7 Grand.

“Always carry a flagon of whiskey in case of snakebite, and futhermore always carry a small snake.”

-W.C. Fields

Who doesn’t love whiskey? Really now beloveds, even saying the word is fun, like an illicit whisper, whissss-keeeee…shhhh. Well for those of you (and you know who you are – stop pretending) who love a good whiskey and know that good whiskeys are like good rainbows. They are elusive and can be hard to find, just like the pot of gold at the end of them. For you beloveds the faeries understand your plight and have weighed in. Go. Go now to the land known as Downtown. There you will find a lodge where the whiskey flows like water, with more choices than you can shake a stick at. If you need a muse or just need to be amused, get yourselves down my loves to 7 Grand.

7 Grand is a grand whiskey bar owned and operated by the 213 Ventures Group. You’ll find it at 515 West 7th Street, Los Angeles, near the corner of; you guessed it 7th and Grand. It’s like entering a Scottish Lord’s hunting lodge. A sentry stands guard at the gate and once you’ve been approved, you climb the stairs to the Castle’s keep. That’s where they keep the treasure; otherwise known as whiskey. On your way in notice the Scottish tartan carpet and hunting trophies and dark wood walls. It’s smart and cozy and tells you it’s not just the whiskey that’ll keep the fog at bay (depending on the fog that is).

Donner up to the bar and nicely ask the Barman for the menu. On it, you’ll find approximately 300+ Whiskeys, Ryes and Bourbons to choose from. They can be served straight or there is a delightful list of cocktails to choose from. If you are taking it easy there are also approximately 12 beers on tap.

If you don’t have the gift of gab the night of your visit, try your hand at pool. There are two or three tables available for your amusement. There is also an outdoor patio for those of you that partake of tobacco (perhaps the house cigar dipped in Maker’s Mark) and tolerate those who do. There’s also occasional live music, check their calendar for details. So, whether you take friends, or make friends, there’s good and plenty reason to sample 7 Grand.


What are you doing Lassie? Going to 7 Grand.

Why are you going’ my love? Because it’s neat.

Where is it Lad? 515 West 7th Street, 2nd Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90014. http://www.sevengrand.la  213-614-9737

Who will be there wee one? Whiskey lovers and the odd faerie or leprechaun.

When I go will I cross a banshee? Not sure about the banshee but the hours are as follows:

Monday- Wednesday 5PM – 2AM

Thursday- Friday 4PM-2AM

Saturday-Sunday 7PM-2AM

Prices vary greatly. Consult the menu and know there is something for every pocket book.


Be a Duke or a Duchess at The York

Look up into the night time sky beloveds.  Can you see stars sparkling like diamonds in the cold winter air?  It’s cold enough to be another place.  You walk and talk, watching your breath as you exhale.  You can see your laughter hanging in the cold night air, like magic.  You round the corner and suddenly; stop dead in your tracks.  You exhale one little puff of magic.  In front of you stands a wizened figure covered in a cloak beckoning to you with a boney hand.  Now normally beloveds you might run screaming from such a sight, and who would blame you really, but today for some strange reason you are brave (who knew?).   The figure, hard to say if it is man or woman, begins to tell you a tale…

Once upon a time, sweet petite, there lived a little girl who became a woman. The land where this girl was from was VERY far away and hilly and green.  And the people who lived in this land were known to be merry lovers of good food, good drink and good company.  Now this good girl, Ni hea, Woman, took it upon herself to travel far and wide and work to great renown.  But in so doing, she also took great care to hang onto her merry habits as they brought a wealth which walls could not contain. Eventually she travelled to a city on the shores of a great ocean.   A city reclaimed from a desert and made temperate.  Now the desert was cranky it had been reclaimed and tried almost every day to turn itself back.  And this made the citizens of the city very thirsty.  Thus sweet petite, they found themselves in need of a wide variety of libations.

What did they do you ask?  Well many things, one of which was to visit a rare wooded and hilly glen east of the land of Downtown.  There in a place known as Highland Park dwell many excellent establishments for quenching your thirst or hunger for that matter.  And in this place be ye a stork or a dork, all are welcome.  All are welcome in the gastro pub known as The York.

The York is located approximately 7 miles from downtown Los Angeles at 5018 York Blvd, near the corner of York and Ave 51 in the Highland Park neighborhood of Los Angeles.  Inside the vibe is lively yet laid back, comfortably edgy.  The walls are exposed brick; the lighting is dim featuring old fashioned Edison bulbs suspended from the ceiling. The Bar sits smack in the center of the room.  One side has booths for straight up dining.  The other side is the bar proper and has tables for those who are lucky enough to chow down. Chalkboards hang along the wall that list both food and drink; you make your decision and then place your order with the friendly staff.

For drink try any of the micro-draft beers offered at the time of your visit. Or, imbibe one of the interesting and reliable imports such as Stella Artois. If you’d like something in a bottle, choose from either large or small.  Large bottles offerings include Chimay and Telegraph Porter among others.  Small bottle offerings include Red Stripe, Heineken, Kronenbourg and the like.  There is also a great selection of port, red, white and sparkling wines at The York.  Selection varies, but if they have it when you go try the Meritage by Les Ramieres.  It’s super fantastic my sweet petites.  The York’s bar also carries a great selection of liquors, cordials and the like.  The York serves up a mean Pim’s cup.

Whatever you do, don’t forget the food.  The York’s not called a gastro pub for nothin’.  Their cheddar burger is renowned.  The truffle grilled cheese sandwich is so good, some quirky type Whoa-man may be forced to fill her bath tub with them and eat her way out. Gruyere cheese and truffle oil on sourdough grilled and served with a side of arugula and tomato salad. Just sayin’, get that bath tub ready.  Fried chickpeas, check.  Cobbler, any cobbler, check.

And the crowd, sweet petites, the crowd.  The crowd at The York is a great mix of friendly people from late 20’s – 50’s.  All are welcome, with little to no attitude.  If you are the family type, the pub seems fairly kid friendly before 7pm. After that though, the music and crowd get too rambunctious for the wee ones.

So, here we go – yay!

Who: Oh come on…

What: The York

Where: 5018 York Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90042. 323-255-9675


When: Mon-Sun 3:00pm – 2:00am, Sunday brunch, 10:30am- 2:30pm or happy hour, Mon- Fri  3:00-7:00pm.

Why: Because it’s magic



Imbibing Neighborly Atmosphere at 1642

It’s Midnight on a Saturday. The street is quiet, almost deserted.  You pull your car up to the curb and park easily, a task that lately seems like a novelty in Westlake.  Adrenaline pumps through your veins as you look up and down the street pausing.  Suddenly you make a break for it and run, crossing the street.  Your destination is almost within reach. Quickly, gratefully, you arrive.  Slipping through the front door feels like stepping back in time and you relax. You are finally able to relax as you are pulled in to the welcoming embrace of a cozy neighborhood bar called 1642.

1642 opened in March of 2010 on Temple Street where Westlake buts up against Downtown Los Angeles.  Though small in size, 1642 is heavy on the qualities that make a neighborhood bar; well neighborly. It is quiet enough to talk to the person on the bar stool next to you, and they’re nice. The bartender owns and loves the joint, and there isn’t a bouncer at the door sizing up whether or not you fit in.  1642 is like sticking your hand in your favorite jeans and coming up with a Benjamin, it’s a magic pocket. This one room bar with dark wood furniture, dim golden light and an exposed brick wall is warm and elegant. It’s inviting there’s no scene.  Serving a combination of bottled and local beers on tap, wines by the glass, 1642 also has an interesting combination of sodas and non-alcoholic fare for the designated driver in your group so everyone can have a good time.  Everything’s been covered including occasional live music.  Prices are reasonable, sodas will set you back $2. Beer and Wines run from $4 to $10, with a pretty little dish of peanuts and pretzels to top it all off.

So, in Summation:

Who:  You.

What: A Swank NOT Snotty little neighborhood bar.

Where: 1642 Temple St. (between Glendale Blvd and Belmont Ave), L.A.

When: Tuesday – Saturday 6:00PM – 2:00AM & Sunday 6:00PM – 12:00AM. Closed Mondays.

Why:  Because you my friend are no idiot…

Contact Info:  213-989-6836.


Autumn in Washington State – Seattle and Leavenworth for Oktoberfest

Ah sola-traveler, it’s good to be, walking in a rainy city with galoshes on your feet. The verdant summer has been left behind, for autumnal antics of a certain kind. The weather is stormy because it’s fall, but don’t fret, a jacket or umbrella will keep you dry not wet. The trees are lovely, wearing their finest coats. Leaves are turning from green to red, orange and gold. The city is fine, the mountains are too. Go both places, the drive is only an hour or two. The drive from Seattle to Leavenworth is nice, through the Cascade mountains, a lush paradise. October is the time for festivals you see, festivals of the harvest, so eat, drink and make merry. Munich is far but Leavenworth is near, a little Bavarian town filled with dirndls, lederhosen and beer. Come laugh, come play a good stout hall keeps the weather at bay. You’ll soon be dancing with a thousand new friends. The band plays – come in and sing songs ‘til the day’s end. Because Oktoberfest is the name of the game, so is Seattle of grunge and coffee fame.

Zicke Zacke, Zicke Zacke, Hoi Hoi Hoi!

Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest festivities are held the last weekend of September and the first two weekends of October. Fall in the Pacific Northwest means weather will be fickle. You can have warm sunny days, and cool crisp nights. Or you’ll experience a temper tantrum rainstorm, for its very own reasons. Bring a jacket and pack an umbrella in case you get caught out in a shower. Regardless of the weather, if you are travelling over the pass don’t forget to look around you. The Cascade mountains are beautiful and in Autumn, the foliage will be lovely. On your way to or from Oktoberfest stop at Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge. If you are a Twin Peaks fan, you’ll probably recognize your surroundings.

Snoqualmie Falls and the Salish Lodge

Oktoberfest grounds are in downtown Leavenworth, easy to find and get to since the festival operates local shuttles to help you and everyone else out. Tickets for entry go on sale in August, and will set you back about $10. Once you are inside the festival, buy your tickets for beer, wine and food. There are four halls to choose from. All have live music and each one is a party, though there is one that is the partiest. Find it, you’ll know when you do and that’s half the fun. Leavenworth’s Oktoberfest website offers information about the cost of shuttle service and the areas served. Take advantage of the shuttles. No one wants to see anyone get hurt. Oktoberfest is family friendly, so there will be kiddos running around until adults only hours start at 9pm. Just remember the party gets lively well before then.

Also remember to wander through shops, galleries, and delis for all kinds of Bavarian items. Need a Christmas tree ornament? There are shops with thousands to choose from. Want to sample imported alpine cheeses and meats or local wine? There are shops for those too. Toy shops, art galleries, German restaurants, bakeries, ice cream shops, clothing stores, jewelry, books you name it. If you can’t get to Munich, Leavenworth is happy to make you feel like you did.

Leavenworth Washington in October.

If you’ve had your fill of delicious German bratwursts, sauerkraut and can’t possibly dance one more chicken dance, slow down and head to one of Leavenworth’s fine dining Bavarian establishments. Mozart’s Steakhouse is popular and offers Bavarian specialties like saurbraten, schnitzel and kasespatzle, as well as steaks, salads and other entrees. Mozart’s has a large wine and cocktail selection as well as several imported and local beers and hard ciders.

If you’ve Oktoberfested yourself out, and want a fancier meal head over to Visconti’s for Italian fare. Visconti’s offers a wide selection of meat, fish and pasta dishes with a couple of good vegetarian options. There is also a large list of local and Italian wines to choose from, if for some reason, you need a beer break.

Getting Some Vitamin R and Muckamuck

Seattle and the Pacific Northwest in general have spectacular scenery. A rainy Seattle is a romantic Seattle, and the city and its inhabitants are set up to deal with the rain even if you aren’t. Take a ride on one of the Washington State ferries, that depart from the waterfront. You may wait a while during commuting hours, but the ride to Bremerton or Bainbridge Island will reward you with great views of the city, rain or shine. You can board as a car or foot passenger.  The ride to Bainbridge takes 35 minutes and the ride to Bremerton takes about an hour. Watch the time, if you drove on, it passes more quickly than you think. Blocking traffic trying to get off the ferry will get you a disgusted stare or two-hundred.

A rainy view from a Washington State ferry.

Seattle is a generally known as a craft beer town, but if you want to appear to be an old-school local ask for a little Vitamin R, a Rainer tall-boy. One of the original beers brewed in Seattle, Rainier was sold in the 1990s to Pabst. If you want to go old school craft style, look out for beers from the Maritime Pacific Brewing Company or Pike Brewing Company. If you are doubly lucky you’ll have that beer with some fish-n-chips. Seattle has great seafood. If you are on the waterfront, head over to the very casual Ivar’s Acres of Clams. You may duke it out with the seagulls for your lunch, but you’ll have views of the Puget Sound and Ivar’s is an institution and it’s worth it. Bird shy? Still want Fish-n-Chips? Then head over to Fisherman’s Terminal on Lake Union. The North Pacific Fishing Fleet docks here when they come back in from Alaska. Chinook’s at Salmon Bay sits right on the lake with a view of the fleet docked in the marina. A varied menu with great fish-n-chips, wine and plenty of beers on tap offer up a less Hitchcockian lunch.

The fishing fleet in Lake Union, Seattle.

Visit Pike Place Market. Yes, it’s crowded, there’s tourists, but they are there for a reason. If you are staying someplace where you can cook, buy fresh flowers, produce and fish from real live fish mongers for your meal. Many locals do. You can visit the original Starbucks coffee, get a pastry or pierogi and wander through the multi-storied complex.  Don’t miss Post Alley, it’s right across the cobble stoned street. Just don’t dart out into traffic nearly killing yourself and others. Be nice, and live long. That’s separates the tourists from the locals and that’s the mark of a true Seattleite. If you are up for a slightly more upscale drink or meal visit the Pink Door, located in the north section of Post Alley.  There’s no sign, only a bubble gum pink door. This hidden gem has great views of the Sound, food, and it’s probably good to get a reservation.

Seattle’s Pike Place Market.

Getting to Seattle and Leavenworth

You can fly into Seattle, SeaTac (Seattle Tacoma International Airport) is most likely how you’ll fly in. You can also take an Amtrak Train into Seattle’s King Street Station. The Amtrak Cascades, The Coast Starlight and the Empire Builder all arrive at the beautifully restored train station. To drive to Leavenworth, you can either take the WA-522 to the US-2 highways into Leavenworth or you can take Interstate 90 from Seattle to Leavenworth. If you want to visit Snoqualmie Falls, and the Salish Lodge take the I-90 freeway to the WA-18 E.

Addresses and Websites

  • Seattle Tacoma International Airport – 17801 International Blvd, Seattle, WA 98158 http://www.portseattle.org/Sea-Tac
  • Seattle King Street Station – 303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104 https://www.seattle.gov/transportation/ks_about.htm
  • Leavenworth Oktoberfest – http://www.leavenworthoktoberfest.com/
  • Mozart’s Steakhouse – 829 Front St., Leavenworth, WA 98826 (509) 548-0600
  • Visconti’s Leavenworth – 636 Front St., Leavenworth, WA 98826 (509) 548-1213
  • Salish Lodge at Snoqualmie Falls – 6501 Railroad Ave., Snoqualmie, WA 98065
  • Ivar’s Acres of Clams – Pier 54, 1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104 http://www.ivars.com/locations/acres-of-clams
  • Chinooks at Salmon Bay –1900 W Nickerson St #103, Seattle, WA 98119 https://www.anthonys.com/restaurants/detail/chinook-at-salmon-bay
  • Pike Place Market – Located at the corner of 1st Ave and Pike St., Seattle, WA 98101 http://pikeplacemarket.org
  • Seattle Ferry Terminal – Pier 52, 801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104 http://www.wsdot.com/Ferries/Schedule




Summer in Savannah and Tybee Island

Driving down a highway that’s lush and green. Driving Sola-Traveler with your own two feet (well, one most likely). Follow the direction where Sherman chased Lee. Stop Sola-Traveler over there do you see?  All right, there’s a roadside stand with fruit – take a bite.  It’s fragrant and sweet – peachy and keen. Keep going the road is long, but worth it you’ll see. You’ll arrive in a civilized town near the sea. Next go a little further to the Isle of Tybee. Slip into the water so silky and warm. The Atlantic loves you dearly but not as much as it loves a good thunderstorm. Quick get inside, out of the rain.  Sit down to dinner, then – go do it all again. For the Georgia coast has places to explore, Savannah and Tybee Island, and much, much more.

The road from Atlanta to Savannah is 250 miles long. And though the distance is great, Savannah will make you smile, and not just because of cookies sold by assertive little girls. Though cookies sold by assertive little girls always offer reasons to smile. So, buckle up and enjoy the ride and know there are places to explore along the way. Life can be like that every day.


So, imagine if you will, you are driving south on the I-75 out of Atlanta. 77 miles down road you arrive in Macon Georgia. Macon has a nice walkable downtown core, and is known for its music scene. Little Richard, The Allman Brothers and Otis Redding grew up in Macon.

Visit Coleman Hill Park. Slide down the built-into-a-hill-slide. Walk past or to the Hay House. A National Historic Landmark, the Hay House is now a museum that offers daily tours. Another notable museum in Macon is the Tubman Museum. Open Tuesday through Sunday (and Martin Luther King Jr. Day), the museum’s focus is African American history, art, and culture. Just outside of Macon is another National Monument, the Ocmulgee Mounds. The mounds are the remains of an ancient Native American civilization. They consist of temples, burial mounds, lodges and other earthworks. The park is open daily (except for Christmas and New Year’s Day) and admission is free.

The Hay House in Macon.

If your explorations have left your stomach in need of attention, head to The Rookery. Get your hands on and stomach around signature burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes. Consider southern fried green tomatoes and pickles. Pick your delicious poison, poison can be angus, prime beef, turkey, chicken or a veggie patty. This intrepid Sola-Traveler combined her burger with her green tomatoes. Her Walden Greenback burger featured (in no particular order); an angus hamburger, fried green tomato, bacon, goat cheese, green onions and tomato remoulade. You can also choose from a large number of delicious sides. When you get the milkshake, and your server asks you if you’d like to add homemade cake batter, don’t question the sanity of it. Just get the cake batter. Is it loaded with calories? Oh yes, but it’s worth it. Besides, you have a long drive ahead of you and the gas tank isn’t the only tank that needs fuel.

The Road to Savannah

Now only 166 miles separate you and Savannah. Head east out of Macon via the I-16.

Drive through the lush landscape. Verdant green trees and red soil surround you. As you drive you’ll see signs for peach stands. If you can wait, about 25 miles outside of Savannah is the James and the Giant Peach stand. If you can’t wait, pull over at the stand of your choosing and indulge. Peach season in Georgia runs from mid-May to the roughly the end of August. So, if you are visiting during the summer do yourself a favor. Stop and get a peach or two. Inhale the heady fragrance then bite in and enjoy the juice running down your chin. How often do you get to experience that?

Savannah Here You Come

Sweet Savannah is said to be to the oldest city in Georgia, founded before the revolutionary war in 1733. Tucked in on the Savannah River, you’ll bathe in warm breezes blowing of the nearby Atlantic Ocean. Savannah is considered a coastal city, though you still have a few more miles to travel before you can dip your toes in the balmy Atlantic. Stop and take in the sites. Visit Forsyth Park, it would be a shame to miss it. Trees offer shade from the heat and drip with Spanish Moss. Forsyth park is also free. From Forsyth wander North through the Historic District towards River Walk. Savannah has 22 lovely squares to walk through. Have you read Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt? It’s a non-fiction account of one man’s experiences living in Savannah. Real stories with a cast of characters so amazing it might not seem like non-fiction. Many of the places mentioned will cross your path as you walk through these squares. If you can, read it before you go. If not read it when you get back. The book will make your relationship with the city richer.

The fountain in Forsyth Park.


Honey lavender cake and a citrus rose martini.

Wander through the squares shops and restaurants of Historic Savannah. Summer in Savannah is rainy. If you stop at a restaurant on River Street sit on a covered patio and watch the rain come down over the river. Savannah’s Historic district has many great restaurants to choose from, but if dessert in your plans, head over to LuLu’s Chocolate Bar. When you go (and why wouldn’t you), consider bee-ing adventurous. Though there are amazing chocolate desserts and drinks galore, Lulu’s Chocolate bar offers even more. The citrus rose martini is divine, as is the honey lavender cake. The combo is a floral frenzy, but it’s daring and it must bee done.

Tybee Island 18 Miles to the Atlantic

Though considered coastal city, Savannah is actually 18-miles from the Atlantic Ocean. So, head east sola-traveler on the US-80 E and in approximately half an hour, you’ll arrive on Tybee Island. Slightly sleepy but filled with fun, Tybee offers diversions that will hold your attention for days to come.

First dip your toes in the Atlantic. The North Shore beach in Tybee is a little more quiet, the South Shore is a little more honky-tonk. Pick your poison and get to it. Wade into the warm silky waters of the Atlantic. The ocean is a sweet surprise if you are used to the brisk waters of the colder Pacific.  Along the beach you’ll find people picnicking, flying kites and sunbathing. There are also swing benches scatted along the shore if you just want to gaze out over the water.  Summer time in the South can mean thunderstorms.  If one starts, get inside. Though the storms are beautiful to behold, don’t become the lone lightning rod on the beach. You don’t want to become a scary story told over a campfire or cocktail.

Do think about though how a cocktail might be the perfect way to wait out an afternoon thunderstorm.  Maybe you could also get a bite to eat while you are at it. If you are in a kill two birds with one stone frame of mind, consider The Tybee Island Social Club. An eclectic menu offers up beach friendly tacos, burgers, and southern favorites. Get the Shrimp and Grits, just get it. They’ve also got mussels and clams, mussels and clams, just clap your hands. The bar serves up cocktails, wine and beer.  A Dark and Stormy might be fitting, but then so might a Socialite, Mojito or Margarita. Live music is often on the menu too.

Shrimp and grits.

If you still have time and daylight to explore, consider the historic Tybee Island Lighthouse and Museum. The lighthouse has sat in its present location since 1791. Rebuilt after the Civil War when the retreating Confederate army destroyed the top half of the structure, it now sits completely fireproof and operational. The museum is housed in Fort Screven, nearby bunkers left over from the Spanish American war. Every Monday also brings the Tybee Island Farmers’ and Artisan’s Market. If you are visiting on a Monday stock up on local produce, honey, meats, breads, crafts and more.

Now sola traveler when it is time to leave Tybee Island and Savannah, heading west on the US 80, consider the setting sun. You’ll have another chance to visit The James and the Giant Peach stand. And as the sun sets, looking very much like a giant peach, you might muse that maybe that’s where the idea for the book came from. Maybe you’ll read it, (maybe read it again) while slowly savoring a succulent Georgia peach. That might be a nice way to say goodbye.

Sunset heading west out of Savannah.

Getting to and Around Savannah

Below is a little information about how to get to and around Savannah.

By Airplane

  • Hartfield Jackson International Airport. Hartfield Jackson is one of the busiest airports in the world. Located just south of Atlanta, the address is 6000 N Terminal Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30320. Atlanta is about a four and a half hour drive from Savannah.
  • Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport. 400 Airways Avenue, Savannah, GA 31408. SAV is twenty minutes from downtown Savannah.


  • Interstate 95 (North to South) or Interstate 16 (East to West) will bring you to Savannah.

Amtrak Train

  • Amtrak has many scenic routes throughout the continental US. The Silver Service/Palmetto route comes right through Savannah on its way to Miami. To stop at Savannah, disembark at Savannah Station, 2611 Seaboard Coastline Drive, Savannah, GA 31401.

 Greyhound Bus

  • You can take a Greyhound to Savannah. The Bus station is located at 610 W Oglethorpe Ave., Savannah, GA 31401.

 Lyft and Uber

  • Both Lyft and Uber operate in Savannah. Download the respective app to your smart phone.

Inside the Perimeter- Springtime in the ATL

Look what we have here sola traveler look closely indeed. A city in a forest to explore with your own two feet. April is a good time to walk around and see, all the trees are blooming, everything is lush and green and neat. People play here and people play there, walking and talking they are everywhere. It’s not too hot, it seems just right, it’s a good little visit for a few days and nights. There’s a lot to do and a lot to learn. For the city of Atlanta’s growing, visit, it’s your turn. Atlanta, Hotlanta, call it what you like, springtime is oh so pretty, see it by car, or by bike.

Little Five Points.

Exploring a City in a Forest

Fun and funky Atlanta has many nicknames, the ATL or Hotlanta for example. In April though, the most fitting nickname is City in a Forest. Blooming trees are everywhere you look. Mother nature has woken up with bang, and given Atlanta this beautiful gift before she makes everything hot and humid. Explore different neighborhoods and get taste for the city. Get out of your car. Walk the Old Fourth Ward, the Virginia Highlands, Little Five Points, Buckhead, Inman Park and many others great neighborhoods. Hop over to Decatur, or down to East Point at the south end of the city. This faerie forest is flowering everywhere and every neighborhood has something to show you.

Spring trees blooming.

The Atlanta Beltline

The Beltline is a great way to explore Atlanta without your car. A planned greenbelt system of parks and trails for walkers and cyclists, the Beltline will eventually expand to include trolley lines and the circle city. Rent a bike and pedal around. Stop at one of the many restaurants off the path. There are often concerts and art exhibits off the Beltline as well. You can currently pedal from Piedmont Park in Mid-town down to the Krog Street Market and back. Your trip will be just over four-miles round trip, and will take you through the Virginia Highlands and the Old Fourth Ward, ending in Inman Park. Bike rentals are easy in Piedmont Park, there are several rental shops to choose from. The choice of this sola traveler was Skate Escape located at 1086 Piedmont Avenue NE near the South-West portion of the park. Skate Escape is reasonably priced, and bikes can be rented by the day or by the hour, just know that hourly rentals are cash only.

Lake Clara Meer in Piedmont Park.

Piedmont Park

When you are done with your bike ride, you’ll miss out if you don’t explore glorious Piedmont Park for its own sake. Piedmont park is approximately 185 acres of verdant green park located between Piedmont Heights to the North, the Old Fourth Ward to the South, Midtown on the West and Virginia Highlands on the East. The park hosts a large open field called the Meadow, soccer fields, tennis courts the Atlanta Botanical Garden, a small lake, picnic facilities, and paths for hiking or biking. Piedmont Park hosts many events through the year so there’s something for everyone, no matter when you go.

The Old Fourth Ward and the Virginia Highlands

There are people who like funky antique shops. There are also those who adore, delicious food and coffee. And then there’s some who love a plush red velvet draped space that would make Toulouse-Lautrec green with envy. If these things are your things, make a beeline off the Beltline to Paris on Ponce. Smack dab in between the Old Fourth Ward and the Virginia Highlands and right off the beltline sits Paris on Ponce, a space bursting to the seams with curated art, antiques and adventure. Le Maison Rouge is the performance and event space. Drop in for a burlesque show or a play if one is up, or rent it and create your very own event. Le Maison Rouge is sumptuous and you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time to La Belle Époque.

Paris on Ponce.

Fried Pickles and Banana Pudding

Banana pudding at Atkins Park.

Biking and gawking can make a traveler hungry sola or not. You’ll find many good options for taming the hungry beast within in this neck of the woods. If you want to visit the oldest continuously open tavern in Atlanta, go to Atkins Park in the Virginia Highlands. Atkins Park is a nice casual spot located at 794 N Highland Ave NE. The food is well made solid fare with a few upscale options. Word to the wise, if you’ve never had fried pickles, get them. Also get the banana pudding. A full bar delivers libations for your relaxation. Word on the street is that they also have a good brunch.

Now you can get back in your car or hop on the Marta and head on over to Buckhead, Atlanta’s answer to Beverly Hills. This sparkly neighborhood is full of shopping, restaurants, and office buildings. So, when the aforementioned beast raises its head and tells you eat up pronto, consider Southern Art and Bourbon Bar. The shrimp and grits are really, really, good and the chef definitely knows his way around a cheese plate. Anything eaten here will tame your hungry beast – until tomorrow.

Martin Luther King

Another important stop is the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Site. The site includes the King Center which was founded by Dr. King’s widow, Coretta Scott King. The center contains artifacts and other historical information about Dr. King and his work. Tours of the National Historical Site are available, including Dr. King’s birthplace and childhood home. Parking and admission are free, but registration is required to visit Dr. King’s childhood home.

Register in person when you visit. Tours are capped at 15 persons per tour and are operated by the U.S. National Park Service. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic site is located at 450 Auburn Ave. NE.

Getting Around and Other Inside Information

Below is a little information about how to get to and around Atlanta.

  • Hartfield Jackson International Airport – Hartfield Jackson is one of the busiest airports in the world. Located just south of Atlanta, the address is 6000 N Terminal Pkwy, Atlanta, GA 30320
  •  Car – Freeways run all around Atlanta. The Interstate 285 makes a loop around the city, and the I-75, I-85 and I-20 run through it. Locals say you are either inside or outside the perimeter of the I-285 when describing where you live. Atlanta has heavy traffic, so just be alert when driving.
  •  Amtrak Train – Amtrak has many scenic routes throughout the continental US. The Crescent route comes right through Atlanta on its way to New Orleans. To stop at Atlanta, disembark at Peachtree Station, 1688 Peachtree St NW 30309, just north of Downtown.
  • MARTA – Marta stands for the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority. The MARTA system consists of both transit buses and trains.  Fares are $2.50 for up to three transfers in three hours, or you can purchase daily, weekly, or monthly passes. The MARTA train connects directly to Hartfield Jackson International Airport and is a great way to get around Atlanta.
  • Greyhound Bus – You can take a Greyhound to Atlanta.  Bus stations are located at the airport and just south of downtown at 232 Forsyth St SW, Atlanta, GA 30303.
  •  Lyft and Uber – Both Lyft and Uber operate in Atlanta. Download the respective app to your smart phone.