Category: Domestic Wanderings

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Summer in Napa and Sonoma Counties

Ah Sola-traveler standing there so sweet, where have you traveled on your own two feet? Have you visited glorious air, vineyards and farms everywhere?  Have you walked two valleys devoted to wine, food and pleasure?  You can see them from the ground or from high in the sky, feel your stress fall away quickly or by and by. Visit these valleys with your own two feet, a treat for your tummy and your eyes so sweet. So many place to go and things to try, just be careful if you are driving, wouldn’t to make anyone cry. There are flights by land and flights by sky. Get away from the hustle and bustle, see the sites by balloon, no need to fear and you know time passes so soon. Easy to get to and easy to see, these two valleys are a joy for you and for me. For in a state that’s golden in hue you can drive between both sides in thirty minutes or two. So, the next time you arrive in the golden state visit Napa and Sonoma, and stay out late.

Vineyards outside Santa Rosa.

Petaluma California

Petaluma is an often-overlooked charming little town that sits at the base of both Napa and Sonoma Valleys. Petaluma is full of quaint old Victorians that date back to before the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The fires that destroyed large parts of San Francisco didn’t make it across the bay to Petaluma – so if you like, take a stroll through the town and admire the ginger bread trim and cotton candy colored houses that line its residential streets. Continue your walk-through downtown with its many antique stores, wine tasting rooms, and restaurants.

If you fancy a beer visit Dempsey’s restaurant and brewery located along the Riverwalk in downtown Petaluma.  Low key and laid back, Dempsey’s offers comfortable casual food, made with local produce, so their menu varies. There are also many craft beers on tap. Grab a spot on the riverfront patio, sip and snack as you watch the world float by.

For late night eats and entertainment visit Speakeasy and or the Big Easy, located a minute away from each other in Putnam Plaza Park. Both venues are affiliated, with Speakeasy driving the food and the Big Easy driving the jazz. Live music is offered six nights a week. Dinner is offered until 2AM seven nights a week. Speakeasy is listed by Sonoma Magazine as one of Petaluma’s best late night eateries. So, wander on in for dinner, drink, a show or all three. Consider their Creamy Blue Cheese Polenta, or Lobster Mac + Cheese. Both will fill your belly without emptying your wallet.

Sonoma Valley – Santa Rosa

The view from my balloon.

Fancy getting off your own two feet and thousands of feet into the air? Sonoma County is a great place to climb into a balloon and gain a different perspective on your beautiful planet. So how do you go about it? This intrepid sola-traveler chose Wine Country Balloons – operating out of Santa Rosa California.

The cost per person is approximately $235.




You can find Groupons and such if you are looking to save some money, however; hot air balloons often get grounded if winds are too high. If you’ve purchased a Groupon ride you may lose your chance and your money. Wine Country Balloons won’t charge your card unless you actually get into the air.

Their pilots have thousands of flight hours and the staff members at Wine Country Balloons are upfront and honest, so who better to take you 1500 feet above the earth in a glorious floating basket?

Also know that the whimsy of hot air balloon travel applies to where you travel to.  You are at the mercy of the wind. No one knows where you’ll end up. Wine Country Balloons has their own team of chasers to meet you when you land. Watching the crews inflate the balloons is definitely worth your very early morning start. Your trip begins at the meet and greet point of Santa Rosa’s Kaffe Mocha Grill, where you can also enjoy a post flight champagne brunch.

The balloon will land with a bump, kind of like the bump you felt if you jumped out of trees as a kid. But this intrepid sola-traveler was ready to go right back up the minute my feet hit the ground.

Walter Hansel Wine Bistro

When your balloon flight is over, and your own two feet are solidly terra firma, what’s a sola-traveler to do?  Well consider if you will, dinner and delights from Santa Rosa’s very own Walter Hansel Wine Bistro. Located in a cozy little house on a country road Walter Hansel offers more than just flights that delight.

Owned by Stephen Hansel and named after his dad, Walter Hansel Wine & Bistro offers a low key casual warm and friendly atmosphere. There’s a long and lovely copper bar where a sola-traveler can rest her flighty feet and take in an amuse bouche in anticipation of the wine and meal to come. The bistro’s wine list offers wines by the glass or the bottle. Wines come both from the Walter Hansel Winery and from wineries from around the globe. There’s a daily special and the main menu offers cheese plates, oysters, hors d’oeuvres, soups, salads, principal plates and a well-heeled desert menu.

Sonoma CA

A visit to Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards is a glorious option for your Sonoma sojourn. Gloria Ferrer offers wines by the glass, tastings with table service, picnics and tours at their vineyard in Sonoma California. Well known for the champagne, the winery also produces a delicious Pinot Noir. Take the cave tour if you can. Consider yourself lucky if your guide is the knowledgeable, personable and charming Jack. You’ll learn how their wines are made, taste both champagne and pinot on the tour, and learn how pairing wine and food affects the flavors you’ll experience, why pairing wine and food is important. You’ll have such a good time you may sign up for one of their wine clubs – a certain sola-traveler did. Cave tours are $25 per person and offered three times daily and flights run $25- 33 per person.

Downtown Sonoma

Also, don’t miss a walk-through of downtown Sonoma CA. Walk through Sonoma Plaza, that dates to the mid 1800’s. Pause in the park, visit tasting rooms or shop in one of the many little shops that ring the square.  One great way to slake your hunger and thirst is to grab a bite at the Girl and the Fig.  Reservations are recommended, though this sola-traveler was able to walk in off the street and procure herself seating at the bar. Downhome French countryside fare (downhome just depends on where your home is).  The food is fab not fussy Some of the menu rotates, and some stays the same but you can count on much of the fare being farm to table. Enjoy a delicious little dish of olives while you wait for your meal. Indulge in a wine flight, (a wonderful rose’ flight was on the menu when I went) a cheese platter or other delicious food inside the charming restaurant or on their patio.  It’s all good, comfortable and delicious.

Napa Valley – Calistoga, Napa and Yountville

Downtown Calistoga

Calistoga California has a vibrant downtown commercial district to stroll full of restaurants, tasting rooms and shops to peruse after you’ve loosened your inhibitions.







Old Faithful

Pacing yourself is important in wine country. You don’t want to end up like a table of financial sector peeps so tipsy you can’t get your appetizer into your mouth, and pass out with your head on the table. No one needs to see that. Consider taking a little break, sober up and save your steam. Or if you are part of a family excursion and some little ones need to burn off some steam, visit Old Faithful in Calistoga.

Napa and Sonoma valleys are geothermal areas. Old Faithful is a small geyser that puts on a regular show.  When you visit the Old Faithful park $15 a person lets you in the gate so you can watch the geyser, sit in a cabana, have a picnic, pet a goat or play bocce ball. The geyser goes off every 15 minutes or so, more if the earth is active. The park is private and gives you in and out privileges during the day, so you can come repeatedly if that suits your wine tasting and goat petting needs. You can bring in your own wine and food, rent picnic items, buy ice cream, and soft drinks. So, get out of the sun, catch your breath and watch the geyser go off.

Thanks to the wonderful geothermal mineral water, Calistoga also offers many wonderful spas.  If you are up for a splurge bury yourself in hot volcanic mud at Indian Springs Spa. Built in the 1920s, Family friendly Indian Springs Spa offers hot mineral spring pools for swimming and spa services including facials, massages or being buried alive in the aforementioned hot silky mud made from a mixture of local volcanic ash and geothermal mineral water. It’s divine, you won’t want to climb out when a knowing smiling attended comes to gently help you out of the tub. A hot geothermal mineral bath and nap in a private recovery room round out the mud bath experience. After your spa services are complete you can head back the pool for more swimming, lounging or whatever else pampers your person.

Old Trucks outside Bill’s Liquor on Tubbs Lane in Calistoga CA

Also visit Napa, in Napa County.  If you like, visit Mustards Grille, one of Napa’s original farm to table restaurants. Named after the mustard plants you will see planted in vineyards, the restaurant’s offers an open casual atmosphere. The menu pairs upscale ingredients with comfortable favorites, and just so you know their Lemon-Lime Tart is freaking delicious.

Yountville in Napa county also offers up bountiful gastric options. Bottega serves Italian.  The restaurant is upscale but not stuffy. You’ll eat your delicious meal in social atmosphere that’s comfortable and not intimidating. This sola-traveler chowed her way through Brodetto Al Fruit di Mari, and didn’t regret it, for a second. The menu also offers gluten free options. And for dessert, because there should always be dessert in Napa, consider Botegga’s delicious Olive Oil Cake.

Getting There

Make your way from any of the three airports (San Francisco, Oakland or San Jose) that serve the Bay area to US highway 101 North. The 101 will take you directly to Petaluma.  If you are traveling from San Jose, you can also save some time if you take the I-880 to the I-580 before eventually merging onto the US 101.


San Francisco International Airport:

Oakland International Airport:

San Jose International Airport:


Visit the websites below for more visitor’s information about the cities and destinations mentioned in this article.

Petaluma, CA

Dempsey’s Restaurant & Brewery:

50 E. Washington Street, Petaluma, CA 94952, 707 765-9694


Speak Easy and the Big Easy:

Speak Easy: 139 Petaluma Blvd N, Suite B, Petaluma, CA 94952, 707-776-4631

Big Easy: 128 American Alley, Petaluma, CA 94952, 707-776-7163


Santa Rosa, CA

Wine Country Balloons:

397 Aviation Blvd, Santa Rosa, CA 95403, 707-538-7359


Walter Hansel Wine Bistro:

3535 Guerneville Road, Santa Rosa, Ca 95401, 707-546-6462


Sonoma, CA

Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards:

23555 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476, 707-933-1917


The Girl and the Fig:

110 W Spain Street, Sonoma, CA 95476, 707-938-3634


Calistoga, CA

Old Faithful Geyser:

1299 Tubbs Lane, Calistoga, CA 94515, 707-942-6463


Indian Springs Spa:

1712 Lincoln Ave, Calistoga, CA 94515, 707-709-8139


Napa, CA

Mustards Grill:

7399 St. Helena Highway, Napa, CA 94558, 707-944-2424


Yountville, CA


V Marketplace, 6525 Washington Street, Yountville, CA 94599, 707-945-1050

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
  • Seattle King Street Station – 303 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98104
  • Leavenworth Oktoberfest –
  • 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
  • Chinooks at Salmon Bay –1900 W Nickerson St #103, Seattle, WA 98119
  • Pike Place Market – Located at the corner of 1st Ave and Pike St., Seattle, WA 98101
  • Seattle Ferry Terminal – Pier 52, 801 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104




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.