Posts Tagged ‘georgia’

The Best Coffee Shops Around Atlanta

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

white cup of coffee close up

We like the idea of visiting unique-to-the-city coffee shops on our travels. It’s a simple way to get a taste of the city, literally and figuratively. If you’re new to Atlanta, traveling to Atlanta, or even if you’ve lived in Atlanta a while, these coffee shops are definitely worth a visit.

1. Condessa Coffee – 480 John Wesley Dobbs Ave NE

Condessa Coffee is comfortably situated in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward. The beverages are crafted with Counter Culture Coffee and Rishi Organic Tea – the kind of high-quality brands you can’t find at your local grocery store. They also serve beers from local breweries and mix up some of the finest cocktails around town. (more…)

New Goodies!

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

New

Spring is on it’s way and will (hopefully) bring some warmer weather to our side of the world, soon. We’ve been busy preparing new tours and activities to add to our catalog, and some of them are now available for reservations. Check out some of our new options below.

Chicago Favorites Food Tasting & Walking Tour

This one goes out to all the food lovers out there. If you’re interested in exploring the city of Chicago while satisfying your palate, here is the perfect 3-hour stroll through the city. his tour operates outside as much as possible, but will make use of Chicago’s unique underground Pedway system in extremely cold weather. During the warmer days, you’ll enjoy the large promenades of the Loop.Along the way, you’ll try some of the foods Chicago is best known for doing right, including pizza, brownies, hot dogs, and a couple of local brews (more…)

Fall Fever: Oktoberfest(s)

Friday, October 5th, 2012

October Festivals

We mentioned Oktoberfest in our last post, and while it’s coming to an end this weekend in Munich, you can still catch some of the fun around your town. Lot’s of cities embrace their German heritage this time of year, and so can you – especially since there’s fun to be had. Here are a few to choose from:

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Texas

Both Fredericksburg and Addison have an Oktoberfest each year, but the one in Addison occurred late September. So, if you’re in the Lone Star State, and interested in some beer tasting, head on over to downtown Fredericksburg. It’s about an hour north of San Antonio, and the fun kicks off today. More information can be found here.

Oklahoma

If you thought Oklahoma didn’t know how to party, you thought wrong. Tulsa has one of the top rated Oktoberfests in the country, and from what we hear, it’s certainly worth the hype. The party starts on October 18th, and it lasts through the 21st. There’s even a shuttle service from downtown, so guests can avoid the hassle of parking near the venue. Check their snazzy website for all the details.

Washington

Pacific-Northwesterners can partake in the Leavenworth Oktoberfest festivities three weekends out of month: October 5th-6th, 11th-12th, and 19th-20th. If you can’t make it this weekend, there’s always the next… and the next! With four different live music stages, you’ll have ample opportunity to dance while you drink. Like Tulsa, they also offer a shuttle service. The full scoop is available here.

Tennessee

Nashville, A.K.A. “Music City,” celebrates Oktoberfest for one day only: Saturday, October 13th, from 9am until 6pm. If you’re looking for a reason to hit the tap at 9am, head downtown. Admission and parking are both free, and the entertainment is sure to be delightful. Click here for more information.

Georgia

Nestled in the North Georgia mountains, the town of Helen maintains a Bavarian atmosphere 365 days a year. It’s no surprise their Oktoberfest runs from September 30th through October 28th, with fun festivities happening every day. Oompah! Cruise their website to see how you can join in on the Chicken Dance.

Minnesota

Twin Cities encourages you to throw on your lederhosen, grab your favorite beer stein and get ready to party. Their Oktoberfest starts today and goes through tomorrow at 11pm. If you don’t have your own beer stein, they’ll supply you with a 24 ounce ceramic mug upon admission. More information available here.

New York

Those in the Tri-State area are already having their Oktoberfest fun. The street fair took place on September 30th, but “Das Best” takes place on October 20th, at LA. Venue. Tickets are selling fast, so head on over and book yours now. The price of admission includes a sampling glass and unlimited tastings.

California

Don’t worry, California, we didn’t forget you. Los Angeles hosts a smokin’ hot Oktoberfest on October 20th and 21st. Since those in the Hollywood area tend to prefer the lavish life, they offer a VIP ticket, good for UNLIMITED REFILLS! Of course they also boast great entertainment, beautiful brew maidens, and the best food dishes. Everything you need to know is on their website.

Happy Oktoberfest, everyone!

Alcatraz Media Trivia Game at the Atlanta Headquarters

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Atlanta Office Headquarters

We all had a great time in the office last week with our Trivia Game! This was a game to see how well we know each other.

The object of the game was for everyone (or a decent amount of people) to write something interesting about themselves that not many others would know. Whoever could match them most facts to people correctly would win!

This was a tough challenge. We have a lot of cool, ambitious, unique, & talented employees here at Alcatraz Media & Reserve123. Everyone was speculating and second-guessing all week… Now, all the answers can finally be revealed!! :D

 

Here are all of the facts followed by the correct answers for our trivia game:

1. I was the first person in US history to reverse an adoption.  Answer: Lia

2. I tried out for the 1992 Olympics (Event 400 yard Dash). Answer: NiCole

3. When I was born I had a long vertical scar on my neck. My mother had surgery on her neck when she was a child and carried that scar on her neck all of her life, until I was born. Her scar disappeared when I was born! Answer: Barbara

4. I like to collect currency from different parts of the world. Answer: Raimari

5. I have the physical challenge of Cerebral Palsy. Answer: Rachelle

6. My family breeds Boykin Spaniels. Answer: Ben

7. I turned 15 while on a mission trip to Honduras & Nicaragua. Answer: Michelle

8. I had a poem published in a book when I was 13. Answer: Sheria

9. I can interact with people from all walks of life without judging. Answer: Sonya C.

10. I won the “Delta’s World Adventure Challenge with Carmen Sandiego,” which was a geography / essay writing contest in 1995 based on the kid’s game show on PBS. In my story, V.I.L.E. crook Wonder Rat stole the AJC news building in Atlanta and hauled it off to Australia! Answer: Lauren

11. My dream job title is “Commissioner of Major League Baseball.” Answer: Fauve

12. I was the first female newspaper carrier in my home town. Answer: Theresa

13. I once dated movie & TV star Delta Burke (before she or I became very famous). Answer: Tony

14. I learned to drive a stick shift when I was about 12 years old. Answer: Disa

15. I have written over 300 poems and am currently looking to publish a poetry book by this time next year. Answer: Charisse

16. I was a 4-time representative for the Piano State Convention. Answer: Modesty

17. All of my doctors are shocked that I’ve never had a cavity. Answer: Dra

18. When I was little I wanted to be a Killer Whale Trainer at Sea World. Answer: Jason

19. I am a scraper, which means I like to make scrapbooks. Answer: Darlene

20. I take Brazilian jiu jitsu during my free time. Answer: Siran

 

We were TIED for a top winner, so we used a names list randomizer to choose.

• Rachelle (11 correct answers!)
• Sonya W. (11 correct answers!)

And… The winner was………… Sonya W.!!!

Sonya chose a great gift card to Target.

 

And Honorable Mention went out to:

• Rachelle (11 correct answers)
• Michelle (9 correct answers)
• Sonya C. (8 correct answers)
• Theresa (7 correct answers)
• NiCole (7 correct answers)
• Tamesha (6 correct answers)
• Sheria (6 correct answers)
• Modesty (6 correct answers)

Great job everyone! We may have to do this game again soon… ;)

Crazy Hat Week at the Atlanta HEADquarters!

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Here at the Reserve123.com & Alcatraz Media headquarters in Atlanta, we do more than just provide outstanding customer service and reservations for more than 11,000 tours, attractions, and activities in over 550 destinations and 85 countries. We work hard, and we play hard, too. Recently we have started having fun office contests every week, and last week was our Crazy Hat Week!

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We had three finalists in our contest – Jason, Cheryl and Raimari:

Jason, Lord of Asgard and God of Thunder!

Cheryl with a fabulously festive hat

Raimari with an amazingly creative updo

It was really tough to pick a winner. Everyone did a such a great job! But we finally decided that our winner is… JASON! Jason got to pick out his favorite $50 gift card from a variety to choose from for winning.

 

Although John & Carolyn could not participate in the contest (because they work remotely from Florida), they did send in an awesome picture of themselves in silly hats, so they are well-deserving of our Honorable Mention:

John & Carolyn (and that cute rabbit with them) rock!

Thanks to those who participated! Stay tuned for more office fun soon… ;)

Film and TV Production in Georgia

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Lights, Camera, Peaches! For those who didn’t know, the Georgia TV and film tax incentives program implemented in 2008 has brought droves of LA Oranges, New York Apples, and more to the Peach State – the HOT-lanta “Hollywood of the South.” The 2008 Georgia Entertainment Industry Investment Act grants a tax credit to qualified production and post-production expenditures. It is available not only to traditional motion picture projects such as feature films, television series, commercials and music videos, but also innovative new industries such as game development and animation.

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Logo at the end of Movies & TV Shows Filmed in Georgia

Georgia is now one of the top 5 production destinations in the country. Some of the well known productions filmed in Georgia include The Vampire Diaries, Drop Dead Diva, Teen Wolf, The Walking Dead, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne, Footloose (2011), Single Ladies, Auction Kings, Necessary Roughness, The Blind Side, Driving Miss Daisy, My Cousin Vinny, Zombieland, Sweet Home Alabama, Joyful Noise, The Real Housewives of Atlanta, Wanderlust, What To Expect When You’re Expecting, American Reunion, The Three Stooges, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Fast 5, and X-Men: First Class (just to name a few). Beautiful Savannah has also been busy with dozens of feature film and television projects for many years, including Forrest Gump, Glory, The Last Song, The Conspirator, The Legend of Bagger Vance, The Gift, Forces of Nature, and The General’s Daughter.

Since 2008, over 30 production companies and equipment suppliers have expanded or relocated to Georgia, including Screen Gems Studios Atlanta, Raleigh Studios at Riverwood, Atlanta Film Studios in Hiram, Paskal Lighting, and Panavision, the world leader in camera equipment. Atlanta is home to entertainment companies like Tyler Perry Studios, Turner Studios and Rainforest Films. Thanks to said tax incentives for Georgia-produced media, many rivals in New York, Louisiana, Vancouver, and even golden Hollywood find themselves joining the Atlantans in our tropical rainforest-like humidity. Welcome! 8)

As a Georgia peach myself, I’ve had the fortunate opportunity to be an “extra” (background artist) on several popular shows and movies, including The Walking Dead, The Vampire Diaries, Teen Wolf, Drop Dead Diva, a few amazing movies that will be released this fall, and even a few local commercials. “How can I become an extra too?”  I’m glad you asked! Here is a great article with tons of useful information about Extras Casting. Also note that you can find many production company pages on Facebook (see the end of the article for links), and most will post casting calls nearly every day in search of specific local looks and talent. Be prepared for long days (sometimes 12-14 hours or more) and things to do while you wait in the “holding” area between shooting scenes.

Ready to explore the Peach State? We offer a wonderful variety of tours and activities that are sure to keep Georgia on your mind. Don’t forget your camera!

Ghosts of Atlanta Walking Tour

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

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No sign of ghosts yet... just a Vampire :[

No sign of ghosts yet… just an innocent Vampire :[

“Are you a Believer?” That was the very first question posed to our group by our Ghosts of Atlanta Walking Tourguide, dressed up as a ghostly host from beyond. She was, of course, referring to believing in Ghosts. Being that this was Halloween Night 2011, I was of course dressed up as a cute, sultry Vampiress. “Discover the history of war, murder, suicide and the tragic spirits who were left behind.” So, did we spy a few spirits still haunting downtown ATL? Why would I spoil the surprise?? ;) Do YOU believe in Ghosts???

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Haunted Victorian House

Haunted Victorian House

I will, however, let you in on a few fun secrets… are you familiar with Ghost Hunting equipment? No, I’m not talking about Ghostbusters Proton Packs. I’m talking about EMF Meters, EVP Equipment, Radars, Temperature “Cold Spot” Gauges, and yes, there are even popular Apps for Ghost Hunting. We all got to try out some of this cool equipment along the way, and saw TONS of creepy old places in downtown Atlanta. One that still haunts my memory is the old abandoned Medical Arts Building on Peachtree Street. It is one of the few remaining oldest structures in Atlanta, and has been vacant for over 20 years… or has it? Find out more tales of mystery and gore on the tour. We also saw a hotel where there was a deadly fire where hauntings still occur, as well as several cemetery sites and haunted Victorian-style houses that have so far survived being renovated or torn down. And that is is only the tip of the iceberg as far as what you will see and learn on the tour.

Guests are also highly encouraged to take photos all along the way. InfraRed cameras may be hard for the average person to feel the need to indulge in for ghost hunting. However, a little brightening in Photoshop for night photos can sometimes do the trick. The photos below are an example. The one of the left is the original photo taken at night of a haunted cemetery on the tour, said to have several ghosts of Civil War soldiers. The one on the right is the same photo, simply brightened up a bit with Photoshop. Is the camera lens suddenly dirty (while all of the other photos were perfectly clear), or are the small “orbs” in the photo more than meets the eye? You be the judge. One thing is certain – you could choose to enjoy some coffee or “spirits” at the nearby Café Intermezzo afterward. Welcome to the Dark Side of Atlanta…

Dirt on the camera lens, or Ghost Orbs?

Dirt on the camera lens, or Ghost Orbs?

A Visit to the Georgia Aquarium

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011

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The Georgia Aquarium via Reserve123.com

This is part two of Amanda’s Atlanta excursion with her Atlanta CityPass.

The World of Coca-Cola attraction is literally next door to the aquarium. Along with the World of Coca-Cola, she stopped by the world’s largest aquarium right here in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium. With a convenient little walkway in between the two, Amanda walked right over from one venue to another.

The Georgia Aquarium contains more than 8.5 million US gallons of marine and fresh water and is the home to more than 120,000 animals of 500 different species, most notably the aquarium’s four young whale sharks, four beluga whales, and four manta rays.

A sting ray touch tank, one of the many touch tanks at the aquarium 

Luckily for Amanda, the venue wasn’t too crowded and easily made her way through the aquarium. It was late in the morning and the lines moved along fairly quickly. When you enter the aquarium, there is a central hub where the attraction is divided by specific environments: Georgia Explorer, Tropical Diver, Ocean Voyager, Cold Water Quest, River Scout, and Dolphin Tales. You can enter and exit these different exhibits throughout the day. The Dolphin Tales is the newest exhibition that showcases several dolphin shows a day; the show tickets must be purchased separately and do not come with the CityPass. You are also more than welcome to see the dolphins for free when they’re not performing.

Being the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium boasts several attractions such as numerous ‘touch tanks’, which are shallow ponds where you can pet animals varying from rays to sharks, in the Georgia Explorer section to Ocean Voyager’sexhibit tunnel, a 100-foot long tunnel with 4,574 square feet of viewing windows. The Ocean Voyager exhibit is the exhibit of the aquarium because it also showcases the whale sharks and manta rays.

The Georgia Aquarium is the only aquarium in the United States that features whale sharks and manta rays. These gigantic and majestic creatures require a vast amount of swimming space and the Georgia Aquarium was actuallybuilt with whale sharks in mind. The Ocean Voyager exhibit holds the majority of the aquarium’s water and has almost 100,000 fish living in it along with these gentle giants.

Playful little sea otters

Playful sea otters

Amanda’s CityPass granted her two unique experiences: a ticket to the Deepo’s Undersea 3D Wondershow and a ticket to the Quick Dip tour. The aquarium has a 4D theater that places you into the film with their interactive seats and special effects. At first, Amanda was put off by the ‘cartooney’ feel of the movie but ended up enjoying every twist and turn the story and the theater offered.

“You think it’s a kiddie movie, but it’s a really fun little adventure,” said Amanda, “there are some parts that completely surprised me!” Because of the specially designed theater, you get to feel a brush of a jellyfish’s tentacle or a mist of fresh saltwater in the film. A woman sitting behind Amanda screamed to the top of her lungs when a sea creature ‘poked’ her in her seat! Amanda recommends sitting next to any kids and you might not get your eardrums blown out! The movie is approximately 10-15 minutes.

An albino alligator

One of her favorite parts of the aquarium is the Quick Dip Tour where you can get a different perspective on two of the exhibits: River Scout and Ocean Voyager. In this tour, Amanda said the guides focused on River Scout’s ecosystem and the whale sharks.During one part of the tour, Amanda felt a synthetic whale shark skin that was as long as an average whale shark – 31 feet. She said it was like touching a real whale! The tour took approximately 30 minutes.

By the end of her visit, Amanda became a whale shark fan. Though her favorite animal, by far, was the albino alligator in the River Scout exhibition, she enjoyed seeing all the different sea creatures in the various habitats. What really separates the Georgia Aquarium from other aquariums is its interaction with visitors. The Georgia Aquarium offers an interactive experience with their 4D film, new and upcoming exhibitions, several different tours, and children activities. Along with interactive activities, the aquarium also designed each exhibition according to its respected environment. Watch the waves ebb and flow in the Tropical Diver exhibit or get lost deep under sea at the viewing window in the Ocean Voyager.It’s certainly an Atlanta destination, whether you are eight or eighty years old!

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The world’s second largest viewing window via National Geographic 

If you would like to purchase Atlanta CityPasses, please visit our website.

All photographs are by Amanda unless noted otherwise.

- Kris
http://reserve123.com

Walk Through the Garden of Good & Evil

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

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If you have ever read or heard of the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil you will not want to miss the Midnight in the Garden of Good & Evil Book Tour which takes you to the locations the bestselling book is based on as well as the sites where the movie was shot.Included on the tour is a visit to the Bonaventure Cemetery, which is said to be the real garden, where you can visit character Danny Hansford’s grave.

This tour lasts about 3 hours, and is incredible from start to finish.There are only 14 people to a group so there is ample opportunity to ask questions along the way.If ghost tours are your “thing,” then this tour should make your short list of things to do while you are visiting the Savannah area.

Take a look at www.SavannahTours.us for more ideas on how to make your stay in Savannah a memorable one.

Tours of Savannah by Riverboat

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

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For a relaxing and entertaining way to see the beautiful city of Savannah, book a space on the Savannah Riverboat Dinner Cruise.  This scenic joyride presents the perfect combination of food, live entertainment, and sightseeing.The view from the boat is incredible and gives guests a wonderful opportunity to relax and dine with amazing views in the background.

Plan for this tour to take about 2 hours, and don’t forget to bring a camera or even a camcorder if you wish.There are some great opportunities for pictures and also for meeting and mingling with new people.You’re definitely in for a great time!

Check this tour out on www.SavannahTours.us, and browse through a large selection of other tours and activities.


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