The National Civil War Naval Museum takes modern-day visitors through the little-traveled footsteps of the sailors who fought in the Civil War, telling the story of the country's deadliest war from a naval point of view. Exhibits detail the technology and commerce that soldiers encountered, and provide a human backdrop with stories about soldiers and slaves affected by Civil War navies. Guided tours feature uniformed sailors who interpret the history of everyday life aboard a Civil War vessel or tell the story of a ship that served in the war. For a spookier outing, nighttime tours explore paranormal anomalies and analyze evidence from ghost investigations that happened in the museum.
Color Me Rad stages 5K races that transform runners into mobile rainbows by launching cheerful barrages of colored cornstarch. Each color station along the racetrack flings a new, nontoxic pigment at passersby, who wear white shirts to enhance the chromatic onslaught's costuming effects. Brilliant neon-blue, green, purple, and yellow clouds dapple participants along the way, and the race concludes with a prismatic finish-line finale as sprinters chuck colors at each other in celebration. The race's noncompetitive credo shifts the emphasis from speed to silliness, and a portion of its proceeds go to local charities.
Upon registration, each runner collects a Color Me Rad T-shirt, sunglasses, sponsor gifts, and a race bib. Though they don't receive a gift packet, runners younger than 8 years old can sprint for free, provided they have a waiver signed by a guardian and won't give in to demands for gold from confused leprechauns.
More than 50 species of butterflies flit between the petals of an ever-changing array of exotic plants inside the greenhouse as sunlight streams in through the glass ceilings. Outside, experts launch owls, falcons, and eagles into the air to fly—and many come back down to land on the arms of the audience. Since 1952, the staffers of Callaway Gardens’ educational nature preserve have immersed visitors in their passion for wildlife management and conservation across more than 4,600 acres of demonstration gardens, arboretums, and outdoor sports attractions.
At the 5-acre Horticultural Center, visitors wander through three conservatories, a grotto, and an outdoor garden and stand at the base of a 22-foot indoor waterfall. They can also soar up to 30 feet above the forest floor on a five-zipline treetop course replete with ladders, logs, and netting or practice their lumberjack calls on a 10-mile discovery trail through the trees. Staffers regularly lead guided hikes through the woods, hold a range of butterfly shows and cultural workshops, and help facilitate seasonal events—including circus, music, and theater performances and a holiday light show. On overnight stays, they welcome guests into lodgings such as a rustic inn, 155 secluded pine cottages, and 57 stone and wood villas with balconies.
Whether wearing a horned Viking helmet?cheekily dubbed the official Wine-Making Hat?or working bareheaded, the team at Warm Springs Winery crafts an array of muscadine wines. The sweet red and off-dry varieties of muscadine are produced from grapes grown on the premises and purchased locally.
Donald and Lee Hughes enjoy a lot of perks as the owners and operators of River's Bend Winery And Vineyard. They get to take strolls through their blueberry vineyard, hang out in their event-ready tasting room, and drink the wine that they work so hard to make. They produce a wide array of varietals, from wines featuring the flavors of Georgia-grown fruit such as the Naked Peach, to pinot noirs and merlots fermented from grapes imported from California. They produce so much wine, in fact, that they run a wine club, shipping bottles to subscribers up to six times a year.
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Thronateeska Heritage Center provides an exploration of science and South Georgian history through an interactive science center and history museum, both of which are free to the public, as well as a planetarium. Wetherbee Planetarium’s SciDome hi-def projection system, 40-foot diameter dome, and surround-sound system is the first of its kind in the world, launching reclining stargazers into celestial vistas with a higher definition than the actual night sky. Get sucked into shows, including the Liam Neeson-narrated Black Holes: the Other Side of Infinity, a harrowing journey to the formation of the early universe, the birth and death of stars, and premium-boosting collisions of giant galaxies. Or bring your cosmic dowsing rod to Oasis in Space, a beautiful voyage through the universe on a quest to find liquid water, a key ingredient in the delicious recipe of life. Two more shows focus on the nature of molecules and the history of the telescope.