Tiberius, Rome's second emperor, stares at each visitor who enters the Michael C. Carlos Museum. His eyes are steady, his expression one of quiet contemplation, and his head—thanks to the Museum's in-house conservation team—a vision of white Parian marble. The Museum, located on Emory University's campus, exhibits more than 17,000 artifacts like this one. Through diverse displays, they transport visitors back to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Greece, Rome, the Near East, Africa, Asia, and the Americas.
Tiberius is certainly one of the Museum's more prominent pieces, but it is by no means the oldest. The Greek and Roman collection encompasses Neolithic works that stretch back to 4,000 BC. Egyptian exhibits travel back even further into civilization's earliest prehistory. Many of the coffins and mummies come from one of Emory's own, Professor William Shelton. He traveled to Egypt in 1920, and among other things, brought back the oldest Egyptian mummy in the Americas, the Old Kingdom Mummy.
Other galleries contain 2,300 objects from the ancient Americas. More still travel deep into South Asia, allowing visitors to view one of the Museum's more significant pieces: a rare sculpture of the 18-armed cosmic Vishnu above his numerous attendants—a reflection of the stunning artistry of India's medieval period.
Such a sprawling and eclectic collection would perhaps be overwhelming if not for the Museum's educational programs. History and art experts lead tours and teach classes for both adults and children, including a regularly occurring session on Saturdays known as "Artful Stories at the Museum." During these free events, kids hear stories of ancient civilizations, before creating their own works of art based on the day's teachings.
In the year 2000, after hundreds of hours of yoga practice, workshops, and conferences, Tanya Edwards's hard work culminated in the opening of her very own studio, Art of Yoga. And today, alongside her team of certified yoga teachers, Tanya helps practitioners of all experience levels build strong bodies and sound minds with an eclectic teaching style grounded in the Hatha yoga tradition. The serene, sage-colored studio heats up to a balmy 95 degrees during hot yoga, a 90-minute routine of stretching and sweating that encourages the body to expel harmful toxins, such as liquefied body parts of T-1000. Other class styles include a gentler restorative class, an intense core-centric yoga class, and a Bollywood fusion class that infuses low-impact Eastern dances with Western fitness techniques.
In 1820, an upwardly mobile carpenter named Isaiah Davenport designed a 6,800-square-foot Federal-style home to live in with his wife, children, and slaves. After his death, Davenport’s wife turned the stately brick house into a boarding house, though it later devolved into a run-down tenement—until the Historic Savannah Foundation saved the landmark when it was threatened with demolition in 1955. The organization’s award-winning preservation, their very first effort, jumpstarted an organized preservation movement that spread across the entire port city.
Today, the Davenport House Museum’s rooms are filled with antique furniture from the 1820s, acquired after careful research relying on estate inventories and detailed artist renderings of long-ago games of musical chairs. These period-accurate tables and chairs join ceramics, textiles, and books to form the museum’s collection of about 500 historical items. Behind the home, where a carriage house, garden, and privy once stood, a garden designed by renowned landscape artist Penelope Hobhouse flourishes. After walking among its flowers, visitors can drop by the museum shop to pick up jams and jellies, books about Savannah, and reproductions of early 19th-century items.
Durhamtown Off Road Park's 6,750 acres of pine forest lets drivers leave the pavement behind them as they veer onto dirt-covered tracks and wild trails. Dirt bikes, buggies, Jeeps, and ATVs all traverse the courses, winding through 150 miles of one-way trails and dodging wildlife (the park also offers hunting). First-time riders can rent vehicles for a day's sojourn in the park, which also consists of rock climbing, mud-bogging areas, and overnight lodging, while practiced drivers can bring their own rides and supplement their existing gear at the pro shop.
Flanked by rustic stone columns and carved lions, 5 Seasons Brewing's entrance looks like the secluded front to a Napa Valley villa, belying its cozy atmosphere and community-focused mission to provide tasty, affordable food and drink. Founded by chef David Larkworthy—son of a pioneering advocate of using organic food in restaurants—Five Seasons Brewing carries its commitment to community to its ingredients, cooking with a cornucopia of regularly shifting local produce from a gaggle of affiliated farms. The menu features such fusion dishes as crispy alligator served with a blackened chili glaze and Remoulade. At tables, guests dig in to home-baked bread, whose warm crust exudes tangy scents from the brewery's spent beer grain.
In the towering tanks that skirt the pub, brewmaster Kevin McNerney creates a kaleidoscopic selection of unique small-batch beers. The cofounder of flagship Georgia brewer SweetWater, McNerney brings two decades of experience to his craft, making refreshing brews such as the Chug Monkey and turning to ancient Belgian traditions to make his crisp, orange-infused witbier.
The third annual Antebellum Trail Pilgrimage offers patrons the chance to unearth the past with myriad events and activities scattered throughout seven historic communities: Athens, Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Old Clinton, and Macon. The 100-mile trail zigzags pilgrims from city to city, offering self-guided excursions ideal for self-directed murmurs of informational tidbits. The events, museum visits, private tours of historic homes, and other activities featured in the five-day pilgrimage itinerary give visitors a glimpse of historic Georgia. Pass-holders also have access to authentic battle sites, where they can trace the steps of soldiers and reenact bayonet-limbo contests. Most locations are open, rain or shine, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.