FOR MEDIA REFERENCE & USE
Hospitality Highway Region at-a-glance
Blurb #1 86 words
The Hospitality Highway encompasses the full length of scenic Georgia 400, linking together the communities of Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming/Forsyth, Dawsonville and Dahlonega, from North Fulton County in metro Atlanta to Lumpkin County in the North Georgia Mountains. Defined by lush, natural beauty, historic landmarks and heritage sites, upscale shopping and eclectic gallery hopping, ambitious performing arts, restaurant scenes both piquant and deliciously memorable and only-found-here attractions, the region unfolds from the heart of Georgia wine country to the cosmopolitan charms of the city. For more information, visit www.hospitalityhighway.com
Blurb #2 153 words
The Hospitality Highway encompasses the full length of scenic Georgia 400, linking together the communities of Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming/Forsyth, Dawsonville and Dahlonega, from North Fulton County in metro Atlanta to Lumpkin County in the North Georgia Mountains. Defined by lush, natural beauty, historic landmarks and heritage sites, upscale shopping and eclectic gallery hopping, ambitious performing arts, restaurant scenes both piquant and deliciously memorable and only-found-here attractions, the region unfolds from the heart of Georgia wine country to the cosmopolitan charms of the city. At each turn in the road there are recreational and sightseeing opportunities, both indoor and out, and an accommodations array that includes picturesque mountain cabins to inviting bed and breakfasts to hotels ranging from familiar and quality favorites to thoroughly upscale havens. Each distinctive community offers an exceptional experience; together, they provide a superlative opportunity to explore the many and varied facets of the Hospitality Highway region. For more information, visit www.hospitalityhighway.com.
- The Hospitality Highway was officially designated as such in July, 2007
- Extending the length of Georgia 400, the Hospitality runs from north of metro Atlanta at the I-75 and I-85 junction to Highway 60 in the North Georgia Mountains, linking the seven communities of Buckhead, Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta, Cumming/Forsyth, Dawsonville and Dahlonega.
- Awarded the Southeast Tourism Society’s Shining Example Award for the Travel Attraction of the Year in 2008
- The Hospitality Highway project began as the brainchild of Janet Rodgers (Alpharetta CVB) and Dotty Etris (Roswell CVB) in 2005
Regional Story Ideas
As you traverse the Hospitality Highway from one community to another, you’ll discover that, while the road may come to an end, the story idea possibilities go on forever. The raft of outdoor recreational activities and opportunities, like boating and fishing in Cumming-Forsyth and one-of-a-kind shopping in Buckhead and Alpharetta, plus restaurant/culinary experiences, heritage sites and landmarks, and historic theatres all offer a wonderful mix of topics, both timely and evergreen. Not only that, the Hospitality Highway region is rife with unexpected finds: Roswell’s Ghostly Sightings; Dawson County’s 300 kangaroos, Sandy Springs‘ Young Chefs Academy; Dahlonega’s wineries-it is the heart of Georgia wine country, after all, and much more.
Region is oasis of fun: From the metro to the mountains and the land in between
The wilds are as near as city center in parts of the Hospitality Highway region, with huge swatches of green inside metro Atlanta. Alpharetta’s heavily forested Big Creek Greenway, the calm in a storm of hustle-bustle along the busiest retail/office corridor in the city, connects to the wooded nature trails of Roswell and Cumming. The Chattahoochee River links Roswell and Sandy Springs, two communities blessed with “Watchable Wildlife.” Walk, jog, inline skate and bike on the Greenway or go geocaching in Alpharetta. Fly fish in Sandy Springs. Explore the new LEED Certified Discovery Center at the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell. “Shoot the Hooch” on the Chattahoochee River, where you can also go trout fishing.
Much of the 690-mile shoreline of Lake Sidney Lanier can be accessed from Cumming/Forsyth: Rent a houseboat and enjoy sun and shore and the ambience created by Lake Lanier’s 100 small islands; tour the trout hatcheries and fish in the trout ponds; fish for striper and bass; take a picnic, take a swim or take a hike. At Sawnee Mountain Preserve, explore trails, nature programs and a new Interpretive Visitor Center featuring a native plant garden.
Approaching the mountains, find your fun canoeing, kayaking and tubing down the Chestatee or Etowah Rivers in Dahlonega, touring the Australian Outback at the Kangaroo Conservation Center with its 300 kangaroos in Dawson County, where you can also hike to the tallest waterfall east of the Mississippi at Amicalola Falls State Park, accessible by ADA compliant trails so even those with limited mobility can view the falls. (An ADA compliant boardwalk runs along the Etowah River.)
Home of the major league of shopping
New York has nothing on the shopping delights found in the Hospitality Highway Region. Between the 250 specialty stores of Lenox Square and 100 upscale shops of Phipps Mall, Buckhead has some of the world’s preeminent shopping. Interested in antiques? Sandy Springs has 113,000 square feet of yesteryear treasures in just two stores: Antiques and Interiors, voted “Best Antique Mall in 2007″ by Atlanta Magazine, and Red Baron Antiques, the oldest and largest antiques source in the Southeast. Outlet shopping more your style? Head to Dawson County, home of the 140-store North Georgia Premium Shopping Outlets. While in the area, go Around Back at Rocky’s Place, a showcase to 200 working folk artists. Retail rules in Alpharetta, a shopping mecca with seven unique shopping districts, one of which includes the only American Girl Boutique & Bistro in the Southeast.
Stories of historic proportions
The Hospitality Highway region is site of the first U.S. Gold Rush, which took place in Dahlonega, and home to the oldest working courthouse in Georgia in Dawson County. In this region you’ll learn about moonshine running, backwoods racing and motorsports glory-the origins of NASCAR-at the Georgia Racing Hall of Fame in Dawson County. You can discover the “Authentic Story of the South” on Roswell‘s “A Southern Trilogy,” a tour of its three historic antebellum house museums and stroll back to 19th century Alpharetta on a new History Walk with 17 significant sites chronicling the town’s early days. Add to this a walking tour of downtown Cumming-much of it on the National Register, plus historic town squares and districts and the ruins of an old mill town and this is a place whose past is worth a visit.
Historic stages, haunted streets
There are more spirits than you can shake a divining rod at in the Hospitality Highway region, and many of them are hovering about in Roswell. Learn about these souls on Roswell’s Ghostly Sightings tours; meet others in the heart of Buckhead at Anthony’s Fine Dining restaurant, a 200-year old haunted, historic plantation home. Flickering lights? Rattling chains? Yes, and a door to the wine cellar that once was in Andersonville POW Camp, the infamous Civil War military prison.
The spirits don’t limit themselves to the streets. In Dahlonega, The Historic Holly Theatre, a former movie house on the National Register of Historic Places, has an active resident company of ghosts that can be almost as entertaining as the live acting company.
The Cumming Playhouse is another historic theatre in the Hospitality Highway Region. Listed on the National Register, it is tucked into the 1923 Cumming Public School in Cumming-Forsyth. Both the Cumming Playhouse and The Historic Holly Theatre offer year-round entertainment: musicals, comedies, dramas, concerts and more.
Hospitality Highway region cooks
Pack your apron and hit the road: the Hospitality Highway region has lots of unique culinary experiences. The Young Chefs Academy in Sandy Springs is the country’s first national franchise offering culinary classes and events geared to kids, ages 4 to 14. Publix Apron’s Cooking School in Alpharetta, the only of its kind in Georgia and one of five in the United States, presents hands-on classes on food and wine pairings, cooking techniques and visits with celebrity chefs. Buckhead is known far and wide for some of the finest restaurants and dining experiences anywhere in the world: The more than 200 strong restaurant landscape features a global culinary perspective, acclaimed experiences (think Ritz Carlton Dining Room) and alluring ambience by way of historic home and cottage settings. Another excellent foodie destination is Dahlonega, where you can sip at its five wineries (dining offered on weekends) and sample culinary hotspots at river’s edge and accompanied by live music.
Additional story ideas are located on the individual media profiles of each community.
Top 14 Festivals in the Hospitality Highway Region
Alpharetta Arts Streetfest, mid-April www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=283
Sandy Springs ArtSSpring, mid-April to mid-May, www.artsandysprings.org
Dawson County Spring Fling, early May, www.dawsonarts.org/festival.htm
Roswell Colors Festival of Arts, annually in May on Mother’s Day weekend
Taste of Alpharetta, mid-May, www.alpharetta.ga.us/index.php?p=195
Buckhead’s 4th of July AJC Peachtree Road Race, www.atlantatrackclub.org/peachtree.htm
Roswell Butterfly Festival at Chattahoochee Nature Center, July
Cumming-Forsyth Grass in the Grove Bluegrass Festival, mid-September, www.lakelanier.com/events/bluegrass-festival
Annual Sandy Springs Festival, fourth weekend in September
Cumming Country Fair and Festival, October, www.cummingfair.net
Dahlonega Gold Rush Festival, mid-October, www.dahlonegajaycees.com
Dawson County Moonshine Festival, late October, www.dawson.org
Buckhead’s Macy’s Holiday Great Tree Lighting – November, www.buckheadis.com
Old Fashioned Christmas, month-long, www.dahlonega.org