Want to truly make memories that will last a lifetime? Plan ahead to take back roads to your next vacation destination!
Chart a course that allows you to navigate back roads as often as possible and forget the blur of blinding billboards and big rigs. Enjoy the scenery provided by small towns and build unique stops into your route while leaving a little wiggle room. You never know when you might drive through a small town hosting a festival or parade so look at side trips or unplanned expeditions as a bonus! Historical venues, interesting restaurants, local breweries, or perhaps even guided tours can provide plenty of additional reasons to pull over, too.
Being flexible and keeping an open mind will maximize your experience. Make sure your travel companions, whether family or friends, are all on the same page about this up front. Pack unique snacks, create a travel-themed play list, and share fun road trip games to maximize your fun!
Enjoy traveling at your own pace with no worries of lost luggage or departure deadlines. Cherish your time in the car together and remember that adventure can be found in the most unexpected places.
On and Open is a centralized digital marketplace for local, small businesses and non-profits offering discounted gift cards and products to help supplement the loss of cash flow due to the coronavirus.
Their goal is to ease the strain that many small businesses and non-profits are facing, specifically when it comes to cash flow. The program helps Statesboro and surrounding area small businesses and non-profits to keep their lights on and their doors open.
100% of the proceeds from every gift certificate purchased will go straight to the vendor.
How It Works
- You go to onandopen.com.
- Purchase a discounted gift card.
- They deliver the payment and your information to the vendor(s).
- The vendor will coordinate the delivery of the gift card to you.
For Your Business
If you’d like to have your business’s products or services featured, email email@example.com.
If you have walked along the left hand side of East Main street towards Statesboro’s downtown, you may have noticed that the wall of 48 East Main facing the alley has a new look.
Charleston-based artist David Boatwright painted the new mural that now adorns a spot that used to be bare brick. Boatwright was approached by the Bulloch County Historical Society with the idea for the mural and specified the moment in time that they wanted him to capture.
The mural depicts the moment that Statesboro’s residents received word by train that the college had been funded, a moment that changed the history of the town. A nearby historical marker tells the story of “ The Fabulous Fifty of 1906.” In December of that year, fifty delegates from Bulloch County traveled by train to Savannah. Their quest: to secure Bulloch County as the spot for the district’s first Agricultural and Mechanical School. The mural depicts their triumphant return to Statesboro having secured the winning bid.
Boatwright and his associate Michael Kuffel spent several weeks in Statesboro painting the mural.
The artist used an old photograph of the train station to form the basic image.
Boatwright has been doing hand-painted signage and murals since the 1990s. He says that ever since, demand for such pieces has increased. When asked the reason for such a boom, he said “It is absolutely a reaction to the digital revolution. Digital signs are visually crisp and perfect, but there is something about hand-painted, custom work that has more value now than it has ever had.”
“…there is something about hand-painted, custom work that has more value now than it has ever had.”
-David Boatwright, Mural Artist
If you are looking for a way to get some fresh air while social distancing, take a walk along East Main street and check out the mural. Lose yourself in the festive atmosphere of the train station scene and an occasion that changed Statesboro forever.
Vandy’s Barbecue is the very definition of a “local institution.” Established in 1929, it celebrated its 90th birthday last year. Their iconic location at 22 West Vine street has been there since 1943, but that was not their original location. Vandy Boyd actually started his business in the town of Portal. He clearly knew what he was doing, since he moved his business into Statesboro’s downtown, taking up residence at the Simmons Shopping Center (formerly located on the block bordered by Elm Street, between North Main and North Walnut). Their “newest” location at the Statesboro Mall is over a generation old, established in 1970.
From their open-style barbecue pit (one of only six left in the state) they serve up roasted pork and chicken, alongside regional favorites like Brunswick stew. Since they use local oak wood to smoke their meat, you can say that everything they do is literally permeated with local flavor!
The restaurant has changed hands several times in the last couple decades but subsequent owners have maintained the local character of the establishment that has served the Statesboro community and beyond for over ninety years.
“It is all about the staff…We have a lot of great people doing a great job.” – Brandon O’Mahoney, Owner
Current owner Brandon O’Mahoney is tenaciously trying to keep the downtown location open for take-out and serving the community while respecting the restrictions around social distancing. O’Mahoney says “It is all about the staff…We have a lot of great people doing a great job.”
Their signature barbecue sauce is available on their website in case you find yourself missing your favorite sauce, or have since moved away and crave a taste of Statesboro.
These are unprecedented times, full of unexpected changes. Locals can take comfort in the fact that one thing that does not seem to change is Vandy’s.
These are difficult times for all of us, and local restaurants are no exception. They are one of the many industries that can’t “work from home” or survive long in a social distancing movement. In response to this, many Statesboro restaurants are making significant adjustments to accommodate the current situation.
The status of these restaurants changes every couple of days, but here is an update-to-date list being maintained by Grice Connect and the Statesboro-Bulloch Chamber of Commerce.
4 ways you can support your favorite local restaurants and eat local:
1. Purchase Gift Cards
Most restaurants offer some form of gift card or gift certificate. This is something you can do to ease their burden of the loss of your normal spending. This is also something you can do while staying at home. Many local restaurants will provide a way to order gift cards over the phone or online. Once things return to business-as-usual, use the gift card sparingly and spread out over a period of time to make sure these businesses have a steady flow of revenue afterwards. Or better yet, give it as a gift to a friend you’ve been trying to convince to try your favorite place!
2. Order Takeout
A lot of restaurants are streamlining their takeout services. Many dine-in restaurants are changing to take-out only. Even fast food chains, that normally thrive on takeout, are making adjustments to their order handling processes. Check your favorite dining establishments for how they are providing to-go meals.
3. Order from Market-2-Go
The Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market has a year-round online market where you can order locally grown and locally made products like produce, dairy, meat, herbs, plants, seeds, jellies, preserves, and more! Ordering must be completed by midnight on Tuesdays to be picked up at the Statesboro Convention & Visitors Bureau on the following Thursday. CLICK HERE for more information.
Several local restaurants are still open for business. Some have even adjusted their dining room to allow more space between customers, and staggering seating times to make sure safe distances are kept between parties. This means they are valuing social distance over the quantity of customers they can serve during this time.
In fact, all restaurants seem to be posting about stepping up their cleaning & sanitation game. And for food service establishments that already operate under stringent health codes this means quite a lot. Could you imagine if your kitchen was scrutinized the same way theirs are even under normal circumstances? Not sure we’d all get passing grades.
These are four simple ways to make sure that we all support each other during this time and to help ensure the recovery period afterwards goes quickly. Let’s be an example for others to follow and show the world why we’re The City that Soars!
Statesboro Landmarks Coloring Page
Looking for a few extra activities while the kids are at home? If you have a printer, feel free to click on any of these images for a printable PDF coloring page. There are also facts and summaries of each landmark you can use to teach your kids a little something about Statesboro.
The first coloring page is all of the landmarks combined and based on a vintage-style print available at the Statesboro Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Averitt Center for the Arts
This beautiful building, constructed in 1911, was originally the Bank of Statesboro. Sadly, the bank closed down in 1932 after it could not recover from a “run on the bank” during the Great Depression.
The City bought the building in 1997 after decades of various uses and they established a community arts center for the downtown area.
The Averitt Center for the Arts has been very careful to upkeep the historical integrity of the building, and the old Bank of Statesboro now contains art galleries, visual and performing arts studios, classrooms, and office space.
Bulloch County Courthouse
The centerpiece of downtown Statesboro is the Bulloch County Courthouse. The courthouse was deliberately placed at a high point to permanently make it the most prominent landmark around. The commercial hub of the city developed around the courthouse square.
The courthouse was built in 1894 and renovated in 1914. Since then it’s been renovated several times using many different colors of brick. It was eventually completely coated in white plaster until the county commission decided to restore the courthouse to it’s original look by removing some of the plaster and painting over the rest. The courthouse is still in use today!
Eagle Nation on Parade
Eagle Nation On Parade is a public art project that salutes the University’s traditions, celebrates the unity of campus and community, contributes to the economic vitality and quality of life in Statesboro, and supports student scholarships and research.
These eagles can be seen all over Statesboro, each painted with a different theme. Create your own theme on this eagle!
For more information on Eagle Nation on Parade CLICK HERE
Emma Kelly Theater
Originally called the Georgia Theater, it was constructed in 1936 in the Art Deco style, reflecting the glamour of Hollywood. It was among the first of its kind to offer air conditioning and steam heat, as well as a coffee shop in the library.
The theater was operated as a movie theater until the 1970s, previewing movies such as Gone With The Wind in 1940.
In 1997, the City of Statesboro purchased the building for renovation as part of the Averitt Center project.
It was decided the theater would be named after local legend Emma Kelly, the “Lady of 6000” songs. She was dubbed this title by songwriter Johnny Mercer. Kelly sang for many U.S. Presidents and appeared in John Berendt’s ‘Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.’
Allen E. Paulson Stadium
Paulson Stadium is the 25,000 seat home of the Georgia Southern Eagles Football team. It completed construction in 1984 and coined “The Prettiest Little Stadium in America” by legendary Coach Erk Russell. It has also become known as “Our House” by Eagles fans.
The stadium was named after the founder and owner of Gulfstream Aerospace, Allen E. Paulson, who donated $1 million to the project. A $10 million renovation was completed in 2014.
Fun Fact: The first touchdown in Paulson Stadium is credited to Tracy Ham (quarterback) after a 36 yard run in September of 1984.
City Hall / Historic Jaeckel Hotel
The current City Hall was once the social center of town. In 1905, the Jaeckel Hotel opened its doors to the booming tourist city. The hotel was constructed by local architect AJ Franklin for Berlin–native Gustave Jaeckel.
The first floor of the hotel contained a grand dining hall and gentlemen and ladies parlors. The porch on the second floor once sported a garden and canvas cover for use in the warm months.
The hotel played host to many guests like: Henry Ford, William Jennings Bryan, former Secretary of State; Blind Willie McTell who played countless songs on the hotel steps, and Cornelius Vanderbilt in 1935.
In 1994, the city purchased the hotel, and after a $1.5 million renovation, readapted it to become City Hall. The historic character of the Jaeckel is still present in the building and the old neon sign for the hotel hangs on the east side.
November in Statesboro is packed full of live performances, fall themed events, and family fun!
Click the thumbnail below to see the November newsletter:
Georgia Southern Eagle Football is back and nobody celebrates the season better than True Blue fans! The excitement doesn’t stop there, though! September in Statesboro is bursting at the seams with live music including country music legend Tanya Tucker, Victor Wainwright and the Train, and a celebration of the music of Tom Petty. Bring the kids to Brooklet for the 29th Annual Peanut Festival and be sure to get tickets early for The Addams Family Musical at the Averitt Center for the Arts. Check out our weekly calendar to see where you can kick back with karaoke or trivia and be sure to put the Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market on your “to do” list when you Visit Statesboro..
Click below to view the newsletter!
The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism Division (GDEcD) today released the 2018 state culinary guide, Georgia Eats. The fourth annual digest-sized guide features the wildly popular “100 Plates Locals Love” list, as well as 10 flavor tours that showcase inspiring dining options, a gallery of the state’s most Instagrammable foods, unique festivals, delectable recipes from a few of Georgia’s celebrated chefs and more.
Georgia Eats was initially published in conjunction with the “Year of Culinary” campaign in 2015. The enthusiastic response from visitors led tourism officials to continue publishing it annually. Georgia Eats has become one of the state’s most popular marketing pieces with a print circulation of 187,000 and 62,000 unique page views via ExploreGeorgia.org.
With diverse and flavorful crops, farm-to-table dining, food festivals, cooking schools, award-winning wineries, agritourism trails, talented local chefs, u-pick farms, and much more, Georgia continues to emerge as a leading culinary destination in the South.
“There is no better way to immerse yourself in Georgia’s history and culture than through our unique food and dining offerings,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner for tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “Whether you’re looking for local favorites or finding the best food festival for a weekend away, Georgia Eats is the perfect guide to delicious experiences you can’t find anywhere else.”
The cover of Georgia Eats features Chef-farmer Matthew Raiford, owner of The Famer and the Larder in downtown Brunswick, Ga. A 2018 James Beard nominee, Chef Raiford’s restaurant gives a whole new meaning to farm-to-table as many of the ingredients come from Raiford’s nearby family farm, Gilliard Farms, which has been in his family since 1874.
“It’s an honor to be featured in the Georgia Eats culinary guide; with the great bounty of food that Georgia has to offer and the openness we have received from farmers, fisherman, and ranchers all over the state, it has made cooking amazing food easy,” said Chef Raiford. “We are looking forward to many more years of bringing good food and community together!”
Since the inaugural issue of Georgia Eats, Georgia Tourism has designated the “100 Plates Locals Love” as a way to provide visitors with locally sourced suggestions. Nominations from around the state are gathered via ExploreGeorgia.org and evaluated by a panel of judges who curate the list down to the final designees. The list has been likened to recommendations that Georgians would share with family and friends, and it has received rave reviews from visitors as well as restaurant owners. View the full “100 Plates Locals Love” list online at ExploreGeoriga.org.
The Georgia Eats culinary guide is available at the state’s 12 Visitor Information Centers across the state and on the state’s consumer tourism website ExploreGeorgia.org. To learn more about Georgia’s rich culinary experiences through videos, tours and more, visit ExploreGeorgia.org/dining. Share your favorite food finds using #GeorgiaEats.
Sr. Communications Specialist
Georgia Department of Economic Development
Weather is warming and the outdoors call! For fresh water enthusiasts who prefer to spend their time around rivers and lakes enjoying fishing, hiking and birdwatching, Bulloch County has a lot to offer! As a home base, you can grab a fishing pole, kayak, canoe, boat, camping gear or your hiking shoes. There are places to enjoy in and around Statesboro to help you experience beautiful and natural surroundings.
Before you go, you might want to stock up on your favorite gear. Locally owned TC Outdoors is home to outdoor supplies of all kinds including fresh fish bait, along with lures, rods and reels. Once you have what you need, choose from several destinations for a day of relaxation, quiet and sunshine.
Staying local, check out Williams Landing at the end of Macedonia Church Road, the US Hwy 301 Bridge and Highway 24 Landing. All of these are public places to launch boats and fish off the banks of the Ogeechee River. Known as one of Georgia’s least spoiled rivers to explore, it will delight anglers of all ages. A best kept secret, the river begins in Green County and is a great place for outdoor recreational activity. Home to an abundance of fresh water fish, the action on the Ogeechee picks up in the spring and lasts throughout the summer depending on the water flow and temperatures.
Blackwater Preserve is located in Register, Georgia, nearby Statesboro. This privately owned preserve offers fishing (host to almost every fish you will find in a river), kayaking, canoeing and camping on Lotts Creek with back water of 200 acres. With pristine wetlands to explore, these are just a few of the adventures you can have as a member of Blackwater Preserve. They have a biologist on staff who can give walking tours for members, students and bird watchers. Duck, deer and turkey are on the menu for any hunting experience. Miles of waterways and land trails await for hours of fun. You can go fishing or just paddle through the cypress swamp to take in the numerous birds and animals in this unspoiled back to nature get away. Blackwater Preserve offers daily, monthly and yearly memberships along with fishing boats, canoes and kayaks. It is available for birthday parties and meetings.
There are several state parks within an easy drive from Statesboro. Magnolia Springs State Park is in Millen, Georgia. It has a fishing dock on Magnolia Spring Lake. Magnolia Springs is known for its crystal clear springs flowing 7 million gallons per day. A boardwalk spans the cool water, allowing visitors to look for alligators, turtles and other wildlife near the springs.
George L. Smith State Park in Twin City has a mill pond that beckons anglers and paddlers to explore thick stands of cypress and tupelo trees draped with Spanish moss. Canoeists and kayakers can join the Park Paddlers Club. While on the water, nature enthusiasts can look for beaver dams, blue heron, white ibis and other wading birds.
If you are seeking fresh air and outdoor activity that might possibly put dinner on your table, consider visiting Statesboro as your starting point. Remember that permission from a private landowner is always required in order to fish on private property, but there are great public and private places to meet your freshwater fishing needs.
For more information, visit any of these helpful sites: