The benefits of getting outdoors are so far reaching that a simple walk, bike or run can energize you and make you feel more alive! The connection with nature and how it affects your health, outlook and overall quality of life cannot be underestimated to good living lifestyle.
Statesboro has beautiful places to enjoy a walk during this beautiful springtime. Many walking trails have been constructed for this sole purpose, to encourage visitors and citizens alike to just get moving. Before the heat settles in, enjoy seeing Statesboro from an up close and personal point of view while on foot. There are several trails to enjoy as well as just beautiful neighborhoods with low traffic or side walks.
Consider the Blind Willie McTell Trail. You’ll ramble or cycle through a mile – and 7,415 square yards — of architecturally designed park, quirky art, and cobra lighting throughout that connects the Georgia Southern University campus to Downtown Statesboro. Bike racks, picnic tables and quirky art benches invite you to stop and enjoy lunch or the beautiful day.
If you want more distance, try the S&S Greenway. It is in the process of becoming an eight-mile stretch reaching from Statesboro to Brooklet. The first portion of the trail begins in Downtown Statesboro, starting with the Blind Willie McTell Trail. The trail then crosses over to the entrance at Gentilly Road and ends at Cawana Road. The S&S Greenway picks back up at the starting point across from Howard Lumber. The popular trail takes you through woods, under Veterans Memorial By-Pass, through fields and has bathrooms on either end. Perfect place to stretch your legs and enjoy some quiet time.
Of course you can visit Mill Creek Regional Park. With a 1.25 mile paved and lit pathway with exercise stations scattered throughout, it is a great destination for a breath of fresh air. The park also has state-of-the-art sports fields, playgrounds, picnic areas and plenty of wide opened spaces to enjoy. With a picturesque lake, the park is beautifully landscaped with over 300 hardwood trees.
If you are near Georgia Southern University’s campus, there is a great walking trail that encircles the Recreational Activity Center, better known as the RAC. The 70-acre M.C. Anderson Park, which is comprised of lighted playing fields, walking trails, high & low challenge course, large pavilion and amphitheater give you plenty to look at as you go. The facilities host state, regional and national tournaments ranging from archery to flag football to ultimate Frisbee. This outdoor space also provides the university community with a place to relax outside. There is usually activity of some kind going on, so it is a fun place to get some exercise and be entertained with college students staying active as well.
Neighborhoods are always a great place to enjoy some fresh air. The in-town area surrounding Savannah Avenue has sidewalks and quiet side streets with tree-lined plazas. This is a nice place to enjoy some of the historic homes that beautify Statesboro.
There is no doubt that people who get outside enjoy wellness benefits, such as less anxiety, depression, and mood swings. While you are in Statesboro, enjoy our beautiful outdoors while restoring your physical and mental good health!
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New York has nothing on the ‘Boro! When it comes to upscale performances that appeal to all ages, you can find a fabulous selection of entertaining shows that are sure to delight right here in Statesboro.
The Georgia Southern University’s Performing Arts Center, better known as the PAC, is located in the heart of campus on Plant Drive. It’s mission is “to present diverse, quality cultural experiences to the Georgia Southern University and regional communities through the performing arts.; to support and enhance the University’s performing art departments.; to promote the discovery, appreciation, and enrichment of the performing arts to all with accessibility to perform and train in a professional, state-of-the-art performing arts center.” This is certainly being achieved!
From Live From Nashville to the big band Equinox Orchestra to the Moscow Festival Ballet’s “Sleeping Beauty” performances, you can find a show to interest you. Like Broadway? Check out The Inspiration of Broadway scheduled in April. Have a child in the Bulloch County schools? There is a wonderful school matinee series where books are brought to life on stage with engaging music and acting to lift the stories right off the pages!
The PAC is also the site of other community and university sponsored events open to the public, such as the Rockin’ Out Alzheimer’s event schedule on January 23rd which is a Billy Joel experience. In addition, check out the music and opera performances by GSU students.
Tickets and packages are available online at http://www.etix.com/ticket/v/1841/performing-arts-center-at-georgia-southern-university?cobrand=georgiasouthernpac.
The Performing Arts Center is not only home to outstanding cultural talent, but it is available for rent for community and private events. This makes the PAC’s state of the art theatre a tremendous asset to the Statesboro and Bulloch County community.
When you want to enjoy first class culture on stage, you can find it right here in Statesboro, Georgia. Visit the Performing Arts Center online to learn more: http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/pac/.
The Botanic Garden in Statesboro is a gem worth visiting. It is fascinating that the 11-acre parcel of land adjacent to Georgia Southern University’s main campus was once a thriving small family farm.
Catherine and Daniel Bland met in 1916 at the First District Agricultural and Mechanical School, now known at GSU. Nearly 100 years ago, they forged a partnership that would transform the land and the way we view it in the present and preserve it for the future.
Toiling a living out of the sandy coastal plain soil, they managed to run a small dairy farm that raised livestock, grew pecans, pears and row crops early in the century. Georgia Magazine deemed the Bland Farm as a model farm in Georgia Magazine 1929.
A self-taught naturalist, Dan Bland was really ahead of his time. He had a keen sense of botany and understood that planting native plants, while raising animals, would allow the farm to be self-sustaining and preserve the region’s landscape. As a result, he and Catherine established a legacy for the future, and area residents and visitors are now the beneficiaries of their vision.
The Bland farm, now the Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University, boasts a myriad of progress and activity. The acres of gardens on the original farmstead provide wandering trails, paths and courtyards that allow visitors to explore natural terrain of the southeastern coastal plain. Here you will find over 20 of the state of Georgia’s most protected species while seeing first hand farm history, including instruments such as plows that once hand toiled the land.
The Garden is a showcase of annual and seasonal flowers, plants, trees, original structures and the like. It is a popular place to visit in Statesboro for all ages. There are family friendly things to do there; you can explore, learn, participate and grow your knowledge of the past, present and see the vision for the future of this area highlight.
Because of the popularity of The Botanic Garden, an exciting plan for expansion and development has been established, and momentum is catching to move forward. The current facilities, including a Heritage Pavilion, Children’s Learning Garden, Butterfly and Hummingbird borders, Heritage Farmyard, Weathervane Barn Rural Life Exhibit and Bland Cottage to name a few, are a marvel to enjoy and explore.
What you see now is just the beginning, as exciting plans for growth are underway for additional features.
Education is a big part of the mission there. School aged children visit daily for an opportunity to explore nature and man’s partnership with it. Adults can participate through the monthly Lunch and Learn Series, with upcoming programs on November 10th and December 10th. These delightful lunches allow supporters and interested visitors to enjoy a delicious lunch while learning about a variety of topics, such as organic cooking to the latest in coffee roasting.
If you are visiting Statesboro or live here and haven’t been out to the Botanic Garden lately, you need to set time aside to do so. You will be delighted to see nature at it’s finest and discover what a beautiful treasure we have tucked away from the hub of campus activity while being right next-door. Be sure to visit the website for hours, programs and specific areas of interest for you, your friends and family.
For more information read: http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/garden/.
Statesboro enjoys a thrust of visitors throughout football season, both high school and college. With seasons underway, the community will experience Friday night-lights at local high schools and Saturdays in Paulson Stadium, welcoming fans and the “competition” to area restaurants, hotels and activities. Schedules will keep weekends busy throughout September, October and November with possible championships in sight.
While stadiums are the likely destination, visitors should think ahead and make plans to enjoy any of the varied dining options available, add on a little shopping excursion, or see one of the many tourist attractions the area has to offer. Area hotels can accommodate your overnight needs comfortably and provide a home base for maximizing out an entire weekend’s worth of memories.
Tailgating is fun for all, and picking up some great eatables is easy. Well-known favorites in the area can provide b-b-q, fried chicken, wings and drinks to satisfy all. Bakeries offer sweets such as brownies, cookies and cupcakes to finish off with dessert.
Fan gear is popular throughout the local stores, in logo clothing items and accessories as well as color themed spirit wear. Showing team spirit never goes out of style!
As a football town, Statesboro takes pride in all its teams. Winning games and championships is definitely exciting, but the pulling together of boosters, families, students, athletes, community supporters, teachers and businesses through the game of football is a natural way of life that develops hometown pride. If you live here or are visiting to enjoy fall football, catch the enthusiasm for the sport that brings people together to cheer on their team. Whether your team wins or loses, remember it is not only how the game is played, but consider yourself welcomed where the game is played. And…come back soon!
A live eagle at Georgia Southern University? Makes perfect sense as the long time mascot of the university. However, until 25 years ago, the idea never occurred to anyone.
“I cannot believe the announcer just called that Turkey Vulture a bald eagle. That’s not acceptable,” said Harry Mathews. That day at a GSU football game in 1990, an idea was born that would evolve into today’s Center for Wildlife Education. An outdoor enthusiast, GSU graduate and biology major, Harry made a pitch to bring a real bald eagle to campus as the official mascot. He felt it was important for students, staff and GSU supporters to recognize, respect and preserve the national bird. The concept met with interest, but the eagle would need a home and someone to care for it.
With Steve Hein at the helm, The Center for Wildlife Education has served as a leading environmental educational facility and tourism show stopper for over twenty years. Located on 17 acres within the GSU campus, the mission is to provide wildlife encounters for the 17,5000 school children and citizens of the region annually, as well as for visitors seeking a unique experience while in Statesboro.
Using wild animals to demonstrate their habitats, visitors learn about the species natural to this region of Georgia and the United States. Humans observe and even interact with the wildlife in their environment through programs and live demonstrations.
Children can immerse themselves during the summer in Junior Naturalist Camps entitled CHALLENGE 2015 “Survive the Wild.” Full of exciting events and teamwork, students will employ critical thinking skills that challenge young naturalists. Ages 6 – 13 years will learn about king snakes, alligators, hawks and eagles. With limited spaces available, be sure to register your youth now.
Check out weekday presentations during June, July and August (closed weekends); visitors should visit the Center’s website (http://academics.georgiasouthern.edu/wildlife/visit/schedule/) to discover ongoing activities. This gem is worth the visit for all ages!
Read below what they had to say about the Boro!
Summer getaways close to home: Statesboro and Vidalia offer tasty culinary tourism destinations and more
By T. Wayne Waters Special to the News Sentinel
Saturday, July 12, 2014
Statesboro, Vidalia offer culinary tourism destinations and more
Georgia is a state blessed with ample agricultural products, particularly the South Central and Southeast sections of the state, tagged the Magnolia Midlands. Georgia earns its Peach State moniker with plenty of the plump, juicy fruit picked all spring and summer. Barbecue is another Georgia staple, as are boiled peanuts, an addictive sho’nuff Southern snack found over much of the state at roadside stands, farmers markets, gift shops and even convenience stores.
Situated about 55 miles northwest of Savannah, Statesboro, Ga., is one town with a goodly number of appealing culinary and agri-tourism spots. Home to Georgia Southern University, Statesboro has grown considerably in recent years but still has small-town charm and Southern hospitality going for it.
Your first taste of Statesboro might rightly be Vandy’s Barbecue at its iconic downtown location. It’s a small, squat, no-frills building with only a handful of tables but you don’t go there for atmosphere. You go because it’s about the best barbecue in the state. Vandy Boyd opened his first namesake barbecue joint in 1929, and the present downtown location opened in 1943. They slow-cook the meat over a wood fire pit out back and also offer some mighty tasty Brunswick stew, potato salad, fries and other accompanying dishes. They also serve a variety of other sandwiches, seafood and meat-and-vegetable offerings — all of it good — but for the love of all that’s Southern, do yourself a favor and get a barbecue plate. Mercy!
After chowing down on some Vandy’s, beer lovers might want to walk it off to the Eagle Creek Brewing Company less than half a mile away on the other side of Statesboro’s compact downtown. The first craft brewery in the Boro, Eagle Creek these days is pouring a light blonde ale, a lemon-lime wheat, a dark and roasty dry stout and perhaps its best, the Low Country Pale Ale. Low Country has citrus and pine notes with just a touch of subtle sweetness. Tours are available on Friday and Saturday early evenings. Just for laughs, ask them how Eagle Creek got its name.
If it’s a Saturday between April and November, stop by Main Street Farmers Market for a grand selection of local produce, meat, dairy products, baked goods, honey, jams and preserves and other goodies.
Statesboro also offers several foodie favorites on the outskirts of town and out in the country. Braswell Food Company is a little over a mile out off of Highway 301. The family operation has been producing award-winning jams, jellies, preserves, relishes, sauces, marinades, salad dressings and more since 1946. Their products can be bought at grocery stores and food shops all over the South and beyond but you can stop and shop at the company’s retail store at their Statesboro headquarters. Try the pear preserves, the very first (and only) product founder Albert Braswell, Jr. made in the beginning. Or maybe some of Braswell’s new special flavored teas.
The only operating grits mill in this part of Georgia is about 6 miles southeast of downtown Statesboro. Freeman’s Mill is a family-run operation that mills grains the old-fashioned way on machinery almost a century old. White and yellow grits and corn meal are their specialties, along with wheat bran. Whole wheat flour is available spring to early summer. If you want to visit Freeman’s Mill, you’ll need to call ahead. Tours of the mill can also be arranged.
Some 10 miles south of downtown Statesboro, Meinhardt Vineyards and Winery offers a tasting bar, winery tours and scenic views, as well as dinner on Friday and Saturday nights. Their specialties are a white and a red made from local muscadine grapes but they offer a variety of fruit wines.
Hunter Cattle Company is an appealing agritourism destination just outside of Statesboro in nearby Brooklet. Located about 16 miles southeast of the city off Highway 80, this family-owned farm offers its own farm-raised grassfed beef, pastured pork, pastured lamb, free-range turkey, free-range chickens and free-range eggs at MooMa’s Farm Store. Hunter Cattle Company’s animals are raised in humane conditions and without antibiotics, steroids or hormones. Their pork sausage won in the 2013 meat category, garnering a “Flavor of Georgia Award,” and their meat products are used by a number of award-winning chefs.
Hunter Cattle Company has two barn loft rentals available in a structure built with original wood from the farm’s barn. One sleeps four ($110); one sleeps six ($130). An “Authentic Farm Experience” is also available that includes a farm tour and participation in some of the easier hands-on farm chores like egg collecting and animal feeding. The extra charge is $50 per person and it requires a two-night stay.
The Beaver House Restaurant is a former stately residence turned elegant boardinghouse-style restaurant on South Main Street in Statesboro. The Classical Revival structure, painted white and featuring two-story-tall columns in front and one-story columns at intervals along the front porch, was built in 1911 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The meals are always, as the proprietors put it, “traditional Sunday dinners” served for lunch (every day) and dinner (every night save Sunday) at tables large and small. Fried chicken is a classic, though their pork chops, ham and other meats are equally good. A mouth-watering variety of vegetables, made-from-scratch biscuits, fresh relishes, chipped Vidalia onions — requesting second servings is not only acceptable but fine and dandy. Sweet tea is the norm though you can get it unsweet if you must.
For lodging in Statesboro, you can’t do better than The Historic Statesboro Inn & Restaurant, another former home on the National Register of Historic Places, this one dating from 1904 and of similar design elements as the Beaver House. Sitting next door to it is the historic Brannen House, also part of the lodging accommodations for the Inn, making 17 elegant rooms total. Each of the rooms are unique and the property provides the best of traditional style and service along with modern conveniences. Meals are served in a cozy nook of the main house by the inn’s congenial and attentive owner, Denman DuBose, who lives onsite.