Visit Fort Sumter National Monument

There’s no better place to visit for a weekend trip this Thanksgiving break in your vehicle from SouthTowne Motors than an old, beautiful fort with lots of history. If this sounds like something of interest to you, Fort Sumter National Monument is the place to go.

It was at this historic site where the American Civil War began on April 12, 1861. The Confederate army had turned their artillery onto Fort Sumter after years of mounting strife between the opposing sides. Just 34 hours later, the Union forces at Fort Sumter surrendered to the Confederate soldiers. It took Union troops four years to regain control of Fort Sumter.

You can now visit this sea fort located in the Charleston harbor in South Carolina. Before visiting, stop by the Fort Sumter Visitor Education Center located at Liberty Square. There is a museum exhibit that recounts the story between the North and South and how their difficulties ultimately led to despair at this fort, thus starting the Civil War. You will also find the departure point for boats that depart for the tour of Fort Sumter, which is only accessible by boat.

Upon arriving, a ranger will be available to talk to guests about the fort. The ranger will lead-an in depth, 10-minute history lesson before guests begin the self-guided tour. There are volunteers as well as park rangers to answer any additional questions you might have. The construction of Fort Sumter’s foundation took 70,000 tons of stonework and other rock and took over a decade to build with contractors coming from far away as New York. The city of Boston aided with the delivery of materials by ship.

While exploring the history of Charleston, why not stay a couple of nights at the James Island County Park. Here you will find both tent camping sites and cottages. This park is located just 30 minutes away from Fort Sumter National Monument. This is a 643-acre park that offers an abundance of natural beauty, full hook-ups, an activity center, bathhouses, laundry facilities and much more. After a full day of exploring, relax and enjoy open meadows along with miles of paved walking trails.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

This is an exciting place full of our nation’s rich past. Be sure to have your vehicle tuned up at SouthTowne Motors before you head out.

Quick Georgia Day Trips for Fall Foliage

Fall is now here and it’s time to plan some road trips. Maybe you don’t have a lot of free time coming up, but these trips can be wrapped up in a day. Make your plans now to see some of Georgia and the surrounding area’s best fall foliage displays. Before you head out, be sure to have your vehicle serviced at SouthTowne Motors of Newnan.

Amicalola Falls State Park

For red and auburn mixed with dark orange, visit the Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville. The colors are highly contrasted with the several shades of green from the pines and the brown oaks in the area. Visit the top of the falls to get a great view of bright oranges and yellows in the lower elevations.

Cloudland Canyon State Park

This park, just outside of Chattanooga, Tennessee, is teeming with color in the fall. The leaves in the valley and canyon peak in the first week of November, so you’ll see plenty of color then. This Georgia park has rim overlooks that are easy to reach; plus, for those who prefer a challenge, you’ll find challenging hiking trails.

F.D. Roosevelt State Park

Peak season at F.D. Roosevelt State Park is late October/early November, so plan accordingly. Hike the 6.7-mile Wolf Den Loop or drive to Dowdell’s Knob for some great scenery and to see the life-size sculpture of President Roosevelt.

Additional Parks

You can also find spectacular fall colors at additional parks, including Moccasin Creek State Park in Lake Burton, Red Top Mountain State Park in Lake Allatoona, and Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen.

Stop by SouthTowne Motors of Newnan

Before you head out on any of these drives, be sure to stop by SouthTowne Motors of Newnan to have your vehicle serviced. If you are thinking about a new vehicle, now is a great time to stop by our showroom for a test drive. You’ll be able to look for more fall colors in comfort; and when you travel for the holidays, you won’t have to be concerned about something going wrong with the vehicle.

Beat Summer Boredom with these Hikes in Georgia

If you’re finding yourself bored this summer in Georgia, don’t just sit around and do nothing about it. Why not go for a day trip to one of Georgia’s best hiking spots? Georgia is full of natural beauty and there are plenty of trails that you can hike to take it all in.

Jacks River Trail

For a longer hike that can easily take all day, try the Jacks River Trail. At 16 miles long, it meanders north from its trailhead at the Dally Gap. It’s located in the remote and beautiful Cohutta Wildnerness and crisscrosses the Jacks River several times with multiple fords, so you’ll have to be okay with getting wet. On a hot day, though, getting your toes wet in the cool river will feel nice, so who’s complaining?

Panther Creek Trail

At 7 miles long, Panther Creek Trails at Panther Creek Falls is a good middle-length trail to hike. The headlining feature of the trail is the waterfall that’s full in any season you visit. There’s a pool halfway down the trail if you want to take a quick dip before continuing on.

Raven Cliff Falls Trail

This one is shorter at 4.9 miles, but it’s a Georgia favorite, and for good reason: it’s relatively easy to hike and the waterfalls at the end are outstanding. The trail runs through a shaded creek valley and there’s even a chilly swimming hole near the trailhead, which is a perfect place to stop in after the hike is over.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors this summer to test drive a new or used car, truck, or SUV. Find the perfect vehicle to get you around Georgia and beyond, including to any of these hiking trails. Not looking to buy this summer? SouthTowne Motors can still help you with service, parts, and accessories. Visit today!

Visit Great Smoky Mountains this Summer

One of the best road trips you can take is a trip to the Great Smoky Mountains. Head up to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, to reach one of the main entrances to the park. Take just a few days to see parts of the park or take a week or two to get to know it better. From steep mountain passes to the rolling valleys, your eyes will never get tired of looking as they’ll see something new around every corner.

You can set up camp at one of the mountain campgrounds or stay in a hotel in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge or any of the other towns in the area. Explore 270 miles of roadways and 800 miles of trails. Look for wildlife including whitetail deer, bears, ton of birds, rabbits, raccoons, opossums and more.

Since a half million acres is too much to cover in even two weeks, you’ll need to pick out a few things to do; and then plan on another trip to see some of the other things the Great Smoky Mountains have to offer.

Cades Cove Valley

The 11-mile Cades Cove Loop Road shows you 19th and early 20th century buildings including a grist mill and barns; plus you might get lucky enough to see deer and other wildlife. The loop travels around the Cades Cove Valley.

Cataloochee Valley

The Cataloochee Valley is one of the park’s lesser visited spots. The valley is surrounded by mountains and features many historic buildings including homes, a barn, a school and a church. Learn about the cultural heritage of the area when you visit this serene spot.

Mountain Farm Museum

This museum is located behind the Oconaluftee Visitor Center and features 19th century log buildings that were moved from their original sites in the Great Smoky Mountains so they could be preserved. Explore a house, blacksmith shop, barn, springhouse, applehouse and a smokehouse. See demonstrations of historic agricultural practices and gardening. Tour the John Davis house, a log cabin made from chestnut before the chestnut blight of the ’30s and ’40s destroyed the trees.

Stop by SouthTowne Motors

Before you head out, be sure to set up an appointment at SouthTowne Motors to have your vehicle checked or serviced. And, if you are considering a new vehicle, now is a good time to stop by to test drive the vehicle you want to take on your family trip to the Great Smoky Mountains.

Georgia’s Best Swimming Holes

The summer’s shaping up to be a hot one and that means that you’ll want to escape the heat at least once or twice this summer. Take your car out to one of Georgia’s best swimming holes the next time the thermometer threatens to burst and cool off under shady trees and cool water.

Tallulah Gorge

This spot gets props for being one of nature’s only natural water slides. The waterfall at Tallulah Gorge is at such a shallow angle and the rocks that it tumbles over are so smooth and seamless that visitors can sit down at the top and slide all the way down to the pool at the bottom. Play on the sliding rocks, swim in the pond, and enjoy the natural beauty of Tallulah Gorge.

Lake Allatoona

Created by a dam, Lake Allatoona is a huge reservoir of water with 12,010 acres of surface area and a maximum depth of 145 feet. Besides swimming, visitors to Allatoona can camp and hunt in the area and there’s a marina and boat ramps for those with boats.

Chattahoochee River

Areas of Chattahoochee River are slow and easy going, making for a perfect swimming spot. Kayaking, canoeing, tubing, and paddle boarding are also popular pastimes along the river. The river is nice and cool on a summer day and the banks are perfect for setting up a picnic.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors in Newnan, Georgia, this summer before you hit the road for any swimming holes, state parks, beaches, or cities in your vehicle. You can test drive a new or used car, truck, or SUV at SouthTowne Motors and find one that’s perfect for you.

Visit Panola Mountain

This summer take a trip to Panola Mountain to enjoy the green scenery and wildlife. Pack a picnic and enjoy hiking, roller blading, biking, archery, boating and more. Before you head out, be sure to have your vehicle serviced at SouthTowne Motors or stop by our showroom to test drive that new vehicle you’ve been eyeing for your summer road trips.

Panola Mountain offers tons of activities and has many events for those of all ages. Let the kids play on the playground while you relax at a picnic spot, rent a boat, take an archery class, go geocaching, birding, learn how to climb a tree, walk the dog and more.

This park sits on a 100-acre granite outcrop that features a rare ecosystem. Take a ranger-led hike to learn about rare animals and plants or hike the many trails yourself. If you would rather take a ranger-led hike, you’ll need to make reservations ahead of time.

Panola Mountain is located in the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, which is one of only three in the state. The park is open from 7:00 a.m. until dusk and the nature center is open from 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and closed on Wednesdays. It is $5 to park.

Facilities include 1,635 acres, four picnic shelters, a conference room, the Alexander Lake Pavilion, five primitive campsites, a nature center and gift shop and two fishing lakes. The park also features two miles of self-guided nature trails, 20 miles of paved trails and 3.5 miles of guided hiking trails. Bikers and joggers will enjoy the 25-mile paved Rockdale River and Arabia PATH trail.

Pick up an annual pass or pay by the day for the archery range, which is static and 3-D, rent an aquacycle, go paddling and more.

Events include Indoor Basic Archery (August 22, 2015), Immediate Archery (August 23, 2015), a Moonlight Mountain Hike (August 29, September 26 and October 24, 2015), a Saturday Mountain Hike (September 5 and 19, 2015) and more.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors to test drive a new vehicle or call our service department to schedule an appointment to have your vehicle checked or serviced.

Summer Road Trip Essentials

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If you are planning a road trip, you’ll have to pack some essentials – and these are for emergencies. However, one other essential is a vehicle that is reliable. If you are in the market for new vehicle, stop by SouthTowne Motors to pick up a new sedan or SUV. And, if you are not ready for a new car this year, be sure you call us for a service appointment even if it is to just check your vehicle before you leave. If we find something that is going to wear out or something that could break on your trip, we’ll let you know so that you can have it repaired before you leave.

First Aid Kit and Other Medical

Be sure you have an extensive first aid kit and that none of the items are out of date. Also, if you used items on your last trip, those should be replaced before you leave, especially if you are traveling with children or a spouse that is on the clumsy side.

If anyone traveling with you is on medications, be sure you have at least a week’s worth of extra medication with you. If you planned a week-long trip but get stranded for a couple of days, you’ll need that extra medication so that you can enjoy the full vacation plus the extra days you were stranded.

Food, Water and Clothing

Even during the summer you should have extra high-energy food, extra bottles of water and an extra change of clothing with you. You could still get stranded and if you happen to get stranded where someone can’t reach you right away, you’ll be glad you have the extra food. And, even in the summer, some nights in certain places can get cool, so you’ll want some cool-weather clothing in case you have to spend a night outside or in your vehicle.

Even if you are only stuck for an hour, but have to get out in the rain to change a tire, you’ll be glad you have a change of clothing.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors to have your vehicle checked or serviced, or to pick up a new vehicle. You’ll lower your chances of getting stranded if your vehicle is in good working order.

Summer Vacation Planning

Beautiful Highway

For many, school is either out or will be out soon. Families all over are gearing up for one of the biggest and most anticipated seasons of the year — summer. Planning for summer vacation is exciting, but can be overwhelming at times. Don’t let the stress get to you this year. There are several ways you can help this process go smoother. Here at SouthTowne Motors, we’ve compiled a short list of ways that you can plan your summer full of fun more easily.

First and foremost, create a budget for your trip. No matter what, stick to this. You don’t want to run yourself broke from overspending on hotel rooms or those fancy souvenirs. Keep it modest and simple if needs be. Choose where you will go based on what you can afford. Keep the age of all going in mind in case you have children or young relatives going with you. You can usually find great deals online or through a travel agent. There are several websites that have specials on rental cars, hotel room and even airfare.

If flying, when choosing an airline, decide on one that has experience in dealing with families or large groups. Sadly, not all airlines are created equal and, therefore, some may treat you better than others. If you have the choice, go with something that will keep the kids entertained during the flight. This is also a good time to figure out just how many seats you might need. Figure out how many people are going and if you will need someone who can watch the children should you need to go out.

There are infinite choices when deciding where to stay. There are, naturally, hotel rooms that have adjoining rooms for a large party. You can also rent apartments or condos if you’re not visiting relatives who you can stay with. Another great option, which is kind of off the beaten path, is renting an RV or motorhome. That way you have both your hotel and vehicle in one. It is also a good idea to pre-plan your activities and events with your children before you head out. Let them help in the decisions and do their own research if possible.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors this summer before you hit the road on any trips. We’ll make sure that your car is in good shape or we can help set you up with a new vehicle that’s road trip ready!

May Events Around Georgia

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After you pick up a new vehicle from SouthTowne Motors, you’ll be ready to head out to various festivals and the circus in and around Newnan and Atlanta. If you’re not ready for a new vehicle, be sure to have your current vehicle serviced before heading to Atlanta, especially if you think you’re going to be sitting in traffic.

Festive Friday in Atlanta

On May 12, 2017, from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., head over to the FloatAway Cafe, 1123 Zonolite Road, Suite 15 in Atlanta for Festive Friday in Atlanta. The event will be held in the meadow behind the FloatAway Cafe. Enjoy this block party experience including live entertainment, complimentary food and beverages and an artist’s market. Suggested donations of $5 to $10 are well-appreciated and benefit the South Fork Conservatory’s Nickel Garden. Bid on event floral design, restaurant packages and more.

Fiddlin’ Flea Market & Family Festival

On May 17, 2017, from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. visit the Powers Plantation, 4766 W. Highway 34 in Newnan for the Fiddlin’ Flea Market and Family Festival. Look for unique gifts, antiques and more. Enjoy food, desserts, live music, volleyball, horseshoes and tons more. For more information visit fiddlinfleamarket.com. Admission is $3.

Shaky Knees Music Festival

On Sunday, May 21, 2017, be at Centennial Olympic Park, 265 Park Avenue West N W in Atlanta at 11:30 a.m. for the Shaky Knees Music Festival.

Cirque du Soleil Kurios Atlanta

On May 26, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. be at the Big Top/Grand Chapiteau, 171 17th Street NW in Atlanta for Cirque du Soleil Kurios Atlanta. Tickets are available at Stubhub.com.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Stop by SouthTowne Motors in Newnan, Georgia to test drive a new vehicle. Be sure to ask your salesperson about any specials we may be running. If you are not ready for a new vehicle just yet, be sure to give our GM service department a call to schedule an appointment for maintenance.

Take a Southern Spring Road Trip

Looking to get out of town this spring? Head to one of these fantastic southern destinations if it’s been too long since you’ve enjoyed the beach.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Myrtle Beach is one of the best places in the U.S. to enjoy an affordable, family-friendly getaway. This coastal South Carolina town offers affordable accommodations, plenty of beaches, and lots of downtown fun for kids and adults. Whether you’re hoping to relax with a swim-up bar, see some live music or enjoy fun-filled days with the little ones on roller coasters and water slides, Myrtle Beach offers all of the makings of an unforgettable spring road trip.

Islamorada, Florida

Enjoy all of the perks of a tropical spring destination without the outrageous expenses in Islamorada, Florida. Islamorada is often regarded as the most beautiful of the Florida Keys, with its cartoon-like palm trees, turquoise ocean waters and stunning sunsets. Islamorada is also known for its world-renowned sport fishing, mangrove trails for paddleboarding, diving, snorkeling and bounty of must-visit waterfront bars and restaurants.

Clearwater Beach, Florida

You don’t have to venture all the way down to the Keys to enjoy a hot and sunny Florida spring destination. The Clearwater area is known for being one of Florida’s most stunning places, with picturesque white-sand beaches and light blue Gulf of Mexico waters. Even better, Clearwater is located just 90 minutes from the multitude of attractions in Orlando, including Disney World, SeaWorld and Universal Studios.

Visit SouthTowne Motors

Don’t forget to stop and see us right here at SouthTowne Motors in Newnan, Georgia, before you hit the road to any southern spring destinations. We can make sure that your car is in good shape before your trip.