Comfortable Luxury at Agency Socialthèque Phipps Plaza

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The comfortable luxury of Agency Socialthèque located at Phipps Plaza in Atlanta is the go-to place after a fabulous day of shopping, happy hour or just a mid-week date night.

Agency Socialthèque is the new byword for stylish hospitality and a reflection of its edgy neighborhood: iconic and one-of-a-kind, catering to the city-dwelling professional class by providing a beautiful space in which to be creative together.

Socialthèque, a made-up word, evokes everything we know about stylish environments where networking and play come together. More than great food and drinks, Agency is the place to freelance, enjoy live entertainment, or host a bespoke private event. Whether it be happy hour cocktails among friends or a vibrant hundred guest launch party, the dedicated team will cater to your every need. It also means experimental and revolutionary as they transform specialty ingredients into something truly unique, coupled with the city's hottest DJ's and musicians.

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Georgia makes Travel + Leisure’s global Top 50 list

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TRAVEL + LEISURE MAGAZINE has named Georgia one of its “50 Best Places to Travel in 2019.” The far-ranging annual list includes cities, locations, states and nations from New York’s Adirondacks and Alsace, France, to Malaysia, Cambodia and the Florida Keys.

Of Georgia, Travel + Leisure specifically mentions Atlanta and Savannah, saying: “With so much happening in the Peach State, Georgia should be on the mind of any savvy traveler these days. Atlanta continues its rise as a culinary capital. Notable openings include the Local Pizzaiolo, a downtown pizza spot, and Masterpiece, helmed by James Beard-nominated Rui Liu, while food halls like Ponce City Market and Krog Street Market are constantly adding new vendors. Meanwhile, the remarkable transformation of Hotel Clermont from a seedy motel into a dapper boutique property — complete with a superb French-leaning bistro and rooftop bar — has both locals and visitors buzzing. And the city famous for its gridlock is increasingly bike-friendly, thanks to the ongoing growth of the Atlanta BeltLine, a mixed-used trail that will span 33 miles when it’s completed in 2030.

The picture gallery in the lobby of Savannah’s Perry Lane Hotel.

The picture gallery in the lobby of Savannah’s Perry Lane Hotel.

“On the coast, Savannah is hopping with a flurry of hotel openings, including newcomers The Alida, a luxe riverfront property, and the upscale Perry Lane Hotel in the Historic District. Openings in 2019 include the Liberty and the Lark. On the food front, the Grey Market, a hybrid of a New York-style bodega and a Southern lunch counter, opened in late 2018 under Johno Morisano and Mashama Bailey, Savannah’s most celebrated restaurant team. It was inspired by their beloved restaurant, the Grey, which does Southern-inspired cuisine in a refurbished Greyhound bus depot and has earned a slew of accolades since its 2014 opening.”

To read about all 50 destinations, go HERE.

Travel + Leisure editors sought recommendations from travel writers. The team then reviewed locations at the forefront of conversations worldwide and made its recommendations based on what destinations are of most interest to travelers. The magazine has a global audience of more than 16 million.

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THE WHISKEY GENTRY ANNOUNCES 10TH ANNUAL MERRY Y’ALLTIDE CELEBRATION

The Whiskey Gentry - Photo: Jon Whittaker

The Whiskey Gentry - Photo: Jon Whittaker

An Atlanta institution, The Whiskey Gentry has announced it will be returning to the Variety Playhouse on December 8, 2018 for the 10th Annual Merry Y’alltide Celebration.  The announcement comes with the news that this will officially be the final performance by The Whiskey Gentry. Recent months have seen the band take fewer engagements, as lead singer, Lauren Morrow has emerged with a new sound and self-titled solo EP.  Rolling Stone profiled Morrow in its latest issue as one of their “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know”  creating further buzz to already exciting news.

“When Jason and I started The Whiskey Gentry, I don't think we ever imagined how incredible this journey would be. We've toured the world, played music with some amazing people, and most importantly, created a family with a group of guys that we love like brothers,” says The Whiskey Gentry lead singer, Lauren Morrow.  “ Over the years, some of us have gotten married, had kids, moved to different cities, and it makes it harder to be a collective unit like it was.  Jason and I have chosen to keep moving with our careers under my name, but no matter what, we will always have these songs, this family of musicians, and all of the incredible memories we've created together over the last decade.”

The final performance of The Whiskey Gentry will be accompanied by several special guests who will help get the crowd warmed up for this spirited evening. Full details on the special guests along with comparative poster art will be reveled in the coming weeks. 

Advance tickets for the 10th Annual Merry Y’alltide Celebration are on sale now, starting at $20. Based on availability, tickets may be available at the Variety Playhouse box office the day of the show.  Tickets are available online at www.ticketfly.com.  This is an all ages show and doors open at 7:00 p.m.  The 10th Annual Merry Y’alltide Celebration is presented by Zero Mile.

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VIP Lounging at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival

Those who love the art of VIP festival life, can dive into Grant Park Summer Shade’s VIP experience at this year’s festival on Saturday, August 25th and Sunday, August 26th.  

Presented by the Grant Park Conservancy, VIP festival goers can relax in a private tent, enjoy complimentary bites from Love, Eat, Local and The Shed at Glenwood, premium wines, Monday Night Brewing craft beer, and the Signature Summer Shade Cocktail served in a souvenir cup.  Guests can also enjoy private air-conditioned restrooms, misting stations, and lounge seating in addition to the 16th annual Grant Park Summer Shade Festival’s impressive lineup of live music, expansive artist market, diverse selection of local food trucks, Kids Zone and much more. 

 The Summer Shade VIP Lounge be will open on Saturday, August 25th from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. and on Sunday, August 26th from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.  Saturday VIP attendees will receive complimentary food and six drink tickets to redeem cocktails, beer and wine. Sunday VIP attendees will receive complimentary food and 5 drink tickets to redeem cocktails, beer and wine. Guests must be 21 or older to enter the VIP Lounge and a limited number of VIP tickets are available. VIP tickets start at $55 for Grant Park Conservancy members and $70 for non-members and are available for purchase at www.summershadefestival.org/vip.  All proceeds benefit the Grant Park Conservancy, a non-profit, membership-based organization committed to the restoration, beautification, and maintenance of historic Grant Park. 

An annual tradition for more than a decade, the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival presented by The Beacon Atlanta will welcome music and art lovers to Atlanta’s oldest park for two days of nonstop fun on Saturday, August 25, 2018 and Sunday, August 26, 2018.  For the most up to date information, visit www.summershadefestival.org.

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DOGS GONE - TRAVEL WITH YOUR DOGGIE

Ponyboy, a Great Pyrenees from Lithonia, is ready to hit the road from the driver’s seat of his retro Karmann Ghia. His favorite vacation destination: the beach, always the beach. Photo by Wendy Palmer.

Ponyboy, a Great Pyrenees from Lithonia, is ready to hit the road from the driver’s seat of his retro Karmann Ghia. His favorite vacation destination: the beach, always the beach. Photo by Wendy Palmer.

Pack a bag and prepare for a tail wag.  It’s easier than ever to take your pooch along on your vacation.

WHO’S A GOOD DOG? Your pup, of course. And as much you might love a getaway that promises a beach splash or mountain vista, it’s heart-tugging to leave fur family behind. Pleading puppy-dog eyes boring into your soul as you walk out the door with a suitcase are real, people.

America has some 85 million pet parents. Like Boomerang’s mom, they now have more spots that are dog- and, sometimes, cat-friendly. Photo: Wendy Palmer

America has some 85 million pet parents. Like Boomerang’s mom, they now have more spots that are dog- and, sometimes, cat-friendly. Photo: Wendy Palmer

We’ve got good news: Leave the guilt. Take the dog.

For animal lovers, two of the sweetest words around are “pets allowed.” It’s heard more and more often these days as businesses figure out how to cater to America’s 85 million pet parents.

Teen Vogue magazine this year offered a paid internship with only two duties: Travel with dogs, and post the photos on social media. Amtrak, which banned everything but service animals since its inception in 1971, recently dipped a toe — or paw, if you prefer — into the pet pool. Dogs and cats up to 20 pounds can now travel with owners on routes of seven hours or less.

If a road trip with your BFLF (best four-legged friend) sounds good, the Southeast has spots that let you roll right in.

Don’t chase your tail looking for destinations. We’ve done some digging for you. They’re arranged by vacation type (beach, mountain, hotel), then alphabetically by state.

Sea Spot run

Three Southern beaches get a paws up from Coastal Living magazine in its list of the seven “Best Dog-Friendly U.S. Beaches.” It mentions Jekyll Island, Hunting Island State Park in South Carolina, and Fort DeSoto Paw Playground and Beach near St. Petersburg, Fla. We’ve added a few to that list, too, so read on.

ALABAMA: Gulf State Park in Gulf Shores (5.5 hours southwest of Atlanta) allows dogs in its campground ($24-$57) for free and in select cabins/cottages ($152-$364 nightly plus $15 Fido fee). Leashed dogs can sniff their way through a picnic area and 27 miles of trails. A fenced dog park with its own pond and agility course lets you leave the leash behind. No dogs permitted on Gulf Shores beaches, though. To do that, go 20 miles west to Fort Morgan near Mobile. Gulf Shores details: 800.252.7275 or alapark.com/gulf-state-park.

Even though dogs aren’t allowed on Tybee Island’s beaches, they can take to the water. Photo: Gavin Edmondstone

Even though dogs aren’t allowed on Tybee Island’s beaches, they can take to the water. Photo: Gavin Edmondstone

FLORIDA: Fort DeSoto Paw Playground and Beach (6.5 hours south of Atlanta) is near Tampa, St. Pete and Clearwater but tucked away in nature. It’s attached to Fort DeSoto Park, twice named America’s Best Beach by TripAdvisor. You and Rover can camp together and romp in the waves. He can make friends in fenced areas where size matters — little pups and big dogs each get a designated yard. Details HERE or at 727.852.2267.

If you want to play but not stay at the park, go 11 miles north to Madeira Beach (“Mad Beach” to locals) and get comfy in a pet-friendly condo or cottage (about $100 nightly). Dogs aren’t allowed on Madeira Beach, but it’s between Fort DeSoto and dog-friendly Honeymoon Island, 23 miles to the north. Madeira details HERE; Honeymoon Island details HERE.

GEORGIA: Jekyll Island and nearby St. Simons (about 5 hours southeast of Atlanta) let dogs on beaches with a few restrictions. St. Simons’ East Beach prohibits pets from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. all summer. They’re OK on or off leash for early-morning and evening walkies.

Jekyll’s beaches, long known as a bring-your-pup paradise, welcome leashed dogs all year long. Choose from dozens of lodging choices, including the Westin Jekyll Island  ($222 nightly) and the Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island ($152 nightly plus $75 pet deposit). Details: goldenisles.com.

At Edisto Island in South Carolina, canines can go kayaking. Photo: Frank DiBona

At Edisto Island in South Carolina, canines can go kayaking. Photo: Frank DiBona

Dogs are strictly prohibited on Tybee Island beaches (fines are a yowl-inducing $290 plus court costs), but congenial canines can cruise with you aboard Captain Mike’s Dolphin Tours ($8-$18).

Spend the night with your mutt at the Atlantis Inn Tybee Island ($89 and up nightly for pets up to 15 pounds) and the Dunes Inn & Suites Tybee Island ($100 and up). Both charge $25 per pet per night. The Sandcastle Inn ($114 and up) allows dogs of any size for a $25 one-time fee. It also has Tybee’s only saltwater swimming pool. For humans.

Despite beach restrictions, Tybee (18 miles from Savannah and four-plus hours southeast of Atlanta) is a pleasant place for pet people. It’s laid-back, family-friendly, not overdeveloped, the eclectic neighborhoods are fun to walk and bike, and you’ll find gorgeous marshland views. Tybee details: tybeeisland.com.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Drive the doggo to Hunting Island State Park (about 4.5 hours southeast of Atlanta) for a low-country vacation on a semitropical island. Camp here and walk or run 5 miles of beaches. If your pooch prefers not to “ruff it,” stay in Beaufort, 20 miles away. The boutique City Loft Hotel ($170 and up) charges $22 nightly for dogs up to 80 pounds. The Cuthbert House Inn ($190-$290 nightly), an antebellum mansion turned bed-and-breakfast, charges a one-time pet fee of $50. Hunting Island details at 843.838.2011; Beaufort details HERE or at  843.525.8500.

Charleston was voted “Best City for Pet Travelers 2016” by readers of GoPetFriendly.com, nosing out Florida’s Port St. Joe, the previous winner. On popular Edisto Island (30 miles north of Charleston, 5.5 hours from Atlanta), dogs must be leashed on the beach May through October; it’s your call whether to tether the other months. Charleston details HERE; Edisto details HERE.

Pups and peaks

If dogs could, they’d give mountain adventures two thumbs up. It’s often cooler than sea level for those with a fur coat, with plenty of room to roam. North Georgia offers lakes, waterfalls and hours of hiking (including 76 miles of the Appalachian Trail). Take a picnic, and don’t forget to allow time for sniffing every little thing of interest.

At Barking Fox Farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, your pooch can rub noses with the horsey set. Photo: TripAdvisor

At Barking Fox Farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, your pooch can rub noses with the horsey set. Photo: TripAdvisor

GEORGIA: The Last Resort in Blue Ridge (93 miles north of Atlanta, $125-$200 nightly) allows pets in most mountain cabins for $10. For humans, every cabin has a hot tub. For fishing fans, there’s a lake full of trout. Ellijay and B.J. Reece Orchards are 16 miles away. Let Fido help you pick whatever’s in season and sample goodies from the bakery.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Barking Fox Farm, a 43-acre horse farm in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains (3 hours north of Atlanta) offers two guest cottages. One has a deck overlooking the pasture; both have whirlpool tubs and full kitchens. Four-footed travelers are greeted with biscuits and a cushy pet bed. Details: 864.457.7300.

Sit, stay

More and more chain hotels are accepting pets, including Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, LaQuinta and Kimpton Hotels. Kimpton is so welcoming, in fact, it’ll offer you a fish for your room if you arrive without a four-legged friend.

Bottom line: Don’t forget to pack your pup. Photo: Tim Mossholder

Bottom line: Don’t forget to pack your pup. Photo: Tim Mossholder

At Loews Hotels, VIP means “Very Important Pet.” The national chain introduced the first pet guest program 18 years ago with its “Loews Loves Pets.” Amenities rival perks for humans and include a room-service menu for dogs and cats; food prepared on-site by the hotel’s culinary team; pet beds and  litter boxes; mapped dog-walking routes; and list of dog-friendly eateries.

If your fur-child stares at you expectantly because there’s no rawhide bone or scratching post nearby, those are available, too. Loews allows up to two pets per room. Expect a one-time fee of about $75 at properties in Atlanta, Nashville or Orlando. You even get a “Pet in Room” sign for your door so everyone knows that’s not you snoring. Details: loewshotels.com/loews-loves-petsloewshotels.com.

The tail end

Run to BringFido.com (or get the app) to find more than 200,000 pet-welcoming places to stay, dog parks and more. Likewise GoPetFriendly.com.

Take your dog on vacation. Loyalty should be rewarded.

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YACHT ROCK REVUE RETURNS TO PARK TAVERN IN PIEDMONT PARK FOR SUMMER SUNSETS

YACHT ROCK REVUE

Partygoers are invited to sail into Park Tavern in Piedmont Park on Friday, June 29, 2018 and rock out to the return of Yacht Rock Revue at Summer Sunsets. Yacht Rock Revue will be performing classic hits from favorites such as Hall & Oates, Toto, Michael Jackson, Kenny Loggins, Prince, Lionel Richie and more.

Diners and imbibers can enjoy classic Park Tavern favorites such as burgers, tacos, fresh sushi rolls, handcrafted cocktails, frosty beers, full bodied wines and much more. Doors open at 7 p.m. and music will begin at 8 p.m. through 11 p.m. An age 21 and up event, ages 20 and under are allowed to attend the event when accompanied by a parent.

Tickets are $20 in advance available at www.xorbia.com/events/yachtrock/June2018 and will increase to $25 at the door. For more information, please visit www.parktavern.com or call 404-249-0001. 

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Event Recap: Jeffrey Fashion Cares 26th Annual Patron Party at Atlas

On Thursday, June 7, 2018, over 75 Jeffrey Fashion Cares Host Committee members and Patrons descended upon Atlas, the acclaimed restaurant located in the heart of Buckhead at the St. Regis Atlanta, for the annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares Patron Party. Fashionable partygoers mixed and mingled on Atlas' expansive patio while enjoying wine form the Tavistock Reserve Collection and signature cocktails made just for the evening.  Guests also noshed on an array of sweet and savory bites from the popular Tavern menu created by Executive Chef Christopher Grossman and Pastry Chef Christian Castillo.

Hosted by Event Co-Chairs Lila Hertz, Jeffrey McQuithy and Louise Sams, the 26th annual Jeffrey Fashion Cares will be held at Phipps Plaza on Monday, August 27, 2018 at 7 p.m. and includes a high-energy cocktail reception followed by a live auction and runway show featuring founder Jeffrey Kalinsky’s style selections from high-end designers such as Celine, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Dries Van Noten, Sacai, Saint Laurent Paris, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik.  

One of the largest combined AIDS and breast cancer benefits in the country, this year’s event will benefit Susan G. Komen Greater Atlanta, the Atlanta AIDS Fund (AAF) and the Medical University of South Carolina. For more information, visit atlasrestaurant.com. Event photos by Dylan York.

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