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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Seven Magnificent Waterfalls in Georgia worth a visit.

Scenic hiking trails, river rafting, wildlife camping, food, live music, art festival, I mean there is so much to experience and relish in this peach state of Georgia. Though there is a never-ending list of what the state offers, Going on a hike to explore waterfalls in the woods is one the most significant ones. Did you know Georgia is the land of Waterfalls, in fact, some study states there are around 50 waterfalls in Georgia state? So why waste time visiting the same old tourist spots, go out with your kids, family, and friends exploring beautiful waterfalls.

7 Magnificent waterfalls in Georgia worth a visit.

1. Tallulah Falls:

Tallulah Falls is located in a Victorian-era town called Tallulah Falls City, Georgia. This waterfalls nestled in the North East corner of the Georgia Mountains is around 2 miles long, 1000 feet deep and is formed by Tallulah river. 

Scenic View of Tallulah Waterfalls.
Scenic View of Tallulah Waterfalls.

You can access waterfalls either via north rim trail or south rim trail. However, If you are visiting with kids then I suggest you enter the trail through the north rim, which is via the visitor museum. Why? Because this 3-floor visitor museum building which is also known as Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center presents an outstanding display of various wildlife creatures, flora, and fauna. Not just the improvised display, you get to watch an educational film about the ecosystem specially designed for kids. As you reach the end of the Visitor Museum, there is a walkway leading you towards the trail. 
Hike trail offers five viewpoints/spots to enjoy the scenic view of the waterfalls. Personally, I loved the Suspension Bridge viewpoint, located halfway down towards the falls. You need to take the stairs and climb down over 310 steps to get there. If you or anybody in your group has motion sickness or scared of height then please skip getting or walking on the bridge because though the bridge is safe, it is very shaky. There is no timeframe so you can stand over or walk across the bridge enjoying the spectacular view of the Tallulah waterfalls surrounded by the bushes as long as you wish.
Once across the bridge, you need to climb down 221 steps further to get to the rocks and feel the water flowing down from the Tallulah Falls. The view at this level is breathtaking. However, not many people get to this point because steps or stairs remain closed most of the time due to safety reasons. You can explore as many scenic viewpoints as you want based on your stamina or perhaps strength.

Suspension Bridge Viewpoint.
Suspension Bridge Viewpoint.

I enjoyed watching the magnificent waterfalls from all five viewpoints. Only thing I did not like is the way back, climbing up more than 500 stairs was sure a nightmare, thankfully there was no crowd so I was able to take breaks and sit on the stairs for a while I hiked back towards parking.
Parking/Entry Fee: 5$
Timings: 9am-5pm.

2. DeSota Falls:

DeSota Falls, Part of Chattahoochee National Forest is located in Lumpkin County, Georgia.
As you reach DeSota Falls by the roads in the midst of the forest, grab an envelope(parking envelope located near notification board) fill in your vehicle details along with a deposit of 3$ and drop it in the box.
As you follow the hiking path, midst of the groves witnessing the beautiful sight of the flowing creek to your left and campsite on the right you will enter a wooden bridge where you get to decide whether you want to continue your hike towards DeSota lower falls located 0.25 miles downstream to your left or you want to continue towards DeSota upper falls located 0.75 miles upstream to your right and no matter what you choose, well-marked, easy to moderate trails will lead you to gorgeous falls.
Besides hiking, you can also experience various activities like camping, river and stream fishing, picnicking with your kids, family, and friends.
Parking: 3$(Honor Parking).
Timings: 24 Hours a day.

DeSota Lower Falls.
DeSota Lower Falls.

3. Anna Ruby Falls:

Anna Ruby Falls located in Helen, Georgia lies in the heart of the Chattahoochee National Forest.
This twin waterfall is created at the junction of two streams. This can clearly be noticed once you reach waterfalls, the fall which is 47m tall is farmed by Curtis Creek and the shorter fall of 15m is farmed by York Creek.
The 0.5-mile hike to reach spectacular twin falls is manageable. Though the hike is short, the inclined paved pathway can make you tired. Take a break and rest a while on stone benches located throughout the hike if you feel weak or tired. This place offers two observation points to enjoy the magnificent view of the falls and capture stunning pictures.
Parking/Entry Fee: 3$.
Timings: 9am-5pm.

4. Toccoa Falls:

Toccoa Falls.
Toccoa Falls.
Toccoa Falls is Located on the campus of Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa City. This 186 foot high waterfalls is accessed through the gift shop or visitor center exit. You need to walk through the small trail of around 100 meters to reach amazing Toccoa Falls.
You will relate to the fact of being 19 feet higher than Niagara Falls as you reach the end of the trail and witness the free fall of water from the top.
We reached around 12pm and there was no one around except a couple who was busy posing for professional couple photoshoot and maybe for this strange reason I felt like we own this spectacular place. Jokes apart, The sound of flowing water, chirping of birds, bright flowers, butterflies, I just fell in love with Toccoa Falls. This waterfall has no hassle, no long walks, no hiking, and absolutely no restrictions. I mean you can jump around the rocks, walk towards the falls, lie down and feel the drizzle of the waterfalls, stand under the falls and get drenched.
Parking/Entry Fee: 2$
Timings: 9am-5pm.

5. Henderson Falls:

Henderson Falls located in Toccoa, Georgia. 25 acres of Henderson Park provides several scenic views, amphitheater, tennis court, play area, waterfall and nature trail. After you park the car, Walk through the pathway into the woods, within a few meters you will locate the falls to your left.
You can either take the stairs to go down and witness 20-foot waterfalls or go over the bridge to enjoy the scenic river flow as well as waterfalls view.
We were on our way back to Atlanta from Toccoa Falls and it started raining heavily so we took a detour and stopped at this park and that's when we randomly found Henderson Falls. Now that you know this cute little fall is located quite near to Toccoa Falls, plan accordingly and visit both of these falls on the same day.
Parking/Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 7am-8pm.

Beautiful view of Henderson Falls.
Beautiful view of Henderson Falls.

6. Amicalola Falls:

Amicalola Falls located in Dawsonville, Georgia is one of the tallest waterfalls located in the state.
To get to see this beautiful fall, you need to go through a mile of the hike. Hiking can be challenging, because of the steep incline and hundreds(604) of stairs you need to take to view the fall.
Climbing up 604 stairs was crazy, I had to take a couple of breaks to renew my energy and get going. No matter how hard the hike was, As soon as I reached the top and witnessed the magical view of the Amicalola Falls I felt refreshed and was proud of myself for getting this far.
We stayed at the top for a while and had some food before we made our way back to the parking.
If you are not into hiking or if you feel climbing stairs is tiresome then you can drive to top or opt alternate trails to view parts of the falls.
Parking/Entry Fee: 5$.
Timings: 7am-10pm.

7. Dukes Creek Falls:

Dukes Creek Falls located in Helen, Georgia lies in the core of the Chattahoochee National Forest.
You need to take a 1.2-mile hike to view the beauty of this 150-foot waterfalls. The first half of the trail is downhill and the rest of it is uphill. As you walk along the paved path, you will realize some parts of the trail is narrow and not just that you may notice some fallen wood logs on your way towards the waterfalls which can make your hike bit tired other than that it is a great hike, you get to enjoy panoramic views of creek, lush and the waterfalls.
You can get on the observation decks located at the waterfalls to capture some great photographs of you and your family.
Parking/Entry Fee: 4$(Honor Parking).
Timings: 7am-till dawn.

View from my Dukes Creek Falls Hike.
View from my Dukes Creek Falls Hike.

Insider Tips:
1. Please carry exact change to pay or drop at the parking, because most of these places follow honor parking.
2. Most of the hike is slippery so, I suggest you guys wear comfortable shoes and clothes.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York.

New York City is crowned by numerous titles like The most populous city in the United States, The trendsetter, Fashion as well as Finance capital of the world, Center of the universe and the list goes on and on. NYC is such an incredibly multicultural place that anybody from varying ethnicity background can sink into city's vibe and get along pretty well instantly. Whether you are a first-timer or a frequent visitor, if you have not seen/been to any of the places listed in10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York, then you are missing out on a great place. So, I would suggest you people plan wisely and cover all the beautiful sights of the city.

10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in New York

Statue of Liberty:

Statue of Liberty located on Liberty Island, New York is a gift to the people of the United States by the people of France.
Statue of Liberty, New York.
Statue of Liberty.
This 151 feet 1-inch tall copper statue holding the torch on the right hand and tabula ansata(Tablet) on the left is a figure of a robed woman representing liberty goddess.
It is one of the popular tourist attractions of not just New York but the entire world and people from every corner of the world visit this amazing place to witness the universal symbol of democracy and freedom. You can visit liberty island via ferries departing either from Battery Park, New York or Liberty State Park, Jersey State.
I saw the statue of liberty in a couple of Indian movies before. But then, Seeing it in real and witnessing the minute details of this marvel felt extraordinary. You might wonder minute details, what are they?? Well, Most of the travellers might have recognised them but then if you have not, do not worry I will walk you through, seven spikes of the thorn represents 7 continents and seas, broken chains around her feet represents freedom, torch represents enlightenment, right foot looks like she is on the move/moving forward, 4th July on the tablet indicates Americas Independence.
Not just these artistic details, ferry ride towards the statue, all the blue waters around, almost everything looks so magnificent.
Entry Fee: 18$(Includes round trip through the cruise and the admission ticket to Statue of liberty and Ellis Island).
Timings: 9am-5.15pm.

Times Square:

Times Square is the entertainment center of New York. Streets on Time Square are filled with local attractions(like Madame Tussaud, Ripley`s Believe it or Not, The Ride, and more), various restaurants, shopping centers and more. All the bright neon lights, huge billboards, buildings, costumed characters, street plays, and even the hustle bustle I mean everything about Times Square is colorful and lively. I have been to Times Square multiple times, spent hours doing nothing but walking around with a drink yet, I fell in love with this place every single time I was there that's the charm of this place.
Interesting fact, Did you guys know having one's picture displayed in Time Square holds a mark of achievement for the celebrities around the world? You might have heard loads of stories about this part of the universe but believe me, that's way too less when compared to how beautiful this place is.
People visit this place throughout the year but it is most crowded during New Year's Eve Ball Drop which is treated as a prominent part of New Years celebration in New York and not just New Yorkers, people around the world dream about onlooking Ball Drop and celebrate new year at Time's Square, in fact attending this event is one of the bucket-lists desires to most of the people around the globe including me and I am pleased to inform you guys that I did tick off Ball Drop from my bucket list.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: Times Square Street is open 24 hours a day.

Times Square
Times Square.

High Line:

High Line is a 1.4 mile long elevated public park. Although this Railway Line transformed public park is new, it attracts millions of visitors throughout the year. If you want to escape from all the hustle bustle and traffic madness yet stay in the midst of the city and enjoy the view then this place is a must. As you walk through High Line you will be surprised to see how effectively this place is designed and constructed. All, the plantation/greenery, colors, resting/seating arrangements, peaceful view of the city everything looks cool.
If in case you skipped or were not aware of this top-rated tourist attraction of New York, make sure you adjust itinerary and visit this place next time you are in New York.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 7am to 12am.

Brooklyn Bridge:

Brooklyn Bridge which opened way back in 1883 to connect Manhattan and Brooklyn, is by far one of the most beautiful suspension bridges in the US of A. No matter what time of the day or night it is, one-mile walk on Brooklyn Bridge with all the skyscrapers of Manhattan in the background looks sensational. Whether you are visiting this place for the first time or tenth time, it does not matter because you totally get involved and enjoy every minute spent. After you appreciate Manhattan view or Statue of Liberty view from Brooklyn Bridge I suggest you guys go eat at the Dumbo(a hot spot for restaurants and exciting shop), Visit 85 acres Brooklyn Bridge Park and explore more of Brooklyn neighborhood.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: Open 24 hours a day.

Sky Line view from Brooklyn Bridge
Sky Line view from Brooklyn Bridge

Ellis Island:

During the early days, millions of immigrants entered America through Ellis island located between New Jersey and New York. Though It was not the only place where immigrants came from but were one of the busiest and significant points of entry to the United States. You will understand the importance of this place when you visit Ellis Island Museum.
Ellis Island is located very close to Liberty Islands. So, if you have plans to visit the statue of liberty then, you can add Ellis Island to your itinerary and use the same ferry services offered by statue services to commute to Ellis Island. Most of the travelers who are not into history might skip this place but trust me people its worth a visit, particularly, if you are somebody who visits places just not to take photographs but to understand the culture and history it holds.
Entry Fee: 18$(Includes round trip through the cruise and the admission ticket to Statue of liberty and Ellis Island).
Timings: 9am-5.15pm.

Wall Street:

Charging Bull and The Fearless Girl, New York.
Charging Bull and The Fearless Girl
located on Wall Street.
Wall street located in Manhattan, New York is the largest and most watched stock market in the world, which is why Wall Street is also called as Global Financial Hub and area around wall street is called Financial District. You might question why Finance/Stocks associated place is listed as top rated tourist attractions in New York, It is because other than economics, you will be fascinated by the architectural structures, historic monuments, and the most famous Charging Bull and Fearless Girl sculpture. Wall Street Bull or as popularly known as Charging Bull is 3.5 tons bronze statue standing 11 feet tall and 16 feet long. This overly sized bull sculpture is a gift from a French Artist to symbolize American people power.
15-20 explorers were surrounded by Bull sculpture, The day I visited. So, I stood far relishing the beauty around. As minutes passed, I stepped towards the bull out of interest to see why people took the longest time to take a picture or two and I got shocked by what I saw.
I mean, They were busy touching and taking pictures of Bulls private parts. I was confused and my curious mind wanted an answer. So, I asked a fellow traveler and he informed me that - They(Some parts of the world) believe, Touching Bull genitals bring them wealth and good luck. It sounds superstitious right??
Well, I Moved towards The Fearless Girl sculpture located 20 feet away respecting their belief.
A spectacle of the most controversial Fearless Girl statue(representing feminist strength) standing fearlessly facing whopping 3.5 tons Charging Bull is such an inspiration to most of the girls.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: Open 24 hours a day.

World Trade Center and 9/11 Memorial and Museum:

Memorial and Museum were constructed to pay tribute to 2,977 people who were killed during horrific 9/11 attack and 1993 WTC bombing which killed six people, as well as those legends who sacrificed their lives to protect and rescue others.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 9am to 8pm.

Central Park:

The vast land of 843 acres turned Central Park is one of the iconic and most visited parks in the United States and visiting this place is one of the highlights of my New York Trip. Park offers a playground, walking and jogging trails, sculptures, outdoor movies, educational programs, concerts and more. Park has several divisions and it is considerably huge. So, keep the map handy and allow yourself more time to go around the park and explore. If you have kids or you want to give your feet a break then, you can hire a pedicab tour.
I loved the view of pony rides, Alice in the wonderland statute, lush European gardens, and romantic paddle boat ride around the river.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 6am to 1am.

Central Park, New York
Iconic Central Park.

Fifth Avenue:

Fifth Avenue is one of the well-known streets of America. It offers modern and expensive shops in the city. Top designer stores like Prada, Versace, Gucci and many more are located here on Fifth Avenue. Women love browsing around the stores for the trendy and the fashionable stuff and where else can you find them other than fashion city of the world.
Whether you are a buyer or a window shopper, You will simply love walking around these highly expensive stores on the Fifth Avenue.
Entry Fee: Free.
Timings: 24 hours a day(Access to streets, not the stores).

Empire State Building:

World Famous Empire State Building is located in Midtown Manhattan, New York. It provides two public observatories, One in 86th floor and other on the 102nd floor. You need to buy overpriced tickets to enter these observatories but guys, I assure you it is worth a visit.
Both the observatory provides a spectacular view of New York sky Line and is open 365 days a year.
I visited the Empire State Building both during the day as well as night yet night view was my favorite. It was a breezy, winter night and the temperature was 29F low(-2 Celsius) and I was on the top floor(102nd) of the Empire State Building appreciating the colorfully lit panoramic view of the city. Plus, the icing on the cake moment was the snowfall. Yes, It did snow while we were posing for our photos and it felt amazing.
Entry Fee: 37$ and 57$(86th and 102nd floor).
Timings: 8am to 2am.

Empire State Building, New York.
Spectacular view from Empire State Building observatory.

Insider Tips for New York Trip: 
1. Buy tickets in advance utilizing coupons available online or you can buy New York City Pass to save money.
2. Avoid traffic and parking problems by opting Amtrak/city buses/cabs.

You may find NYC familiar as you walk through the streets of New York. Well, that is because the city is frequently shot as a backdrop for television programs or movies throughout the world and I am sure you might have witnessed glimpses of the city in a movie or two.
If you can associate or identify any New York city movies/shows, let me know in comments.