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Emma Hunt

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Five-Paw Stays: Pup-approved hotels that are off the chain

The Old No. 77 Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery

The Old No. 77 Hotel
New Orleans
Located in a historic 1854 building a few blocks from the French Quarter, this property encourages visitors to embrace the city’s mystical side. Guests traveling with pets are referred to voodoo priest Belfazaar Michael Bousum Ashantison, who will perform a psychic reading for your sidekick. Borrow a book from the hotel’s “pet spiritual menu,” which features titles on topics such as pet psychology and yoga for dogs. In the lobby, be sure to snag a complimentary treat made by local dog bakery Cafe du Bone, known for its fresh-baked “beg-nets.”

Mr. Pickles from the Park on Main

Photo courtesy of the Park on Main

The Park on Main
Highlands, North Carolina
From the moment they enter the lobby, dogs and the people who love them will feel at home at this twenty-four-room boutique inn. Dozens of paintings of man’s best friends, from Pomeranians to poodles, line the walls, and hotel mascot Mr. Pickles, a dapper Scottish terrier, greets every guest. Pups snooze in style on Orvis therapeutic dog beds and dine out of hand-painted, ceramic dog bowls. They’re welcome all over the property, but they’ll likely want to spend the most time at Mr. Pickles’ Dog Park, a fully fenced puppy playground just a block from the hotel.

The Hermitage Hotel

Photo courtesy of the Hermitage Hotel

The Hermitage Hotel
Nashville
A stay at this iconic Forbes Five Star hotel promises luxurious amenities, and with the Pampered Paws Program, your dog—or cat—can indulge, too. Skip the kibble and opt for selections from the “Paw”ticular in-room dining menu, which includes lighter fare such as steel-cut oats as well as gourmet entrees such as roasted chicken or salmon tartare. A pet massage therapist remains on call, walking services may be scheduled at your leisure, and a pet chauffeur is available to take your pup all over town—from local dog parks to grooming appointments.

Maya, the canine director of pet relations at Baker’s Cay Resort

Photo courtesy of Baker's Cay Resort

Baker’s Cay Resort
Key Largo, Florida
Sure, many resorts have a public relations manager. Less likely? A canine director of pet relations. Enter Maya, a friendly Husky, who has “worked” at the resort for two years. Meet her each evening at the oceanfront Yappy Hour, where humans sip Spicy Chihuahuas and Salty Dogs while pups enjoy yappetizers and nonalcoholic Dog Pawrignon and Bark Brews. Take advantage of the resort’s complimentary doggie camera harnesses, which capture every moment from the pet’s perspective, allowing guests to relive their stays through the eyes of their furry friends.

Two dogs at Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa

Photo courtesy of Costa d'Este Beach Resort & Spa

Costa d’Este Beach Resort & Spa
Vero Beach, Florida
Technically, you can stay at this beachside resort for free. The catch? You’ll need to pay for your pup. With the resort’s Humans Stay Free package, your dog is the honored guest. Pooches can relax with a ten-minute doggie massage at the on-site spa, chow down on “muttballs” from the Wave Kitchen and Bar’s pet menu, and spend all afternoon catching Frisbees and swimming in the waves on the dog-friendly beach. After a day of pampering and play, your dog can look forward to a bone-shaped treat at turndown.

 

5 elite golf pros reveal their favorite public golf courses around the South

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Pinehurst No. 2, Hole 14

Photo courtesy of Pinehurst

Chesson Hadley
Pinehurst No. 2, Pinehurst, North Carolina

“Mine would probably be Pinehurst No. 2. There’s so much history at that course. They’ve hosted U.S. Opens, a PGA Championship, a Ryder Cup, and Tour Championships, but undoubtedly what everyone remembers is Payne Stewart’s winning moment at the ’99 U.S. Open. You can’t leave without getting a picture beside his statue on the eighteenth green. I also grew up playing junior events there, so there’s some sentimental value.”

Brandt Snedeker
Harpeth Hills Golf Club
, Nashville

“My favorite is Harpeth Hills Golf Club in Nashville. It’s where I learned how to play golf. My dad would take my brother, Haymes, and me out to the course every weekend. My brother is four years older and an established golfer as well. I couldn’t hit it as far as him and had to rely on my short game to compete with him and his friends.”

Justin Bolli
Harbour Town Golf Links
, Hilton Head, South Carolina

“My favorite in South Carolina is Harbour Town Golf Links on Hilton Head Island. I enjoy the challenge it provides—it’s very narrow. The surrounding trees and harbor make it a really scenic and fun course to play, too. The lighthouse on the eighteenth hole is cool and makes the hole a memorable one.”

Charles Howell III
Great Waters at Reynolds Lake Oconee
, Greensboro, Georgia

“My favorite is the Great Waters course at Reynolds Lake Oconee. You get lake views on ten of the eighteen holes. There’s really no other golf course quite like it. They just completed a massive renovation, and its condition is just phenomenal. Of all the public courses I’ve played, that’s my favorite by far.”

Stewart Cink
Bobby Jones Golf Course
, Atlanta

“If I had to pick one to play in the Atlanta area, I would pick Bobby Jones because of the namesake. It’s been redesigned and redeveloped in the last couple years. You get a nice slice of the intown golfing population, and it’s a neat, intriguing facility. I love how you can play the course from tee to green with different routing based on the day. It’s like multiple courses all wrapped up in one.”

This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Southbound.

Are you a “monogramaniac”? A closer look at the timeless Southern fashion statement

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Proudly stitched, stamped, or stuck on tea towels and baby clothes, luggage and stationery, even the rear windows of cars, monograms are ubiquitous in the South. They date back to early Greece and Rome, when rulers used their initials to authenticate currency. So why are monograms regarded as a Southern staple? Many point to a regional emphasis on family tradition and a love of family names.

  • There is a right way to monogram. Beyond the traditional three-letter style, in which the initial for one’s surname is largest and centered, a host of etiquette rules govern the handling of hyphenated names, couples’ monograms, and other variations. (Who made these rules? Unclear. But like our names, we’re stuck with them.)
  • In the Middle Ages, embroidered monograms helped identify a family’s laundry, which was washed communally.
  • Monograms took off during the Victorian era as a symbol of wealth. An 1871 article in Appletons’ Journal referred to enthusiasts of the trend as “monogramaniacs.”
  • Elvis Presley adopted the monogram TCB for “Taking Care of Business.” (The wives and girlfriends in his entourage received pendants inscribed with TLC—“Tender Loving Care.”) Graceland still sells merch emblazoned with the King’s famous logo.
  • Proof that Southerners will monogram anything? Jon Grigsby, owner of 5 Flags Embroidery in Gulf Breeze, Florida, reports that he’s been asked to personalize bikinis, baseballs, yoga mats—even toilet paper.
  • In the words of Southern celebrity Reese Witherspoon: “My rule is, if it’s not moving—monogram it.”

This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Southbound.

Five fun farms around the Southeast

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Scarecrows at Legare Farms

Photo courtesy of Legare Farms

Legare Farms
Johns Island, South Carolina
Family-owned since its founding in 1725, Legare Farms is among the oldest working farms in the country. Located by the Stono River and just a short drive from Charleston, the 300-acre farm offers plenty of year-round fun, but fall is the ideal time for a visit. On weekends in October, head to the farm for after-dark pumpkin picking, gem mining, hayrides, and a build-your-own scarecrow factory. While you’re there, pick up one-of-a-kind homemade products, such as bacon salsa, pumpkin butter, and sweet tea jelly.

Lucky Ladd Farms’ petting zoo

Photo by Crystal Freemon Photography

Lucky Ladd Farms
Eagleville, Tennessee
The largest petting farm in Tennessee, Lucky Ladd Farms is home to hundreds of animals and offers a host of interactive attractions on its sixty acres. Saddle up for a pony ride, and stop by the petting zoo to meet and feed cows, sheep, and llamas, as well as the farm’s rare livestock, including Tennessee fainting goats and miniature donkeys. Visit during fall to explore the corn maze, try your hand at archery, and pick the perfect pumpkin—or even launch one from a giant slingshot.

A giant pumpkin at Burt’s Farm

Photo courtesy of Burt's Farm

Burt’s Farm
Dawsonville, Georgia
The surrounding Appalachian Mountains lend this farm a spectacular setting, and its two-mile hayrides offer glimpses of Amicalola Falls, the highest waterfall in the state. But the farm’s main claim to fame is its pumpkin patch, with pumpkins ranging from several ounces to 150 pounds. In addition to offering nearly seventy acres of pumpkins ripe for the picking, Burt’s sells pumpkin pie, pumpkin rolls, and pumpkin bread. Check out the homemade cosmetics line, which includes a selection of skin- and hair-care products created from pumpkins and squash grown on the farm.

Pig races at 4D Farm

Photo courtesy of 4D Farm

4D Farm
Cullman, Alabama
With 4D Farm’s wide assortment of family-friendly activities, from a mechanical bull to an obstacle course, visitors can easily spend a whole day (or two) at the North Alabama attraction. Enjoy 4D’s classic offerings, such as the corn maze and giant jumping pillow, and be sure to check out some of the more exhilarating options, including a vintage roller coaster, 250-foot zip line, and tubing slides. The farm is kid-friendly in every respect, but the little ones will especially love the chicken show, candy cannon, and pig races.

Mississippi Peanut Festival at Mitchell Farms

Photo courtesy of Mitchell Farms

Mitchell Farms
Collins, Mississippi
Located in the piney woods of southeast Mississippi, Mitchell Farms specializes in peanuts, so it’s no surprise that its 1,500 acres are home to the Mississippi Peanut Festival each October. Celebrating ten years this fall, the festival features more than seventy-five craft and food vendors, antique tractors and historic log cabin tours, and all the boiled peanuts and peanut brittle you can eat. In addition to the peanut fest, Mitchell Farms offers other fall attractions, including a six-acre corn maze, sunflower field, and pumpkin patch.

This article appears in the Fall/Winter 2020 issue of Southbound.

Women Making a Mark: Tara Murphy

Tara Murphy’s public relations career started with a D in one of her PR classes at Elon University. “It was never something that I wanted to focus on, which is very funny since I’ve now owned a PR company for 24 years,” the 49-year-old Kirkwood resident says.

360 Media, Murphy’s boutique public relations agency specializing in lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality clients, has been the driving force behind many well-known Atlanta festivals, events, and establishments. Chances are you’ve been to an event Murphy has helped plan: Think Music Midtown, Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, Sweetwater 420 Festival, and Atlanta Dogwood Festival—to name a few. Even Krog Street Market is a product of Murphy’s public relations prowess; her work helped land it on Travel + Leisure’s list of best food halls around the globe prior to its opening. Her business has also gone national. She’s done PR 
for festivals including Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores and Telluride Blues and Brews in Colorado, but she credits much of her success to the city she loves most.

“Atlanta gave me the opportunity to be an entrepreneur, and to not only survive, but to thrive and create a business that impacts the city,” she says. “It’s also enabled me to empower other female entrepreneurs.” With 360 Media’s ever-growing network of local, regional, and national connections, the company has served as a launching pad for many young women in public relations. Some have gone on to create their own Atlanta agencies, while others have ended up across the country in Los Angeles, working in music and entertainment.

But Atlanta will always have a special place in Murphy’s heart. “I think Atlanta was before its time on
 a lot of things, and I think people are just now catching on to how savvy the city really is,” she says. “It makes it really cool to work here, and there’s never a dull moment.”

Women Making a Mark: Lauren Koontz

As the first woman CEO and president of the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, Lauren Koontz shoulders a lot of responsibility. Despite the vast number of obligations that come with the title, the 45-year-old mother of two makes sure that she always has enough time for what makes her happiest: connecting with those at the YMCA. Sometimes that means reading to kids at the Y’s early learning centers; other times it’s getting to know seniors at a class for those with Parkinson’s. “It’s really in the small moments,” she says. “I’m happiest when I’m with the children, families, and people that we serve.”

Born on St. Simons Island, Koontz received her bachelor’s degree at the University of Georgia, followed by her MBA from Georgia State University, which she earned while juggling a career in sports marketing. She knew that the nonprofit world was where she belonged, though. After stints at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Emory University School of Medicine, and Coxe Curry & Associates, the Dunwoody resident landed at the YMCA in 2012. “I came to the Y because it has the scope and scale and breadth and depth of programming to reach hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people,” she says.

The YMCA’s annual giving campaign, which funds scholarships for those unable to afford Y programs, has grown more than 250 percent during Koontz’s tenure, raising more than $5 million last year alone. Partnerships with other Atlanta-based organizations have also expanded under her leadership. Her 
work with the Atlanta Speech School on growing Read Right From the Start, an early literacy program aimed to reach all kids no matter their family’s socioeconomic status, is one that she is particularly proud of, and one that echoes the YMCA’s mission. “No one’s future should be determined by the zip code or circumstances they were born into,” she says.

To many, that level of reach and responsibility could be intimidating. Not to Koontz. Rather, it serves as her motivation. “Like Billie Jean King originally said, the pressure is a privilege. I feel incredibly privileged to be able to sit in this seat.”

Meet all creatures great and small at these 5 zoos around the South

 

Elephants at Zoo Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta
Open since 1889, Zoo Atlanta has several claims to fame—three of them being its beloved giant pandas. (This zoo is one of only three in the country that houses the vulnerable species.) It’s also home to one of the largest gorilla populations in North America, including a 350-pound, 58-year-old silverback named Ozzie—the oldest male gorilla on record in the world. The zoo’s most recent addition, the African Savanna exhibit, showcases a mixed-species habitat for zebras, ostriches, and giraffes, as well as a spacious new area for its three resident elephants.

An addax antelope at Zoo Miami

Photo courtesy of Ron Magill/Zoo Miami

Zoo Miami
Spanning 750 acres, this is the largest and oldest zoo in Florida, and the fifth largest in the country. It’s also the only subtropical zoo in the continental United States—its warm climate is ideal for uncommon African animals like the near-threatened okapi and the addax antelope, one of the rarest mammals in the world. Navigate Zoo Miami’s diverse collection via rentable safari cycle (a golf-cart-like bike suitable for families), and don’t leave without a souvenir bucket of “Zoo Doo”—composted animal and plant waste that can be used as fertilizer.

A bobcat at the Audubon Zoo

Photo courtesy of the Audubon Zoo

Audubon Zoo
Located in Uptown New Orleans, the Audubon Zoo is part of a network of ten Audubon Institute parks in the area (including an aquarium and insectarium). The Louisiana Swamp Exhibit is one of the zoo’s unique offerings. Visitors can observe native species such as black bears and bobcats while discovering how Cajun culture thrived in the swamp environment with the help of conservation techniques learned from Native Americans. Another is the Jaguar Jungle, which features animals of the South American rainforest (including giant anteaters and hundreds of Seba’s short-tailed bats) amid recreated Mayan ruins.

Ring-tailed lemurs at Riverbanks Zoo

Photo courtesy of Larry Cameron/Riverbanks Zoo

Riverbanks Zoo
Drawing more than one million visitors annually, this Columbia zoo has long been one of South Carolina’s most popular attractions. Observe rare and unusual species, including golden lion tamarins, ring-tailed lemurs, and koalas. And if you want a closer look, pay an extra fee to prepare food for bears, touch giant tortoises, or hide snacks for otters. Riverbanks is more than just a zoo, though; make time to explore the botanical garden, which features seventy acres of themed gardens, including the Asian and Bog gardens.

Red pandas at the Memphis Zoo

Photo courtesy of the Memphis Zoo

Memphis Zoo
In 1904, a Memphis baseball team’s former mascot—a black bear named Natch—was found chained to a tree and in need of a home. This zoo was established to take care of him and other abandoned wild animals. Now the playground of more than 4,500 creatures of all stripes, dots, and prints, the Memphis Zoo has plenty to explore. Take your visit up a notch with its Zoo Snooze programs, which include a guided moonlight safari through select exhibits, up-close animal interactions, and a sleepover at the zoo.

This article appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Southbound.

Five vibrant music venues across the Southeast

The Fillmore

Courtesy of Music Factory

Cameron Moore
Music director and radio host, Kiss 95.1 FM
Charlotte, North Carolina

“Charlotte has a really cool music area called the Music Factory, with three venues: the Fillmore, the Underground, and the amphitheatre. My favorite is the amphitheatre because I like seeing live music outdoors, but the Fillmore is a close second. It has chandeliers and a really cool vibe that’s rustic but nice, too.”

Jo Smith
Musician and radio host, 650 AM WSM
Nashville, Tennessee

“I like to go to the Station Inn in the Gulch. It’s famous for bluegrass music, but a lot of other acts play there as well. It’s a tiny little hole in the wall with all these slick skyscrapers built around it, but it definitely holds its own. I’ve actually played a couple shows there myself. Performing there is the only thing better than seeing a show.”

Cole Williams
Musician and radio host, WWOZ 90.7 FM
New Orleans, Louisiana

“My Thursday night spot is Vaughan’s Lounge when Corey Henry and the Treme Funktet play. It feels like a jazz club that’s in your basement—it’s definitely cozy. You get free red beans and rice, and you get to know the bartenders and patrons. It’s tucked away, but especially during Jazz Fest, you’ll see a bunch of musicians coming in to check it out.”

Kaedy Kiely
Radio host, 97.1 The River
Atlanta, Georgia

“My number-one pick is the Fox Theatre. Just being in such a beautiful, historic place is an experience in itself. It’s very lavish, with lots of gold and tapestries and a beautiful pattern of stars on the ceiling. There aren’t too many places where the sound is so pristine. I’ve seen hundreds of concerts there since I was a kid, so it’s my sentimental favorite, too.”

Racquel Goldy
Producer and radio host, Revolution 93.5
Miami, Florida

“If I want to see any of the DJs I play on air, I go out in Miami and get the whole ‘Vegas’ experience at bigger clubs like Liv or Story. But my favorite venue in Fort Lauderdale, where I live, is Revolution Live. It’s a smaller venue where a lot of artists, such as Kings of Leon, start out. The casual and intimate environment is what keeps me going back. It’s the one that always feels like home.”

This article appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Southbound.

Where to Stay: Anchorage 1770 in Beaufort, South Carolina

Spared by Sherman’s troops during the Civil War, Beaufort is among the South’s most well-preserved cities. Think quiet streets lined with antebellum homes painted in soft pastels, centuries-old oaks draped with Spanish moss, and historic churches set among residences and businesses. Anchorage 1770, a boutique inn on the Beaufort River, fits right in.

As its name indicates, the inn was constructed in 1770. (“Anchorage” references the naval background of Admiral Lester Beardslee, whose family owned the home from 1891 to 1931.) Originally built as a summer home for a wealthy cotton planter and politician, William Elliott, the property served as a Union hospital during the Civil War, the raucous Ribaut Social Club in the 1890s, and all manner of offices, restaurants, and guesthouses over the years.

Rooftop patio

Photograph courtesy of Anchorage 1770

In 2014, innkeepers Frank and Amy Lesesne purchased the inn and set about updating it while still maintaining its historic integrity. Detailed plasterwork from the late 1800s, fireplaces with Adam-style mantels, and four-poster beds nod to the building’s past. Dual showerheads and a white-noise machine in each room (sound tends to travel in centuries-old buildings) bring you back to the present. Each of the fifteen rooms has a unique layout, but the understated decor and subdued shades of cream and white throughout act as a blank canvas, leaving one free to imagine what the room’s former purpose might have been over the centuries. The inn’s three floors of porches, including a rooftop deck with one of the best views in Beaufort, are outfitted with hanging beds and upholstered rocking chairs—ideal for taking in views of the sun setting over the marshy waters.

The Lesesnes are quick to make guests feel at home, starting with a complimentary glass of prosecco upon arrival. In the mornings, enjoy breakfast served to you in bed, and during happy hour, mix your own cocktail at the well-stocked honor bar. Sate your sweet tooth at bedtime with fresh-baked cookies delivered to each room at turndown.

One of the inn’s 15 suites

Photograph courtesy of Anchorage 1770

There’s plenty to see and do around town, so leaving the inn is a must—if only for a little while. Take Amy’s advice and hop on a horse-drawn carriage to learn about other storied homes in the area, including one where Pat Conroy wrote several of his famous novels. Follow it up with a spin along the Spanish Moss Trail on one of the inn’s complimentary bikes. But the inn’s porches—which have held soldiers, authors, socialites, admirals, politicians, and countless guests before you—will surely beckon. Let them.

1103 Bay Street, Beaufort, South Carolina • (877) 951-1770 • anchorage1770.com

John Mark Verdier House

Photograph from Elisa.Rolle via Wikimedia Commons

More to Explore

John Mark Verdier House
Built in 1804, this antebellum home is the only historic planter’s house in the city open to the public. John Mark Verdier built this Federal-style mansion after a successful career spent trading indigo and growing Sea Island cotton. It was a symbol of his newfound wealth and upper-class status. Fun fact: The house was the first in Beaufort to have a telephone. Docent-led tours are available Monday through Saturday.

This article appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Southbound.

Pimento Cheese, Please: The Southern snack with not-so-Southern beginnings

If you think pimento cheese is undeniably Southern—well, you’re wrong. According to expert Emily Wallace, who penned her thesis on the spread’s history, the “pâté of the South” was actually invented in New York in the early twentieth century. Its creation came about when two popular new products—canned pimentos and packaged cream cheese—were combined to produce the first incarnations of pimento cheese. Griffin, Georgia, eventually became the center of the nation’s pimento-canning industry, and pimento cheese started showing up at Southern parties, picnics, and potlucks. The savory spread’s popularity, well, spread—and the South is now known as the pimento-cheese capital of the world.

  • Recipes vary from chef to chef and from household to household, but three ingredients are constant: shredded cheese (usually cheddar), diced pimento peppers, and mayonnaise, as well as some sort of seasoning, which runs the gamut from onion powder to cayenne pepper.
  • Even though pimento cheese traces its roots to the North, the majority of it is bought and sold in the South, according to Moody Dunbar, the country’s leading pimento canner. The Carolinas boast the biggest market—no wonder it’s sometimes called “Carolina Caviar.”
  • Headquartered in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, Palmetto Cheese is the number-one cheese spread company in the country.
  • Celebrate the Southern snack on June 6 at the Pimento Cheese Festival in Cary, North Carolina. After eating your fill, try your hand at the pimento cheese–sculpting contest.
  • Pick up a pimento cheese passport at the Columbia, South Carolina, visitors center and earn stamps by ordering pimento cheese at local restaurants; collect ten stamps for the chance to win a quarterly prize. Be sure to try the Whig’s chipotle pimento cheese fries and Spotted Salamander’s pulled brisket pimento cheese sandwich.
  • You’d be hard-pressed to find a Southern restaurant that doesn’t serve pimento cheese in some form. Try a classic version served with house-made crackers at Husk’s flagship Charleston restaurant, or opt for the unusual with an order of pimento cheese beignets at Restaurant Cotton in Monroe, Louisiana.
This article appears in our Spring/Summer 2020 issue of Southbound magazine.

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