Safety And Your Family: What Are The Biggest Risks And How Can You Avoid Them?


Terrorism attacks and kidnapping for ransom may get a lot of news coverage, but when it comes to protecting your family, the risks you should focus on are much more mundane. This infographic uses hard data and expert recommendations to help you take action to protect your family!

Family Safety

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Could You Be Stranded For Days And Survive?


What would happen if your car broke down in the middle of nowhere? Could you survive? Check out this infographic with tips and gear to help you prepare!

Could You Be Stranded For Days and Survive

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Survey: What is your biggest safety concern on Halloween?


Halloween. It’s that time of year devoted to ghosts, witches, pumpkins, and most importantly, candy. For a variety of reasons, Halloween can also be a time of year with increases in certain crimes. We recently surveyed a group of American adults (aged 25+) to measure perspectives on safety at Halloween. Here is what our survey respondents told us.

What is your biggest safety concern on Halloween?


Aside from the respondents who expressed lack of worry, the highest ranking fear stemmed from child predator threats. This is a valid concern since trick-or-treating often warrants interaction between minors and unfamiliar adults.

Fortunately, due to neighborhood watch programs and city-wide ordinances in communities across the nation, stringent protocol is now imposed on registered sex offenders during Halloween — a positive stride in keeping kids unharmed while they enjoy the festivities.    

How to make their safety your priority:

In addition to law enforcement and volunteer initiatives, there are also steps you, as a parent, can take toward protecting your children. For example, a strategically selected Halloween costume has larger implications than just making a fashion statement.

Opting for make-up rather than a mask increases your little trick-or-treaters’ field of vision which will help them avoid oncoming vehicles and potential “stranger danger.” Also, wearing colorful attire that is easily noticeable at night can reduce their risk of being injured by reckless or inebriated drivers — another reported safety concern.

Finally, before sending the kids off on a quest for candy, arm them with flashlights to illuminate their surroundings, stress the importance of not going inside anyone’s home, and instruct them to refrain from eating sweets that haven’t been pre-packaged.

Halloween might conjure up ghoulish images and devious antics, but the fun is more likely to stay worry-free when both parents and children agree to implement these safety measures before the mischief making holiday even begins.

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Love Locks: The Appeal and the History


Paris is celebrated for its romantic ambiance and idyllic nod to “golden days.” There’s just something about this city that makes your heart skip a beat, especially when wandering those iconic cobblestone streets with your sweetheart. So, what better way to commemorate your fairy-tale jaunt through the City of Lights than by making a “love lock” together?

Whether you’re honeymooning tourists or local lovebirds, this bonding activity is widely-recognized by couples across the globe. Moreover, taking part in the time-honored tradition is simple: stroll hand-in-hand to the Pont de Arts Bridge; purchase a padlock from a local vendor; write your names on it; then secure the padlock on this bridge to mark your romantic rendezvous in this picturesque locale.

However, in June, much to the dismay of tourists and locals, Parisian city officials removed these “love locks” due to structural hazards for the Pont de Arts bridge. Furthermore, they made it illegal to affix any type of lock for the foreseeable future. The bridge was not be able to support this extra weight any longer; in fact, sources allege that the total mass of these padlocks equaled about 20 elephants. But, despite concerns for public safety and historic landmark preservation, many people have expressed disappointment over losing these sentimental tokens.

In light of these recent events, increased speculation has sparked regarding how this “love lock” phenomenon originated. Who started the trend? Can the initial roots be traced back to Paris, or did it begin elsewhere? Why has such an unassuming object become a universal way to say, “je t’aime.” Several rumors and myths abound, but one stand-out origin tale, in particular, comes all the way from Serbia.

Legend states that just before World War II, in the town of Vrnjacka Banja, a couple named Nada and Relja found themselves embroiled in a passionate, amorous tryst. When war broke out, Relja enlisted in the army, and Nada pledged to faithfully await his return; however, she later discovered that Relja had fallen for another woman while away on the frontlines. As the story goes, Nada died from a broken heart, and in her memory, other village girls began attaching padlocks onto the Most Ljubavi Bridge (translated: “Bridge of Love”), where Nada and Relja once spent their time. On these padlocks, each girl wrote her name alongside her beloved’s name to ensure that special someone wouldn’t leave as Relja had.      

Although these symbols of eternal love will no longer be part of Paris’ romanticized landscape, all you Romeos and Juliets can still take heart because more international centers are keeping the tradition alive in their own unique ways. Take a look:   

Brooklyn Bridge — New York City, New York: Arguably one of the most idealized cities in the United States, NYC is the site of timeless romantic comedies like When Harry Met Sally and You’ve Got Mail. As such, visitors flock to the Brooklyn Bridge and secure padlocks on this famous structure to create lasting Big Apple memories.

NEW YORK CITY USA - 1ST SEPTEMBER 2014: A closeup to Love Lock Padlocks attached to Brooklyn Bridge

Mount Huangshan, Lotus Peak — Anhui Province, China: Backpackers, tourists and Chinese residents alike hike to this culturally revered summit and attach padlocks to the metal chains and poles marking the mountainside trail. Then, they throw the keys into the misty abyss that is Mount Huangshan to signify everlasting devotion to their sweethearts.


Photo taken by tela88

Ponte Milvio Bridge — Rome, Italy: Another glamorized European destination, lovers travel from both near and far to fasten padlocks on this ancient landmark. Italians take the credit for this practice because of a book by novelist Federico Moccia, which featured the main characters engaging in their own “love lock” ritual. Now, that’s amore!

ROME ITALY - JUNE 8 2014: People at the Milvian Bridge gate Ponte Molle or Ponte Milvio is an ancient Roman bridge over the Tiber in northern Rome

Vodootvodny Canal — Moscow, Russia: Rather than leaving padlocks on bridge railings, couples visiting this Eastern capital secure them onto man-made metal trees lining the scenic banks of this downtown canal. In fact, many Russian newlyweds pose for wedding photos underneath these aptly named “love lock” trees.

Moscow, Russia - July 28, 2014: Metal tree with multi-colored wedding locks on the background of other colored locks on Luzhkov bridge in Moscow.This place is very popular with newlyweds. Valentine's Day. Wedding's Day.

Distillery District Hearts — Toronto, Canada: Pedestrians and cyclists frequenting this urban hot-spot can fasten padlocks on heart-shaped sculptures along the brick-paved streets. These expansive steel structures measure 8’ by 30’ in length, and were constructed to deter couples from weighing down Toronto’s Humber Bay Arch Bridge.

TORONTO,CANADA-JULY 9,2015: Panoramic view of the new Toronto sign in Nathan Phillips Square, host of PanaMania, a constant party celebrating the PanAm games. Old City Hall in the back.

Southgate Footbridge — Melbourne, Australia: Although this architectural gem once played host to over 20,000 padlocks, city officials recently removed them to prevent cable stress. Aussie lovebirds need not despair, however, as the Melbourne community is in the process of designating a new location for these sentimental symbols to thrive.

MELBOURNE AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 23, 2014: Unidentified couple walk pass love locks on Yarra Footbridge - Love locks have since appeared on bridges all over the world.

Love Fountain — Montevideo, Uruguay: Tucked off-the-beaten-path of the nation’s vibrant commercial center, hundreds of padlocks adorn this modest yet charming monument. Regional folklore dictates that, if any couple leaves a “love lock” at the fountain then returns on their next visit, they will stay together forever.

Independence Square in Montevideo Uruguay It is the city center with statue of Artigas the Gate of the Citadel Executive Tower government Palacio Estevez

Hohenzollern Bridge — Cologne, Germany: A unique crossroads of Medieval-meets-modern awaits in the Rhineland. Here, both tourists and residents enjoy decorating the Hohenzollern Bridge with brightly colored, quirkily designed padlocks or bicycle chains. Then, according to custom, each participant tosses a key into the Rhein River.

COLOGNE GERMANY - DEC 3 2013: lockers at the Hohenzollern bridge symbolize love for ever in Cologne Germany. 40000 lockers of loving couples are on that heavily used railway bridge.

Tel Aviv Port Bridge — Tel Aviv, Israel: While not as overrun with padlocks as its counterparts, this locally dubbed “Bridge of Love” is the Holy Land’s best kept secret. Situated in the heart of a sprawling metropolis, this pedestrian walkway invites lovers to momentarily escape city life and stamp the site with a token of their rendezvous.

TEL AVIV/ISRAEL - 5 AUGUST 2014: panorama of the city Tel Aviv streets and buildings from a height. 5 august 2014 Tel Aviv.

Old Red Bridge — Kansas City, Missouri: Built in 1859, this Midwestern institution has become an amorous emblem throughout the U.S. Crossing this scenic, padlock-covered bridge evokes the stuff of Nicholas Sparks. Passersby can even purchase locks from the Parks and Recreation Department, with all proceeds supporting local green spaces.

Night time image of the Kansas City Missouri skyline.

In addition, there are numerous other locales where you and your honey can rekindle the passion with a “love lock” including Seoul, Budapest, Venice, Dublin, Krakow and even Santa Monica, CA. This romantic gesture has gained common appeal throughout the world, and even if more cities remove the locks, people will continue finding a place to immortalize their love.

About the Author — Frankie Rendon: As a digital marketer/content strategist/PR guy, Frankie collaborates with an array of publications to ensure that the content he plays a part in creating is given its time to shine. Prior to entering the internet marketing realm, Frankie worked for a non-profit organization where he fought to address the needs of the under-served indigenous population of Latin America in efforts to improve overall quality of life.

Frankie studied at the University of Delaware and, after relocating to Tampa, received a degree in Public Relations from the University of South Florida.


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The Truth About Real Robbery vs. Movie Robbery


It’s common knowledge that a fine line separates events occurring in the real world from events depicted on the silver screen. This distinction is particularly relevant when analyzing a film’s portrayal of burglars and home invaders.

In 2010, the FBI reported an estimated 2 million home robberies taking place throughout the United States. Of every burglary committed during that year, 60.5% involved forcible entry (breaking through a door or window) while 33.2% were deemed unlawful entries, meaning the culprits did not employ force. Rather, they simply opened the door and crept inside.

So, what are the main differences between actual burglars and their fictional on-screen counterparts?

Seasoned Professional or Hapless Amateur?

Thief Burglar opening  door

Well, to begin with, these characters are typically portrayed as professional “career criminals” — veterans of the robbery game with high-tech gear and gadgets to disable alarms or security cameras. They dress in black from-head-to-toe and sneak stealthily across the property, thus avoiding detection. In reality, this image does not match the description of an average crook.

Granted, there are numerous professional home burglars active in the United States; however, 85% of these home invaders cannot be classified as professional. Instead, they fit the mold of desperate and dangerous delinquents, intent on swiping any valuables they can find. These felons also frequently lack basic knowledge of security systems or how to evade suspicion.

Careful Planning or Impulse Behavior?

Thief Apartment In the movies, burglars are often in their 30s and, therefore, exhibit savviness that comes with age maturity. They understand the covert nature of criminal activity, prompting them to scout targets for a significant time frame. They develop a sophisticated strategy throughout several days or even weeks. They adopt unassuming disguises, such as delivery men, gardeners and other home maintenance workers. When the crooked character is played by a female, she is generally the attractive type who leverages her sex appeal to gain entry into a target’s residence before committing her dastardly deed.

Real-life burglars, however, are not nearly so cunning. In fact, studies indicate that the majority of home invaders are young, inexperienced and reckless white males, aged 20-25. Police have also stated that several culprits fit the classic description of an addict trying to score drug money.

Lengthy Investigation or Hasty Getaway?

Burglary By The Window

Next, once they access their target location, movie crooks move slowly, methodically and cautiously while raiding a home in search of precious commodities. Often, they appear to conduct this thorough inspection 30 minutes or longer. Off-screen, the process takes substantially less time. The average span of an actual home burglary has been estimated at 8-12 minutes. They’re in and out — quickly as possible.

What Can You Do to Avoid a Real Threat?

If you recently watched a thriller film such as Panic Room (2002) or The Strangers (2008), for example, and have become terrified of burglars and home invaders as a result, here are some pointers to remember:

  • Ensure that your home’s security system is up-to-date, your alarm is consistently activated, and your doors or windows remained locked. Burglars will unlikely attempt entering a residence where precautions have clearly been taken.
  • Double check all locks before leaving your home for any reason in order to verify that  the residence will stay secure in your absence.
  • Inform a neighbor if you will be leaving home for an expended time period, so that someone else can watch for any suspicious activity.

Of course, expert “career criminals” are legitimately on-the-prowl for an opportune moment to strike, but if you follow the necessary steps to safeguard your home, family and property, this threat will decrease. Simply put, the chances of encountering a movie-like crook aren’t as prevalent as Hollywood might suggest.



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9 Crazy Vehicle Heists And Police Chases


Car heists can often lead to the intense police car chases we’re accustomed to seeing on the six o’clock news from time to time. These videos prove that it’s imperative to make sure your cars are locked and secure — you don’t want to see your vehicle being chased down by police and burst into a wild inferno.

So without further ado, here are nine of the strangest vehicle heists for your entertainment!

Highway Tank Chase 

May 17, 1995

Los Angeles, CA

An Army Vet stole a tank and decided to take it for a joy ride in a suburb and California highway. The police finally took the man down.

Bulldozer Rampage

June 4, 2004

Granby, CO

A man lusting with revenge built his own custom bulldozer and decided to take out pieces of property belonging to people who “wronged him” — equipped inside with assault rifles and large amounts of ammo. After the police finally cut him off, he sadly committed suicide. The damage he caused to the town was over 7 million dollars.

Limo Madness

April 14, 2006

Westchester, NY

A man stole a limo and ended up in a high speed pursuit from the police. His crime? A suspended license. He also drove the limo in reverse on the highway until he was captured.

Lumber Truck Chase

November 7, 2001

Dallas, TX

A man stole a lumber truck which led to a high speed pursuit. The truck even caught on fire while blazing down the highway! A police officer got out of his vehicle and shot the suspect to take him down.

14 Year Old Stole Car Only to Be Stopped by A Protective Father

May 31, 2014

Syracuse, NY

A 14 year old boy decided to steal his grandfather’s car to go for a spin. This ended up in a police pursuit through an Oregon suburb and even a park where children were playing! This came to an end when a father of one of the children playing in the park ran his lifted Ford F-150 into the car.

From Car Chase to Skateboard Chase

December 1, 2014

Los Angeles, CA

A man in a normal high speed pursuit crashed his car and decided to flee the scene on a skateboard only to be taken down by a good citizen. Nice try, guy.

Teen Girl Stole Flatbed Truck and Escaped Out the Window

March 31, 2014

Los Angeles, CA

The title really says it all. A young girl stole a truck and tries to escape on foot only to be taken down by police. She also ran around barefoot and barely clothed, looked like she was in a hurry!

Man Hanging on For Life on a Hijacked Tractor Trailer

April 28, 2009

Atlanta, GA

In the Peach State, a man stole a tractor trailer while the truck’s driver held on for dear life in the back. Eventually, the man jumped off and the police took the suspect down.

Stolen Crane Knocked Down Power Lines

April 5, 2012

Sacramento, CA

A man stole a crane in the middle of the night knocking down power lines in a suburban neighborhood. CBS Sacramento reported the story.

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The Top 10 Most Interesting Heists in US History


From Hollywood-dramatized shootouts at a Blackjack table to underworld Mobster racketeering, our culture is collectively fascinated by the cliche of a street-smart thief dressed all in black. However, the following examples of infamous crime capers didn’t spring from the fictional realms of film or literature, but were pulled off by real-life villains — some of whom never even got caught!

The Brinks Robbery

January 17, 1950

Boston, MA

In 1950, 11 masked and armed burglars stole over $1.2 million in cash, as well as $1.5 million in checks and money orders, from the 165th Prince Street Bank. Several mainstream media outlets during that time, dubbed this heist the “crime of the century,” and as subsequent investigations unfolded, it was revealed that Boston underworld criminals, Joseph McGinness and Joseph O’Keefe, had orchestrated the entire operation. Eventually, all 11 accomplices were arrested and convicted for their high-profile criminal involvement.


D.B. Cooper Air Piracy Heist

November 24, 1971

Portland, OR & Seattle, WA

An unidentified man, popularly referred to by the press as “D.B. Cooper,” hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft, extorted $200,000 in ransom money from its passengers, and parachuted from the plane after collecting his loot. Federal investigators have since discovered bags of cash stashed in forests of the Pacific Northwest; however, the infamous D.B. Cooper is still considered at-large. Although he presumably did not survive the skydive, FBI authorities cannot trace his whereabouts.


United California Bank Robbery

March 24, 1972

Laguna Niguel, CA

A group of 7 career criminals, led by alarm expert Amil Dinsio, used dynamite to blast into the United California Bank’s reinforced concrete vault, then snatched $30 million in cash and valuables from safety deposit boxes. With his extensive experience disarming complex security systems, Dinsio masterminded the operation, which broke previously-set world records for the most money stolen from a bank at that time. Despite his strategic planning, however, the men were ultimately apprehended because they left dirty dishes in their kitchen before carrying out the burglary, allowing police officers to connect their fingerprints with those left behind at the crime scene.

Lufthansa Heist 

December 11, 1978

New York, NY

Syndicates connected to the notorious Lucchese Family of organized crime robbed an estimated $5 million in cash and $875,000 in jewelry from New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. A mob associate named Jimmy Burke hired gunmen to break into the airport’s vault where supposedly untraceable amounts of American currency transported from Lufthansa, Germany, were being securely held. Following a violent showdown with JFK employees, the burglars executed a successful getaway with their $6 million dollar haul, launching a widespread federal investigation that led to bloody deaths and eventual incarcerations. Considered one of the largest cash robberies to occur on U.S. soil, this heist was also a key plot component in Martin Scorsese’s 1990 gangster masterpiece, Goodfellas.


Gardner Museum Robbery 

March 17, 1990

Boston, MA

On St. Patrick’s Day, two men entered the Gardner Art Museum, disguised as Boston police officers. After issuing a false claim that they’d arrived in response to a “dispatch call,” the burglars subsequently overpowered the security guards on duty and locked them in the museum’s basement. Then, they stole 13 invaluable paintings from artists, such as Johannes Vermeer and Edgar Degas. Although these robbers made a clean break from the crime scene 25 years ago, recent news reports indicate that the FBI has finally discovered their identities. No names will be released, however, until the Feds gather more evidence, as these suspects are believed to have ties with a New England-based criminal ring.


Stardust Casino Heist 

September 22, 1992

Las Vegas, NV

William John Brennan, a sports book cashier for the former Vegas landmark Stardust Hotel and Casino, casually walked in the door during early morning hours. Shortly thereafter, he left with over $500,000 in cash, then vanished into the strip’s sea of garish neon lights and overcrowded streets. Somehow, Brennan managed to avoid the casino’s surveillance cameras, and has yet to be tracked down since. In fact, the 22-year-old case remains unsolved to this day.


Dunbar Armored Robbery

September 12, 1997

Los Angeles, CA

A Dunbar employee named Allen Pace, along with 5 accomplices, robbed the Dunbar Armored truck depot  and swiped $18 million in cash. Although investigators encountered several obstacles in cracking the case, they suspected all along it must have been an inside job. Early evidence suggested that Pace had carefully studied the truck depot’s layout and knew exactly how to retrieve the money without being detected. Finally, one of his accomplices was arrested, then later confessed and revealed the other robbers’ names to law enforcement. Pace was ultimately sentenced to 24 years in prison.


Collar-Bomb Case

August 28, 2003

Erie, PA

Brian Douglas Wells, a pizza delivery man entered a local bank demanding money and threatening to detonate a time-bomb secured around his neck. Shortly after making his getaway, police officers apprehended him, at which point, the bomb was inadvertently set off. Wells died in this explosion, and his family later alleged that he had been kidnapped then forced into committing the robbery. This heist still remains largely shrouded in mystery because, while the FBI has formally named him a willing participant in the crime, Wells’ relatives continue to maintain his innocence.

Bernie Madoff Ponzi Scheme 

December 11, 2008

New York, NY

The Feds took former NASDAQ chairman, Bernie Madoff, into custody on charges of masterminding the largest, most elaborate accounting and Ponzi scheme in American history to-date. These fraudulent investments are reported to have generated over $65 billion from the 4,800 clients “represented” through Madoff’s firm. In the aftermath of his widespread illegal activity, this one-time Wall Street broker pled guilty to 11 federal offenses, including securities fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, making false statements, perjury and falsifying SEC documents. He is currently serving 150 years in prison for this extensive laundry-list of white collar felonies.


YouTube Cornerstone Bank Heist 

November 28, 2012

Waco, NE

19-year-old Hannah Sabatta stole a car and single handedly pulled off a bank hold-up in her small Midwestern hometown. Immediately following the robbery, this brazen teen published a YouTube video, proudly displaying the looted cash and bragging about her new fortune. However, Sabatta failed to consider the consequences of publicly posting a confession and was arrested the next day on counts of theft and burglary. Nebraska law enforcement officials plan to use this YouTube video as evidence against the teenage defendant in trial.


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Top 10 Must-Visit Bars in Atlanta


Most urban centers boast their own brand of trendy yet welcoming watering holes…otherwise known as the quintessential “bar scene.” From popular franchises to alternative dives to those holes-in-the-wall you never even realized had such a vibrant atmosphere, local hang-outs are intrinsic to a city’s cultural landscape.

Atlanta, widely known as the South’s major metropolitan hub, is no exception to the dynamic, world-class nightlife you’d expect inside any city limit. So, whether you’re a tourist sampling Southern flavors and hospitality or a resident enjoying an after-hours cocktail with your coworkers, these ATL hot-spots are worth checking out:

Park Bar

Located across the street from Centennial Olympic Park, as well as within walking distance to both Phillips Arena and the Georgia Dome, this hidden gem is ideal for quenching your thirst before heading off to an Atlanta Hawks or Falcons game. Featuring a casual kick-back vibe, this tavern invites you to unwind over tap beer and quality pub grub. If you’re feeling lucky, take a chance and “Spin the Wheel” to win free shots for all your fellow diners! Park Bar is also Atlanta’s official U.S. Soccer Bar, so stop by during the next World Cup season.

parkbarPhoto taken from Park Bar Facebook.

The Vortex

You can’t visit ATL without hitting up this landmark restaurant most natives rave about. The Vortex in Midtown (with another location in Little Five Points) is home to arguably the tastiest burgers ever to tickle your tastebuds, such as the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse Burger, Coronary Bypass Burger, and other original standouts. Also, try the signature drinks including a house brew called Laughing Skull Amber Ale or the “stiff” — putting it mildly! — Skull Crusher. If funky decor, a mouth-watering menu, and famously formidable beverages sound appealing, this bar is your new haunt! You must be 21 to enter, as you’ll be carded at the door.

vortexPhoto taken by Rhea C.

Ri Ra Irish Pub

With the rustic ambiance of a traditional Irish pub, this loud and lively Midtown establishment is always bursting with activity. From weekly trivia nights to open-mic karaoke to live music and dancing, every evening at Ri Ra’s feels like a perpetual party. However, if mellow and homey feel more like your speed, fear not: this taproom is also perfect for leisurely nursing a Guinness pint alongside classic fish ‘n chips, while chatting with your mates in a cozy corner booth.

riraPhoto from Ri Ra Irish Pub – Atlanta Facebook Page.

Sister Louisa’s Church

Step outside your comfort zone and experience all the “artful irreverence” that is Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room & Ping-Pong Emporium. Not for the faint-of-heart, this downtown mainstay has been keeping its brash clientele entertained for almost 15 years. The outrageous Southern-Baptist-Church-Gone-to-Hell vibe has even caught the attention of sites like BuzzFeed, who ranked Sister Louisa’s 1 out of 17 noteworthy themed bars, worldwide. The wall art alone will make you either laugh or cringe, while downing a PBR or challenging other “church parishioners” to ping-pong. Even if you’re an out-of-towner, feel free to mingle. The regulars will show you an unforgettable time, and that’s the Gospel truth!

churchPhoto taken by Judi Knight.

Holeman & Finch Public House

For a chic, elevated twist on down-home comfort, pull up a chair at this local favorite that welcomes both Georgia residents and folks passing through. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of craft beers and top-shelf cocktails you won’t be able to resist, like the Blood & Sand scotch — shaken not stirred, of course! This contemporary yet understated gastropub also serves exceptional entrees including one menu item so popular, it’s just called “The Burger.” Whether your tastes are simple or refined, H & F is a peachy-keen nod to pure Americana.

finchPhoto taken by T. Tseng.

Manuel’s Tavern

Many rambling travelers and those active in the arts scene have dubbed this Virginia Highlands institution their favorite gathering place in the entire city. Described as a “quintessential neighborhood bar,” Manuel’s brings various cultures and backgrounds together in one friendly atmosphere. Whether you’re a couch surfer, corporate climber, or free-spirited “hipster,” you’ll appreciate the joint’s down-to-earth camaraderie and personal touches — like the bartender knowing your name, for example. So, amble inside for a casual brunch, then stick around all afternoon and get to know this diverse crowd that calls Manuel’s home.

tavernPhoto taken by dangerismycat.

The Nook

Just a five-minute stroll from Piedmont Park, this intimate hideaway is a perfect pit-stop for lunch and libations while exploring Midtown ATL’s bustling streets. This “green” establishment offers locally-grown dishes from the organic garden out back and promotes eco-friendly initiatives so you can enjoy a tasty nosh, while helping the planet! No dining experience here would be complete without a massive fishbowl  cocktail and heaping mound of The Nook’s legendary tochos (tater-tot nachos smothered with creative toppings, such as barbeque pork, fresh veggies, or artisan cheese). Plus, if you’re from Michigan or a Michigan State fan, this is Atlanta’s go-to spot for cheering the Spartans on game day.

nookPhoto from The Nook, On Piedmont Park Facebook Page.

Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall

Get back to childhood nostalgia at this charming restaurant, designed to resemble those summer camp cafeterias you frequented as a kid. The only difference is, this time, there’s free-flowing alcohol! Tucked into the historic Old Fourth Ward district along picturesque Beltline nature trails, this lodge-themed retreat beckons you to refuel after a sightseeing excursion. Answer the call by indulging in authentic Southern cuisine, picnic favorites, and a crisp glass of wine on the patio.

ladybirdPhoto from Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall Facebook Page.

The Midway Pub

If sipping craft beer and showing off your impressive trivia knowledge with friends — both old and brand new — sounds up your alley, then add this boisterous sports bar to your list of ATL haunts. With airy outdoor seating, screens broadcasting the big game, and nightly events including “Tuesday Tacos and Trivia,” Midway constantly brings the fun! In addition to classic finger foods, like chicken wings or Dijon soft pretzels, health-conscious sports fans will also appreciate the gourmet salads, homemade soups, and even a colorful veggie plate.

midwayPhoto taken by Mindy Georges.


Whether you’re a bona fide “pool shark” or barely know how to hold a cue, this billiards hall located on the city’s West Side features dim vintage lighting, warm earthy decor, and the timeless feel of a gentlemen’s club. But, don’t let those days-gone-by nuances fool you: this lounge is alive with urbane energy. So, try your hand at Pool, Backgammon, Bocce Ball, Darts, or Shuffleboard before relaxing over artisan-prepared appetizers and the obligatory nightcap.

ormsbysPhoto taken from Ormsby’s Facebook Page.

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17 Pet Friendly Places in Atlanta, GA


When it comes to giving Fido his daily dose of exercise and outdoor time, going for a stroll around the block just doesn’t always cut it. After all, you wouldn’t want to leave your apartment once a day just to meander around the same old quarter mile stretch, would you? Right, well your dog doesn’t want that either.

Give your best friend a little treat by taking a trip to one of Atlanta’s pet friendly establishments. These parks will give your dog the chance to run, play, cut loose and the restaurants to let your dog relax  while you enjoy a cold drink and meal in a way that will change your look on a standard day with your best friend.

Here are 17 of the best places to take your furry friend in the Atlanta area.

Piedmont Dog Park


Address: 1342 Worchester Drive Northeast, Atlanta, GA 30306
Piedmont Dog Park is first on the list because it’s far and away the most visited dog park in the city. This beautiful park includes great features like separate large and small dog areas, as well as public amenities and shelter.

Midtown Tavern

Address: 554 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308
Want to sit outside, look out at the Atlanta skyline with a cold beer and your furry pal by your side? Then Midtown Tavern is the place to check out. This dog-friendly establishment has a wide range of food, beverages and events! From stand-up comedy to trivia, it has an atmosphere for everyone. The Tavern is located just 6 minutes away from Piedmont Park.


Joe’s on Juniper

Address: 1049 Juniper St NE, Atlanta, GA, US 30309
Located just 20 minutes walking distance from Piedmont Park, this Atlanta favorite is a great place if you’re wanting to bring your pup along while trying unique beverages in a casual, tavern setting. Joe’s has a very upbeat atmosphere and always has something going on – in fact, they were named “Atlanta’s best trivia” by Southern Voice, Creative Loafing and Fenuxe.

Railside Dog Park

Address: 210 Peters St SW, Atlanta, GA 30313
Tucked away in the Atlanta suburb of Castleberry Hill, the Railside Dog Park is an ideal place to take your canine for an afternoon outing. The park was established in 2010 on donated land, and it is maintained wonderfully. The fact that it’s in such a friendly neighborhood filled with great restaurants doesn’t hurt either!

South Bend Dog Park


Address: 2001 Lakewood Avenue, Atlanta, GA 30315
South Bend Park, located in Lakewood Heights, is another local dog owner favorite. The park is packed with beautiful scenery, and you can even catch a nice view from the top of its highest hill. Like Piedmont Dog Park, South Bend also maintains separate areas for large and small dogs.


Address: 142 Flat Shoals Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30316
Coffee, great eats, and cute puppies – what’s not to love about that!? Well, that’s exactly what you’ll find at Parkgrounds, Atlanta’s only dog park/coffee shop/breakfast joint, free wifi too. Oh, and there’s a bar too, so those evening dog walks can be accompanied by beer, wine, or cocktail.

Brook Run Dog Park

Address: 4770 N Peachtree Rd, Dunwoody, GA, 30338
Maintained and operated entirely by faithful volunteers, the Brook Run Dog Park is a wooded pooch wonderland with plenty of single track trails and fresh scenery to keep your pup occupied for hours. Make note, the only downside to this park is that it does not have any bathrooms. Other than that, the park is fantastic. Make any necessary pit stops at home or on the way and you’ll have a great trip!

Newton Dream Dog Park

Courtesy of Johns Creek.

Courtesy of Johns Creek.

Address: 3150 Old Alabama Road, Johns Creek, GA, 30022
Doesn’t the name say it all? Dream Dog Park? One of the top rated dog parks in the nation, the Newton Dream Dog Park is located in the Johns Creek suburb at the entrance of Newton Park. The park includes artificial turf, dog obstacle courses, and fire hydrant sprinklers for those hot Georgia summers.

Chattapoochee Dog Park

Address: 4291 Rogers Bridge Rd, Duluth, GA, 30097
With a clever name like the ‘Chattapoochee’ the park is located right next to the, you guessed it, Chattahoochee River. A small gated dog park designed for the smaller pups to roam and play.

Brook Run Dog Park

Address: 1424 Vernon Ridge Close, Dunwoody, GA, 30338
This popular dog park is a great place to let your furry friends loose and let them do what they do best. Play. Plus they could meet and play with other pups as well!

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Centennial Olympic Park

Address: 265 Park Ave West NW, Atlanta, GA, 30313
The historic park in downtown Atlanta is not only a pet friendly park but is also an incredible place to visit. Honoring the 1996 Olympic Games which were held in Atlanta, this park is a perfect place to take photos, spend time with loved ones, and to explore with your dogs.

Der Biergarten

Address: 300 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313 
Craving a cold pint from an authentic beer garden like the ones in Munich and Berlin? Well, Der Biergarten in Atlanta can satisfy that craving. They offer all the German beers you can imagine and tasty German cuisine. Your pup is welcome to relax with you on their spacious patio. Plus, this Atlanta favorite is located right next to Centennial Olympic Park where you and your dog can go exploring!

Stone Mountain Park

Address: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA, 30083
The famous Stone Mountain Park is a perfect place to visit especially for your dog. As long as you keep your dog on a leash and keep your pets in the pet designated areas, this is a perfect place to explore with your pet pals.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Grant Park

Address: 840 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA, 30315
Right next to the Atlanta Zoo and Cyclorama Civil War Museum, Grant Park is a beautiful green space nestled in East Atlanta. With restaurants and parking surrounding the area, this would be a fun destination to visit with your dogs as you can relax in front of a little photogenic lake.

Dakota Blue

Address: 454 Cherokee Ave SE, Atlanta, GA, 30312
This traditional American/Tex-Mex cuisine restaurant makes great food and loves having your dogs enjoy their neat atmosphere. Located right next to Grant Park, this is an ideal spot for you to eat and be able to play with your dog in a pet friendly park.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Address: 1750 Mt Vernon Rd, Lithia Springs, GA, 30122
Up for a real adventure? Then check out Sweetwater Creek State Park! This is the ideal spot for anyone who loves the great outdoors and enjoys hiking. With so many trails that are friendly for the athletic dog, this is a great place to visit and explore with man’s best friend.

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Address: 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell, GA, 30075
This is another great spot for any hiking enthusiast wanting an up close encounter with wildlife. The Chattahoochee Nature Center in Historic Roswell is an enchanting place visit and explore wetland and woodland trails. If your pup is on a leash, this is a fun place to visit as your furry friend can sniff a new scent and maybe even answer a call to the wild.

What are your favorite spots in Atlanta to take your dog? Did we miss any of them here? Give us a shout on Facebook to let us know!

Courtesy of Flickr.

Courtesy of Flickr.

Here is a Google Map with all the dog friendly locations for your convenience!

1. Photo via Flickr

2. Photo via Flickr

3. Photo via Flickr

4. Photo via Flickr

5. Photo via Flickr

6. Photo via Flickr

7. Photo via Flickr

8. Photo via Flickr

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5 of the Best Restaurants in Atlanta


Whether it’s for business or pleasure, one thing remains the same while traveling — you have to eat! Plenty of people simply visit the restaurants closest to their hotels. Others stick with familiar national chains they frequent in their own hometowns.

Both of these seemingly harmless habits can cause you to miss out on some of the most delectable food in the country. Planning a trip to A-Town in the near future? Make a point to nosh at some of Atlanta’s best restaurants:



Fine dining enthusiasts will wholeheartedly appreciate all that Bacchanalia has to offer. Consistently rated as one of Atlanta’s best restaurants by top-tier publications for more than two decades, patrons are continually treated to delectable fare coupled with unparalleled hospitality. The prix-fixe dinners include five to seven savory options for each of the five courses. The seasonal menu relies solely on organic ingredients from chefs / owners Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison’s farm. Enjoy favorites like beef tartare, crab fritters, sweetbreads, and more.

1198 Howell Mill Rd. NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone (404) 365-0410

Antico Pizza Napoletana


Pizza on the brain? Head to Antico Pizza Napoletana, where the chefs are known to craft more than 700 pies over the course of a weekend, often running out of dough! Just one bite and you’ll understand why. Antico’s popular Margherita pizza is crafted with fresh mozzarella di bufala Campana and San Marzano tomatoes; the San Gennaro is covered in sausage, cipollini onions, and spicy sweet red peppers. Other offerings, such as the mushroom and artichoke-heavy Capricciosa, are considered just as scrumptious by tourists and locals alike. Keep in mind that reservations aren’t accepted and the dining room, which offers communal seating, is often full. Prefer to skip the crowd? Order your pie to go.

1093 Hemphill Ave. NW
Atlanta, GA 30318
Phone (404) 724-2333



Located on the Chattahoochee River in the historic Vinings section of Atlanta, Canoe’s breathtaking riverside locale offers diners a delicious view as well as delectable fare. Meals have been mentioned in Bon Appetit as well as The New York Times. Popular items include a beet and goat cheese salad, fried green tomatoes, bacon-wrapped monkfish, truffle fries, she crab soup, and smoked salmon. Exquisite desserts include an espresso tart and popcorn sundae. There may be a wait if you want to dine outdoors during the warmer months, but previous patrons will vouch that it’s worth the wait.

4199 Paces Ferry Rd. SE
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone (770) 432-2663

Poor Calvin’s


Poor Calvin’s is like an island oasis that emerged in Downtown Atlanta in 2012. Owner and Chef Calvin Phan is Vietnamese and perfected his culinary crafts in Germany. Meals are a unique and flavorful blend of Thai and Southern styles, concocted from only the freshest and finest ingredients. Customer favorites include lobster fried rice, grilled lamb, fried chicken, sea bass, and kale mashed potatoes. The Poor Calvin’s Fusion, Midnight Overture and Mango Jalapeno are a trio of numerous signature cocktails, and the restaurant is open for brunch, lunch, and dinner — reservations are accepted and recommended.

510 Piedmont Ave. NE
Atlanta, GA 30308
Phone (404) 254-4051



Co-owner and namesake Kevin Rathbun is something of a restaurant mogul in Atlanta. Opening its doors in the Inman Park neighborhood in 2004, Rathbun’s was the first of his four establishments in the area and still considered a predominant force. The fare is a mixture of new and traditional American dishes, from roasted chicken and filet mignon to elk chops and lobster tacos. Some meals are pricier than others — a portion of the menu is half-jokingly designated “Second Mortgage” — but the taste and overall ambiance has been enough to create plenty of repeat customers. The fact that Rathbun defeated Bobby Flay on TV series Iron Chef in 2008 also helps draw crowds.

112 Krog St.
Atlanta, GA 30307
Phone (404) 524-8280

Photo Credits:

1. Photo via Flickr

2. Photo via Rathbun’s

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