Where the experts holiday: Stacy Shade, specialist at Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Stacy Shade, a specialist at the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau
, talks travel


What do you like to do on holiday?
I enjoy being outdoors when on holiday. A day of hiking and biking, followed by relaxing next to a fire or a scenic body of water is the ideal mix for me when I’m away.

Where did you last go?
That would be Alaska.

Do you know where you’re going this year?
Yes – Whitefish, Montana (near Glacier National Park).

Of all the places that you’ve been to, which was your favourite and why?
Lyon, France. Lyon has an unfair advantage with me as I was able to live there for a full year rather than a quick holiday. Still, Lyon is my favourite thanks to its location in the Rhône-Alpes region, putting it very near the French (and Swiss) Alpes. Lyon has the charm of Paris without the frantic, big-city feel. Lyon boasts charming cobblestone streets (i.e. Vieux Lyon) and beautiful architecture as well as great food and nightlife. For me, Lyon truly has it all.

Which destination do you wish to travel to, but haven’t yet been?
The Greek Islands. While this destination isn’t original (I’m aware it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world), I’d still like to join the crowd and take in the crystal blue waters of the Aegean Sea.

In your own country, what would you recommend tourists see that isn’t in the travel guides?
I recommend starting with the familiar in Atlanta – Centennial Olympic Park and the surrounding attractions. After, wander to the Westside Provisions District for a meal. Right next door is a venue that’s truly off the beaten path (and not in your travel guide) – The Goat Farm Arts Center. You never know what you’ll encounter on any given day at this cotton gin-turned-arts center. You may inadvertently walk on to a movie set (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire film was shot here), a modern dance rehearsal, a photo shoot – or all three.

How do you plan your trips?
My trip planning approach begins with research. I’ll hear about a place through a friend, travel journalist or colleague and then, once the locale has peaked my interest, I’ll set about researching. After, I price it out to make sure I can afford the trip. Finally, I stub out a rough itinerary. I don’t plan activities or meals in advance, but rather locations and hotels/campsites/inns. Once I arrive on-site, I like the freedom to decide what I feel like seeing and eating that day. I love getting recommendations from locals.

How often do you go away?
I do one far flung trip per year and at least three small getaways as well.

Who do you travel with?
I travel frequently with my husband, Jeff.  I also travel with close friends and, occasionally, solo.

Thanks Stacy! For more information on Stacy’s city, Atlanta, please click here

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