Southern Adventurers


Presenting the winners of South's Greatest Adventurers of 2020. These nature-loving adrenaline enthusiasts inspire us to take to trecherous terrain, uncharted waters and new horizons. They told us about their wildest encounters and favorite spots to explore in the South.


Doug Tatum

Doug Tatum runs a company called Ursus Expedition Services and, with a job title of “weapons trainer/bear guard/arctic adventurer,” has staked his claim in the North. Despite his recent Arctic excursions, Tatum was born and raised in the mountains of North Georgia and proudly professes that the Southeast stretch of the Appalachian Mountains is the most beautiful land in the United States.

Tatum’s greatest Southern adventure happened by chance when he – quite literally — stumbled into a bioluminescent pool on Little Tybee. After an evening of tandem kayaking and bourbon-sippin’ under the moon, Doug and his companion began a less-than graceful retreat back to camp. In making their way through the waters, the phytoplankton surprised them with an effervescent glow.


Allison Poore

Allison Poore is a true kayak enthusiast. She has conquered waterways in state parks across Georgia. Navigating the Lazaretto creek in her go-to route for not-so-average exploring. Having paddled from the creek over to Cockspur Island at the mouth of the Savannah River with an encouraging show of support from dolphins, past Fort Pulaski, Poore made it to the Cockspur Lighthouse with the Atlantic Ocean just over her shoulder.

Poore’s most memorable kayak adventure was wading through the glass-like surface of George L. Smith State Park in Twin City, Georgia, among waterlogged tree trunks and wildlife. The mesmerizing reflections and sounds created an entranced experience like no other.

Whitney Manning

Whitney Manning and her husband solidified their place in Georgia fishing history when they boated a 327.9-pound swordfish — the largest to ever be caught off the state’s coast. While a truly amazing feat, capturing this record was like second nature to Manning, who learned to reel in a keeper before learning how to do her makeup. When she isn’t wrangling her three daughters and six fur-babies, Manning joins her husband in their favorite waters, offshore of Savannah, studying the seas. To her, there is no place like floating in the cobalt waves 100 miles offshore, looking out at a golden gradient on the horizon.


Eleanor Bryant

Few encounters are more perilous than a run-in with an alligator – the swamp-dwelling terrors of the Lowcountry. While home on vacation from her role as a kayak guide in Alaska, Eleanor Bryant’s leisurely paddle took a blood-chilling turn. Two eyes peered above the surface and took the shape of a several-hundred-pound reptile headed straight for her. Bryant, being the experienced kayaker she is, was able to calmly paddle to safety, despite sporting a broken leg at the time. She knows the waterways like the back of her hand and her respect and admiration for native wildlife afforded her a safe retreat that day. Bryant’s favorite spots to explore in the Southeast are the coastal islands, of which she credits local organizations for protecting the wonderfully diverse wildlife.


Eric Russo

The Ocoee River in Tennessee is home to some of the most dangerous and thrilling rapids in the world. Adventurer Eric Russo lives to tell the tale of his most adrenaline-pumping experience in the South. Under the supervision of his friend — a rafting instructor by profession — Russo paddled, battled and rolled his way through the white waters in a gripping experience he wouldn’t soon forget.

Russo represents the intellectual side to adventure, as his favorite places to explore are the multitude of historical towns and pockets the South has to offer. Particularly in Savannah, investigations into the secrets of the American past never end.


Jay Amarillo

Jay Amarillo is South’s Greatest Adventurer of the skies, as the pilot of over 10 years maintains that he spends more time in the air than on the ground. The joy of flying became real for him when he could share the feeling of sheer freedom with his wife, daughter and parents in their first helicopter ride.

From Amarillo’s bird’s eye view, the best spot to explore is the western coastline of the Florida panhandle, where the Gulf of Mexico meets the Southern shores. The perks of being a pilot allow for him to shoot down to Sharkey’s On the Pier in Venice Beach after a morning cruise in the clouds.

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Events Calendar

  • A Savannah Scavenger Hunt: Historic Savannah Adventure

    Feb 19, 2020
    8:00 AM - 10:00 PM @ Savannah

    Explore beautiful Savannah. Steeped in Civil War history, you will be sure to find some new-to-you spots. Tourist, local, or new to town, this is a...

  • Free Fort Pulaski Days

    Jan 20, 2020
    All Day @ Fort Pulaski National Monhument

    Fort Pulaski National Monument will have six entrance fee-free days in 2020. The dates for 2020 are: ● Monday, January 20 – Martin...

  • First Fridays in Starland

    Jun 26, 2020
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM @ Starland District

     Monthly arts event in Savannah’s Starland District, with street fair, art market or gallery shows. Starland doesn’t like to...

  • Georgia State Clogging Festival

    Oct 03, 2020
    12:00 PM - 6:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    For those that love clogging, this competition is for you! This NCHC Sanctioned competition will offer all Sanctioned Categories, Solos, and...

  • Nine Line Run for Wounded 5K/10K

    Oct 03, 2020
    6:00 PM - 10:00 PM

    Join the Nine Line Foundation and Nine Line Apparel this Armed Forces Day, Oct 3, 2020, for our 7th Annual 5K/10K Run for...

  • Prohibition Cocktail Classes

    Jun 22, 2020
    6:00 PM @ American Prohibition Museum

    Monday & Tuesday evening from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Prohibition Cocktail Classes at Congress Street Up inside the American Prohibition Museum....

  • Casting Crowns: Only Jesus Tour w/Special Guest Matthew West

    Oct 08, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah Civic Center

    GRAMMY® winning multi-platinum group Casting Crowns has announced plans to extend its widely popular Only Jesus Tour into 2020, following...

  • 16th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest

    Oct 08, 2020
    All Day @ Tybee Island

    Escape the ordinary… if only for a weekend. Join us for the 16th Annual Tybee Island Pirate Fest! Entertainment includes live music, pirate...

  • Georgia Mountain Fall Festival

    Oct 09, 2020
    10:00 AM - 7:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    Look forward to the 2020 Fall Festival! With its mild temperatures and beautiful scenery there is no better place to be than the North Georgia...

  • 2020 SMF Fall Concert — Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers

    Oct 09, 2020
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Lucas Theatre for the Arts

    Part of a new fall concert series of rescheduled 2020 Savannah Music Festival performances, Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers will...

  • Roots & Boots 90’s Electric Throwdown tour featuring Sammy Kershaw, Aaron Tippin and Collin Raye

    Oct 10, 2020
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    The Roots & Boots 90’s Electric Throwdown Tour featuring legendary country artists Aaron Tippin, Sammy Kershaw, and Collin Raye is coming to the...

  • Ronnie Milsap and John Conlee

    Oct 17, 2020
    7:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

     Local native, Ronnie Milsap, takes the stage with Country music singer, John Conlee Ronnie Milsap Born blind (his family thought it was...

  • 2020 SMF Fall Concert — Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis

    Oct 17, 2020
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Johnny Mercer Theatre

    Part of a new fall concert series of rescheduled 2020 Savannah Music Festival performances, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton...

  • Pickin' & Shuckin' with Beer & Bubbles

    Oct 17, 2020
    All Day @ Tybee Post Theater

    A toast to island style in a sunset evening with roasted oysters and pig pickin' on the lawn in front of the beautifully restored Tybee Post...

  • Appalachian Brew, Stew & Que Festival

    Oct 24, 2020
    11:00 AM - 5:00 PM @ Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds

    The 2020 Appalachian Brew, Stew, & Que Festival brings you great craft breweries from Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina & Alabama. There will...

  • Savannah Crime Expo

    Oct 24, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah Hyatt Regency Inn

    Welcome to the Savannah Crime Expo October 24, 2020. Forensic experts & special guest speakers come together to share their unique experiences....

  • The Savannah Food & Wine Fest

    Nov 09, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah

    The Savannah Food & Wine Festival celebrates the best the south has to offer in the quintessential southern, hostess city. The festival brings...

  • 2020 SMF Fall Concert — Mandolin Orange

    Nov 11, 2020
    8:00 PM - 10:00 PM @ Lucas Theatre for the Arts

    Part of a new fall concert series of rescheduled 2020 Savannah Music Festival performances, Mandolin Orange will perform live at the...

  • Festival of Laughs

    Nov 14, 2020
    All Day @ Savannah Civic Center

    Each year, the Festival of Laughs unites some of the most popular names in comedy on stage. The highly celebrated entertainers will bring down...


    Nov 21, 2020
    All Day @ Rousakis Plaza

    “Gray’s Reef Expo: Celebrating NOAA’s 50th anniversary” is November 21 & 22, 2020 on River Street in Savannah, Georgia. FREE to the public,...

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Scenes of the South

Showing Appreciation for Savannah's First Responders

Harris Lowry Manton LLP presents their 7th Annual First Responder Appreciation Event in Savannah, GA.

Words of Friendship

Get your phone out. After you read This, you’ll be calling your childhood best friend.

Your New Life Awaits

For Ric Hollifield and Daniella Squicquero at The Hilton Head Life and The Beaufort Life, finding your dream home is just part of helping you write your next chapter.

Ring the Bell Twice

When children get to the end of cancer treatment, ringing the bell to signify its end is perhaps the most joyous celebration of their lives. That wasn’t necessarily the case with 13-year-old Lily Stuckey. For her, ringing the bell after two and a half years of harsh treatment was a mixture of joy and sadness.

Cadets of Salvation

Four graduates of Savannah Salvation Army’s intensive life rehabilitation program strike a pose and share their stories.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler's Savannah Stopover

Republican Senator Kelly Loeffler visited The Desoto Savannah Hotel Monday on her campaign trail across the US.

Savannah's Gourmet Seafood and Spirits Festival Rollin' on the River

Supporting the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Coastal Empire, Savannah's Gourmet Seafood and Spirits Festival continued with stunning views accompanied classic Savannah vibes at this unique opportunity to see the skyline from the river.

A Fabulous Derby With Woodford Reserve

Since we missed Derby Day earlier this year - Savannah's Gourmet Seafood and Spirits Festival recreated it with distancing and fresh air top of mind! Under the terraces of the Perry Lane, Woodford Reserve Mint Juleps were served with traditional derby cuisine and music to match.

Tybee Island Spikeball Champion Crowned

Some say that if volleyball and foursquare had a baby it’d be named Spikeball. To make it even more fun, the winner of rock, paper, scissors gets to pick the side or serve.

Zoom in to Kendra Scott's Newest Collection

Ashley Borders shares a sneak peak of Kendra Scott's latest jewelry collection with South.