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Streaming wars: best streaming services to replace cable
Today we have 75’’ smart-4K UHD TVs strategically mounted every five feet throughout our homes. We can be entertained 24-hours a day by tens of thousands of shows on just as many channels that we can watch from anywhere—inside, outside, poolside, in the passenger side, or projected on the side of our homes. But, with the rising cost of cable packages, many consumers are axing cable and sticking exclusively to streaming. The rush of new streaming services has many of us wandering around in a state of confusion. They’re trying to win viewership, and we’re stuck in the middle. Don’t worry–we’ve got your back. Here’s a breakdown of the best streaming services to replace cable:
Classic streaming services
Netflix offers a wide variety of commercial-free, award-winning TV shows, movies, and documentaries you can watch whenever, wherever you want. They offer three plans based on the number of devices that can stream the service simultaneously. It’s available on smart TVs, Playstation, Xbox, Chromecast, Apple TV, Blu-ray players, and more. You can even download your favorite shows and watch them on the go. The monthly cost is $12.99, but take advantage of the 30-day free trial first.
With Hulu, you can view thousands of shows, movies, and Hulu originals with plans that start at $5.99 per month after a free 7-day trial. If you’re looking for more, you can bundle Hulu, Disney+, and ESPN+ for $12.99 per month. Hulu’s newest feature is live television sports, news, and entertainment. With access to their entire streaming library, the package is $44.99 per month—nearly $175 cheaper than the average cable package. You can stream Hulu online and on iOS, Android, Roku, Fire TV & Fire Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Xbox, Samsung, LG, and Nintendo Switch.
Amazon Prime Video is included in the Amazon Prime membership, which is $119 per year or $59 per year for students. It allows viewers to stream thousands of movies and TV shows, including exclusive Amazon Originals. Without a Prime membership, Prime Video can be accessed with a standalone membership at a monthly rate of $8.99. Viewers also have the option to rent or buy select movies and TV episodes. They can even bundle more than 100 premium channels like HBO, SHOWTIME, MLB.TV and STARZ for an additional cost of $4.99-$14.99 per month. Some Prime Video subscriptions include the Watch Live feature, which allows viewers to live-stream programming. You can stream on the Prime Video app, a compatible Fire TV, smart TV, streaming media player, game console, mobile phone, or tablet.
Newer streaming services
Paramount+, formerly CBS All Access, offers streaming of more than 10,000 episodes of your favorite CBS shows, classic hits, and exclusive original series. Viewers can also watch live sports, shows, and news at home or on the go via their local CBS station, CBSN, CBS Sports HQ, and ET Live. Streaming devices include Roku, Apple TV, Fire TV, Chromecast, Android TV, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Samsung Smart TV. Paramount+ offers a Limited Commercials Plan for $5.99 per month and a Commercial-free plan for $9.99 per month. Opt for the annual plan, and you can save more than 15%, but take advantage of the free 7-day trial first.
Apple TV+ features Apple’s original ad-free and on-demand series and movies. Viewers will also find hit movies and shows available for rent or purchase and access to other video subscriptions like Showtime, Starz, and HBO. Watch it on your favorite Apple devices, smart TVs, and AirPlay‑enabled TVs. You can also access it on the web at tv.apple.com. Most Apple TV+ series release three episodes and then one new episode per week, so binge-watchers take note. Apple TV+ doesn’t have a library of licensed shows or movies and won’t release entire seasons of your favorite shows at once. After a 7-day free trial, the service costs $4.99 per month, and subscribers can divvy up viewing privileges among six family members. Apple also bundles Apple TV+ with its Apple Music student-discount plan at no extra cost. Viewers who purchase a new Apple device qualify for a free 1-year subscription.
Disney+ launched its highly anticipated streaming service in November 2019. Viewers can get the best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic all in one place—and it’s always ad-free. The entire family can watch new releases, classics, and exclusive originals on the go or at home on up to four different devices at one time. After a 7-day free trial, you can stream for $6.99 per month. Want more? You can bundle Disney+ with Hulu and ESPN+ for just $12.99 per month.
HBO Max is a newer streaming platform that bundles HBO with classic shows, documentaries, specials, and blockbuster movies, acquired series and movies, like Friends, plus an exclusive collection of new programming under Max Originals. HBO Max is $14.99 per month. Viewers who currently subscribe to HBO NOW through HBONOW.com and are billed through HBO or subscribe to AT&T TV or U-Verse TV have access to HBO Max at no additional cost.
With so many new streaming services, multiple viewing options, different pricing plans, bundles, and promotions, finding the perfect streaming service can be difficult. Your best bet is to compare prices, offerings, and determine which works for you.
Want to receive a $25 bonus?
You can earn even more when you use your Georgia’s Own contactless credit card to pay for streaming services. When you use your Georgia’s Own Visa Signature®, Platinum, or Student Visa contactless credit card to pay for monthly subscriptions, like Netflix, you’ll earn a $25 bonus!* Don’t have a Georgia’s Own Visa? Click here to apply today.
*Promotion period begins April 1, 2021. Must have recurring payment in one or more of these streaming services for at least 11 consecutive months to qualify: Apple Music, Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora Premium, Sirius XM Select, Showtime streaming, Spotify Premium, HBO Max, Starz, Apple TV+, Paramount+, Peacock Premium, Peacock Premium+, or Discovery+. 3,250 points, worth $25 in cash back, will be applied per 12-month period to your Georgia’s Own Visa Signature or Platinum card account within 2 statement billing cycles following 11 consecutive calendar months of eligible streaming service purchases if the account is in good standing. The maximum points a member can receive is 3,250 annually regardless of the number of streaming services. We reserve the right to adjust or reverse any portion or all of any streaming services credit for unauthorized purchases or transaction credits. Offer may be withdrawn without notice.
Netflix & chill
Netflix and chill took on a whole new meaning in 2020. With most movie theaters still not re-opening, we’ve compiled a list of the top movies to stream this spring!
Godzilla vs. Kong | HBO Max on March 31
Coming 2 America | Amazon Prime on March 5
Concrete Cowboy | Netflix on April 2
Jack Snyder’s Justice League | HBO Max on March 18
Mortal Kombat | HBO Max on April 23
For the Family
Raya | Disney+ on March 5
Tom & Jerry | HBO Max on March 5
Cruella | Disney+ on May 28
The Kid Who Would be King | Disney+ on April 16
Oldies but Goodies
The Color Purple | Hulu on April 1
Legally Blonde | Netflix on April 2
Night at the Museum | Disney+ on April 1
Mad Max | Amazon Prime on April 1
Madea’s Big Happy Family | Netflix on April 1
Napoleon Dynamite | Hulu on April 1
Get fit in Georgia—without the gym
For many, the thought of exercising in a gym is remarkably dull. The scenery is the same, the people are the same, and the workouts are the same. However, there are dozens of ways for you to shake up your routine, all without setting foot in a gym. Check out these unique ways to stay fit that are right here in Georgia.
Beginner or world class athlete, Stone Summit Climbing and Fitness Center has a climb for you. With locations in Atlanta, Kennesaw, and Midtown, and walls towering from 25 to 60 feet, this activity is sure to rock your socks off—pun intended! In addition to rock climbing, Stone Summit offers top roping, leading, auto belays, and bouldering for all ages and climbing levels. Locations include membership, day passes, and class options, making it the perfect activity for locals or tourists. Pricing starts at $15.
Virtual Yoga by the Water
For those desiring a more calming experience, the Georgia Aquarium is making waves with its event “Virtual Yoga by the Water.” Led by certified yoga instructors from local Atlanta studios, participants channel their inner harmony while taking in unbelievable views of whale sharks, manta rays, and other captivating sea creatures. Whether you’re a certified yogi or a novice, this class is perfect for all experience levels. Complimentary classes are available at georgiaaquarium.org. All classes are filmed in front of the breathtaking Ocean Voyager exhibit and can be enjoyed in the comfort of your home.
Bikes on the Beltline
Looking for a way to explore Atlanta all while getting fit? Look no more! If you’ve always wanted to explore the Beltline, or if you’re simply looking for a way to exercise that doesn’t require running on a treadmill, biking along the Beltline is the classic way to go. If you have a bike already, great! If you don’t, there are numerous bike rental shops along the Beltline, with some charging as little as $5 per hour. Biking along the Beltline is a neat way to view notorious Atlanta street art and astounding urban scenery—all while exercising! So, grab a friend or go solo. Either way, you’re guaranteed to stumble upon some marvelous things.
Get a bird’s eye view of Georgia—literally—by zipping through the treetop canopies. Ziplining is a phenomenal way to explore some of Georgia’s most breathtaking sites from a different perspective. It might seem easy, but ziplining is a more intense workout than you think. Between taking in the fresh air and experiencing an adrenaline rush, ziplining is chock-full of health benefits. Some of the greatest places to zipline include Banning Mills, Blue Ridge, and Helen. Prices typically range from $30-$100, so it won’t break the bank.
Explore the Coastal Waters
Paddleboarding or biking along the beautiful, coastal waterways is a great way to explore Tybee and Jekyll Islands and sure to get your heartrate up. The views are sensational and a great way to exercise while enjoying nature. East Coast Paddleboarding offers lessons, tours, and rentals. So whether you are a local or visiting the area, take a ride on the adventurous side and soak up these sports. Lessons start at $40 and include an hour rental.
So, whether you’re looking to start your fitness journey, or you’re simply searching for a plan to shake up your routine, Georgia is full of creative ways to remain active.
Quarantine cooking: recipes to make you feel like you’re traveling the world
Due to social distancing requirements, most people are staying home and cooking their meals, rather than going out to eat. And, because of COVID-19, people were forced to cancel their travel plans. If you’re tired of cooking the same recipes or need a vacation, we have the perfect solution for you—try these dishes that will transform your typical weeknight dinner and have you feeling like you’re traveling the world, even when you can’t.
Creamy chipotle chicken breast
This creamy chipotle chicken breast recipe will make it seem as if you’ve hopped on a plane and traveled to Mexico. Like many Mexican dishes, it’s rich in flavor and looks incredible. Even better? It’s simple to make. You need only a few ingredients, and it takes fewer than 30 minutes to prepare. This recipe is from Mexico in my Kitchen—a food blog dedicated to authentic, Mexican cooking, created by Mely Martinez. The website has dozens of recipes to choose from, too—even vegetarian options.
If you’re looking for a hearty sandwich that instantly transports you to a French bistro, what better than a croque monsieur? It’s essentially a grilled cheese, but with a French twist—it’s made with ham, Dijon, bechamel, and gruyere cheese. You can use any cheese, but gruyere is preferred. This sandwich makes for hassle-free cooking that will satisfy your cravings. You can find this and dozens of other French recipes on Mon Petit Four®, a site that is devoted to French fare.
Although it sounds like a new fusion creation, Japanese-style pasta is prominent in Japanese cuisine. Japanese-style pasta, also known as Wafu pasta, is a pasta dish that has Japanese seasonings and ingredients—usually soy sauce, miso, and nori seaweed. This Japanese pasta is perfect for a quick, easy dinner—it takes only 15 minutes to cook. The ingredients are simple, too—all you need is pasta, shrimp, broccolini, soy sauce, and garlic chili oil. This recipe is from Just One Cookbook—a website that is all about Japanese culture and cuisine, created by Nami Hirasawa Chen, a home chef aiming to make Japanese cooking easy and accessible to everyone.
One-pan Bobotie casserole
Bobotie is a South African casserole that is similar to Greek Moussaka and is typically served with yellow rice. It’s very simple to make and is ideal for those weeknights when you don’t necessarily feel like cooking. The dish is filled with flavor from spices and everything is prepared in one pan. The ingredients can be found in your local grocery store, too. You can find this recipe on All that’s Jas—a food blog that features comfort food from around the world.
We hope these recipes not only help you switch up your mundane dinners but also provide a way for you and your family to escape to different parts of the world—all from the comfort of your kitchen.
Surprise your sweetheart: hot spots for Valentine’s Day in Georgia
We all know planning the perfect Valentine’s Day date night can be a struggle—it’s a never-ending cycle of pondering where to eat, what to do, or where to stay. Still deciding on if you want to enjoy a romantic night in the city or partake in a luxurious weekend getaway? We’ve got you covered. Here are some of our favorite restaurants, activities, and destinations right here in Georgia that are terrific for Valentine’s Day.
Nestled along the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Canoe offers a rustic yet elegant atmosphere that is guaranteed to delight your senses. This fine-dining culinary gem offers award-winning cuisine from their Roasted Berkshire pork chop and Southern-style collards to their wood-grilled New York strip—all are sure to gratify your palate. Town & Country Magazine calls this unique setting the “most romantic restaurant in Atlanta.”
The Sun Dial
Situated at the top of the Westin in Downtown Atlanta, The Sun Dial, a rotating restaurant and Atlanta icon, offers sweeping views of the city lights below. Enjoy a prix-fixe, four-course dinner from their special Valentine’s Day menu created by award-winning chefs. Be sure to make reservations beforehand because this is a popular Valentine’s Day spot.
10 Degrees South
Located in Buckhead, 10 Degrees South is the country’s first South African restaurant. The eatery is deeply inspired by family tradition, and the cuisine is crafted by founder Justin Anthony’s parents, who coincidentally are the restaurant’s executive chefs. Their Valentine’s Day menu features dishes such as filet “Au Poivre,” a filet mignon topped with a Madagascan peppercorn sauce, and chicken curry made with traditional South African spices. The bungalow-inspired atmosphere and delectable fare make this culinary experience rated as one of the top 16 restaurants in Buckhead by Trip Savvy.
La Tavola, located at the heart of Virginia-Highland, offers genuine Italian cuisine from Executive Chef Jonathan Beatty. With the cozy, romantic ambiance and hearty dishes, you can’t go wrong with this trattoria for Valentine’s Day. Their menu offers a variety of traditional dishes, from tagliolini to zuppa di pesce, to desserts like chocolate pistachio torte—there’s something for everyone at this hot Italian spot.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Get swept through 80 years of romance at the Atlanta Botanical Garden this Valentine’s Day for “Valentines in the Garden: Decades of Love.” Enjoy small bites from some of Atlanta’s most renowned chefs, live music, and more. From the 50s to the 80s, each decade is represented in different sections of the garden, with music and décor constituting accordingly. Dress for the decade of your choice and celebrate the night away!
For those seeking something unconventional, head over to Oakland Cemetery for “Love Stories of Oakland: Valentine’s Day.” Venture through more than 20 stops in this historic Victorian cemetery as your guide recalls the love stories of Atlantans in the years gone by, as well as hidden symbols of love throughout the hallowed grounds. If you’re looking to escape the traditional route this year, Oakland Cemetery is the way to go.
Towering over Centennial Park, the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel offers boundless views of downtown while relaxing in climate-controlled gondolas. Take in the vast sights with your sweetheart at this Atlanta staple. If you want to upgrade your experience, try the VIP gondola—it boasts Ferrari-style seats, a glass floor, and a longer ride time.
Flower Arrangement Workshop
Enjoy a fun-filled afternoon of embracing your crafty side at Flower Bar’s Valentine’s Day arrangement workshop. Bring your honey, and learn the ins and outs of making your own flower arrangement in this 90-minute class. Once your masterpiece is finished, bring it home with you, and display it proudly for all to see! Even better—all materials are provided, so no scrambling around at the last minute to find what you need.
Chateau Elan Winery and Resort
Located in Braselton, the newly-renovated Chateau Elan is the ideal extravagant weekend getaway. Indulge in a four-course meal, enjoy a relaxing couple’s day at the spa, or partake in a round of golf—there’s something for everyone here. This picturesque resort offers sweeping views of the North Georgia foothills, and its romantic, Southern charm offers an intimate weekend for you to escape bustling city life.
Nestled on historic grounds in Adairsville, Barnsley Resort is essential for those wanting luxury while experiencing all that North Georgia has to offer. Enjoy a guided horseback ride through the grounds of the resort, ride a UTV in the Appalachian foothills, or learn the art of fly fishing at one of the several ponds on the resort grounds. Rejuvenate at the redesigned upscale spa and experience ultimate tranquility. Stay at the Inn or an Estate Cottage. Whatever you do, Barnsley Resort is sure to provide a weekend of relaxation and resurgence.
Callaway Resort & Gardens
Callaway Resort & Gardens, in Pine Mountain, is an oasis that is calling your name. Whether you stay in the Lodge and Spa with views of Robin Lake, The Cottages, or The Villas with a secluded setting, you’ll be enchanted by the beauty this resort has to offer. They’re all about nature and offer numerous immersion activities that put you right in the heart of it all, like BirdFest, which occurs Valentine’s Day weekend. It features bird walks, nature-based workshops, live bird shows, and more. Callaway is also home to the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, one of North America’s largest butterfly conservatories. These beautiful, delicate creatures fly freely among the variety of tropical plants that are housed in the glass-closed environment. If you and your significant other are nature fanatics, this is a destination that is to die for.
Lake Rabun Hotel
The Historic Lake Rabun Hotel, a charming boutique hotel operating since 1922, is the quintessential getaway for those who want to experience the Blue Ridge Mountains and all it encapsulates. Each room exudes rustic charm and offers the perfect amount of privacy. The hotel also operates an award-winning farm to table restaurant surrounded by pines, oaks, and hemlocks. There are plenty of parks, rivers, and waterfalls located nearby, and if you’re tuckered out from outdoor activities, the Lake Rabun Hotel offers a luxurious spa. You can also shop at the various locally-owned stores in nearby Clayton, Dillard, and Lakemont Art Village. The Lake Rabun Hotel has everything you need.
Whether you’re looking for a thrilling date night in the city or an idyllic weekend escape, these will certainly make for a Valentine’s Day you’ll always remember in the years to come.
Keeping your cool: fun Atlanta winter activities for the whole family
Winter is here, and with it comes the age-old question: What can you do for fun? Going outside isn’t nearly as appealing as it was a few months ago, and you can only watch so many reruns before your eyes begin to glaze over. But don’t worry – we have some ideas on ways you can make this chilly season fun for the whole family.
Go See the Sights – and the Lights
Many people in your community have already gotten a head start on their outdoor Christmas decorations, and you can expect even more of your neighbors to follow suit. This is the perfect opportunity to create your own special tour of local neighborhoods to check out all of the amazing light displays in the area.
If you’re ready for some even more amazing demonstrations of holiday lighting, head over to Callaway Gardens to view their annual Fantasy in Lights display. The best part about this experience is that it is a driving tour, so even on the chilliest evenings, you can still take your time and enjoy upwards of eight million lights arranged especially for the holidays.
Break out the Skates
Are you looking for ways to get some of that pent-up energy out? You definitely won’t want to miss the chance to go ice skating – especially on the South’s largest ice skating rink. Atlantic Station’s “Skate the Station” is already in full swing, and you can stop by anytime to test your ice skating skills. They even have special extended hours throughout December, so you can make an evening out of racing friends or family to see who is truly the skating champion.
If you want to mix things up, you can also try The Rink at Park Tavern, located in Piedmont Park. This rink opened on Thanksgiving and will be available through January, so skate on over and see if it’s a good fit for your family. This venue also offers free skating for those who dress up in Steampunk attire after 8:00 pm, along with skating for only those who 16 years of age and older after 8:30 PM. Whether you are planning a date night or just want to change up your routine, the ice rink needs to be on your list of things to do.
Take in a Show
Everyone knows that one of the best Christmas classics is Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. You’ve probably seen the movie a dozen times – but have you seen it performed live with puppets? The Center for Puppetry Arts is once again presenting its annual Rudolph puppet show, which is a faithful adaptation of the movie you know so well. Children of all ages will enjoy seeing these characters come to life, and there are also crafts and activities available after the show to enrich your experience.
Sometimes getting out in the winter can be difficult, especially when it involves finding everyone’s coats and mittens. But it’s easy to turn a night at home into a holiday experience all by itself. Find a new movie you haven’t seen or look for one of your favorite holiday specials, and sit down with the whole family to watch it together. This is also a great chance to break out the hot chocolate and the snacks you’ve been eyeing at the grocery store. When your movie is finished, take the time to ask your family what they loved most about it – and to tell them to think about what they want to watch for your next movie night!
Try Something New!
This winter season, make it a goal to mix up your routine. Take a pottery class, learn to sew, try your hand at painting on canvas – there are dozens of options available right in your own community. Don’t worry about becoming an expert in just a few short months. Instead, commit to finishing a project or class that will help you learn something you’ve never done before.
Taking on a totally new skill can be daunting, but you don’t have to do it alone! Ask some friends to join you and try out your new activity together. You might go on a bike tour of the city, or learn to cook your favorite meal. Whatever you do, just have one rule: Make it fun!
Winter is here – but that doesn’t mean you have to wait for summer to enjoy yourself again. In fact, we think winter can be just as fun as any other season. Use this cool weather to find new ways to enjoy yourself and stay warm out there!