Favorite thing: For thousands of years Georgia was ruled by Native Americans, first to inhabit the land were Paleolithic and Woodland Indians. Moundbuilders came from the West, flourishing until the 1400's. Creek and Cherokee then called this land home. European settlers started arriving at the beginning of the sixteenth century led by Spanish explorers who moved inland from the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. By the late seventeenth century British settlers had also arrived and taken over.
Atlanta is Georgia's capital and largest city, containing about 5,730,000 inhabitants in its metropolitan area. From humble beginnings as a railway terminus, it has evolved into a fledgling world-class city.
Atlanta was founded in 1837 as a railway terminus. Railroads were pushed into the center of the state from coastal Georgia to open up the interior to agriculture and development. Originally called Terminus, the small town soon became the principal trading center in northern Georgia for cotton grown further south and for farm produce grown in the area. It was also a distribution center for dry goods shipped into the interior from coastal regions.
By 1860, the town, now called Atlanta, had 10,000 inhabitants, and was called the "Gate City of the South." However, in 1861 the Civil War broke out. Because Atlanta was a hub for regional railway lines, it became a major wartime transportation center. In 1862, the Confederacy's three most important cities--New Orleans, Nashville, and Memphis--fell to Union forces. As a result, Atlanta became the chief center of Confederate governmental activities in the Southeast. In 1864, Union Major General William Tecumseh Sherman marched on Atlanta, took the city, and burned most of it to the ground.
After the Civil War, Atlanta was rebuilt, and by 1868 it was named the new state capital, and its population had doubled. It continued to grow during the late 1800s and well into the 1900s.
Nowadays, Atlanta is the unofficial capital of the South. It is a major center for business, industry, transportation, and communication. Many internationally known corporations are headquartered in Atlanta, including Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, and CNN. By the 1990s, Atlanta was becoming more of an international city, as evidenced by being selected to host the 1996 Olympic Summer Games.
Compared to Florida, North Carolina and Maryland, I have somewhat neglected Georgia. One reason for this is, when we are traveling by boat, there are not many places in Georgia that we can stop or get services, and Georgia's Intercoastal Waterway has been neglected and allowed to shoal. So we usually go around it by going offshore.
But I do have some pages for towns in Georgia. (first number is tips, second number photos, third number is travelogues)
The places we've visited (or passed) by boat are:
Cumberland Island 2 13 1 (I tried to visit here on the National Park Service boat, but they didn't have any open spaces)
Isle of Hope 1 3 (Friends have had their boat here for the winter, but we've only passed by on our boat)
Jekyll Island 22 122 4 (We like to stop at the marina here and have Brunswick stew in the restaurant and we later stayed at a condo here for a week)
Lanier Island 2 18 1 (We stayed overnight here once)
Little Saint Simons Island 1 4 (We have only anchored near this island)
Richmond Hill 5 19 1 (I keep meaning to go to some of the museums here - so far I've only stayed in a motel once and in a marina once)
Saint Marys 17 37 1 (We stopped at a marina here and walked around town)
Thunderbolt 7 31 3 (We like to stop at a marina here before heading south, or when coming north)
Wahoo Island 1 6 1 (When we go through Georgia, we always anchor in the Wahoo River)
Fondest memory: I have visited the following cities or towns by land.
Atlanta 9 28 1 (I attended a convention in Atlanta)
Brunswick 1 15 1 (We usually pass a good distance from Brunswick by boat, but we stopped on our way down by car and visited the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation House which is nearby)
Fort Frederica National Monument 3 19 1 (mostly pictures so far)
Fort Pulaski National Monument 11 33 2 (We visited here when we were in Savannah and we wanted to go to Tybee Island also, but were prevented by fog)
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge 1 16 1
Saint Simons Island 7 44 1 (for the lighthouse and Fort Frederica)
Savannah 21 53 0 (This page has not been finished)
Waycross 6 40 1 (We stopped in Waycross twice by car.)
I'm helping a friend plan her honeymoon in Savannah, so I've been doing a ton of research and posted what I've found so far on my blog: http://bartravels.blogspot.com.
One of the places that especially caught my eye was the Soho South Cafe. I also posted a bunch of places voted best in Savannah. Let me know if you find out about any other places! I would love to share them with my friend and her fiance.
Have a great trip.
The name of the county rhymes with "sounds". We stopped in the area to get ourselves oriented on our return trip. The visitor center was very helpful in helping us plan the next week of activities.
There are about 100000 people in the county which doesn't make the area at all crowded.
the forty-page county tourism guide is at http://www.valdostatourism.com/pdf/2006_valdosta_guide.pdf
Fondest memory: The county was founded in 1825 and has Valdosta as the county seat.
The official county website: http://www.lowndescounty.com
The important towns in the county are:
Clyattville, Dasher, Hahira, Lake Park, Minneola, Naylor, Remerton, Valdosta
Some touristy things to do: Splash Island Amusement Park, see the azaleas (everywhere in Valdosta), shop the many outlet malls, tour of Moody Air Force Base (requires prior approval), enjoy the Honey Bee Festival.
Much of our time in Georgia was spent in and around Henry County.
County population is about 175000. Much of the land area is farm land.
The Henry County Fair is annually at Windy Hill Park near McDonough (http://www.kiwanishenrycounty.org/fair.html)
Fondest memory: McDonough is the county seat. The county was established in 1821.
The Henry website is: http://www.co.henry.ga.us
The important towns in the area are:
Blacksville, Flippen, Kelleytown, Locust Grove, Luella, McDonough, Ola and Stockbridge
Places to be and things to do:
Stockbridge festival, Peachtree flea markets, Noahs Ark animal shelter in Locust Grove, Heritage Park in McDonough
We found that the people in Georgia are generally as friendly as you will find anywhere in U.S.
Whenever we got lost (me! get lost?, never!) we found that we could stop in the nearest store and find someone in the staff to help us with directions. When we got to one of the sites too late to get in, they opened up the visitor center just for us so we could browse the dioramas and get some souveniers. The Georgians are really nice people.
so if you need something while traveling through Georgia, don't be afraid to ask someone.
they'll smile and help you as much as they can. (even if you have a New York accent).
Like many of the states on the eastern seaboard, Georgia is a state of great contrasts. It stretches from the northern border with Tennessee and the Civil War Chattanooga Military Park, down to the currently active USNavy Kings Bay submarine base near the southern border with Florida. The people live everywhere from the big cities like Atlanta with modern office towers to the port of Savanah with the many green squares to the small towns like St. Mary's with venerable old homes, to the even more rural antebellum cotton and rice plantations.
Fondest memory: Photos - in addition to Atlanta (first picture) which hosted the 1996 Olympics
St. Mary's is a wonderful little town, with some of the highest tides (8 feet) of the south eastern coast. It is the jumping off place for the Cumberland Island National Shore.
The Golden Isles, in addition to Cumberland Island includes Jekyll, St Simon, Skidaway, Sapelo, Tybee, Ossabaw, Thunderbolt, Little Cumberland and Little St. Simon
Savannah which is a seaport as well as being a beautiful city
Fort Pulaski - one of the Civil War forts which was destroyed by the new weaponry which the north had.
Savannah is many people's favorite city in the state of Georgia. Unlike the big city of Atlanta, Savannah retains that True South feeling that seems to erode when the population reaches a certain critical mass. Its a well landscaped waterside city filled with great recreation, food and sights to see.
I visited Savannah many years ago and barely remembered it. I managed to pass through the area again and was charmed by it. Like many of my trips, my time in Savannah was way too brief. But I've captured a few thoughts and impressions on my Savannah page.
Fondest memory: Georgia, a name that bring warm comfort to me. I consider myself lucky to be able to live here where the people are friendly and it only gets real cold a couple of weeks a year. Georgia is one of the fastest growing states.
Favorite thing: Highway 19 located in the northern part of the state is known as the Wine Country Highway. There are several wineries in the area. I haven't sampled any of the local products so I can't comment on them. But I did drive a portion of this scenic highway and it was quite pleasant. It reminded me of a winding country road with an abundance of greenery and gently sloping mountains in the distance. The Wine Country Highway leads to Blairsville and passes a couple of state parks, including Vogel State Park, Unicoi State Park and Brasstown Bald, Georgia's highest peak.
Heading north out of Atlanta, the interstates give way to highways and 6 lanes are whittled down to a mere two with one going in each direction. The terrain changes as well as tall buildings give way to more hilly terrain.
The north Georgia mountains begin with the Appalacians and stretch onward to the Blue Ridge peaks near the state line. This beautiful section of Georgia is filled with state parks and other areas of recreation. Here you will find hiking, biking, rafting and much more.
Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and is referred to as "the capital of the New South." To me, its a cross between a big city and a small town, with the best elements of big city and small town living.
For more information, visit my Atlanta page.
The city of Rome was named after Romulus (there is a statue of a suckling Romulus downtown) and of course, the fact that the site had seven hills, like the original Italian Rome. It's also a great river town, at the foothills of the Appalachians, where the Oostanaula and Etowah Rivers converge to form the Coosa.
PLEASE NOTE THAT ROME IS NOT NEAR ROCK CITY, AS MENTIONED IN OTHER TIPS! ROCK CITY IS IN CHATTANOOGA, A HOUR DRIVE AWAY AND A MUCH BIGGER TOWN!!
The movie "Mosquito Coast" starring Harrison Ford and River Phoenix was filmed here - many of the fast food places you see along Martha Berry Blvd. in the beginning of the movie are still alive and kicking!
Fondest memory: Rome, Georgia is the home of my alma mater, Berry College. I chose Berry because of its beautiful campus - the largest in the U.S. (at the time, at least). Technically, Berry is in its own town, Mount Berry, which is where I have put all my Berry tips and info. If you're ever in Northeast Georgia, it's worth a trip to take a tour of the college, founded by Martha Berry in 1902, and also to visit the nearby Oak Hill Museum.
The 2,000 mile Appalacian trail extends from Georgia to Maine. Many aspire to hike the trail in whole or in part, the former option taking about 6 months and serious dedication. The trail's southern terminus is on top of Spinger Mountain. Springer Mountain is located within Amicalola Falls State Park and the summit, and the beginning of the Appalacian trail, can be reached by an 8 mile hike on the Appalacian approach trail.
A plaque marks the spot where the trail begins. From here, its 2,000 miles over small mountains, through forests and about 12 states to the other end of the trail atop Mount Katahdin in Maine.
The Four Seasons rates 5 stars in almost all surveys and for great reasons. Location, amenities,...more
We stayed in a wonderful room overlooking the garden. You are treated like royalty in this fine...more
I stayed at The Helendorf River Inn and was mad VERY sick! We stayed in one of the rooms (204) ...more