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GEORGIA Travel Information
Amusement & Theme Parks
Some people just aren't happy until they're plunging face-first towards the pavement from two hundred feet in the air. Luckily, Six Flags over Georgia is happy to accommodate them with dozens of rides, including one of the Southeast's tallest coasters, which accelerates so fast it produces more than 4 Gs. For slightly calmer fun, Macon's Starcadia has batting cages, miniature golf, and bumper boats, while Jekyll Island's Summer Waves water park offers a million gallons of family fun.
To get a first-hand look at rural life, explore one of our numerous agricultural attractions. Farm tours, hayrides, fish hatcheries, and pick-your-own-produce opportunities abound in Georgia. Grab a picnic basket, round up your family, and enjoy the quiet pace and calm beauty of the countryside. For more information about Georgia's agricultural bounty, check out the Georgia Department of Agriculture's Georgia Grown site. For a map of locations where you can pick your own produce or visit a certified farmers market, visit the Georgia Farm Bureau site.
Entertainment & Shopping: Antiques
With a rich and varied history, it's no surprise that there are terrific antiquing options in Georgia. Atlanta's Bennett Street, once a warehouse district, is now packed with a charming bouillabaisse of antique shops and art galleries. Brunswick, one of our oldest cities, offers furniture, collectibles, glass, and pottery, sold from turn-of-the-century buildings. Small towns like Griffin, Madison, and Sharpsburg hide wonderful treasures for the antique-hunter.
Entertainment & Shopping: Arts & Crafts
Georgia supports talented craftspeople specializing in ceramics, woodwork, jewelry, and even handmade dolls, as well as renowned folk artists like the late Howard Finster. The American Craft Council's annual show in Atlanta features more than 200 of the most well-known contemporary artists working today. Flea markets and antique shops abound; Georgia is a whirlwind of art festivals and open-air craft shows year-round.
The pristine Georgia coast offers posh golf resorts like Sea Island, St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island, as well as uninhabited barrier islands that stretch along the Atlantic with some 100 miles of largely undeveloped sand beaches. Here you can take in eighteen holes of world-class golf, kayak along uninhabited coastline, or simply spend the day soaking your toes in the surf. The unspoiled majesty and natural beauty of Georgia's coastline makes it one of the state's great treasures. Colonial Period Georgia was originally founded by the British as a colony. In 1733, James Oglethorpe and 114 colonists established the city of Savannah as a buffer against Spanish Florida. The state grew quickly, and by 1770 was home to more than 50,000 inhabitants. Today museums, period architecture and historic sites from our colonial past can be found statewide.
Mountains or beach? Small town or big city? Barbeque or Sea Bass? Flea market or Neiman Marcus? Civil War or Civil Rights? The most wonderful thing about Georgia is that while you're here, you can be whoever you want to be. Want to play 18 holes of world-class golf, then hike the Appalachian Trail? You can do that. Want to travel through small towns, visiting local fairs and staying in country inns, then wander among Picassos and Monets and stay in four-star hotels? You can do that, too. In Georgia, you can do pretty much anything.
Fairs & Festivals
In Georgia, it seems like there's a party every weekend. Our fairs and festivals range from the tasty Big Pig Jig barbeque contest, in which hundreds of chefs compete to cook the perfect pig, to Music Midtown, a massive, three day concert in Atlanta featuring everyone from Bob Dylan to Erykah Badu. Ellijay's Georgia Apple Festival, the Athens Twilight Criterium, Savannah's St. Patrick's Day, and Thomasville's Rose Show are just a few more examples of the unforgettable festivals you'll find in Georgia.
Georgia is known for having one of the best state park systems in the nation, protecting more than 77,500 acres of natural beauty. From the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Colonial Coast, our state has an exceptional variety of scenery, as well as a rich and colorful past.
Hunting & Fishing
According to Guinness, the biggest largemouth bass ever caught weighed 22 pounds and 4 ounces; it was pulled out of the Ocmulgee River at Montgomery Lake in McRae, Georgia. Need we suggest this is a sportsman's paradise? Whitetail deer, wild turkey, black bear, quail, even feral pigs roam forests crisscrossed with fertile rivers sparkling with trout. From the famous hunting lodges of the southern Georgia pine forests to the numerous man-made lakes surrounding the state, Georgia is an outdoorsman's dream.
Lakes & Rivers
If you're seeking the roar of whitewater or the soft sounds of a quiet lake, Georgia will feel like home. The gentle Altamaha River is the ideal place to practice your kayaking technique; the raging Chattooga, home to Class III, IV, and V rapids, is the ideal place to test what you've learned. Georgia's numerous lakes are wonderful for swimming and water sports, or simply as dramatic backdrops for the perfect campsite.
Malls & Outlets
If shopping is your bag, Georgia is your state. Here you can find anything you want, and then some. The two million square foot Mall of Georgia includes not only hundreds of stores, but also an IMAX theatre, five themed courtyards, and an outdoor concert venue. Other choice options include the famed Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza (Atlanta's premier upscale shopping malls), and wonderful outlets in towns such as Darien, Commerce, and Dawsonville.
Museums & Galleries
Georgia boasts a rich selection of museums, including such renowned collections as the Telfair Museum of Art, the Tubman African-American Museum, and the High Museum of Art. The independent gallery scene is equally impressive. Atlanta is arguably the artistic capital of the Southeast; the famous Bennett Street and Miami Circle areas alone include more than fifty galleries and antique shops. On the coast, the internationally acclaimed Savannah College of Art and Design offers 18 visual arts programs, with student and faculty work displayed in extensive exhibit space.
National Forests, Parks & Refuge
If wealth is measured in protected land, Georgia is fabulously rich. Massive National Forests like the Chattahoochee-Oconee offer rugged hiking, hundreds of miles of streams and rivers, and breathtaking scenic vistas. The vast Okefenokee Swamp is covered in peat deposits so unstable that a hard stomp can cause surrounding trees to tremble and sway. Gray's Reef, one of the largest in the Southeast, is home to thousands of species, including the threatened Loggerhead sea turtle.
Native American Heritage
For thousands of years before James Oglethorpe landed on Yamacraw Bluff in 1733 and founded the first European colony, Georgia was inhabited by as many as a 100,000 Native Americans, divided into more than a dozen chiefdoms. Tragically, the majority of these populations were decimated by plague and slavery in the 18th century. Their history can be explored in numerous museums and archeological preserves across the state, including the 150-mile Chieftains Trail and the famous Etowah Mounds, the most intact site of its kind in the Southeast.
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