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Georgia was one of the original 13 colonies and was established by the English in 1733 at Savannah. The region's history, however, dates back centuries earlier to a period when Creek and Cherokee Native Americans inhabited the area. Their settlements, although widespread and highly developed throughout the region, were gradually reduced as Europens settled in the New World.
It wasn't until 1730, however, that a group of English settlers made plans to establish a separate colony and name it after King George II. In March 1776, Georgia joined the fight against the British for independence. The Revolutionary War ended in 1783, and Georgia became the fourth state in the Union to ratify the United States Constitution. Settlers and land companies began developing the new state. In 1838 the remaining Native Americans in Georgia were forced to flee to Oklahoma on the tragic "Trail of Tears."
Atlanta developed as a transportation crossroads and became a city in 1845. But with the start of the Civil War in 1861, Georgia's progress came to a halt. In 1863, General William Sherman's Union forces marched across Georgia, burning and destroying nearly everything in their path. This devastation was later immortalized in Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell's classic novel, Gone With The Wind. Following the Civil War, Georgia's cities prospered and her economy gradually recovered. Manufacturing and trade began expanding. Railway construction resumed, banking activities increased and towns grew. Through the turn of the century and on through two World Wars, the state continued to experience industrial and business growth.
Presidential Pathways, named to honor the two United States presidents who have called it home, is a region steeped in American history and heritage. Yet the region also abounds with luxury resorts, festival fun, unusual museums and an abundance of spacious parks and recreational lakes. F. D. Roosevelt State Park draws fishing and camping enthusiasts, while artisans in the historic town of Westville portray life in an 1850s village.
The vast estates of gentleman farmers and huntsmen of an earlier day have left an impression in the picturesque Plantation Trace. It is a region marked by bountiful woods and waters, agricultural plains and rural towns brimming with Victorian architecture, such as Thomasville's stately Methodist Church. Festivals abound year-round, or explore farm life of the late 1800s at the fascinating Georgia Agrirama in Tifton.
It’s a wonderland of scenic beauty and a pleasing mix of the past and present. Diverse modern-day activity attracts visitors while the hills whisper the story of their rich heritage. This is the home of the world’s largest carpet capital and scene of some of the Civil War’s most dramatic events. From deep valleys to high mountain peaks, there are many treasures, old and new, to be discovered.
Come discover the great city of Atlanta - sprawling, exciting, overflowing with vitality - its soaring skyline a beacon drawing travelers to its doorstep. From Buckhead to Stone Mountain, from Marietta to Gwinnett, this world-class metropolis links the magic and promise of the future to the rich heritage of the region's past, as symbolized by Scarlett O'Hara, immortal heroine of the literary classic Gone with the Wind.
Here you will find the remnants of deep south plantation life from old cotton days has developed into a lush vacation area full of beautiful lakes, forests and top-notched sport and recreation opportunities. this area is a distinctly vibrant mix of tradition, history and mordern advances.
Scenic trails wind their way through the Historic Heartland - a welcoming blend of Old South ambiance and New South convenience. Macon's magnificent Italian Renaissance Hay House is one of many historic gems showcased on the Antebellum Trail, while the Antiques Trail lures treasure seekers. Visitors can experience the thrill of Equestrian events at the Georgia International Horse Park in Conyers.
Stately old homes, beautiful scenery and rich recreational resources beckon travelers to the Classic South. For history buffs, the region teems with fascinating attractions, such as the Civil War-era Chennault Plantation in Lincolnton. Sports enthustiasts head for events such as the Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Course and River Race Augusta, one of several world-class boating events held on the Savannah River.
Enjoy the bounty of the Magnolia Midlands, including Georgia's official state vegetable, the Vidalia onion. The many fairs and festivals in this region feature arts and crafts and often celebrate the harvest of local crops - blueberries, pecans, pumpkins and, of course, onions. Eat your fill, then relax under the graceful columns of a Dublin mansion or attend the unusual, colorful sport of harness racing in Hawkinsville.
The natural wonderland of Georgia's Coast, replete with sun-kissed shores, gentle ocean breezes and purple-hued sunsets, will calm and caress you. For adventure seekers, the famed Okefenokee Swamp offers a myriad of tropical mysteries to explore. For a taste of excitement, enjoy Savannah's architecture and charm; then relax on one of the barrier islands, such as luxurious St. Simons or unspoiled Cumberland Island.
The state of Georgia is divided into five(5) travel areas, see the navigation buttons on the left side of each page. Starting from the north they are 1) Georgia's Mountains, 2) Metropolitain Atlanta, 3) Georgia's Southern Rivers, 4) Georgia's Historic South and 5) Georgia's Coast. The larger areas are broken down into regions to allow for faster reference to attractions and events. The small maps immediately below the photo on each page provide quick navigation to information on each region. Within each region attractions and services can be located by county or city. Additional information on Georgia can be found in the articles shown on the right side of this page. These articles provide general information about Georgia and highlight some of the more distinctive features of our great state.
To get a real taste of Georgia's down-home flavor and color, head for one of more then 200 fun-filled fairs and festivals that take place all around the state year-round. These gatherings represent a tradition combining regional arts and crafts, music, family activities, cultural events and live entertainment. Best of all, there's all that wonderful Southern food - just like Grandma used to make!
Fairs and festivals, indoors or outdoors, large or small, just starting out or a tradition that has been around a long, long time. They celebrate places, events, nature, history, music, animals, crops and sometimes just because. They are in big cities, small towns, out in the woods or down by the lake.
No matter what season, a fair or festival brings back memories of Georgia as it was in the days of the "Old South." Farms and plantations bustled with activity - the men planted or harvested crops while women were busy canning, sewing and quilting. In the evenings, folks gathered for friendly talk and hometown music.
Festivals do a lot more than just entertain - they educate as well, offering an opportunity to celebrate our holidays and our heritage, and to honor our people and places.
Georgia's fairs and festivals are for all ages. They can be a learning experience for youngsters and a time to reflect for older folks. They are a great way for families to spend the day together. Above all else, they spotlight the remarkable diversity of Southern culture. Each fair and festival is unique. Each has its own delightful flavor. Yet they all remind visitors of the simple pleasures of days gone by.
Gather up your sense of adventure and head for the Peach State's backroads and byways. There you'll find a network of carefully planned, state designated trails, which offer travelers a chance to experience the heart of Georgia and relive its illustrious past. Each trail has a theme, reflecting the heritage and character of that area. Tucked into the mountainous northwest corner of Georgia, the Chieftains Trail explores the history of the Native Americans who inhabited that region. The scenic 150-mile trail follows the development of three distinct Native American cultures - the prehistoric Mississippian Culture, the Creek Nation and the Cherokee Nation.
Northwest Georgia - from Tennessee to the outskirts of Atlanta is also the setting of the Blue & Gray Trail. This path traces many of the Civil War's most dramatic events. Battlefield parks, wartime structures, roadside plaques, monuments and other artifacts abound. The Antebellum Trail, winding through Athens, Madison and Macon, captures the romance and beauty of the Old South. Grand Antebellum mansions, plantation homes and magnolia-shaded formal gardens are among the region's historic treasures.
For shopping, collecting or just plain browsing, the Antiques Trail is a sightseer's paradise. Another way to explore middle Georgia is to follow the Peach Blossom Trail, where visitors are treated to the glorious site of peach trees in bloom, as they drive through the peach capital of the world.
Other important chapters in Georgia's history are highlighted on the Andersonville Trail in the southwest region of the state. Georgia's national forests cover over 850,000 acres. Over 40 state parks offer lodges, cabins, campsites and networks of trails.
With its ideal climate and natural resources, Georgia is a year-round paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and sportsmen. Take your pick: hunting, fishing or camping; golf or tennis; swimming, rafting or canoeing. Whatever your favorite sport, there's a playground awaiting you in Georgia. The Peach State scores high marks as one of the golfing capitals of the South. Nowhere else can recreational golfers find such an extensive choice of championship courses, set against backdrops of breathtaking beauty. Located in all nine travel regions, there's a wide array of top-ranked public courses, as well as outstanding private courses, at numerous resorts and country clubs in the mountains, the countryside, or at the coast.
If tennis is your game, you'll find plenty of public and private courts. Resorts and state parks offer a variety of choices - clay or hard court, inside or outdoors. Water lovers flock to Georgia's famed coast, where swimming, sunning and shelling are favorite pastimes. The Golden Isles offers luxurious resorts and exquisite beaches. Thousands of acres of lakes offer excellent fishing opportunities. Fly fishing is popular on the state's many rivers. For tourists who are interested in bigger sport, deep-sea fishing is an unforgettable experience.
Professional sports have put Georgia on the American map. Major league baseball, football, and basketball draw big crowds in Atlanta. And a new major league hockey team will be making its debut in a new arena next year. The annual Masters Golf Tournament draws fans from around the world to Augusta, just east of Atlanta. Atlanta is also the site of frequent professional tennis tournaments.