USA Fam Trip Report
Five travel professionals, seven nights, six luxurious hotels, one cosy farmhouse, 21 delicious meals and countless smiles. This is Georgia, USA.
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V I RG I NI A
Deep South centre
Many Brits visit Georgia as part of a Deep South itinerary. Surrounded by musical Tennessee, the southern charm Memphis of sweet home Alabama and the golden beaches and plantations of the Carolinas, Georgia is perfectly placed for a ﬂy/drive. Atlanta’s Hartsﬁeld Jackson International Airport is Delta Air Lines’ hub and a stop for many other airlines which makes the cosmopolitan city a great start or end point, with its huge choice of shopping, dining and entertainment options.
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Hilton Head Island
Just a casual three-hour drive from Florida’s fun fantasy-land Orlando, and only six hours from the simmering neon hotspot that is Miami, Georgia’s peaceful coastline begins. Here, instead of high-rise condos and huge hotels, you’ll ﬁnd clapboard cottages and colonial mansions; in place of rows of beach umbrellas and sun lounger sellers are wild sand dunes and nesting turtles. Millions of Brits ﬂock to neighbouring Florida every year, often returning regularly, so tap into this lucrative market with some fresh ideas. Perhaps the kids are too old to meet Mickey Mouse again, or the parents are looking to ﬁnd the ‘real’ America.
Twin centre with Florida
Selling the American dream isn't hard. But working out how to package it can be. Find out how Georgia fits in nicely. ♦
Washington D.C. Alexandria
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Gulf of Mexico
Orlando 95 Melbourne
Saint Petersburg Sarasota
Port Saint Lucie West Palm Beach
Fort Lauderdale Miami
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Introducing the Peach State
Get Georgia on their mind Seaside lifestyle and old-world charm, plus urban Atlanta, historic Savannah and natural beauty in-between. A Georgia holiday hits the heart of America, without going too far off the beaten track. ♦
Whatever the weather
Georgia’s climate boasts four well-deﬁned seasons with long summers and short winters, particularly on the coast. Visit in autumn for spectacular russet hues or in spring to see the parks and gardens bursting with peach tree blossom and azaleas. ♦
Child-orientated attractions in Georgia are not as obvious as Disney's Magic Kingdom, but there are plenty of options that will have magical appeal for kids. Think combing for shells along safe, golden sandy beaches, seeing marine conservation ﬁrst-hand at a turtle hospital, or learning about history through ghoulish ghost
“ I thoroughly enjoyed Georgia, especially the southern hospitality! I hadn't considered selling it as a beach destination but now i've visited Tybee, St. Simons, Jekyll and Cumberland Island, I certainly would. ” Jane Green, Travel Bag
stories in spooky Savannah. That’s not to say there’s not frivolous fun to be had as well – like overﬁlling on ﬁzz at Atlanta’s World of Coca Cola. ♦
Everyone knows New England for its well-preserved history, cute little towns and romantic vistas. But what if you could tell your client they can have all this in Georgia, along with golden beaches and great weather? Sell the boutique shopping, authentic home-grown cuisine and quiet beaches to couples looking to escape and explore.
It's a peach!
“I already have a client in mind for Georgia: they love Florida and enjoyed the Carolinas. They’re not historians but they like to explore and learn new places. I'm going to suggest they go back to Florida, but then drive into Georgia – see the lovely little Antebellum towns and the beaches, take a leisurely city break in Savannah and then ﬂy out of Atlanta.” Eileen Saunders, Travel Counsellors ♦
Atlanta ➞ Montgomery, AL
160 miles…2.5 hours
Atlanta ➞ Chattanooga, TN Atlanta ➞ Savannah Atlanta ➞ Madison
118 miles… 2 hours 249 miles…under 4 hours 60 miles… just over an hour
Madison ➞ Milledgeville
44 miles… under an hour
Milledgeville ➞ Savannah
167 miles… under 3 hours
Savannah ➞ Charleston, SC Savannah ➞ Jekyll Island Jekyll Island ➞ St. Augustine, FL
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107 miles…2 hours 94 miles… 2 hours 112 miles… 2 hours
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4 Georgia's Cities
Get into town
A TALE OF two cities A visit to the US isn’t complete for some without time in the city. Luckily, Georgia has two: the fastpaced, polished metropolis of Atlanta or Southern Belle Savannah, protective of its past, but living in an ever-soslightly eccentric present
Proudly established in 1733, Savannah has a palpable sense of past, even to Europeans who are spoilt for history. The city, shaped by early English settler General James Oglethorpe, started out as a free colony where slavery was legal and became a major exporter of cotton. Savannah survived the civil war after the Union Army's General Sherman decided to spare it the destruction which Atlanta suffered and sent a telegram to President Lincoln, offering the city as a Christmas present. Today, Savannah is famous for its countless squares, shaded by gnarled live oak trees and draped in delicate Spanish moss. Its elegant houses sport grand Greek columns, gothic turrets and sweeping steps, whilst the streets echo to the clip clop of horses' hooves.
Y'all know this? CityPASS gives admission to Atlanta’s top ﬁve attractions (Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Inside CNN, the High Museum of Art or Fernbank Museum of Natural History and Zoo Atlanta or Atlanta History Center) at 45% off the combined price.
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“I love Savannah,” says Eileen Saunders, Travel Counsellors. “You could easily spend a week in the city wandering around, sightseeing and sampling different restaurants. What makes it special is that although it’s a city, it has a lovely small-town feel to it. Savannah has so many historical connections – to the War of Independence, the Civil War and slavery and there are lots of interesting buildings, all in different styles of architecture and each with a fascinating story." Visitors who want to learn about Savannah can join various tours, on-foot, by trolley bus or even via horse-drawn carriage. Local Panama hat-clad character Savannah Dan walks visitors through each square, re-visiting every scandal the city has seen. “Savannah Dan is a larger-thanlife Southern gentleman,” says Jane Green, Travelbag. “He gave us an informative and entertaining tour which is so much fun it would appeal to all ages.” Historic Savannah is not as conservatively southern as you’d imagine. It’s one of just two cities in the US where you can get a
“ You could easily spend a week in Savannah wandering around, sightseeing and sampling different restaurants. What makes it special is that although it's a city, it has a lovely small town feel to it. ” Eileen Saunders, Travel Counsellors
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“ Atlanta is home of the world's most famous drink, Coca Cola, and has a museum dedicated to it. Visitors to Coca Cola World can learn about the security surrounding the drink's topsecret recipe and enter The Vault where it's kept. ” cocktail to take away and has a reputation for parties, live music and quirky characters. "II loved Savannah’s Rocks on the Roof bar at the Bohemian Hotel," says Philippa Westwood, America As You Like It “It's the city's hottest spot, where you can sip a Georgia Peach cocktail and listen to live music on the rooftop terrace, enjoying stunning sunset views across the River.” Dining options in Savannah range from gourmet blackened oysters in The Pink House to homebaked biscuits in Laurie’s, a Savannah diner which was used as Jenny’s work place in the ﬁlm Forrest Gump. A must is celebrity chef Paula Deen’s Lady and Sons restaurant. A Deep South Nigella Lawson, she’s famous for comfort food like fried chicken. Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays, said: “The food was amazing but I loved the atmosphere too, it had a real buzz and was a social place to eat.” ♦
And for those who don’t cycle, sister company ATL Cruisers’ open-air electric cars are an alternative option. There are plenty of green spaces to escape to in Atlanta, including the landscaped slopes and lakes of Piedmont Park, which give a lovely view of the city's skyscrapers and the Centennial Olympic Park. Atlanta is home of the world’s most famous drink, Coca Cola, and has a museum dedicated to it. Visitors to Coca Cola World can learn about the security surrounding the drink’s top-secret recipe and enter The Vault where it’s kept. There is also a hall of memorabilia comprising retro adverts and vending machines, and a tasting room where fans can try weird and wonderful coke products from around the world, like melon Fanta from Thailand. Another Atlanta institution is CNN – whose headquarters are based in the city. “The informative Inside CNN tour takes you behind the scenes of the CNN Live News studios,” says Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel.
Y’all know this? Georgia’s cities have great literary connections. Savannah’s beautifully preserved MercerWilliams House Museum is the scene of many-a real-life scandal, as told in the book and John Cusak ﬁlm, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. In Atlanta, Gone with the Wind author Margaret Mitchell’s house is also a museum, telling the story behind the world-famous Georgia-set book and ﬁlm.
"Learn how 24/7 news is broadcast and travel on the USA's longest escalator!” Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium is the world’s largest, comprising some eight million gallons of water that is home to all manner of aquatic life, from whale sharks to penguins. “Georgia Aquarium has a lot to offer in terms of activities", says Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays. “The behind-the scenes tours, live shows and animal interactions make it a great stop for kids.” ♦
It's a peach!
"I loved the atmosphere down by the Savannah river-front. There are loads of lively bars, or you can sit and watch the world go by and the ships roll in." Eileen Saunders, Travel Counsellors
After the leafy Antebellum avenues of South Georgia, Atlanta’s slick high-rise skyline is a revelation. The modern streets run to a different tempo and you might ﬁnd yourself switching your iPod from Ray Charles to Jay-Zee. That’s not to say there’s no sense of history here though – and Atlanta’s pace is a lot calmer than New York or LA. Multi-cultural Atlanta spreads out from its original centre at Five Points, where its main streets converge, and encompasses many distinct neighbourhoods, like the skyscrapers of Midtown, Sweet Auburn – birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., or the shopping paradise of Buckhead. “Riding a bike is the best way to experience Atlanta ,” says Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel. “Bicycle Tours of Atlanta’s guides give a wonderful overview of the city, taking you safely along main roads, through parks and up secluded residential streets.”
PICTURED, opposite page (clockwise from top): Savannah architecture; drinks at the Bohemian Hotel; throwing shapes at CNN; The Pink House restaurant. Bottom: with celebrity chef Paula Deen. This page: a Savannah square; Coca Cola World; Atlanta's Fox Theater; and glittering skyline. Frame: Savannah Dan.
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6 Georgia's Islands & Coast
Sunshine, sand and sea
It's a shore thing properties the family built, such as the grand white mansion Plum Orchard, where visitors can tread the worn carpets and peer at original oil paintings and dusty stag heads. Aside from camping, there is a more up-scale way to stay on the island – at the Greyﬁeld Inn. Still Carnegie family-owned, the old-fashioned mansion is ﬁlled with cosy, book-lined rooms, squashy arm chairs and luxurious rooms featuring four poster beds and Victorian bath tubs. Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel said: “Greyﬁeld Inn feels like stepping back into colonial times. The rooms were amazing and the feel of it, the whole of Cumberland Island in fact, was incredibly relaxed. It’s a place where you can cut yourself off from the modern world.” ♦
Georgia’s coast stretches for 100 miles of golden barrier islands, flat marshland and reedy creeks. Expect quaint seaside towns, cute colonial homes, Americana diners and unspoiled green vistas.
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The largest of Georgia’s barrier islands is a National Park Service-owned and conserved wilderness area. Wild horses gallop along its white sand beaches and alligators roam through the tangled interior of oak trees and creeks. “Cumberland Island was totally unexpected,” says Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays. “The interior felt almost like a rainforest and the beaches were absolutely pristine. It’s totally untamed and what little habitation remains tells its history. I think a couple or a family with older children would enjoy exploring here for a couple of days.” Aside from natural pursuits such as ﬁshing, swimming and biking, there’s plenty to explore on Cumberland Island such as the ruins of Dungeoness. A grand house built by the Carnegie family, who lived in isolation on the island in the 1800s, it now stands empty whilst wild horses and turkeys graze its perimeters. Park rangers can guide visitors around this and the other
The Golden Isles
Georgia markets four of its islands under the Golden Isles umbrella – Jekyll, St. Simons, Little St. Simons and Sea Island. All four islands are characterised as low country, consisting of verdant wetlands and ivory beaches accessed by wooden boardwalks across undulating dunes. Inland are streets of clapboard houses and maritime forests of magnolias and live oaks hanging with ghostly ﬁngers of Spanish moss. Jekyll Island is accessed via its bridge, which straddles the whispering marshes. At the centre of the Historic District is the Jekyll Island Club hotel, described in 1904 as ‘the richest, most exclusive, most inaccessible club in the world’, it welcomed notable Americans including J.P. Morgan and William Rockefeller. Several of these families built holiday homes in the grounds which now serve as hotel accommodation along with the main building and its imposing Victorian turret. There are a dizzying choice of hotel rooms, some accessed
Y'all know this? Sea Island is one of America’s most wealthy zip codes. To access it you must be either a resident, a guest of a resident, or a guest at the ﬁve-star resort. Similarly exclusive, Little St. Simons only has room for 32 guests in its collection of rustic cottages reached by private boat.
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“ Tybee's beaches don't just attract sun worshippers, there are lots of natural attractions on offer, such as wildlife spotting and beach combing. ”
by private staircases or offering balconies or sun porches. Guests can enjoy the beautiful grounds and swimming pool, sit in the oak panelled bar, or relax by a roaring ﬁreplace in a creaking leather arm chair. “Jekyll Island Club is a lovely colonial-style resort Travelbag. “It has a lovely hotel", says Jane Green, Travelbag beach and lots to do, such as play one of the four golf courses, use the tennis club or go horse riding. The great thing is that you’re secluded, but you can still get out and explore places, like nearby St. Simons and its shops.”
“ All four of the Golden Isles are characterised as low country, consisting of verdant wetlands and ivory beaches accessed by wooden boardwalks. ” If Cumberland is wild and Jekyll exclusive, St. Simons has to be described as charming. The largest of Georgia’s barrier islands, St. Simons is the most bustling and has the largest choice of accommodation. The island boasts great boutique shopping, old-fashioned cafes and coffee parlours and independent art galleries. There's also beaches, two 18-hole golf courses and historic sites like the 18th century Fort Frederica and St. Simons Lighthouse. “St. Simons is very quaint," says Philippa Westwood, America As You Like It. “It has loads of cute antique and bookshops, plus the lovely museum and lighthouse, which you can climb to the top of for sea views. It would appeal to older couples who like to wander around and soak up the local culture.” ♦
on offer, such as wildlife spotting and beachcombing. Tybee local and scientist Dr Joe Richardson runs his own tours, showing visitors the varieties of species on and off the beach. His laid back tour takes you for a stroll on the beach, digging for shells and sharks teeth. “Joe’s tours are great for groups and families,” says Nicole, Vacations to America. “He’s really knowledgeable on everything to do with the ocean and tells you about all the shells and
breeds of birds and he even drags a net through the waves to show you samples of sealife up close before releasing them back into the sea." Just standing on the beach at Tybee you can spot dolphins frolicking out to sea, but the best way to appreciate the beauty of the coast is from a boat. Captain Mike’s dolphin cruises leaves from Lazaretto Creek, where battered shrimp boats moor up against the reeds and brown pelicans swoop from the bridge. “The sunset dolphin cruise was so picturesque", says Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel. “You see the sun coming down over the lighthouse as well as the dolphins close up. It’s only an hour and a half so you don’t miss beach time.” ♦
It's a peach!
“My favourite meal of the trip was at Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island. I ate the best fries I’ve ever tasted and the fried okra and mac and cheese were amazing. I loved how authentic it was – with big guys sitting up at the bar eating huge slabs of meat!” Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays
It's a peach!
Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. Kids and adults can learn about the creatures, how they are threatened and the work the centre does rescuing and rehabilitating turtles. You can even go behind the scenes and see the hospital patients.
Tybee Island A weekend bolt-hole for Savannah, Tybee Island is just a quick drive across the marshes from the city. “Tybee Island is very laid-back, young and funky,” says Philippa Westwood. “We ate in the Crab Shack, a restaurant whose slogan read: ‘Where the elite eat in their bare feet.’ Younger couples and families looking for some chill-out time on the beach with plenty of activities will love Tybee. I'd recommend renting a cottage for a few days or a week. Mermaid Cottages has a selection of beautiful and cosy houses with quirky decor.” Tybee’s beaches don’t just attract sun worshipers, there are lots of natural attractions
PICTURED, opposite page (clockwise from top): Lighthouse, Tybee; Dr Joe's beach tour; Cumberland Island beach; at Plum Orchard Mansion. Inset: Greyﬁeld Inn picnic . This page: Southern Soul Barbeque, St. Simons; St. Mary's shop; Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island; Southern Soul. Frame: wild horse, Cumberland.
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8 Central Georgia & Florida
Peaches & porches
Heartland and soul ♦
Central Georgia doesn’t boast any huge urban developments or mega tourist attractions. It doesn’t need to because it’s the reason people come to the Deep South: open roads, white picket fence towns, peaceful porches and friendly locals.
The former capital of Georgia, leafy Milledgeville has a quietly digniﬁed and collegiate atmosphere. Along the tree-lined avenues are rows of white, columned Antebellum-period houses shaded by dogwood trees. The town’s focal point is the former Capitol building which served Georgia until 1868. “Milledgeville has a really interesting museum in its Capitol building,” says Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays. “Kids can learn more about the area through artefacts which date from the Stone Age up to modern times. Nearby, the grand Old Governor’s Mansion is also open for visitors and beautifully preserved with period furniture and clothing.”
museums – the private residences are kept as they would have looked over 200 years ago. " Just outside Madison, Morgan County prides itself on its agricultural tourism. The scenery of rolling ﬁelds, red wood barns and cotton ﬁelds makes a pleasant drive, but staying the night is the best way to experience the Georgia countryside. The Farmhouse Inn at Hundred Acre Farm is owned by Crystal and Ellis Johnston and their friendly sheep dog. The décor is cosy country, with red checks, rustic wood and copies of southern lifestyle magazine Garden & Gun at your bedside. Visitors can take the quad bike down to feed the chickens or wander the organic vegetable patch. ♦
A must-stop on the Antebellum trail, Madison is a sleepy southern town where rocking chairs creak back and forth on the countless porches, all adorned with the Stars and Stripes. "Madison is incredibly preserved," says Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays. “The architecture is the same throughout the town, and it’s not just
It's a peach!
"Madison’s Heritage Hall Museum was built in 1811 and the town’s doctor lived there. You can see just how they lived in the 1800s, viewing original artefacts, like the doctor’s amputation kit and the tiny corsets women had to wear. I can’t imagine how it felt to have an 18-22 inch waist!" Michelle Brassington, Virgin Holidays ♦
Just outside Atlanta is the huge monolith of Stone Mountain. Rising out of the surrounding ﬂat land, there is a huge carving on its face depicting three famous ﬁgures of the Confederacy: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis. Stone Mountain's ﬂat lunar-like summit can be reached by a hike through the wooded trail or the Skyride cable car and commands spectacular views across miles of woodland to Atlanta's skyline. Below, the park offers seasonal attractions, with piles of pumpkins in autumn and fairy lights and piles of permanent powdery snow at Christmas. “ Stone Mountain offers picnic areas, a golf course, museums and play areas for kids with a scenic railroad and snow tubing in winter," says Jane Green, Travelbag. "The best thing is that it’s only 15 minutes from Downtown Atlanta so it’s an ideal day trip for all ages."
PICTURED: This page (clockwise from top left): Southern Cross Ranch; Stone Mountain; Hundred Acre Farm scarecrow; rural scenery; chicken salad, Whistlestop Café; Madison church. Opposite page: St. Augustine trolley bus tour; Fort Castillo de San Marco; pumpkins, St Augustine; Daytona Beach.
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The Florida Connection Georgia and Florida contrast and complement each other, with their rich history, great beaches and outstanding hospitality. Read about where we stayed on our journey from Orlando to Georgia. ♦
Shaking off its former reputation for spring break revelry, Daytona Beach has retained its all-American feel but added some more upmarket attractions behind its famous stretch of sand. The city is most famous for being the home of the Daytona International Speedway and headquarters of NASCAR (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing). Speedweeks start in February when over 200,000 fans descend for the Daytona 500, but there are many more events for petrol heads throughout the year. “We sell a lot of Harley Davidson tours and there's a big store in Daytona where you can start your bike tour from," says Philippa Westwood, America As You Like It. "It's a convenient stop en route to Georgia.” Along with the neon burger joints and pancake houses, Daytona now boasts boutique shops, chic restaurants, museums and galleries. A calendar of annual events ranges from Daytona Bike Week’s street rallies to the atmospheric Daytona Blues Festival, where global blues stars’ voices echo through the stands at the Jackie Robinson Ballpark.
drive around the track and see inside the winners’ enclosure. It's deﬁnitely worth trying to get clients a ticket to a racing event."
impressive powder blue arches of the Memorial Presbyterian Church or Flagler College, with its Arlington terracotta spires and exotic Moorish fretwork, Alexandria GEORGIA to the Spanish district's worn clapboard shops Philippa Westwood, America As You Like It H e a rt of the U . S. Southe a s t smothered in pink bougainvillea. V IRGINIA Richmond ♦ St. Augustine “St Augustine has a very continental feel to it,” Norfolk says Nicole Franklin, Vacations to America. “It’s so Founded in the 16th century by the Spanish, St. laid back! During the day you can wander the little Augustine is considered the oldest, continually streets with their cute nick-nack shops, and at night occupied European-founded city in America. FarRaleigh Winston-Salem Nashville Knoxville CAROLINA sample the lovely restaurants and barsNORTH where live removed from Disneyland, its cobbled streets are spills out onto the streets.Charlotte A trolley tour is a shaded from the Florida sun by the cool spread Tmusic EN N ESSEE great way to understand the city's history.” of palms and moss-strewn live oaks,Memphis and no one Dalton hurries anywhere fast. Rome Myrtle Beach Athens Roswell St. Augustine’s biggest attraction is 17th Atlanta Augusta century Fort Castillo de San Marco which sits by Charleston G EO RG IA the sparkling harbour. Despite having changed Macon Statesboro hands from the Spanish Empire, to Great Britain, Hilton Head Island Vidalia A L A B A MA Columbus Savannah Americus the Confederate States of America and the United Atlantic Albany Ocean States of America, the fortress’s coquina walls Waycross Brunswick crafted from sea shells and coral, have withstood Saint Marys Valdosta war and storms for over 300 years. Visitors can Jacksonville Beach Tallahassee Jacksonville St Augustine experience the stuffy stone barracks or stand on top of the fort for the view and fresh bay breeze. F L OR ID A The city’s architecture swings between the Charlottesville
It's a peach!
"The Daytona Speedway tour is great for people who are really passionate about the sport – you get to
Y'all know this? Georgia was created as a buffer state between the British-controlled Carolinas and Spanishruled Florida. Suggest a roadtrip between St Augustine, Savannah and Charleston to reveal the cultural melting pot of America (see map).
Gulf of Mexico
Orlando Melbourne Lakeland
Port Saint Lucie
Sarasota West Palm Beach
georgia.org Cape Coral
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State Capitals Cities 500,000+
Cities 100,000-499,999 Cities 50,000-99,999 Cities 10,000-49,999
Toll Roads and Bridges Interstate Highways U.S. Highways State Boundaries Major Rivers
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Journey the best of Georgia
Intelligent itineraries Everyone is looking for something different from a holiday. Some want to relax and indulge, others to learn and explore. Here are some targeted suggestions to add to your clients’ itineraries…
Chickamauga Battlefield Civil War history
The nature lover
Georgia’s scenery changes dramatically, from the hazy heights of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the north, right down to the low country vistas of creeks and beaches in the south, with rolling ﬁelds, lakes and forests in between. Augusta
Macon Columbus ♦
The culture vulture
Whoever said America lacks culture should take a trip to Georgia. The state's history may be relatively short, but it's eventful and chequered – life wasn't always as peachy down south as it is now!
Cumberland Island St. Marys
The Antebellum angle: Referring to a period before the Civil War and famous for its grand architecture, the word Antebellum evokes a genteel time, when hoop-skirted ladies sipped mint juleps on the porch, and a tough time, when black people were slaves. An ofﬁcial Antebellum Trail runs from Athens to Macon and takes in seven towns which escaped Civil War destruction and stand testament to the time cotton was king. Confederate tales: An antidote to the formal parlours of the old south is the story of the brutal Civil War. The Blue and Gray Trail from Chattanooga in Tennessee to Atlanta is one route which follows some of the war's most dramatic events and visits the sites of over 60 bloody conﬂicts, including the Chickamauga Battleﬁeld. The battle for equality: Martin Luther King Jnr., father of the Civil Rights movement, was born in Atlanta and his legacy of peaceful protest is honoured in the King Centre. Visitors can tour his home turf, the Sweet Auburn District. The city of Albany’s Civil Rights Institute is another must-visit.
“ The LOCALs in Georgia are so friendly and welcoming. And There's so much to see and do Horse riding, boating, biking and hiking. I was surprised to see the unspoilt islands running along the coast and their fine beaches. ” Eileen Saunders, Travel Counsellors
Fayetteville Dogwood Festival
Macon Cherry Blossom Festival
Y'all know this?
Georgia Albany Okefenokee Swamp
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Savannah Tybee Island
Y'all know this? From Outkast to Otis Redding, Usher to Ray Charles, Georgia has produced many musical legends. Father of funk James Brown grew up in Augusta, while Athens gave birth to REM and Love Shack singers the B52s.
Take a new leaf: The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest in north Georgia has 530 miles of trails passing rivers, waterfalls and crystalclear lakes with swimming beaches. There are recreation grounds, campsites and picnic areas. But those who don’t want to walk can still access the scenery in a car via scenic byways.
Blue Ridge Heart of the mountains and Chattahoochee Forest
Swamp stories: Georgia's Great Okefenokee Swamp, or 'Land of the Trembling Earth' as the native Americans named it, is the largest black water swamp in North America. Its 700 square miles is crisscrossed with paddle and motorboat water trails. Overhanging cypress trees and ﬂoating lilies hide alligators, giant salamanders and a chorus of croaking frogs. Mammals to spot include bobcats, otters and beavers.
Georgia is proud of its seasonal colours. The International Cherry Blosson Festival takes place in March in Macon and Fayetteville’s Dogwood Festival follows in April. Head to the mountains before November to see glorious fall colours. Failing that, see blooms all year round at Atlanta’s Botanical Gardens in Piedmont Park.
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The gourmet traveller
Good ol' southern cooking is a great reason to visit Georgia. And it's not always fried! Choose from fresh seafood, all-American succulent barbeque and simple soul food like shrimp and grits which will have culinary purists salivating.
Dahlonega Wine country
Park life: Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta is the largest theme park in the southeast, with 10 roller coasters and whimsical worlds like Thomas Town for younger kids. Wild Adventures in Valdosta has rides, over 500 wild animals and the region’s largest water park. There's also the Chattahoochee Rapids Beach & Water Park (open May to mid September) and Stone Mountain’s summer laser shows.
Eating Atlanta: Think the Deep South is traditional and stuck in its ways? Not Atlanta! The city has one of the US's most exciting dining scenes, famous for its fusion food – classic southern dishes with a twist, like buttermilk chicken with Italian pesto! You'll also ﬁnd a smorgasbord of global cuisine, from Japanese to Ethiopian. Movie magic: Between Savannah and Atlanta is the cute little village of Juliette where the ﬁlm Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Café was ﬁlmed. “It's now a working café and the décor is unchanged," says Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel. "Diners sit around the big wooden counter drinking homemade lemonade out of jam jars as big freight trains rattle past and the town is full of tiny little shops selling antiques and locally-made gifts."
Juliette Whistle Stop Café
Home of Celeb chef Paula Deen
Albany Seafood on the coast
Animal attraction: As well as Atlanta’s amazing aquarium, its zoo holds over 800 animals from around the world, including giant pandas, an acclaimed collection of great apes and the Outback Station petting zoo.
Horsing around: “I was surprised to learn that Georgia has ranches – I always imagined horsebased holidays in Colorado or Montana,” says Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel. Sure enough, at the award-winning Southern Cross Guest Ranch in central Georgia, keen horse riders can stay down on the farm – but they also have use of a pool and a hot tub! “Southern Cross caters for all abilities and the russet woods and rolling grounds make a stunning backdrop for a ride." says Philippa Westwood, America As You Like It.
Top 5 Georgia dishes * Fried chicken, biscuits and butter beans - Mrs Wilkes' Dining Room, Savannah * Brunswick Stew (meat, beans, okra and corn) with white bread Vandy's Bar-B- Que, Statesboro * Peach Cobbler - Pittypat's Porch, Atlanta * Seafood platter of crab, shrimp and crawﬁsh -The Crab Shack, Tybee Island. * Fried Green tomatoes - The Whistlestop Café, Juliette
Vine time: Towards the Appalachian Mountains, once famous for its moonshine, are Georgia’s wineries. As well as European varieties like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, the state produces sweet native muscadine vines and fruit wines. Suggest heading to the heart of wine country and the tiny town of Dahlonega. Many of the local wineries offer tours and tastings.
“ I had my favourite local meal on Jekyll Island's Latitude 31 restaurant which sits on the pier. Low country boil is a hearty bowl of fresh crab, crawfish, shrimp, chunky potatoes and big slices of sausage in a broth. I had it on Jekyll Island and i really enjoyed it! ” Vicki Cook, Tailor Made Travel
Tee time: Georgia is the home to golf’s bestknown tournament – the Masters, played at Augusta National Golf Club. But there are many other award-winning golf courses, designed by greats like Jack Nicklaus and Robert Trent Jones, and all offered at affordable prices. Getting high: Brasstown Bald is Georgia's highest peak and at 4,784 feet offers panoramic views of Georgia, Tennessee and North and South Carolina. Serious trekkers can head to Springer Mountain for the start of the epic 2,000+ mile hike along the Appalachian Trail, all the way to Maine.
Fort Mountain State Park Gainsville Chattahoochee Water Park
Top 5 Georgia activities
Six Flags over Georgia - Theme park Atlanta Zoo Madison Stone Mountain Southern Cross Guest Ranch Horse riding
Augusta National Golf Club
* Kayaking – explore creeks, mangroves and maritime forests around Tybee Island
* Zip lining – ﬂy through the trees at Stone Mountain’s multi-level SkyHike
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The fun-loving family
The pace may be slower in the south, but there are still plenty of action-packed attractions to book into a Georgia holiday – for all generations.
Savannah Tybee Island Watersports on the coast
On to the beaches of Florida
* Rock climbing – scale the 1,000 foot-deep Tallulah Gorge * Mountain biking – Fort Mountain State Park has 27 miles of trails through forest and blueberry thickets * Fishing – be like Bubba and get aboard the Lady Jane shrimp boat in St. Simons
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Main Image: Fly from London Heathrow and Manchester to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport – home of Delta Air Lines. Below: Billboard Magazine ranked the Fox Theatre in Atlanta as “The #1 venue worldwide for the decade”.
WELCOME TO OUR HOME.
Below Right: Upgrade to Economy Comfort™ and enjoy 10cm more legroom and 50% more seat recline.
WELCOME TO GEORGIA.
With our global headquarters based in Atlanta, here at Delta Air Lines we know all there is to know about our home state and are always delighted to welcome new visitors to the impressive and charming city of Atlanta. From 31st March 2013, Delta will introduce a third daily nonstop flight from London Heathrow to Atlanta, where travellers can explore the historic landmarks and world-class shopping that this Southeastern city has to offer. Travellers can also connect from Atlanta airport to over 200 destinations on our extensive network across the USA, Latin America and the Caribbean. Having invested significantly into Delta Air Lines’ presence in our home town, passengers can also now enjoy the benefits of a brand new 1.2 million square-foot international terminal at Atlanta airport. For more information on Delta visit DELTA .COM . ©2013 Delta Air Lines, Inc.
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