Things to do / Travel Guide
The Georgia and South Carolina region is a watershed of historical towns and cities, lush farmland, awesome resort and vacation locales, and beautiful scenery. Northwest in the region is Atlanta, the cultural and economic hub of the New South. On the coast are the culturally-rich cities of Savannah and Charleston. You can come to the region for the cities, or to relax in the sun on the sand, book in hand, and have some fun.
Places to Visit in Atlanta
Atlanta is truly an international urban metropolis, and it boasts a rich history as well. It was founded just 15 years before the Civil War, but in that antebellum time it became an important economic hub. The city was burned to the ground during the war, but out of the ashes it rose up and has thrived ever since. Because of this rebirth motif, the phoenix is a very common symbol on the city's public buildings.
Places to visit across the town include downtown's Underground Atlanta, the Margaret Mitchell House in Midtown Atlanta, the Fox Theater, the Coca Cola Worldwide Headquarters and Museum, the CNN Center, the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and the Georgia State Aquarium. Fun areas for entertainment and shopping include Buckhead, Little Five Points, and Virginia Highland.
Atlanta hosts one of the biggest music industries outside of LA and New York, home to Def Jam Records (e.g., Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, Method Man, Public Enemy, and Redman). The city is also the nation's most forested, and it also enjoys a large amount of rivers, creeks, and lakes.
Places to Visit near Atlanta
The South rocks! Where else but a few minutes outside of Atlanta can you visit the world's largest exposed granite rock, and on it the huge, carved figures of Confederate heroes? The mountain is 825 feet tall, and the equestrian Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee, and Jefferson Davis ride proud at a height of 90 feet. The carving was in the works since before World War I, but it was only finished in 1972.
Stone Mountain Park is also the site for some good biking and hiking trails. You can actually hike to the top of the mountain, or take a ride up on the Skyride, a cable-car that passes right by the faces of these Confederate heroes.
Places to Visit in Georgia
Just 60 miles east of Atlanta lies the “Classic City” of Athens. This charming little college town of 100,000 people is often compared to Austin, Texas, and Madison, Wisconsin. The University of Georgia is at the heart of the town, and its 30,000 students remain the driving force behind the local music scene. Big name bands playing in Atlanta make a special detour just to play here, and hometown celebrities include the B-52s, R.E.M., and Widespread Panic.
In the southern lands of the state of Georgia lies the Okefenokee Swamp, the largest peat-based swamp in North America. The word “Okefenokee” comes from the Seminole word for “trembling earth,” a reference to the peat, or partially decomposed vegetation. Tourists come to the swamp to experience the wildlife, as there are many interesting indigenous insects and birds, and there are also the famous 'gators. The swamp covers more than 400,000 acres.
Georgia Places to Visit
While there are 13 main islands off the coast of Georgia, four islands in particular are referred to as the Golden Isles: St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, and Sea Island. The weather is hot in the summer time (and humid!), and winters are quite warm, too. Resorts have been established on these islands, which have been visited by some of the nation's wealthiest families. St. Simons Island is the most heavily-populated of the four, with 15,000 permanent residents, and this number easily doubles during the summer time. Sea Island is the most exclusive of the Golden Isles, and it is home to the luxurious Sea Island Club, which had the distinct honor of hosting the G8 conference in 2004.
Places to Visit in Savanna
Savannah, the first British establishment in the colony of Georgia, became better known after its featuring in the John Berendt novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Savannah is a classic Southern city filled with ornate antebellum mansions and oaks covered in Spanish moss. The city has gone to great lengths in order to preserve the many historic squares, forts, churches, and markets that are scattered throughout the city. The great views, shopping, and dining around River Street make it a must see for any tourist passing through.
Places to Visit in South Carolina
The largest of South Carolina's barrier islands, Hilton Head is a golfer's paradise. In the last 50 years more than 10 golf resorts have popped up, and the island is host of the annual Verizon Heritage Classic Tournament. Hilton Head also features 12 miles of amazing beaches, and lots of land has been set aside as wildlife preserves. North of Hilton Head is the historic town of Beaufort, with a king's ransom of antebellum mansions.
Right across Port Royal Sound, north of Hilton Head, lies St. Helena Island. This swampy island is home to a vibrant community of the Gullah, African Americans who have lived for centuries preserving their own African-rooted culture. Try the cuisine, listen to the enchanting language, learn the history of these most interesting people.
History didn't touch much the Gullah, the African Americans living in coastal Georgia and South Carolina Low Country. Europeans were never a majority in this area, and the Gullah were able to preserve their African culture and develop independent of much European contact. There are still several Gullah communities in the South Carolina Low Country, primarily the southern half between Savannah and Charleston. A convenient island to visit in this regard is St. Helena, near Beaufort.
Myrtle Beach Tourist Attractions
At the northern tip of the region and South Carolina's Low Country lies Myrtle Beach. This city lies on the roughly 25-mile long strip referred to as the Grand Strand, which stretches from North Myrtle Beach to Pawleys Island. Myrtle Beach lacks the quiet, laid-back feel of other coastal towns in the region. The emphasis here is on family fun, and there are lots of shopping malls, lots of golf courses, lots of water parks, and lots of beach and boardwalks. However, in other areas on the Grand Strand you'll find quiet, as there are plenty of other resorts, parks and preserves, and historical points of interest scattered throughout.
Speaking of golf courses, two of Myrtle Beach's best are TPC and the True Blue Golf Club. PGA tour professionals are known to play at the former, and Golf Digest has ranked the True Blue Golf Club the #1 golf course in the Myrtle Beach area. These two are rooted in Southern ambiance, situated on old plantations and such forth.
Places to Visit in Charleston
Charleston's history dates back to Colonial times, and during the 18th century it was the largest town in the Union south of Philadelphia. Today the city is still home to streets lined with oaks, Spanish moss, and antebellum houses. There are many historic homes and churches throughout the city, and the area around Market Street is also packed with historic buildings. The College of Charleston is located in the city, as well as the Citadel Military Academy. The Battery, or White Point Gardens, is located on the waterfront where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet - this is a great place see the Sullivans Island lighthouse, Fort Sumter, and Castle Pickney.
Places to Visit in Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head, Charleston, South Carolina, Atlanta, Savannah, Georgia
Middleton Place - Charleston, South Carolina