Whether you’re visiting Atlanta and grabbing a chilli dog at The Varsity or picking peaches from one of GA’s many peachtree farms, there are plenty of things to keep you busy in this beautiful state.
In this article, we’ll go over some exciting things to do and see, what the state is best known for, and some unique facts about Georgia and its storied history.
Let’s take a look!
During the American Civil War, General Sherman of the Union Army burned Atlanta to the ground.
It didn’t take long for the city to be rebuilt into its modern, vibrant form. Fittingly, the city adopted the phoenix rising from its ashes as its symbol.
Today Atlanta is Georgia’s largest city and the 38th most populous in the US. There’s plenty to do in Atlanta!
Founded For Felons
British MP (that’s like a congressman) James Oglethorpe was a “social reformer” who wanted a colony where prisoners who could not pay their debts in Britain could have the chance of a fresh start.
Believe it not, those first prisoners – along with Oglethorpe himself – were the start of Georgia’s modern history.
The Tree That Owns Itself
Athens, Georgia, South Finley Street – There stands a tall, white oak tree that legend says is self-owned. And this includes the land within eight feet of its base.
That’s right. At the corner of S. Finley and Dearing in the lovely college town of Athens, GA, there is the Jackson Oak, thought to have started life sometime during the 1600s.
It fell during the 1940s but was regrown, apparently, from its acorn.
Get Your Peaches Out In Georgia
If you wonder why Justin Bieber says he gets his peaches out in Georgia, it’s because it’s the Peach State. Since the mid 16th century, Georgia has produced significant quantities of the fruit.
But Georgia isn’t just known for its Peaches. It also grows massive amounts of peanuts, pecans, and a particularly sweet kind of onion: the Vidalia.
There are a lot of great peach farms to check out during peach picking season (May to September). Check out the following:
(Fun Fact: in Atlanta, there are over 55 streets bearing the name “Peachtree.”)
World’s Largest Peanut
Speaking of peanuts, Georgia is home to the largest (fake) peanut in the world. Once upon a time, you could see the giant legume crested atop a yellow crown in Ashburn, Georgia.
Unfortunately, Hurricane Michael severely damaged the world’s largest peanut in 2018. But don’t worry, it’s in the shop being fixed.
World Largest Dive-In Restaurant
While we’re on the subject of “world’s largest,” Georgia is also home to the largest drive-in restaurant in the world: The Varsity.
You can find their famous locations in downtown Atlanta, where it can fit a whopping 600 cars in its lot.
Two new locations are opening up in Athens and Bethlehem. They sell classic diner food from the 1950s and 60s.
New Years Opossum
A strange but beloved tradition takes place every New Years’ eve in Tallapoosa, Georgia.
On that night, since the early aughts, Spencer the stuffed opossum has lowered from Tallapoosa’s oldest building adorned with Christmas lights. They call it “the annual Possum Drop,” and about 4,000 people head out to it each year.
It’s a night full of festivities, fireworks, live music, and the crowing of royalty: the Possum Queen and King.
The Masters at Augusta
Augusta, Georgia, sits on the Savannah River right across from South Carolina. It’s the third-largest city in Georgia.
Everyone in the world knows of Augusta, GA, because that’s where the annual Master’s Tournament is hosted. And they have been the host since 1932.
Every year during the first full week of April, the best Golfers in the world vie for the green jacket at Augusta.
Once upon a time, the Master’s was known as the Augusta National Invitational. It was created in 1934 by, and owes much of its success to, Bobby Jones, who came out of retirement to play in its first incarnation.
But there’s more to the Augusta Country Club than just the Masters. It’s one of the finest places to wine, dine, and, yes, play Golf in the State.
Awesome Granite Rock Formations
Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most beautiful state park and home to Stone Mountain.
Stone mountain boasts the largest piece of exposed granite in the world (making it the third-largest in the world in Georgia, if you’re keeping count).
Granite mined from Stone Mt. was used throughout Georgia’s history to build many of its most notable buildings, including the Georgia Capitol Building.
Live Shrimp on Stone Mt.
The plateau on the summit of Stone Mountain gives you a fantastic panoramic view of the State.
Not only that, the odd geological features of the mountain mean that it is fascinating looking around at the different geological features. You can find live shrimp in pools and ponds of water in the stone. That’s right, live shrimp over 1,500 feet above sea level.
This is because the various depressions in the rock collect rainwater allowing habitats to form in the pools.
Visit Wild Horses on Cumberland Island
Cumberland Island is a long Sea island off the coast of Georgia that has an unusually large range of wildlife.
When it was first settled, Cumberland Island was part of Spanish Florida. This has led to the popular myth that conquistadors brought over the Cumberland Island Horse. But this is not likely true.
Either way, the feral horses on Cumberland are a unique part of Georgia’s history and culture.
You can tour Cumberland Island National Seashore in many different ways, but your journey will always start by boarding the ferry at St. Marys, Georgia.
Once you’re at Cumberland Island NS, you pay your fee at the mainland visitor centre before starting your journey through the wilderness area.