GEORGIA HOLIDAYS

Named for King George II, the name of Georgia has been immortalised through famous songs such as Ray Charles’ “Georgia on my Mind” and Glady Knight and the Pips’ “Midnight Train to Georgia”. Nicknamed ‘Peach State’, Georgia’s widespread farmlands grow everything from peanuts and soy beans to corn and blueberries. The state is also the world’s number one producer of pecans in the world. Home to more than 10 million people, Georgia is in fact America’s eight most populace state and is the largest US state east of the Mississippi River in terms of overall land area.

Named after King George II of Great Britain, it’s more likely that the name will conjure up songs like ‘Georgia on my mind’ and ‘Midnight train from Georgia.’ In 2009, the New York Times called Atlanta ‘hip-hop’s center of gravity.’ The Dirty South variant of hip hop! A new twist on the State’s rich heritage and antebellum climate which have spun modern American literary classics such as Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The Wind and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple.

The TV programmes The Walking Dead and Hazzard Country are set in Georgia. In the real world it’s the Peach State – growing country. Widespread farms produce peanuts, corn, and soybeans. Georgia is the world’s number one producer of pecans and one of the top five blueberry producers in the US. The Northern part of the state is in The Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Piedmont plateau extends through the central area of the state to the Fall Line. But we don’t need to sing its praises anymore – the songwriters do that well enough, from ‘Sitting on the dock of the bay’ to ‘Sweet southern comfort’ to ‘Moon over Georgia.’

As Georgia’s capital and most densely populated city, Atlanta has plenty to do for locals and tourists alike. Perhaps the most iconic attraction to be found in Atlanta is the World of Coca-Cola Museum. While a type of soft drink may seem like an utterly strange thing to create a museum about, Atlanta is Coca-Cola country. Not only is the company’s HQ located here, but the drink was invented here too and has contributed much to the city’s development over the last 130 years. Indeed, Coca-Cola has contributed so much to Georgia’s economy that it is widely believed that the fates of the company and the state itself are intertwined. This rich history is celebrated in the World of Coca-Museum which welcomes upward of one million visitors every single year.

For those who prefer their liquid to contain fish, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is a beautiful paradise. Home to over 100,000 individual aquatic animals, representing around 500 different species, the Aquarium contains upward of ten million gallons of water and was only recently overtaken as the biggest aquarium in the world (by the Marine Life Park in Singapore. Some of the more noteworthy creatures to inhabit the Georgia Aquarium include beluga whales, manta rays and whale sharks (the biggest fish in the world).

 A trip to the Georgia Aquarium could ideally be paired up with a visit to the Atlanta Zoo, home to 1,500 animals representing 220 species spread out across 40 acres of land. Of the many types of animals who call the Atlanta Zoo home, the most popular are far and away the pair of giant pandas, named Lun Lun and Yang Yang, who came to the zoo in 1999. This makes Atlanta zoo one of only four places in the world where these extremely rare and beautiful mammals can be seen in captivity. The pair have successfully bred several times, making Atlanta Zoo extremely important the giant panda from a conservational point of view.

Stone Mountain is considered the most popular tourist attraction in all of Georgia, attracting over four million visitors every year. Some five miles in circumference and standing more than 500 metres tall, Stone Mountain is not only known for its impressive geography, but also the fact that it bears the world’s biggest bas-relief carving. Depicting Confederate leaders Robert E. Lee, Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson and President Jefferson Davis, the full carving measures over 6,000 metres squared and stands some 400 feet off the ground. While certainly a controversial structure, there can be no denying that the Stone Mountain sculpture is an impressive feat in terms of artwork and engineering.

Since the founding of the Georgia Film, Music and Digital Entertainment office in 1972, over 700 films and TV shows have been shot in the state. Filming is now considered a billion-dollar industry in Georgia, with 2009 in particular being a record year, with film and TV production directly contributing $1.15 million into the state’s economy, creating many jobs and rejuvenating neighborhood in the process. A combination of abundant local resources and long days with the kind of natural lighting that filmmakers adore has made Georgia an increasingly popular filming destination for the big screen and the small screen in recent years.

Among the hit blockbusters to be filmed in Georgia in recent years are X-Men: First Class, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, The Hunger Games and Need For Speed. The Walking Dead, Marvel’s Luke Cage and The Dukes of Hazzard are some of the more famous Georgian TV shows. Of course, all of these shows and movies have their very own specially tailored guided tours which allow fans to visit the locations of their favourite scenes and get a close up look at the props and equipment that brought their beloved films/shows to life, so no matter which genres you enjoy, you’re bound to find a screen tour that will interest you.

Gallery

Our Recommended Georgia Offers

  • From
    €2903pp

    Deep South & Delta Blues Escorted Tour

    A journey through America’s cultural and musical heritage, from the Civil Rights Movement to the beginning of count...
    • More Detail
  • From
    €2957pp

    Southern New England & The Hamptons of New York Fly Drive

    With this trip you will be able to sample a plethora of places, see hundreds of fascinating sights and meet some of t...
    • More Detail
  • From
    €2388pp

    Gone with the Wind Escorted Tour

    A 12-day tour steeped in soulful music and literature gems.
    • More Detail

Blog

By Diane Williams

New Orleans 10 Best Live Music Venues

By Denise Walsh

JFK100 at Presidential Library & Museum, Boston

By Amanda O'Brien

Nashville’s Best Bars with Live Music