Seeking an authentic Georgia experience? Immerse yourself in local history, diverse scenery and culinary traditions on an enlightening adventure through the state.
Visit Georgia’s capital city, the “Hostess City of the South” and a peaceful island preserve to uncover the stories that have shaped this Southern gem. From landmark locales of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement to restaurants serving elevated regional cuisine, tour and taste your way through Atlanta, Savannah and Jekyll Island and discover vibrant cultures along the way.
Atlanta: Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement
Your adventure begins in Atlanta, the bustling capital city of Georgia. Atlanta is known for its thriving entertainment scene, scenic parks and diverse culinary offerings. It’s also known as the birthplace of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and its leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Delve into King’s life and legacy at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park located just east of downtown. Encompassing 14 hectares of landmarks, monuments and living history, this serene destination preserves King’s birth home, the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and Fire Station No. 6, one of the first desegregated fire houses in the South. The park’s visitor center is an ideal first stop where you can view video programs and immersive exhibits on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement.
Uncover the stories of lesser-known advocates of the movement at downtown’s Xernona Clayton Plaza and Rodney Cook Sr. Park in Historic Vine City and stop for soul food from legendary meeting place Paschal’s Atlanta Restaurant before moving on to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. There, explore interactive installations on the U.S. Civil Rights Movement and human rights efforts from around the world. Conclude your tour of Atlanta with a James Beard Award-nominated dining experience at One Flew South and a jaunt on the nearby Atlanta BeltLine. The art-filled network of trails and tracks connects must-see places across the city.
Portraits of activists from around the world hang on display in the lobby of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta
Savannah: The “Hostess City of the South”
Savannah is a destination steeped in history. Its moss-draped trees, cobblestone streets and eye-catching architecture are best explored on a guided tour, and there are plenty to choose from. For a laid-back look at iconic spots, stroll through Savannah’s Historic District on a dog-directed outing with Oliver Bentleys Historic Dog Walk Tour. You’ll visit distinctive public squares, striking statues and pet-friendly attractions and hear thrilling tales from the city’s past.
Refuel at Collins Quarter in Forsyth Park, where elevated Southern cuisine is served alongside coffees, cold-pressed juices and cocktails. After your meal, explore the manicured park – the city’s oldest and largest – and snap a photo of its signature fountain. When it’s time to wind down, savor sweeping city views at Peregrin, the rooftop bar at the Perry Lane Hotel. Enjoy locally inspired dishes and premium beverages as you reflect on your time in Savannah.
The intricately decorated Forsyth Park Fountain in Savannah
Jekyll Island: A Preserved Coastal Community
Jekyll Island is a state-protected coastal escape less than two hours’ drive from Savannah. Families have flocked here for generations, drawn to the distinctive natural features and storied history found in this tranquil corner of the Golden Isles. Ample bike trails make it easy to explore the island on two wheels. Pedal around sand dunes and ancient shade trees on your way to Driftwood Beach. This can’t-miss waterfront promises otherworldly scenes where weathered trees and branches meet the sand. Arrive early to soak up amazing sunrise views. Afterward, head to the National Historic Landmark District for lunch at The Wharf Restaurant. It’s a favorite for fresh local seafood. The surrounding historic district features over 30 stately buildings from the island’s time as an exclusive retreat for the USA’s wealthiest industrialists during the Gilded Age. Ride through the 100-hectare site to see quaint cottages and villas before spending an afternoon at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. There, you’ll learn about local conservation projects and see wildlife rehabilitation in action.
Another stirring site on Jekyll Island is the Wanderer Memory Trail, a UNESCO-recognized interactive experience on the banks of the Jekyll River. The trail tells stories from one of the last known ships to carry enslaved people to the USA. Take a self-guided tour of the outdoor exhibits to see the island community’s historical preservation efforts at work.
Exploring interactive educational installations at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island
Fly into Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) and ride or drive 16 kilometers to Downtown Atlanta, where you’ll begin your adventure through Georgia.