50 States in 50 Days: Day 16 Georgia

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In honor of me having achieved my goal of visiting all 50 US States, each day for the next 50 days, I will post a picture of somewhere I have visited in each state and write a paragraph or two about my experience. There is so much to see in every one of them, so I am just selecting one of my best memories. 

Like a steel Magnolia, Georgia projects a demure beauty that belies a quiet strength. A mix of old-world grace and modernity that seems to walk the razor’s edge of being cutting edge without being too trendy. You’ll find contemporary skyscrapers and quaint Victorian mansions living together seamlessly. Georgia wears her dichotomies well.

Many people who visit Georgia do so inadvertently. Atlanta’s Hartsfield Airport is the world’s busiest. Often flights make pit-stops here (both planned and unplanned) on there way to elsewhere. The city is the world headquarters for Delta Airlines, and you can connect from Atlanta to just about anywhere on the globe. For those who are able to wrest themselves away from the airport are able to find a panoply of entertainment venues. Some of my personal recommendations would include the Georgia Aquarium,  World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, Stone Mountain, and the MLK Memorial.

At the time of its opening, Georgia Aquarium was the world’s largest. They have had to surrender the title to an aquarium in Dubai and now have to settle for the largest in the western hemisphere. I am confident the aquarium will manage just fine. The Aquarium boasts a three-story sized tank with the only whale shark in captivity in all of the Americas. The whale shark is the world’s largest fish and is about the size of a bus. Having this behemoth swim past you is humbling, to say the least.

 

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Jonah has no reason to fear a whale shark, they’re plankton eaters.

 

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This shot gives you an excellent sense of scale. Not only does the aquarium offer this massive tank but several smaller exhibits which feature every different marine environment imaginable.

Right next door to the aquarium is “The World of Coca-Cola” Coca_Cola is based in Atlanta. In fact, Atlanta ranks fifth in the most fortune 500 companies behind NY, LA, Chicago, and Houston. “The world of Coca-Cola” is enjoyable for me even though I almost never drink soda.

 

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If you are a Coke drinker or just a fan of Americana, the museum is worth visiting.

And if you still have any time left right next door to both of these is the CNN Center. The center is home to CNN. The Cable News Network was one of the world’s premier news outlet and broadcasts from their offices in Atlanta (among other places) When I was there a woman was interviewing Senator Marco Rubio. (He really is short). Sorry, they weren’t allowing photos of that.

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Near all this is the Martin Luther King Historical district. I did a blog post about this a couple of weeks ago on MLK Day. The area includes Dr. King’s birthplace, the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he pastored and the final resting place of Martin Luther King and his wife. Anyone visiting Atlanta should make time to explore these sights, and the museum included.

 

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The King Center includes the Ebenezer Baptist Church where Dr. King pastored. The statue honors an African custom of raising a newborn to the sky and declaring “Behold the only thing greater than yourself”

 

ga6Outside of Atlanta proper is Stone Mountain. This is a quartz domed monolith that thrusts over 800 feet above the ground. The rock is popular with hikers and also offers a railcar to the summit. While undoubtedly beautiful the mountain has had its share of controversy. On the side of the rock is a relief featuring several generals of the Confederacy. Like other places in the American South, a debate is currently playing out regarding the future of Confederate memorials. We will let the discussion run its course and leave the topic be for now. The view from the summit provides a beautiful vista of the Atlanta skyline when the sky is clear.

 

 

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Albany Georgia was the hometown of singer Ray Charles. The city has an excellent memorial to him. The statue actually revolves, and his music is played on speakers nearby. It’s worth visiting if you are in the area.

And speaking of R&B singers if you happen to be in Augusta, Georgia check out a statue of James Brown

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Savannah Georgia may very well be the most photogenic city in the continental United States. Everywhere you look are Victorian mansions, thick sultry moss hanging from the trees, and dazzling public squares that beg to be contemplated, not just looked at. No wonder “Forrest Gump” spent so much time on that bench.

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Look familiar?  This is the spot where the park bench from the movie “Forrest Gump” stood. Actually, the seat was a prop and now resides in the Savannah History Museum. But locals say tourists come by here all the time expecting to find a bench.
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Perhaps this is what you are looking for.
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There’s so much eye candy in Savannah. Not to mention the islands close by. We will definitely follow up with a full post on another edition.

To really see Georgia get out of the airport, then after a few days get out of Atlanta. Enjoy the duality of this peach of a state. (sorry couldn’t go the whole post without a pun) There is a wealth of charm, beauty and southern warmth that awaits you. When the time comes to go home. You will definitely have Georgia on your mind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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