Georgia is a southeastern state in the U.S. Its capital and largest metropolitan area, Atlanta, houses more than 6 million people, making it ninth place in the most populous metropolitan area in the U.S. It’s a place lush with verdant farmlands, mountains, and coastal beaches underscoring its diverse ecologic identity. It’s a place exuding southern charm and hospitality with antebellum towns emphasizing its culture and importance in American history.
Georgia is known for its peaches, pecans, and Vidalia onions. If you’re a fan of the down-home, comfort food style of cooking, Georgia will be a perfect destination as its diverse culinary pleasures will surely hit your taste buds perfectly. It is also home to seven official natural wonders, each a great destination on its own.
In The Beginning
Named after King George II, who granted the state its original charter, Georgia was the last of the 13 British colonies to be founded. It was and is a hotbed for political activism as it was among the first states to ratify the American Constitution and one of the Confederate states that strongly supported slavery which catalyzed the Civil War.
During the pre-Columbine times, Native American tribes inhabited the area. British colonizers established a settlement in Savannah in 1733 to buffer against the incursions of the Spaniards coming in from Florida. Several major battles and skirmishes helped make Georgia one of the places of contention for American, British, French, and Spanish attention.
The states of North Carolina and Tennessee are at their northern boundaries, while Florida is direct to its south. The Atlantic Ocean is at its southeastern side, and the state of South Carolina is at its northeastern boundary. Alabama sits to its western front and based on the latest 2020 census, the state is the 8th most populous, with 10,711,908 Georgians calling it home. In terms of area, it’s the 24th largest, with 59,425.15 square miles (153,910 square kilometers).
The Peach State
Georgia is known as The Peach State because of its reputation for producing the best peaches in the USA. The Georgia peach is renowned for its flavorful profile, texture, nutrition, and appearance. It’s featured in the Georgia quarter of the US Mint. The fruit was officially recognized as the state fruit in 1995.
Other Notable Nicknames
The state is also known by the moniker, The Goober State. The term goober is an informal name for peanuts, which is also one of the state’s primary produce. Georgia is recognized as “The Empire State of the South” because of its stature as one of the biggest producers of cotton, corn, tobacco, peanuts, pecans, and peaches. The state has since seen its economic growth bloom as it became one of the manufacturing giants in the continental US. One more unusual moniker for Georgia is The Buzzard State. Previous legislation protected the species from being hunted in the area; thus, the name stuck.
Georgia isn’t only about Atlanta, although it is one of the major component cities of the state along with Macon, Savannah, and Columbus. The state boasts of all four seasons, making it one of the best places to reside. The state has bustling cities and quaint towns, which add to its overall personality. The beautiful countryside connects the mountains and the seascapes, which also ensures the incredible biodiversity in the area. Whether you’re a city or country living fan, there’s something for your pleasure in Georgia.
A Hotbed for Various Musical Genres
Aside from being known for its peaches and peanuts, Georgia is recognized as a hotbed for famous musicians and composers. Whether you love country, soul, pop or rock music, or any genre in between, probably one of the musicians you idolize called Georgia home at one time or another.
The great Ray Charles was born in Albany, Georgia, in 1930. Although he began to lose sight early in his life, he mastered the piano and wrote several musical hits that have influenced musicians worldwide. The architect of rock and roll, Little Richard, was born in Macon in 1932, and his musical flair led him to combine gospel, blues, soul, and jazz elements to create ditties and other songs that have withstood the test of time. A certified showman, Little Richard is known for his flamboyant personality and colorful costumes.
Georgia on My Mind
Ray Charles recorded the song composed by Hoagy Carmichael with the lyrics from Stuart Gorrell in 1930 as part of his 1960 album, The Genius Hits the Road. Carmichael wrote the song for his sister Georgia but later admitted that it was also for the state. In 1979, Georgia legislated that Charles’s version would be the official state song.
Outkast’s Andre 3000, known as Andre Lauren Benjamin, is a notable rapper and artist with mixed soul, funk, and hip-hop elements. He collaborated with other artists such as Kid Cudi, Beyonce, and Kanye to sell 25 million records in his career. Country singer Luke Bryan is also a famous Georgia native who moved to Nashville to get a start as a songwriter. He’s currently got 27 number-one hit singles to his name and continues to inspire other Georgians to sing country.
Bastion for Civil Rights Movement
Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in Atlanta in 1929. He became the voice of the civil rights movement as his oratorical skills roused the people to fight and ultimately end segregation and prejudice using nonviolence and civil disobedience. Inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and his strong Christian beliefs, he became the spokesperson against Jim Crow laws and other discriminatory legislation. His advocacy earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Unfortunately, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee, on April 4, 1968. Cities and states have been celebrating Martin Luther King Jr Day since 1971.
Georgia is also a sports haven as several semi-professional and professional teams are based in the state. The NBA’s Atlanta Hawks, WNBA’s Atlanta Dream, MLB’s Atlanta Braves, and the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons are among the top sports teams. You can also include MLS’s Atlanta United FC and the G League’s College Park Skyhawks as among the top drawers for sports fans all over the state.
Sports Events Mecca
NCAA Division I powerhouses Georgia Bulldogs, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and Kennesaw State Owls call the state home. Other notable D1 programs include Mercer Bears, Georgia Southern Eagles, and the Georgia State Panthers. You can check out the Truist Atlanta Open if you’re into professional tennis. If you want to watch world-class golf unfold before your eyes, the Professional Golf Association’s Tour Championship makes regular stops in the state. College events such as the Chick-fil-A Kickoff, Celebration Bowl, MEAC/SWAC Challenge Kickoff, and the SEC Football championship pack stadiums with sports-crazed fans.
TY Cobb, one of the legendary baseball players of yesteryears, called Georgia home. Jackie Robinson, the race-breaking ballplayer and the subject of the movie 42, was from Cairo, Georgia. Dwight Howard, a leading NBA center, grew up in Atlanta and was the first pick from Southwest Atlanta Christian Academy. Josh Smith, a high-flying NBA forward, also hailed from College Park and played for 13 years in the league. NFL legends Herschel Walker, Calvin Johnson, and Champ Bailey all grew up in the state.
If you’re a fan of home cooking, check out any restaurant in Georgia, and the smells of southern comfort food assault you. Among the food that people love are the traditional shrimp and grits, fried chicken, peach pies, buttermilk pies, and the low country boil featuring fresh shrimp, potatoes, corn, sausages, and great seasoning.
A quick drive towards any town in Georgia will provide you with a glimpse of American Revolutionary history with antebellum mansions, coastal forts, and military installations. American Indian heritage sites are also prevalent throughout the state. If you look carefully enough, diners and hole-in-the-wall dives will also serve you a dose of nostalgia.
Culinary Geniuses Abound
Paula Ann Deen is a television personality known for her Southern-style cooking and her collection of cookbooks. She lives in Savannah and runs, together with her sons, The Lady and Sons Restaurant and Paula Deen’s Creek House.
Chefs Jamie Allred and Jack Nolan run Fortify Kitchen and Bar in Clayton, while Kyle Jacovino helms The 1540 Room in Savannah. Meanwhile, if you’re in Atlanta, check out Restaurant Eugene and DYAD Tea and Spice run by Chefs Linton Hopkins and Asha Gomez, respectively.
Mecca for the Film Industry
Georgia is one of the favorite film locations in the continental US. The state’s charming atmosphere and quaint buildings lend nicely to period films such as 42, Indubious Battle, and The Green Berets. Sports films such as Remember the Titans, The Blind Side, and The Legend of Bagger Vance were all shot in the state. Box office films, The Hunger Games, The Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Black Widow, and Fast Five were also filmed within Georgia’s boundaries.
With Georgia’s teeming film and television industry, the state has produced several notable actors and actresses. The actors from the state include comedians Chris Tucker and Ed Helms, Laurence Fishburne, Jeff Daniels, Wes Chatham, Iain Armitage, and Benjamin Walker. In addition, siblings Dakota and Elle Fanning, Julia Roberts, Brittany Murphy, and Kim Basinger are among the notable actresses who call the state home.
Affordable Cost of Living
If you plan to relocate to Georgia, you’ll enjoy a relatively good life as the state enjoys the fifth-lowest cost of living with an average of $38,165 per annum or roughly $3,200 per month. In addition, the state income tax rate is below 6%, and the federal income tax is also bracketed depending on your income level.
Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi, with 159 counties. Out of these 159 counties, only one, Hart County, is named after a female revolutionary, Nancy Hart, who fought against the British forces during the Revolutionary War.
There are 350 different species of birds in the state. The state also houses 65 endangered and threatened flora and fauna species.