Take your pick from beautiful natural attractions or history-related sites in the south Georgia-north Florida region. The culture varies from coastal communities to inland towns, but not from state to state. Choose from Atlantic Ocean seashore or Gulf of Mexico beaches. Moderate temperatures allow visitors to enjoy outdoor activities in south Georgia and north Florida year-round. There is plenty to do in the cities of the region as well, such as enjoying museums, art galleries and other entertainment.
Georgia Coastal Attractions
Southeast Georgia’s coastline is dotted with spacious beaches, islands, inlets and historic sites. Starting in Savannah, visit author Flannery O’Connor’s childhood home; 200-year old Fort Jackson, site of skirmishes between 1776 and 1864; or take a guided walking, trolley or carriage tour of Georgia’s first and history-rich city. Make a tour of Georgia’s five lighthouses from Tybee to Cumberland Island. Explore secluded Blackbeard National Wildlife Refuge or trendy, resort-filled Jekyll Island. Cumberland Island, one of the world’s largest undeveloped barrier islands, is a historic community and national seashore. Leave your vehicle on the mainland to ferry over to the island for a day trip, camp out or overnight stay at a local inn.
South Georgia Inland Attractions
Andersonville National Historic Site, where Union soldiers were held as prisoners, is dedicated to all American prisoners of war. Nearby, Jimmy Carter National Historic Site features the 39th president’s boyhood home, museum and farm at Plains. Ride the rails from Cordele to Plains on the SAM Shortline. The trains make several stops en route and you can opt to stay overnight and ride back the next day. The oldest and largest freshwater system in the United States, the Okefenokee Swamp, is in southern Georgia and northern Florida. Venture into the refuge to experience the oaks draped in Spanish moss, tall pines and pungent mimosas towering over the waters ripe with loggerhead sea turtles, alligators and fish.
Situated at the northeast corner of Florida, Jacksonville has its share of the beachfront real estate and historic attractions. Fort Caroline was the short-lived French Huguenot settlement that met a violent end at the hands of Spanish settlers from Saint Augustine. The National Park Service combines 19th century Kingsley Plantation and Timucuan Ecological and Historical National Preserve, a wetland of salt marshes, dunes and hammocks, into one park site with Fort Caroline. Visit the legendary Suwanee River and Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center to learn the background of the famous American song “Old Folks At Home.” You can watch craft demonstrations, and canoe, hike or bike in the park.
Northwest Florida, The Panhandle
Florida is famous for beaches, and Pensacola, in the state's panhandle, has wide, white sand beaches with warm water beckoning swimmers and waders. Dine on the bayfront at sunset for a relaxing, scenic meal. Florida Caverns State Park, near Marianna, has the only state-sponsored cave tour. See limestone cave formations of stalactites, stalagmites, draperies, soda straws and flowstones. Apalachicola National Forest stretches from Tallahassee southwest to the Gulf of Mexico, featuring hiking trail, boating, camping and nature watching on one-half million acres of public land and waters.