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Laying Rubber on the Georgia Asphalt
by Kelley Thompson

The state of Georgia cannot be defined by one of its cities or by a unifying history or even by a globalized present. Its regions are uniquely particular, separated by more than just miles. Atlanta Metro and North

Atlanta is Georgia's hub, and one of the few capitals which can boast that distinction. The Martin Luther King,Jr. National Historic Site is a beautiful educational facility dedicated to educating the youth of today about the reality of MLK's time as a civil rights activist. With movies, exhibits and King's Nobel Peace Prize on display,the center is more a sanctuary dedicated to the energy and friction of the time than merely the resting site of a great man. Next door is the historic Ebenezer Baptist Churh, where King co-pastored.The new Georgia Aquarium opened in November 2005, the gift to the city from Bernie Marcus, one of the cofounders of Home Depot.It holds more than eight million gallons of water, and houses more than 100,000 marine and freshwater animals which represent 500 different den, and an arboretum.The Civil War Reenactment in Old Clinton, also called the "town that time forgot," happens every year in May. The Old Clinton Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 to help preserve and restore what was once one of the fastest-growing centers of trade and culture in Georgia.

The Coast

Steeped in the past and described by some as "untouched," one Savannah transplant warned, "if you don't want to move to Savannah, don't visit."Savannah offers groups an endless sampling of history and beautiful architecture. Walking Magazine named the city one of the top ten walking cities in the United States and 40% of Savannah's 2,500 buildings have some sort of historical or architectural significance.The Telfair Museum, for instance,is the oldest museum in the Southeast,having opened its doors in 1886. In the first expansion in the Telfair's 120-year history, the new Jepson Center for the Arts, a 64,000-sq. ft.facility, just opened in March.Tybee Island is a twenty-minute drive from Historic Savannah, and offers many great opportunities for visiting groups. Spend a day enjoying the sea breezes and seeking ecoadventures.Take a dolphin tour,kayak tour or deep-sea fishing excursion.Groups can climb to the top of Georgia's oldest and tallest lighthouse or track wartime battles at two of Tybee's forts.

Southwestern Georgia and the Southern Rivers

Outdoor opportunities abound in this region, offering agritourism opportunities and soft adventure for every level of interest and activity.Providence Canyon State Conservation Park has more than species around the world.One of the great exhibits in the aquarium allows groups to touch stingrays, horseshoe crabs, hammerhead sharks and starfish. All stations feature an on-site expert to guide groups through the experience, and to provide information about the creatures that alleviates much of the fears people may have of interacting with them.Moving up in latitude, groups will find more mountainous terrain in Northern Georgia, a great spot for enjoying some truly unspoilt landscape.The area is becoming increasingly well-known for its vineyards and wineries. The Nacoochee Village offers a unique setting for wine tasting at Habersham Winery, as well as flyfishing,touring Nora Mill, a working grist mill, antiquing and horseback riding.

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