Centennial Park, Atlanta, Georgia© Wei ChenCentennial Park, Atlanta, Georgia
© Wei Chen
Atlanta is the capital of the New South. Major corporations, such as Cable News Network (CNN) and Coca-Cola, are based in the area and operate visitor centres to explain their inner workings to the public. The World of Coca-Cola displays the largest collection of Coke memorabilia in the world. It also has a tasting room where you can sample Coke products and other soft drink brands from around the globe. Nearby is the CNN Center, which offers a 45-minute tour that takes you behind the scenes.

The city's historic role, from the Civil War to civil rights, is also easy to explore. Start on the south side of Grant Park with the cyclorama depicting the Battle of Atlanta. Cycloramas were pre-movie spectacles, in which people followed a story depicted 360 degrees around them on a painting in a round room. You can also visit the Margaret Mitchell House, dedicated to the author of Gone With the Wind and now also a literary centre for living Southern authors.

For another viewpoint on history, head to the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Auburn Avenue, where Martin Luther King, Jr. once preached. The church is now part of a national historic site in his honour. Across the street is the King Center, a non-profit agency dedicated to Dr. King's vision, where you can pay your respects at his tomb.

Also in Atlanta is Stone Mountain, the world's largest exposed piece of granite. Although best known for gigantic depictions of Confederate figures, in the changing South it now emphasizes an array of family activities, as well as well nightly laser and fireworks shows.

Eugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge, Savannah, Georgia© Rob HuntleyEugene Talmadge Memorial Bridge, Savannah, Georgia
© Rob Huntley
But Georgia is much more than just Atlanta. In Savannah, for example, trees covered in Spanish moss line beautiful streets dominated by old homes. Augusta, meanwhile, is home to the world-famous Masters Golf Tournament. And in Milledgeville, the old state capital, a trolley tour takes you around the town's historic district.

by Laura Byrne Paquet

Stock Photos from 123RF

Stock Photos from 123RF