I am in a cage with my 12-year-old daughter, lowering, ever so slowly, into a tank full of sharks at the Georgia Aquarium. Ice-cold water meets my ankles and begins streaming inside my wetsuit boots.
“Every year, I get a little uglier—but my plants get more beautiful.” So says Jim Gibbs, founder of Gibbs Gardens, where 20 million yellow, orange, and white blooms paint its 336 acres and inspire daffodil lovers from across the region to make the springtime pilgrimage.
For the last quarter century, Brannen Veal has been a staff member at Sea Island, a Forbes Five-Star resort in Georgia’s Golden Isles. Hired as a golf pro in 1996, the Macon native worked his way up to the head pro job before becoming director of golf in 2005.
I stumbled onto Jekyll Island’s Driftwood Beach for the first time nearly a decade ago. This was, not coincidentally, the same week that a spider wrote me a note.
Georgia’s coast has long called to visitors with its rich cultural history and world-class hospitality. But there’s another side, a wilder side, to this 110-mile stretch of coastline and its fifteen barrier islands, which holds its own timeless appeal.
Since Southbound debuted in 2013, our staff and contributors have logged thousands of miles, consumed millions of calories, and taken countless notes and photos to showcase the very best destinations around the region. Although every place we’ve covered is special, some left a particularly powerful impression. Here, we give you the best of the very best, our favorite spots in the South.
Seeking out Atlanta’s best international offerings is a treasure hunt, one that requires a full tank of gas and a trusty navigation app. Consider our guide a jumping-off point, whether you’re looking to expand your horizons or get a taste of home.
In 1968, the tiny mountain town of Helen was dying. Over lunch, three local businessmen decided the town needed to add some street appeal if it hoped to capture the interests of passersby. By the time the leaves began to turn in 1969, Alpine Helen was born.