There’s no doubt escorted holidays are a great way to explore the ‘Old South’, made so famous by the block-buster movie ‘Gone with The Wind’. The movie, even now, helps bring in a fair number of first-time visitors to this charming part of the United States, despite the seven decades that have passed since its premier in Atlanta, Georgia.
The film, based on the romantic novel of the same name written by Atlanta’s Margaret Mitchell, and which was published in 1936, won no less than 10 Academy Awards. A Gone With The Wind gala, held in Atlanta’s famous Georgian Terrace Hotel in Peachtree Street, was attended by the film’s stars, including Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Vivien Leigh, Laurence Olivier, Olivia de Havilland and Claudette Colbert.
Georgian Terrace Hotel -photo credit terra2055
Just as in the past, Atlanta is a major transport hub in the area and home to the headquarters of some of the biggest companies in the world, including The Coca-Cola Company, UPS and Turner Broadcasting. A must-see attraction is Stone Mountain Park, some 15 minutes from down-town Atlanta and Georgia’s #1 attraction. The 3,200-acre park boasts the largest piece of exposed granite in the world. Watch out for the sculptured memorial to confederate war heroes Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, carved into the mountainside.
Stone Mountain Park Georgia -photo credit spencer scott
Travel some 250 miles to the east and visit the charming city of Savannah, just as much a favourite destination today as it was in the past. Savannah was founded in 1733 and was saved from civil war destruction by its charm and beauty. Walk along its cobblestone streets and enjoy the magnificent architecture and you’ll quickly appreciate why it was saved!
Follow the Atlantic Ocean coastline north for about 100 miles and visit Charleston, the second largest city in the State of South Carolina. Charleston, called Charles Towne in 1670, is also known as the Holy City because of the number of steeples visible across the city’s low-rise skyline. The city is filled with an abundance of architectural gems, including many pre-civil war mansions and elegant streets and magnificent gardens. Indeed, a visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens, America’s oldest public gardens is required. Don’t miss out!
Some historians claim modern American history began in Georgetown, some 50 miles north of Charleston, where the Spanish, accompanied by African slaves, tried unsuccessfully to set up a colony in 1526. Moving across the state line into North Carolina, Wilmington tempts us to explore. It is one of the oldest and best preserved seaports in the United States.
Raleigh photo credit vanasassa
The city of Raleigh, named after Sir Walter Raleigh, is the second largest city in North Carolina and is the state’s capital. Founded in 1792, Raleigh is also known as the ‘City of Oaks’ because of the number of oak trees growing there.
Last but not least, why not visit the largest private home in the United States? The fabulous Biltmore House in Asheville, surrounded by acres of magnificent gardens, has no less than 250 rooms and was built over a century ago by George Vanderbilt. Yes, escorted holidays, bringing the Old South to life in fine style.This guestpost was written by John Donaldson.