Destination: Georgia

Another Casualty of the Down Economy: Rest Stops

And the people of Arizona are pissed off. From the New York Times:

Arizona has the largest budget gap in the country when measured as a percentage of its overall budget, and the state Department of Transportation was $100 million in the red last fall when it decided to close 13 of the state’s 18 highway rest stops.

But the move has unleashed a torrent of telephone calls and e-mail messages to state lawmakers, newspapers and the Department of Transportation deploring the lost toilets—one of the scores of small indignities among larger hardships that residents of embattled states face as governments scramble to shore up their finances.

Other states have closed rest stops, too, including Colorado, Georgia, Vermont and Virginia.

Six Cities to Explore Martin Luther King’s History

Lorraine Hotel National Civil Rights Museum Photo by Victor Chapa, via Flickr (Creative Commons)

From Atlanta to Washington, D.C., Larry Bleiberg highlights the must-see places where the civil rights leader lived and made history

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Should Billy Carter’s Service Station Become a National Historic Site?

The Plains, Georgia gas station once run by the former First Brother could become part of a proposed Jimmy Carter National Historic Site—and, predictably, not everyone thinks that’s an appropriate use of taxpayer funds.

Travel Song of the Day: ‘Midnight Train to Georgia’ by Gladys Knight and the Pips

Postcard from Georgia

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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Free-Range Squirrel and Other Appalachian Delights

Ever wonder what Appalachian cuisine is? I haven’t either, but Eat Me Daily is running a four-part series on it. Part two, in which the intrepid journalist (in this case, Kathleen Wilcox) goes on the hunt for fried squirrel, is a great read. And before you wrinkle your nose, think about this: that squirrel is not only natural, it’s free range.

No James Brown Museum in Augusta? Get up Offa That Thing!

Photo by Sir Mildred Pierce via Flickr (Creative Commons).

I rolled into Augusta, Georgia last week admittedly unprepared. I hadn’t done any research, hadn’t checked out the city’s Web site—I had simply assumed that James Brown’s hometown would have a museum dedicated to the hardest working man in show business. Silly me. Turns out there’s a statue in a plaza, and a street was re-named for him in 1993. But a museum?

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Remembering MLK

How to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s life? Those inclined to travel can visit a number of historic places that explore his legacy, beginning with the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in Georgia.

Photo: via Flickr. (Public domain.)

No. 30: “A Turn in the South” by V.S. Naipaul

To mark our five-year anniversary, we’re counting down the top 30 travel books of all time, adding a new title each day this month.
Published: 1989
Territory covered: The American South
In deceptively simple prose conveying complex insights, the great novelist and travel writer V.S. Naipaul penetrates what may be the most impenetrable region of the United States. And he would seem to be the perfect chronicler of the place: a man who feels he doesn’t belong anywhere amidst people who feel they don’t belong anywhere else. Each of the seven chapters is devoted to a city or town—Atlanta, Charleston, Tallahassee, Tuskegee—and Naipaul is often helped in his understanding of each by a long-time resident who patiently, sagely, shows him around. Telling observations from the author are interspersed with long passages of reported speech. His almost ornithological fascination with spotting a “redneck” is balanced by his steadfast determination to look beyond the stereotypes. The last chapter, on North Carolina tobacco culture, is a masterpiece of meticulous reporting and illuminating reflection.

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Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium Reaches 1 Million Visitors Milestone

It comes only 98 days after the Georgia Aquarium opened its doors, according to a CNN report today. Impressive numbers and a rousing success, yet I have to admit that I’ve never really understood the appeal of aquariums.

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Travel and the Legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.

We thought we’d pay our respects to Martin Luther King Jr. today by spotlighting a few key sights important to his life and the civil rights movement. Ben Brazil’s guide to sights in Sunday’s Washington Post turned out to be a good resource. It mentions the two-story Victorian home in Atlanta’s “Sweet Auburn” section where King was born Jan. 15, 1929. That home, where King spent his first 12 years, is now the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, operated by the National Park Service. Also mentioned is the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, where King was assassinated April 4, 1968. In 1991, after years of decline, it opened as the National Civil Rights Museum, exploring the legacy of the civil rights movement.

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