THE American Georgia tourist board were in Dublin recently to promote visitors to the region.

Back in the famine the area had big Irish connections with heavy emigration from Waterford, New Ross and Wexford. Many would become farmers and labourers and settle in towns like Savanna, which has one of the largest St. Patrick Day parades in USA with over 100,000 taking part in spring warmth usually, a contrast to cool NY.

Delta Airlines can take you from Ireland to Atlanta, the capital of Georgia which has a population of three million in the greater area. It is the home of Coca Cola and host city of the 1996 Olympics and birthplace of Martin Luther King, the civil rights leader.

The coast and Savannah will attract Irish visitors and Orlando is also reachable in a day by car. You could combine a week in Orlando and Florida with some time in Savannah and Rural America’s old south or at beach destinations on Georgia ‘s coast.

The Golden Isles are especially attractive with historic Brunswick. Kontiki Travel and Insight Vacations organize special packages.

On the other side of the city of Atlanta are the great music cities of Nashville and Memphis all within a day reach by car.

REM and the B 52s, James Brown, Ray Charles and Otis Redding and other famous artistes come from Georgian towns.

The university town of Athens near Atlanta has some great music festivals and events.

Some famous movies like Forrest Gump and Gone with the Wind were made in Georgia.

Food is also very good with Southern Fried Chicken and BBQs really popular. There is great seafood with American style portions. Blueberries are big here too.

Georgia has its own wine and craft beers too, so eat and drink local style.

On the way home from shopping check out the massive 120 shop North Georgia Mall near Atlanta in Dawsonville. There you will find premium discount outlets (cheaper than Boston or New York) located just a taxi ride form the airport we were told.

Augusta, the home of the US open, is also located here. State parks are also beautiful inland. Check the Georgia Travel Guide.

You can also check out the plantation tour, where old cotton was grown and picked by slaves in the early 1800s. The state supported the Confederacy in the civil war.

President Jimmy Carter, a peanut farmer, came from Georgia and so did Franklin D Roosevelt, who brought in the new deal and saved America from the 1930s depression.

Thus, there is lots to see and the area is very accessible with a direct air link from Atlanta Ireland with Delta.

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