Georgia

Georgia - A State of Mine

An Introduction to Georgia for Active Adults

Whether considering a move to one of Georgia’s beautiful active adult or retirement communities or just in the planning stages of a leisurely vacation getaway, PlannedSeniorhood has included interesting facts along with useful website links to help make your retirement move or even plans for a memorable vacation easier. Come explore some of the many activities available for the active adult lifestyle and see why so many active adults are now choosing Georgia as an ideal vacation and retirement haven.

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Georgia

  • Directory of Active Adult & Retirement Communities: PlannedSeniorhood
  • State Capital - Atlanta
  • Climate - Mild four seasons without extremes. Summer highs - average below 88 degrees; winter lows - average at around 50 degrees.
  • Rainfall - Between 40-50 inches of rain per year.
  • Snowfall - Mountain region may experience several light snowfalls; other regions, especially south of metro Atlanta, rarely see snow.
  • Topography - Largest land area of any state east of the Mississippi. Highest mountain area is around 5000 feet in elevation; lowest elevation reaching sea level around the coast. Northern Georgia is mountaineous; central region is characterized by the rollng hills of the Piedmont Plateau; southern Georgia is nearly a flat coastal plain.
  • Plant Zone - upper half of state is in 7a to 7b; lower half of state is in 8a to 8b; tiny portion in the extreme upper Eastern portion lies within the 6b range. Azaleas, Dogwoods, Bradford Pear, Yoshino Cherry, and Mountain Laurel are abundant in the Spring. North Georgia mountain area has beautiful golden and red colors in the fall.
  • Georgia wildlife - abundant wildlife. Web site with nice representation: http://www.cviog.uga.edu/publications/gsb/student/wildlife/.
  • Taxes - Taxpayers aged 62 or older may exclude up to $30,000 of retirement income, and that exclusion increases to $35,000 for tax years 2008 and beyond. For additional tax information for the state of Georgia, visit their web site at: http://www.etax.dor.ga.gov/.
  • Airports - There are 103 pubically-owned airports in Georgia. Of the 103 airports, 94 general aviation airports serve only private and corporate aviation. There are nine commercial airports in Georgia, the largest being south Atlanta-based Hartsfield-Jackson airport. Hartsfield-Jackson is also known as the “world’s busiest passenger airport” and has inter- and trans-continental flights.
  • Education - Approximately 35 public colleges and universities, 34 technical colleges, and 37 private universities. A partial listing of these colleges can be found at: http://www.usg.edu/inst/. Seniors, age 62 and above are encouraged to continue their education and, “May enroll as a regular or auditing student in courses offered for resident credit on a “space available” basis without payment of fees, except for supplies, laboratory or shop fees.” Further details on this policy as set forth by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia can be found at: www.usg.edu/academics/handbook/.
  • Mass Public Transportation: Atlanta - MARTA; others throughout state.
  • Resources for Seniors: Division of Aging Services

Activities for the Active Adult

  • Golf: 500-plus golf courses throughout Georgia. The Masters Tournament held annually in Augusta during the first week of April. Senior Women’s Championship (55+) played at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain during August; Georgia Senior Championship (55+) played at The Ford Plantation in Richmond Hill during August. Georgia State Golf Association link: http://www.gsga.org/.

  • Football: College football (Georgia Bulldogs) at the University of Georgia in Athens is popular. Professional NFL football team, The Falcons, play in the Georgia Dome located in downtown Atlanta.

  • Baseball: Atlanta Braves, Georgia’s major league baseball team, play at Hank Aaron Stadium in downtown Atlanta. There are also four minor league teams in Georgia: Columbus Catfish, Augusta Green Jackets, Rome Braves, and Savannah Sand Gnats.

  • Hockey: Atlanta Thrashers, Columbus Cottonmouths, Augusta Lynx, Gwinnett Gladiators are Georgia’s professional hockey teams. The University of Georgia Ice Dogs and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets are Georgia’s college-level hockey teams.

  • Tennis: There are around 80,000 members of ALTA (Atlanta League Tennis Association). If you’re looking to play tennis in Georgia, you won’t have to look far. With mild weather, tennis is played year round. ALTA offers multiple senior leagues and tournaments. USTA also has senior leagues available. Many of the public parks with tennis courts offer seniors tennis in the Round Robin format.

  • Sailing Clubs: Atlanta Yacht Club (Atlanta); Barefoot Sailing Club (Atlanta); Geechee Sailing Club (Savannah); Lake Lanier Sailing Club (Flowery Branch); Savannah Sailing Center (Savannah); Savannah Yacht Club(Savannah); Augusta Sailing Club (Augusta); Kingdom Yachts Sailing Club (Cumming).

  • Sailing Waters: Lake Lanier, Lake Oconee, Lake Hartwell, Lake Juliett, Lake Strom Thurmond, Walter F. George Lake, Lake Allatoona, St. Simons Island, Tybee Island, St. Marys.

  • Runners: The July 4th Peachtree Road Race is “the” race to enter if you live in Atlanta. Many other runs that occur throughout the year in Georgia.

  • Bicycle: Tour de Georgia - 600 mile route; Anheuser-Bush ride out of Cartersville; Etowah Indian Mound Ride in Cartersville. Silver Comet Trail (entry near Smyrna extending to Ga/Al state line) is 60 miles long. Lots of bicycle clubs and rides in Georgia.

  • Hiking: Whatever your hiking interest, Georgia’s varied landscape will most probably have something to offer. The Appalachian Trail’s 21,000-mile journey begins eight miles north of Amicalola Falls located in Dawson County. Trails in Georgia abound with opportunity to enjoy scenic waterfalls, historic sites, coastal views, bird/wildlife watching, wetlands, and more.

  • White Water Rafting/Kayaking: White water rafting with Class II to Class IV water is available on the Chatooga River. Canoeing and kayaking are plentiful requiring varying levels of skill: Chattooga, Tallulah, Ocoee, Cartecay, Chattahoochee, and the gentler Toccoa, to name a few.

  • Motorcycle Camping - lots of great camping and rides for active adults taking up motorcycling.

  • Quilting - Georgia Quilt Council listing quilting groups throughout state.

  • Red Hat Society - numerous Red Hat chapters for Georgian 55+ women.

  • Writers Groups - tell your story, hone your writing skills among those who write professionally or for pleasure: Atlanta Writers Club (started in 1914); Georgia Writers (out of Kennesaw State University); Southern Humorist (Southern writing with a chuckle).

Sightseeing Interests for the Active Adult

Atlanta Area -

  • Stone Mountain Park - 583-acre park surrounding 825-foot tall granite mountain with carving of three Confederate Civil War heroes; skyride to the top of the mountain, riverboat cruise on Stone Mountain Lake, evening laser light shows, trainride around the mountain, and more.

  • Georgia Aquarium - 8,000,000 gallons of underwater beauty.

  • Centennial Park - music, ice skating (winter), water spouts.

  • High Museum of Art - Varied artistic representations on display, Jazz Fridays once a month, lectures, films, Louvre exhibit.

  • Martin Luther King, Jr., Historic Site - dedicated to memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., and his lifelong cause: Civil Rights Movement.

  • Zoo Atlanta - home of new Panda cubs and many other zoo animals.

  • Fox Theatre - take a tour, see a movie, opera, plays, ballet, and more.

  • Margaret Mitchell House - home of Gone With The Wind author.

  • Fernbank Museum & Planetarium - Natural history and science exhibits, IMAX theatre, planetarium & observatory shows.

  • Chastain Amphitheatre - outdoor concerts to quench every music-lovers taste (gospel, blues, jazz, old-time favorites). Bring a picnic, candlelight, and let the foot tapping begin.

Coastal Area -

  • Bonaventure Cemetary in Savannah - as seen in the movie, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.

  • Wormsloe State Historic Site near Savannah - of colonial historic significance.

  • Owens-Thomas House in Savannah - built between 1816 and 1819.

  • Hamilton-Turner House in Savannah - built in 1873, now B&B.

  • Cumberland Island - ferry over from St. Marys and view Dungeness Ruins, Plum Orchard Mansion, wild horses, First African Baptist Church built in 1937 where Kennedy-Bassett wedding took place. Fifty miles of hiking trails, beach combing, and overnight camping allowed on the island. Bring your own bike or rent one there on the island.

  • Tybee Island Light Station - just north of Savannah.

Macon area -

  • Georgia Music Hall of Fame

  • Georgia Sports Hall of Fame

  • Harriett Tubman Museum

Other Georgia Areas of Interest -

  • Calloway Gardens - Beautiful spring gardens, holiday show of lights, butterfly conservatory, nature trails, golf, beach, 1830s log cabin.

  • Chieftan Museum - located on Trail of Tears National Historic Trail and once home to Cherokee Chief Major Ridge.

  • Kangaroo Conservation Center - Dawsonville home to over 300 kangaroo of eight species.

  • Tallulah Gorge State Park - located in the northeast town of Tallulah Falls, the gorge is two miles long and nearly 1000 feet deep. Lots of neat hikes, including an 80-foot high moonlight suspension bridge hike.

  • Helen - an alpine village re-creation nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Chattahoochee River. Learn about the history of Cherokee Indians, visit Indian burial mounds, or enjoy one of the many other activities available such as golf, tubing, trout fishing, hiking, viewing waterfalls, shopping, or tasting some of the wonder German dishes or homemade candies available. Hot air ballon race, Winefest, Oktoberfest, Christmas & Fourth of July celebrations keep the activities calendar of this charming town hopping.

  • Dahlonega - 60 miles north of Atlanta and site of the first major U.S. gold rush and mint. Lots of festivals and rated third most economical retirement location in the country by U.S. News & World Report in June ‘07.

  • Rome’s Clock Tower - over 100 years old and still keeps great time. When in Rome - check out the charming little town and maybe take in a minor league baseball game.

  • Waterfalls : Amicolola Falls, Taccoa Falls, Raven Cliff Falls, Ammons Creek Falls, Anna Ruby Falls, Backy Branch Falls, Angel Falls & Angel-Panther Falls, Blood Mountain Falls, DeSota Falls, Dicks Creek, Dukes Creek, Estatoah Falls, Helton Creek, High Shoals, Horse Trough Falls, Martin Creek Falls, Mill Creek Falls, Minnehaha Falls, Mud Creek, Panther Creek.

  • Wineries - Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery (Dahlonega); 3 Sisters Vineyard & Winery (Dahlonega); Blackstock Vineyards (Dahlonega); Boutier Winery (Danielsville); Chateau Elan (Braselton); Crane Creek (Young Harris);Frogtown Cellars (Dahlonega); Habersham Vineyards & Winery (Helen);Meinhardt Vineyards (Statesboro); Paulk Vineyards (Wray); Still Pond Vineyard & Winery (Arlington); Tiger Mountain Vineyards (Tiger).

  • Symphonies - Atlanta Symphony; Albany Symphony; Augusta Symphony; Columbus Symphony.

  • Okefenokee Swamp Park - Located in Waycross and covering nearly a half-million acres, explore Georgia swampy wetlands by food, boat, or train.

  • Train rides: Blue Ridge Scenic Railway takes you on a 3 1/2 hour ride along the Toccoa River; Sams Shortline Excursion Train with several tour options travelling through Americus, Plains (Jimmy Carter hometown). Seniors (62+) travel at the child’s rate during the month of September.

  • Pebble Hill Plantation - Located in the southern town of Thomasville with tours narrated in English, German, French, Japanese, and Spanish. Candlelight tour by reservation in early December.

  • Festivals: Rennaisance Festival (South Atlanta during Spring); Oktoberfest (Helen in October); Annual Savannah Tour of Homes (Savannah in March).

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