The rolling agricultural landscapes of a slower, older South, where things remain much the same as they were for generations, can be found within a couple of hours' drive of Atlanta's high-rise bustle. Here small towns evoke a time when the world was a simpler place, where people lived close to the land and life was measured on a personal scale. In southwest Georgia, peanuts, corn, tobacco, and cotton are the lifeblood of the local economies, and you're as likely to see a tractor on a country road as a car.
People in the countryside live far from the hassles of Atlanta's modernity—the daily grind of traffic jams and suburban sprawl. Small towns beckon with their quaint town squares, preserved old homes, and charming bed-and-breakfasts. In southwest Georgia the inclination simply to relax is contagious—it can saturate you slowly but completely, like syrup on a stack of pancakes. Yet, the entire region is not to be dismissed as quiet farmland. Columbus is one of Georgia’s largest cities and home to several Fortune 500 company headquarters, as well as acclaimed military, academic, and cultural institutions. Outside of historic downtown Thomasville, you’ll find business headquarters and bustling factories.
Southwest Georgia residents are proud of their communities and those they call their own, including such greats as President Jimmy Carter, writers Erskine Caldwell and Carson McCullers, singers Ma Rainey and Otis Redding, and baseball legend Jackie Robinson. For a time even Franklin Delano Roosevelt was drawn here; he returned again and again for the healing mineral waters of Warm Springs.