Explore Georgia, the Peach State
We are writing to you from the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. We’ve just completed the Turtle Crawl race along the coast. No, we weren’t racing with the turtles! That would have been the slowest race in the world! We ran a 5K race (which is slightly more than 3 miles long) along with other visitors to the island to raise money for the turtle center. At the end of the race, we released one of the turtle patients from the center into the warm waters of the Atlantic!
We loved being by the water so much that we decided to find our next adventure by the Chattahoochee River. Locals call it “the Hooch.” More than 400 miles long, the Hooch runs along the part of Georgia’s western border with Alabama.
On our way to the river, we stopped to admire the Sorrel-Weed House in Savannah. Completed in 1838, this beautiful historic mansion was featured in many movies.
Admiring the mansion’s orange walls and green window shutters, we noticed a woman painting the walls. Using tips from our journalism class, we decided to ask her a few of the W’s – who, what and why. The woman’s name was Rita, and she had dark curly hair that was speckled with orange paint. She told us she was a painter who was often hired to help fix and paint old houses. We told her about our river adventure.
“Oh, you are going to the Hooch? You need to inner tube down it,” said Rita. “It is so much fun and perfect for a hot day like this. I take my kids there often and they love it!”
Rita was so excited to meet us, she insisted on giving us her favorite Georgian food for the road from her own lunch bag. That’s how we got to try fried green tomatoes, which tasted like savory corn cakes with tomatoes inside! We thanked Rita for the unusual and delicious treat and hopped on our scooter.
Floating down the Chattahoochee River near Roswell was a blast. Other people were kayaking and rafting alongside us, splashing and having a great time. As we drifted happily down the river, we took out our bird-spotting book and counted the birds along the way. There are almost 200 different species of birds that live near the Hooch.
We saw many crows, wrens, woodpeckers and cardinals!
Georgia was such a great adventure. Scroll down to learn about other highlights of our trip.
Sam and Sofia
Food: BBQ Pork
Georgian cuisine is famous for its barbecues. Cook-offs and contests are often held in the Peach State to determine who can barbecue most delicious meat. Many BBQ restaurants in Georgia are known as huts, joints, shacks and kitchens.
State Symbol: Right Whale
The right whale is Georgia’s state mammal. It can grow to more than 50 feet in length. In the winter the female right whale can be found giving birth to calves along the shores of Georgia.
Natural Wonder: Okefenokee Swamp
The Okefenokee Swamp is a shallow wetland that straddles the Georgia-Florida border.
People who live near the swamp are called “swampers.”
Food: Peach Cobbler
Georgia is famous for its peaches. Peach jams, pies and cobblers are local specialties. Many families have their own recipes that are passed down from one to generation to the next. Check out the recipe we sent you in your journal!
State Symbol: Honeybee
The honeybee is Georgia’s state insect. It is very important to the survival of plants and humans. With the help of the honeybee pollinating the peach flowers, the tree is able to bear fruit.
Natural Wonder: Providence Canyon
Providence Canyon is a beautiful multi-colored ravine in Steward County. Popular among hikers, this canyon is often compared to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
Georgia Crossword Puzzle
It’s been so much fun sharing the highlights of our trip to Georgia. We put together a crossword for you to keep the adventure going. The answers in this crossword are all related to Georgia and can be found in your Georgia journal and in the additional information we’ve provided online
Good luck and have fun!
(Click below for the answer key.)