Jekyll Island

Why Canada is on Georgia’s mind

Jekyll Island

One look is all you need to understand why the Jekyll Island Club Hotel has seen its share of celebrities over the years. (Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development)

Story by Rod Charles Deputy Editor

TORONTO, ONTARIO — During an official visit to Canada, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal made it clear that he loves the United States’ northern neighbour.

Deal checked out the 100th Calgary Stampede during his trip, which also included a stop in Toronto to make the first pitch at a Blue Jays game.

While he had nothing but praise for Canada, there’s no doubt that he loves his home and hopes we will make the time to visit.

The beautiful state of Georgia lives on the Atlantic Ocean just north of Florida. The state is bordered by South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. Georgia is home to just under 10 million people.

“Canadians are our number one tourists,” said Deal. “We have seen a 16% increase in Canadian tourists to Georgia over the past five years. We’re proud of that and we’re certainly hoping to get that number up.”

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Five reasons Canadians should visit Georgia

State Parks/Lake Lanier

Governor Deal: Georgia has several parks with everything from camping to white-water rafting. There’s also Lake Lanier, where you can enjoy fishing, boating, sailing. This is a favourite for visitors who come to Georgia, especially in the summer months. Lake Lanier is a reservoir in the north of Georgia. It encompasses 150 square kilometres, has several marinas and is popular for watersports. 

Jekyll Island via Jekyll Island website: Jekyll Island is one of Georgia’s favourite playgrounds. Founded in 1886, Jekyll Island was purchased to become an exclusive winter retreat for America’s most elite families, known as the Jekyll Island Club. The Rockefellers, Morgans and Pulitzers are just a few of the famous families to visit this island. Today, you can enjoy shoppingbiking, sports, waterslides and dining. 

Governor Deal: Jekyll Island has just built a new convention centre, and are in the process of building new hotels.


Governor Deal: Unfortunately, the Atlanta Thrashers are no longer with us so we’ve probably lost the hockey crowd for good. Our hockey teams keep moving to Canada (the Atlanta Flames moved to Calgary in 1980, and the Thrashers moved to Winnipeg in 2011). But if you love sports there’s plenty of things happening in Georgia. For people who love golf and follow the Masters, there’s Augusta National Golf Club. Georgia has some of the most beautiful golf courses, I think, in the world. Also there’s the NBA Atlanta Hawks and the NFL Falcons. Georgia is a great place for sports enthusiasts. We didn’t have the heart to tell the governor that we see the Thrashers moving to Canada as a good thing. But he’s wrong to think he’s lost the Canadian hockey crowd for good – the NHL may be gone but hockey is alive and well. Visitors to the state can still get their fix watching the Georgia University Ice Dogs and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) Yellow Jackets of the American Collegiate Hockey Association.  

Food We tried really hard to get the governor to name his favourite places to eat in Georgia but being an experienced politician he was reluctant to bite, pardon the pun. However, he did speak very highly about the state’s legendary Georgia BBQ and Brunswick Stew. And fruit, of course. There’s a reason they call Georgia the Peach State.

Governor Deal: There’s lots of places to get great food, lots of outstanding restaurants throughout the state. I also want to say that Georgia is one of the world leaders for agri-tourism. You’ll find pumpkin fields and corn mazes. You find very large pecans in Georgia. In fact, two of the largest importers of Georgian pecans are China and India. Of course peaches are often associated with Georgia, as are blueberries.


Governor Deal: We have the Infantry Museum and Fort Benning, which is open to visitors. There’s the Museum of Aviation and the Presidential Pathways. Georgia also has a rich US Civil War heritage. Check out the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History and Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites. For more info on Civil War sites, including Pickett’s Mill Battlefield Historic Site and Fort McAllister Historic Park read Civil War in Georgia.

More About Georgia

Website: Georgia’s Official Tourism Site
Contact: 1-800-847-4842
Visitor Information Locations in Georgia: Click here
Georgia Department of Economic Development: Canada Office

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Rod has previously worked for and is currently freelancing for Huffington Post Travel. He’s also written travel articles for the Toronto Star and Up! Magazine. Living in Toronto but raised in the small central Ontario village of Holstein, Rod is a country boy at heart who has never met a farmer’s market he didn’t like.

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