Georgia is more diverse than many Americans realize, with a scenic seacoast, mountains higher than any peaks in Britain, and large cities as well as extensive rural areas. Its historic sites focus mostly on the Antebellum and Civil War eras and the civil rights movement. (Atlanta was the home of Martin Luther King Jr.) Warm Springs was the Southern home of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, and he died there in 1945 shortly after beginning his fourth term in office. It's a must for tourists interested in the Great Depression or World War II.
Many (but not all) Georgians speak with southern accents. Non-native English speakers may have difficulty understanding them. Many native Georgians speak in the dialect of the American South. This dialect changes slightly as you cross through each region, and will be more so in rural areas.
People in the South generally speak more slowly, carefully, and politely than those from the North. In particular, English speaking visitors from larger cities or other regions will have to adjust to the different pace of speech if they visit Georgia's smaller towns. Speaking quickly and bluntly can be perceived as inconsiderate or rude, and may gather a negative response.
Urban areas such as Atlanta will have several different dialects and accents, along with other languages due to the diversity of the people that live there.
Spanish is also spoken by small portions of the population throughout Georgia.
Sunbelt Agricultural Exposition October of every year. Located in Moultrie, GA People from all over the world come to it.
The legal drinking and purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 21. Under age drinking is taken very seriously so if you are in a club or bar and appear to be under 30 you should be ready to present identification showing your age. However, there are exceptions. An exception to allow the under age consumption of alcohol is on private non-alcohol selling premises with parental presence and consent. Other exceptions are for religious and medical purposes.
As a rule, Georgia is fairly adherent to Southern standards of respect. When in doubt, referring to someone as "ma'am" or "sir" is never a bad idea. You'll especially hear these terms used by younger people to address older people, as many children in the South are raised to respond to their parents this way.
Southerners in general are also much less direct about touchy topics and criticism, especially of another person. Euphemisms are common, and if someone says "bless your heart" in response to somebody else's mishap, it might not be all that complimentary! Many Georgians will not share their political beliefs or controversial opinions with someone they don't know well, and pushing somebody to share such information is impolite. To this end, small talk is mostly expected in conversation; walking up to somebody and demanding something without greeting them is usually seen as rude. When talking to cashiers, service workers, or even acquaintances, be prepared to be asked how you're doing and to ask them in return. Bluntness or talking over somebody, unless you're very close with them, will make you appear disrespectful of the other person's time and feelings.
Georgia is very aware of its Confederate history and the connotations that come with it. You may see a house flying a Confederate flag outside, or see news stories about people protesting against statues of famous Confederate leaders outside public buildings. Opinions within the state vary widely. Some Georgians see the flag as a simple symbol of the state's heritage and history, and display or wear it with immense pride, while others view it as a symbol of slavery and believe that venerating the flag or the former leaders of the Confederacy is tantamount to supporting slavery and racism. Whatever your beliefs, it is wise not to comment on the Confederate flag if you see one at all unless you know the personal views of the people you're with. Tactful ignorance is usually the best way to go.
Much of Georgia outside of the Metro Atlanta area is very conservative and religious. 79 percent of Georgians identify as Christians, and you may see this affecting everyday life often. Many stores are closed on Sunday so the employees can (ostensibly) attend church and spend time with their families, and alcohol is not sold on Sundays in some parts of the state. Though this might be inconvenient at times, do not make jokes about Christianity or make insulting statements about Christians, Jesus Christ, or someone's level of devoutness. It is in poor taste to poke fun at someone's religious beliefs and practices in general, and people of all faiths are welcome in Georgia. The state's residents are aware that the majority of people are Christian, and pointing out this fact is seen as very rude, not to mention a little obvious.
Georgia ranks among the states with the most military members, both per capita and overall, and there is a deep respect for both active duty servicemen and veterans.
Law enforcement in Georgia
State law enforcement is used by Georgia State Patrol. GSP vehicles are gray/blue. Atlanta Police is dark blue with red stripes. Most GA law enforcement utilizes blue lighting While less and less common, racial problems still exist.
Certain areas of the United States, including the southern regions and rural areas of the Midwest, typically carry more socially conservative views. While the LGBT community is gaining more widespread acceptance, travelers are advised to avoid public displays of affection.
Gun ownership is relatively common in Georgia as well as the rest of the South, especially in rural areas. It is unusual to see a gun in everyday life, but it is still a possibility. Gun owners are generally responsible with their weapons, and there is no cause for alarm or panic if a person is seen with a gun. It is wise to exercise caution in places like nightclubs, where shootings are not unheard of. Do not approach or cut through a stranger's property at night if you are in a rural area or the outskirts of a city. Most people who have bought a gun have done so for protecting their family and property.
In the metro Atlanta area and other small urban areas throughout Georgia, do not leave valuables where they can be seen in your vehicle when the vehicle is unattended.
Georgia is home to many species of venomous snakes. Tread cautiously in high grass and in woodlands, as many of them are the same color as their surroundings.
Like much of the South, Georgia can be oppressively hot and humid during the summer. Shorts and flip-flops are widely accepted indoors and outdoors during the summer months.
In the same vein, at nice restaurants you can often get away with shorts as long as you wear appropriate shoes and a collared shirt. This is easier during the day than in the evening. When in doubt, many establishments will gladly tell you the dress code if you call ahead and ask, and may even thank you for doing so instead of arriving underdressed. This can save you a lot of embarrassment and is worth the effort.
Unfortunately, many people, especially those in offices, run the air conditioning down to 70F in the summer, and crank the heat up to 80F in the winter. As a result, dress that's appropriate for outside may not be suited for indoors. The best way to cope is to dress in layers, so you can adjust as needed.