Since the late 1800s, travelers have come to Georgia to enjoy natural landscapes, recreation, and historic sites. For nearly as long, competing interests have fought for the right to preserve, alter, or exploit these as citizens and legislators weighed the relative merits of both. Debates over race, class, and accessibility have shaped the development of tourism in the state.
Seeing Georgia: Changing Visions of Tourism in the Modern South investigates how the state transformed from a way station along the road to Florida into a tourist destination during the twentieth century. It highlights six popular destinations in Georgia and considers questions of access, preservation, and economics—who could go, how they got there, and what motivated them to visit different attractions. The exhibit also explores the professionalization of the tourism industry and the roles state and local governments played in promoting Georgia to travelers. It considers the modern amenities that have helped to shape the experience of the modern tourist, from the improvement of roadways to the development of roadside culture and accommodations.