OFB 50 States Project: Georgia

OFB 50 States Project: Georgia

In The OFB 50 States Project, you the readers spill the beans about your state: the good, the bad, and the delicious. And thus provide “forever place” seekers (like yours truly) a useful resource in their search. We’d love to hear about your state! To be a part of this project, click here to fill out the form!

The Facts

Low State Taxes Ranking:  18Low Cost of Living Ranking:  16

State Economy Ranking:  30

Average Temperatures (Atlanta):

  • Winter:  52°
  • Spring:  73°
  • Summer:  89°
  • Fall:  73°

The Nickname

The Peach State

The Short of It

The state of Georgia is brought to you by the following awesome OFB readers:
1) MomofTwoPreciousGirls  //  2) jrm  //  3) Sarah  //  4) Liz  //  5) Melissa

What food best represents Georgia?

  • BBQ 1
  • Peaches 2
  • Fried chicken! 3
  • Pecans 4
  • Sweet tea and biscuits 5

What song best represents Georgia?

  • Something country! 1
  • Georgia On My Mind  3, 5
  • Chicken Fried – Zac Brown Band 4

How does GA refer to a carbonated beverage drink?

  • Coke (it is the home of Coca-Cola, so…) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

If you could take a friend to one place in GA, where would it be?

  • Savannah / Forsyth Park 1, 4, 5
  • Piedmont Park 2
  • Atlanta Aquarium & Zoo 3

Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park in Savannah (photo by jeffgunn)

The Long of It

Biggest misconception about GA?

  • Rednecks and no culture…some areas yes but Atlanta has a lot to offer! 1
  • Georgia is full of backwards rednecks. 2
  • We aren’t all a bunch of rednecks!  😉 3
  • Georgia is known as the peach state but most are actually grown in South Carolina. 4
  • That it is full of simple minded country folk. So not true! It is full of neighbor loving, sweet tea on the front porch drinking, ready to lend a helping hand people. 5

Best aspect about living in GA?

  • Even winter is pretty mild. Coming from the north I made it through winter wearing only heavy sweaters. Never had to bust out a coat. For those that like it warm, it’s great (I miss snow). It can get hot in summer but most communities have pools. Mine does not, but we are a block from town center that has awesome fountains for the kids to run in. In my town, schools are awesome and everything you need is within 5 miles, but you you feel secluded enough. Suwanee has been voted one of the 10 best places to live by some magazine! 1
  • I love the landscape of the north Georgia mountains and the coastal areas near Savannah. Though I’m really into natural beauty of places… so… you may have noticed a pattern with this answer. Atlanta has so many great companies, schools, hospitals. Great place for a career. The Georgia Aquarium & Atlanta Botanical Garden are both amazing. Fun sports teams. Lots of great restaurants. There is a large culture of tennis there (I used to play). Lots of great public parks with great courts that have leagues, teams, etc. 2
  • Looow cost of living. And the people are super friendly! 3
  • The accessibility of the state. If you are in the middle of the state, you are just a couple hours both ways to either the ocean or the mountains or drive an hour and explore Atlanta or go the opposite direction and see beautiful Savannah. 5

Worst aspect about living in GA?

  • Traffic. Most jobs and big companies are stationed in Atlanta, but nobody wants to live there. 20 mile drive in rush hour can take over an hour. Also, other than the trendy restaurants in ATL, the food leaves much to be desired. Especially Italian and Chinese! This from an NY/CT native! 1
  • Deep sigh… well I lived in Atlanta proper so take all of this with a heavy side of Atlanta salt. Atlanta traffic, is notoriously terrible. My commutes were fortunately, never too bad but I know lots of people who had horrendous (1.5 to 2 hour) commutes. Outside of Atlanta metro, it’s primarily rural/small towns with high poverty, lack of jobs, poor public schools. Public schools in Atlanta (city of) can be terrible — read the news about the recent indictments of the school board/teachers charged with widespread nationalized test cheating. Although take that with a grain of my childlessness, as I had plenty of friends who were reared through suburban Atlanta schools and were intelligent. 2
  • Bugs. Sand gnats on the coast and palmetto bugs (read: cockroaches) everywhere. EVERYWHERE. Oh, and the schools blow. 4
  • Gnats and humidity! And if you are a runner: the Hills! 5

Summarize your feelings about Georgia in five words.

  • Good value for quality living. 1
  • I love it! 3
  • Head north for summer. 4
  • Southern hospitality, alive and well! 5

Our Freaking Take

My most vivid experiences with/in Georgia involve delayed flights in Atlanta. There’s always some delay in Atlanta. But I won’t hold that against you, Georgia. This might be the first state where Joanna and I are at odds with each others’ opinions. Joanna is from Alabama, and so she expects more of the same from Georgia — and that’s not necessarily a good thing. And since I’m a west-coaster, I’m fascinated by Southern culture. I love the traditions, the food, the people, etc. Atlanta is a pretty decent career hub for my industry and I know of a bunch of other big brands that call it home. But until I can convince Joanna that Georgia isn’t Alabama Jr., it might not make the cut.

How did these answers line up with your perception of Georgia? Have your thoughts on the state changed after reading this? Could you see it fitting your forever-place bill? 

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  • Reply Halsy July 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

    Georgia is way too hot and humid for me! However, I enjoy visiting! Georgig Aquarim is my 2nd favorite to. Bucket list item is to swim with the whale shark there! The husband won’t let me swim with sharks anymore since baby girl…I guess it’s a reasonable request. I also really like Athens! Had the best iced coffee and biscuit ever at Mama’s Boys! The Atlanta airport in my mind is the worst airport ever though! So I’ll keep it as a vacation spot.

    • Reply Johnny August 6, 2013 at 1:26 am

      “The husband won’t let me swim with sharks anymore since baby girl…I guess it’s a reasonable request.” You make it sound like swimming with sharks was a regular occurrence. Sounds like you like living on the edge. But I’m with your husband on the one. 🙂

      And Atlanta is the worst airport. Ever.

  • Reply Mrs. Pop @ Planting Our Pennies July 5, 2013 at 8:19 am

    And if you move there when baby girl is young enough she can be cursed with a sleeper southern accent that only comes out when she’s too tired or hanging out with southerners. Or wait, maybe that’s just the result of me living in Columbus GA from the ages of 1-3. =)

    • Reply Johnny August 6, 2013 at 1:29 am

      I was actually really disappointed that Joanna’s accent wasn’t stronger after having lived in the South for most of her youth. But it definitely comes out with certain words (LAWyer, pIN [instead of pen], NevAHda, etc) and when she talks to her mom (“yes, ma’am”).

  • Reply K. Nicole July 5, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I’m actually sitting in my parents 2nd home in Buford, GA (about an hr from ATL) reading this today. They bought this home 2 yrs ago & they love it. Their primary home is in the DC metro area. They plan to move here full time when they retire in 2-3 yrs & they’d like my family to follow suit to be closer to the grands. I’ve researched the schools here on Greatschools.net & they all have really high ratings. The only way I’d move though is if my husband & I didn’t have to commute to Atlanta for work. I swore off that kind of commute when I stopped working in DC.

    • Reply Johnny August 6, 2013 at 1:32 am

      If the ATL commute is anything like DC, I don’t want any part of it. Having grown up in LA, I thought we had it bad… and then I visited DC. The absolute worst. But so long I’ve got a good audiobook or playlist, I actually don’t mind traffic all that much.

  • Reply Carrie July 5, 2013 at 8:56 am

    LOL, Joanna! I was born and raised and lived in Montgomery, AL for 30 years. I moved to the DC metro area for a job and then moved to Buford, GA three years ago. In my opinion, Georgia is a lot like Alabama in being religiously and politically conservative, same southern hospitality and same humidity. I feel like people in the Atlanta area tend to be more educated and hold more professional jobs than people in Alabama, but that may be very specific to the Atlanta area vs. the rest of the state. Buford is about 40 miles from Atlanta, so while technically still considered the Atlanta metro area, it takes an hour or more depending on traffic to get into Atlanta. We rarely take the kids into Atlanta for that reason. If we go, it kind of becomes an all day adventure. I am eagerly awaiting our move back to the DC area in a few years. : )

    • Reply Meghan July 10, 2013 at 11:46 am

      I’m from Mobile, but lived in Denver for 14 years, and now live in DC. You’d think that I’d be okay with the humidity since I spent my childhood knowing no other climate but it’s crazy muggy here in DC! 🙂 How long before you move back?

      • Reply Carrie July 12, 2013 at 8:23 pm

        We are looking at moving back in the next 3-5 years. Part of it depends on the real estate market- we’ll have to sell our house.

    • Reply Johnny August 6, 2013 at 1:35 am

      I got the sense that Atlanta was a much more professional, diverse community than Alabama, so Joanna will be happy to hear that. But everything else will probably keep her at bay. She loves her roots, but she’d like to keep them at roots. 🙂

  • Reply Chris July 5, 2013 at 11:36 am

    I’m going to Georgia in a month. Cross country trailblazing style. I’ve never been to GA, but I have spent some time in Alabama. I would assume they are remarkably similar in every way. Since I’m a desert rat, that southern humidity makes me want to shower wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much. I mean, how those people don’t constantly need to get in a cold shower blows my mind. I may or may not be high maintenance.

    I’ll tell you what I think of it when I get back. The only reason I am going is to look at the guidestones then we are going to the Carolinas. Because…you can travel the east coast in like a day right? It takes like 8 hours to drive across NM so those little states look like the little orbs that pacman eats, And I’m pacman.

    • Reply Johnny August 6, 2013 at 1:38 am

      Go Pacman go. We look forward to hearing your travelogue.

  • Reply Sara @ Fit.Fun.Femme July 5, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    YAY! C’mon down to Georgia y’all! 😉 My husband and I moved to Atlanta two years ago a LOVE it. Yes – if you live outside the city or in Buckhead and work in downtown or midtown the traffic will be bad. How about you just live in the city? We do and as long as you pay attention to heavy traffic times/spots you’re fine. I am going to disagree with the comment about Atlanta food leaving much to be desired outside of the trendy restaurants (which are awesome). There are lots of middle of the road and less expensive restaurants (Yeah Burger, Taco Mac and every little neighborhood has their locally owned favorites). So many beautiful parks, the Aquarium and Zoo and close proximity to mountains, lakes and hiking trails make Atlanta an awesome spot.

    Joanna – my husband and I are both from South Florida (basically South New York) and lived in Winston-Salem, NC for 3 years before moving to Atlanta. After NC I was about done with the south and wanted nothing to do with Atlanta…until I visited. Yes – we have some southern charm, but it’s nothing like what you’re thinking…especially inside the city. Most people in Atlanta are not from here…lots of transplants (like us!).

    On the airport – my husband and I slept in the airport on a layover coming home from our honeymoon years ago. Obviously that wasn’t the plan. I travel often for work and have never had an experience like that since I moved here. It’s the busiest airport in the world so some delays are expected of course.

    You do want to check out schools – City of Decatur (just east of the city) has an amazing school system.

    • Reply Johnny August 6, 2013 at 1:45 am

      I’ll gladly inform Joanna that I was right (mostly) and she was sorta/kinda/mostly wrong about Atlanta. 🙂

      Our worst layover delay experience also happened in Atlanta and right after our honeymoon! In fact, we sat on the plane on the tarmac for two or three hours with limited to no A/C while a thunderstorm passed through and completely drenched all of our luggage and wedding gifts that were sitting outside of the plane… joy. The only thing that was ruined was our comforter and you better believe we got the airline to pay for that.

  • Reply Becky @ RunFunDone July 6, 2013 at 11:32 pm

    Ha ha! My most vivid memory in Georgia was missing a flight! It was awful! My flight in Fort Lauderdale was held up for some reason, so we landed late in Atlanta. I ran as fast as I could to the gate, and watched them slam the door in my face. I was super, super pissed because there were quite a few of us on the previous flight, so simply looking at the computer would have made it clear that holding the flight for just 10 minutes would have gotten quite a few people onto the flight. I was told, “We don’t hold flights in Atlanta.” Um, well I hate you then, Atlanta! They did give me a hotel, but I just wanted to be home for Christmas!

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