One of the best features of Georgia is its wonderful range of seasons. Each season is distinctive and offers its own unique pleasures and possibilities for enjoying the great outdoors in a variety of ways. Springtime in Georgia is nothing short of breath-taking. The state explodes with colour. Azaleas put on a glorious display at Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, and the largest daffodil garden in the country blooms at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground. Cherry and dogwood trees blossom in suburban gardens and along city streets. Their beautiful blooms have even inspired large namesake festivals: the Dogwood Festival in Atlanta and Cherry Blossom festivals in both Conyers and Macon. The mild spring temperatures make strolling the streets of the festivals most enjoyable. Some summer days can get quite hot in Georgia - about 32°C. Luckily, no matter where you are in the state, a body of water, and the respite it promises, is sure to be nearby. You can float leisurely down a calm river in a tyre inner tube, fight white water rapids in a kayak or water-ski on one of Georgia’s many lakes. The Augusta Canal Heritage area is a great location for canoeing. Columbus is home to the largest urban white water rafting course in the world. Coastal Georgia, from Tybee Island to The Golden Isles, offers miles of beaches and recreational opportunities ranging from deep-sea fishing and sailing to horse riding and lighthouse tours. You’ll also find attractions across the state offering heart-pumping adventures ranging from hiking, biking and rock climbing to zip lining, hang gliding and skydiving. With the arrival of autumn, many look to the mountains of northern Georgia for fun activities, beloved festivals and a riot of colour, as the leaves turn from green to gold, orange and red. Work your way through corn mazes, pick through pumpkin patches and apple orchards, and climb aboard an old waggon for a hayride. The cool temperatures make hiking trails throughout the state a real pleasure. The most famous trail in the United States, the Appalachian Trail, begins in Georgia and ends in Maine. This trail is great for a day’s hiking or an adventure spanning many months. Winter in Georgia varies greatly across the state. While most of the state has cool temperatures, it’s generally not too cold to enjoy outdoor activities. If snow appears, it is usually restricted to the northern mountains. In contrast, the coast remains quite mild yearround, beckoning visitors to stroll along the beach or play a round of golf. Georgia’s state parks are great settings for outdoor activities throughout the year, from water-based recreation on pristine lakes or rivers, to hiking along wilderness trails and camping under the stars. The Georgia state parks system is one of the oldest in the United States, and parks and historic sites are located all over the state. For more information about specific activities and resources at each one, visit gastateparks.org. For a truly unique experience, head to the Okefenokee Swamp, which is located in south-east Georgia near Folkston and Waycross. Meaning “land of the trembling earth” in Seminole, the Okefenokee is a one-of-a-kind ecosystem that is home to alligators, many types of wading bird and even black bears. Several local companies offer guided tours by motorboat, canoe and kayak, and visitors can camp on platforms in the swamp.
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