50 Interesting & Fun Facts About Georgia State You Should Know

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View of illuminated buildings and roads with sky in hues of blue and pink at the back
There are so many interesting facts about Georgia state worth learning

When you think of facts about Georgia state, the state capital, Atlanta, will most likely first come to mind. Or, you might be able to list some shows or movies that take place or have been filmed in Georgia, like Stranger Things, Ozarks, and others.

There's so much more to learn about Georgia, however! From fun trivia that will impress your friends to history that will help you understand the USA a little bit more, there are tons of interesting and fun facts about Georgia worth knowing!

Whether you're a Georgia native or you've never been to the state before, there's probably at least one fact on this list you don't know! So, sit back and enjoy this article covering 50 Georgia state facts you should know.

  • 50 Georgia facts

50 Facts on Georgia

  1. Georgia Fun Facts
    1. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi river
    2. The Fort King George State Historic Site is the oldest British fort in Georgia
    3. Georgia first entered the union in 1788
    4. Stone mountain is the most exposed granite mountain
    5. Georgia's southeast touches the Atlantic Ocean
    6. Jimmy Carter was a Georgia senator and governor
    7. Indian Springs is Georgia's oldest state park
    8. The Cherokee written alphabet was published in Georgia
    9. Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta
    10. Georgia has the most varied soil in the US
  2. Interesting Facts About Georgia
    1. Amicalola Falls is the tallest waterfall in Georgia
    2. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park covers 35 acres
    3. Georgia was the civil rights movement headquarters
    4. Many Civil War battles were fought in Georgia
    5. There are three Native American tribes in Georgia
    6. Sandy Springs is the Fortune 500 capital of the US
    7. The Georgia Aquarium is one of the world's largest
    8. Coca-Cola was invented in Georgia
    9. The 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta
    10. Atlanta is the state's 5th capital
  3. Weird Facts About Georgia
    1. Georgia is the USA's largest peanut producer
    2. The first gold rush happened in Georgia
    3. Atlanta wasn't always called Atlanta
    4. Three hundred and eighty-three species of birds live in Georgia
    5. Georgia had the first college in the world that accepted women
  4. Cool Facts About Georgia
    1. Georgia is divided into 159 counties
    2. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the state's highest mountain range
    3. The Okefenokee Swamp is the largest blackwater swamp in the USA
    4. Georgia has had three simultaneous governors
    5. Georgia was the first state to lower the voting age to 18
  5. Historical Facts About Georgia
    1. Georgia was the last of the original 13 colonies
    2. Oakland Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta
    3. The Georgia Gold Belt has some of the most abundant gold deposits
    4. Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe
    5. The yellow fever epidemic caused nearly 1/5 of Savannah's residents to flee
  6. Funny Facts About Georgia
    1. "Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" started in Georgia
    2. Most of Georgia's lakes are artificial
    3. Georgia was initially a penal colony
    4. Cordele is the watermelon capital of the world
    5. The largemouth bass is the Georgia state fish
  7. Creepy Facts About Georgia
    1. The Olde Pink House might be haunted
    2. Moon River Brewing Company is a haunted bar in Savannah
    3. The Sorrel Weed House has been featured on TV
    4. The Marshall House was used as a Civil War hospital
    5. Old Candler Hospital was the first hospital in Savannah
  8. Quick Facts About Georgia
    1. Georgia's state flower is the Cherokee rose
    2. The state is also called The Empire State of the South
    3. Georgia is also known as the Peach State
    4. It is named after King George II
    5. Georgia was the first southern state to ratify the constitution

Show all

Georgia Fun Facts

Lush greenery on either side of a wide river and a sky with clouds in the background
Among the states the Mississippi River runs through, Georgia is the biggest

Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi river

To start out this list of fun facts about the state of Georgia, did you know it's the largest state in the eastern United States? It covers 59,425 sq mi total land area.

However, if you count land and sea areas, that's not the case. If you count everything within state territory, Michigan is the largest at 96716 sq mi.

Aerial view of a river by a fort with a wooden blockade surrounded by trees
The oldest British fort in Georgia, Fort King George, was built in 1721

The Fort King George State Historic Site is the oldest British fort in Georgia

As one of the original colonies, Georgia has plenty of British forts and constructions that date back to its colonization. However, many of those forts have been destroyed over the years.

Enough of Fort King George remained, however, to allow for restoration. Built in 1721, it's the oldest British fort still standing in Georgia.

Georgia first entered the union in 1788

Though part of the British colonization in North America, Georgia didn't automatically join the United States during the Revolutionary War. In fact, before the drafting of the Constitution, a few years later, the Union didn't officially exist.

Georgia joined the US union after Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, making it the 4th state to join. State representatives ratified the constitution in 1788.

Park with trees at the foot of a rock mountain with people on horseback carved on it
Stone Mountain, the largest granite solid mass, formed over 300 million years ago

Stone mountain is the most exposed granite mountain

Just a few miles away from downtown Atlanta is Stone Mountain park. That name might already sound impressive, but that's not all.

Formed over 300 million years ago, Stone Mountain is entirely made of granite. It's also the largest solid mass of exposed granite in the world. The mountain is only part of the granite mass. It also continues underground for 9 miles.

Georgia's southeast touches the Atlantic Ocean

While you might know that Georgia borders North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida, those aren't its only borders, Georgia isn't a land-locked state like people think.

If you look at a map, you'll see that the southeast corner of Georgia touches the Atlantic Ocean. That means the state shares a border with an impressive six other masses of land or water.

Jimmy Carter was a Georgia senator and governor

You might know Jimmy Carter as the 39th president of the USA, but did you know he has his roots in Georgia? He's the only president to hail from Georgia ever elected.

His Georgia political ties go deeper than that, even! He also served terms both as the governor and as a senator for the state.

Indian Springs is Georgia's oldest state park

If you're looking for interesting Georgia facts, here's one for you. Indian Springs is a state park in the middle of the state, but that's not the interesting part.

Indian Springs was opened in 1825 as a resort, making it the oldest state park in Georgia. It's also one of the oldest state parks in the entire country.

The Cherokee written alphabet was published in Georgia

Georgia has made some efforts to honor its Cherokee history. The formalization of Cherokee County and the naming of the Cherokee Rose are just two examples of that.

It should be no surprise that the first publication of the Cherokee written alphabet and the first Cherokee newspaper took place in Georgia. This allowed the culture of the Cherokee tribes in the state to become widespread and preserved for the future.

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta

Atlanta has been the home to many important people throughout history. However, non may be quite as important as Martin Luther King Jr.

MLK was born on January 15, 1929 and would grow to be one of the most important figures of the civil rights movement. Though he's honored around the country, Atlanta takes pride in being the birthplace of such an important man.

Georgia has the most varied soil in the US

While there are many types of soil in Georgia, same as everywhere else, Georgia's soil sets itself apart from the rest. Sand, clay, and loam combine in different ways to create dozens of soil combinations.

Other places in the country have varied soil, but Georgia's is particularly diverse. This promotes a wide variety of plant growth in the state as well.

Interesting Facts About Georgia

A cityscape with tall buildings, roads, and a long bridge in front
Atlanta is the fifth city to serve as Georgia's capital
Looking up streams of water flowing down a rocky cliff surrounded by foliage
Rising 730 feet, Amicalola Falls is the highest waterfall in Georgia

Amicalola Falls is the tallest waterfall in Georgia

Georgia is known for its diverse landscape. Perhaps the best example of this is Amicalola Falls. This waterfall gets its name from the Cherokee language and roughly describes the waterfalls' tumbling waters.

The waterfall stands just under 730 feet in height, making it the tallest waterfall in the state. It's also the 3rd tallest east of the Mississippi.

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park covers 35 acres

You've already read that Martin Luther King Junior was born in Atlanta and that the city takes pride in being his hometown. Perhaps the best example is the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.

This historical park covers 35 acres of the Atlanta area. In doing so, it can encompass multiple sites important to the civil rights activist.

Georgia was the civil rights movement headquarters

If you've ever studied contemporary American History, you'll want to know this vital information about Georgia. Due to Martin Luther King's ties to the state, Georgia became a driving force for the civil rights movement.

While the movement was widespread throughout the country, particularly in the south, Georgia saw much of the action. Leaders of the movement assembled in Atlanta to help fight for equal rights.

Many Civil War battles were fought in Georgia

Since Georgia is in such proximity to many other US states and has access to the ocean, it became an essential territory during the Civil War. Battles occurred all over the south, but the Union and the Confederacy fought some of the most important in Georgia.

The Atlanta campaign in 1864 saw a particularly numerous amount of battles. Many historians believe the war was essentially over when the Union took over Atlanta.

There are three Native American tribes in Georgia

Georgia may recognize Cherokee culture in its names and history; the Cherokee weren't the only Native Americans in the state. Nor were all Cherokee part of the same tribe.

There are three recognized Native American tribes in Georgia. Those tribes are the Cherokee of Georgia Tribal, the Lower Muskogee Creek Tribe, and The Georgia Tribe of Eastern Cherokee Reservation.

Sandy Springs is the Fortune 500 capital of the US

When you think about fortune 500 companies, you likely think about places in California or Texas. However, you should add Georgia to that list.

Sandy Springs is a city about 1/5 the size of Atlanta. Despite this size difference, the two cities are home to nearly the same number of large corporations. Six to be exact. This fact has dubbed Sandy Springs the Fortune 500 capital of the US.

The Georgia Aquarium is one of the world's largest

Though it might border the ocean, you might not expect Georgia to have a thriving aquarium in its territory. However, that assumption would be wrong.

The Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the largest aquarium in the US. It's also the 3rd largest in the world. It's home to over 200 types of sea creatures and over 120000 total animals.

Coca-Cola was invented in Georgia

One of the most interesting Georgia facts is also one of the tastiest. Coca-Cola is a worldwide phenomenon. It's become one of the most recognizable brands ever to have existed.

Did you know, however, that it was invented in Georgia? In 1886, Atlanta pharmacist Dr. John S. Pemberton invented a syrup that would later develop into the beverage you know and love today.

rajeshpandit/Depositphotos.com
The Olympics bombing is one of the sad and interesting facts about Georgia state
The Centennial Olympic Park is the site of the Olympic Games and bombing in 1996

The 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta

The 1996 Olympics were a special event. It marked the 100th anniversary of the first worldwide Olympic games. It was also the site of the Centennial Olympic Park bombing, a terrorist attack that injured over 100 individuals in attendance.

The games did continue, despite the attack. To commemorate the bravery and camaraderie the nations showed in the aftermath of the events, the park has been maintained as a landmark.

Atlanta is the state's 5th capital

Atlanta is Georgia's most important city, so it seems obvious that it would be the state capital. However, that wasn't always the case. Atlanta is actually the 5th city chosen as Georgia's state capital.

The first state capital was Savannah. This was followed by Augusta, Louisville, and Milledgeville. In 1868, the capital was changed for the last time to Atlanta.

Weird Facts About Georgia

Buildings and skyscrapers at the back of roads surrounded by trees on a clear day
Atlanta was named Marthasville until 1845

Georgia is the USA's largest peanut producer

If you've ever eaten something with peanuts, there's a good chance they came from Georgia. Thanks to Georgia's climate, it's a prime spot for peanuts to grow, which has made the state the biggest peanut producer in the country.

45% of all peanuts sold and used in the USA come from Georgia. The industry is so big it accounts for around $600 million of the state's annual revenue.

RobHainer/Depositphotos.com
A 2-story brick building with white signage outside surrounded by leafless trees
People flocked to Georgia when gold was discovered in Dahlonega in the 1820s

The first gold rush happened in Georgia

When most people think about the USA's history with gold mining, they think about the 1840s-1850s California gold rush. Yet, the country's first major gold rush happened decades earlier.

In the 1820s, gold was discovered in Dahlonega, Georgia. From there, word got out, and hopeful prospectors flocked to the state to try to find their fortune.

Atlanta wasn't always called Atlanta

Though Atlanta was founded in 1837, it wasn't always called that. Atlanta didn't become the city's official name until 1845.

Initially, the city was named after the then governor's daughter Martha, thus, the city was called Marthasville. The city was also nicknamed Terminus because the city was an important railway hub at the time.

Three hundred and eighty-three species of birds live in Georgia

From north to south Georgia, plenty of diverse animal species call the state home. One of the cool things about Georgia is that it's home to an impressive 383 different types of bird species alone.

Some of these birds live in the state all year, while others only reside there during the winter when it's too cold up north. However, the type of birds you're likely to encounter will depend on your location in the state and the terrain of the area you're in.

Georgia had the first college in the world that accepted women

For centuries, higher education was considered to be a man's privilege. While women could still get an education, they weren't permitted to attend universities or get a degree.

That changed in 1836 at Wesleyan College in Georgia. This little university became the first college in the world that was given the authority to allow women to pursue a degree.

Cool Facts About Georgia

Aerial view of mountains in hues of green and orange on a foggy morning
The Blue Ridge Mountains are the tallest in Georgia and the eastern US

Georgia is divided into 159 counties

To make governing efficient, every US state is divided into counties. While the average number of counties is 62, Georgia beats that number. Georgia has the 2nd most number of counties, coming in at 159 total. The only state to beat it is Texas, with 254 total counties.

The Blue Ridge Mountains are the state's highest mountain range

Georgia is no stranger to mountain ranges. Unlike its neighbor to the south, Florida, the state is quite hilly and mountainous.

The Blue Ridge Mountains set themselves apart from the other mountains in the state. These peaks make up the highest mountain range in the state. Not only that, but they're the tallest mountains in the entire eastern US.

A wooden footbridge in the middle of a swamp surrounded by trees
The 600 square-mile Okefenokee Swamp is the biggest blackwater swamp in the US

The Okefenokee Swamp is the largest blackwater swamp in the USA

With its black coloring due to the organisms and minerals in the soil and water, the Okefenokee Swamp can be intimidating to look at. When you consider its size, that intimidation might turn to awe.

The swamp covers 630 square miles and is the largest blackwater swamp in the USA. Due to its climate, environment, and size, it's a complex ecosystem sustaining countless forms of life.

Georgia has had three simultaneous governors

In 1947, politics in Georgia got complicated. After the elections for governor were held, the race winner passed away before he could take office.

Due to this unprecedented situation, no one knew who was to become the new state leader. For a few weeks, the former governor, the lieutenant governor-elect, and the governor-elect's son all claimed the position. Eventually, the latter was voted as the sole winner.

Georgia was the first state to lower the voting age to 18

No list of interesting facts about the state of Georgia would be complete without mentioning its contribution to voting protocol. Before 1943, a person had to be 21 years old to vote in any political election.

However, that year Georgia became the first state to pass a law that would lower this age to 18 like it is today. This law didn't become a federal rule until 1971.

Historical Facts About Georgia

A bronze statue on a white pedestal surrounded by plants and trees
James Oglethorpe, the founder of Georgia, first landed in Savannah

Georgia was the last of the original 13 colonies

Unlike many southern states, Georgia has been deeply connected to US history from its beginning. In 1732, the British, colonized the territory in the name of King George II. Georgia was the 13th British colony in North America, making it the last of the original settlements in US history.

Tombstones, graves, and mausoleums in a manicured cemetery on a sunny day
Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta's oldest cemetery, is a famous city landmark

Oakland Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in Atlanta

Oakland Cemetery has become something of a city landmark. As the oldest cemetery in Atlanta, it's the resting place for some of the city's most prominent figures.

The cemetery also covers 48 acres, an impressive feat so close to a major city. The original six acres can also be found easily and is where the oldest gravesites are located.

The Georgia Gold Belt has some of the most abundant gold deposits

Georgia's gold rush was quickly eclipsed by the 1849 rush to California. However, some of the most abundant gold deposits in the country were found in the state by early gold prospectors.

Georgia's Gold Belt earned its name from the quantity of gold that prospectors easily found in the area. Even today, nearly 200 years after the original rush, you can still find gold in rivers and streams in this part of the state.

Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe

It's true that Georgia was colonized on behalf of the British Royal Crown. However, no one from the royal family was on board the boat that initially founded the territory.

The honor of being Georgia's founder goes to James Oglethorpe. He and just over 100 colonists landed in what would later be called Savannah.

The yellow fever epidemic caused nearly 1/5 of Savannah's residents to flee

Yellow fever wreaked havoc on the USA in the 1800s. The virus is spread by mosquitos which are abundant in warmer states like Georgia.

The lack of appropriate medical care and knowledge at the time caused the virus to spread widely throughout the state. The virus hit Savannah particularly hard. Following three epidemics of the virus, nearly 1/5 of the population fled the city. Many others fell ill and passed away.

Funny Facts About Georgia

Aerial view of a lake with patches of wooded land on a clear day
Georgia has a lot of natural lakes and even more artificial lakes

"Sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite" started in Georgia

You may not know this one even if you know tons of fun Georgia facts. Everyone has heard the phrase "sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite."

You might not know that this famous goodnight phrase started in Georgia. Ropes were once used to keep bedframes together, and due to the less-than-ideal mattress conditions and materials of ordinary people, bed bugs were a common occurrence. Thus, in the late 1800s, the phrase started in Georgia and quickly caught on.

Most of Georgia's lakes are artificial

Georgia has plenty of natural lakes and other bodies of water. That fact hasn't stopped the state from adding more.

The northern part of the state has fewer natural lake areas compared to the southern territory. While some of the smaller lakes are natural, most of the large lakes in the state, and most of the lakes in north Georgia, are artificial.

Georgia was initially a penal colony

Georgia may have been one of the original 13 colonies, but its intended use was a bit different. While the other colonies were intended to create a British presence in the country and expand the Crown's empire, Georgia was meant as a penal colony.

Debtors were sent to Georgia to work off their debt and learn skills. It functioned essentially as an early type of work-release program.

Cordele is the watermelon capital of the world

Cordele might be a small town of around 12000 people, but it's made a name for itself. It's become known as the watermelon capital of the world.

Over 125 million watermelons are grown by Cordele farmers every year. These melons are then shipped around the USA. Seedless watermelons are most commonly grown, but farmers produce all different varieties of watermelons as well.

A silver fish with specks of black swimming by a mossy wood under water
Georgia's state fish is the Largemouth Bass

The largemouth bass is the Georgia state fish

It's not uncommon for a state to elect things to be an official symbol of the area. State flowers, state birds, and state animals are the most common examples of this.

Georgia has gone a step further by nominating a state fish. The Largemouth bass might live all over the south, but Georgia has claimed it as one of its symbols.

Creepy Facts About Georgia

Having a lot of haunted places is one of the creepy facts in Georgia state
Savannah has several haunted places
adifferentbrian/Depositphotos.com
Four windows with wooden awnings on a pink house wall with a garden on its side
The Olde Pink House is a Savannah restaurant believed to be haunted by its owner

The Olde Pink House might be haunted

The Olde Pink House is a favorite and treasured restaurant in Savannah, but not for the reasons you might think. Many people who visit the establishment believe it to be haunted.

Many believe the building's original owner James Habersham Jr. haunts the halls. The restaurant is even part of local ghost tours and has become a landmark for tourists.

Moon River Brewing Company is a haunted bar in Savannah

Georgia history facts take a haunted turn at the Moon River Brewing Company. The bar and brewery are considered to be one of many haunted locations in Savannah.

The brewery is located in one of the oldest buildings in the city; thus, it has a long history. It's been featured on multiple paranormal shows, and one thing is for sure, many visitors claim they've seen some unexplained phenomena!

The Sorrel Weed House is a Savannah landmark and museum. It's been preserved to represent its original construction and decor and has undergone minimal restorations through the years.

That being said, many people know about this location not because of the education about local history it offers. The building has been featured on ghost-hunting shows on multiple television channels from HGTV to The Travel Channel.

The Marshall House was used as a Civil War hospital

The Marshall House may be an operating hotel, but it's also become a symbol of Savannah's history. It was constructed in 1851 as a hotel due to the influx of railway travelers to the area.

During the Civil War, the hotel was converted into a hospital for the sick and injured. Soldiers were brought in from all around to be cared for somewhere relatively safe and sheltered from battle.

Old Candler Hospital was the first hospital in Savannah

Savannah has always had medical practitioners in the city, but it didn't have an official hospital until 1904. Old Candler Hospital opened its doors over a century ago and is the oldest hospital in Savannah.

Today the hospital is still in use, though it's been renovated to keep up with modern medicine. It's even the 2nd oldest continuously running hospital in the country.

Quick Facts About Georgia

The flowers of a plant with white petals and yellow stamens
The Cherokee Rose was designated as Georgia's state flower in 1916

Georgia's state flower is the Cherokee rose

You may remember that the Cherokee rose was mentioned earlier in this list. This white and yellow plant is the state flower.

It was named a symbol for Georgia in 1916. It was chosen to remember the 1838 beginning of the "Trail of Tears", which saw many Native Americans leaving their homelands after signing a treaty with the US.

The state is also called The Empire State of the South

Most states have a moniker. This nickname often shows up in tourist information, on signs, or even on bumper stickers. Georgia is no different.

Georgia is most often called The Empire State of the South. This is due to the rapid economic and territorial expansion the state has seen since it was first founded.

Red and yellow-colored peaches in a wooden basket
Georgia is nicknamed Peach State because it is the country's largest peach producer

Georgia is also known as the Peach State

A list of facts about Georgia would be incomplete if it mentioned one of the state's nicknames but not the other. Georgia is also called the Peach State.

Georgia is known for its peaches. It is one of the largest producers of this fruit in the country, but that's not all. Georgia peaches are known for having a better taste and texture than peaches grown elsewhere in the US.

It is named after King George II

King George II was responsible for granting the charter that allowed Georgia to be colonized in Britain's name. To thank and honor the king for his trust, the state was named after him.

A few US state names have their roots in British royalty. However, Georgia is one of the more obvious examples of this.

Georgia was the first southern state to ratify the constitution

While the Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, the US Constitution wasn't written until the fall of 1787. In order for the Constitution to become law in the entire nation, all the states needed to ratify it.

Georgia was the first southern state to do this. After a state vote on January of 1788, the state ratified the Constitution.

In Summary

How many of these Georgia facts did you know? I bet there were at least a few surprises! There's a lot to learn about the state; the 50 facts in this article barely scratched the surface! There's so much more to uncover about Georgia!

Hopefully, this list inspired you to do a little research to learn more about The Empire State of the South. You'll certainly be armored with knowledge about Georgia when you visit now!

This article was edited by Henry Grahame.

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Written by Gabrielle T

ggtraveler1213 WRITER Hi! I'm a lover of all things travel and culture. I'm originally from the USA, but I've lived in Italy for over a decade! I'm always ready to pack my bags, get my passport, and head out on an adventure!


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