Legendary landmarks in Georgia: Historic sites worth the drive

There is more to summer vacation than Disney World and hours of video games. Just ask Michael Gagnon, assistant professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College.

"What's important about going to the historic places? You get to walk the streets other people walked, see the things they saw," he said. "It's much better than touring virtually or reading a book."

In Gwinnett, Gagnon explains that there are several places to visit, like the Lawrenceville Square, Fort Daniel or Freeman's Mill Park.

But if you want to make a road trip, there are plenty of spots in the state. Gagnon recommends visiting New Echota, Sweetwater Creek State Park and Kennesaw Mountain.

You can make your own historical tours because now there is an app for that -- thanks to the Georgia Historical Society.

"I would recommend downloading the marker map with an app," Gagnon said. "You can make a map and do a historical tour yourself. You can plan it yourself. They will give you a list of things to pick from, you pick them and take the tour."

Here's a list of other spots in Georgia.

-- Compiled by Staff Writer Meghan Kotowski

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Roosevelt's Little White House


Roosevelt's Little White House

Franklin Delano Roosevelt built the house in 1932, prior to being inaugurated as president in 1933. He first came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping to find a cure for his polio. He swam in the 88 degree spring waters, which helped with the pain.

-- Address: 401 Little White House Road, Warm Springs

-- Cost: $1 to $10

-- For more information: Visit www.gastateparks.org

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Andersonville National Historic Site

The Camp Sumter military prison at Andersonville was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. While open, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were held here -- and 13,000 died. Today, the site is a memorial to all American prisoners of war throughout the nation's history.

-- Address: 760 POW Road, Andersonville

-- Cost: Free

-- For more information: Visit www.nps.gov

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Bonaventure Cemetery


Photo: SavannahVisit.com . Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Ga.

In 1771 John Mullryne, and his son-in-law, Josiah Tattnall, owned approximately 9,920 acres of Georgia land and this site became the family plantation, named Bonaventure, French for "good fortune." Mullryne established a small family plot on the grounds, which eventually became the cemetery.

-- Address: 330 Bonaventure Road, Savannah

-- Cost: Free to visit, a donation for a tour each second Sunday of the month

-- For more information: Visit www.bonaventurehistorical.org

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Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site

Dahlonega was a mining town, which led to the opening of the U.S. mint Branch in 1838. It shut its doors in 1861, but the museum shows a set of coins, a nugget weighing more than five ounces, a large hydraulic cannon and nozzle used to blast soil from mountainsides, and more.

-- Address: One Public Square, Dahlonega

-- Cost: $1 to $6

-- For more information: Visit www.gastateparks.org

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Springer Opera House

As the State Theatre of Georgia, the Springer Opera House has been open for 141 years. Francis Joseph Springer, an immigrant from Alsace who moved to Columbus before the Civil War, built the structure. The stage is still used to this day -- and is rumored to be haunted.

-- Address: 103 10th St., Columbus

-- Cost: $5 for tours on Mondays and Wednesdays

-- For more information: Visit www.springeroperahouse.org

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Etowah Indian Mounds Historic Site

The Cartersville site was once home to thousands of Native Americans from 1000 A.D. to 1550 A.B. On 54-acres, there are six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site, pits and a defensive ditch. Currently, nine percent of this site has been excavated.

-- Address: 813 Indian Mounds Road, Cartersville

-- Cost: $1 to $5.50

-- For more information: Visit www.gastateparks.org

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Woodrow Wilson's Boyhood Home

From 1860 to 1870, President Woodrow Wilson lived in Augusta with his family while his father Joseph Wilson worked as the pastor of First Presbyterian Church in the city. The family moved to South Carolina when his father became a professor at Columbia Theological Seminary in Columbia.

-- Address: 415 Seventh St., Augusta

-- Cost: $3 to $5

-- For more information: Visit www.wilsonboyhoodhome.org

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Fort Pulaski National Monument

Situated on the coast, the fort was used during the Civil War by the Confederate Army. In 1862, the fort was attacked by Union soldiers, leaving it damaged and taken over by enemy troops. Later, the site was used as a prisoner of war prison for captured Confederate officers.

-- Address: U.S. Highway 80, Savannah

-- Cost: $5

-- For more information: Visit www.nps.gov

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Jimmy Carter Historic Site

At this site, visitors have a chance to explore the history and culture of this rural community and take a look into why the Carters have strong ties to the city. Those who visit the boyhood farm can look at exhibits and listen to audio messages narrated by Jimmy Carter sharing stories about his childhood.

-- Address: 300 N. Bond St., Plains

-- Cost: Free with a donation box

-- For more information: Visit www.nps.gov

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Travelers Rest Historic Site

This stagecoach inn and plantation home was built around 1815 by James R. Wyly on the Unicoi Turnpike, a busy highway over the Appalachian Mountains. Travels would rest and eat at the inn during long trips. Visitors can tour the house to see many original artifacts and furnishings.

-- Address: 4339 Riverdale Road, Toccoa

-- Cost: $1 to $5

-- For more information: Visit www.gastateparks.org