When Your GPS Dies & Other Reasons to Stop at a VIC

It never gets old… I look up to see a distressed person walking rapidly through the doorway, a panicked look on their face with their beloved GPS cupped in their hands, lifeless. It has died in the most inconvenient of times, when they are on the road and far from home and their destination. They have no idea where they are or how to get anywhere. The only thing I can offer them is a sympathetic smile and the offer of, “Would you like for me to help you bury that, or can I offer you some directions or a Georgia map?”

Leslie helping a guest at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Kingsland, Georgia.

Leslie helping a guest at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Kingsland, Georgia.

A common question I am asked is if I believe that Georgia will ever stop producing paper maps. I can’t begin to fathom the number of maps I’ve distributed in the 15 years I have been an Information Specialist for the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Kingsland, or the amount of time I have spent educating travelers how to get where they are going with the help of a map. Although a GPS is certainly handy, I doubt that it will ever replace a tangible map. Even with constant advances in technology, a GPS will never be foolproof. There will always be a detour or programming error. Then, there are the operator-induced malfunctions; for instance, somehow the device has been set to French, and you don’t understand how to reset it. Maybe the address you have is a Boulevard and not an Avenue, but your GPS is being selective with the options because you don’t have your information just right.

VIC Specialist Beth Kay with the China Delegation at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Lavonia, Georgia.

VIC Specialist Beth Kay with the China Delegation at the Georgia Visitor Information Center in Lavonia, Georgia.

Fear not. If you are traveling and have found your way to Georgia, stop in a Georgia Visitor Information Center. We can assist you in ways a GPS never can. Apart from maps, we offer discounts for overnight accommodations, a friendly reservation service, as well as a comfortable atmosphere for you and your family to relax in and reenergize. We can persuade you to venture off the intended route and explore a slower road to historical towns filled with Southern charm or adventure-laden attractions. We know stories your GPS doesn’t and can open your trip to endless possibilities, without the irritated tone that comes with a detour. We know where the good food is and the best way to get wherever you are going. Every time.

Click here to find out more about Georgia’s 11 Visitor Information Centers and the services we provide. We look forward to guiding you to a new destination soon!

Stay up to date on what’s happening at Georgia’s Visitor Information Centers by following our Georgia Visitor Information Centers Pinterest board.


Leslie Amerine

Leslie Amerine


Leslie Amerine is a wife, mother and southerner who loves shoes, beaches, live music and discussing all things Georgia.




10 Reasons We Love Springtime in Georgia

Georgia is on our mind year-round, but we especially love the Peach State during the spring months. From the blooming flowers to the delightful temperatures, there is plenty to love about springtime in Georgia!

Festival Season: Nothing says spring quite like chowing down on a turkey leg while meandering through booths selling organic soap, handmade jewelry and bottle cap artwork. Georgia is home to such popular spring festivals as the 78th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival and the famous Macon Cherry Blossom Festival. No matter where in Georgia you go, your chances of finding a spring festival between March and June are high. Our advice? Pack up the car and spend a weekend exploring Georgia.

St. Patrick’s Day in Savannah: The city’s famous St. Patrick’s Day festivities attract more than 400,000 Irish and honorary Irish visitors each year! Perhaps the most famous Savannah St. Patrick’s Day celebration is the three-hour parade featuring U.S. military divisions, award-winning bands, marching units, the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales and much more. Want a prime parade-viewing spot? We suggest arriving on Bull Street by the cathedral by 6 a.m.

The beautiful Georgia Coast

Mild Temperatures:  Georgia’s spring weather is perfect for backyard barbeques, front porch sitting, driving with the windows down on the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway or visiting Georgia’s Golden Isles. Georgia’s spring weather is so perfect, in fact, we think even Goldilocks would find it to be just right.

Pick-your-own Farms: Grab a bucket and head to one of Georgia’s many pick-your-own farms for a true Southern springtime tradition. Pick fresh peaches at Gardner Farms in Locust Grove or stock up on strawberries when you visit Smith Farms in Caldwell. The whole family will have fun picking their favorite springtime treats fresh from farms throughout the state.

Georgia State Parks: Take advantage of the perfect spring weather with a trip to one of Georgia’s state parks. Whether hitting the hiking trails, paddling the waterways, or sleeping under the stars, Georgia’s state parks have programs the whole family will love.

Spring Break: When Spring Break rolls around, students of all ages are restless for outdoor fun. Luckily for them (and their parents), Georgia is filled with theme parks, attractions, outdoor adventures and more. Treat your little one to a day at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, a hike up Stone Mountain in Atlanta or have an adventure on the water in Rabun County. No matter which activity choose, your child will return to school with a story to share!

Atlanta Braves

Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia

Braves Baseball: When April arrives, fans across the Southeast don their jerseys, paint their faces, and do the tomahawk chop in honor of the Atlanta Braves. A game at Turner Field, affectionately called “The Ted,” is a must-see when in Georgia.

Patio Dining: We’re of the firm belief that food always tastes better when eaten on a patio. Whether you’re sipping a cocktail at Atlanta’s Park Tavern or enjoying an intimate sunset dinner at the Meritage Café in Columbus, Georgia’s springtime weather makes for the perfect patio dining experience.

Lake Season: When the temperatures warm up, folks everywhere flock to Georgia’s lakes for weekends full of water skiing, tubing and more. Rent a pontoon boat on Lake Sinclair, camp on the shore of Lake Oconee or book a weekend at the luxurious lake Lanier Islands Resort to get your lake fix this spring.

Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia

Flowers in Bloom: Our springtime list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning our beautiful blooming flowers, including azaleas, peach blossoms, magnolias and more. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the season with a visit to one of Georgia’s famous gardens, such as Guido Gardens in Metter, Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground and Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain. You’ll discover displays of floral beauty like you’ve never seen before when you explore Georgia!


Lauren Cleland



Lauren Cleland is the voice of Explore Georgia on social media. She loves ice cold sweet tea, anything peach flavored, channeling Scarlett O’Hara in her daily life and sharing the wonders of her beloved Georgia with all of you!