Visiting the United States? There are 50 states to see.

Georgia has southern charm and beautiful beaches, but also zombies and a dystopian society where youths fight to the death … at least on film. The state has served as the filming location for more than 1,000 movies and TV shows since 1973, including The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games sequels.

The southeastern state is also is the birthplace of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter in Plains and of the late Ray Charles, who made famous “Georgia on My Mind,” the state’s official song.

Established in the 1730s, Georgia was the last of the 13 original British Colonies and was named after England’s King George II.

Civil war and civil rights

Atlanta, the capital and the state’s largest city, played an important role in both the U.S. Civil War and the U.S. civil rights movement.

The fall of Atlanta was a turning point in the U.S. Civil War. After burning Atlanta in November 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman blazed a path southeast to Savannah in his “March to the Sea.” The 160-kilometer Antebellum Trail goes through seven historic communities that were spared, providing a glimpse of Southern life then.

Carved into the granite of Stone Mountain are three Confederate leaders of the U.S. Civil War. (Wikimedia Commons)

Atlanta also is the birthplace of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., whose nonviolent struggle to end racial inequality in the U.S. led to the 1964 Civil Rights Act banning discrimination and the 1965 Voting Rights Act to ensure that blacks not be denied their right to vote. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta includes King’s grave.

In Atlanta you can tour the sets of the television channel CNN, visit the World of Coca-Cola and relive memories of the 1996 Summer Olympics — which Atlanta hosted — at the Centennial Olympic Games Museum.

Quiet on the set: Action!

Movie buffs can tour current and past filming locations across the state. Georgia-made flicks include Anchor Man 2, Remember the Titans, Driving Miss Daisy, Fried Green Tomatoes, The Blind Side and My Cousin Vinny.  Television shows now filming in Georgia include Sleepy Hollow, Dish Nation and Chrisley Knows Best.

Filmmakers watching actors through a monitor on set (Courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development)
Georgia hosts 250 movie and film productions every year. (Courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development)

The famous Margaret Mitchell novel Gone With the Wind was written in Georgia, but not a single scene of the classic movie was actually filmed in Georgia.

Elsewhere in the state, Savannah, known for 18th- and 19th-century architecture and its oak trees draped in Spanish moss, is worth a visit. Augusta hosts the Masters golf tournament. And popular beaches include St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Cumberland Island.

Georgia is called the Peach State for the abundance of that fruit grown there. But the state also is known for its peanuts and pecans.

Read more about Georgia and check out the other 49 states. If you need a visa to visit, here’s how to get one.