Adventures in Roadside Archaeology - Georgia Visitors Center, US301, GA/SC line
Just across the Georgia State Line from South Carolina on US Route 301 sits an obscure piece of history.
But first, a bit about US 301.
During it’s mid-century heyday, US 301 was promoted to travelers as “The Shortest Route from Maine to Florida.” Warner Brothers capitalized on the road as a background for their crime movie “Highway 301.” Even “I Love Lucy” had an episode that mentioned US 301. The 12/1955 issue of Man’s Conquest reported 301 thru Charles County Maryland was a “wide open sin strip.” (I’m still looking for that issue…)
Interstate 95 replaced 301 as the main drag to Florida for travelers in the early 1970’s. US 301 became a “local road,” and states relocated their welcome centers along 95.
But not Georgia.
In the town of Sylvania on US 301, the Georgia Visitor Center has been greeting travelers with a smile (and a Coke product of your choice) for the past 60 years.
It’s now the longest continuously operated state welcome center in the USA. The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
Located on 3 1/2 acres, sporting it’s untouched mid-century architecture, walking trails and too rarely used picnic tables, the Georgia Visitor Center is worth a stop.