* As you search for best routes from Vancouver and Mexico City, it is likely you will need to have at least one stop and change planes in at least one city along the way.
The coastal region of Georgia has an extremely rich history, prehistoric as well as modern. It is one of the oldest colonial areas, occupied by the Spanish as early as the 1500s and later becoming one of the original 13 British colonies. Savannah, GA, was founded by British General James Oglethorpe and designed with a beautiful grid-work of squares and parks. It was placed at the mouth of the Savannah River and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. The city is resplendent with many historic sites and is home to the world-renowned Savannah College of Art and Design as well as the famous Ships of the Sea Museum. Savannah is an important port city and many large container ships come to the Georgia Port Authority. There is also a significant military presence (Army, Air Force and Navy) and a vibrant downtown social scene.
The Barrier Islands along the Georgia Coast have the largest estuaries along the eastern seaboard, and extend out for many miles. These islands host an array of wildlife and other natural features including upland maritime forests, beaches, freshwater wetlands, saltwater marshes, and great weather most of the year. Much of the area is protected, with several National Wildlife Refuges, State Parks, and State Wildlife Management Areas. There are also many privately protected lands and research areas. There are plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and see/talk about invasive species issues (weeds, fish, invertebrates, forest pests and diseases, invasive pigs, etc.), both Marine issues as well as Freshwater and Upland issues.
The uplands of South Georgia are well known for forestry and agriculture, so forum participants can expect to see a lot of pine tree plantations, wood mills and paper mills. The latter can sometimes be smelled for miles, as paper processing has the odor of rotten eggs. Visitors should be on the watch for logging trucks on the roads sometimes. Invasive trees and plants abound along travel corridors and other disturbed areas, including Chinese tallow tree, kudzu, and dozens of others from the early days of the Spanish and British conquests. The long growing season caters to these invaders, allowing them to thrive and making it difficult to control them once they become established.