Actual Factual Georgia

Q: Why is Auburn Avenue famous and how can I learn more about it?

A: The name of this downtown Atlanta street may appear to be connected to the recent college football national champions if you're a newcomer to the city, but its history and reputation dates to before the civil rights movement. Auburn Avenue, also known as "Sweet Auburn," has served as a center of black commerce, culture and religion, with former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young saying it was rivaled only by Harlem for its energy and importance. In the mid 1950s, Fortune magazine described the street, about 2 miles from Peachtree Street and the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr., as "the richest Negro street in the world." For a first-hand account, listen to Young describe its history and landmarks and his experiences along Auburn Avenue via a free, fascinating podcast available on iTunes or on your cell phone, by calling 404-921-0187. After the civil rights movement, the street and its small businesses started to suffer, but there have been efforts to revitalize it. The street has grabbed folks' attention over the years, such as when President Clinton stopped by Sweet Auburn Bread Co. for some sweet potato cheesecake in 1999. Speaking of cheesecake … we'll be right back.

Q: I’ve heard people refer to the “breakfast counties.” What are they?

A: First cheesecake, now breakfast? That's enough to blow any diet. Well, wake up and smell the coffee when driving along I-75 hours south of Atlanta. It's almost like you can hear the bacon frying and the crack of the eggs as you enter into Crisp and Cook counties, which join Bacon, Coffee and Early counties in south Georgia to form the "Breakfast Counties." That's not the official tourism name, but some folks, even those who aren't morning people, have used it over the years.

Q: How long is the Silver Comet Trail?

A: Now that you're full, how 'bout some exercise? Pump the air in those bike tires because the Silver Comet Trail, combined with the Chief Ladiga Trail in Alabama, is the longest combined paved trail in the U.S. The free trail starts in Smyrna, travels west through Cobb, Paulding and Polk counties and runs into a trail at the Bama line. You can see walkers, runners, rollerblades, dog owners, hikers, wheelchairs and even horses along the paved trail, which is more than 61 miles long before it links up with the 33-mile long Alabama trail. The nearly 100-mile continuous route finally ends in Anniston, Ala. Now if only you could have the speed of a comet for the return trip home.

What do you want to know?

If you’re new in town or just have questions about this special place we call home, ask us! E-mail Lori Johnston at q&