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National Geographic: Georgia among best 2017 destinations
dahlonega square

With its red clay and Savannah’s picturesque coastal walkways, Georgia was recently selected as one of National Geographic Traveler magazine’s 21 “Best of the World” destinations for 2017.

Georgia is one of three U.S. locations and the only state featured in Traveler.

The Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Tourism division made the announcement Thursday, noting the magazine’s spotlight on Georgia’s music scene.

“National Geographic Traveler took notice and called Georgia a site for great American music. A few of Georgia’s iconic music destinations noted in the feature include Macon, Dahlonega, Athens and Atlanta,” the magazine said in a news release.

The National Geographic Traveler features the state in the culture section for its live music and recorded music heritage.

Georgia Tourism named 2016 the “Year of Georgia Music” and focused its marketing on the state’s music heritage, venues and festivals.

“What an honor it is to be recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the world’s best destinations,” Georgia Department of Economic Development Commissioner Pat Wilson said. “This recognition is a testament to the fantastic job our state’s tourism industry does to promote Georgia to visitors around the world.”

According to the magazine, the selection process for the sixth annual list was competitive and involved nominations from Traveler’s worldwide grid of editors, writers and explorers.

The destinations were chosen by Traveler editors and fall into one of three categories: cities, nature or culture. The list includes other destinations such as Finland, Cloud Forests in Ecuador, Moscow and Madrid.

The largest audience of any travel magazine, National Geographic Traveler has more than 8.5 million readers.

“We are thrilled that National Geographic Traveler editors picked Georgia to be featured on this highly-coveted list,” said Kevin Langston, deputy commissioner of tourism at the Georgia Department of Economic Development. “The Year of Georgia Music was a catalyst to bring greater awareness to Georgia as a music destination, and our inclusion in “Best in the World” as a site for great American music will surely attract even more visitors from around the globe.”

The magazine will be available on newsstands nationwide starting Nov. 29.