The trail follows on to Atlanta, where the Margaret Mitchell House & Museum is cocooned by the towering skyline of the city. Mitchell lived here, at the time the Crescent Apartments, with her husband, John Marsh, while she wrote the novel. She named the tiny apartment that they called home "the dump," but today it is listed the National Register of Historic Places and operated by the Atlanta History Center.
Also downtown is the Atlanta-Fulton County Public Library, which has one of the most extensive collections of Mitchell's photographs, books and personal items in existence, in total about 1,500 pieces, including her 1937 Pulitzer Prize and the Remington typewriter she used to pound out the book.
Not far away is Oakland Cemetery, Mitchell's final resting place. As much a garden as it is graveyard with elaborate funerary art and architecture, more than 70,000 also rest here.
Other in-town stops are the Atlanta History Center, which has one of the largest Civil War exhibitions in the nation, and the Atlanta Cyclorama and Museum. From personal experience, I must say the Cyclorama is jaw-dropping with its three-dimensional panorama that realistically depicts the 1864 Battle of Atlanta with life-size characters, music, narration and painting that by itself weighs more than 5 tons.
As much as everyone wants to believe that Tara, the O'Hara plantation that figured so prominently in the storyline, was real, the grand home existed only in Mitchell's imagination. But you can visit Stately Oaks Plantation, in Jonesboro, to get a sense of what living in the Antebellum South was all about. Built in 1839, the home is open for tours with costumed docents.
Also visit Jonesboro's Road to Tara Museum, which also has an extensive and quite impressive collection of memorabilia.
Although all the attractions are open year 'round, frankly, my dear, one of the best times to hit the trail is spring, when all of Georgia is awash in pink, fuchsia and lavender blossoms of azaleas, wisteria, dogwoods, magnolias and peaches.
Whether you consider yourself a "Windie" -- a dyed-in-the-wool, always faithful fan of anything "Gone With the Wind" -- or if you've only once seen the movie or read the book, you'll appreciate the efforts to keep the memory of Georgia's most beloved story alive.
Don't expect to see the trail all in one day though. Take your time. Because, as Scarlett O'Hara herself reminds us, "After all, tomorrow is another day."
For detailed information about the Gone With the Wind Trail, visit www.gwtwtrail.com or call 404-814-4032.