Known as the Queen City of the Mountains and the Poultry Capital, Gainesville's most recent designation as "Hospitality Capital of the World" came when Gainesville hosted the 1996 Olympic rowing/kayaking events. 38,000-acre Lake Sidney Lanier offers many recreational opportunities, including canoe and kayak rentals at the Olympic Venue. Road Atlanta, a world-renowned road racing course is recognized for hosting the Petit LeMans each year.
Downtown Gainesville is filled with a myriad of shops and restaurants, and marks the beginning of a to-scale model of the solar system. The woodland refuge and museum at Elachee Nature Science Center are located adjacent to the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve and Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center. The arts abound at The Arts Council, located in the transformed CSX railroad depot and at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center, located on Historic Green Street. Civil War buffs will want to visit the Piedmont Hotel and the gravesite of Confederate General James Longstreet. Other must-sees are Interactive Neighborhood for Kids and the Northeast Georgia History Center.