Your Fabulous Georgia Getaway Guide
Georgia offers so many fabulous destinations within its 59,425 square miles. Head outdoors, explore historic sites, or play a round of disc golf with the family! No matter how you choose to experience it, you will be amazed at all the unique experiences and the endless attractions the Peach State has to offer.
There are plenty of wondrous things to see and unforgettable things to do in Georgia. Get a priceless experience and that doesn’t come with a hefty price tag. Families, avid campers, outdoor enthusiasts, and couples young and old can enjoy the state and keep that nest egg for a rainy day. Tour exciting cities and discover the intense beauty of Georgia’s vast nature...anyway you experience it, Georgia is unforgettable.
Around the City
Some of metro Atlanta's most well known attractions are also some of its most fascinating. Discover the endless list of things to do that the whole family will enjoy.
Head outdoors and roam the mountain, farmland, lakes, and hiking trails of a nature preserve sitting on more than 2,000 acres in Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area and Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve. Autrey Mill Nature Preserve and Heritage Center offers a chance to walk two miles of trails, see animal exhibits, and tour buildings reminiscent of rural Georgia. The Carter Center is also a great place to spend some time. See the Circle of Flags along with a beautiful rose garden, Japanese garden, and a koi pond. Nearby, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum costs only $8 for adults and children under 16 are free.
Of course, in a big city like Atlanta, there will be plenty of museums at hand. The Atlanta Monetary Museum offers self-guided tours that explain the history of money and the Federal Reserve’s role, and who doesn’t love money? The Georgia Capitol Museum has a great tour program and interesting artifacts to help visitors understand the state’s birth. The Governor's Mansion gives fantastic tours of the 24,000-square-foot mansion on the 18-acre estate – it is impressive! Atlanta’s premier art museum, the High Museum of Art, displays African and folk art, photography, and decorative art. Krog Street Market has joined the newest trend for cities: food halls. Named one of the top food halls in the world, it offers hungry visitors a chance to taste unique and varied foods combined with great local retail stores. Travel back in time at the Atlanta History Center. Housed in the historic Swan House, it sits on 33 acres and features award-winning exhibitions and even memorabilia from the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games.
Georgia State Parks are an epic experience. Did you know that they have a rewards system that can earn you point towards a free reservation? An annual Historic Site Pass and Parking Pass are a great deal if you head to the outdoors often.
One of the original 13 colonies of the United States, Georgia has two coastal forts dating back to the 1700s: Fort King George Historic Site in Darien, and Fort Morris State Historic Site in Midway. Families will enjoy the many activities hosted at the forts. For a peaceful activity, go birding along the Colonial Coast Birding Trail; the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation State Historic Site is an excellent spot to look for herons, egrets, ibis, and painted buntings.
At Cloudland Canyon State Park, a local guide service will show you the spectacular world underneath the North Georgia Mountains. Be sure to reserve your guided tour through G3 Adventures Outpost before you go. They also have disc golf, fishing, geocaching, and 64 miles of hiking trails. Should you need a place to stay, they offer camping sites, and cute, clean, and comfortable cottages. In June, reserve a two-bedroom cottage for only $160 a night. They come fully furnished, with a kitchen, large screened in porch, an outdoor picnic table, and a fire pit.
Leave the car behind when you set up camp in F. D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, Georgia's largest state park with miles of trails. Lake Delanor and the rolling hills of middle Georgia are all just too enchanting to pass up. Camp with your horse and enjoy a picnic with a view. Dowdell's Knob is where President Franklin D. Roosevelt sometimes picnicked and pondered world affairs. A life-size sculpture of the president now welcomes visitors to the overlook.
Every state has parks and museums, but there are unique finds that can only be experienced in Georgia.
80s babies will rejoice when they visit the Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland. Get a free tour where you can see Cabbage Patch Kids being born...that’s right, from the cabbage patch. But, fair warning: There are literally thousands of Cabbage Patch Kids waiting to be adopted and your kids will probably want to adopt one! Be sure to check out their pancake breakfasts and special tea parties.
The Georgia Guidestones, Elberton's most unusual set of granite monoliths, poses a mystery for the numerous visitors who visit the site seven miles north of Elberton on Georgia Highway 77. Also known as America's Stonehenge, this 19-foot high monument displays a 10-part message that advocates the conservation of humanity in 12 languages. The Guidestones are mysterious in origin, and no one knows the identity of the sponsors who provided its placement.
A crafty visitor will get all sorts of crazy ideas from a visit to The Gourd Place. See more than 200 gourds with everything from contemporary works to early-American reproductions and gourds from around the world. Get a free look at the museum, retail shop, and enjoy a nature trail around the lake; it is only five miles from Helen. Also near Helen is a country store dating 1872. The Old Sautee Market served the local community with general goods and was even the post office for the region’s valley up until the 1940s. The Sautee-Nacoochee Valley is the center of a thriving historic arts community, and they are very proud of their store. The market has everything you would need for a Heidi-themed picnic lunch with house-made bread, sandwiches, cookies, and old-time drinks for sale.
Outdoor art is the best! And Georgia has plenty of cool murals and more curious public art on display than we have seen anywhere else. Art is about discovery and experiencing something in a new or unanticipated way. Outdoor art is an unexpected treat that captures your eye when and where you least expect it.
In charming Jonesboro, known as the Official Home of Gone With The Wind, of course, there is a mural of Scarlett O’Hara. Going with this same theme, visit the Road to Tara Museum and the Stately Oaks Plantation as well. Nearby, visit the massive Hindu Temple to discover the most artistically built and ornate building covered with hundreds of statues. Athens is a college town, and also known as a creative center. Downtown you will discover unique and secret masterpieces on almost every corner. Find them on the sides of cafés, boutiques, and even a parking deck! Everyone will love discovering the four-foot tall bulldog statues that are scattered throughout the city. Check out the city’s free Music History Tour or History & Hauntings Tour at the Athen’s Welcome Center. Spend the night at the trendy Hotel Indigo Athens; looking much like a modern art museum, it offers some of the best views of the city.
On the wall outside of Young Brothers Pharmacy in Downtown Cartersville, is the first outdoor painted wall advertisement for the Coca-Cola company. See if you can find the mistake in this award-winning historic landmark. Also, don’t miss the Downtown Art Walk or the Photo Fence. The Booth Western Art Museum and Bartow History Museum are easily accessible from downtown’s main square. Outdoor art is not limited to buildings, though! On St. Simons Island, the art is literally in the trees. The St. Simons Island Tree Spirits are carved into the ancient live oaks around town as if the tree’s human spirit is actually coming through the bark. Stop at the Golden Isles CVB office for a map to find them all. Stay on the island for a few relaxing days at the only beachfront resort on the island, The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort.
From sleek and eclectic city museums to ancient hallowed Indian grounds, Georgia is always surprising its guests. One moment you could be walking through a German style mountain village, and then after an hour in the car you are biking on one of the most beautiful and laidback beach islands. So what are you waiting for? Here is your guide, now go!
More Fabulous Georgia
Lucy Craft Laney Museum
This museum is the only African American Museum in the Central Savannah River Area. Opened in 1991, it is located in the former small home of Miss Lucy Craft Laney. Guided tours through the museum’s permanent exhibitions provide visitors with an overview of Black Augustans’ contributions at the local, state, national, and international levels. Special exhibitions about entertainer James Brown, golf, and historical milestones are also popular attractions. The Black History Trolley Tour is a two-hour experience that takes patrons to over 25 significant historic sites related to Augusta’s Black history and includes a museum tour.
Artistic Hearts at Work
The Greater Augusta Arts Council was founded in 1968 to serve as an umbrella organization for the arts in Augusta. Over the years, they have taken an increasingly active role in planning and implementing Augusta’s cultural identity. They organize opportunities and events for both artists and art lovers, including the Arts in the Heart of Augusta Festival, Aspirations workshop series, the annual Wet Paint Party and Sale, and the annual Arts Awards dinner.
Georgia Girl Scouts
Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia believes in the power of every G.I.R.L. (Go-getter, Innovator, Risk-taker, Leader)™ to change the world, and offers a safe space for girls to take healthy risks, explore interests and connect with a powerful, supportive community of friends and mentors. With support from dedicated adult volunteers, parents and staff, Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia delivers the Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE) to over 13,000 girls and 5,000 adults in 119 counties across Georgia.
Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon
Gorgeous Providence Canyon, affectionately known as “Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon,” is one of Georgia’s most treasured locations. It’s even been touted as one of the state’s “Seven Natural Wonders,” which is totally weird because the canyon is not only far from “natural,” its creation was more blunder than wonder. Those exquisitely-hued sediment walls are a product of inexperienced farmers making a colossal mess of things, and Mother Nature just kind of worked with it from there.
In the 1800s, the learning curve when it came to soil management in the U.S. was steep and full of surprises for engineers and farmers alike. Plowing left deep furrows that, when left unmanaged, became deeper and wider as wind and rain run-off flowed through. Furrows became ravines, and ravines became canyons, and man’s mistake transformed into the scenic panorama of what you see today. Along with hiking trails that wind through the striking terrain, Providence Canyon has a few other eccentricities that make it stand out from your standard canyon hike.
Thronateeska Heritage Center
The Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany, is a walk through history. Tour Albany’s Union Station and view a real steam locomotive. Don’t miss the Model Railroad Exhibit inside one of the train cars. If you are looking for a family adventure in Albany, there are a few other optimal stops. Georgia State Railroad Museum in Savannah is a National Historic Landmark that includes an operational turntable. Visitors can explore railcars and take guided tours. Rides are also available on steam or diesel trains.