The US state of Georgia has many great places to visit. Be it the beaches in the southeast or the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains to the north. After studying various sources, a number of different places were included on almost every “best of” list out there. So, without further ado, here are 16 beautiful places to visit in Georgia.
- 1. Savannah
- 2. Augusta
- 3. Atlanta
- 4. Athens
- 5. Marietta
- 6. Helen
- 7. Covington
- 8. Blue Ridge
- 9. Decatur
- 10. Thomasville
- 11. Tybee Island
- 12. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
- 13. Jekyll Island
- 14. Providence Canyon State Park
- 15. Cumberland Island
- 16. Fort Pulaski National Monument
16 Beautiful Places to Visit in Georgia
The Best Cities to Visit
The city of Savannah has been listed as one of the most romantic destinations, one of the most beautiful historic destinations, and a cool place to visit too. It features stunning architecture, Spanish moss-draped streets and squares, a quaint cobblestoned riverfront walk, craft breweries, tasty local cuisine, and dark and haunted history. The city’s center is reportedly one of the nation’s National Historic Landmark districts.
Indeed, the elegant old homes were once paid for via rice and cotton farming. Take a “hop-on, hop-off trolley tour” and learn all about the city’s complex past. Highlights here include the famous Forsyth Fountain in Forsyth Park and scenic River Street. Finally, dine on some Southern staples– collard greens, fried chicken, and fried green tomatoes–at The Olde Pink House.
Augusta is also steeped in history, and full of culture, an awesome assortment of eateries, and numerous exceptional attractions including galleries, parks, and museums. Stroll the Augusta Riverwalk by the Savannah River. See 10 stunning statues on the attractive Augusta Sculpture Trail.
See the 19th-century aqueduct, complete with rock arches and a waterfall, at the Aqueduct Park. Visit the impressive Morris Museum of Art. It was the first American museum to concentrate on the culture and art history of the American South. It features over 5,000 pieces from the 19th century to the present day. Are you a fan of flowers? Visit in the spring and see the azaleas and more in full bloom.
The historic city of Atlanta offers travelers a number of different things to see and do. Aficionados of all things flora should stop and smell the roses at the 30-acre attractive Atlanta Botanical Garden. Check out the famous World of Coca-Cola, the memorable museum dedicated to the famous, top-selling cold beverage of the same name. You will even get to sample 200 different sodas from all around the world.
Are you traveling with your family? Be sure to visit the Georgia Aquarium. Be sure not to miss the popular deep-water Ocean Voyager tank. It is full of whale sharks, manta rays, and sea turtles. Other highlights include the popular High Museum of Art, pretty Centennial Olympic Park, and Dr. Martin Luther King’s home.
Athens is more than some place for college football fans. It offers visitors several fun events, tasty local cuisine, a cool craft beer scene, and even a few hidden gems. It has its own unique cultural blend of college town atmosphere and the arts.
Indeed, music is especially important here since it’s the birthplace of such bands as the B-52s and REM. Catch a live show at The Foundry, the Georgia Theatre, the Live Wire, or the 40 Watt Club. Attend such annual events as the local music festival, AthFest, Boo-le-Bark, the Halloween costume parade for dogs, or the popular nighttime bicycle race, Twilight. Wet your lips at one of the local breweries: Akademia, Creature Comforts, Southern Brewing Company, and Terrapin.
Marietta is less than 45 minutes away from Atlanta. You will find no shortage of museums, parks, restaurants, and theaters here. Despite its continual growth, it still retains its small-town charm. History mavens should be sure to visit the Marietta Museum of History and the Historic Marietta Square.
Indeed, throughout the entire year, you can attend various annual events held there. It is also surrounded by more than 70 entertainment venues, restaurants, and boutique shops. One of the latest hot spots is reportedly the Marietta Square Market. This former warehouse is now a large food hall featuring 18 assorted eateries.
Helen is a little place nestled amongst the breathtaking beauty of the awesome Appalachian Mountains under 65 miles from the local airport. This Bavarian-inspired town is perhaps best known as “Georgia’s Little Bavaria.” Regular readers may already know that the city really has a German look and feel to it. Note the iconic Bavarian architecture.
If you are a big fan of adult beverages, you need to stop at the Habersham Winery. It’s one of the oldest wine producers in the state. If you enjoy the great outdoors, take some time on your journey to visit the Chattahoochee National Forest. Shopaholics will love the artsy craft shops and boutique stores as well. Visit between September and October and attend the popular Oktoberfest.
This picturesque place is arguably most famous for being a frequent former filming location. The TV shows “The Dukes of Hazzard”, “In the Heat of the Night”, and the movies Sweet Magnolias, Halloween II, and Cannonball Run and more were filmed here. The long-running teen drama “The Vampire Diaries” used the town itself as the fictional Mystic Falls, Virginia.
Movie mavens can visit the Gilbert House exterior and even the Lockwood Mansion. Not into touring historic homes? Browse the boutiques, grab a bite at one of the restaurants located in the town center, and take a nightly ghost tour too!
8. Blue Ridge
You’ll find the town of Blue Ridge about 90 miles north of downtown Atlanta in the famous Blue Ridge Mountains. Downtown Blue Ridge is full of Southern charm, history, hospitality, old-fashioned general stores, and hip, trendy boutiques. Foodies will find a significantly diverse assortment of dining options including the Black Sheep, the Masseria Kitchen & Bar, and Harvest on Main.
Are you a real rail rider? Hop aboard the well-known Blue Ridge Scenic Railway for a memorable ride along the mighty Toccoa River to the famous twin towns of McCaysville, Georgia, and Copperhill, Tennessee. Other options in this area include visiting Mercier Orchards, picnicking at Lake Blue Ridge, whitewater rafting down the mighty Ocoee River, and hiking the beautiful Benton MacKaye Trail.
Visit Decatur, a bit east of Atlanta. It’s close enough that you can get there via Atlanta’s very own public transportation system, MARTA. Decatur is praised by critics for its neighborly, small-town feel.
Decatur Square is where you’ll find the shops and assorted eating options. Be sure to visit the Dekalb History Center Museum located within a historic courthouse there. It’s a fun place to see street art such as sculptures and murals too. You will murals on walls, on hidden doors, and even on light posts.
Thomasville is possibly one of the state’s prettiest picturesque towns. It has a historic feel to it and is home to several museums including the Confederate Prisoner of War Camp, Jack Hadley Black History Museum, and the Thomasville History Center. Here you can stroll downtown streets lined with red bricks and sample the wares offered at the numerous cafes and dining establishments.
In fact, foodies can sign up for a fun food and drink tour and eat and drink your way ‘round town. Veteran visitors recommend sampling the shrimp and grits at Jonah’s Fish & Grits. Visit the Rose Garden & Cherokee Lake Park and be sure to pose for a picture next to the 327-year-old Big Oak and visit the Birdsong Nature Center as well.
11. Tybee Island
The classic southern beach town of Tybee Island is situated about 30 minutes from the Savannah Historic District. This is undoubtedly one reason why it is one of the state’s most popular beautiful beaches. Once you get enough fun in the sun though, there are other things to do here too. Go sea kayaking or take a dolphin tour. Visit the Tybee Lighthouse & Museum and climb 178 steps to take in the stunning, sweeping views of the isle and even the surrounding locale.
12. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
Outdoor enthusiasts can go hiking at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, or CRNRA, all year. This 48-mile expanse along the famed Chattahoochee River is fairly full of noteworthy hiking trails. Indeed, this recreational area is separated into 10 individual sections of trails.
In total there are almost 66 miles of hiking trails here. They are largely wooded, dirt trails located near the river ranging in difficulty between easy to moderate. They are all well marked by trail markers and maps are available. A few of the trails are even open to mountain bikers.
One of the most popular hiking trails here is the East Palisades Trail due in large part to the bamboo forest there. Hikers into history prefer the Sope Creek hike which features some Civil War ruins that people can actually climb around on if they so choose.
13. Jekyll Island
One of the best places for a vacation in Georgia is breathtaking Jekyll Island. Some say this natural beauty is a hidden gem. One of the state’s sea islands, it is an oft’times overlooked barrier island offering an assortment of attractions beyond the many miles of striking beaches that draw those in the know from around the world. Book your accommodations at the renowned historical Jekyll Island Resort.
It harkens back to the days when such prominent families as the Pulitzers, the Rockefellers, and the Vanderbilts would winter here. Take in the gorgeous, iconic architecture, play croquet on the front lawn, enjoy an afternoon tea, and dine on genuine Southern cuisine as well. Stroll over to the neighboring Georgia Sea Turtle Center and learn a bit about the initiatives to protect the turtles’ natural habitat. Enjoy a trolley tour and hit Driftwood Beach too.
14. Providence Canyon State Park
Travel to the city of Lumpkin, roughly 40 minutes out of Columbus. For it is here you will find the less famous Providence Canyon State Park. Spanning an area of over 1,000 acres, it is known to some as “the Little Grand Canyon.” Formed in the 1800s as a result of both natural forces and poor farming practices, this canyon is up to 150 feet deep.
Explore the stark, rugged rock formations for which this place is known. Go camping here and hike the nigh-legendary White Blaze Canyon Loop Trail as well. Before you leave, be sure to check out the strange, abandoned homestead here that features almost a dozen rusting, abandoned 1950s-era vehicles that remain there in order to avoid damaging the local environment. Get to the park early if you visit on a weekend because that’s when it’s the busiest.
15. Cumberland Island
Beautiful Cumberland Island is a barrier island just off the coast of the Georgia-Florida Border. The island is only accessible by a ferry that docks twice a day, at 9:00 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. For $45.00 each, you can take the educational Lands and Legacies tour and see the Dungeness Ruins, the First African Baptist Church, the Plum Orchard Mansion, and more.
You can rent bicycles at the visitor center and do your own thing too. Don’t forget to check out the beaches, and the island’s wild horses as well. Want to stay longer? Spend a few nights at the island’s sole hotel, the Greyfield Inn.
16. Fort Pulaski National Monument
Fort Pulaski and its surrounding moat were constructed in the mid-1800s. A visit here can easily be incorporated with a visit to Savannah. In fact, the physical address is listed as Savannah even though it seems so far away.
This fort played a historic part in the infamous Civil War. In 1862 there was a battle between the Union and Confederate armies, The Union won and retained control of the fort until the end of the war. Tour the fort and visit the museum too. Stroll the nature trails, see Tybee Island, the Savannah River, and the surrounding marsh as well.
There you have it, fellow travelers, 16 beautiful places to visit in Georgia. What are your favorite beautiful places to visit in the state of Georgia? Did we include them here? Let us know in the comment section below!