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The 15 Best Places to Visit in Georgia in 2023

The 15 Best Places to Visit in Georgia in 2023

Searching for the best places to visit in Georgia? Well you’re in luck; the Peach State happens to be one of my favorite places to visit.

Whether you’re a resident or are coming from out of state, we have trip recommendations for you. Read on to discover the best places to visit and travel tips!

15 of the Best Places to Visit in Georgia

The best places to visit in Georgia include bustling cities, peaceful state parks, historical sites, and quaint little towns. There are family-friendly zoos or science museums, romantic gardens, and mountains for adventurous hikers.

Discover must-see locations and places for every niche taste. After reading this article, you’ll be ready to plan the trip of a lifetime to Georgia!

1. Atlanta

Autumn view of Piedmont Park in Atlanta, one of the best places to visit in Georgia

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Atlanta, Georgia’s capital city, has something for everyone, from families to music fans to outdoor lovers. Visit today, and you’ll never run out of things to do.

Atlanta’s crucial role in the Civil War and the 1960s Civil Rights Movement make it a city with many historic sites, museums, and walking tours. Visit Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park and see the King Center, an indoor gallery about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Gandhi.

Take your group to the Georgia Aquarium and see sharks, jellyfish, and beluga whales. End your day at a live music bar like the 529 or Blind Willie’s.

Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Atlanta in 2023 and Where to Stay in Atlanta

2. Athens

Little shops and bars along the main street in Athens, a top pick for the best places to visit in Georgia, seen at night

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Athens is a moderately-sized town in north Georgia. It’s right by the Tennessee border and is ideal for a quiet weekend getaway. The University of Georgia is in Athens, making it a college town with numerous restaurants and bars.

You can catch a game if it’s football season and cheer for the Georgia Bulldogs with the locals.

Check out the Alabama Veterans Museum, the Lyndon House Arts Center, and the State Botanical Garden of Georgia. You can also head to Sandy Creek Nature Trail for hiking paths and exhibitions on local wildlife.

3. Savannah

Neat view of the historic riverfront district in Savannah, one of the best places to visit in Georgia

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Savannah is a waterfront city right by North Carolina. It faces the Atlantic Ocean and is perfect for a beach vacation. Savannah is a well-kept town with many parks and a pretty historic district.

Stroll around Forsyth Park or see the reportedly haunted Mercer-Williams House. You can also head to the Savannah River and walk around the Riverwalk. Or, drive to a nearby island to swim and hang out on the beach.

I visited here with my wife and son in 2022, and we stayed near the main tourist market. It was pretty loud on Saturday and Sunday, but the weekdays were a lot less rowdy.

We also visited in June, which is possibly the worst time to go due to the humidity. While there’s plenty to do in the evening (when it cools off), I’d suggest going in the Spring or Fall to avoid the extreme heat.

Read Next: The Best Time to Visit Savannah and Is Savannah Safe to Visit?

4. Dahlonega

Picturesque street in Dahlonega, a top pick for Georgia's best places to visit

Jen Wolf/Shutterstock

Are you a fan of wine? Dahlonega, Georgia, is an ideal vacation spot for you. It’s full of vineyards, and you can tour the wineries and sample dozens of local varieties of wine.

Dahlonega has more to do than just wineries, and tourists flock to the Dahlonega Gold Museum to learn about the region’s history with gold mining. You can even tour an abandoned gold mine at the Consolidated Gold Mine.

5. Golden Isles

Lighthouse museum in one of the best places to visit in Georgia, Golden Isles

SAINT SIMONS ISLAND, GEORGIA, USA – NOV 18, 2016 The St. Simons Island Light, a lighthouse and museum, is a major tourist attraction and a charming favorite among locals in the Golden Isles/Joanne Dale/Shutterstock

The Golden Isles are among the best places to visit in Georgia, and you’ll have an unforgettable visit no matter which island you stay on. Georgia’s Golden Isles include St. Simons Island, Little St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island, and Sea Island.

Relax on a beach or spend the morning golfing. You can check out driftwood on Driftwood Beach or kayak through the marshes.

St. Simons Island is the main island and one of our top places to go. It hosts a lighthouse museum, a museum of Methodist history, restaurants, resorts, and a golf club.

6. Arabia Mountain

Unique puddle of water on a rock face on Arabia Mountain, one of our top picks for must-visit places in Georgia

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Arabia Mountain is a National Heritage area just east of Atlanta. It makes a great day trip if you’re staying in Atlanta, or you can book a hotel in Stonecrest or Collinsville.

The area is ideal for beginner or experienced hikers. Families with kids can also enjoy a day at the mountain, and the place is perfect for taking a picnic and basking in the scenic views.

7. Macon

Spring trees blooming in Macon, Georgia, with a walkway leading to a fountain in a park in an idyllic image

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Visit Macon, a central Georgia city with historical sites, museums, and rock and roll history. It’s home to Mercer University, a beautiful campus ideal for a walking tour.

Start your Macon vacation at the Ocmulgee National Monument, a site with Mississippian Culture earthen mounds from 1000 BCE. The spot also hosts a museum with regional artifacts and history.

Check out the Tubman Museum for African American art, or visit the Museum of Arts and Sciences. There’s also a showroom honoring the Allman Brothers Band northeast of downtown.

8. Augusta

Hole 12 in Amen Corner on the Augusta National Golf Club, one of the best places to visit in Georgia

2nd May 2016 Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA, USA the famous par three 12th hole at the heart of Amen Corner – Home of golf’s MASTERS TOURNAMENT/Charles B-Knight/Shutterstock

Head to the South Carolina border in east Georgia to visit Augusta, a bustling city with a thriving arts culture. There’s a riverwalk bordering the Savannah River, a history museum with exhibits on James Brown, and southern comfort food restaurants.

See the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson or tour the Lucy Craft Laney Museum.

Consider staying in the downtown or riverwalk area, and you’ll be close to all the fun things to do. Book a hotel in the National Hills area if you’re coming to see the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club.

I went here in 2023, and trust me — it’s worth the hype. Yes, tickets and about everything else is extremely expensive, but there was something magical about just being on the course. It’s certainly a memory I’ll never forget!

9. Columbus

For a roundup of the best places to visit in Georgia, a view of the riverfront promenade and walkway pictured at dusk

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Columbus is in western Georgia and is ideal for a weekend getaway. There are endless ways to enjoy the city, including the history museums, nature parks, and riverside views.

Start your day with a morning trip to the Columbus Botanical Garden, a sweeping 22 acres of local plants, flowers, herbs, and trees. There are fountains, gardens, birds, and event spaces.

You can see it all via stone walking paths. Consider a trip to the Coca-Cola Space Science Center and see science films and attend events, or go to Woodruff Park on the banks of the Chattahoochee River.

10. Marietta

Historic waterfall and mill sitting on rocks in Marietta, a top pick for Georgia's best places to visit

Rob Hainer/Shutterstock

Marietta is a satellite city of Atlanta on the northwest edge of the capital city. It’s ideal for a day trip out of Atlanta, or you can stay in Marietta if you can’t get enough of the fun area.

See Marietta Square, a historic park with a fountain and a liberty bell replica. Six Flags White Water is a summer waterpark with nearly 30 rides, and the Marietta Museum of History provides military history from the Civil War to the present.

11. Tallulah Gorge State Park

Tallulah Gorge pictured with a river running through the middle of a steep hilly mountain area with green and red trees on either side, as seen at dusk

Lee Reese/Shutterstock

Tallulah Gorge State Park is in Tallulah Falls, perfect for travelers wanting to get out in nature. It’s an easy drive from North Carolina, South Carolina, and eastern Tennessee, and you can stay at a campground in the park or a hotel in Clayton.

Tallulah Gorge is a two-mile-long canyon with gorgeous views and lots of activities. Hiking trails range from beginner to advanced, making the park suitable for all visitors. Stroll through the rim trails or get a free permit to challenge yourself on the gorge floor.

12. Callaway Gardens

Pink and yellow tulips pictured with haze on the horizon and trees in the distance for a piece on the best places to visit in Georgia

Hania Bisat/Shutterstock

Callaway Gardens, in Pine Mountain, is a top tourist destination in west-central Georgia. You can explore over 2,500 acres of beautiful gardens and enjoy ten miles of walking and biking trails.

See butterflies, birds of prey, and dragonflies, and spot different kinds of plant life as you explore. Callaway Gardens is beautiful any time of year, and you can even enjoy plants and wildlife in the winter.

13. Helen

Idyllic town of Helen in Georgia, one of the state's best places to visit, with Bavarian inspiration, seen from a park behind a statue of two bears playing

HELEN, GEORGIA – MAY 7, 2013: Helen Square in North Georgia. The architectural theme of the city is inspired by the Bavarian Alps/Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Don’t miss Helen, a town full of natural beauty. The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forests are just a two-minute drive away, and there’s plenty to do inside the city.

Helen is a mountain town with German-style architecture and a walkable city center. Visit in the summer and cool off at Cool River Tubing or ride the Georgia Mountain Coaster.

Check out German food and cultural festivals in this mock Bavarian Alpine village, and have fun shopping or biking around town. Helen is an ideal place for tourists and is welcoming and busy with things to do.

14. Tybee Island

Resort and a giant boardwalk and wide beach seen at low tide in an aerial image of Tybee Island, one of Georgia's best places to visit

Drone Stock Pros/Shutterstock

Drive 18 miles west of Savannah to experience this peaceful island on the Atlantic Ocean. Tybee Island is great for tourists and has everything you need on an island just above three square miles.

See the historic Tybee Island Light Station & Museum to take a self-guided tour, browse art at the Pelican Gallery, and check out the military location Fort Screven, active from 1897-1947. And, of course, you have to go swimming on Mid Beach and pose for a photo at the pier.

15. Cumberland Island

Wild horse roams in front of the ruins at Cumberland Park, one of the best places to visit in Georgia

Brian Lasenby/Shutterstock

Experience a bit of paradise in Georgia at Cumberland Island, the largest of the state’s barrier islands. There are 17 beaches you can kick back and relax at, campgrounds and hiking trails to explore, and 10,000 acres of natural reserve forests.

Check out the Dungeness Ruins, remains of a 19th-century Queen Anne mansion, or see the Plum Orchard, a Carnegie mansion still in use. Don’t forget to visit the Ice House museum and learn about the island’s unique history.

Things to Consider

Consider these tips when visiting Georgia:

  • Fall in love with comfort food. Georgia is famous for fried chicken, barbeque, and pies, and you’ll quickly become obsessed with the cuisine!
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta is one of the world’s busiest airports and flies to many places internationally.
  • The terrain and climate are diverse. From mountains in the northeast to tropical islands on the coast, you can experience almost any weather and scenic views in just one state.
  • Pick up a basket of Georgia peaches before you leave. Peaches are a state hallmark, and you’ll see them in stores, restaurants, and roadside stands.
  • Bring or rent a car if you’re visiting smaller towns, but consider getting a MARTA subway pass in Atlanta.
  • Georgia is big on summer music festivals. Attend the Shaky Knees Music Festival in Atlanta, the Imagine Festival in Rome, or the Savannah Music Festival in Savannah.

Frequently Asked Questions

Neat view of a covered wooden bridge in Stone Mountain State Park

Sean Xu/Shutterstock

Consider these frequently asked questions when planning your vacation to Georgia:

What is the prettiest place in Georgia?

Cumberland Islands, with its Carnegie mansions, sweeping sandy beaches, and protected nature preserves, is the prettiest place in Georgia. Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain is a close second.

What is the number 1 attraction in Georgia?

Stone Mountain is the busiest tourist destination in Georgia. It’s an outdoor park just east of Atlanta.

What is the most visited city in Georgia?

Atlanta, the state capital, is the most visited city in Georgia. It’s in the northern part of the state and is home to countless museums, restaurants, and civil rights history sites.

What is the safest area in Georgia?

Braselton is the safest city in Georgia. It’s a quaint little town northeast of Atlanta with many outdoor activities.

What is the friendliest town in Georgia?

Thomasville is a tiny town by the Florida border famous for being friendly, but Wrightsville is another place with welcoming residents. Helen is another welcoming town with a small residential community and plenty of tourist activities.

So, Which Places Should You Visit in Georgia?

The best place to visit in Georgia depends on your interests, but Atlanta wins based on the diversity of things to do. Also, consider visiting one of the Golden Isles or Cumberland Island for a peaceful getaway. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Georgia today!