Gorgeous Georgia is mostly known for being home to charming historic cities filled with leafy squares and oak-lined streets, sprawling farmlands, towering mountains, and lashings of Southern charm. That’s not forgetting the pretty beaches and coastline, sleepy rural settlements, roaring rivers, jaw-dropping national parks, clear sparkling lakes, and even a hip city that’s known for its partying – to say this southeastern U.S. state is diverse would be a huge understatement. It sure is a tough task, but we’ve managed to narrow it down to 24 of the best and most beautiful places to visit in Georgia…
1. Savannah – the oldest city in the state and one of the most stunning destinations to visit in Georgia
Constantly ranked amongst one of the “friendliest cities in the world”, Savannah’s colorful history attracts millions of visitors every year. Situated along the bubbling Savannah River, this strategic port city is Georgia’s fifth-largest city. With a history of almost 300 years, the cobbled and oak-lined streets, beautiful parks, and archaic buildings, the host city retains its essence.
Walk down the historic 22 parklike squares in downtown Savannah or get intrigued with the Telfair’s Academy of Arts and Sciences, South’s first public museum, this charming city is full of antique hallmarks. A pretty and sophisticated city with funky nightlife and delicious food, this place exudes natural beauty and beautiful locales.
Definitely head to Savannah’s Historic District, and other must-do things to do in Savannah include the beautiful public green space complete with shaded green spaces Forsyth Park, the Mercer Williams House Museum, the famous Bonaventure Cemetery which was featured in the 1994 novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt, the Wormsloe Historic Site and the Olde Pink House is popular for fine dining in the city.
2. Jekyll Island – a popular place to vacation in Georgia and a top tourist spot
This beautiful 5,500-acre island just a short drive from Savannah has been a popular discerning vacation spot for many decades and tops many best places to go in the USA lists. It’s also been the filming location for X-Men First Class, the Legend of Baggar Vance, and The Walking Dead.
Jekyll Island, which is one of the Golden Isles of Georgia barrier islands, is home to more than 10 miles of unspoilt beaches including the iconic and very photogenic Driftwood Beach, a sea turtle rescue center, acres of pristine protected land, a historic landmark, district, leisure facilities and over 20 miles of bike paths.
Other highlights include the collection of fine historical homes, year-round events, and family-friendly activities. There are some excellent hotels, resorts, self-catering cottages, and campsites perfect for short breaks or longer vacations in Georgia.
3. Tallulah Falls State Park – North Georgia’s most scenic and beautiful park to explore
Get drenched in the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the most spectacular canyons to explore in the eastern US. The gorgeous Tallulah Gorge, two miles long and neatly 1,000 feet deep, is where the Tallulah River flows through the rugged terrain with five distinct waterfalls.
Hike along the Hurricane Falls and Sliding Rock Trail, brave the suspension bridge 80ft above the rocky bottom, or go kayaking in the sparkling waters the spectacular views are worth your efforts. Brimming with recreational activities, the gorge is a hidden wonder.
4. Providence Canyon – this natural wonder and one of the best things to do in Georgia
Often termed as “Little Grand Canyon”, Providence Canyon is a must-see beautiful destination in Georgia. The unusual geological formations with colorful ravines and towering sandstones make the ever-evolving landscape a perfect spot for exploration and photography.
The massive gullies caused by poor agricultural practices during the 1800s today makes up for the prettiest vista. The canyon’s hued soils make for natural painting in this quaint park. On the soft-bedded, sandy hiking trails you’ll find a thin layer of water along the trail.
5. St Simons Island – a popular vacation spot with great leisure activities and other things to do
This is the largest island of the Golden Isles located off the Georgia Coast made famous in the poem Marches of the Glynn by Sidney Lanier. It’s a laid back and tranquil place with quaint streets lined with moss-draped oaks, miles of beautiful unspoilt beaches, an iconic lighthouse (St. Simon’s Island Lighthouse has been a working lighthouse since 1872), a charming pier, gorgeous scenery, golf courses, museums and a great collection of shops, restaurants, biking trails, and annual events.
There are many things to do here including tours, kayaking, walking, and biking and there’s also a variety of accommodation available for a beautiful spring, summer, fall or winter Georgia vacation or a short break.
6. Macon – a pretty city to visit in Georgia filled with history, stunning architecture, and Southern charm
Located about 85 miles southeast of Atlanta, Macon is the perfect destination for Southern adventure. A pretty city with a rich history, incredible architecture, and music heritage, Macon is “Where Soul Lives”. Hike to the area’s 17,000 years of heritage at Ocmulgee National Monument which includes a reconstructed earthen lodge or strolls down the streets and discover the state’s largest collection of African-American art in Tubman Museum.
At every landmark, you’ll discover the untold stories of the Civil War. Pay tribute to Macon’s native son, Otis Redding, at his life-size statue along the spacious avenues with art galleries and antique boutiques, Macon is a proud home to diverse cultures and architecture.
7. Lookout Mountain – one of Georgia’s top natural attractions and a popular destination to explore
Definitely one of the most beautiful places to visit in Georgia, Lookout Mountain is a wonderful and striking mountain ridge located at the northwest corner of the state. As well as offering truly stunning views and beautiful surroundings it’s also the place where you can view the most states at once.
Located 25 miles from three different states, when the skies are clear (and with a good set of binoculars handy) you can see up to seven different states if you try hard enough – visit and see for yourself!
8. Athens – one of the best cities in Georgia to visit known for its Antebellum architecture
This is an attractive city located in northeast Georgia known for its antebellum architecture and also for being the start of the Antebellum Trail of historic Civil War towns. It’s also known as being a great destination for unique annual festivals and events, great shopping, restaurants, and live music too.
Highlights of this fine city include the Greek Revival mansion the Taylor Grady House, the 19th-century Church-Waddel-Brumby House, and the well preserved The T.R.R. Cobb House, the mansion of a mid-19th-century lawyer where you can see historic period furniture and exhibits.
9. Lake Allatoona – one of the most beautiful lakes to explore in Georgia
Situated on the Etowah River, beautiful Lake Allatoona is a popular spot for campers, anglers, boaters, kayakers, and hikers seeking fun adventure away from the hustle-bustle of Atlanta. Allatoona Lake is managed by the Army Corps.
With majestic vistas and starry nights, this place is full of things you’ll love to explore. Soak in some sun at the Bartow Beach nestled in a cove or hike the Iron Hill trail on the Red Top Mountain State Park along the shores of Allatoona Lake, there’s so much variety of options to fulfill your adventurous desire.
10. Helen – one of the best small towns in Georgia filled with unique Bavarian style architecture
Helen is a gorgeous and very unique mountain town and popular vacation spot located in Northeast Georgia and next door to the popular Unicoi State Park. It’s home to charming Bavarian-style buildings, over 200 specialty shops, as well as vineyards, many mountain and forest trails, and a nearby attractive lake, waterfalls, and campsites.
Popular things to do in this tourist hot spot include river tubing, wine tasting, and the fun Georgia Mountain Coaster.
11. Atlanta Botanical Garden – a breathtaking and beautiful oasis which is a top attraction in the city of Atlanta
Apart from stunning landscapes and attractions, Gainesville is a new destination for connecting beauty with the natural world. Founded in 1976, the garden has developed a robust horticulture program and one of the largest conservation nurseries – this is very a cool destination to visit in Georgia!
With an informative visitor center, outdoor gardens, model train garden, and amphitheater, it hosts exciting events, art exhibitions, and educational programs. Besides, it is also home to the Canopy Walk, a 600-foot long skywalk that provides a scenic view of the gardens below.
Also make time to explore the rest of the city and other awesome things to do in Atalanta include the Museum of High Museum of Art, beautiful Piedmont Park, Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Oakland Cemetery the final resting place of famous city residents. Family-friendly attractions in the city include the popular Six Flags over Georgia and the Fernbank Museum, 3D Theater, and Forest.
12. Northeast Georgia Mountains – a lovely place to go to see stunning scenery and gentle peaks
Often referred to as Georgia Mountains, the Northeast Georgia Mountains’ picturesque beauty, countryside, tumbling waterfalls and gentle-mountains provide a much-needed escape away from the bustling city. One of the oldest mountain chains that end in Georgia is the Blue Ridge.
Tucked in Chattahoochee National Forest, Blue Ridge offers excellent hiking, scenic drives, and farm-fresh produce. Brasstown Bald, the highest point in the Blue Ridge Mountains is known to display the season’s first fall colors. Hike to the top for a panoramic 360-degree view and witness the four states from the visitor center. With sublime views and lush forests, the Brasstown Bald offers a secluded retreat.
13. Lake Lanier and Lanier Islands – a gorgeous tourist destination and a scenic place to take a vacation in Georgia
Located in the foothills of the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains this is a popular beauty and place to vacation and weekend destination in Georgia. Here people go swimming, boating, and just relaxing on its gorgeous shores.
Lanier islands is a huge vacation resort complex in the middle of Lake Lanier which is reachable by a road from the mainland. It offers accommodation, leisure, and adventure activities and event venues as well as plenty of spectacular lake scenery.
14. Amicalola Falls State Park – Georgia’s beautiful gem to explore which is home to the state’s highest waterfall
Nestled in North Georgia Mountains, northeast of Dawsonville is Georgia’s most visited State Park. The beautiful Amicalola Falls State Park spills down a towering bluff, falling 720 feet into a mossy forest. Also known as “tumbling waters” in the Cherokee language, this state park of Georgia was established in 1940.
Relax in the confinement of nature or hike along the most popular trails through the park, the mesmerizing vistas and spectacular sunsets of Amicalola Falls offer a friendly mountain getaway. Play, explore, and discover from a range of fun-filled activities at the Amicalola Falls Visitors center.
15. Tybee Island – a beautiful barrier island to explore that is home to wide, sandy beaches and historic pier and lighthouse
Probably the closest beach to Savannah, pretty Tybee Island is one of the top-rated beaches in the US. Bursting with history & fun in the sun, Tybee Island has beautiful sandy beaches perfect for water sports and swimming. An answer to the perfect beach vacation, a nature lover’s paradise, and the biggest catch for fishing enthusiasts, this barrier island has got you covered.
Travel back in time with the historically preserved Tybee Lighthouse and Museum. Paddle over the pristine and uninhabited Little Tybee Island for quaint camping and kayaking. Tybee Island is a tranquil getaway for the residents of Savannah.
16. Callaway Gardens – this scenic sight-seeing spot is one of the prettiest spots to explore in Georgia
A true National Natural landmark, the Callaway Gardens was established in 1952. Located along the Pine Mountains, the Callaway Gardens connects you to nature with a beautiful collection of fauna and flora.
Featuring a variety of recreational activities, Callaway Gardens is Georgia’s authentic destination for beautiful gardens, golf, lodging, dining and much more. Soak up some sun in the Robin Lake Beach or hike along the Pine Mountain trail, this place is full of seasonal events.
17. Appalachian National Scenic Trail – the world’s longest hiking-only trail is one of the best things to do in Georgia for nature lovers
Also referred to as Appalachian Trail or A.T., this marked hiking trail extends from Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine. Extending about 2,200 miles, the exact length is rerouted or modifies over time.
The hike along this trail traverses scenic woods, pastoral, and wildlands of the beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Established in 1937, today the trail is managed by the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and numerous state agencies. Passing through 14 states and 8 national forests, hiking the entire trail takes five to seven months.
18. Madison – one of the prettiest towns to visit in Georgia
The pretty historic district of Madison is located just an hour from Atlanta. Spared from the destruction of the Civil War, Madison is a true gem along the Antebellum Trail. Today, as much as 100 antebellum homes have been restored. Designated as one of the state’s “Historic Heartland Cities”, this town is one of the most picturesque villages you’ll come across.
The pristine antebellum homes are monitored by the historical society. The Heritage Hall, Rogers House, and Rose Cottage will introduce you to the historical amenities of Madison.
19. Okefenokee Swamp – an awesome tourist attraction and a place to see in Georgia
This magnificent area covers over 440,000 acres and is the largest blackwater swamp in North America. It borders both Florida and Georgia and the majority of the shallow peat-filled wetland is protected by the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge and the Okefenokee Wilderness. It was also famously home to the alligator ‘Okefenokee Joe ‘which sadly recently passed away at 80 years of age. The scenery here consists of cypress and black gum trees, upland pine forest, and scenic freshwater lakes.
There’s plenty of guided boat tours, kayaking, and an AutoRoute here so you fully explore the area. If you want to stay overnight there are cottages and camping accommodation located here too.
20. Cumberland Island – a beautiful place to visit in Georgia home to protected beaches, maritime forest and wild horses
A ferry ride of about 45 minutes from St. Mary’s and you’ll head to Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island. The Cumberland Island covers approx. 36,000 acres of land with unspoiled beaches, wide marshes and white sands with a variety of wildlife is a National Park and National Seashore.
Little Cumberland Island is connected to the main island by a marsh. With a deep history of the inhabitants and settlements, you can have a glimpse of the Ruins of Dungeness and Greyfield Inn. It’s also a great place to visit in Georgia if you’re an animal lover – this place is home to a band of beautiful feral horses living and wandering free on the island.
21. Brunswick – a charming historic port city and gateway to the Golden Isles
Brunswick is one of the best cities to visit in Georgia, due to its scenic location on the Southeast coast, its charming architecture, its Victorian-era Old Town Historic District, the large centuries-old Lover’s Oaktree, and its links to the four barrier islands known as the Golden Isles. Popular things to do in Brunswick include visiting the attractive marina, the Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation, and the Historic Glynn County Courthouse.
There are also plenty of attractions here for nature lovers and the area is filled with an abundance of wildlife and scenic natural areas. The Intracoastal Waterway is famous for its pods of dolphins and the Colonial Coast Birding Trail is perfect for twitchers!
22. Stone Mountain Park – Atlanta’s favorite destination for family fun
Spread across 3,200 acres of vast natural beauty, the Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most visited attractions. The scenic park for some of the prettiest scenery for the visitors. Home to the world’s largest piece of exposed granite, this natural wonderland is a fun destination for family and friends.
Take a sky ride to the carved peak or ride a scenic train around the mountain, this stunning place is full of natural beauty. End your day with the world’s largest Laser show for a perfect evening.
23. Augusta – one of the best cities to add to your Georgia itinerary famous for being home to the Masters
Augusta is a great city to visit in Georgia, which is mostly known for being home to the world-famous annual Master’s Golf Tournament which is held the first full week in April. The city is located near the South Carolina border and the Augusta Riverwalk runs along the Savannah River and the river walks here really draws the tourists.
Awesome things to do here including visiting the Augusta Museum of History which includes exhibits on golf and also the soul singer James Brown, the Morris Museum of Art which is dedicated to the art of the American South, the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, and the Augusta Canal Trail which spans 8 miles along a towpath.
24. Three Sisters Vineyards and Winery – a scenic place to explore the untapped beauty of North Georgia’s wine country
Dahlonega’s first family farm winery, the Three Sisters Vineyards is a go-to destination for wine lovers visiting the North Georgia Mountains and Dahlonega-Lumpkin County. Inspired by the scenic view of Lumpkin County’s Three Sisters Mountains, the Three Sisters Winery has been offering a vast selection of premium wines & tastings since 1996.
This vineyard is a perfect place to relax and enjoy some of the best wines in Georgia. This small family-oriented farm is a fun destination for visitors and wine enthusiasts.