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Things to do in Georgia, USA

Things to do in  Georgia

Welcome to Georgia

Although most travelers visit Georgia for Atlanta's top attractions, including CNN Studios and the World of Coca-Cola, opportunities for culture and entertainment reach well beyond the limits of the Peach State’s capital.

The coastal city of Savannah, Georgia's original colonial town, is a 3.5-hour drive from Atlanta through peach and pecan orchards. There, strengthen your sixth sense on an evening ghost tour of the many purportedly haunted buildings around the historic district, where the Spanish moss hanging from live oaks in every square is said to mark sites of tragedy. Or choose to delight your taste buds on a culinary tour of Paula Deen’s home town.

Other Georgia destinations include the historic mill town of Columbus, 1.5 hours east of Atlanta, where you'll find Civil War history, a botanical garden designed by Frederick Law Olmsted (creator of Central Park), and opportunities for white-water rafting and kayaking on the Chattahoochee River.

For easy day trips from Atlanta, there's nearby Macon, where the Georgia Music Hall of Fame honors the Allman Brothers, while the funky college town of Athens impresses football fans with the 92,000-seat Sanford Stadium.

Top 15 attractions in Georgia

Savannah River Street

It is virtually impossible for Savannah visitors to miss River Street. A broad waterfront promenade lined with shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, River Street is one of the main arteries of the historic city. The street also features a pedestrian-only path, perfect for leisurely strolls with unbeatable Savannah River views.More

Colonial Park Cemetery

This site served as Savannah’s main cemetery for more than a century following its establishment in 1750. With three subsequent expansions, six acres and over 9,000 graves, burials were cut off in 1853, and the site is now recognized as the oldest intact municipal cemetery in the city.When the site first opened, it was intended to serve as the burial ground for Christ Church Parish, but after its expansion, the cemetery was opened to all denominations. Since interments were closed prior to the start of the Civil War, no Confederate soldiers were buried here. There are, however, some burials of note; over 700 victims of the 1820 Yellow Fever epidemic are here, along with many victims of Savannah’s dueling era. Declaration of Independence signer Button Gwinnett is buried here, as well as Archibald Bulloch, the first president of Georgia, and James Habersham, an 18th-century acting royal Governor of the Province.Not surprisingly, Colonial Park Cemetery is home to a number of interesting ghost stories and legends. Paranormal enthusiasts have dubbed it “Paranormal Central,” with one of the most famous ghost stories involving Rene Asche Rondolier, a disfigured orphan who was accused of murdering girls. It is said that he was dragged to the swamp and lynched, and some locals believe he still haunts the cemetery, calling it Rene’s playground. Some local paranormal experts dispute the validity of this ghost story due to a lack of historical records.Other ghost stories revolve around Savannah’s voodoo culture. Although many have moved out of the city, years ago it was not uncommon for morning visitors to find remnants from a previous night’s ceremony. Soil was used from the graves, and some were actually robbed for use in these rituals. The small park adjacent to the cemetery is the location believed to be the site of Savannah’s dueling grounds.More

Savannah Historic District

Grand antebellum homes and historic plazas lined with live oaks are just some of the sights that define Savannah’s Historic District. Considered the heart of the city, the Historic District is not only the centerpiece of a Savannah vacation but also where to find the highest concentration of bars, restaurants, and historic attractions.More

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park commemorates the life, work, and legacy of the Civil Rights Movement leader. The center—which takes up several blocks in Sweet Auburn, the center of black Atlanta—includes King’s birth home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where both King’s father and grandfather served as ministers.More

Savannah City Market

Dating back to the 18th century, Savannah City Market has long been the commercial and social center of historic downtown Savannah, Georgia. The market is known locally as the “art and soul” of Savannah, a nod to the numerous art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants that make it such an important part of Savannah's social fabric.More

World of Coca-Cola

Explore the history of the beloved beverage brand at the must-see Atlanta attraction, World of Coca-Cola—the dynamic, interactive, multimedia home of Coke’s secret formula. See more than 1,200 rare artifacts and sample more than 100 different beverages, get closer than ever to the vault that holds the secret Coca-Cola recipe, and take a trip around the world in a thrilling 3D movie experience.More

Georgia State Capitol

Sitting next to Liberty Plaza in downtown Atlanta, this gold-domed capitol celebrated Georgia’s emergence after the American Civil War. A National Historic Landmark, the neoclassical building features a statue of Lady Freedom holding a sword and lanterns atop the dome, plus a museum about art and state history.More

Cathedral of St. John the Baptist

The oldest Roman Catholic Church in Georgia, the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist is one of Savannah’s top historical, architectural, and religious attractions. The cathedral’s towering twin spires and French Gothic-style architecture set it apart against the Savannah skyline. Upclose, visitors can admire intricate details dating back to 1900.More

Forsyth Park

Forsyth Park, in the middle of historical downtown Savannah, has been a key city landmark since the mid-1800s. Named after the 33rd governor of Georgia, John Forsyth, who donated 20 acres (8 hectares) of land, the park is known for the large Parisian-style fountain located at the north end and the Spanish moss dripping from the oak trees.More

Bonaventure Cemetery

Made famous by the novel and film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Bonaventure Cemetery (a former plantation) sits on a bluff overlooking the Wilmington River in historic Savannah. The Southern Gothic cemetery comprises 160 acres (65 hectares) of sculptures, mausoleums, marble headstones, and oak trees dripping with Spanish moss.More

Mercer Williams House Museum

Designed by architect John Norris, the Mercer Williams House Museum was constructed in the 1860s, then restored a century later by antiques dealer Jim Williams. Considered one of the most beautiful houses in Savannah, it’s also known as a setting for the book and movieMidnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.More

Inman Park

Atlanta’s first planned suburb—and the first “electric trolley neighborhood” in the country—Inman Park was established in the 1880s, and is now one of the city’s most desirable areas. The neighborhood is known for its grand Victorian homes and the annual Inman Park Festival, plus a wealth of restaurants, bars, coffee shops, and boutiques.More

Chippewa Square

Though Savannah once served as the southern border of the original American colonies, Chippewa Square is named for an event on the northern border with Canada. In the Battle of Chippewa, in 1814, American forces emerged victorious over the British near Niagara Falls, and when Chippewa Square was built in 1815, it was named for the momentous American victory that took place on the northern border. Today, when visiting the historic Savannah square, you’ll find a statue of James Oglethorpe, the famous founder of Georgia, that faces south with sword drawn in the direction of Spanish Florida. You’ll also find legions of Forrest Gump fans who have come in search of the “the bench,” and while Chippewa Square was the site of filming for the popular 1994 movie, the bench itself was only a prop that has since been moved to a museum. Nevertheless, to admire the backdrop, the bench was placed on the north side of the square, facing out towards Bull Street, and it’s amazingly become the most famous aspect of this 200-year old square. On the streets surrounding Chippewa Square, you’ll also find the Philbrick Eastman House—one of Savannah’s most well known homes—as well as historic Savannah Theater that’s the oldest theater in America.More

Centennial Olympic Park

The 1996 Summer Olympic Games live on at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, a 22-acre (9-hectare) site that remains one of the city’s top public spaces. Come to splash in—or photograph—the park's main icon, the Fountain of Rings, a computer-controlled fountain with lights and jets of water that display the Olympic logo.More

Madison Square

Part of the Savannah Historic District, Madison Square was named after the fourth U.S. president and added in 1837. The square also commemoratesSgt. William Jasper, a Savannah native of the Revolutionary War who was mortally wounded in battle but managed to heroically retrieve his company’s banner. Many local Savannah natives refer to this as Jasper Square in his honor.In the center of Madison Square sits the William Jasper Monument, as well as a granite marker that defines the southern limit of the British defenses. Look for two cannons from the Savannah Armory on the southern part of the square, which represent Georgia’s first two highways. These are the starting points of the Ogeechee Road leading to Darien and the Augusta Road to Augusta.Madison Square leads to other notable sights in the Savannah Historic District. Looking toward the west side of the square, you will find St. John’s Episcopal Church with the Green-Meldrim House just next door. On the northwest side of Madison Square is the Sorrel-Weed House, one of the city’s most imposing mansions. On the southwest corner of Madison Square stands the Masonic Temple, previously a Scottish Rite temple. There is a beautifully restored Greek Revival mansion on the northeast corner, but it remains in private hands. Note the adjacent building that is integrated into it, E. Shafer Books & Maps, one of Savannah’s oldest and best known independent bookstores.More
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Top activities in Georgia

Savannah Ghosts & Gravestones Trolley Tour
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Savannah First Squares Culinary & Cultural Walking Food Tour
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Savannah's Off-The-Beaten-Path Secret East Side Historic Walking Food Tour
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Savannah History and Haunts Candlelit Ghost Walking Tour
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Atlanta CityPASS

Atlanta CityPASS

Wormsloe Historic Site & Bonaventure Cemetery Tour from Savannah
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Private Stranger Things "The Upside Down" Film Locations Tour in Atlanta
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All about Georgia

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People Also Ask

What is Georgia known for?

On the surface, Georgia is best known for the city of Atlanta, peach farms, and college football. However, longtime locals and visitors know that this diverse state has stunning mountainous landscapes, rich history, and a deep culinary scene that blends Southern (including soul food) and coastal cuisines.

What are the best places to visit in Georgia?

The most popular places to visit in Georgia include Atlanta and Savannah for urban fun, Tallulah Falls and Amicalola Falls State Parks for hiking, and the Etowah Indian Mounds and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park to soak up the state’s rich history.

How many days do you need in Georgia?

You’ll need to spend at least a weekend in Georgia, depending on where you stay and what you want to see or do. Atlanta alone has great museums, nightlife, and neighborhoods to explore. Northern Georgia’s mountains are an outdoor paradise while the coast features charming Southern cities.

What types of activities are popular in Georgia?

Visitors with all kinds of interests will find fun in Georgia. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking the mountains and kayaking the coast. History buffs can explore American Indian, Black, and colonial history, while contemporary culture lovers will find emerging trends in hip-hop and cuisine originating from Atlanta’s clubs and restaurants.

What should I not miss in Georgia?

You shouldn’t miss visiting Savannah, one of the prettiest cities in the US, and spending some time in Georgia’s beautiful outdoors—popular options include Tallulah Falls State Park, Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, and Providence Canyon.

What food should I try in Georgia?

You should try two types of food in Georgia: Lowcountry cuisine and Southern cuisine. Though similar, Lowcountry cuisine is coastal fare like shrimp and grits, catfish stew, and crab cakes, while Southern cuisine includes collard greens, fried green tomatoes, and cornbread. Other popular foods include fried chicken and peach cobbler.


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