The largest state east of the Mississippi River, Georgia offers visitors a wealth of stunning natural landscapes and captivating attractions. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains, Georgia boasts rich cultural cities lined with historic mansions draped in towering live oaks covered with picturesque Spanish-moss. From the high-rise metropolis of Atlanta to the charming streets of Savannah and the lesser-known small town mountainous areas with an abundance of historical significance, Georgia offers visitors the perfect blend of old and new. Whether visitors choose to explore fascinating attractions such as the Civil War battlefields, visit the Georgian-German town of Helen or float on a tube down the Chattahoochee River, Georgia offers a range of activities that appeal to a variety of preferences and tastes. Offering endless opportunities for a fun-filled vacation, here are ten of the best weekend getaways in Georgia.
Helen (Hotel Prices & Photos)
A small mountain town in the north of Georgia, Helen will have you thinking you flew across the ocean and landed in Germany with the towns Bavarian-style towers, colorfully painted wooden houses and cobblestone alleys. Modeled after the mountain towns seen in Europe, its postcard-worthy architecture and close proximity to a range of nature attractions make it an appealing weekend destination, as visitors can easily access the nearby mountains for a variety of outdoor adventures. Visit Anna Ruby Falls for stunning views of cascading waters falling 153 feet or visit the Black Forest Bear Park to get up close and personal with rescued bears. Those who are looking for something more low-key can sip on award-winning wine at Habersham Winery, one of Georgia’s oldest wineries or cool off at the Helen Waterpark that appeals to both kids and kids and heart.
Savannah (Hotel Prices & Photos)
One of the true jewels of the South, Savannah boasts miles of charming streets, lined with lovely homes covered in Spanish moss. An eclectic mix of tradition and art, the neighborhoods in Savannah are peppered with trendy restaurants, edgy cafes and lively bars. The city’s open-air market is a great start for visitors to soak in the city’s laid-back ambiance before they explore the stunning Cathedral of St. John the Baptist’s Gothic towers or one of the many souvenir shops, galleries and restaurants along the cobblestoned waterfront district on River Street. The Historic District’s 22 squares offer the perfect opportunity for a summertime stroll, while those who are looking to relax after a day of sightseeing will find respite in the lush greenergy in the 30-acre Forsyth Park.
Atlanta (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Located in the heart of the South, Atlanta is Georgia’s premier cosmopolitan city perfect for those looking for a lively nightlife scene and wealth of world-class attractions. Offering a fast-paced ambiance and ever-changing skyline, visitors will find a range of attractions in Atlanta that appeal to visitors of all ages, including the beloved World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Explore the city’s rich history at the Atlanta History Center, catch a live show at Fox Theatre or soak in the expansive green spaces at Piedmont Park. In addition to its captivating attractions, Atlanta is a thriving mecca of culture, where visitors will find an abundance of top restaurants, bars and shopping areas that will keep your itinerary full for the entire weekend.
Augusta (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The second oldest town in Georgia, Augusta is a world-renown destination that is perfect for golf enthusiasts. Famous for its annual Masters’ Tournament, this vibrant city on the banks of the Savannah River offers visitors plenty of things to do throughout the year. Take a step back in time and explore the city’s rich history at the Augusta Museum of History, the Augusta Canal Discovery Center and Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson. Explore the shops, attractions and restaurants in the vibrant River Region and Downtown area, immerse yourself in the city’s cultural gems such as the Morris Museum of Art and Imperial Theatre, and end your days soaking in the unique wetlands scenery in Phinizy Swamp Nature Park.
Lined with beautiful houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Macon boasts a strong community that is proud of its remarkable historic preservation. A weekend away in Macon means visitors are nestled in one of the largest collections of antebellum churches in the South, centered around decade-old brick buildings. More than its architectural treasures, Macon’s walkable streets are perfect for capturing impressive views of the thousands of postcard-worthy cherry trees that will take your breath away. Known for its abundance of museums and cultural gems, Macon’s other highlight attractions include the temple mounds at Ocmulgee National Monument, outdoor activities at the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail and the magnificent Italian Renaissance Revival mansion views at the Hay House.
Athens (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Home of the famous Georgia Bulldogs football team and the University of Georgia, Athens is the perfect city to explore what it means to be a true Georgia fan. Only a short drive from Atlanta, come and catch a game at Sanford Stadium and soak in the pride the city has in its local team, where fans don their best black, red and white apparel on game days and join in the traditional “Calling on the Dawgs”. Other than its lively sports-related activities, Athens is a great destination for combing through the city’s exciting attractions such as the local artwork at the Georgia Museum of Art, live music at the Georgia Theater and Botanical Gardens that are perfect for a peaceful day surrounded by nature. Shopping enthusiasts will also want to take the time to explore the vintage thrift shops on Broad Street or take a walk through the charming eateries and art galleries in Downtown Athens.
Madison (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Those who enjoy soaking in small town charm will fancy a weekend away in Madison, one of the prettiest areas in the Georgia. Consistently ranking at the top of lists for its peaceful ambiance and picturesque streets, many of its historic buildings have been beautifully restored to its 19th-century grandeur. Here visitors will feel like they stepped back in time with Victorian homes and Antebellum buildings alongside speciality shops, boutique stores and antique dealers. In addition to its shopping opportunities, visitors can visit Hard Labor Creek State Park, the largest in the state, tour the historic Rose Cottage, or explore cultural institutions such as the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center and Steffen Thomas Museum of Art.
St. Simons Island (Hotel Prices & Photos)
One of the largest barrier islands in Georgia, St. Simons is the perfect romantic escape for two, located near the border of Florida. Its beautiful lighthouse has been in operation since 1872, where visitors can take in views of the surrounding area as it stands as the island’s centerpiece, sitting alongside the city’s charming antebellum buildings and pleasant beaches. A myriad of other historic attractions on the island are worth checking out, including the Bloody Marsh Battle Site and Fort Frederica National Monument. Active travellers have plenty of golf courses and tennis courts to fill their days, while those looking to unwind will discover a variety of quaint shops and oceanfront dining to choose from. The St. Simons Island Trail System is perfect for a day of biking, while family-friendly outdoor recreation can be found at Neptune Park.
Marietta (Hotel Prices & Photos)
Highlighted by the beautiful Marrietta Square, Marietta is a historic city that offers a quiet weekend retreat away from the stresses of the big city. Boasting five National Register Historic Districts, visitors will be engulfed with an abundance of scenic natural landscapes only made better by its stunning mountain backdrop. Only 18 miles northwest of Atlanta, visitors can escape the hustle and bustle of the city in less than an hour, and explore its small town treasures rich in arts, culture and heritage. Plan a trip to the battlefields at Kennesaw Mountain that dates back to 1864, take the entire family for thrills at the Six Flags White Water Park or have an educational experience at the Marietta Museum of History.
Blairsville (Hotel Prices & Photos)
The perfect weekend away for those who appreciate nature, Blairsville is situated in the Chattahoochee National Forest and North Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains. Providing an abundance of outdoor adventures and natural beauty, Blairsville also boasts a thriving cultural scene that appeals to all ages. Visitors are spoiled for choice in stunning landscapes here, as they can explore Helton Creek Falls, Appalachian Trail and Track Rock Archeological Area, or take a hike to the highest natural point in the state at Brasstown Bald. Those who want to venture afield will discover the picturesque areas of Lake Nottely and Trahylta, while those who want to go biking or horseback riding will find an abundance of peaceful trails to explore. For those who truly want to be engulfed in nature, camping at Vogel State Park is available for a cozy overnight retreat under the stars.