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All across America, one of the best places to be in fall is Georgia. The heat and humidity has subsided, fall-themed festivities are abundant, and it’s a beautiful time to be outdoors. The state is filled with lots of outside recreation opportunities, charming mountain towns and fun landscapes to explore at this time of the year. Here are our favorite things to do outdoors in Georgia in the fall.
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Enjoy an Apple Orchard
Apples grow well in certain parts of Georgia, which is why this is a top destination in the fall for apple lovers. Ellijay is a famous place for locally grown apples and home to the Red Apple Barn, Hillcrest Orchards, and B.J. Reece Orchards. Mercier Orchards is also a family-owned and operated apple orchard that is now in its fourth generation of operation. For even more amazing apple experiences, there’s Jaemor Farms in Alto. Apple-picking season in Georgia typically runs from August through October.
Hike at a State Park
There are around 50 state parks in Georgia, and these are wonderful ways to get outside and experience nature in the fall. These are places to come to hike, mountain bike, explore caves, see waterfalls, and go fishing. Many state parks have camping so you can make a full weekend out of your visit this fall. Some of the most popular state parks in Georgia are Amicalola Falls State Park, Unicoi State Park, Cloudland Canyon State Park, and Vogel State Park. Fall offers excellent hiking weather with pleasant temperatures and photogenic fall foliage.
Give Archery a Try
Something else that you can do at a state park in Georgia is archery. Made popular by the Hunger Games series, archery is a fun sport that you can do outdoors and really challenge yourself. Panola Mountain State Park, for example, is in Stockbridge and has outdoor archery classes for people ages eight and up. These classes last about an hour and come with all the equipment you need. There are also archery ranges at Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge, General Coffee State Park, Georgia Veterans State Park, Smithgall Woods State Park, Tallulah Gorge State Park, Unicoi State Park & Lodge, and Victoria Bryant State Park. Tallulah Gorge has a no-fee range. Other parks occasionally host archery events and programs too.
Visit a Georgia Pumpkin Patch
Just like apples, Georgia is also a great place to grow pumpkins, which is why there are many pumpkin patches in the state. Some of the top pumpkin patches in Georgia to check out include Yule Forest Pumpkin Patch in Stockbridge, Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Dawsonville, Mitcham Farm in Oxford, and Poppell Farms in Odum. There’s also Washington Farms in Watkinsville, Kinsey Family Farm in Gainesville, and Southern Belle Farms in McDonough. Many of these farms have a lot more than pumpkins to offer too and also feature corn mazes, Halloween activities, hayrides, and delicious food.
SUP or Kayak at Betty's Branch
Georgia has plenty of waterways to keep you busy in the fall, including Betty’s Branch in the Augusta area. This is a lovely place to take out a kayak or stand-up paddleboard (SUP). You can begin your fall water adventure at Riverside Park at the boat ramp or on the beach. If you veer to the left, you’ll have a more difficult route that takes about three hours. But if you go right, the trip is a little easier and only takes about an hour to paddle. There are local guide companies in the area that can help you with rental gear to go out on your own or to join a guided tour.
Get Brave and Go Skydiving
If you’re looking for a more extreme outdoor adventure, it doesn’t get much more intense than skydiving! Skydive Georgia is a company located an hour west of Atlanta and the largest training drop zone in the state. You can reach 120 mph speeds from 14,500 feet in the air with a skydiving experience here! Skydive Monroe is at the Monroe-Walton County Airport in Monroe, Georgia and just a short drive from the university in Athens. With great instructors and scenic views, definitely consider crossing skydiving off your bucket list in Georgia.
Walk Along Driftwood Beach
The most famous driftwood beach in Georgia is on Jekyll Island. It’s on the north end of the island and so stunningly beautiful that you will feel like you’re in an entire other world. Here you’ll find weathered and gnarled trees that have been left behind after many years of erosion. It’s a favorite place among outdoor photographers and even for weddings. You can walk to here from the Jekyll Island Campground, and there are designated parking areas along the road next to the beach access point. Plan to have a picnic here this fall for a unique outing.
Enjoy Local Drinks or Food on a Patio
Georgia communities are certainly in no shortage of awesome outdoor dining and drinking establishments. People in Georgia love to eat and drink outside in the fall, which is why it’s so common for restaurants and breweries to have outside seating. Some examples of nice outdoor patios for dining include the Bluetop Restaurant in Chamblee, the Mill Kitchen and Bar in Roswell, and the Black Sheep Restaurant in Blue Ridge. The Atlanta Brewing Co., New Realm Brewing Company, and Sweetwater Brewery are just a few of the many local breweries that have outdoor seating.
Try Your Luck with Fishing
Georgia is also known as a top fishing destination that draws in anglers from around the world. This fall, consider trying your hand at fishing at one of the beautiful lakes here. Some of the top fishing spots are Lake Seminole along the Georgia-Florida border, the Golden Isles, Lake Hartwell, and Lake Oconee. The Chattahoochee River and Flint River offer river fishing opportunities as well.
Shop at a Local Farmers’ Market
In Georgia, farmers’ markets aren’t just a “summer thing.” There are many farmers’ markets in the state that continue to operate throughout the fall season too. For example, there’s the Freedom Farmers’ Market, Morningside Farmers’ Market, and Peachtree Road Farmers’ Market in Atlanta. These are great places to stock up on produce, homemade jam, fresh flowers, and delicious baked goods to enjoy this fall.
Watersports on Tybee Island
Another fun place to get outdoors this fall is on Tybee Island because of the watersport opportunities here. There are local guides and gear shops here that offer surfing lessons, paddleboard rentals, dolphin tours, and chartered boat rides. Jet skiing and kayaking are also popular watersports to do when you visit the island in the fall.
Zip Line Over the Chattahoochee
If you’re in the Columbus area of Georgia, it’s fun to spend a day ziplining over the Chattahoochee River in the fall. This is a unique experience because you can zipline across the state line between Georgia and Alabama. Blue Heron Zipline Adventure offers a 1,200-foot zipline that starts on the Columbus Riverwalk. On this ride, you’ll traverse oak trees and enjoy amazing views. People of all ages and abilities can zip line and enjoy the fall colors in this part of Georgia.
Camp by the Water
Whether you’re more of a tent camper or an RV enthusiast, there are lots of beautiful places to go camping by the water in Georgia. This is ideal if you want to spend time on the beach or put in your kayak with ease this fall. The Lake Lanier Islands have multiple campgrounds for easy lake access, for example. Other topwater camping spots are the Jekyll Island Campground, Skidaway Island State Park, Oconee River Campground, and Sea Camp at Cumberland Island National Seashore.
Play Golf at a Local Course
Best known for hosting the Masters Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, this state is also a top spot for golfing in the fall. Golf courses allow you to enjoy the beautiful fall weather and foliage while playing your favorite game. Top golf courses in the state include the Seaside Golf Course in St. Simons, Arrowhead Pointe Golf Course in Elberton, and Stone Mountain Golf Club in Stone Mountain. Atlanta is also home to the top golf courses of the Peachtree Golf Course and East Lake Golf Course.
Scenic Drive to See Covered Bridges
There are few things more romantic than taking a scenic drive in rural Georgia in the fall to see historic covered bridges. There are many of them to see and photograph in the state, including the Watson Mill Covered Bridge in Comer, Coheelee Creek Covered Bridge in Blakely, and the Red Oak Covered Bridge in Imlac. Covered bridges have a way of transporting us back to a simpler time and teaching us lessons about history and architecture. These destinations are even more beautiful in the fall with the colorful leaves in the background, especially if you are doing a photoshoot for engagements, family photos, or other special events.