There are some things that most people plan to do when they visit Georgia, such as seeing Centennial Olympic Park, checking out the aquarium, and indulging in some delicious Southern cuisine. However, there are also lots of surprises here waiting for you…if you know where to look! Open your mind to the randomness of travel, because here are 10 things you didn’t know you could do in Georgia.
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See Wild Horses on an Island, Cumberland Island
Most of the horses we see today are in stables and barns, but there’s an island off the coast of Georgia where horses roam free. Horses were likely first brought to the island when the Spanish missions were established, but most were sold or removed during the Civil War. A national park was established here in 1972 and protects feral horses that have thrived since then. Although you should keep your distance (they are wild animals, after all!), there is something truly magical about seeing these grand beasts walking on the beach and grazing among the ruins of historic buildings.
Draw Your Own Graffiti Inside Krog Tunnel, Atlanta
To some people, graffiti is an act of vandalism. But it can also be a work of community art! Park near the Krog Street Tunnel and walk up Wylie Street to see some very colorful and creative graffiti. Pretty much every inch of concrete here is covered in spray paint, but what’s interesting is that new art is being added pretty much every day. This is more of a haven for local artists than criminals, and you can add your mark on the city here as well. You might even see a well-known muralist while you’re admiring the art!
Sleep Inside a Plantation Mansion, Sapelo Island
Reynolds is a big name around the American South, and Sapelo Island is one of the most remote and rugged places you can visit in the region. Get a big group together and book a stay at the Reynolds Mansion, a historical estate property that has a two-night reservation minimum for at least 16 guests. The 13-bedroom, 11-bath mansion can accommodate up to 29 people and has an amazing ambiance that’s a step back in time. There are expansive grounds here with live oak trees and outdoor sculptures, as well as pathways that lead to a beachfront pavilion and the ocean.
Shoot a Bow and Arrow at Panola Mountain State Park, Stockbridge
Made popular by epic books, movie, and television shows like Hunger Games and Game of Thrones, lots of people have recently become interested in the sport of archery. Head over to Panola Mountain State Park to take an archery course in a safe and supervised environment. You can often find basic archery classes offered here for about $15, plus $5 for the parking fee. All equipment is provided, and no experience is necessary to sign up. You’ll get the personalized instruction you need to shoot a bow and arrow with confidence and have fun!
Take a Historic Ride on the SAM Shortline Train, Cordele
Anyone who loves trains, both kids or adults, will enjoy a trip to the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad in Cordele. These trains featured 1949 vintage cars remind us of the romance of train travel in the Old South. The trains stop in quaint towns that are packed with things to do, and all train cars are air conditioned for your comfort. Top attractions along the train routes include President Carter’s Campaign Museum, Habitat for Humanity’s Global Village, and the Rylander Theatre.
See the World’s Largest Collection of Ticks in Statesboro
Most people who have lived in the South for any amount of time are no strangers to ticks. These insects often live in Georgia’s wooded areas and can latch onto your dog without the right preventative medicine. But one thing you might not have guessed you could do in Georgia was visit a tick museum! The U.S. National Tick Collection has over a million specimens and an extensive library of information about ticks, making it the largest curated tick collection in the world. Here can you learn about them from a safe distance and take a public tour at Georgia Southern University.
Climb to the Top of a Waterfall at Amicalola Falls State Park, Dawsonville
Georgia has many waterfalls, but we often only get to see their beauty from the ground level. At Amicalola Falls, you can climb a challenging staircase to reach the top of the falls and get the very best views. Standing at about 729 feet tall, this is the largest cascading waterfall in the Southeast U.S. As a reward, treat yourself to a stay at the Len Foote Hike Inn, a backcountry lodge at the end of a five-mile hike.
Taste Over 100 Kinds of Soda in One Place, Atlanta
The Coca-Cola Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Georgia. But what you might not know is that this is where you can taste over 100 different kind of beverages! You can try whichever ones you like from self-serve dispenser machines and taste sodas from all over the world. Some of the popular beverages to try are Bibo Candy Pine-Nut, Fanta Pineapple, and Guarana Kuat.
Visit the Largest Hindu Temple Outside of India, Lilburn
Regardless what religious beliefs you do or don’t have, there’s a beautifully intricate Hindu temple in Lilburn worth visiting. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is open to the general public and is the largest temple of its kind outside of India. It took over 1.3 million volunteer hours to construct over just 17 months and features over 34,000 hand-carved pieces. Plan your visit between 9am and noon or between 3:30pm and 6pm daily.
See Blue Glowing Earthworms, Hawkinsville
Many people have heard about the glowing earthworms in New Zealand, but there’s also a small town in Georgia that is locally famous for having them! Hawkinsville is a couple hours south of Atlanta, and the best opportunities to see the glowing worms is near the lake at Mile Branch Park. Locals say that you can hammer a steak into the soil to cause vibrations that attract the blue, glowing worms. This park also has a nature trail with labeled tree species, a boat ramp, and picnic shelters.