Written byBrian DearsleyjBarbara Radcliffe Rogers
Updated March 30, 2022
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Georgia is a state of many contrasts, which makes it a particularly attractive travel destination. Attractions that draw tourists to Georgia range from North Georgia's mountainous landscapes and natural wonders such as Lookout Mountain and Okefenokee Swamp, to Savannah's romantic historic sites and Atlanta's stunning modern architecture.
In Georgia there is fun for the whole family and for all interests. You will find everything frombeautiful beachesto the world's largest aquarium and elegant prewar homes and historic sites that shed light on life and events from prehistory to the struggle for civil rights in the late 20th century.
Plan your visit to the Peach State with this list of top Georgia attractions.
1. Georgia-Aquarium, Atlanta
ANDthe fourth largest aquarium in the world, Georgia Aquarium is home to over 100,000 aquatic animals in over 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water. Although their size may seem impressive, the exhibits are grouped under different themes to make the visit more focused and educational.
Cold Water Quest explores cold water life in the world's oceans with unusual creatures including Australian sea dragons and Japanese spider crabs. At Under the Boardwalk, trainers interact with sociable California sea lions, and the River Scout exhibit features albino alligators, piranhas and emerald boas.
The largest, the 6.3-million-gallon Ocean Voyager, is home to whale sharks and manta rays among its thousands of fish and features a 100-foot plexiglass tunnel for visitors to walk through surrounded by swimming fish.
Address: 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia
Accommodation:The best hotels in Atlanta
- Keep reading:Top-rated tourist attractions in Atlanta
2. Savannah Historic District
Savannah's greatest pleasure is strolling through its historic district, an area of more than two square miles that preserves Old Town as it was during the Civil War.
Its beautiful shaded squares lined with elegant mansions and cobbled streets lined with trees covered in Spanish moss create one of the most romantic urban scenes of any city in the world. More than just a historic backdrop, the Historic District is full of art, culture, museums and mansions to visit.
The north end borders the spectacular banks of the Savannah River and the south endParque Forsyth. While the entire neighborhood is known for its beautiful parks and squares, Forsyth Park is the largest and is a fine example of a well-designed mid-19th century southern park. Its iconic feature is an elegant fountain, and the trails are shaded by the beautiful mature trees that cover them.
Keep reading:Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Savannah
3. Atlanta Botanical Garden
Adjacent to Piedmont Park, the 30-acre botanical garden is a surprise right in downtown Atlanta. This year-round attraction always has something in bloom, from the spring bulb display to the colorful fall foliage, and whatever the season, the many indoor gardens transport visitors to the tropics.
ANDFuqua Orchideenzentrumfeatures orchids of all shapes and colors, while the High Elevation House showcases the incredible array of plants native to the cloud forests of the Andes. Here, exotic bromeliads, mosses, ferns, lianas and miniature orchids surround a huge covered waterfall, and more exotic species thrive in the tropical rotunda.
Outside there is an edible garden and an outdoor kitchen where ornamental fruits and vegetables are grown. The rose garden is in full swing in late spring and again in late summer, and the hydrangea collection is one of the best in the Southeast, as is the collection of aquatic plants.
The Japanese Garden features a teahouse, waterfall, pond, bamboo, dwarf Japanese maples and a moon gate that provides a photo-worthy backdrop for flower beds of vibrant outdoor annuals.
Address: 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, Georgia
4. Blue Ridge Scenic Railroad
The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, named after the attractive resort town in which it is located, is one of North Georgia's most visited attractions. This popular historic railroad, operating from spring to late fall, takes passengers on a 26-mile route from Blue Ridge along the Toccoa River to the nearby Appalachian Mountains.
It's a fun four-hour tour that includes round-trip transport and two hours to explore the towns of McCaysville and Copperhill. Special seasonal tours are offered during fall, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Also, take time to explore downtown Blue Ridge. Funthings to doThis includes shopping and dining, as well as visiting notable attractions such as the Blue Ridge Center for the Arts and the Fannin County Heritage Foundation.
Address: 241 Depot Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia
5. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta
The Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site. in Atlanta includes the birthplace and burial place of this famous civil rights leader. On a self-guided tour of this two-block area, see the birthplace of Dr. King, which is part of a restored block of modest homes.
It is also home to the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where a docent provides a fascinating description of this church's role in the neighborhood. The Freedom Hall Complex includes exhibits and volunteers from Fire Station No. 6 discuss the station's place in community life.
Address: 400 and 500 blocks of Auburn Avenue, NE, Atlanta, Georgia
- Keep reading:Top-rated tourist attractions in Atlanta
6. Explore Rock City e Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain on the Georgia-Tennessee border was the site of a Civil War battle, but is best known today for the wilderness park along its rocky ridge. Started in 1932 and made famous by more than 900 barn signs in 19 states, the park offers hiking trails through a series of rock formations and over a suspension bridge to the lookout point.
On exceptionally clear days, spots in seven states are visible from the cliff top. Along the winding path through the formations, there are gardens, stone bridges, narrow passages between massive boulders, art installations, a balancing mushroom rock and other features. Festivals and seasonal events include Christmas lights and a Halloween festival with a corn maze.
Endereço: 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, Georgia
7. Discovery Center of Canal Augusta
Housed in the Enterprise Mill, a former textile mill near downtown, the Augusta Canal Discovery Center paints a fascinating picture of the Industrial Revolution era of the South. The sprawling complex features well-preserved red-brick warehouses and factories that now house exhibits and models that depict Augusta's development as a major industrial center and port.
Start your visit with the orientation film, which puts the whole experience in perspective. A grand boat ride along the adjacent canals is included with your ticket. A cafe and gift shop are also located on site.
While in Augusta, be sure to add the city's incredible Riverwalk project to your itinerary. This paved, tiered path follows the Savannah River through downtown and is a very pleasant walk.
Address: Blome Ln, Augusta, Georgia
8. Hike through the Chattahoochee National Forest
The legendaryAppalachian Trail, the lifelong pursuit of dedicated long-distance hikers, begins in this vast national forest in the North Georgia Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Range. The forest takes its name fromChattahoochee-Fluss,whose springs begin here, and has over 450 miles of hiking and recreational trails.
Suitable for all skill and experience levels, the trails cover the park's highlights, includinganna ruby felle Brasstown Baldy, ohighest point in georgia. You can also drive up to 1 km from the summit and follow a walking trail to the observation deck.
The forest's more than 2,200 kilometers of rivers and streams cover approximately1,367 miles of trout streams, so fishing is one of the most popular activities here along with hiking. This is also a popular area for camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming and picnicking.
Accommodation:Where to stay in Clayton near Chattahoochee NationalBosque
9. World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta
The world's most popular soft drink was invented here in Atlanta in 1886 when a Dr. A syrup developed by John Pemberton to treat headaches was mixed with effervescence and water and served at Pemberton's Pharmacy.
The World of Coca-Cola uses colorful and fun displays to illustrate the drink's history and its development into a globally recognized cult drink. You'll find antique signs and displays, as well as an impressive selection of Coca-Cola logos and promotional items.
the last exhibitiondiscovery of flavors, allows you to test your own sense of smell and the origins of different scents while exploring how the nose perceives different scents.
Address: 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia
10. Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta
Dedicated to the civil rights movement in the United States and, more generally, the struggle for human rights around the world, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is a dynamic and powerful experience that exposes visitors to one of America's greatest social initiatives. recent history.
Showcasing the struggle for equality in the 1950s and 1960s, the Civil Rights Movement Gallery immerses visitors through interactive exhibits in the sights and sounds that bring to life the people who worked to defeat Jim Crow laws and the equals to secure the everyone's rights.
The Freedom Riders exhibit recreates the bus from the 1950s, with oral histories and a film filmed inside the bus. The cafeteria exhibit is perhaps the most moving, as visitors sit at a replica counter and encounter angry faces and hear through headphones the voices of torturers threatening those who try to eat in the cafeteria. Multimedia screens bring the March on Washington to life through songs and speeches.
The fallen who lost their lives in the fight for equality are honored with their photos and stories. The Human Rights Movement Gallery connects human rights struggles around the world through interactive technology, exploring fundamental rights and encouraging visitors to engage in discussions.
Address: 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, Georgia
11. National Museum of Infantry and Soldier Center, Columbus
Located a short drive from downtown Columbus, on the edge of the massive Fort Benning military base, the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center features 190,000 square feet of fascinating exhibits and artifacts related to the United States Army.
Highlights include exhibits from the early years of the military to the present day, with stops focusing on World War II and the Vietnam War. The main focus is on the experiences of combat soldiers with the many uniforms and weapons on display, as well as the war machine.
Other highlights include a big-screen movie theater, combat simulators, a parade ground and original World War II buildings at Fort Benning. If you have time, visit the Heritage Trail that circles the 155-acre site. Guided tours are available and there is a gift shop and restaurant on site.
Address: 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, Georgia
Keep reading:Best things to do in Columbus, GA
12. Jardines Callaway, Kiefernberg
North of Columbus, on Pine Mountain, is a popular entertainment center founded by industrialist Cason Callaway, with artificial lakes, magnolia and azalea gardens, and a butterfly garden. Hiking and biking trails stretch across the garden's 2,500 acres, and Robin Lake has the largest man-made white sand beach in the world.
The lake hosts the annual Masters Waterski and Wakeboard tournament and offers a great opportunity to enjoy water sports. There are also two excellent golf courses locally, and in December, Calloway hosts the most spectacular Christmas lights in the south.
Address: 17617 US-27, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Stone Mountain's 863-foot granite outcrop is almost entirely devoid of trees or vegetation, its bare summit contrasting sharply with the surrounding land. A large relief of three Confederate leaders was carved on the east side between 1923 and 1970, a memorial that has generated considerable controversy in recent years.
A cable car climbs to the top and offers breathtaking views of the Atlanta skyline, just 15 miles away. You can also climb to the top or follow one of the treetop endurance courses on suspended rope paths.
ALocomotive from the 1940scarries passengers on a five-mile route around the park and rides over land and water in aDUKW Army of the 1940sintroduces local history. Other attractions include a restored prewar plantation and a museum of Native American artifacts. Families like the zoo and thedinosaurs Parkof 20 life-size prehistoric creatures that move and roar.
Endereço: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, Georgia
14. Chattahoochee River Tour, Columbus
Starting north of downtown and continuing south for 15 miles aboveForte Benning, The Chattahoochee River Walk is a great way to see Columbus. Along the way, you'll pass beautiful green spaces, waterfronts with beautiful views of the Chattahoochee River, historic red brick factories and warehouses, numerous restaurants and playgrounds.
You'll also find some of the best places in Georgia for adventure sports like rafting. one of the most famousParque Rush South Whitewater, features one of the longest urban rapids in the United States, all just steps away from the River Walk.
The park offers not only adventures for beginners and experienced rafters, but also kayaking and tubing. There is also an exhilarating zipline experience over the river that ends in neighboring Tennessee. And when you're done with all that action, Uptown Columbus is just steps away and offers plenty of great dining, shopping and entertainment options.
15. University of Georgia, Athens
You don't have to work hard to find the University of Georgia (UGA) when you're in Athens. Evidence of this vast campus is everywhere, including the flow of young students to and from the university. You'll also see evidence of the university's center, where the original campus was established in 1785.
Today, the sprawling campus covers 767 hectares and is fun to explore on foot. Start your self-guided tour at the excellent visitor center. Pleasant roads and trails branch out in many directions. Along the way, you'll find lush green spaces and wildlife sanctuaries, elegant old brick homes and university buildings, as well as important modern landmarks like the Georgia Museum of Art.
You must end your walk back to the city center. Here you'll find countless great cafes and restaurants, fashion boutiques and great places to stay.
Address: 405 College Station Road, Athens, Georgia
Keep reading:Things to do in Athens, GA
The Okefenokee Swamp, known to Native Americans as "Shaking Earth Land", is a swampy area in South Georgia that covers over 770 square miles.
It is a labyrinth of canals, cypress swamps and marshy meadows. Interesting are the "floating islands" that tremble underfoot, but still support entire forests and in the past protected indigenous settlements.
The swamp is home to many endangered species, as well as around 10,000 alligators. There are boat trips on the marsh from the small town of Waycross.
Accommodation:Where to stay in Okefenokee?swamp
17. Swim and Play on Tybee Island
The small barrier of Tybee Island near Savannah attracts tourists to its more than three miles of clean beaches surrounded by dunes and lapped by gentle waves. Swimming and building sandcastles are just the beginning of activities on Tybee Island.
You can take a boat trip to see dolphins, learn to surf in North Beach, paddle the wild salt flat estuaries of Little Tybee Island on a stand-up paddle board, kayakspurs island lighthouse,and climb to the top of historyManufactured by Tybee Islandfor a panoramic view of the island.
To add a little culture or history to your vacation, take a kitchen tour to find the work of local artists or visit Fort Screven's 19th century cannon batteries and Tybee Island Light station and museum.
Accommodation:Overnight on TybeeIsland
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What to do in Georgia: Beyond romantic prewar Savannah andatlanta cultural landmarks, the state offers manyDestinations for weekend trips.And in the mountains and on its beaches you will find an infinity ofTop-rated resorts in Georgia.
Where to go near Georgia: The state is also surrounded by other interesting places to discover: South Georgia isFlorida, With yourbeautiful beaches. North Georgia isCarolina do Sul, with historycharlestonand the beautiful and extensive sandy beaches ofPlaya Myrtle.