25 Fun Things to Do in Georgia [Bucket List]

Melanie Haiken

With its scenic Blue Ridge Mountains to historic memorials and forts, Georgia has something for travelers of all interests. It is the largest tourist attraction in the entire state!

Atlanta, the largest city and capital, is a cultural center with renowned museums, and performing arts institutions such as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and Alliance Theatre. Along with an ever-growing live music scene, numerous ballets and public art for which the city is gaining worldwide appeal.

The Blue Ridge Mountains and the coast provide families with a series of water parks, nature escapades, and family adventures to explore!

Top Things to Do in Georgia

1. Exploring Pre-Civil War America in Savannah’s Historic District

The Savannah Historic District is the largest in the United States and was declared as a National Historic Landmark in 1966. Founded in 1733 by General James E. Oglethorpe, the historic district is laid out in a series of wards centered around a public square and was originally developed with civic buildings and residences.

Today, thousands of people are attracted to the district every year to see the buildings themselves and visit the historic homes or walk along beneath centuries-old live oaks with drapes of Spanish moss.

The area boasts saved historical houses, churches, synagogues, cemeteries, and even a railroad roundhouse with all meticulous care of it to be reserved.

A trolley tour is one way to manage the district, though strolling the cobblestone streets, dining in great local restaurants, and resting in leafy squares is enough good reason to stick around longer if you have the time, be it a day or more.

2. Booth Western Art Museum, Cartersville, Ga

Cartersville, Georgia-The Booth Western Art Museum, which opened in 2003, is a well-respected cultural institution. Home to the largest collection of Western Art in the entire country.

Guests can explore a treasure trove of art that tells the long story of the American West from early frontier scenes to cowboysangling. The museum is home to extensive murals, bronze sculptures, and a range of works by leading American artists.

The museum also offers a distinctive exhibit of presidential portraits, letters, an original-stock stagecoach, and a hands-on children’s gallery that is designed to simulate a functioning ranch. This destination is a deep safari of art and fiction into the rich history of America.

3. Georgia Aquarium: More Water Than You Can Handle!

Located in Atlanta, the Georgia Aquarium is considered to be the second largest in the world and first in among Western Hemispheres. The aquarium, which opened in 2005, soon became one of the state’s major visitor attractions, drawing millions each year.

With more than 10 million gallons of water, the aquarium boasts everything from whale sharks and beluga whales to bottlenose dolphins and manta rays with wingspans as long as thirteen feet.

Show highlights include a dolphin stadium where 20-30 minute presentations of these intelligent mammals will captivate the audience with their uniqueness and several exhibits of mammalian wildlife such as sea otters and African penguins. Moreover, their walk-through tank offers a unique viewing experience of North American fish.

4. Fort Pulaski National Monument

Fort Pulaski National Monument, near Savannah, Georgia, was instrumental in the Civil War and is best known for its first military use of rifled cannons. This technology then established a weakness of stone fortification – representing a major divergence in military defense.

These rifled cannons – equipped with the aforementioned helical grooves – greatly improved their range, stability, and accuracy, in turn enabling Union forces at Tybee Island to blast through Fort Pulaski’s walls more than two miles away.

Well-preserved fort grounds; house a present-day nature trail. The site comprises a museum and a gift shop and it is suggested to carry bug dope while visiting it.

5. Visiting the Pin Point Heritage Museum in Savannah

The Pin Point Heritage Museum, formerly the A.S. Varn & Sons Oyster Canning Factory, tells the story of a Gullah community who are descendants of freed slaves with deep ties to Africa. Long separated by race from any nearby boomtowns, this community blossomed in the isolated tidewater heartland after the Civil War.

Museum visitors will be able to interact with the community’s oral histories as well as experience traditional oyster canning processes and local fishing techniques. This special cultural heritage is also featured in a 30-minute film.

6. Overview of the National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center

The National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center near Fort Benning, Ga., highlights the story of the U.S. infantry from the Revolutionary War through current Middle East operations. This museum contains highly interactive exhibits and very important artifacts such as an exhibit on the Holocaust.

Core values, such as loyalty, duty, and courage are paramount to the museum. Guests may partake in a combat simulator, watch films in the 3D Theater, and dine at the onsite restaurant and bar.

7. Explore the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Located on thirty acres adjacent to Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Gardens provides a peaceful reprieve in the midst of the city. The garden is home to a variety of themed gardens and opened to the public in 1976. One portion was the Japanese Garden, which included classic motifs like evergreens and pools.

Spotlights incorporate the Rose Garden, a fun Children’s Garden, and the native-flora-filled Southern Seasons Garden. The Fuqua Conservatory displays tropical and desert flora, as well as exotic animals, while the Fuqua Orchid Middle showcases a group of uncommon orchids.

8. The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta

The Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta: A space opened in 2014 that houses the three parts of the Americas Civil Rights movement and global human rights advocacy programs (women, LGBT…).

Top attractions include “Voice to the Voiceless” (home to personal items and recordings of Martin Luther King Jr.) and “Rolls Down Like Water,” a hands-on walk through the civil rights movement. Another powerful exhibition, “Spark of Conviction,” juxtaposes oppressive dictatorships with contemporary rights campaigns worldwide.

9. A Tribute to Valor – By National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

First established by Lt. Gen. James Harold “Jimmy” Doolittle, the 8th Air Force Division continues to be a key player in American military success from WWII through the present, and can be explored at The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force in Pooler, Georgia.

With displays of soldiers’ stories, uniforms, weapons, and a collection of unique military aircraft like the B-17 Flying Fortress, the museum honors the courage and devotion to duty that they represented. The grounds are also home to a garden with several memorials to lost crews.

10. Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site, and its Prisoner-of-War Museum, remember a Civil War military prison. During the final fourteen months of the war, 45,000 of 260,000 Union soldiers were held prisoner after nearly a third succumbed to starvation, disease, and exposure.

Another 921 Union soldiers are buried at the site cemetery and a total of 13,714 bodies lie in mass graves there. The museum maps out the ordeals and cruelties suffered by POWs worldwide, providing a chilling window into their nightmarish world.

11. Consolidated Gold Mine: A History Tour

In Dahlonega, Georgia you can find the Consolidated Gold Mine which provides an interesting look into what was Georgia’s failed gold rush from 1828. Now, tourists can tour 200 feet below the surface where the mine’s original workings in this section begin.

The guided tour is 40 minutes and includes instructions for gold panning. Although it stopped the mining operation in 1906 following flood dangers, safety measures have been put to allow public access.

12. Explore the Museum of Aviation on Robins Air Force Base

The Museum of Aviation — located on Robins Air Force Base in Georgia — features an assortment of aircraft, ranging from replicas to operational equipment, sprawled across four hangars and outdoor areas that draw history buffs and aviation enthusiasts alike.

The collection features such landmarks as a B-52 bomber, the SR-71, and a Marietta-built B-29. Behind the beer, visitors can also learn about features designed to enhance the historical information behind the Tuskegee Airmen, Flying Tigers, and Hump Pilots. Amenities: a café, gift shop, and picnic area.

13. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

ATLANTA: The heart-and-soul trail of Martin Luther King Jr. winds through the GRANT Park Neighborhood, encompassing the birthplace of Dr. King, along Auburn Avenue and close by to Ebenezer Baptist Church, where both he and his father preached at one time. The site also includes King’s grave and a global peace rose garden.

King was inspired by the non-violence of Mahatma Gandhi, and there is a memorial on the grounds. In January, and February the site also has special events to pay tribute to King.

14. Basic Information about Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park First of its kind in the U.S., this park honors Civil War battlegrounds.

The monuments were created by two Union generals hoping to protect these sites. The park features the Georgia site of the Confederate victory Chickamauga battlefield and the Tennessee site vital for Union victory Chattanooga, and the overall war impact. Today, the park provides rangers tours and is an educational resource on Civil War history.

15. Little White House Historical Site for Franklin D.

The natural hot spring in Warm Springs, Georgia was where Franklin D. Roosevelt first visited in 1924 for treatment of his polio afflictions. Enamored with the locale, Ellis bought and converted a rehab facility there.

Roosevelt put up a simple vacation home — the Little White House — to which he made many journeys as Governor of New York, and later on as President. He passed away here in 1945. Since 1948 it has been open to the public, and it still holds his incomplete portrait from when he was posing at the time of his death.

16. The Savannah Theatre

The Savannah Theatre is one of the oldest continuous theaters in the country, opening on December 4, 1818, with a performance of the popular two-act comedy “The Soldier’s Daughter.”

Sarah Bernhardt, W.C. Fields, Oscar Wilde, Tyrone Power, and Ellen Terry are just a few of the famed actors who have performed on this stage throughout the years.

The most surprising individual to ever step on the stage was baseball great Ty Cobb when he took a turn in “The College Widow” in November 1911.

Because of a hurricane in 1898 and two fires during the 20th century, the theatre has been rebuilt thrice.

After a fire in 1948, the theatre was rebuilt and presented with its current art deco style creating an opulent and comfortable experience for those attending.

In the lobby, there are photographs, newspaper articles, and artifacts on display whilst the Theatre today concentrates mainly on presenting musicals.

17. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Georgia

The Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was a major engagement of the Atlanta Campaign during the American Civil War; it was fought from June 18, 1864, in Cobb County, Georgia, and eventually ended after June 27, 1864 · Location: Cobb County, Georgia. It had been a day of heavy casualties; almost 6,000 men had died.

The Confederates managed a tactical victory, yet the ultimate outcome, predicted to stop them from taking Atlanta never occurred.

Today, some earthworks from both armies still remain and those who wish to visit the top of Kennesaw Mountain can receive a nearly unobstructed view of Atlanta in the far distance.

The Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park and interpretative center provides educational opportunities, with numerous trails for self-guided tours. The park attracts bird lovers, too, who come to see the surfeit of songbirds that come south to overwinter.

18. Neptune Park

Neptune Park, a local favorite for family fun and relaxation. One of my favorite places for an evening walk which has lighted pathways that curve through the park along the sea.

The St. Simons Lighthouse Museum and picnic areas are open for visits. Neptune Park Fun Zone is the main draw to the park and offers activities for all ages.

The kids town includes an 18-hole Mini Golf, an Extensive Zero Entry pool (lap lanes), a children’s water gym, sheltered poolside umbrellas, and a child-wading pool.

Concessions: light refreshments are being served. There is also a state of the art playground with slides, swings and more in Neptune Park. For more on Georgia Islands, click the attractions around it.

19. Rolling Thunder River Company

Flowing from the Appalachian Mountains through northern Georgia and southeastern Tennessee, the Ocoee River is famous for offering some of the best white-water rafting in the United States experience that the Rolling Thunder River Company has been guiding people through since 1977.

Known around the world, the Ocoee River became a household name when its white water hosted events during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.

With the longest class III and class IV rapids in the U.S., Rolling Thunder River Company offers an adventure that is as safe as it is exhilarating.

And depending on their stamina and need for thrill, participants can sign up for half-day or full-day rafting trips which include a bus ride to the Cherokee National Forest with a safety talk and riverside lunch. The complete river rafting tour lasts for 6 hours.

20. Mercier Orchards

The doors of Mercier Orchards opened in 1943 when Bill & Adele Mercier began to plant the land with apples.

Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Georgia, it is both educational and family-friendly and offers a variety of pick-your-own fruits.

Now, the orchards boast a bakery, deli, country store and an estate winery with farmhouse cider.

Year-round visitors pick their own strawberries, peaches, blackberries, blueberries and many varieties of apples.

Families with children will appreciate the tractor tours filled with stories of fruit production, orchard care and history about Mercier Orchards.

In the fall, the orchard is home to a tractor show, and in spring it becomes the meeting place for a fun run benefiting local charities.

21. Tybee Island Light Station & Museum

One of the seven colonial-era lighthouses left in America, it is located on Tybee Island (one of Georgia’s barrier islands.

The first lighthouse at the island’s northeast (marking the entrance to the Savannah River) was built in 1732 by order of General James Oglethorpe, founder and governor of the 13th Colony. The structure was eventually destroyed in a hurricane.

There were several more lighthouses constructed over the years, which included one that took much damage from coastal erosion and another that was burned by Confederate forces during the American Civil War.

The existing mining tower (dating from 1871) and support buildings are situated on a five-acre site.

Groups can ascend 178 steps to the peak of Tybee Island Light Station, and tour the keeper’s cottage and lighthouse museum located near Fort Screven, a former Spanish-American War military outpost.

22. High Museum of Art

Long a cultural institution in the southeastern United States, the High Museum of Art.

It houses over 15,000 works in seven areas of art: American art, decorative arts and design, modern and contemporary art, folk and self-taught art, African Art, European Fine Art (spanning antiquity to today), and photography.

Monet, Bellini, Pissarro, John Singer Sargent and others are represented at the museum in addition to all you wanted to know about self-taught artists of the Southern US.

A distinctive element in front of the facility is a massive bronze statue created by French sculptor Auguste Rodin and given by the government of France, in honor of 102 Atlanta art supporters who lost their lives in an airplane accident at Orly Airport terminal in 1962.

Author: Bryan – The museum has a gift shop and holds baby art lessons, conversations about art, and Friday jazz concerts.

23. Taste of Thomasville

During this tasty walking tour of the city, one of only the top three food tours in Georgia according to Southern Living Magazine, participants enjoy a delightful 3-hour culinary and cultural tasting experience through historic downtown Thomasville.

The tours – founded by Debra Smith – mix architectural and historical perspectives with culinary discovery as participants munch on goodies from a selection of local food vendors and artisans.

The tours – guided by experts – take hungry participants to eateries and food vendors throughout the downtown core.

This includes the typical food tour as well as an after-hours wine and beer tour, a children’s tour, or a Victorian holiday sweets tour. Though participants are welcome to tip the guides as a service fee (not being covered by the tour fee), no gratuity is expected at the restaurants.

24. Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls in Chattahoochee National Forest, a tranquil refuge where the only sound is falling water.

The confluence of York Creek and Curtis Creek scour out the twin waterfalls York Creek drops 50 feet and Curtis Creek plunges down 153 feet.

A half-mile paved trail leads visitors from the parking area to the base of the falls.

Walk at an easy to moderate pace, with benches located along the way No more than half an hour usually

25. College Football Hall of Fame

The latest jewel in Atlanta’s crown is the College Football Hall of Fame, which moved here from South Bend, Indiana in 2014.

Located within the entertainment and sporting district of Atlanta, it is a must-visit for the fans of college football.

The Quad features helmets of more than seven hundred college teams near the entrance to the museum. Guests are able to walk through the Touchstone Tunnel, which will showcase familiar touchstones that teams typically touch before a game.

Fans can try their football skills on a 45-yard replica football field. The museum also showcases historically black colleges and universities, service academies like the U.S. Naval Academy, trophies and interactive high-tech screens for an immersive visitor experience.

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