Top 17 Tourist Attractions in Georgia
Tourist Attractions in Georgia – Georgia is a state of many contrasts, which makes it an incredibly fascinating place to visit.
Attractions that bring tourists to Georgia range from the mountainous landscape and spectacular natural features of North Georgia, such as Lookout Mountain and the Okefenokee Swamp, to the romantic, historic squares of Savannah and the dazzling modern architecture of Atlanta.
There are fun things in Georgia for the whole family and every interest. You’ll find everything from beautiful beaches to the world’s largest aquarium, luxurious antebellum homes, and historic sites illuminating life and events from prehistory to civil rights in the late 20th century.
Plan your trip to the “Peach State” with this list of the top attractions in Georgia.
- Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta
The world’s fourth largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium, houses more than 100,000 aquatic animals in more than 10 million gallons of fresh and salt water.
Although its sheer size may seem overwhelming, the exhibits are divided into different themes to make the visits 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.
Under the Boardwalk, trainers interact with friendly California sea lions, and the River Scout exhibit features albino crocodiles, piranhas, and emerald tree boas.
The largest, the 6.3-million-gallon Ocean Voyager, houses whale sharks and manta rays among thousands of fish and features a 100-foot-long acrylic tunnel for visitors to walk through, surrounded by swimming fish.
Address: 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia
Official Site: www.georgiaaquarium.org
Savannah Historic District
Savannah’s greatest pleasure is strolling through its Historic District, an area of more than three square miles that preserves as much of the old city as it appeared during the Civil War.
Its lovely shaded squares, surrounded by grand mansions, and its stone-paved streets draped in Spanish moss surrounded by trees, offer one of the most romantic urban scenes of any city in the world.
More than historical scenery, the Historic District is alive with art, culture, museums, and mansions.
The spectacular Savannah Riverfront surrounds the northern end, and the southern end is Forsyth Park.
Although the entire district is known for its many beautiful parks and squares, Forsyth Park is the largest and is a fine example of a well-designed Southern Park dating back to the mid-1800s.
Its historic feature is a beautiful fountain, and walkways are shaded by beautiful old trees that tower over them. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
- Atlanta Botanical Garden
The 30-acre botanical garden next to Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta is a surprise. There’s always something in bloom at this four-season attraction, from its spring bulb displays to colorful autumn foliage, and its many indoor gardens transport visitors to the tropics at any time of year.
The Fuqua Orchid Center displays orchids of all sizes and colors, while the High Elevation House showcases a surprising variety of plants native to the cloud forests of the Andes.
Here, exotic bromeliads, mosses, ferns, trailing vines, and miniature orchids surround a sprawling indoor waterfall, and more exotics thrive in the tropical dome.
Outside is an edible garden and outdoor kitchen, where fruits and vegetables are grown as landscape plants.
The Rose Garden is at its height in late spring and again in late summer, and the hydrangea collection is one of the finest in the Southeast, as is its collection of water plants.
The Japanese Garden features a teahouse, waterfall, pond, bamboo, dwarf Japanese maples, and a moon gate that provides a photo-worthy frame for the bright annual beds outside. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, Georgia
Official site: http://atlantabg.org
- Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Named after the charming tourist town in which it is located, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway is one of the most visited attractions in North Georgia.
From spring to late fall, this famous heritage railway takes passengers from the Blue Ridge along the Toccoa River for 26 miles to the surrounding Appalachian Mountains.
It’s a fun four-hour excursion that includes a return trip plus two hours to explore the towns of McKesville and Copperhill. Special seasonal tours are offered in the fall, on Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Be sure to allow time to explore Downtown Blue Ridge as well. Fun things to do here include shopping, dining, and notable attractions such as the Blue Ridge Arts Center and the Fannin County Heritage Foundation. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 241 Depot Street, Blue Ridge, Georgia
Official Site: https://brscenic.com
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, Atlanta
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta contains the birthplace and grave of this famous civil rights leader.
On a self-guided tour of this two-block area, you can see the house where Dr. King was born, part of a renovated block of modest dwellings.
There is also the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where innocence gives a fascinating account of this church’s role in the neighborhood.
Freedom Hall Complex includes exhibitions, and volunteers from Fire Station No. 6 discuss this station’s place in community life. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: Auburn Avenue, NE, 400 and 500 blocks of Atlanta, Georgia
Official Site: www.nps.gov/malu/index.htm
- Explore Rock City at Lookout Mountain
Lookout Mountain, on the border between Georgia and Tennessee, was a Civil War battle scene, but today it is best known as the nature park with its rocky ridge.
Started in 1932 and made famous by more than 900 barn signs in 19 states, the park features trails through a series of rock formations and from a swinging bridge to the lookout point.
On apparent days, the Points in the Seven Kingdoms are visible from the top of the sheer cliff.
There are gardens with winding paths through the formations, stone bridges, narrow passages between towering cliffs, art installations, a mushroom-shaped balance rock, and other features.
Seasonal festivals and events include Halloween festivals with Christmas lights and a corn maze. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 1400 Patton Road, Lookout Mountain, Georgia
Official Site: www.seerockcity.com/
Augusta Canal Discovery Center
Set in the Enterprise Mill, a former textile mill near the city center, the Augusta Canal Discovery Center paints a fascinating picture of the Industrial Revolution period in the South.
The sprawling complex features a well-preserved red brick warehouse and factory buildings that now display models illustrating Augusta’s development as a major industrial center and port.
Begin your journey with the orientation film that puts the whole experience in perspective. A great boat tour on adjacent waterways is included with your admission. A café and gift shop are also located on the premises.
While in Augusta, be sure to include the city’s spectacular Riverwalk project in your itinerary. This paved, flat path follows the Savannah River through the central area of the town and makes for an enjoyable stroll. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: Blome Ln, Augusta, Georgia
Official site: https://augustacanal.com/about-discovery-center.php
Hike Through Chattahoochee National Forest
The famous Appalachian Trail, a lifelong goal of dedicated long-distance hikers, begins in this vast national forest in the North Georgia Mountains, part of the Blue Ridge Range.
The forest comes from the Chattahoochee River, whose headwaters begin here, and contains more than 450 miles of hiking and recreational trails.
The trails are suitable for all skill and experience levels and lead to park highlights, including Anna Ruby Falls and Brasstown Bald, the highest point in Georgia.
You can also drive within 0.6 miles of the summit and follow the walkway to the viewing platform.
More than 2,200 miles of wilderness rivers and streams include about 1,367 miles of trout streams, so in addition to hiking, fishing is one of the most popular things to do here.
It is also a popular area for camping, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and picnicking. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Official Site: www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/conf/recreation
World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta
The world’s most popular soft drink was invented here in Atlanta in 1886 when a syrup made by Dr. John Pemberton to treat headaches was mixed with carbonic acid and water and served at Pemberton’s pharmacy.
The World of Coca-Cola uses colorful and captivating exhibits to illustrate the drink’s history and its evolution into the iconic glass recognized worldwide.
You’ll find vintage posters and displays with advertising and a surprising variety of Coke logo items.
The latest exhibit, Fragrance Discovery, lets you test your sense of smell and the origins of different scents as it explores how the nose senses different scents. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia
Official Site: www.worldofcoca-cola.com/
Center for Civil and Human Rights, Atlanta
Dedicated more broadly to the civil rights movement in the United States and the struggle for human rights worldwide, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is a dynamic and powerful experience that brings visitors face-to-face with one of the most significant social initiatives is recent history.
The Civil Rights Movement gallery portrays the fight for equality in the 1950s and 1960s, immersing visitors in the sights and sounds through interactive displays that bring to life the individuals who fought to break Jim Crow laws and all Worked to secure equal rights for
The Freedom Riders exhibit features a recreated 1950s bus, featuring the oral history and a film made inside the bus.
The Lunch Counter exhibit is perhaps the most moving, as visitors sit at a replica counter, face angry faces, and listen with earphones to the sounds of tormentors who threatened those who tried to eat at the public lunch counter. Multimedia displays bring the March on Washington to life through songs and speeches.
Martyrs who lost their lives in the struggle for equal rights are honored with their photographs and stories.
The Human Rights Movement gallery explores the struggles for human rights worldwide through interactive technology, exploring fundamental rights and encouraging visitors to join the discussion. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 100 Evan Allen Jr. Blvd NW, Atlanta, Georgia
Official site: www.civilandhumanrights.org/
National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, Columbus
Located on the edge of the sprawling Fort Benning military base just a few drives from downtown Columbus, the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center occupies 190,000 square feet of space filled with fascinating exhibits and artifacts related to the United States military.
Highlights include exhibits from the early years of the military to modern times, with stops in between focusing on WWII and the Vietnam War.
There is a lot of focus on the experiences of the soldiers tasked with fighting with the many uniforms and weapons on display and the machinery of war.
Other highlights include:
- A large-screen movie theater.
- Combat simulators.
- A parade ground.
- The original WWII-era buildings of Fort Benning.
If you have time, check out the Heritage Trail, which circles the 155-acre site. Guided tours and a gift shop and restaurant are available on site. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus, Georgia
Official Site: https://nationalinfantrymuseum.org
Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain
North of Columbus on Pine Mountain is a famous leisure center founded by industrialist Casson Callaway, with artificial lakes, magnolia and azalea gardens, and a butterfly house.
There are hiking and cycling trails spread over 2,500 acres of gardens, and Robin Lake has the world’s largest artificial white sand beach.
The lake, which hosts the annual Master’s Waterski and Wakeboard Tournament, provides a great opportunity to participate in water sports.
Also on the grounds are two excellent golf courses, and in December, Christmas at Calloway is the South’s most spectacular display of Christmas lights. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 17617 US-27, Pine Mountain, Georgia
Official Site: www.callawaygardens.com/
Stone Mountain Park
Stone Mountain’s 863-foot-high granite outcrop is almost entirely devoid of trees or plant life, its bald dome standing out prominently from the surrounding land.
On the eastern side, a significant relief of three Confederate leaders was erected between 1923 and 1970, a monument that has generated considerable controversy in recent years.
A cable car climbs to the summit for sweeping views of the Atlanta skyline only 15 miles away. On a suspended rope walk, you can climb to the top or follow one of the endurance courses through the treetops.
A 1940s locomotive takes passengers on a five-mile track around the park, and a 1940s Army DUKW features a local history in land and water tours.
Other things include a restored antebellum plantation and a museum with Native American artifacts. Families like the petting zoo and the dinosaur park of 20 life-sized prehistoric creatures that walk and roar. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, Georgia
Official Site: http://www.stonemountainpark.com/
Chattahoochee River Walk, Columbus
Beginning north of the city’s downtown core and continuing for 15 miles as far south as Fort Benning, the Chattahoochee River Walk is a great way to do some sightseeing in Columbus.
Along the way, you’ll pass beautiful green spaces, benches with great views of the Chattahoochee River, historic red-brick mills and warehouses, numerous dining options, and playgrounds for children.
This is also where you will find some of the best places in Georgia for adventure sports, like white water rafting.
One of the most popular is Rush South Whitewater Park, one of the longest “in town” rapids in America, just steps from the River Walk.
Featuring adventures for beginners and experienced rafters, the park also offers kayak excursions and tubing. There’s also the exciting zipline experience on the river that ends in neighboring Tennessee.
And when you’re done with all that action, Uptown Columbus is steps away and offers plenty of dining, shopping, and entertainment opportunities. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
University of Georgia, Athens
You don’t need to put in a lot of effort to find the University of Georgia (UGA) when you are in Athens.
Evidence of this vast, sprawling campus is everywhere, including streams of young students coming to and from the university.
You’ll also see evidence of the university in the downtown core, where the original campus began life in 1785.
Today the sprawling campus is spread over 767 acres, and it is fun to explore on foot. Begin your self-guided tour at the excellent visitor center.
Pleasant paths and paths lead in many directions. Along the way, you’ll encounter green spaces, nature preserves, beautiful old red-brick homes and college buildings, and essential modern attractions like the Georgia Museum of Art.
It would help if you ended your walk back in the downtown core. Here, you’ll find no end to great cafes and restaurants, hip boutique stores, and excellent places to stay. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Address: 405 College Station Road, Athens, Georgia
Official Site: www.uga.edu
The Okefenokee Swamp, known to the Indians as the “Land of the Quaking Earth,” is an area of swampland in southern Georgia that covers more than 770 square miles.
It is a maze of watercourses, cypress swamps, and marshy meadows. Attractive features are the “floating islands,” which quake beneath the foot but still support entire forests and have provided protection for Indian settlements in the past.
The swamp is home to several endangered species and an estimated 10,000 crocodiles. There are boat trips across the marshes from the small town of Way cross. (Tourist Attractions in Georgia)
Swimming and Playing on Tybee Island
Tybee Island, a small barrier near the savannah, attracts tourists for its more than three miles of wide, clean beaches backed by dunes and washed by gentle waves. Swimming and building sand castles on Tybee Island are only the beginning.
You can take a boat tour to see dolphins, learn to surf at North Beach, tour the wildlife-filled salt marsh estuaries of Little Tybee Island on a paddleboard, kayak around the tiny Cockspur Island Lighthouse, and One can climb to the top of historic Tybee Island. Lighthouse for panoramic views of the island.
To add some culture or history to your vacation, galley hop to discover the work of local artists or visit Fort Screen’s 19th-century Gun Battery and Tybee Island Light Station and Museum.
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