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Although there are SO many of the best vacation spots in Georgia that aren’t on Georgia’s seven wonders list, I was intrigued when I found about this list! When I started looking beyond Jekyll Island Georgia (many cool vacation spots), I found lots of unique places to visit in Georgia. Consider this your Georgia travel guide from a local of Georgia vacation ideas to some of the absolute best vacation spots in the USA.
BEST VACATION SPOTS IN GEORGIA
How did this Seven wonders of Georgia list begin?
Back in 1926, a newspaper journalist asked the state librarian what Georgia’s most stunning physical features were and she responded with a list that was published in a Georgia magazine.
The places to visit in Georgia list was revised and placed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2001 and the rest, as they say, is history
There are many other fabulous Georgia places and fun things to do in Georgia that are not on this “wonders” list that are great last minute travel ideas like Jekyll Island, Cumberland Island, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The peach state and the largest east of the Mississippi has incredible beauty and its landscape is as diverse as it gets.
Now, let’s get on with that “wonders” list, shall we?
#1 OKEFENOKEE SWAMP
While the “Land of the Trembling Earth” (coined by the Seminole Indians) is famous throughout the world for its alligators and cypress trees, it’s so much more.
Located in a National Wildlife Refuge, Okefenokee Swamp Park is a vast wilderness of lily-covered water trails, islands, and prairies.
- Jump on the railroad tour and go back in time to Pioneer Island
- Keep your eyes on nature with the live animal show
- Take a primitive adventure walk to the Observation Tower
- See the Alligator, Otter, and Turtle habitats
- Take a guided boat tour through the Seminole Indian waterways
- Visit the bear observatories
- Touch “Ole Roy” the big, bad stuffed alligator
- Walk “into” the Okefenokee on the boardwalk
- Visit the Nature Center
- Check out the Swamp Building
- See what’s in the Living Swamps Exhibit
- Experience the Pogo Possum mascot creation and creator, Walt Kelly
- Try out the Snack Shack (Yes, a gator burger is on the menu)
- Ride the Light Show Train (during Christmas holidays)
Insider Tip: The Okefenokee is within an hour of Georgia beaches.HOTEL PRICES NEAR OKEFENOKEE SWAMP PARK
#2 PROVIDENCE CANYON IN WEST GEORGIA
The “Little Grand Canyon,” as the locals call it, is one of the most unique spots for a vacation in Georgia.
The view is jaw-dropping!
A combo of farm practices, sand, and lack of natural vegetation caused the sand to slide downhill and form the gullies – up to 150 feet deep.
Providence Canyon was formed by quite an accident… poor land management in the 1800s.
Multicolored sand layers are the result and paint a pretty picture against a background of green trees and blue sky.
Insider Tip: Don’t share deep secrets at this venue. Voices echo from the canyon floor and can be heard loud and clear from the Providence Canyon rim.
RVers stay at Florence Marina State Park.
#3 WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA
Early on, Warm Springs Georgia found its fame when settlers heard about the healing waters that the Iroquois and Creek Indians had discovered.
In the 1800s, the town boomed with resort amenities surrounding the springs. But when Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited in 1924 and fell in love, this little community gained more wealth and attention.
Franklin D. Roosevelt first sought out Warm Springs, Georgia after hearing of the healing waters the Indians once took their sick to. He’d fought Polio for years and the disease had left him paralyzed from the waist down.
Warm Springs became a charming vacation retreat, but also a place where polio patients could find relief. Special pools had been created for them where the temperature was always 88 degrees.
Roosevelt visited as often as possible for twenty-one years and even died in his “little white house” during his presidency.
The Little White House has been preserved exactly how he left it when he passed in 1945. There’s also the White Springs Museum, Memorial Fountain, and Roosevelt’s classic cars there.
Downtown Warm Springs has over 60 little shops in century-old buildings. We enjoyed one of our favorite Georgia vacations camping at FDR State Park, riding horse trails with Roosevelt Stables, and visiting Callaway Gardens.LODGING PRICES NEAR WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA
#4 RADIUM SPRINGS, GEORGIA
Not to be confused with Radiator Springs, Radium Springs became known in the 1500s with mentions from Spanish expeditions and Creek Indians.
In its heyday, Radium Springs was one of the most bustling resorts in the state. Radium was discovered within the Springs (which was thought to heal ailments), and in 1927 a casino, hotel, cottages, and golf course, and trails overlooked the Springs.
The Great Depression closed down the resort initially and it suffered major damage from flooding over the years. Radium Springs made a comeback, however, as a historical gardens area and is now open to the public again.
There are gorgeous gardens, walkways, courtyard, gazebos, picnic area, resort ruins, and a terrace. Self-guided tours are fun to see the 70,000 gallons of clear water pumped per minute with a steady 68 degrees from an underground cave.
Clearly, Radium Springs is one of the best choices for laid-back, outdoor places to go in Georgia.
Insider Tip: Radium Springs is a lovely place to take the family to the park for a picnic. It’s also a fabulous backdrop for family photo opportunities.
#5 STONE MOUNTAIN
Even though Stone Mountain is one of the most easily recognizable landmarks of the south, it has not become an overly crowded vacation destination for families.
And uncrowded tourists spots in Georgia are my jam!
Its magnificence can only be experienced in person with the granite dome 650 feet in the sky.
Did you know that Stone Mountain is 2 miles long and 7 miles in circumference around the base, making it the largest exposed granite in the world?
To reach the summit of Stone Mountain, you can ride the Skyride or hike the one-mile trail to the top.
Take a scenic train ride around the mountain, experience the largest laser light show with fireworks, hike the fifteen miles of walking trails, or play a round of golf.
The laser light show is a kid-approved experience of music and light synchronization. Promise me you’ll grab your oversized blanket and wait for the light show to begin with your family!
These Stone Mountain activities top many lists as the best things to do and best places to visit in Georgia.
Insider Tip: Check Stone Mountain’s site for fun seasonal events like Snow Mountain.LODGING NEAR STONE MOUNTAIN PARK
#6 AMICALOLA FALLS
If you want to be a Georgia waterfalls chaser, one of the best places to visit in Georgia is Amicalola Falls.
Amicalola Falls is by far the tallest cascading waterfall in the southeast (east of the Mississippi) at 729 feet.
Wow, it’s breath-taking in person.
You can choose to walk the pathway (a bit more adventurous) or you can take the (more challenging) stairway to the top.
If you are a true hiker, take the 8.5-mile trail to Springer Mountain, which is part of the famous Appalachian Trail.
Not that skippy? Then take the smaller, Amicalola loop.
When visiting Amicalola Falls, you can stay at the campground, cottages, or 56-room lodge.
Take part in fishing the trout fishing stream, ranger programs, Geocaching, picnicking. You can also choose to spend time at the amphitheater and visitor’s center, the Lodge’s restaurant, the playground, and nine different trails.
Exploring North Georgia will teach you that beauty is where you least expect it. Never stop the search!
Insider Tip: While hiking on the waterfall trail, look for the moonshine truck that is said to have tumbled down the hill during the days of Prohibition.STAY AT AMICALOLA FALLS LODGE
#7 TALLULAH GORGE
Tallulah Gorge is a one-of-a-kind adventure because it’s a 1,000-foot deep chasm that has been formed by the Tallulah River flowing through the floor of the gorge.
If you enjoy photographing magnificent nature, then Tallulah Gorge State Park has more photo opportunities than you can possibly dream of.
Just west of the Georgia-South Carolina line, be sure to start at Visitor’s Center and watch the movie about the gorge before heading out to hike the rim.
Insider Tip: If you are a serious hiker seeking some adventure, arrive at the gorge early to get one of the only 100 permits given per day to hike the floor of Tallulah Gorge. Call ahead to ensure that the water levels won’t interfere!
What fun places to visit in Georgia!
If you know anything about the How-to Guru, me, you know I adore sharing Georgia travel guides and the best vacation spots in the East Coast!
YOU MAY NEED
Visiting these Georgia attractions means lots of walking, so you know what that means?
You need a good pair of lightweight slip-on walking shoes. THESE are super cute too!
A substantial hiking stick.
Cutest and highest rated polarized sunglasses.
No travel vehicle should be without THIS.
BEST PLACES IN GEORGIA FAQS
Of course, there are many opinions on this but several on this “wonders” list come to mind. Tallulah Gorge has been voted the most beautiful. If it’s a gorgeous Georgia beach view you want, Coastal Georgia wins the prize.
Savannah, Callaway Gardens, Athens, Brasstown Bald, Providence Canyon, Augusta, and Mercier Orchards.
Georgia boasts short, mild winters, but also at least three months of very humid summers. Spring and Fall are mild weather perfection!
Personally, I would choose Sea Island, St Simons, Jekyll, or Cumberland Island.
There are hundreds of gorgeous parks around the peach state. We personally think Georgia State Parks are the best. Most fees are only $5!
More travel that you may enjoy:
Visiting every Coastal Georgia county and island
Best things to do in Beaufort SC post quarantine
Best Hidden Gulf Coast Beaches vacation spot