15 Unusual & Fun Things to do in Georgia, USA

Unusual fun things to do in georgia

Looking for cool & fun things to do in Georgia?

Travel through the Peach State by doing some of the coolest and unique things in Georgia, USA.

I have asked travel experts to spill the top things to do in Georgia to help you decide where to go and the coolest places to visit in the state, including Atlanta, Savannah, Jekyll Island and more, for the best trip ever!

So let’s dive into the best things to do in Georgia, USA:

Cool things to do in Georgia USA

Fun things to do in Georgia

Visiting Savannah

Beautiful Savannah, Georgia is known for its 22 stunning squares dripping with Spanish moss, walkable center, gorgeous mansions, spacious parks, and–perhaps most importantly–its thriving food scene.

Arguably the most beautiful city in the south (or maybe even in the USA!), there is no shortage of incredible things to see in Savannah.

stuff to do in savannah

While you’re there, be sure to admire the beauty of Forsyth Park, take a historic house tour or three, wander the town squares, stroll down stunning Jones Street, go shopping at City Market and along River Street, explore the birthplace of the Girl Scouts, and indulge in a sweet treat at legendary Leopold’s Ice Cream.

Once the sun sets, consider adding a ghost tour to your Savannah itinerary–often considered one of the most haunted cities in the country, Savannah has no shortage of spooky tales.

Of course, any trip to Savannah demands plenty of attention be paid to the food. Mrs. Wilkes Dining Room, Elizabeth on 37th, and The Olde Pink House (try the BLT salad!) are some of the most iconic options in town for splurging on the best Lowcountry food around.

If you don’t have so much time, see the best of Savannah with this Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley Tour of Savannah Historic District, or take this 2-hour Savannah Walking Tour.

Kate Storm – Our Escape Clause

For more travel tips on Savannah, check out this detailed post about Cool & Unusual Things to do in Savannah, Georgia.

Road trip from Savannah to border with Florida

A fun way to explore Georgia’s low country is to take a nice slow road trip through the coastal expressway from Savannah all the way to the border of Florida, one of the best things to do in Georgia with family.

You really get a nice feel taking the coastal roads and visiting small towns untouched by the civil war with really unique town squares, architecture and that southern vibe and feel that is still alive in the south.

Along the way you’ll pass so many wonderful rivers and bridges spanning them, old paper mills and islands that you’ll see passing through the intercoastal waterways visible through much of the coastal route 17 that you take from Savannah and leading through cool places like Georgetown, Darien, and Brunswick before it merges back to Interstate 95.

Head through I95 and take the last exit before the border to St. Mary’s to explore this colonial town and then take a ferry to Cumberland Island which is untouched and wild, harkening back to Georgia’s ancient past with huge oak trees and palmetto palms, alligators and wild horses rambling across much of this stunning island.

Noel Morata – Travel Photo Discovery

Cumberland Island, one of the best things to do in South Georgia

We lived in North Florida for our entire lives and never heard of Cumberland Island in Georgia until well into our adulthood. Had we known there was a unique little island a few hours from our hometown with wild horses, ruins, and secluded beaches, we would have definitely prioritized a visit sooner.

Cumberland Island is located seven miles east of St. Mary’s – it is actually Georgia’s largest and Southernmost barrier island and one of the best places to visit in the US. You can only access it by boat with passenger-only ferries running a few times a day.

It is definitely easy to explore on foot, but bicycles are allowed as well. Seeing the ruins of the Dungeness Mansion, which burned down in 1959, is a must as well as taking in the majestic beauty of the wild horses – from a safe distance, of course. This is definitely a full-day adventure, so pack a picnic, wear your walking shoes, and be prepared to be pleasantly surprised by this lesser-known island!

Buddy Baum – Trailing Away

Visit Jekyll Island, Georgia

Once the winter getaway for New England’s elite in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Jekyll Island, Georgia is now a pristine state park and outdoor playground for travelers of all ages.

It is a must-visit in Georgia because it is one of the few coastal islands that have unaltered beaches and lots of fun things to do for visitors.

Ride bikes to the north end of the island for an eerie beach stroll on Driftwood Beach. Years of erosion have caused hundreds of sun-bleached trees to beach on the shore and makes for an unusual but beautiful sight. It’s a romantic place at sunset and one of the best things to do in Georgia for couples!

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head to The Wharf at the Jekyll Island Resort for a bucket of Peel N Eat Shrimp and a gorgeous view of the river and marsh.

When you’re stuffed, wander the exquisite National Historic District for a dose of architectural grander. Don’t miss exploring the Jekyll Island Club Resort, which was the clubhouse for this winter retreat and is now a fabulous hotel.

Emily Hines – Em’s on the Road

Visit Valdosta

The best thing to do in Valdosta, Georgia is Wild Adventures- a small theme park and water park that’s focusing on wildlife, one of the fun places to go in Georgia with kids.

Part zoo, part adventure park, it’s big enough where you can interact with the animals or ride some of the bigger rollercoasters they have in the park. The price is also quite cheap and does not go over $50 for a day pass. It’s located within 30 minutes from Valdosta, Georgia, which also has a quaint downtown area.

The best spot to sleep in Valdosta is an Airbnb located in a bookstore called the Book and Table Inn. It is smack dab in the middle of downtown, and it is easy to walk and see the shops and restaurants of downtown.

Ruby Escalona – A Journey We Love

World of Coca-Cola tour in Atlanta

The World of Coca-Cola Tour might sound like an unapologetic corporate tour-slash-commercial… and you’d be right. Don’t even bother mentioning Pepsi here — everything inside is Coca-Cola red. With plenty of international looks and a sanitized, family-friendly view at America’s favorite beverage. You can go behind the scenes at World of Coca-Cola on this tour.

There’s a century of history on display, and the museum lays on the nostalgia pretty strong. There is, of course, a safe inside that claims to have the ‘secret recipe’ to Coke inside — and of course, it’ll sound an alarm if you get too close.

The highlight, personally, is one of the final rooms — dozens of fountain drinks offered by Coke, both around the country and around the world. It’s both a reminder of the megaconglomerate’s outreach and just how many flavors of sweet liquids there are around the world.

Chris Backe – Worthy Go

Visit Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

One of the best family things to do in Georgia is to visit the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.

Skip-the-line purchasing tickets here or save over 20% on regular admission prices booking here.

Georgia Aquarium is impressive for several reasons:

  • First, the size.  It is the largest aquarium in the U.S. and until 2012, was the largest in the world.
  • Second, the fish and other marine life on display in the tanks and the shows.  In fact, there is so much to do that you easily spend an entire day there.

The aquarium is organized into four main areas, each representing a different marine environment.  There is a tropical environment, one for cold water, another for fresh water and the fourth is the deep-sea tank.  This tank is enormous, and houses not one but four enormous whale sharks, along with giant manta rays, large sea turtles, other sharks and rays and thousands of deep-sea fish.  A multi-storey floor-to-ceiling glass wall creates a jaw-dropping viewing area.  It is always “shark week” at the Georgia aquarium, and you can take a conveyor belt through a tunnel that cuts through the middle of the shark tank, so you can see them swim right overhead.  There is also a separate tank for several white beluga whales.   Other highlights are adorable otters and penguins.

For an additional fee, you can have an up close and personal experience with dolphins, penguins, sea otters, sea lions, seals or belugas.  You can even dive in the giant deep-water tank with the whale sharks!    There are also several shows throughout the day featuring dolphins, penguins and sea lions.  The dolphin show has seats (near the front) that are in the “Splash Zone”.  This means exactly what you might think it means – the dolphins splash water on to the audience and if you are sitting in those rows, you will almost certainly get wet.  If you want to stay dry, sit further back.

In addition to the tanks, experiences and shows, can book a behind-the-scenes tour.  This takes you back into the staff area, where you can see the salination tanks, vets, nursery tanks and even view the deep-water tank from above. This is a really great day out and one of the cool things to do in Georgia with family!

James Ian – Travel Collecting

Food tour in Atlanta

Looking for foodie activities in Georgia?

One of my favorite things to do when I travel is try the local food, and the best way to do that is by taking a food tour.

Atlanta has a rich history linked with food, and the Atlanta Food Walks tour is a fantastic way to learn about that history. The company is run by a local Atlanta resident, so she really knows the city. I took her Downtown Southern Food Walk, which involves 7 food stops in Downtown Atlanta.

We got to taste local fried chicken, complete with delicious sides while learning about Martin Luther King, JR, the Civil Rights movement, and the connection with Atlanta. The tour also took us to a southern BBQ restaurant where we tried a few different types of BBQ. Shrimp and grits, tea, pralines, cornbread, and many more southern specialties were featured on this delicious tour.

I loved how much history was woven into our tour, including the origins of food in the south. Even after living in Atlanta for 16 years, I still learned a lot. If you’re visiting Atlanta, I highly recommend taking one of the Atlanta Food Walks tours at the beginning of your trip.

Ali Garland – Ali’s Adventures

Check out other cool food tours in Atlanta recommended by travelers

Visit Gibbs Gardens in Ballground, one of the best things to do in North Georgia

The state of Georgia is unexpectedly varied in attractions, especially for those who enjoy the outdoors. From beaches to the east to swamps on the Florida line to the north Georgia Mountains, the Peach State has something for everyone.  About an hour north of Atlanta, Gibbs Gardens is a perfect example of an ideal location for any outdoor or nature lover.

Gibbs Gardens consists of two areas, the Manor House Gardens and Valley Gardens. Consisting of a rose harbor, hydrangea gardens and seasonal displays of daffodils and azaleas, the Manor House Gardens are best seen in Spring and Summer. The Valley Gardens are especially gorgeous in the Fall, when the Japanese gardens and wildflower fields are in fool bloom.

This easy day trip from Atlanta is a great outing for all ages, since Gibbs Gardens also has a children’s garden, a shuttle for easier access between the two main gardens, and a café for a snack break while exploring, one of the cheap things to do in Georgia. When visiting the northern part of Georgia, Gibbs Gardens is a great addition for any nature or garden-lover. 

Jordan Cierra Bradford – The Solo Life

Visit Helen, Bavarian village

Helen is a small town located about 85 miles north of Atlanta and is a very popular tourist destination in Georgia. Helen is the third most visited city in Georgia because it looks just like a Bavarian village. The architecture around the town and the quaintness of the village makes it seem as if you are transported to Europe.

Among the best things to do in Helen GA are to take a stroll around the downtown streets for some unique pictures, go shopping for handmade crafts and local goods, and grab some delicious German food and a pint. 

If you are interested in more outdoor activities, Helen has several scenic waterfall hiking trails just minutes away, which are open year-round, one of the fun things to do in Georgia with family. If you plan to visit between June and September, renting a tube down the Chattahoochee River is quite popular.

The fall brings tourists to celebrate their annual Octoberfest, which is one of the largest in the country. Helen takes its’ German heritage seriously and the whole town bustles with even more Bavarian food offerings.

During the holidays, Helen is filled with Christmas decorations, trees, and lights. Helen’s charm and architecture, in addition to the fantastic shops and restaurants, is truly a destination unlike anything else in the country.

Margie DQ – DQ Family Travel

St Mary’s Railroad

St. Mary’s is a small town tucked between the highway (I-95) and the ocean along the Georgia – Florida border. Within this quaint town, is The St. Mary’s Railroad Express, a fun themed and interactive train ride and one of the unique things to do in Georgia.

top 10 things to do in georgia

The excursions are limited though and only run about twice a month or every other month. Every season though brings a different themed train ride. Santa Express (at Christmas), Peter Cottontail Express (at Easter), Wild West Express and much more. St. Mary’s Railroad Express is fun for the whole family and relatively inexpensive.

The train features open air railcars, which allow you to experience the weather of the season as well as give you an unobstructed view of the scenery. The ride is about 1 hour and 15 minutes and takes you behind the small town of St. Mary’s and over the beautiful St. Mary’s River. Don’t miss this fun small town experience. 

Rachel – TheRxForTravel.com

Gone with the Wind Museum in Marietta

Lovers of the book and movie Gone with the Wind should pay a visit to the Gone with the Wind Museum, located in Marietta, Georgia

Inside historic Brumby Hall (which is a beautiful building and reason enough to visit), the museum has a large collection of memorabilia related to Margaret Mitchell and her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel.

georgia what to do

The museum also has a variety of artifacts from the making of the movie like scripts and costumes, as well as promotional pieces like premiere programs, foreign film posters, and conceptual artwork.

Our favorite piece in the museum was the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the movie. It was gorgeous and one of the most interesting things to do in Georgia!

There is also a gift shop and you can walk the grounds of Brumby Hall, which has some nice gardens. The museum is close to historic Marietta Square and is open Monday through Saturday from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $7 for adults and you can book a Private Tour here.

Vicky Sosa – Buddy The Traveling Monkey

North Georgia Waterfalls

When you mention the state of Georgia, most people think of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (the busiest in the world), the bustling urban center of Atlanta, its world-renowned film/TV/music business, horrible traffic, and rapidly growing urban population (6+ million).

But drive an hour north of downtown Atlanta and you’ll find the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and the beginning of the Appalachian Trail, one of the fun things to do in Georgia outdoors.

This is the wild side of my native state that most visitors never see, surrounded by picturesque mountains, protected national forests, gorgeous lakes, and pastoral streams filled with trout.

things to do in georgia usa

For travelers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, it’s relatively easy to see the best of North Georgia (including an array of amazing waterfalls) in a 3-day road trip. Start your journey at Dawsonville’s Amicalola Falls State Park, which boasts several accessible hiking trails and a glorious 700-foot waterfall that is the tallest in the state.

From there, make your way east to the town of Dahlonega (the site of Georgia’s 19th century Gold Rush) and north into the Chattahoochee National Forest on Hwy 19. There you’ll find DeSoto Falls, Vogel State Park‘s Trahylta Falls, and Helton Creek Falls, all located within 10 miles of each other. The road to Helton Creek leads to Hwy 348 south, where you’ll find Raven Cliff Falls and Dukes Creek Falls.

After spending some time exploring the odd, Alpine-influenced tourist town of Helen, head east on any number of scenic roads to reach Hwy 23, from which you can access Tallulah Falls (part of the jaw-dropping Tallulah Gorge), Panther Creek Falls, and Toccoa Falls (on the Toccoa Falls College campus).

At just 196 miles round-trip, it’s a fantastic way to see some of the best of Georgia’s natural beauty.

Bret Love & Mary Gabbett – Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide

Oakland cemetery 

If visiting cemeteries, gardens, or historical places is something you love to do while you travel or it’s one of your crazy bucket list ideas, make sure to head to Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta to cross all three off your list. It’s one of those exciting things to do in Georgia you’ll always remember!

While many people enjoy exploring cemeteries when they travel, Oakland Cemetery is a cut above the rest. 

points of interest in georgia

Atlanta is a bustling city with a lot going on but if you want to slow down the pace, visit Oakland Cemetery which is a peaceful oasis full art, lore, and history, and one of the best things to do in Atlanta. Not only is this a cemetery but it is Atlanta’s third-largest public green space where you can explore the grounds, the different botanical specimens, have picnics, and more. 

With roughly 40,000 headstones, it is estimated that there are actually around 70,000 souls calling Oakland home. When Oakland was first created in 1850, it grew in stages and therefore is comprised of very distinct sections including Jewish Hill, the African American grounds [slavery and then segregation was still occurring], Confederate memorial grounds, and several other sections. 

Ashley Hubbard – Wild Hearted

Other Top Things to do in Georgia USA

As you can see, there are lots of things to do in Georgia state, but if you’re still looking for more, here are more places to visit in Georgia you’ll love:

  • Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville had the largest permanent exhibit of Western art in the US.
  • Atlanta Botanical Gardens, one of the fun family things to do in Georgia.
  • Center for Civil and Human Rights, dedicated to the work of human rights activists worldwide. Don’t miss the “Voice to the Voiceless” exhibit about Martin Luther King Jr.’s work.
  • Stone Mountain is one of the Georgia’s most popular attractions
  • Callaway Gardens on Pine Mountain is the perfect place to disconnect and relax from the hustle and bustle of the big cities of Georgia.
  • And of course, eat a typical Georgia peach

Fun things to do in Georgia Map

Best Tours in Georgia

Where to Stay in Georgia

things to do in georgia

There are hotels and hostels all over Georgia State, which are fantastic accommodation options. There is something to suit every budget. Here you have my recommendations:

Hotels in Atlanta

Hotels in Savannah

Hotels in Jekyll Island

Hotels in Valdosta

Hotels in Helen

Final Words

Georgia is full of exciting things to do for couples, families, solo travelers, adventure lovers and foodies.

A trip to Georgia will leave you with a taste for returning! So whether you are coming as part of a road trip, or visiting some of the cities in the state or or just enjoying a quick stopover, have fun and share your experiences with us in the comments below.

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