Georgia broke its own tourism records in 2022, welcoming over 168 million visitors to the state. It’s no surprise; that Georgia offers magnificent views, an expansive Atlantic shoreline, and breathtaking botanical gardens among other little-known things to do for travelers, visitors, and locals.
While some travelers flock to tourist favorites like Savannah and the Georgia Aquarium, many tourists enjoy the thrill of the hunt: seeking out the state’s “hidden gems,” or less populous, little-known attractions that skip the long lines and leave a lasting impact on travelers.
Some of those secret spots are compiled here, providing fall 2023 travelers with a bucket list of spectacular, quiet places to visit during their tour.
Established on Lake Peachtree, Peachtree City is known for one thing: the primary mode of transportation. Guests who add this little-known destination to their Georgia vacation itinerary will enjoy exploring the city by way of golf cart, navigating over 100 miles of cart trails designed just for that purpose. According to Explore Georgia, among other local attractions, “You’ll see film locations from blockbuster hits such as Sweet Home Alabama, Fried Green Tomatoes, and Spider Man Homecoming.”
Helen, Georgia, can be described as quintessential. With a population of 545, this small Georgia town offers a little bit of everything from zip lining and white water rafting to a Cabbage Patch Kids hospital. Perhaps a textbook tourist destination, Helen isn’t on every Georgia traveler’s bucket list – but it should be.
Travelers seeking culture, adventure, and nature can find it in Georgia – and choosing these hidden gems will help them avoid big lines and focus on spectacular experiences instead.
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Cumberland Island boasts a rich history, where “Natives, missionaries, enslaved African Americans and Wealthy Industrialists all walked,” according to the National Park Service. Travelers hop on board a ferry at St. Marys, Georgia, and take a 45-minute ride to the island, where they’ll find marshes, forests, and undeveloped beaches. Once on Cumberland Island, visitors can bike sandy trails, enjoy guided van tours, or camp at a primitive campground.
Radium Springs Gardens
Named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia, Radium Springs Gardens combines rich history with incredible natural beauty in Albany, Georgia. As visitors stroll through the gardens, they’ll take in clear spring waters and exotic flora in a storybook setting. Nearby dining, shopping, and attractions make it worth the trip.
Stone Mountain Park
While it might not qualify as a hidden gem, Stone Mountain Park made the list because it’s a must-do for families with children. Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta offers 3,200 acres of family fun that includes on-site lodging, hiking trails, adventure golf, a scenic railroad, and more. Many travelers flock to Stone Mountain for their themed seasonal events throughout the year, which make Stone Mountain Park a great Spring Break, 4th of July, fall, Halloween, Christmas, or New Year’s destination. During summer months, their Music Across America Drone & Light Show is a bucket list experience.
Tallulah Gorge State Park
A two-mile-long, one-thousand-foot-deep gorge is the star of the show at Tallulah Gorge State Park. Visitors can choose to hike or bike around the rime of the gorge, walk the suspension bridge that hovers 80 feet above the floor of the gorge, or even bike the floor of the gorge. Lush trees and rapid waterfalls make the experience even more incredible.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
With locations in Atlanta and Gainesville, Atlanta Botanical Garden boasts sweeping botanical gardens, themed seasonal events, educational classes, and more. Families, couples, and solo travelers can spend an hour, a few hours, or an entire day at Atlanta Botanical Garden, customizing their itinerary for their party and schedule.
Unique Rock Garden in Calhoun
The Unique Rock Garden in Calhoun, Georgia, is a one-of-a-kind attraction that captivates visitors with its extraordinary rock formations and artistic displays. This hidden gem showcases a stunning collection of rocks and minerals, artfully arranged to create a mesmerizing landscape.