Georgia’s Gems: Exploring 7 Exceptional Destinations Beyond Atlanta

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There’s an adage in the South: “Atlanta might be your pit stop en route to heaven or hell.” It’s nearly impossible to bypass when flying through Hartsfield-Jackson International, the globe’s hub of passenger traffic. However, Georgia is not confined to its capital city. The state is ripe with towns filled with cultural fascination, outdoor escapades, and architectural marvels. Let’s uncover seven must-visit places in Georgia, beyond the embrace of Atlanta.

Blue Ridge—The Angler’s Paradise in Georgia

From experienced fishermen to novices, Blue Ridge bestows a unique fishing opportunity with over a hundred miles of trout-rich streams surrounding the town. The Toccoa River is teeming with a variety of trout and offers picturesque spots for kayaking and paddleboarding. Beyond fishing, visitors can enjoy scenic train rides through the majestic Appalachian Mountains and the verdant Chattahoochee National Forest.

In Blue Ridge’s quaint downtown, visitors can explore antique shops, indulge in local barbecue, and browse unique stores like Oyster Bamboo Fly Rods, where custom bamboo fishing equipment awaits.

The Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, connecting Blue Ridge to McCaysville on the Georgia-Tennessee border, has become an attraction in itself, providing an enjoyable round-trip journey for tourists.

Tallulah Falls—Georgia’s Epicenter for Outdoor Thrills

A former Victorian resort town, Tallulah Falls now attracts adventurers to its mesmerizing canyon and six cascading waterfalls. Activities range from daring suspension bridge crossings to peaceful kayaking.

With only a hundred gorge floor permits issued daily, early arrival is key. The family-owned Wander North Georgia is a must-visit for gear, and Tallulah Adventures’ The Edge Café is perfect for post-hike sustenance.

Athens—Not Just a University Town

Athens, hosting one of America’s oldest public universities, offers a rich music history and cultural exploration. Follow the musical footsteps of R.E.M. and the B-52s, or explore the Antebellum Trail, connecting seven Civil War towns. Unique attractions include the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and the legendary Tree That Owns Itself.

Augusta—Golf and Beyond

Though renowned for the Masters Tournament, Augusta offers historical and cultural treasures, including boat tours of the Augusta Canal and the compelling Lucy Craft Laney Museum. Vibrant murals and the iconic “Spirit of Funk: James Brown Mural” give a visual treat to visitors.

Brunswick—The Doorway to Golden Isles

A colonial entry port, Brunswick leads to the beautiful barrier islands known for pristine beaches and Victorian charm. Regular art exhibits, live music, and street performances make the Historic Downtown a lively destination.

Columbus—A Star-Studded Experience

From virtual space exploration to world-class sports events, Columbus has something for everyone. The Coca-Cola Space Science Center, the I.C.F. Canoe Freestyle World Championship, and RushSouth Whitewater Park are just a few highlights.

Macon—A Fusion of History and Music

Macon resonates with Georgia’s musical legacy, featuring museums, live shows, and guided tours related to music history. For history enthusiasts, the Tubman African American Museum and the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park provide rich insights.

Starlight Williams, born and raised in Georgia and now a travel editor for National Geographic, shares these tales. Connect with her on X, previously known as Twitter.

This article is made possible by Explore Georgia and Visit Augusta.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about fokus keyword Georgia

What are some of the top destinations to explore in Georgia beyond Atlanta?

You can explore Blue Ridge for fishing and scenic railway trips, Tallulah Falls for outdoor adventures, Athens for music history and cultural landmarks, Augusta for golf and historical tours, Brunswick for its gateway to the Golden Isles, Columbus for space exploration and sporting events, and Macon for a blend of music and cultural history.

What outdoor activities can visitors enjoy in Tallulah Falls, Georgia?

Visitors can enjoy hiking trails with incredible vantage points, kayaking or paddleboarding in the waterways, crossing suspension bridges, and exploring the stunning two-mile-long canyon with steep walls that drop nearly 1,000 feet.

Is there anything special to do in Athens besides attending the university?

Yes, Athens offers a rich music history where visitors can take a self-guided walking tour to visit locations significant to bands like R.E.M. and the B-52s. It also marks the start of the state’s Antebellum Trail of historic Civil War towns and is home to unique attractions like the State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

What unique experiences does Columbus offer?

Columbus offers virtual space exploration at the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, where visitors can try launch and mission simulators. Outdoor enthusiasts can watch elite canoeing at the I.C.F. Canoe Freestyle World Championship or have a water adventure at RushSouth Whitewater Park.

How is Brunswick related to the Golden Isles?

Brunswick serves as the gateway to the Golden Isles, a group of barrier islands known for stunning beaches, nature reserves, and well-preserved Victorian architecture.

What cultural attractions can be found in Augusta?

Augusta hosts the historic Augusta Canal, the Lucy Craft Laney Museum, which focuses on the city’s African American history, and numerous city murals, including the “Spirit of Funk: James Brown Mural.”

Is there anything to do in Macon for music enthusiasts?

Macon is rich in music history, with attractions like the Allman Brothers Band museum, the Big House, and Rock Candy Tours. Visitors can also catch live shows at the restored Grand Opera House.

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7 comments

AdventureSam August 24, 2023 - 5:12 am

Columbus seems like the place to be for adventurers. Space simulations and canoeing championships, whats not to love! Anyone else think the spelling errors add charm to the article?

Reply
JimmyThExplorer August 24, 2023 - 9:26 am

Wow, this guide’s like a treasure map for Georgia, can’t wait to explore Blue Ridge and do some fishin. thanks for sharing all these hidden gems.

Reply
HistoryBuff101 August 24, 2023 - 3:38 pm

So much history here. I had no idea about Augusta’s African American community museum, that’s so cool. Typo in there though, shouldn’t it be Augusta National not Nationals.

Reply
GolfProGary August 24, 2023 - 4:16 pm

Augusta’s more than just the Masters? Who knew! Kinda cool to see the other side of my fav city. You should probably correct that little mistake with the Augusta Nationals though, it’s just National.

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Melody_Lane August 24, 2023 - 7:08 pm

Athens sounds like a dream for music lovers, gotta check out those places related to R.E.M. and the B-52s. Just a thought, might want to mention more about Macons music scene too.

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SandyBeachLover August 24, 2023 - 7:21 pm

Brunswick’s calling my name with those Golden Isles. Never heard about them before this article, so thanks for bringing it to light, btw, you guys missed out the O in world in the Columbus part.

Reply
travelgirl92 August 24, 2023 - 8:02 pm

Absolutely love this!! Been to Atlanta a dozen times but never knew about all these amazing places. Tallulah Falls, here I come.

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