Georgia

Georgia Travel Guide

First thing's first: Rent a car when visiting Georgia. While the Atlanta area is full of fun activities, visitors looking for great things to do in Georgia will want to explore the rest of this wonderful state. Some of the best sights and sounds are just a short drive away.

If you happen to start your trip off in the state capital, there is no shortage of great activities. Atlanta is the cultural heart of the state and is home to great spots like the massive Georgia Aquarium, which is one of the largest aquariums in the world; Centennial Olympic Park, a popular public venue that once hosted the 1996 Summer Olympics; the World of Coke, where visitors can sample sodas from around the world and learn the history of Coca-Cola; and the hip East Atlanta area where young locals hang out at off-the-wall bars and restaurants. Don’t leave the city without visiting the High Museum of Art, the leading art museum in the southeast and home to famous works by Dorothea Lange, Claude Monet and a special collection of works by self-taught Southern artists.

Just an hour and a half outside Atlanta, there is the quaint city of Athens, which is home to the 200-year-old University of Georgia and the heart of Georgia’s bohemian scene. Walk across the university’s picturesque North Campus or while the afternoon away at any one of the many great bars, breweries and concert venues in Downtown Athens. Historically-inclined visitors will be happy to find that the Georgia Museum of Art, the Georgia Museum of Natural History and the State Botanical Garden are all just a short car ride away from one another on Athen’s “Loop.” Five hours south of Athens, adventure awaits in the form of Savannah, which has long been considered one of the most charming cities in the South. Those looking for things to do in Georgia, will love this city and its gorgeous century-old oak trees hung with Spanish moss, thoroughly entertaining ghost tours, and beloved River Street, which is home to all kinds of eccentric shops and eateries.

Finally, don’t visit Georgia without taking a drive through north Georgia and the scenic Blue Ridge Mountains, an outcrop of the Appalachian Mountains. The sights along the curving mountain roads of Georgia are breathtaking. There are plenty of quirky little food stands along the way where visitors can get homemade treats for the long road ahead or to take home to friends and family.

Highly regarded by Atlanta foodies, this gourmet grocer on the Westside has individual "markets" devoted to freshly baked breads, artisan cheeses, and handcut meats.

Peoples is a high-end clothing store for women of all ages, specializing in designer items shoppers simply can’t find in department stores.

Top tip: While China and Japan have blue-chip courses, they’re usually accompanied by hefty greens fees.

The history of the world's most recognizable brand—which was created right here in Atlanta back in 1886—is documented at this fun, interactive museum.

The fort was built in 1736 to bolster British Georgia’s defenses against upstart Spain.

Stylish Scene

Roughly 90 percent of the island is a land protected for the public, and also, one might add, protected from them, by virtue of limited access to it. Ferries to the island from Florida and Georgia carry a daily cargo of about 300 day-trippers and camping-permit holders.

Try the RS400 Lexus hybrids from this Atlanta rental company.

Savannah College of Art and Design is a private school dedicated to creative majors, and ShopSCAD is one of the many places in Savannah selling the artwork and accessories of SCAD students and staff from past and present.

In a mid-century warehouse building once occupied by the Miller Union Stockyards, Chef Steven Satterfield brings sustainable Southern fare to Atlanta's Westside. The rustic, yet modern decor recalls a charming, country cottage.

Part intimate jazz club and part restaurant, Sambuca is a good choice if you want a sophisticated evening out. The music outranks the food; the headliners here—including local piano guru Mose Davis—are consistently top-notch.

Although Valerie Wilson closed its Atlanta office, Manny Beauregard is still based in Atlanta working for the company. A member of the American Society of Travel Agents, Beauregard began working as an agent in 1972. He specializes in hotels and small ship cruises.

Founded in 1889—originally with animals stranded from a traveling circus gone bankrupt—Zoo Atlanta is now a state-of-the-art facility, where all creatures live in re-created habitats.