PAID CONTENT

Where to Find Southern
Charm in Georgia’s
Storied Smaller Towns

Discover the sights, sounds, tastes, and charms of the Peach State’s small towns. We partnered with Explore Georgia to illuminate some of the places where life
has a touch more magic.

Georgia’s cities, such as Atlanta and Savannah, are wondrous in their own unique ways,
but there’s something special to be found in the small towns. It might be the slower pace or the history and culture, or perhaps it’s the charming shops and restaurants, where Georgians have been practicing their trades for generations. Whatever brings you to
these special places, you’ll definitely want to extend your stay.

Decatur

Credit: @jwaitsphoto
Credit: @jwaitsphoto

Decatur

Quirky Decatur is one of the Atlanta region’s most beloved towns, known for plentiful shopping and dining including Spanish bites at Iberian Pig and seafood & cocktails at Kimball House. Disconnect from city life by wandering the campus of Agnes Scott College or visiting its Arboretum or Lullwater Park. And where else can you sleep on a farm within a short drive of downtown Atlanta? The Decatur Alpaca Cottage is the most unique rental around, home to colorful rooms and friendly creatures.

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Dahlonega

Credit: @go.see.be
Credit: @go.see.be

Dahlonega

Dahlonega is the heart of Georgia’s wine country, with eight wineries producing bottles from a wide variety of grapes. Wolf Mountain Vineyards has a breathtaking view, sparkling wine, and an incredible restaurant. Kaya Vineyards is the largest in the state and boasts cottages for overnight stays, while the Italian-inspired Montaluce Winery & Restaurant serves flatbreads and pasta that pair exquisitely with its vintages. The town center has 12 local tasting rooms to choose from, along with shops and boutiques.

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Milledgeville

Credit: @benjamingalland
Credit: @benjamingalland

Milledgeville

Milledgeville’s historic past is well preserved. Just look at sites like the Old Georgia Governor’s Mansion and Flannery O’Connor’s family farm, Andalusia, where she wrote some of her most iconic works. Both are open for tours. Enjoy Milledgeville’s green spaces by picking up lunch from one of the many downtown restaurants for a picnic at the Lockerly Arboretum, a 50-acre private garden. The town is also part of Georgia’s Lake Country—a day boating or kayaking on Lake Sinclair is a day well spent.

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Cumberland Island

Credit: @WanderNorthGA
Credit: @WanderNorthGA

Cumberland Island

Located on Georgia’s coast, this idyllic island is home to wild horses and countless other animals and is a longtime getaway of the wealthy Carnegie family, whose mansions—such as Plum Orchard, which is open for tours—are paragons of 19th-century opulence. The ruins of Dungeness, once the greatest among them, is a highlight. Apart from rustic campsites, Greyfield Inn is the only formal lodging on Cumberland; the former Carnegie home offers all-inclusive chef-prepared meals and tours.

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Thomasville

Credit: @wandernorthga
Credit: @wandernorthga

Thomasville

Looking for quintessential Georgia charm? Thomasville, also known as the “City of Roses,” is the town of your dreams. Be sure to visit in April, when the Thomasville Rose Show & Festival covers the whole place in fragrant blossoms. Experience the town’s lauded restaurant scene on the Taste of Thomasville Food Tour or spend the afternoon boutique shopping downtown. Thomasville is also known as the bobwhite quail hunting capital of the world; book a guided hunt from one of its many proprietors for the full experience.

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Serenbe

Credit: @soshewander
Credit: @soshewander

Serenbe

Just south of Atlanta, Serenbe is a totally unique New Urbanist community in the rural Chattahoochee Hills. Spend the weekend at the award-winning Inn at Serenbe, set on 1,000 acres and boasting a pool, croquet, and miles of trails. Serenbe’s thoughtfully planned amenities include a working farm, a wide array of shops, and top-notch restaurants—choose from Southern favorites at The Farmhouse at Serenbe, seasonal fare at The Hill, pastries at Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, and Scandinavian-inspired dishes at Halsa.

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Immerse yourself in small-town charm. Book your trip to Georgia today.