Georgia Travel Guide

There’s something about Georgia that keeps it on your mind. Is it the historic streets and Spanish moss of Savannah? The wide beaches of Tybee Island? Or the energy of Atlanta? A spirit is alive across Georgia that makes it not only a great place to visit, but a great place to live. Some visitors spend a week in the state, and then plan Georgia vacations every year!

Experience some southern hospitality during a trip to Georgia. A thriving music scene, hearty food, and plenty of history are just the beginning of exploring this state. This Georgia travel guide from VacationRentals.com is certain to put Georgia on your mind, and at the top of your travel list!

What to Do in Georgia

georgia to do

Savannah

One of the most popular Georgia vacations is a trip to Savannah. This historic city has it all: entertainment, dining, nightlife, art, music, and close proximity to the beach. Take the kids on a creepy ghost tour through graveyards, plan a picnic in beautiful Forsyth Park, or hop aboard a trolley for an introduction to the history of the city.

Any good Georgia travel guide will tell you that Savannah is a city for walking. The historic center is condensed into an area that is easy to explore on foot. From strolling along the river to the shops of Broughton Street to historic Georgian homes, all of historic Savannah is easily accessed by walking. With many adorable sidewalk cafes and bakeries, there are many places to stop for a rest and refuel as well!

Atlanta

In some ways, Georgia vacations in Atlanta and Savannah couldn’t be more different. While they share the southern hospitality of Georgia, Atlanta has much more fire and energy to it than sleepy Savannah. If you’re looking for a city with professional sports, thumping nightlife, and flashier attractions, choose a trip to Atlanta.

Your kids will love the chance to attend an Atlanta Braves baseball game or an Atlanta Falcons football game. For something a bit more peaceful, head to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens for 30-acres of wildflowers and more. As of 2010, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the largest aquarium in the world. Watch whales and exotic fish swim overhead as you walk through this fascinating space.

One way to enjoy the cityscape of Atlanta is from the seat of a helicopter. These short flights allow visitors to see Atlanta from a different perspective. On the ground, sign up for walking tours that bring you to both historic neighborhoods and important buildings.

georgia beaches

The Coastline of Georgia

Often, a Georgia travel guide chooses to focus on what’s on the cities of Savannah and Atlanta, and ignores the beautiful coastline. A trip to Savannah could easily be combined with a beach getaway at nearby Tybee Island. If strolling by a lighthouse, swimming in warm waters, and dining on coastal cuisine sounds good to you, add some time at the beach to your Georgia vacation.

Compared to Florida in the south, Georgia’s beaches are still very unspoiled and undeveloped. You won’t find large towns or towering hotels on Georgia’s beaches. It is still possible to open the curtains of your vacation rental and look out on the ocean. Popular places along the coastline of Georgia include Cumberland Island, Jekyll Island, Sea Island, St Simon's Island, and Brunswick.

Beyond Atlanta, Savannah, and the Coast

Georgia is a big state and beyond the main tourist attractions of Atlanta, Savannah, and the coast, the state still has plenty to offer. Music fans should definitely visit the Official Music Museum of Georgia in Macon. History buffs will love the Port Columbus Civil War Museum in Columbus.

Georgia vacations also offer the opportunity to escape to the mountains. The Blue Ridge Mountains extend down into Georgia, and opportunities for outdoor adventure include hiking, white water rafting, horseback riding, and driving tours. If your family wants to escape to the mountains this year, Georgia is an unusual but perfect place to make this dream come true!

Don’t miss a trip to Stone Mountain Park during Georgia vacations. This popular destination has a variety of activities for families, including the sky hike where visitors travel along wooden suspension bridges through the treetops. The park extends over 3200 acres and offers a variety of outdoor adventure.

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What to See in Georgia

Savannah

Any Georgia travel guide will tell you that the city itself is the largest attraction. Just strolling the historic streets and squares is enough to put a smile on your face! There is some sightseeing to be done as well: take a cruise on the Savannah River, visit Fort Pulaski National Monument, hop aboard the Oglethorpe Trolley Tour, or visit Telfair Museums.

Some of the best places for people watching in Savannah are Forsyth Park, City Market, historic squares, and the many cafés and restaurants. Explore graveyards, listen to live jazz music, or just take a walk along River Street. However you choose to explore Savannah, it is impossible to escape the atmosphere of this charming city.

Georgia Zoo

Atlanta

Georgia vacations could easily be spent exploring the many attractions of Atlanta. If you’re interested in politics, don’t miss the State Capitol building or the Jimmy Carter Library and Museum. Art buffs will love the High Museum of Art while kids will love the over 200 species of animals from African plains and Asian forests at the Atlanta Zoo. If you’re interested in learning more about Martin Luther King Jr., explore the MLK Jr. Historic Site, where his Nobel Prize is on display.

Coastline

The coastline of Georgia is speckled with a few attractions that are worth a visit. The Tybee Island lighthouse is a favorite of locals. Fort McAllister Historic Park is another attraction that is popular with visitors. Most Georgia vacations along the coastline are spent lazing on the beaches, but these attractions will add some history to your trip.

Beyond

The state of Georgia contains many beautiful natural landscapes including the Blue Ridge Mountains and the popular Stone Mountain Park. Macon, Georgia has many attractions including a children’s museum and African American heritage museum. Any good Georgia travel guide will inform readers that there is a great deal of African American heritage to be discovered throughout the state.

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Where to Shop and Eat in Georgia

Savannah

Any Georgia travel guide will reveal that southern hospitality is all about the cooking. Savannah restaurants are no exception, and the warmth of southerners is guaranteed to improve your meal. Clary’s is a classic restaurant in Savannah, serving up three big meals a day. Stop in for breakfast; their buttermilk pancakes and buttermilk biscuits are divine. For a splurge, Sapphire Grill in Savannah is one of the hottest restaurants in town. An affordable and filling slice of pizza can be found at Vinny Van Go Gogh’s and George’s on Tybee offers gourmet cuisine along the coast. For a midday snack, try the delicious cupcakes available at Back in the Day Bakery. Another affordable option and local favorite for lunch is Zunzi's—try whatever is on offer for the daily special.

georgia shopping and eating

While Georgia vacations can be planned on a budget, there are also plenty of places to splurge. Shopping in Savannah is no exception. Maybe as a result of the local art school, the Savannah College of Art and Design, there are a significant number of boutiques and specialty stores that will lure you inside. Popular places to shop include City Market, Broughton Street, River Street, and many side streets in between. New boutiques are always popping up, so don’t be afraid to explore the historic streets! Many visitors leave Savannah with handmade one-of-a-kind jewelry by local designers.

Atlanta

Cooking in Atlanta is known for having a little more heat. Southern cuisine has taken on a more fashionable edge in Atlanta. Local favorite restaurants to try include Abbatoir (a contemporary chophouse), Cakes & Ale (praised by Bon Appetit magazine) and JCT Kitchen (southern food with a twist). Atlanta is quickly developing into a destination for any true foodie. The chefs in Atlanta have gained recent media attention for affordable dishes of high quality. For a few weeks in July and August, restaurant week hits Atlanta. Georgia vacations planned during this period can take advantage of great value at top restaurants.

Shopping is everywhere in Atlanta. Even if you have no intentions of buying, odds are one of the antique stores or boutiques will entice you into making a purchase. One of the most popular shopping districts in the city is called Buckhead. With over 1,400 retail units, stay away unless you want to be tempted into buying something! High fashion such as Fendi and Gucci are accompanied by well-known brands such as Zara and Macy’s. Other neighborhoods for Atlanta shopping include Decatur, Little Five Points, and Virginia-Highland.

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When to Visit Georgia

The southern location of Georgia makes it ideal to visit almost year-round. The mild winters can be very appealing to northern residents looking to escape the cold. During the summer, the coastline is very popular with beach lovers, although the heat and humidity, during August especially, can bother some visitors. If you are planning on Georgia vacations during the summer, it is advised to head for the beach instead of the cities. The most pleasant time of year to visit both Savannah and Atlanta is from September through April. Savannah is known for having one of the biggest St Patrick’s Day parties in the country, so plan your trip for this holiday in the middle of March and join the festivities!

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What to Bring to Georgia

Georgia is known for its casual atmosphere, although it is possible to get dressed up for some restaurants and nightlife in Atlanta. Pack comfortable clothes and a good pair of walking shoes if you plan on exploring Atlanta or Savannah on foot. Sunglasses are essential in this southern state, and a hat is advised as well. Bring a refillable water bottle with you, as staying hydrated will be an important element towards enjoying your trip to Georgia.

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Local Services in Georgia

Expect all traditional local services in Georgia to be widely available. Banks, ATMs, post offices, libraries, and pharmacies will all operate under regular business hours. 24-hour stores and pharmacies will not be found in as great frequency as they are found in the north. Atlanta may be an exception to this rule, where you will find anything when you need it. Stocking the kitchen of your vacation rental won’t be a problem at all—from farmer’s markets to local bakeries you will have a great amount of choice.

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What to Know About Georgia

Expect all traditional local services in Georgia to be widely available. Banks, ATMs, post offices, libraries, and pharmacies will all operate under regular business hours. 24-hour stores and pharmacies will not be found in as great frequency as they are found in the north. Atlanta may be an exception to this rule, where you will find anything when you need it. Stocking the kitchen of your vacation rental won’t be a problem at all—from farmer’s markets to local bakeries you will have a great amount of choice.
Georgia is known for two specific aspects of its culture: food and music. Expect both to be excellent and in great numbers during your trip. It will be difficult to choose where to eat and where to listen to music during your trip. One trick is to spread your meals throughout the city. Order appetizers in one place, main courses in another, dessert in another, and find somewhere with music to relax over an after dinner drink. From blues to jazz, the music of Georgia will leave you wishing for a little more soul in the music back home.

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Getting to Georgia

The main international airport in Georgia is in Atlanta. Affordable flights can often be found at this massive airport. Other choices include Albany, Augusta, Columbus, Macon, and Savannah. From the airport, many travelers rent a car and explore Georgia through its efficient highway system.

Many visitors also choose to drive to Georgia. In close proximity to Florida, the Carolinas, Louisiana, and more, Georgia vacations are never too far away on Interstate 95.

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Why Georgia Vacation Rentals?

This Georgia travel guide has provided tips and advice on how to enjoy the top attractions, restaurants, and activities of the state. After a day of fun, culture, and great food, who wants to return to a boring hotel room? Vacation rentals in Georgia will not only put you in a local neighborhood, on the best beaches, or in close proximity to attractions, but will also provide you the space you need to slow down to a leisurely southern pace.

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