Don’t get us wrong. We love Savannah. So much so that we’ve written dozens of posts about the Hostess City. But it isn’t Georgia’s only charming town. Not even by a long shot.
There are plenty of towns worth a visit that are matched in regards to top-notch restaurants, historic inns, and attractions. Come see a few of our favorites, most of which are a short drive from major cities, but feel worlds away.
Located on the Georgia coast, the small town of Darien was first settled in 1736 by Scottish Highlanders. A British fort was located nearby and the area was affected by Spanish and Indian attacks. Much of the town was burned during the Civil War.
These days, the main industry is seafood. Visitors can learn about the early days of coastal Georgia at the Fort King George State Historic Site. The Old Jail Art Center and Museum is another historic landmark in town.
The Ashantilly Center, also known as “Old Tabby,” was the former home of Thomas Spalding, the plantation owner on Sapelo Island. Butler Island Plantation is a former rice plantation owned by a couple that divorced over their opinions of slavery.
Visitors can enjoy fresh local seafood at riverfront eateries like Skipper’s Fish Camp and B&J’s Steaks and Seafood. Chef Jerome’s Old School Diner has fried shrimp, chicken, and barbecue.
Spend the night at one of Darien’s inns. Dockside Inn is located across the parking lot from Skipper’s with balconies overlooking the river. Open Gates Bed and Breakfast was built in 1876 and has five themed rooms.
Greensboro is a quaint town in Georgia’s Lake Country, founded in 1780. Named for Revolutionary War general Nathanael Greene, the downtown has historic homes and landmarks.
One is the Old Greene County “Gaol”, a granite prison built in 1807. It served as both a place where prisoners were kept as well as where they were executed at the gallows. It remained in use until 1895.
Oconee Brewing Company is also the area’s first craft brewery, offering a diverse lineup including a saison, kolsch, and stouts. The brewery is open for tours and tastings every weekend.
The Yesterday Cafe is one of Greensboro’s best restaurants, serving their signature buttermilk pie. Lamai Ban Thai Kitchen is an authentic Thai restaurant with laab pork salads, duck curries, and other dishes.
Visitors can spend the night at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Reynolds Lake Oconee. This property is the ultimate lakeside luxury accommodation. The resort has world-class golf courses, dining, and spa services.
Madison has been nicknamed “the town Sherman refused to burn” when it was spared from the destruction of the Civil War. It’s a part of the Antebellum Trail and offers a seasonal tour of the historic homes.
Learn about the town’s history at the Madison Morgan Cultural Center. The Romanesque-style schoolhouse now operates as a museum and theatre.
Visitors can also chow down at one of the many locally-owned restaurants. Amici Italian Cafe is a casual Italian joint offering pizza and sandwiches. Farmview Market sells artisan sandwiches and ice cream as well as fresh produce.
Town 220 Restaurant is one of the area’s best places for steaks, seafood, and pasta. Chow down on fried green tomatoes, Vidalia onion soup, and filet mignon.
Madison’s historic homes have been turned into inns. Brady Inn is one, an 1885 Victorian bed and breakfast with seven bedrooms. The James Madison Inn is another, with 17 unique rooms and two suites with art and furnishings from local artists.
Marietta is a suburb north of Atlanta that started as a Cherokee settlement. But the Civil War forever changed the area as it was burned during Sherman’s March to the Sea. Today, Marietta is a large area with the historic square and historic homes on the annual Marietta Pilgrimage.
Visitors can get a dose of culture at Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art or learn about the city’s past at the Marietta Museum of History. The Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum has artifacts from the iconic book and film by Margaret Mitchell.
Marietta Food Tours introduces both locals and visitors to the many restaurants in the historic district, all representing different types of cuisine. Ghosts of Marietta runs spooky tours of the city at night.
Marietta has plentiful restaurants, spanning every type of cuisine. Stockyard Burgers and Bones has different types of burgers, including wild boar and lamb burgers, along with craft beer.
For a taste of Down Under, Australian Bakery Cafe makes Australian meat pies and also carries food items like Vegemite. And the Marietta Square Market has stalls with Cuban, pizzas, and Cajun fare.
There aren’t many accommodation options in the area, but Stanley House Inn is one of the historic homes-turned-inn, right off the square. The nearby Hilton Atlanta/Marietta Hotel & Conference Center has modern amenities.
Rome is named after the Italian city, set in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains in Northwest Georgia. Native Americans settled nearby before the Civil War devastated the area.
The campus of Berry College has been used in films like Sweet Home Alabama and Remember the Titans. Visitors can wander the trails, visit the 1930s gristmill, or tour the Martha Berry Museum.
The town’s historic Clock Tower was built on one of the city’s seven hills in 1872. Check out the murals downstairs before making the climb to the top.
You can also go on Georgia’s Rome Flavor Tours or take advantage of paddleboarding and kayaking on the river. Catch a Rome Braves game, the city’s minor league baseball team.
Harvest Moon Cafe is a delicious place to grab a meal in the heart of downtown. Honeymoon Bakery is where to get your sweet fix after dinner out. Don’t forget to stop by River Dog Outpost for a pint by the river or Swift and Finch for coffee.
Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Rome is set in a 1890s warehouse and still has the original floors and brick walls. The Claremont House is an 1882 Victorian Gothic home turned national register-listed bed and breakfast.
Thomasville was founded in 1825 and is known as the “City of Roses” for its annual Rose Festival. The town also hosts a seasonal tour of homes and Victorian Christmas celebrations.
Among the attractions are the Jack Hadley Black History Museum, a museum naved for a historian that contains over 4,000 artifacts related to African-American history in the area. The Taste of Thomasville Food Tour brings visitors to the best local eateries.
Thomasville has incredible restaurants and makers, including the famed Sweet Grass Dairy cheesemaker. Enjoy authentic bagels and sandwiches at Empire Bagel and a cup of locally roasted coffee at Grassroots Coffee.
For a heartier meal, head to Jonah’s Fish and Grits, which is known for its seafood. Liam’s is another favorite, serving New American favorites.
Spend the night at Thomasville Bed and Breakfast, one of the area’s charming inns. The 1908 Queen Anne Victorian has a wraparound porch overlooking the live oaks. The Hampton Inn Thomasville is another option nearby.
Patricia Huff says
Love Georgia. Move from Texas here.