Backroad Gems in Georgia
One of the best things about traveling to and through Georgia is how many interesting sights you can see when you bypass the interstate and take a ride down a two-lane highway. You never know what you’re going to find, like a beautiful pecan orchard or a vintage Ford truck just waiting to be photographed. On your next trip to Georgia, take time for a detour to one of these backroad gems.
Roadside stands all over the state have bushels of peaches for sale in the summer, but the mecca of peaches is located in Peach County at Lane Southern Orchards. You can get baskets full of them, or if peach preserves or homemade peach ice cream is what you’re craving, they’ve got that, too. If you visit on a weekday during the summer, you can peek at the packing plant and see how peaches are inspected and sorted. If you stop by any other time of the year, you can find other fresh goodies like pecans, tomatoes and strawberries. It’s a good idea to stop here any time of the year!
If you have ever seen the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, you are going to want to stop by Juliette. Located just a little bit north of Macon is the little town where the movie was filmed, and it is still home to the Whistle Stop Cafe. Many residents who were in involved with filming are still in Juliette and love to tell stories about it while you shop downtown. Make sure you leave time for lunch at the café, because these really are the best fried green tomatoes you will ever eat.
Right outside of Thomaston on a hill overlooking the Flint River sits Riverbend Restaurant. After you visit this restaurant once, you will make it a point to return. They are only open Wednesday - Sunday for dinner only (5pm - 9pm), but you know you are in for a treat when folks start lining up at the door about an hour before they open. Order a plate of fried catfish or shrimp, and you will be stuffed before you know it. Their hush puppies are to die for! It’s always nice to take a stroll and enjoy the view after supper, too.
Best known for Roosevelt's Little White House State Historic Site, Warm Springs is a great stop if you’re traveling through West Georgia on Hwy 41 or Hwy 85. The town is full of antiques, shops and curiosities. If you’re lucky, you will visit Warm Springs during a festival like the Spring Fling. No matter when you visit, make sure to try a pulled pork sandwich from Mac's Barbeque & Steakhouse. You won’t be sorry you ventured off the highway for that!