Georgia peaches

More than 40 varieties of peaches are grown in Georgia, and they are at their peak from May to August.

Georgia's Famous Foods You Just Have To Try When You Visit

From peaches to peanuts, taste fresh new flavors every season in Georgia.

Although it’s easy to identify the most well-known crops produced in Georgia (peaches and peanuts are ubiquitous mentions), some may not realize what a versatile food destination our state is. We boast an extensive range of crops that provides inspiration for food lovers everywhere, from celebrated, farm-to-table chefs to rural retail producers.

Peaches

Lane Southern Orchards
Lane Southern Orchards

Of course, the peach’s distinction can’t be denied. The state’s iconic fruit has thrived here since the late 1500s. Fresh Georgia peaches are available from May to August, and this sweet fruit is never in short supply.

In Fort Valley, Lane Southern Orchards has been growing and packing peaches for more than a century. Visitors can get the full peach experience with tours of the orchards (on a replica of the first Blue Bird school bus). Georgia’s oldest continuously operating peach-packing house, Dickey Farms, in Musella, is another must-see. In addition to witnessing the bustling peach-packing operation, visitors can shop in the retail store that stocks peach-flavored, jellies, relishes, salsas, and of course fresh peaches. A stop at Lawson Peaches, in the south Georgia town of Morven, affords such treats as peach ice cream, peach lemonade, peach cookbooks, peach candles, and even peach soap.

Blueberries

Blueberries
Blueberries

Blueberries, a crop boasting three times the production of peaches, can be found all over Georgia, including at Byne Blueberry Farm in Waynesboro, which grows 100-percent organic berries and lets you pick your own. Elevate breakfast with the wine-infused blueberry jam made by Appalachian Kitchens & Winery in Blairsville, and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Northeast Georgia Mountains while scoping out the starting point of the Appalachian Trail. Bite into a sweet blueberry treat at Gainesville’s Southern Baked Pie Company, a family-owned bakery that sources berries from local growers as well as organic bushes the owner’s grandfather planted more than twenty-five years ago.

Watermelon

Watermelons at Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia. Photo credit: @tangiblesilence
Watermelons at Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia. Photo credit: @tangiblesilence

During the summer months, visitors to Cordele — the watermelon capital of the world — will experience a flurry of activities as the famous melon crop is harvested and shipped nationwide. To get a taste of straight-from-the-farm Georgia watermelon, stop at longtime favorite roadside stand Mark's Melon Patch in Sasser, where you can pick up a fresh melon as well as other great Georgia produce.

Apples

Pick your own apples at B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay
Pick your own apples at B.J. Reece Orchards in Ellijay

Likewise, fall is busy season in the quaint town of Ellijay, the heart of Georgia’s apple country. Apple lovers can get their craving fix by traveling along Highway 52 East, which includes eight stops on Apple Orchard Alley, to pick a bushel basket, and stock up on ciders, butters, turnovers, and must-have apple pies.

Peanuts

Georgia peanuts
Georgia peanuts

Our rich soil affords another hot crop: Georgia leads the nation in peanut production. Visit the peanut capital of Plains to tour the boyhood home of President Jimmy Carter, and snap a photo in front of the thirteen-foot-tall peanut that was built to honor the thirty-ninth president and lifelong peanut farmer. In Tifton, pick up a bag of locally grown peanuts from the Georgia Peanut Commission. Peanut butter enthusiasts can sample small-batch butter made from just two ingredients­—non-GMO peanuts and sea salt—from Atlanta-based Georgia Grinders. Finally, stop in Athens for a local twist on a favorite appetizer, the boiled peanut hummus at Hugh Acheson’s famed Five & Ten restaurant.

Pecans

Georgia pecans
Georgia pecans

There’s more than one nutty star in Georgia, though—we are one of the top pecan-producing states. Visit Little Duck Farms in Ray City, a third-generation family farm, and see how pecans are picked and processed. Tour Ellis Brothers Pecans, in Vienna, a fully operating processing house and store. At Dovetail restaurant, in Macon, satisfy your sweet tooth with The Cracked Pie, which is filled with Georgia pecans and topped with homemade salted caramel ice cream. Burt’s Butcher Shoppe & Eatery, in Columbus, offers a sweet deal with a slice of perfect pecan pie for only $2.

Honey

Georgia honey
Georgia honey

A soft hum fills the air in Clinch County, Georgia, which boasts more than 22,000 beehives. Sample pure, raw honeys along the Clinch County Honey Trail, which connects seven locations that sell several varieties from local farms. Bruce’s Nut-N-Honey Farm is one stop that sells an aromatic version called Gallberry honey, which involves the skillful task of extracting nectar from a Gallberry bush (and is known for its honeycomb). Closer to the coast, the Oprah-endorsed Savannah Bee Company is a notable honey purveyor that also offers honey-based body-care items, candles, and much more. Be sure to stop at the honey-tasting bar, where visitors sample and pick favorites before taking bottles home.

Wine

Habersham Vineyards & Winery in Helen, Georgia
Habersham Vineyards & Winery in Helen, Georgia

The state’s bottled goodness reaches beyond food: Wines enjoy a big presence in the Northeast Georgia Mountains. Sip varietals from one of the region’s many vineyards, including Crane Creek Vineyards, located in the shadow of Georgia’s highest peak of Brasstown Bald. Explore the Appalachian mountains as you journey along the Unicoi Wine Trail, which connects six of North Georgia’s award-winning wineries.

Vidalia Onions

Vidalia onions
Vidalia onions

Known around the world, the sweet Vidalia onion’s namesake town is a must-see when exploring local flavors. Tour the Vidalia Onion Museum, and explore the historic downtown with unique shops and restaurants. When in season, area chefs and restaurants feature fresh-from-the-field Vidalia onions on their menus, such as the delicious Vidalia onion strudel at Elements Bistro & Grill, in Lyons.

Chefs, restaurants, and food lovers across the state are enamored with Georgia’s rich and flavorful bounty. With so much farm-fresh variety paired with creative talent, Georgia’s culinary landscape is ripe for exploration.

Published: August 2018