North Beach on Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @samidobbs

North Beach on Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @samidobbs

10 Best Things to Do this Summer in Georgia

Road trips to water parks, quirky landmarks, drive-in movies and many more of the hottest ways to explore Georgia this summer.

Summertime in the Peach State is unlike anywhere else. Sure, it can be hot, but we have plenty of ways to cool down. No matter what part of Georgia you'll be visiting, you're sure to have a great time. We have a few suggestions to add to your list!

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, some events have been canceled or postponed, and some businesses have modified their operations. This list may not reflect the most recent updates. Before you go, check social media, the venue's website or call to confirm event plans.

For more information, visit Explore Georgia's COVID-19 travel information page.

Boy on Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @qued3point14

Cool off in the water

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @qued3point14

What better way to beat the summer heat than by wading into the ocean, jumping in a lake or playing at one of Georgia's water parks?

The Georgia Coast

Kayak around a historic lighthouse at Tybee Island, explore Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, photograph the secluded beach on St. Catherine's Island near Midway and much more on the Georgia Coast.

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

The Water Park at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands opens every May as another way to enjoy the lake with mat racing slides, a zipline and water activities for little ones.

Georgia's Lake Country

Head to Lake Oconee and Lake Sinclair for watersports, fishing, golf and cool morning breezes. You'll love all of the water activities as well as great dining, shopping and sightseeing nearby in Eatonton, Greensboro, Madison and Milledgeville.

Six Flags White Water

Six Flags White Water in Marietta, outside of Atlanta, is a longtime favorite with nearly 70 acres of slides, tube rides, and a wave pool.

SoakYa Water Park at Lake Winnepesaukah

At Lake Winnepesaukah Amusement Park and SoakYa Water Park in Rossville, swimmers can relax at the beach lagoon, race on the slides and splash in the interactive kids area.

Splash in the Boro

At Splash in the Boro Family Water Park in Statesboro, swimmers can float on the lazy river, brave the water slides and bob in the wave pool.

Summer Waves Water Park

On Jekyll Island, swimmers can take a break from the beach at Summer Waves Water Park to brave the Pirates Passage flume, drift down Turtle Creek and wade into the kiddie pool.

Wild Adventures

Valdosta's Wild Adventures theme park also has Splash Island waterpark, which features thrilling slides, a calm wave pool, and even cabanas to relax in.

Soar through the trees

Feeling adventurous? Georgia has a number of thrilling ziplines for all experience levels.

Banning Mills Screaming Eagle canopy tours has the largest, continuous zip line canopy tour in the world.

In Columbus, you can zip from Georgia to Alabama with Blue Heron Zipline Adventure Park.

Zipline Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge soar above North Georgia with two towers and three sky bridges.

Market on Madison Farmers Market in Madison, Georgia

Hit up the farmers markets

Take advantage of the state's agricultural bounty by visiting one of the many Georgia Grown farmers markets, like Dublin's Market on Madison, the Atlanta State Farmers Market, Oconee Farmers Market and the Cordele State Farmers Market, the major watermelon distribution hub for the Southeast. They're easy to find in nearly every region. You'll find fresh produce, meats, seafood, prepared foods, and crafts. It's a great way to pick up ingredients to cook for friends and family. The Georgia Department of Agriculture is a good place to start looking.

Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

Plan a road trip to see quirky landmarks

Georgia has some truly unique attractions that are worth a road trip in their own right. There are quirky artist havens like Pasaquan in Buena Vista and Summerville's Paradise Garden, created by Howard Finster, one of America's most widely known and prolific self-taught artists.

The Ashburn Peanut is a beloved landmark for those driving south along I-75, while the Plains Peanut has the same smile as President Jimmy Carter. While in Plains, be sure to tour the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site to learn more about America's 39th president.

The Georgia Guidestones in Elberton have a bizarre past, while the Doll's Head Trail is a funky Atlanta hike.

And the faces carved into trees on St. Simons Island make for a mystical treasure hunt.

But, wait! There's more! Check out these 14 strange things you wouldn't believe are in Georgia.

Jesup Drive-In

Catch a drive-in movie

Although there aren't many drive-in theaters left, summertime is great for catching an outdoor film in Georgia. Gather your friends, chairs, and snacks for a new or second-run movie. Swan Drive In in Blue Ridge, Starlight in Atlanta, Jesup Drive In in Jesup, Tiger Drive In in Tiger, and Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater in Trenton are ones you can check out around the state. Wilderness has the world's largest screen!

Peach tree at Jaemor Farm in Alto, Georgia

Eat a peach

Nothing says Georgia more than peaches! Summer is the best time to get them from roadside stands and in restaurants. There are plenty of ways to enjoy the state fruit, whether in fried pies, milkshakes, peach wine, jams or straight from the tree.

More: Where to Get Fresh Georgia Peaches

Peachtree Road Race in Atlanta

Make a run for it

An Atlanta (and Georgia) tradition is the world's largest 10K race: the AJC Peachtree Road Race. It winds from Buckhead to Midtown every July 4, and this year also will take place on July 3 to allow runners to spread out and enjoy the famous hilly course. Runners also can participate virtually by running 6.2 miles wherever they choose. Even if you're not up for the race itself, make a sign to cheer on the competitors!

White Oak Pastures in Bluffton, Georgia. Photo by Alee Morrison Link, @aleemorrisonlink

Go on a farm stay

White Oak Pastures photo by Alee Morrison Link, @aleemorrisonlink

Get up close with the animals at one of Georgia's farm stays and guest ranches. In Bluffton, White Oak Pastures is a working cattle farm with guest cabins.

In Madison, Crafdal Farm Alpacas lets you stay in rustic cabins on the same property as alpacas, and Southern Cross Guest Ranch is a dude ranch with horseback riding.

Hay House in Macon, Georgia

Tour a historic home

Choose a part of the state and there's a historic home you can learn about.

In Atlanta, it might be the Swan House at the Atlanta History Center, which film fans will recognize as President Snow's mansion in "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire." In Macon, tour the 18,000-square-foot Hay House, known as the "Palace of the South."

Hills and Dales Estate in LaGrange, the Callaway family home, and the Little White House in Warm Springs, where President Franklin Delano Roosevelt retreated, also can't be missed.

Leopold's Ice Cream in Savannah, Georgia. Photo by Lia & Jeremy, @practicalwanderlust

Chow down on ice cream

Leopold's Ice Cream photo by Lia & Jeremy, @practicalwanderlust

Cool off with a cool treat! Georgia has some fantastic ice cream establishments.

You've likely heard of Leopold's in Savannah, which usually has a line down the street. The parlor has been scooping ice cream since 1919.

Lane Southern Orchards makes peach ice cream, and Jake's Ice Cream in Atlanta is a must-stop if you're walking the Atlanta Beltline.

Published: April 2021
Written by: Caroline Eubanks