Wine barrel cabins at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones
Cozy Georgia Getaways Perfect for Winter
After days spent outside in the crisp, cool air, you'll love warming up in these Georgia cabins, inns, resorts and more.
As the temperatures cool, take the opportunity to get away from the chaos of daily life in favor of a cozy getaway with loved ones or on your own. You don't have to go too far from home to experience these Georgia destinations, from the mountains to the coast.
An hour north of Atlanta is Adairsville, home to Barnsley Resort, which was formerly a private estate and at some point was owned by a German prince. These days, it’s a favorite retreat for city dwellers looking to relax. There are cottages with fireplaces and bathtubs, along with inn rooms, and pets are welcome. All guests have access to the resort's Southern dining, golf course, horseback riding, spa, sporting clays and cozy fireplaces.
On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Len Foote Hike Inn, an eco-friendly rustic lodge that is only accessible by foot. Start your journey at Amicalola Falls Lodge, where you leave your car, before starting the 5-mile trek to the top. Once there, change into your comfiest clothes to read a book or play games in the fireside “living room,” or grab a cup of tea from the kitchen, where you have your communal meals. Use the inn as a base to go on longer hikes, including the Appalachian Trail approach trail to Springer Mountain, the official starting point.
Rent a cabin with some friends, like the wine barrel cabins at Unicoi State Park, or warm up at Lucille's Mountain Top Inn & Spa, located near Helen. Not only are the rooms comfy and the breakfast gourmet, they also have an in-house spa where you can fully pamper yourself. While you’re there, go on a scenic hike.
You might not be swimming, but fall is great for boating on the many lakes around Georgia. Lake Oconee is visitor-friendly, with plenty of marinas and boat rentals located nearby. There’s nowhere better to stay than the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee. Set along 30 acres of lakefront shoreline, the luxury resort has golf course access, lakeside rooms, spa treatments and multiple dining options. Warm up with a cocktail at one of the fire pits.
Head into Greensboro and the other towns in the area to go shopping, sip on craft beer and learn about local history.
You don’t have to go out West to get the dude ranch experience. Southern Cross Guest Ranch is a horse farm and bed and breakfast in Madison with five types of rooms, featuring king-sized beds, televisions, Jacuzzi baths, fireplaces and complimentary breakfast. Guests can go on trail rides or take advantage of nearby golfing, kayaking and shopping.
For a traditional historic bed and breakfast experience, stay at the town’s namesake James Madison Inn, an award-winning property. Rooms, each decorated in a different way, come with Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen televisions, fireplaces and a rain shower. There is also an outdoor porch where guests can cozy up with a book by a local author. Pamper yourself with an in-house spa treatment before exploring the area further.
Atlanta and Surrounds
Although it’s only 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta, Serenbe feels worlds away. It's a residential area, but also has plenty of visitor experiences. Spend time browsing the shops and dining at the restaurants, like the much-praised The Farmhouse at Serenbe, before settling into a night at The Inn at Serenbe. The grounds have 15 miles of trails to explore over the course of 36 acres, with 27 guest rooms, daily meals and a spa.
Georgia State Parks offer unique accommodation options throughout the state, but none are quite as fun as the yurts located at multiple parks, including Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs. Originally a textile mill, the 2,000-acre park has miles of hiking trails and mill ruins, as well as a lake for fishing and paddling. Choose from 10 yurts, which can sleep six people and are fully heated, as well as traditional campsites.
It might not be “beach weather” in the traditional sense, with umbrellas and swimming in the ocean, but there’s something lovely about off-season trips to the coast. The Golden Isles (St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island) are a wonderful place to spend a weekend or longer. On Little St. Simons Island, visitors can enjoy both luxury and nature in rooms surrounding a fireplace, chef-prepared meals, and daily excursions with the onsite naturalists.
Greyfield Inn on Cumberland Island is another choice that puts you in the heart of a national seashore known for its wild beauty and the ruins of the Carnegie mansion. Detour to Jekyll Island to snap sunset photographs on the iconic Driftwood Beach.