Flower Power room at The Groovy Nomad in Trenton, Georgia. Photo by @hunterhartphoto
11 of the Most Unique, Hip & Historic Georgia Getaways
Add some nostalgia to your next vacation with these stylish stays throughout the state.
Fans of the "hipstoric home" decorating trend, an eclectic style that mixes modern and antique pieces, will absolutely love these trendy places to stay in Georgia. From renovated motels to historic homes-turned-B&Bs, these vintage, yet modern, soulful spaces merge self-expression and historical nostalgia. Entering these hipstoric hotels is like stepping into another decade while at the same time being very "now." There’s an edginess and whimsy here that just feels right.
Beyond your vacation retreat, you can continue the vibe of your trip by sipping expertly mixed cocktails at bars with retro decor, shopping for vintage clothing and vinyl, and even playing old-school arcade games. Your home away from home should have as much style as you do. Here’s where to find it in Georgia.
ATH|BNB :: The Rushmore is an Athens bed and breakfast with 14 luxurious suites in a renovated 1918 home that still has original hardwood floors, windows and exterior brick. As the only lodging of its kind in town, The Rushmore offers beautifully designed suites with a mix of modern, classic and vintage furnishings while retaining the feel of a family home. Every suite has a unique personality and is decked out with premium linens and stylish touches like Crosley Bluetooth speakers and Smeg refrigerators stocked with Topo Chico.
Start the day with a continental breakfast provided by nearby Cafe on Lumpkin before setting out to explore the Five Points neighborhood, UGA campus and downtown shops and restaurants. Don’t miss the clothing and accessory selection at Agora Vintage, guided history tours around town, and live performances at the historic Morton Theatre.
Be sure to stop for a casual lunch or dinner at The National, opened in 2007 by James Beard Award-winning chef Hugh Acheson and fellow chef Peter Dale. Housed in a renovated 1950s Plymouth dealership and tire plant, the restaurant showcases local ingredients prepared in a Mediterranean style.
Art and design lovers won’t want to miss a visit to the Georgia Museum of Art (free admission!), including the permanent collection of more than 12,000 works of art and the “Southern/Modern” exhibit on display through Dec. 10, 2023, featuring paintings created in the American South in the early 20th century.
If you prefer to stay in downtown Athens, book a room at Graduate Athens, a boutique hotel full of collegiate style and retro sass. The carefully curated rooms not only offer a comfy place to lay your head, but they offer little moments of surprise and discovery like a 1960s-style telephone and an AM/FM radio (how do these things work?) alongside modern creature comforts like Keurig coffee makers and USB chargers.
Use the hotel’s complimentary bikes to explore downtown, stopping into Wuxtry, the famed records and comics shop where vintage posters and memorabilia make a veritable museum of Athens' music heritage. From the Athens Haunted History Walking Tour to live music most nights, there’s so much more to see and do in this historic college town. Read our Guide to Athens to find out more.
Located on historic Ponce De Leon Avenue in the heart of Atlanta, Hotel Clermont boasts 94 carefully appointed rooms with modern conveniences and splendid views. Built in the 1920s as apartment homes, the building has a storied history that’s celebrated in its 2018 renovation. With an atmosphere full of positive energy, and retro design touches like velvet headboards and record players, the full-service boutique hotel boasts destination-worthy food and beverage outlets from a rooftop deck, lobby cafe and bar, and the highly regarded French-American brasserie, Tiny Lou’s.
Follow the old-meets-new vibes down the street to Skyline Park at Ponce City Market, a huge former Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse and distribution center that is now a mixed-use development with retail, restaurants, offices and apartments. Head up to The Roof, where you can play mini golf and Skee-Ball while you take in the view of the Atlanta skyline. In the nearby Little Five Points neighborhood, shop for vintage and unusual finds at The Junkman’s Daughter and other stores. Then, catch a movie nearby at The Plaza Theatre, which opened in 1939 and is Atlanta’s oldest operating cinema, showing a mix of new releases, cult classics and independent films, and even “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” every Friday night.
The Candler Hotel Atlanta
If you prefer to stay closer to the landmark attractions at Centennial Olympic Park, check into The Candler Hotel Atlanta, a 17-story highrise built in 1906 as the city’s first steel skyscraper. Now, as a stunning hotel, many of the building’s original Beaux-Arts architectural details and the Gothic and Renaissance elements were retained, including the marbleized lobby and the bank vault in the building’s basement, rumored to be the former hiding place of the sought-after Coca-Cola formula. Upscale modern conveniences and ultra-chic decor ensure hotel guests enjoy a truly memorable stay.
Read our Guide to Atlanta to find more things to do around Georgia’s capital city.
The Partridge Inn
With a stay at The Partridge Inn Augusta, Curio Collection by Hilton, you’ll have the otherworldly experience of relaxing at a 100-year-old+ grand hotel while still feeling cutting-edge. Opened in 1910 on a hilltop with the best view of Augusta, the recently renovated property retains its historic charm while surrounding guests with upscale conveniences in more than 140 individually decorated rooms and suites. Enjoy contemporary Southern cuisine in the onsite 8595 Restaurant and Bar, which is also known for serving the “Best Brunch in Augusta” on Sundays, and be sure to head to the roof at Six South Rooftop Bar for cocktails with a view.
Around town, experience Augusta’s unique history and culture through any of the Authentic Augusta Experiences, like the Heart of Augusta Tour - Cycle the Soul City and Bartender for a Day. Relish the cozy atmosphere in The Book Tavern, a classic bookstore with new and used titles, and flip through the vintage vinyl at Grantski Records to search for old favorites and new releases. Check the calendar at the historic Miller Theater to take in a show at the Art Moderne-style masterpiece renovated in 2018, and end the evening at Vance’s Bakery Bar, a mid-century modern bakery and cocktail lounge with alcohol-infused desserts and top-shelf signature cocktails.
Built in 1909 as part of a “five and dime” department store chain, the building now occupied by The Kress suites in historic downtown Brunswick has a new life that’s redefining Southern hospitality. Decorated with intricate design, historical details and vintage accents, the one- and two-bedroom suites are like apartments, including full kitchens, and washers and dryers. The large windows and doors are framed from the original, salvaged wood of the Kress building, and the wood flooring is reclaimed from the original structure.
Relax on your balcony to soak in the golden-hour views, and make reservations at the rooftop 1509 Brunswick to feast your eyes on the scenery while savoring dishes and small plates. Find the perfect drink pairing from a hand-picked list of wines, as well as handcrafted cocktails, beers, and ciders from around the world. Secluded from the remainder of the restaurant on the rooftop, 1509’s elegant cigar lounge is furnished with comfy sofas along with a dining area.
Although your accommodations are enchanting, you’re here to explore the coast after all, so set out with Brunswick Old Town Bike Tours to learn more about the second-oldest city in the 13th American colony. Then, stop into the Pinball Palace to rack up some points on old-school arcade games like Pac Man, Donkey Kong, Asteroids and Tron. Sample the beer at Silver Bluff Brewing before heading to dinner at Reid’s Apothecary Kitchen & Cocktails for delights like pulled duck nachos and lobster macaroni and cheese.
For a stay closer to the beach, The Park is a fun and stylish “microresort” privately nestled around a gated swimming pool on St. Simons Island. The collection of five one-of-a-kind vacation rentals has 12 master bedrooms, sleeps 26 comfortably and is only a 2-minute walk from The Pier Village and a bike ride from the beach.
Set under idyllic oak trees covered in Spanish moss, The Park’s modern decor with a distinct Southern charm sets it apart as the perfect escape from the stresses of modern life. Guests can rent the homes individually or buy out The Park for a large group getaway.
Built in 1838 during Milledgeville’s tenure as Georgia’s capital city, The Rockwell House has gone through more than one cycle of splendor and neglect, but it is now fully open for reservations – whether visitors want to experience the entire home privately for a weekend or host the wedding of the century. An example of the Milledgeville Federal/Greek Revival style and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the newly restored home features modern furnishings amid ornate touches like hand-pulled plaster cornices and marble fireplaces. It’s not a B&B, but it can sleep up to 12 guests with shared access to the luxury kitchen with Viking appliances.
Located only 2 miles from downtown Milledgeville’s shops and restaurants, you’ll want to be sure to take a Historic Trolley Tour to learn more about the storied history of the town, which is also home to Georgia College & State University. Explore Andalusia Farm, where author Flannery O’Connor lived and wrote most of her acclaimed work, including “A Good Man is Hard to Find.” Check out the exhibits in the farm's new Interpretive Center; take a guided tour to learn more about the author's life; and shop for books, artwork and souvenirs in the gift shop. Then, head downtown to The Reel Grill for dinner, where you can indulge in steak and seafood while you sip a bourbon cocktail named “Flannery O’Connor’s Love Letters.”
In Savannah, The Thunderbird Inn is a classic roadside motel originally built in 1964 and totally renovated in 2016 to feature 42 stylishly appointed rooms. With plush pillow-top beds, RC Cola and MoonPies in the rooms, plus minimalistic décor -- a nod to hip fashioning and simpler, more fun times in the American South – you’ll adore the happy-natured vibe and spunky bursts of color. Not to mention, complimentary hot popcorn and lemonade await guests in the hotel lobby, and the hotel is pet-friendly.
For a still-retro but more Mad Men-esque vibe, check into the Perry Lane Hotel, which expertly captures the duality of contemporary design and love for the historic surroundings, creating a sanctuary of timeless indulgence. Seamlessly integrated into Savannah’s historic district, Perry Lane’s elegantly appointed guest rooms and suites are both refined and residential in feel. The jewel box of a hotel — complete with a stylish rooftop bar and pool — makes it a hotspot for visitors and locals alike. Even the elevators, all decked out in funky wallpapers, are posh.
The Groovy Nomad is a locally owned 1950s roadside motel nestled between two mountains in the northwest corner of Georgia. Each of the property’s 10 rooms has its own funky theme – like Flower Power, Traveling Hippie and Elvis’ Jungle – featuring mid-century modern vintage furniture and decor. Still, they’re equipped with modern conveniences like Keurig coffee makers, and retro mini refrigerators with freezers. The outside of The Groovy Nomad features the original milk glass light fixtures and colorful murals painted by local artist Keeley Farmer.
Each room comes with a pass to Cloudland Canyon State Park, located just 7.5 miles away, so you can’t miss the chance to check out the dramatic waterfalls and stunning canyon scenery at this popular park. To check out a panoramic view of seven states, head to Rock City Gardens, where ancient rock formations and gorgeous gardens delight and amaze visitors. On weekend evenings, roll down your windows and cruise over to the Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater, the world's largest outdoor movie theater, with two movie screens showing double features under the stars.