Columbus RiverWalk

Explore downtown Columbus, Georgia, along the Chattahoochee River.

7 Riverside Towns You Need to Visit this Fall

Experience the rush of an adventure-filled getaway in these scenic cities!

Nothing is as peaceful as the rolling water of a river, and fall is an incredible time to seek out an adventure on the water. From bike rides to kayak adventures, these riverside towns offer incredible views of the changing leaves and plentiful activity options for the entire family.


Chattahoochee RiverWalk in Columbus. Photo Credit: Parker Whidby

The Chattahoochee River in Columbus is made for fun. Shy of the water? Take in views from the RiverWalk via a bike ride along the 22 miles of paved trail. Feeling more adventurous? The Blue Heron zip line takes you over the river, or brave the rapids on the river with Whitewater Express.


woman in Helen, Georgia. Photo by @viajando_con_carlita
Helen, Georgia. Photo by @viajando_con_carlita

The Chattahoochee River also graces Georgia's Alpine mountain town of Helen. Although tubing generally closes around Labor Day, there are still plenty of ways to enjoy the river. The Troll Tavern and Paul's Steakhouse offer spectacular views with eats to match. Another secret? Hampton Inn Helen offers large rooms for families, and it sits on the river. Kids will love heading out the back and putting their toes in the water as the leaves fall around them.


Ellijay is home to three rivers: Cartecay, Coosawattee and Ellijay River – not surprising since the name Ellijay means "many waters." Set your kayak onto the Coosawattee for waterfalls and class I rapids. Additionally, fishing poles are always recommended!


Savannah River Street

The Savannah River made Savannah what it is today! Nothing beats a walk along River Street, but you certainly don't want to miss a ride on the Savannah Belle Ferry. It’s free, and the 30-minute ride in a triangle pattern across the river makes for kid's dream. And please, don't miss a stop at Savannah Candy Kitchen for amazing pralines.


Flint RiverQuarium in Albany, Georgia

Albany is lucky enough to boast the Flint River, which Margaret Mitchell says in "Gone With The Wind" bordered Tara. While that might be fiction, fun on the Flint River is an absolute. Flint RiverQuarium is a must-see experience to understand the beauty this river holds. Albany also added a new kayak launch near the aquarium. No kayak? No problem! Kayak Attack Adventures offers rentals and shuttles seven days a week.


Stand up paddleboard in Rome, Georgia

In Rome, the Etowah and Oostanaula rivers form the Coosa River. Paddles and floats along the rivers make great family fun, especially toward nearby Cave Spring. Make sure to stop at the “Between the Rivers” historic district for great eats and shopping. It's also home to Rome's famous City Clocktower, which has been keeping watch of the rivers since 1872. Another way to enjoy the river is via Ridge Ferry Park with a large playground and paved trails along the water.


Ocmulgee River in Macon, Georgia. Photo courtesy Ocmulgee Outdoor Expeditions, Facebook

The Ocmulgee River runs through beautiful Macon. It's the headway to the Ocmulgee River Water Trail, which heads south/southeast for 200 miles into Hazlehurst. The best view of the river in Macon is at Amerson River Park. Here, you'll also find an accessible playground, 7 miles of trails, picnic tables, kayak launches and more.

Published: July 2021
Written by: Lesli Peterson