Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia. Photo by @kris_pinyan
Pick Your Perfect Georgia Spring Activity
Springtime in Georgia is an annual reminder of the many amazing reasons to get outside and into the beautiful natural playground of the Peach State.
There’s no shortage of blooming flora this time of year, which means Georgia’s garden wonderlands make for a blooming-great getaway. At The State Botanical Gardens in Athens, a rainbow of daffodils, roses, snapdragons and cherry blossoms kick off the season, and heirloom roses, fruit crops and native species give you a peek at the state’s agricultural history. There’s also plenty of opportunity for outdoor amazement in North Georgia at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, when the early March to mid-April Daffodil Colorfest blankets the landscape in a frothy, vibrant yellow.
Georgia’s coastline isn’t the only area where you can find vast vistas of the state’s many beautiful bodies of water. Hike, picnic or camp out along the maritime forest of the Intracoastal Waterway at Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah, or find a great place to spend a night outdoors with the scenic campgrounds and miles of nature trails at Georgia Veterans State Park near Lake Blackshear. You can also find a serene place to lay out for a night or two after earning your sleep with an invigorating day of hiking and backpacking at Vogel State Park near Helen — the 13-mile Coosa Backcountry Trail is a top accomplishment — or F.D. Roosevelt State Park in Pine Mountain, where the 23-mile Pine Mountain Trail passes waterfalls, travels over creeks and moves through a winding forest.
If you’re less into the rough-it sort of outdoors adventure and more into fanciful forest relaxation, go for a night of luxury at Timberline Glamping Company near Georgia’s tallest waterfall, Amicalola Falls, at the southern end of the Appalachian Trail in Dawsonville. If someone accuses you of cheating because your heated or air-conditioned tent has electrical outlets, a coffee maker and a minifridge, just invite them in for a visit.
It’d be quite a shame to spend time in this gorgeous agricultural state without taking advantage of every chance available to pick and enjoy your own veggies, fruit and other produce — and berries are spring’s finest. Head to Rutland Farms in Tifton to pick them (and gobble up their strawberry ice cream) and do some bass fishing. During picking hours at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, fill your own bucket with some of their sweet berries, ride the cow train and meet the farm creatures in Bell’s Barnyard. Or spend time at Fort Valley’s Lane Southern Orchards to pick more gorgeous strawberries (and even some peaches as early as mid-May!).
Ideal Spring Destination: Augusta
Springtime in Augusta is pure Georgia magic, with the return of sunnier skies and warming temperatures. There’s no better time to experience Georgia’s second-largest city than when it’s shaded in newly sprouted leaves and bedazzled in blooms. Go bass fishing at Mistletoe State Park, home of one of the largest lakes in the Southeast. Then take a pedaling tour with Bike Bike Baby to see the downtown district’s public art, churches, cemeteries and other important spots related to African American culture — including, of course, the soulful areas of town that inspired Augusta’s own James Brown.
For an evening of amazing entertainment, buy tickets to one of many concerts or festivals hosted at the Jessye Norman Amphitheatre, which sits alongside the Savannah River. And give your perfect spring evening a proper Augustan nightcap with an old fashioned and panoramic views of the city’s streetscape at legendary rooftop bars Edgar’s Above Broad or Jackson’s Bluff.
Atlanta’s beloved Piedmont Park has been hosting the Dogwood Festival in April for more than 80 years, where local arts and crafts are sold, musicians share their songs and festival delicacies are sampled (like fried pickles, mushrooms and okra).
The Savannah St. Patrick’s Day Parade is America’s second-largest procession honoring “the apostle of Ireland,” where thousands of green-attired revelers celebrate the holiday and toast with green beer while watching marching bands, bagpipe players and floats.
Did you enjoy this feature from the 2023 Official State Travel Guide? Order your copy for more Georgia travel inspiration!