Sculpture outside The Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Sculpture outside The Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Travel the Wild West in Georgia

Plan an Old West-themed trip in Georgia with cowboys, canyons, stagecoach inns and even a gold rush or two!

No need to purchase a plane ticket to visit the Old West! Georgia has canyons, outlaws, stagecoach inns, cowboys and even a gold rush or two. Here are nine places to experience the Wild West in Georgia.

Stagecoach on display at The Booth Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

1. The Booth Museum in Cartersville

No Wild West tour of Georgia would be complete without a visit to The Booth Museum in Cartersville. This world-class museum of Western art includes an exhibit on Western movie posters, a presidential exhibit, and a very hands-on indoor playground for kids where they can ride in a stagecoach or cook at the chuck wagon.

Visit The Booth Museum

Doc Holliday marker in Griffin, Georgia

2. Doc Holliday Driving Tour in Griffin

The famous Wild West gunfighter, gambler and Wyatt Earp pal was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia. Take a self-guided Doc Holliday driving tour that includes seven markers around town that introduce you to young John Henry Holliday. Afterward, stop at the Doc Holliday Saloon for a shot of whiskey and some vittles.

Tour Doc Holliday's Hometown

Glen-Ella Springs Inn in Clarkesville, Georgia

3. Glen-Ella Springs Inn in Clarkesville

This bed and breakfast in Clarkesville is located on Bear Gap Road. The road was originally called Old Stagecoach Road. Travelers used it to travel from Clayton to Athens. Today, the Glen-Ella Springs Inn is family-owned and operated by the Kivetts. Stay the night, or just go for dinner in the award-winning restaurant.

Visit Glen-Ella Springs Inn

Blacksmith demonstrates his work to a family at Historic Westville in Columbus, Georgia

4. Historic Westville in Columbus

Travel back in time to an authentic 1850s community, and learn what life was like for the Creek Indians, the frontier settlers, rural farmers and townspeople. Historic Westville, a living history museum, provides a firsthand experience of what life would have been like in the 19th century. The buildings in Westville were moved from the museum's original location in Lumpkin to Columbus. Meet and interact with interpreters dressed in period clothing who represent the culture and traditions of those that occupied this region, as well as a variety of authentic trade-based shops, homesites, and historic churches.

Visit Historic Westville

New Echota in Calhoun, Georgia

5. New Echota in Calhoun

Visit New Echota State Historic Site in Calhoun and learn about the Native American tribe, the Cherokee. New Echota was the capital of the Cherokee nation and includes government buildings, as well as the newspaper office where The Phoenix, the first Cherokee newspaper was printed. This is also the beginning of the Trail of Tears. In addition to life in the Cherokee nation, learn about the forced removal of 16,000 Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma in the 1830s.

Visit New Echota State Historic Site

Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad in Villa Rica, Georgia

6. Pine Mountain Gold Museum in Villa Rica

Dahlonega isn't the only site of a gold rush in Georgia. Native American legends tell of gold near present-day Villa Rica. Spanish explorers came searching for it, but the first documented account was recorded in the mid-1820s. Since then, 19 commercial gold mining operations have been recorded in the town.

The Pine Mountain Gold Museum pays tribute to the mining industry in the area and includes exhibits, a documentary on the history of the Villa Rica mines, and a place to pan for your own gemstones. Two highlights within the complex are the authentic 19th-century gold stamp mill and the Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad that takes guests on a tour around the mountain.

Visit Pine Mountain Gold Museum

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia

7. Providence Canyon in Lumpkin

Known as Georgia’s "Little Grand Canyon," Providence Canyon in Lumpkin is a group of massive gullies, as deep as 150 feet, that were caused by poor farming practices in the 1800s. The result is a gorgeous canyon with striations of orange, salmon, red, white, purple and pink soil layers. Hike the rim, or head down into the canyon.

Visit Providence Canyon

Train conductor on the SAM Shortline Railroad in Cordele, Georgia

8. SAM Shortline Railroad in Cordele

If you didn't have a horse, the best mode of transportation in the Old West was by train. In Cordele, board the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad, Georgia's only rolling state park, for a trip through Georgia’s southwest corner. Be sure to sample the peanut ice cream in Plains, and don’t miss the Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie, which has a very unique take on the history of communications from the Creek Indians through modern-day telephones.

Visit Historic SAM Shortline Railroad

Traveler's Rest in Toccoa, Georgia

9. Traveler's Rest in Toccoa

This National Historic Landmark in Toccoa was once a stagecoach stop on the Unicoi Turnpike. Visitors can tour the house that has many of the original artifacts and furnishings. For an added treat, visit Traveler's Rest during Pioneer Days in October and learn skills needed to be a pioneer in the 1800s.

Visit Traveler's Rest

Published: August 2021
Written by: Sue Rodman
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