Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

Take an Offbeat Road Trip in West Georgia

Georgia is about more than big cities. It's also about small towns and countryside as far as the eye can see. If you stick to the cities, you're missing a lot of what makes this state so great.

Some of the greatest gems are hiding in plain sight in west-central and southwestern Georgia. You just need to know where to go. Even lifelong Georgians may be unfamiliar with some of these wonderful and unusual attractions. Expand your understanding of Georgia - and have a blast - when you try this offbeat road trip.

Biblical History Center in LaGrange, Georgia

Biblical History Center in LaGrange

The Biblical History Center in LaGrange, for starters, houses more than 250 Louvre-worthy artifacts, including Herodian ossuaries and Bronze Age game boards. As amazing as the artifacts are, it is the interactive, life-sized recreations of a nomadic shepherd’s camp, an authentic Roman village, and a Biblical era farm that allow visitors to truly travel back in time.

Visit Biblical History Center

Lunch Box Museum in Columbus, Georgia

Lunch Box Museum in Columbus

No less of a time capsule, the Lunch Box Museum in Columbus, south of LaGrange, celebrates that trusty grade-school accessory of yesteryear, the metal lunch box. More than 2,000 vintage containers line the walls, celebrating pop-culture heroes like Wonder Woman and Scooby Doo.

Visit Lunch Box Museum

Pasaquan in Buena Vista, Georgia

Pasaquan in Buena Vista

From there, head east to stretch your legs — and cultural horizons — in Buena Vista at Pasaquan, the seven-acre farmstead that legendary folk artist Eddie Owens Martin transformed into a technicolor wonderland. The art environment features six major structures, mandala murals and more than 900 feet of elaborately painted masonry walls. The site is considered among the most important visionary art environments in the United States.

Visit Pasaquan

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by @capturecalliope

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin

Photo by @capturecalliope

The full spectrum of nature’s color palette is on display at Lumpkin’s Providence Canyon, aka Georgia’s "Little Grand Canyon," to the southwest. Poor erosion control by 19th-century farmers created a showcase for 21st-century hikers: massive gullies revealing eons of mineral-dyed geology.

Visit Providence Canyon

Georgia Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie, Georgia

Georgia Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie

Last but not least, the Georgia Rural Telephone Museum is just a short skip southeast in Leslie. Take a self-guided tour of the world's largest collection of telephones and telephone memorabilia. Among its 2,000-plus antique telephones are the earliest designs of Alexander Graham Bell.

Visit Georgia Rural Telephone Museum

Published: May 2020