Back door of an SUV opens up to a mountain view of colorful fall foliage.

Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway in north Georgia. Photo by @kimieyates

10 Best Things to Do this Fall in Georgia

As the air cools and the leaves start to fall, Georgia offers countless fall experiences to enjoy with your family and closest friends. From hikes and scenic drives to day trips and weekend getaways, take time to get out and enjoy the season's best.

Aerial view of a scenic road winding through colorful fall foliage.

Hog Pen Gap in Blairsville. Photo by @chrisgreerphotography

1. Take a Fall Road Trip in Georgia

Georgia has plenty of routes with varied landscapes to enjoy. The Dragon Eyes drive, which winds 77 miles and 715 curves from Blairsville, highlights the north Georgia mountains. It passes through Helen and into state parks near trails and waterfalls. The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway also runs 40 miles from Blairsville to Brasstown Bald, the state’s highest peak, and access points along the Appalachian Trail.

Northeast Georgia's Scenic Highway 197 passes near lakes Burton, Rabun, and Seed. Lookout Mountain Parkway runs through Alabama and Tennessee before crossing into Georgia and past Cloudland Canyon. Blue Ridge also has an abundance of scenic drives.

Don’t forget about the coastal drives like Coastal Highway 17, which runs along the East Coast, including a stretch between Savannah and Brunswick. Along the way, there are small towns and quirky attractions like the Smallest Church in America.

More: Georgia Fall Road Trips

View of a mountain landscape with rocky outcroppings.

Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @b_tyce

2. See Brilliant Fall Foliage

Admire the changing colors shifting from green to shades of orange. Blairsville is a good place to start, especially the viewpoint at Brasstown Bald. Similarly, the top of Yonah Mountain offers stunning vistas of the surrounding valley. If you can nab one of the coveted spots to stay overnight at the Len Foote Hike Inn, you’ll be welcomed with the best views around, especially at sunset.

Georgia’s state parks are also ideal for “leaf peeping.” Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville has views from the state’s highest waterfall. Black Rock Mountain State Park near Clayton is also great as it’s Georgia's highest elevation state park.

More: Track Georgia's Fall Colors Live on the Web

View of a downtown street framed by large trees.

Downtown Greensboro, Georgia. Photo by Visit Lake Oconee

3. Visit a Charming Georgia Small Town

Hit the backroads of the state, visiting the charming small towns with something different to offer. Families love the parks and zoo in Athens as well as the restaurants with outdoor dining. LaGrange is home to Great Wolf Lodge, an all-in-one park and hotel with endless activities. Greensboro is the gateway to Lake Oconee with a craft brewery known for its creative brews. Hit up the wineries around Dahlonega and tasting rooms downtown. Learn about the state’s presidential history in Plains, home of President Jimmy Carter.

More: 7 Small Towns with Surprising Stories to Tell

Father and daughter picking apples from a tree in an orchard.

Red Apple Barn in Ellijay, Georgia. Photo by @clairepiercephotography

4. Pick Apples from a Georgia Farm

Fall is the apple picking season in Ellijay, the state’s capital of apple orchards. Visitors can fill up containers with varieties of apples as well as eat apple-accented dishes like apple fritters, apple cider doughnuts, and candy apples. Many orchards also have other things to do like hay rides, petting zoos, corn mazes, and other activities for kids.

More: Where to Go Apple Picking in Georgia

A glamping dome surrounded by colorful fall foliage.

Glamping in a geodesic dome in Ellijay, Georgia. Photo by Rick Lucas

5. Go Camping in the Georgia Outdoors

Experience the great outdoors by going camping in Georgia. Georgia State Parks have sites for both tents and RVs. But if you aren’t outdoorsy, you can take advantage of “glamping” like in a tiny house in Suches, a luxury tent at Dunya Camp in Summerville, a yurt in Tugaloo State Park in Lavonia, a geodesic dome in Ellijay, and a luxury canvas tent off Jekyll Island.

More: 5 Wildly Wonderful Ways to Go Camping this Fall

Couple toasting wine glasses with mountains in the background.

The Cottage Vineyard & Winery in Cleveland, Georgia. Photo by @indyb06

6. Visit a Beautiful Georgia Winery

Wine accolades aren't limited to well-known regions such as Tuscany, Burgundy and Napa. In fact, North Georgia's wineries are earning praise from critics and wine-lovers alike. There are plenty of places to exercise your tasting prowess in Georgia Wine Country. Start with this list of Georgia Wineries with Breathtaking Views, and become a connoisseur of the state's varied wine landscape.

A group of people walk through a tall corn maze.

Washington Farms corn maze in Bogart, Georgia

7. Find Your Way Out of a Corn Maze

Georgia’s fields are transformed in autumn into corn mazes, providing excitement for the whole family. They can be found all over the state, featuring different designs. Southern Belle Farm near McDonough is spread across four acres and is one of many activities on the farm. Washington Farms in Bogart, Jaemor Farms in Alto, and the impressive display at Mitcham Farm near Covington are also worth a visit.

More: 6 Georgia Corn Mazes for Family Fun

Giant orange pumpkins sit in a field at a farm.

Jaemor Farms in Alto, Georgia. Photo by @mpwhidby

8. Visit a Pumpkin Patch in Georgia

There’s nothing that signals fall quite like a trip to the pumpkin patch. Burt’s Farm in Dawsonville is one of the most popular, with u-pick pumpkins, sunflower fields, and games. The Red Apple Barn in Ellijay is known for its apple picking, but also offers pumpkins. Pettit Creek Farms in Cartersville has pumpkins, along with pony and camel rides. At Abbottsford Farms in LaGrange, you can navigate the sunflower maze and pick sunflowers, check out the mega-pumpkin Big Bertha, take a hay ride and more!

More: Georgia Pumpkin Patches for a Smashing-Good Time

Hikers walk along a trail in the mountains.

Hiking Blood Mountain on the Appalachian Trail. Photo by @kalebeastphoto

9. Go Hiking in Georgia's Outdoors

Explore Georgia among the miles of trails in every corner of the state. You can start (or finish) hiking the Appalachian Trail at its southern terminus on Springer Mountain, or you can do short sections if you’re not ready to commit to the entire thing.

There are shorter overnight hikes to the state’s incredible peaks and waterfalls, along with trails of varying lengths throughout Georgia. Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area outside of Atlanta; Providence Canyon, known as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon;” and Skidaway Island State Park in Savannah are among the areas that can’t be missed.

More: 10 Georgia Hikes Locals Love

A cabin in the woods is surrounded by colorful fall foliage.

Cabin at Vogel State Park in Blairsville, Georgia. Photo by @vikram_skhangarot

10. Rent a Cozy Cabin in Georgia

Once you’ve had your fill of fun, relax in one of the many cabin rentals throughout the state. In Georgia State Parks, you can stay in a historic house at General Coffee State Park in Nicholls, a cabin made from a wine barrel at Unicoi State Park, and Civilian Conservation Corps-built cottages at F.D. Roosevelt State Park. There are also treehouses in Flintstone, log cabins or eco-friendly converted shipping containers in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and a cottage at renowned folk artist Howard Finster's Paradise Garden in Summerville.

More: Surprising Cabin Getaways at Georgia State Parks

Published: July 2024
Written by: Caroline Eubanks
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