Hiking on Blood Mountain. Photo by Jack Schaefer, @jckschaefer
Jack Schaefer, @jckschaefer

Hiking on Blood Mountain. Photo by Jack Schaefer, @jckschaefer

10 Best Things to Do this Winter in Georgia

Just because it's winter in Georgia doesn't mean it's time to stop exploring the state! Colder days can be spent making a bucket list of trips for the year, but that's not all. Get out and explore some of these winter activities all over the Peach State.

Coffee at The Collins Quarter in Savannah. Photo by Robert Lopez, @rolopez_16

1. Drink a warm beverage (boozy or not)

Coffee at The Collins Quarter in Savannah. Photo by Robert Lopez, @rolopez_16

Gather with some friends or family for a round of warm beverages.

Atlanta

In Atlanta, there's no shortage of hot drinks to enjoy. Try Hampton + Hudson’s bourbon and brandy hot chocolate or the non-alcoholic version at Xocolatl. And, when you need a caffeinated pick-me-up, check out these five neighborhood coffee and tea shops in Atlanta.

Savannah

Savannah knows its way around a hot drink with plenty of coffee shops. Order the white forest mocha at The Paris Market, the spiced lavender mocha at The Collins Quarter or any of the teas at Gryphon Tea Room.

More to love

Follow the Coffee Shops Flavor Tour to sip on coffee around Georgia, including Athens’ 1000 Faces, Americus’ Cafe Campesino or Augusta’s Buona Caffe.

Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park

2. Play in the snow (or ice)

Georgia may not get much snow most years, but that doesn't mean you can't see some!

Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park

Snow Mountain at Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta runs Nov. 16, 2019 - Feb. 23, 2020 (select dates) with artificial snow for tubing.

Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

License to Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands near Gainesville has snow rides and play areas through the end of February.

Seasonal ice skating rinks

Some of the ice skating rinks set up around the holidays stay open through the end of January, as well.

  • Rome's Forum on Ice (through Jan. 6, 2020)
  • The Rink at Park Tavern in Atlanta (through Jan. 20, 2020)
  • Jekyll Island Skating Village (through Jan. 5, 2020)
  • Sweetland on Ice in LaGrange (through Feb. 17, 2020)
  • Ice Skating in Olde Town Conyers and in Hampton (through Feb. 23, 2020)
Fire pit at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

3. Cozy up at a resort

Book a getaway to one of Georgia's coziest resorts.

Northeast Georgia Mountains

Winter promotions make this the best time of year to enjoy the cabin rentals in Helen and Dahlonega, which can come with hot tubs and mountain views. Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris is another favorite for its roaring fireplaces and in-house spa.

The Coast

The Georgia coast is also nice in the off-season. Explore the barrier island bundled up with a stay at The Lodge on Little St. Simon's Island.

Lake Country

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee has lakefront fire pits where you can enjoy a cocktail.

Olympic rings at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta. Photo by Matthew Conde, @condematt

4. Cheer on Olympic hopefuls

Photo by Matthew Conde, @condematt

Feb. 29, 2020: U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Marathon

Watch as the fastest marathoners in the country race from Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta to compete for a chance to represent the United States at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Spectators will have several chances to see the runners as they run the looped course before returning to Centennial Olympic Park. It’s the first time Atlanta has held the Olympic team trials, and record participation is expected. Get complete information from the Atlanta Track Club to plan your perfect viewing spot. Feeling inspired to run? Register for the Publix Atlanta Marathon, Half Marathon & 5K to be held the next day from Centennial Olympic Park!

Little Shop of Stories in Decatur, Georgia

5. Read a book by a Georgia author

Chilly days are the ideal time to dust off some books by your favorite Georgia authors. Might this be the year you finally get through "Gone With the Wind," "The Color Purple" or "The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor"? Or perhaps you’re looking to learn more about Georgia history from John Lewis’ "March" graphic novel series or one of President Jimmy Carter's many memoirs.

To get started, visit one of the state's fantastic bookstores like:

Then, jump into the pages of "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and more famous books at these Georgia literary landmarks.

Paradise Hills Resort & Spa in Blairsville, Georgia

6. Indulge in a spa treatment

Splurge on some self-care during this time of year, whether that be a spa treatment or a weekend wellness retreat. Steam in a hammam or sauna in Metro Atlanta, or enjoy a treatment before a trip to the vineyard in the Northeast Georgia Mountains, such as at Paradise Hills Resort & Spa in Blairsville. Go on a silent retreat at one of the state's spiritual centers, or practice yoga and meditation.

Find inspiration with these trip ideas:

Waterfall at Cloudland Canyon. Photo by @risaonaridge

7. Go hiking or camping

Waterfall at Cloudland Canyon photo by @risaonaridge

Spend some time in the great outdoors! Georgia has gorgeous state parks and miles of trails to explore, no matter what region you're in.

Hiking

Winter is a good time for goal-setting, whether that means waking up early to catch the sunrise on Panola Mountain or conquering some of the state's highest points on the Appalachian Trail, Blood Mountain and Springer Mountain. Start the year on one of the First Day Hikes at Georgia State Parks.

Camping

Enjoy sleeping under the stars? Check out these 9 Great Spots to Camp in Georgia, and find many more campgrounds and RV parks throughout the state.

Stranger Things

8. Binge on Georgia film projects

Head to one of the state's historic movie theaters, or cuddle up in front of your home television to watch one of the many Georgia film and television projects. Catch up on past seasons of "Stranger Things" and "The Walking Dead." Don't forget about those that are only found on Netflix and Facebook Watch! 

Check out these trailers for Georgia movies and TV shows that are now showing and coming soon, and check this list of release dates for new movies and shows.

Want to see where your favorite scenes were filmed in real life? Follow this guide to get some great shots!

shopping

9. Shop for new styles

Winter sales make this the perfect time to support local businesses, like at these great places to shop:

And, you can shop for bargains at places like The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock, the North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, and the Tanger Outlet Center Locust Grove.

Peter Buck and friends at the 40 Watt in Athens, Georgia

10. Catch a show

This is a good time to soak up the state's live music scene. Athens, Macon and Augusta, in particular, have can't-miss venues.

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Published: December 2019
Written by: Caroline Eubanks