Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia. Photo by @julieeemendez
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.
In Atlanta, there's no shortage of hot drinks to enjoy. Try Hampton + Hudson’s bourbon and brandy hot chocolate, or try indulgent versions like Hot Chocolate Berlin or Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup at Cafe Intermezzo. And, when you need a caffeinated pick-me-up, check out these five neighborhood coffee and tea shops in Atlanta.
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.
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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!
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. Take the crew snow tubing, practice your figure eights at the ice rink, hop on the carnival rides, make snow angels, warm up with s'mores and hot cocoa, and shop in Santa's Workshop. Before your trip, review the park's COVID-19 precautions.
Seasonal ice skating rinks
Some of the ice skating rinks set up around the holidays stay open into February, as well.
- The Rink at Park Tavern in Atlanta (opens Thanksgiving Day 2020). Before your trip, review the rink's COVID-19 precautions.
- Sweetland on Ice in LaGrange (Nov. 20, 2020 - Feb. 15, 2021). Before your trip, review the rink's COVID-19 precautions.
- Ice Skating in Olde Town Conyers (Nov. 20, 2020 - Feb. 15, 2021)
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 Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee has lakefront fire pits where you can enjoy a cocktail.
4. Get out while staying inside
Cure your cabin fever by getting out of the house and visiting Georgia's museums and indoor attractions this winter. They're taking steps to protect your health and safety by requiring things like masks and advanced ticket purchases. Be sure to check with your destination for their COVID-19 precautions before your trip.
In Augusta, you'll feel good learning about the life of the Godfather of Soul, James Brown, at the Augusta Museum of History, where you also can brush up on your golf knowledge before The Masters tournament in the spring.
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:
- Avid in Athens
- Horton’s in Carrollton
- Little Shop of Stories in Decatur
- E. Shaver in Savannah, and
- The Bookshelf in Thomasville.
Then, jump into the pages of your favorite books by touring Georgia literary landmarks like Andalusia Farm, home of Flannery O'Connor, in Milledgeville (shown above); and the Mercer Williams House in Savannah, featured in "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil."
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 Winery 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:
7. Go hiking or camping
Hiking at Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia, in winter. Photo by @ludwig_lory83
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.
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. It's also a perfect season to take in the expansive scenery at Providence Canyon.
8. Binge on Georgia film projects
Cuddle up in front of your 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!
Want to see where your favorite scenes were filmed in real life? Follow this guide to get some great shots!
9. Shop for new styles
Winter sales make this the perfect time to support local businesses, like at these great places to shop:
- Shops and Boutiques that Ooze Local Georgia Flavor
- Antique & Vintage Shopping Along Georgia's Antebellum Trail
- 10 Stores to Shop in the Atlanta Metro region
10. Sample seasonal beers
When temperatures cool down, new beer flavors start appearing in breweries throughout Georgia. Chocolatey stouts, nutty dark ales and barrel-aged styles keep you warm hanging out by a fire pit with friends. Try the Declaration Russian Imperial Stout at Reformation Brewery in Woodstock, Wake-N-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout at Terrapin Beer Company in Athens and Moonbeam Baltic Porter at Service Brewing Co. in Savannah. For more beer suggestions, check our list of 21 Essential Breweries in Georgia.