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.
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 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 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!
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
Seasonal ice skating rinks
Some of the ice skating rinks set up around the holidays stay open through the end of January, as well.
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. 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!
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 "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil" and more famous books at these Georgia literary landmarks.
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:
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.
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.
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!
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