Couple kayaking off Little St. Simons Island

Kayaking off of Little St. Simons Island. Photo courtesy of The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island

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)

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


In Atlanta, there's no shortage of hot drinks to enjoy. Stop in for coffee and a bite to eat at The Chastain after playing a round of golf or a jog around Chastain Park. 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.

Two people tubing at License to Chill Snow Island at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands

Tubing at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands in Gainesville, Georgia

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.

Exterior of a treehouse at Stay Dahlonega in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @waymanstory

Stay Dahlonega in Dahlonega, Georgia. Photo by @waymanstory

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. Escape to a cute treehouse by Stay Dahlonega for a whimsical getaway. Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa in Young Harris is another favorite for its roaring fireplaces and in-house spa.

Island Treasures glass globes on Jekyll Island, Georgia
Island Treasures on Jekyll Island, Georgia

The Coast

The Georgia coast is also nice in the off-season. Throughout January and February, Jekyll Island hosts the unique Island Treasures event. You can hunt for stunning glasswork globes created by talented artisans from across the country. This year, 100 of the globes feature elements of color and design inspired by Louis Comfort Tiffany, honoring the 100th anniversary of the Tiffany window in the island's historic Faith Chapel. Stay nearby the treasure hunt at the Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Or, explore the natural beauty of a barrier island bundled up with a stay at The Lodge on Little St. Simons Island, an 11,000-acre eco-resort that only hosts 32 guests at a time. Spread out on seven miles of private, undeveloped shore, and take guided tours with naturalists into maritime forests and diverse wetland ecosystems.

Firepit by the lake at Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia
Firepit by the lake at Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia

Lake Country

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee has lakefront fire pits where you can enjoy a cocktail. Treat yourself to the resort's spa retreat package and indulge in spa treatments infused with native Georgia ingredients and water-themed therapies.

Whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

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 Atlanta, reserve your tickets to see the shark gallery at the Georgia Aquarium, or study the portraits of President Barack Obama and Mrs. Michelle Obama on display at the High Museum of Art Jan. 14 - March 20, 2022.

In Macon, take a look around someone else's homes by touring the grand Hay House or The Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House.

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.

In Albany, learn about galaxies far, far away at the Wetherbee Planetarium, and learn about the creatures of the deep at the Flint RiverQuarium.

Andalusia Farm, home of Flannery O'Connor, in Milledgeville, Georgia.

Andalusia Farm, home of Flannery O'Connor, in Milledgeville, 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 re-read "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 the Georgia Writers Museum to learn about the rich literary heritage of the state, and then browse the stacks of fantastic bookstores like:

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."

Tub and fireplace with a mountain view at Lucille's Mountain Top Inn & Spa

Lucille's Mountain Top Inn & Spa, Sautee Nacoochee, 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 Lucille's Mountain Top Inn & Spa in Sautee Nacoochee or 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:

Snow dusted canyon walls at Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia, in winter. Photo by @ludwig_lory83

Providence Canyon in Lumpkin, Georgia, in winter. Photo by @ludwig_lory83

7. Go hiking or camping

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.


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.

Four children in a scene from Stranger Things

Stranger Things

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."

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!

Home goods at Kevin's in Thomasville, Georgia

Shopping at Kevin's in Thomasville, Georgia

9. Shop for new styles

Winter sales make this the perfect time to support local businesses, like at Kevin's Fine Outdoor Gear and Apparel in Thomasville, Wander North Georgia in Clayton, and Heery's in Athens. Plan a shopping trip that includes these great places to shop:

Bar at Creature Comforts in Athens, Georgia. Photo by @eatwell_traveloften_enjoyart

Creature Comforts in Athens, Georgia. Photo by @eatwell_traveloften_enjoyart

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.

Grab your friends and head to Athens for good times when you follow the Athens Beer Trail, the newest beer getaway and adventure in the South. Visit all six breweries on the trail, collecting stamps in your trail guide, and receive a keepsake to remember your trip.

Or, visit the seven breweries on the Topside Tap Trail in Roswell, Alpharetta and Sandy Springs. Collect stamps in your trail passport to earn a commemorative koozie!

For more beer suggestions, check our list of 21 Essential Breweries in Georgia.

Subscribe to the Explore Georgia e-newsletter to stay up to date on events, attractions, destinations, off-the-beaten-path adventures, deals, places to stay and more!

Published: December 2021
Written by: Caroline Eubanks