Girl on beach on Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @wespez

Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @wespez

Stay Cool this Summer at Georgia's Hidden Waterfalls, Lakes and Beaches

Skip the pool and instead head for some more dramatic places to cool off in Georgia this summer. Step into the woods in search of waterfalls, jump in a lake, or wade in the surf on one of the state's uncrowded beaches. Not only will you create unique summer memories, you'll get to experience some of the state's most-loved summer pastimes.


3 Georgia Waterfalls Worthy of a Walk in the Woods

The beauty of Georgia's waterfalls can lure even the not-so-outdoorsy types off the beaten path and into picture-perfect wilds.

DeSoto Falls near Cleveland, Georgia
DeSoto Falls near Cleveland, Georgia

DeSoto Falls

Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Cleveland, DeSoto Falls Recreation Area, is named after the Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, who traveled through the region in the 16th century. Hike along the two mile DeSoto Falls Trail or fish for trout in Frogtown Creek. The DeSoto Falls Recreation area is a scenic spot with easy access for either a weekend of camping or a quick hike to the falls.

Visit DeSoto Falls

Helton Creek Falls in Blairsville, Georgia
Helton Creek Falls in Blairsville, Georgia

Helton Creek Falls

If you're visiting Vogel State Park, stop at Helton Creek Falls in Blairsville to see these family-friendly falls. Helton Creek Falls Trail (0.3 mile) follows Helton Creek to two waterfalls. In the summer, wear your swimsuits and splash around in the pool at the bottom of the falls.

Visit Helton Creek Falls

Holcomb Creek Falls in Clayton, Georgia
Holcomb Creek Falls in Clayton, Georgia

Holcomb Creek Falls

Holcomb Creek Falls in Clayton rewards your hiking efforts with double waterfalls. The moderately strenuous 0.3-mile trail to Holcomb Falls descends steadily until it reaches the observation bridge at the falls. Continuing on the trail leads to the viewing deck at Ammons Falls, a 40-foot waterslide. Three falls - Holcomb Creek Falls, Ammons Falls and a second falls on Holcomb Creek - can be seen on a 2-mile loop hike beginning at the Holcomb Creek trailhead.

Visit Holcomb Creek Falls


Lesser-Known Georgia Lakes

There is nothing quite like sitting on the banks of a lake, taking in the subtle breeze and watching the sun set. Sure, you can visit Lanier or Allatoona – and you won’t be disappointed – but why not explore one of these lesser-known Georgia beauties?

Lake Yonah in Tallulah Falls, Georgia
Lake Yonah in Tallulah Falls, Georgia

Lake Yonah

Lake Yonah is a snake-like lake run by Georgia Power, but it is still open to the public for boating, fishing and more. Camp at nearby Tugaloo State Park in order to start your fishing trip early, and don’t miss the short drive to Tallulah Falls.

Visit Lake Yonah

Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia
Lake Chatuge in Hiawassee, Georgia

Lake Chatuge

Lake Chatuge is run by the TVA, but it extends down from North Carolina into Hiawassee, a gorgeous North Georgia town filled with outdoor fun. The lake is great for boating, skiing, swimming and more, and offers several coves and camping areas for exploring.

Visit Lake Chatuge


The Most Unspoiled Beaches on the Georgia Coast

Travelers weary of overdeveloped beaches will find the perfect remedy on Georgia's Atlantic coast. There are multiple places where the shore is calm and uncrowded. Come along as we discover the charms of Georgia's quiet beaches.

Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @joshsumner
Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @joshsumner

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island

The otherworldly spot known as Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island will give you a whole new perspective on beach vistas. The erosion of the island's northern point has resulted in downed trees left to bleach and dry along the sand. It's a stunning sight and a favorite of photographers. Enjoy the whole Jekyll Island experience by visiting the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and touring the historic district, where fabulous island "cottages" were once part of the Jekyll Island Club, a private retreat for the wealthy.

Visit Jekyll Island

Tybee Island, Georgia
Tybee Island, Georgia

Mid Beach, Tybee Island

The most northern of Georgia's barrier islands, Tybee Island is known as Savannah's Beach. With its legendary fort, lighthouse, beach resorts and almost endless outdoor recreation, this island is extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. Amid all that island activity, however, it's still possible to enjoy uncrowded beach time, thanks to family-friendly Mid Beach. Walk the wide stretch of shoreline in search of shells and sharks' teeth, and keep an eye out for dolphins in the waves.

Visit Tybee Island

Published: May 2021