Things to Do in Griffin, Georgia—Doc Holliday’s Hometown
Get to know the Griffin + Spalding area, one of Georgia’s sweet Southern finds. Set just 40 miles south of Atlanta, this former railroad boomtown (and the birthplace of Doc Holliday) is brimming with things to see, do and taste—all infused with a healthy dose of unique charm and history.
Take a look at some of our favorite things to do in Griffin.
1. Savor Georgia’s Flavors
Restaurants in Griffin offer unique options that will quickly become your new favorite dishes. At Bank Street Cafe, admire the old-timey, pressed-tin ceilings and listen to live music from your balcony table as you dig into pimento-cheese egg rolls, fried-bologna sandwiches, squash ravioli and jambalaya. At Angelo’s Mediterranean Restaurant, indulge in authentic Greek and Italian dishes such as moussaka, lemon-chicken soup, manicotti and more. In the South, the best food often comes from the most wonderfully preserved buildings. Such is the case for The Emerald Chandelier, an elegant tea room serving sandwiches, salads and tea experiences in a historical house. For golden-fried bream, flounder and catfish sandwiches—not to mention the sweet comfort that only a warm hushpuppy can bring—head straight to Salaam Seafood Incorporated. Or sink your teeth into barbecue that people travel to find at McGhin’s Southern Pit Bar-B-Que, whose menu stars ribs, Brunswick stew, brisket and, of course, all the sides.
2. Don’t Miss the Doc Holliday Festival
Before Doc Holliday became infamous as a Wild West gambler and gunslinger, he was a small-town dentist in downtown Griffin. (That’s how he got the name “Doc”!) Join the city in celebrating his legacy at the annual Doc Holliday Festival. Pick up souvenirs as you browse the wares of local vendors and sample brisket, ribs, steaks, wings and more from chefs competing in the event’s BBQ Championship. And make sure to stick around for the high point of the festival: lively reenactments of the 1881 O.K. Corral shootout, in which Doc Holliday earned his claim to fame.
3. Admire Stunning Architecture
From Victorian and Colonial Revival to Italianate and Art Deco, the vast array of architectural influence in Griffin + Spalding adds to its charm. Call ahead to book a tour of the Greek Revival Bailey-Tebault House. Completed in 1862, this columned beauty—on the National Register of Historic Places since 1973—was originally home to a wealthy family and was also used as a Civil War hospital. These days, it serves as the headquarters of the Griffin-Spalding Historical Society. Other notable points of interest include more than a dozen nationally recognized buildings and areas, like downtown’s commercial historic district, Hawke’s Library and the original Spalding County Courthouse. One great way to ensure you see all the key sites is to follow one of the city’s five curated architectural driving tours.
4. Have a Blast at Second Saturdays
You’re in for a real treat if your Griffin + Spalding stay aligns with a Second Saturday. This year-long downtown happening is held on—you guessed it—the second Saturday of each month. The event is an amazing way to experience unique aspects of the city as the theme is always changing. Past Second Saturdays have boasted holiday markets, live blues music and chili cookoffs. Keep an eye on all Griffin events to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the fun while you’re in town.
5. Shop for Antiques
Browse more than a dozen local shops to find a piece of Griffin’s past to take back home with you. At Auction Block Antique Mall and Sweet Southern Salvage Antiques & Boutique, wander rows of Victorian furniture, vintage signs, collectables and books. Both shops are set in Broad Street Mill marketplace, a building that’s also been home to a buggy company, textile mill and World War I production facility. Nearby Treasure Seekers, Solomon & Sixth and The Cotton Mill are also not to be missed. About a 10-minute stroll away, Cool•lectables lives up to its name with a treasure trove of figurines, dolls, records and glassware. Explore more shopping in Griffin + Spalding.