Are you looking for the best things to do in North Georgia, but not sure where to start? If so, then you have come to the right place! The state of Georgia is known for it’s peaches and with such a sweet reputation, we know that you will find the perfect thing to do on our list!
There is definitely more to Georgia than what meets the eye. Being a southern state, we expect the food and the hospitality. But we would be remiss if we did not mention that there are beautiful botanical gardens and thrilling amusement parks!
Georgia, and especially North Georgia is the perfect blend of rugged outdoorsy adventures and being pampered at some of the best resorts. Here at Southern Trippers, we are always going to encourage you to have the trip you need to have! And that might be a perfect blend of hiking and cozying up in a coffee shop!
Let us guide you through some of the best places to visit in North Georgia and please peruse our plethora of articles on the many things to do in Georgia! Your weekend vacation may turn into a couple weeks so you can fit everything in! Don’t forget to check out our list of the best North Georgia cabins if you are looking to stay!
15 Best Things To Do In North Georgia (Mountains And More!)
A visit to Helen, Georgia is an absolute must when you are in North Georgia! Helen is known as one of the best things to do in North Georgia because it is a bustling Alpine village nestled in the forests and mountains! You will feel like you have been transported to Germany!
There is so much to do in Helen, but we recommend prioritizing the activities that make Helen unique! You must check out one of the many restaurants and have an authentic German meal! There are places to dine with a view of the water, you can do a romantic dinner by candlelight, or you can stroll down the street, ice cream in hand! Of course the array of German beer should be sampled! Even better? Come for Christmas In Helen for such a fun and cozy experience!
The shopping in Helen is also a beautiful experience because you are getting unique gifts like you are strolling a cobblestone street in Germany, but you are also supporting the small businesses of Helen! Of course there is also plenty to do outdoors as well!
Not to mention the absolutely whimsical places to stay! If you are looking for what to do in North Georgia, Helen should be top of the list! Don’t forget to check out some of the best places for camping in Georgia while you are at it!
Minnehaha Falls is one of the more adventurous things to do in North Georgia with kids! Located just outside Clayton this is one of the most popular waterfalls in Georgia!
Taking kids on vacation definitely means that you need to work in activities to get their wiggles out! This one mile hike will hopefully tire them out a bit and lead you to the most beautiful cascading tiers of water. Minnehaha Falls is perfect to just enjoy, for a great long exposure photo, or visiting during the spring or summer means the area is in full bloom!
Flowing into Lake Rabun, this is a two for one because Lake Rabun is one of the best lakes in Georgia! Minnehaha Falls is one of the great North Georgia activities you must see!
Panther Creek Falls
Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest near Tallulah Gorge is one of the best things to do in the Georgia mountains! Panther Creek Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in Georgia!
Unlike Minnehaha Falls, the hike to Panther Creek Falls is a bit longer at 7 miles, so we recommend it if you have older kiddos, but maybe not ones you will end up carrying! This all day adventure hike can be turned into an overnighter because there are great places to camp along the way!
The hike is beautiful and one to remember. The trail brings you by mini tributaries until you finally are in view of the waterfall! The waterfall itself falls into a deep well and will take your breath away! Hiking to waterfalls is one of the great Georgia mountain attractions!
Continuing on with some of the best things to do in the Georgia mountains, Lake Burton is a must! Located in Rabun County, this is a public lake and open to all! This gorgeous mountain lake is located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and home to Lake Burton Fish Hatchery and Moccasin Creek State Park!
Here you can swim, camp, picnic, fish, and go boating! Admission to the lake is free, making it one of the best free things to do in North Georgia! While you are there, swing by the Jones Bridge Park which has a wonderful scenic overlook that you should not miss!
Grab your swimsuit because Lake Burton is one of the best things to do in North Georgia with kids!
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Another one of the best things to do in North Georgia with kids is riding the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway! This family fun adventure picks you up from the downtown depot and takes you on an unforgettable mountain adventure. There is something nostalgic and inherently exciting about traveling by train and this experience delivers!
The four hour excursion makes stops in McCaysville Georgia, which is also one of the best places to go apple picking in the state!
They have specialized tours depend on the season so make sure you check their website for details! The Fall Foliage Tour and the Holiday Express are some of our favorites!
Bear Claw Vineyards and Winery
One of the best things to do in North Georgia for adults is a visit to Bear Claw Vineyards and Winery! Delicious local wine and stunning Blue Ridge mountain views — what more could you want?!
This female-owned winery bottles all of its wine on site. With a wine list that includes the rainbow from red to white, you and your partner or best group of girlfriends have to make a tasting your top priority!
Bear Claw has live music on the weekends, food trucks on site Fridays and Saturdays. You are always welcome to bring your own picnic meal or take out from your favorite Blue Ridge restaurant as well!
Bear Claw Vineyards and Winery is one of the most relaxing places to visit in North Georgia! If you want to make a weekend of it, rent one of the cozy Blue Ridge Mountain cabins!
Mary Mac’s Tea Room in Atlanta
This iconic restaurant has been a staple in Atlanta since 1945. Mary Mac’s Tea Room was started post World War II when many widowed women were opening places of business. Straying from the masculine term of “restaurant” they settled on Tea Room. Mary Mac’s Tea Room should be high on everyone’s list for places to visit in North Georgia!
Now Black owned, Mary Mac’s makes it a point to serve up the best southern fair. Named “Atlanta’s Dining Room” by the Georgia State Capitol, Mary Mac’s prides themselves on their fried green tomatoes, fried chicken and sweet tea!
A visit to Mary Mac’s Tea Room is one of the most delicious things to do in north Georgia!
SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film
Located on the Savannah College of Art and Design is the SCAD FASH Museum of Fashion + Film, one of the most educational things to do in north Georgia! Whether you are in to fashion or not, this museum will be sure to pique your interest!
Viewing and celebrating fashion as a universal language, SCAD FASH believes that the garments are conduits of identity. Focusing on the future of fashion design by connecting conceptual design to historical design.
You never know what gallery or exhibitions can pop up, so be sure to check their website so you know what the must sees are! SCAD FASH is one of the best places to visit in North Georgia!
Tallulah Gorge State Park
Going for a hike in Tallulah Gorge State Park is one of the best things to do in North Georgia with kids! Considered one of the most spectacular canyons in the Eastern United States, the gorge is two miles long and almost 1,000 feet deep.
This hidden gem has several hiking trails around the gorge, but if you want to hike down to the bottom, get there early! They only give out 100 permits per day to have access to the bottom of the gorge.
Bonus points is Tallulah Gorge State Park also has a gorgeous waterfall! Hiking and chasing waterfalls is some of the most fun things to do in the Georgia mountains!
Hike Springer Mountain
For hikers, Springer Mountain is sacred ground. For the rest of us, Springer Mountain is the south-most point of the Appalachian Trail and one of the most active free things to do in North Georgia!
The hike is two miles roundtrip and is quite strenuous as it is uphill and rocky! However making it to the shelter where some hikers spend the night as they hike on this trail or the Benton-MacKaye Trail which is a 300 mile hike to the Great Smoky Mountains is a magical experience. Keep an eye out for the cubby in the wall that houses a notebook where hikers can leave notes! Don’t forget to check out our list of some of the best cabins in the Smoky Mountains while you are at it!
For a peak into the Appalachian Trail, Springer Mountain is a must hike and is one of the coolest things to do in the Georgia mountains!
Planetarium at University of North Georgia
One of the best things to do in North Georgia at night is visit the Planetarium at the University of North Georgia! The public program has a free show most Friday nights at 8 p.m. Reservations can be made online as seating is limited to less than 50 people.
After the planetarium show you can view the real night sky using their telescopes onsite. One of them is twenty-eight feet long! The public shows do change so it you are in the area a couple times a year, it is worth checking out what the new show is and what more you can learn about our planet and the cosmos!
Going to the planetarium at the UNG is one of the coolest free things to do in North Georgia!
Dahlonega Gold Museum
Many think the gold rush started in California in 1849, but twenty years prior to that, thousands of gold seekers rushed to northeast Georgia starting America’s first gold rush. Gold was discovered there in 1828 while Benjamin Parks was deer hunting. The rest is history that you can see for yourself at Dahlonega Gold Museum!
If you are wanting history and some sparkle but not sure what to do in North Georgia to fill those two requisites, then a walk through Dahlonega Gold Museum is just what you need! The building pictured is the Lumpkin County Courthouse that was built with brick made locally that has trace amounts of gold in it!
Dahlonega Gold Museum is one of the great historical places to visit in North Georgia!
Babyland General Hospital
One of the most interesting free things to do in North Georgia is a visit to Babyland General Hospital in Cleveland Georgia! Voted one of Travel Channel’s Tope Ten Toylands, this southern style home is filled with Cabbage Patch Kids!
Mother Cabbage is always out under the Magic Crystal Tree. There you can witness the birth of a hand-sculpted Cabbage Patch Kid! The self guided tour means that you can spend as much time as you want touring the house and meeting all the Cabbage Patch Kids on display!
With thousands throughout the hospital, you or your kiddo is sure to find one you connect with! You can take the Oath of Adoption and take your new Cabbage Patch Kid home with you. Whether drawn by nostalgia or family, this is one of the most interesting things to do in North Georgia with kids!
One of the weirdest things to do near North Georgia is visiting the Georgia Guidestones. Known as a cross between Stonehenge and Rosetta stone the granite monuments are a little freaky, but artistic and captivating at the same time.
The carvings are essentially a guide to the “Age of Reason”. The ten guidelines are inscribed in eight languages and another, shorter message is inscribed on the top in the ancient languages of Babylonian, Classic Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian hieroglyphs.
The stones are aligned with the North Star and also serve as a sundial and clock, but that is just where it starts! Please give the a visit to discover more! This is by far one of the most weird free things to do in North Georgia!
Labyrinth of Rome
Unlike a maze, a labyrinth only has one path and the idea is to help one focus while walking the path. The Labyrinth of Rome is one of the great free things to do in North Georgia!
Originally a erosion control pond in the 1930’s, then an amphitheater in the 1960’s, the labyrinth finally came to be. It contains 5,490 bricks laid end-to-end to create a winding path through beautiful grassy hills.
Walking the labyrinth is a form of meditation. At less than a mile, it can take you anywhere from 15 minutes to all day depending on the meditation. A visit to the Labyrinth of Rome is one of the more relaxing things to do in northern Georgia.