The Americus Historic District, Georgia with cars on the street and the water tower in the distance. Image credit Roberto Galan via Shutterstock

13 Small Towns in Georgia Were Ranked Among US Favorites

Most visitors to Georgia naturally gravitate towards the glitz and glamor of big cities like Atlanta. However, it’s the grossly underrated and overlooked small towns in the state that embody the true essence of Southern charm. Popularly known as the Peach State, Georgia is the 8th most populous and 24th largest American state. It was established in 1732, hosting its first citizens in 1733 before becoming a British Colony in 1752.

The state’s early economy revolved around slave plantations, making Georgia a prime spot for many historical civil rights movement battles, some led by one of its most famous sons, Martin Luther King Jr. Today, the Peach State is among the fastest growing states in the country, famous for its diverse flora and fauna that culminates in unparalleled natural beauty. Want to experience authentic Southern hospitality? These small towns in Georgia were ranked among US favorites and will be the perfect holiday destination!


The Municipal Building City of Americus, at the Historic District.
The Municipal Building City of Americus, Georgia in the Historic District. Image credit Roberto Galan via

Incorporated in the 1830s, Americus is a charming historical town in southwest Georgia, sandwiched between Atlanta and Albany. Besides its beautiful weather, marked by scorching summers and warm winters, Americus draws travelers to explore its historical landmarks, such as Andersonville National Historic Site, the Grand Windsor Hotel from 1892, and the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site (for a glimpse into the life of the only American president to have come from the state). But for those who want to experience the lovely countryside, the Southern Dreams Ranch is an excellent place to start in one of the best towns to retire in Georgia.


View of Lake Trahlyta in Vogel State Park, Blairsville, Georgia.
Lake Trahlyta in Vogel State Park, Blairsville, Georgia.

This lovely little village has a modest population of just under 1,000, which leaves tons of room for newcomers to enjoy the many outdoor offerings in one of the most charming towns in Georgia. An adventurer’s playground, Blairsville offers diverse and fun activities centered around Vogel State Park. Hikers and trekkers can take on the five miles of trail in the park, suitable for all experience levels, with access to the Appalachian Trail, as anglers cast their lines into Lake Trahlyta for an exciting fly fishing session. There is also a miniature golf course and paddleboat rentals for fun on the water, and over 100 campsites for travelers who choose to extend their stay in town by a few nights.


Historic downtown as seen on 7th street, Cordele, Georgia.
Historic downtown as seen on 7th street, Cordele, Georgia. Image credit Roberto Galan via

Famously known as the "Watermelon Capital of the World," Cordele’s hot weather allows the sweet fruit to thrive in the town, and each year in June, residents gather at the Watermelon Festival to celebrate their most famous export. But the warm weather also proves to be a big draw for tourists. Lake Blackshear beckons them to partake in its different water activities, including canoeing, kayaking, swimming, and boating. Meanwhile, history buffs will be intrigued by the assortment of historical landmarks in town, led by the Georgia Veterans State Park, which chronicles the evolution of wars in America.


Looking down Savannah Street, Clayton, Georgia.
Savannah Street, Clayton, Georgia.

Initially named "the Dividings" due to its location at the juncture of three different Cherokee people trails, Clayton was established by European settlers in 1821. Today, it’s among towns in Georgia ranked among US favorites and a fine foodie destination, thanks to its reputation as the Farm to Table Capital of Georgia. After sampling its scrumptious selection of dishes, tourists can check out the town’s numerous points of interest, including Main Street Gallery and White Birch Provisions. And when it’s time for adventure, Wander North Georgia takes guests on an unforgettable outdoor excursion, while a whitewater expedition on the Chattooga River will be a perfect follow-up activity.


Historic District, Bainbridge, Georgia.
Historic District, Bainbridge, Georgia. Image credit Roberto Galan via Shutterstock

The resilient town of Bainbridge might not have fully recovered from the devastation of Hurricane Michael in 2018, but there are many silver linings for visitors to enjoy. Founded in the 1820s, this historic town along the Flint River enjoys delightfully warm weather. It has a historic district worth exploring, harboring interesting early 90s landmarks like the County Courthouse and First African Missionary Baptist Church. Elsewhere, exciting arts festivals, such as the Fall Festival and River Town Days, ensure cultural aficionados will feel right at home.

Forest Park

Aerial view of homes in Forest Park, Georgia
Homes in Forest Park, Georgia.

Forest Park sits around 10 miles from the more famous Atlanta, which makes it the ideal escape from the rigors of urban living. This mid-sized town of about 20,000 residents welcomes visitors to experience its peaceful and welcoming community. There are enough attractions for all ages and interests, including the Reynolds Nature Reserve for outdoor lovers, the Delta Flight Museum for history buffs and aircraft enthusiasts, and the Starlight Drive-In Theater for those who appreciate the silver screen.


The old business district on main street in Moultrie, Georgia.
The old business district on main street in Moultrie, Georgia. Image credit Roberto Galan via

Get ready to experience authentic Southern charm in this quaint little town near the Florida border. Moultrie offers the perfect balance between historical vibe and natural beauty, with the friendly community being the icing on the cake. At the Moultrie Commercial Historic District, guests can inspect various 19th and 20th centuries relics, such as the 1902-built County Courthouse. For those looking to get off the beaten path, ample trail routes await at the Reed Bingham State Park, exposing adventurers to the region’s lush and pristine landscape. While there, use the opportunity to fish, camp, and encounter the unique wildlife in the area.


People walking in downtown Covington, Georgia.
Downtown Covington, Georgia. Image credit Georges_Creations via Shutterstock

Covington’s claim to fame might be that it was featured in the popular TV series, Vampire Diaries, depicting Mystic Falls, but its history began way back in the early 1820s when European immigrants established it. Today, the town intrigues first-timers with a little bit of everything, starting with a spooky ghost tour exploring various downtown sites with a haunted history. It’s also home to a delectable dining culture, thanks to various Southern-style delights at top eateries like Mystic Grill. Also, it holds one of the best 4th of July celebrations in the state and is the namesake of one of the cutest small towns in Louisiana


Fort King George historic site, the oldest English fort on the Georgia coast.
Fort King George historic site, Darien, Georgia. Image credit tokar via Shutterstock

Darien is a tiny community of about 1,500 residents located south of Savannah, Georgia. Despite its small size, it hits way above its weight class thanks to a raft of attractions for travelers to experience. It houses Fort King George Historic Site, the oldest English fort still standing along Georgia’s coast (built in 1721). It is also home to the Waterfront Park, which spoils visitors with spectacular vistas, while Vernon Square provides the perfect space for a stress-free stroll with relaxed surroundings.


 Dublin City Hall, 420 Academy Ave., Dublin, Laurens County, Georgia
Dublin City Hall, Dublin, Georgia. Image credit Michael Rivera CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Dublin is the right place to discover Irish flavor while touring the state of Georgia. This is evident from the food served, music played, and events held, with the town’s highlight being the iconic Theater Dublin. But Dublin has a rich history dating back to 1865 and was the site of several violent racial clashes. The town also hosted Martin Luther King Jr. in 1944 for his maiden public address, making it an interesting destination for civil rights historians.


Aerial view of Greensboro, Georgia.
Overlooking Greensboro, Georgia.

Not to be confused with one of the largest cities in North Carolina, Greensboro, Georgia, is a lovely lakeside location with a modest population of just over 3,500. Its proximity to the 19,000-acre Lake Oconee makes it a viable destination for nature lovers while providing access to exciting water activities, including boating, jet skiing, swimming, and kayaking. But for those not trying to get wet, try some retail therapy at the area’s boutiques or sample the local craft brewery scene at the Oconee Brewing Company.


Overlooking the Dahlonega Gold Museum.
Dahlonega Gold Museum. Image credit Kyle J Little via

Dahlonega is famed for being a vital part of Georgia’s wine country, housing eight wineries and at least 12 tasting rooms where visitors can sample local wine. But what is more impressive is the diverse landscapes in the town, marked by incredible waterfalls like Cane Creek Falls and Dick’s Creek Falls, picturesque hiking trails, and scenic drives along the Appalachian route. The Dahlonega Butterfly Farm allows you to be one with nature, while there are several orchards where you can eat from nature’s bounty.


Street view of Lilburn City Hall, showing outside sitting area, main entrance doors and windows, and pole with flags of USA and Georgia, under fair skies
Street view of Lilburn City Hall, Georgia. Image credit The Brownfowl collection via Shutterstock

Established by the Seaboard Air Line Railway in 1890, Lilburn is home to America’s second-largest Hindu temple, BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir. The town boasts a cosmopolitan flair that welcomes every visitor to experience its open spaces, including Bryson Park, Lilburn City Park, and Lion Club Park. The Camp Creek Greenway Trail offers a unique way to explore the old town, and when feeling ravenous, settle down for a classic dish at the 1910 Public House.

They are not flashy, they don’t have glittering skyscrapers, and some people may have never heard about them. But these cute towns in Georgia were ranked among US favorites for their irresistible charm, which stems from natural beauty, friendly communities, and tons of outdoor adventures. Forget about the overcrowded big cities and try checking out these hidden gems of the Peach State.

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