Downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia. Image credit: Harrison Keely via Wikimedia Commons.

8 Underappreciated Towns to Visit in Georgia

Established in 1733, Georgia was the last of the 13 British colonies to be founded and the 4th state to join the U.S.A. Also known as the “Peach State” due to its famous Elberta peaches, Georgia exudes that classic Southern charm with various plantations and mansions dotted across its territory. As Georgia is mainly known for farming and mining, visitors can expect to find a quaint and rustic vibe throughout its many towns and experience the signature Southern hospitality of its residents.

For this particular guide, we will be looking at the underappreciated destinations in Georgia. These are locations that one can consider to be hidden gems that are often overlooked by your typical tourist map. Furthermore, the locations that will appear in this list will prove to be quite worthwhile for those looking to enrich their historical knowledge.


Historic district in Senoia, Georgia, showcasing traditional architecture and charming streets
Historic district in Senoia, Georgia, showcasing traditional architecture and charming streets. Editorial credit: 4kclips /

Let us begin with something for those who fancy themselves as pop culture connoisseurs. Fans of the hit television series The Walking Dead will find this old-fashioned town, located 40 miles south of Atlanta, to be quite familiar. With a population of around 6,000, Senoia went from a quiet stop-over town to a tourist destination aimed at fans of television series and horror fans in general.

Besides touring the set of The Walking Dead, Senoia also offers a great deal of things to do on Main Street, which is now populated with various shops and restaurants, most of which feature a Walking Dead theme in one way or another, such as the Nic and Norman’s restaurant, founded by Walking Dead actor Norman Reedus and SFX artist Greg Nicotero, or The Walking Dead Cafe. You can also check out The Woodbury Shoppe for a huge selection of Walking Dead memorabilia and other souvenirs. You can also take a stroll down the Senoia Historic District, which features buildings and stores that retain its classic 1820s southern architecture. Go head on over to the Senoia Area Historical Society and Museum to learn more about the city’s almost two-century history.

Cave Spring

General Store with antiques in historic Cave Spring, Georgia
General Store with antiques in historic Cave Spring, Georgia. Editorial credit: JNix /

Certainly a hidden gem of a town in every sense of the word, Cave Spring is located in northwest Georgia, just 5 minutes away from Alabama. It is a small town and home to around 1,205 residents. The town gets its moniker from the crystal-clear spring water that is also the town's primary source of drinking water.

Established in 1832 by Baptist settlers, Cave Spring is a must-visit if you ever find yourself passing through. Heading over to Rolater Park, visitors will find the cave and freshwater spring that the town is named after. Make sure to bring your own water bottle to scoop, and try the freshest water you will find in Georgia. The crystal-clear water from the spring also connects to Rolater Lake, the town’s community swimming pool. Of course, their water is one of the many reasons to visit the underappreciated town of Cave Spring.

You can also check out the downtown area that holds a couple of notable restaurants such as Martha Jane’s Fudge shop for those looking to satisfy their sweet tooth or fill your tummy with a hearty meal over at Linde Marie’s Steakhouse. Outdoor enthusiasts will find the Georgia Pinhoti Trail System to offer a worthwhile hike as it connects Alabama trails to the Appalachian Trail.


Aerial view of Madison, Georgia.
Aerial view of Madison, Georgia.

Madison is one of the more picturesque towns not only in Georgia but in the United States as a whole. Located near the I-20 highway between Atlanta and Augusta, Madison is a relatively small town that is huge in terms of historical landmarks. With its aptly named Historic District, Madison holds a cavalcade of fascinating vintage architectural buildings such as Rogers House, one of the oldest houses in Madison, Rose Cottage, a historically relevant classic folk Victorian style home, and the well-preserved and stately Heritage Hall. Madison is also part of the Antebellum Trail, which includes interconnected key locations that are considered the best-preserved towns in Peach State.

Visitors can experience the closest one can get to traveling back in time with the grandiose Heritage Hall which is preserved to how it appeared back in the early 1800s. Those who have an affinity towards the supernatural will also have a field day here as murmurs and rumors of hauntings are closely connected to the halls of this vintage establishment. After ghost hunting, maybe you can relax and get a breath of fresh air by visiting Georgia’s Lake Country or take a hike at Hard Labor Street Park, which is located in between Madison and Covington.

If you find yourself hungry from all the walking, head on over to Town 220 Restaurant that holds a selection of mouthwatering menu that also includes vegan options. The Farmview Cafe is another highly recommended dining spot in Madison with their Rock House Burger a must-try.

Jekyll Island

Now used as a luxury rental accommodation, Cherokee Cottage is located on Millionaires Row in the historic district on Jekyll Island, Georgia
Now used as a luxury rental accommodation, Cherokee Cottage is located on Millionaires Row in the historic district on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Editorial credit: Joanne Dale /

With only 35% of the island being developed and the rest pretty much untouched, the tranquil Jekyll Island is ripe for visitors who want to experience a land that seems to have been left behind by time in the 1700s. Nature enthusiasts will find a lot to love with Jekyll Island’s 5,500-acre land, especially the eight miles of beautiful beaches such as St. Andrews Beach Park and Great Dunes Beach Park that offer a level of privacy away from the bustling life of nearby cities and towns. The island offers such a unique experience that very few towns in Georgia or the United States can equal.

Those who have a fascination with nature’s grandeur will find the Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum to be a remarkable stopover as it details the island's rich history and diverse ecosystem, pretty much everything worth noting about this picturesque island is summarized at this museum. The Summer Waves Water Park is also a fun destination for families to unwind, while the Historic Landmark District showcases well-preserved, charming vintage houses from centuries ago, such as the ruins of Horton House, one of the oldest tabby-made buildings in Georgia, as well as the historic Faith Chapel, which was built in 1904. Jekyll Island certainly feels like a place that time has forgotten in the best way possible.

St. Marys

Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church is one of the oldest religious structures located within the St. Marys Historic District in St. Marys, GA
Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church is one of the oldest religious structures located within the St. Marys Historic District in St. Marys, GA, via William Silver /

The charming coastal town of St. Marys, once a bustling seaport and now a quaint tourist destination, is certainly a city that you need to visit if ever you are in Georgia. Discovered by Spanish settlers in the mid-16th century, St. Marys has opted to preserve its traditions even to this day with its old-fashioned buildings and longstanding harbor. Capturing the allure of the quiet, small-town lifestyle, St. Marys can be a fine way to escape the fast-paced city life. Tourists will find several intriguing attractions to visit, such as the St. Marys History Walk, which takes visitors through the Timucua Native American territory, and the St. Marys Submarine Museum.

Of course, what is a harbor town without taking a ferry ride? Cumberland Island near St. Marys will offer such an attraction to truly give visitors a taste of the coastal town’s way of life. For those interested, they can check out the Lands and Legacies Tour during their visit. For history buffs who further want to satisfy their cravings, the accurately named St. Mary Historic District will assist in filling your inquisitive mind with locations such as McIntosh Sugarworks, a fascinating old tabby structure, and the sprawling Plum Orchard Mansion, which is an architectural marvel from olden days.

Tallulah Falls

Tallulah Falls, Georgia, USA, overlooking Tallulah Gorge during autumn.
Tallulah Falls, Georgia, USA, overlooking Tallulah Gorge during autumn.

Tallulah Falls is another hidden treasure that resides in the heart of Georgia. Holding only around 200 residents, you will find very few towns that can compare to the level of splendor and serenity that Tallulah Falls provide. Surrounded by magnificent and breathtaking natural beauty, nature enthusiasts will feel right at home in this sleepy town. Visitors are highly recommended to bask in the awe-inspiring 1,000-foot-deep Tallulah Gorge, the town’s main attraction.

For those looking for something that will get the heart racing, the winding Tallulah River offers an excellent kayaking opportunity. In regards to the town’s history, you can also visit the Jane Hurt Yarn Interpretive Center, which offers a detailed record of Tallulah Falls history from its establishment in the 1880s to all the important events that helped shape the town into what it is today.

Blue Ridge

Aerial view of downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia.
Aerial view of downtown Blue Ridge, Georgia.

Blue Ridge is located in North Georgia and encapsulates exactly what you expect from a peaceful mountain town. Surrounded by striking mountain ranges, Blue Ridge is an unassuming town at first glance but holds a rather rich and interesting history. Tubing in the tranquil Toccoa River is one of the best ways to wash away stress in Blue Ridge. On the flip side, if you want something more exciting, the Blue Ridge Aerial Adventure Park offers a fun zip line tour over 165 acres of lush nature. The town exudes a relaxing vibe thanks to the rivers, forests, and waterfalls that decorate its surroundings. Visitors can also board the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which will go around the Appalachian foothills through the Toccoa River for a genuinely memorable ride.

Besides the scenic natural beauty, Blue Ridge also holds several breweries, restaurants, stores, and art galleries to soak up during your stay. One notable fine dining spot in Blue Ridge is the Black Sheep Restaurant, which ranks pretty high with food tourists with its classic southern cuisine and locally sourced ingredients for that au natural experience. You can also visit the numerous orchards around town and participate in picking fruits such as Mercier Orchards, Johnson’s Orchards, and Jeter Mountain Farm Apple Orchard. One particular interesting attraction of Blue Ridge is the retro drive-in cinema, the only one operating in the region. The chance to experience watching films in a way that was phased out decades ago is certainly one of the main attractions offered by Blue Ridge.

Peachtree City

A beautiful scene in Peachtree City, Georgia.
A beautiful scene in Peachtree City, Georgia. Image credit: PTCdude via Wikimedia Commons.

For those looking to both unwind and explore interesting historical spots in Georgia, Peachtree City is among those that offer both experiences in spade. First-time visitors will immediately notice the town’s preferred mode of transportation: golf carts, which offer an insight into the slow-paced life that the town offers. Speaking of unwinding, the shores of Lake Peachtree are perfect for picnics or simply to relax both the body and mind. Such a place of relaxation is welcome, considering that visitors will most likely walk and hike along the various scenic nature trails surrounding Peachtree City.

In terms of what it can offer regarding cultural enrichment, tourists will find the Frederick Brown Jr. The amphitheater is a great place to watch a wide variety of artistic performances. In addition, there is the McIntosh Trail Complex, which is the center of the town’s music and art, and Shakerag Arts and Crafts, which features a collection of local artisans’ creations. Besides the various artistic conventions, Peachtree City is also well-known for the Dragon Boat Races and International Festival, which the town holds annually.

The Takeaway

The state of Georgia holds a vast collection of beautiful vistas, both man-made and natural. However, there are always a couple of towns in the Peach State that are often overlooked, but this doesn’t mean that these towns and cities are not worth the visit. Far from it, as you can see from the list of underappreciated towns above, there are a ton of reasons to appreciate the unique experience and beauty that these places offer anyone who decides to pass by.

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