Georgia Road Trip Hidden GemsBy Stewart J. Guss on July 30th, 2020
It’s summertime, and we’re ready for a Georgia road trip!
If you and your family are among those who want to venture out and see all that the Peach State has to offer this season, keep this in mind: the best Georgia road trip routes may not be the same anymore. Many popular destinations are closed to the public due to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on enjoying some stunning sights and quirky discoveries.
Below you’ll find the top stops we’d make on the road less traveled in our beloved state. Read on and see what sparks your curiosity – and your thirst for adventure!
Click on a destination’s name for more information, and use our interactive map to take a closer look and plan your own Georgia road trip route.
| Check out our top 25 summer road trip tips before you hit the road!
1198 Riverview Drive, Jekyll Island, Georgia 31527
Why are we including an island on a road trip list? Because it’s just that beautiful! Jekyll Island might be a bit out of your way, but don’t worry: it’s still accessible by car. Jekyll Island is the smallest of Georgia’s barrier islands, and Driftwood Beach is the perfect spot for your next photoshoot . Thanks to erosion, the beach is rife with gnarled trees, clawing their way out of the sand and bringing to mind an alien landscape. While you’re on the small island, check out Horton House, the ruins of Georgia’s very first brewery, or spend a night at the Jekyll Island Club Resort if you’re feeling swanky.
410 Factors Walk, Savannah, Georgia 31401
You’ll find this oddball oddity in Savannah’s historic district. The museum is filled with unique taxidermy (Clementine the five-legged cow!) and plenty of true-crime artifacts (Charles Manson’s sweatpants!) A recent acquisition includes several original paintings by serial killer John Wayne Gacy. The museum’s hours are currently limited to Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays only, from noon to 7PM. Admission is $20 and includes unlimited pinball games!
2321 Vineville Ave, Macon, Georgia 31204
If you’re a fan of Southern rock music, this is a must-see. Also known as “the Big House,” this estate is a veritable Allman Brothers museum. A few of the band members, their spouses, and their children lived here throughout the 1970’s, and many jam sessions took place within these walls. Now the house and its gift shop are packed with memorabilia, costumes, instruments, and psychedelic decor, welcoming visitors of all age
3218 Hamilton Road, Columbus, Georgia 31904
Owned and lovingly maintained by Allen Woodall, this little one-room museum is a treasure trove of metal lunch boxes (and matching thermoses!) You’ll find tons of classic characters, from Mickey Mouse to Scooby Doo to Wonder Woman. Check out this video for a closer look!
148 Georgia Highway 45, Plains, Georgia 31780
Our favorite photo op by far, this 13-foot-tall smiling peanut was erected to help Georgia-born Jimmy Carter win the 1976 presidential election. The toothy grin is modeled after Jimmy, who was once a peanut farmer himself. (Georgia must be nuts about peanuts because there’s also this giant peanut monument in Ashburn!)
1411 Rome Road SW, Calhoun, Georgia 30701
Hidden behind the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Calhoun you’ll find a tiny city with over 50 miniature structures including castles, bridges, a graveyard, cathedral, coliseum, and more. The Rock Garden was lovingly crafted by DeWitt Boyd, a member of the church, and is made of pebbles, seashells, broken glass, cement, and assorted tiles. His children and grandchildren now maintain it. Don’t be afraid to crouch for a closer look at this mini marvel!
86 Krog Street Northeast, Atlanta, Georgia 30316
You can find plenty to do in Atlanta, but our favorite stroll is through the Krog Street Tunnel. Connecting the Cabbagetown and Inman Park neighborhoods, the tunnel became a graffiti hotspot in the 1960s. With its ever-changing walls, it’s a living artistic collaboration – and a perfect backdrop for your next Instagram post! Check out the location’s tag here to see some photos from other visitors.
300 NOK Drive, Cleveland, Georgia 30528
The birthplace of all Cabbage Patch Kids! This museum-and-store combo is home to perhaps the weirdest experience on our list: The “live birth” of a Cabbage Patch Kid, complete with animatronic baby heads, glowing trees, incubators, and nurseries. The dolls for sale at BabyLand are handmade from fabric, unlike the Cabbage Patch dolls you see on store shelves. BabyLand also repairs and restores Cabbage Patch dolls, and some of the earliest Cabbage Patch dolls are on display in glass cases. Best of all, admission is free!
3098 US-411, White, Georgia 30184
This 32-acre junkyard contains six miles of trails through over 4,000 vintage cars, rusted and covered by moss and overgrowth. During the Great Depression, the area began as a general store. It later became a used auto parts store, but as the owners amassed more parts and cars, the property became harder and harder to maintain. One man’s hoard became many a photographer’s treasure! See for yourself – photo pass and entry fee are $30.
200 North Lewis Street, Summerville, Georgia 30747
Also known as the Plant Farm Museum, these four acres contain multiple buildings featuring works of art by the prolific Reverend Howard Finster. Take a stroll through mosaic gardens and labyrinths made of recycled materials like broken dishes and glass, shells, bike parts, and birdcages. Though the artist passed away in 2001, the art lives on, and the gardens are still enjoyed by visitors today. The property also includes a gift shop and 3 AirBnBs available for overnight stays.
1031 Guidestones Road, Elberton, Georgia 30635
Georgia’s own personal Stonehenge. In 1980, a mysterious man commissioned a local Elberton granite company to create this perplexing monument. He used the pseudonym R.C. Christian and inscribed his mission statement on a central tablet: “Let these be guidestones to an Age of Reason.” The resulting 19-foot-tall stones are engraved with ten guidelines and social duties, including a commandment to coexist in harmony with nature. The true origin and purpose of the Guidestones remains hotly debated – what do you think?