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National Geographic Finds “Atlanta isn’t all that Georgia has to offer. Here are 7 other worthy trips.”

March 7, 2024
art in museum
By Starlight Williams
August 23, 2023

There’s a famous saying in the South: “Whether you’re going to heaven or hell, you’re going through Atlanta.” It’s hard to avoid if you are flying or connecting through Hartsfield-Jackson International, one of the world’s busiest passenger airports. But that doesn’t mean visitors have to stay in the Peach State’s capital. Many towns in Georgia offer culturally rich experiences, outdoor adventures, and well-preserved architecture that are worth the trip. Here are seven reasons to discover Georgia beyond Atlanta.

Macon—Where history and culture meet

The history of music runs deep in Georgia, especially in Macon, located about an hour and a half drive from Atlanta. Learn about the rise of the Allman Brothers Band at the Big House museum, or “rock, roll, and stroll” through Macon music history on a guided outing with Rock Candy Tours. Catch a live show at the restored Grand Opera House, which hosts concerts, theater productions, and dance events.

History buffs should explore the Tubman African American Museum, the most extensive gallery in the Southeast devoted to African American art, history, and culture. Across the street, visitors learn about the state’s most outstanding athletes at the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, the largest state sports hall of fame in the U.S. From here, head to Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, adjacent to downtown Macon, which was once a thriving Indigenous center for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Advocates are currently working to make the site Georgia’s first national park.

Starlight Williams is a Georgia native and travel editor for National Geographic. Follow her on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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