Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to Do in Georgia!

When you think of Georgia, most people think of peaches (hence, the nickname, "The Peach State"), "Gone With the Wind" and of course, the classic Ray Charles song. But there's more to the state, like the world's oldest drive-in, the home of CNN and Coca-Cola, and the birthplace of a former president (Jimmy Carter).

Georgia gave rise to awesome musicians including the aforementioned Mr. Charles, R.E.M., the Allman Brothers, Gladys Knight and the Pips and Curtis Mayfield - to name a very few. There are amazing natural wonders, like Stone Mountain, and fascinating attractions, like the world's largest aquarium.

So if you've got Georgia on your mind, check out 20 of the coolest things about it.

1. Explore Savannah's Historic District

One of Georgia's most beautiful cities (and one of America's oldest) is even more beautiful in springtime. Stroll through Morell Park, take in gorgeous views of the river or take a Trolley Tour. There are also cobblestone streets and many beautiful historic homes that will make you feel as if you've stepped back in time.

2. Atlanta Botanical Garden

These 30 acres within the city are absolutely breathtaking, filled with natural beauty, as well as art installations by Dale Chihuly. Stroll through the Japanese garden, an amazing rose display and one of the largest collection of orchids in the U.S. Heavenly.

3. The Little White House

Starting in 1924, FDR spent time at this residence to help with his health - and ultimately passed away here in 1945. Among the many fascinating artifacts is an unfinished painting of the former president: he was sitting for it when the cerebral hemorrhage that took his life occurred. (Warm Springs)

4. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

Visitors to Atlanta consider this a must-see; the various preserved buildings include his boyhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he served as a pastor. There's an excellent museum dedicated to his work as a civil rights leader, and more somberly, his crypt.

5. Cloudland Canyon State Park

It's one of the most scenic parks in the entire state, with fantastic scenery, waterfalls and perfect hiking trails. The rock formations are also pretty incredible. (Rising Fawn)

6. Cumberland Island National Seashore

Take a relaxing ferry ride to this gorgeous, quiet island. There are wild horses, birdwatching - even armadillos! A fantastic place to hike or camp overnight.

7. World of Coca-Cola

This iconic beverage got its start in Atlanta in 1886 - and this wonderful museum gives you a complete history, from vintage advertising to memorabilia and much more. Plus, you can sample over 100 different beverages. Be prepared to burp.

8. Stone Mountain

This enormous rock formation outside of Atlanta features a huge carving of Civil War generals on its face. Besides that attraction, people come for the hiking trails around it, the mountaintop skyride, scenic railroad and much more.

9. Tybee Island Lighthouse

Beautifully restored, this historic lighthouse oversees the coastal area around Savannah and has been guiding mariners since 1732. Climb its 500 stairs for some epic views - especially at sunset.

10. The Big House Museum

In 1970, the Allman Brothers Band rented this Macon house, which soon became the hub of their creative and social lives for several years. The landlord may not have appreciated the craziness that took place as they came up with Southern rock classics like "Ramblin Man," but the fans did. The home is now a permanent museum dedicated to this legendary group.

11. Bonaventure Cemetery

It's probably most famous for "The Bird Girl" statue (since moved) made famous by "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." But for 150 years, this hauntingly beautiful place has drawn visitors for its Southern Gothic appeal. Trees draped in Spanish moss, lovely memorials and the graves of famous folk like composer Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken make it an atmospheric must-see. (Savannah)

12. Visit "The Varsity"

It's the world's largest drive-in, and has been around since 1928. In this gluten-free age, honor that kind of longevity with a chili-cheese dog and a Varsity Orange drink. (Atlanta)

13. Rock City

Beginning in the 1930s, over 900 signs on area barns advertised "See Rock City" - and its lost none of its kitschy appeal (though it has been updated with more modern attractions like a cool "bird-of-prey" show). Located on Lookout Mountain, there are caves to explore, plus you can see seven states from its Lover's Leap peak.

14. Owens-Thomas House

It's the most popular historic home in Savannah, mainly for its wonderful English Regency style. But there are quirkier features, including an indoor bridge, the fact that it had indoor plumbing even before the White House - and more than a few ghosts hanging out inside.

15. Andersonville National Historic Site

It was perhaps the most notorious prisoner-of-war camp of the Civil War, housing 45,000 Union soldiers over 14 months (of which 13,000 died). This somber place provides an insightful look at a particularly painful aspect of the war through videos, artifacts and camp recreations.

16. Alpine Helen

This tiny place is a fantastic recreation of an Alpine village (hence, the name). Explore charming shops selling old-world goods, take a horse-drawn carriage over cobblestone streets and indulge your taste for outdoor sports. And at the holidays, naturally, there are fantastic light displays. (Helen)

17. Take the "CNN Tour"

The news network has been a fixture in living rooms worldwide since the 1980s. Here's your chance to see how it all works "behind the scenes." Who knows? Maybe you'll even spot Wolf Blitzer. (Atlanta)

18. Margaret Mitchell's Home

"Gone With the Wind" is the definitive novel of the Old South, and this humble residence was where author Margaret Mitchell wrote the bulk of it, drawing upon the stories she heard of Civil War survivors as she grew up. There's a wonderful museum that traces her life before and after the novel that would make her an American icon. (Atlanta)

19. St. Mary's Submarine Museum

If you ever wanted to play "submarine captain," this is the place. There are many cool artifacts (including torpedo models, scaled submarine replicas, vintage uniforms and more). Plus, the functioning periscope is totally cool. (St. Mary's)

20. Georgia Aquarium

Spend some time with over 120,000 creatures at the world's largest aquarium. There are six distinct areas, including one that houses Whale Sharks, the only aquarium outside of Asia that does. (Atlanta)

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Best Things To Do Near You
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Mother’s Finest

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Best Places To Go Near You
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90 Carlton Street, Athens, GA
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