Did you know that there are several scenic drives in Georgia? We all know Georgia as the Peach State, but it also boasts many scenic drives. Cruising along the byways here elicits images of slow summer days, top-down on the convertible, radio blaring your favorite tunes.
If that sounds appealing to you, we’ve got five of the best scenic drives in Georgia for you to choose from.
Take a Scenic Drive Across Georgia
Many people might dismiss Georgia when they think of scenic drives. It doesn’t have the majestic 14,000-ft peaks that define Colorado. Nor does it have white sand beaches like Florida.
What it does have, though, is the colorful beauty of the Appalachian Mountains in the north. It has the history and salt marshes along the coast and in Savannah. It has stunning live oaks, quaint towns, bustling cities, and most importantly, Southern charm. When you embark on a scenic drive across Georgia, your experience will be one of beauty and hospitality, culture and nature, excitement and peace.
Pro Tip: Find out if Georgia really has the best peaches—we had to know!
5 of the Best Drives to Take Across the Peach State
You may have come to Georgia for its peaches, but you’ll stay for its exceptional scenic drives. From coastal highways to backcountry roads to mountainous tours, you’ll experience Georgia in a new light. Let’s see five of the best drives in the state.
#1. Enduring Farmlands Scenic Byway
The Route: The Enduring Farmlands Scenic Byway is the perfect way to experience the idyllic countryside of south-central Georgia. Traveling along U.S. Highway 129, you’ll enjoy 65 miles of rural beauty, all while passing through several historic towns.
Attractions Along the Way: Hawkinsville, Pineview, Rochelle, and Abbeville bring unique characteristics to this charming and scenic drive in Georgia. From pecan groves to fruit orchards to pastoral expanses of farmland, this is a leisurely drive you won’t want to miss.
Depending on the season, you’ll come across many local farmers’ markets and small-town festivals. And there’s no shortage of local museums, heritage sites, and historic architecture to enrich this scenic drive.
#2. Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway
The Route: On the northern tip of Georgia lies a portion of the Appalachian Trail, including a stunning Georgia scenic drive to get you there. The Russell-Brasstown Scenic Byway stretches through 40 miles of rolling hills along Georgia’s Highway 17 and state roads 75, 180, and 348.
Attractions Along the Way: You might want to spend an entire day enjoying this scenic Georgia drive as it winds its way through the southern Appalachian Mountains. Here, you can stop for a hike along the Appalachian Trail, explore the vistas of Brasstown Bald Mountain at just over 4,700 ft, or just breathe in the fresh air while picnicking along its many outlooks.
#3. The Woodpecker Trail (Georgia Section)
The Route: Starting at the southern tip of Georgia, just off the coast, you’ll come upon the Woodpecker Trail running along Georgia’s State Route 121. It goes from Augusta to Folkston, where it continues into South Carolina.
This scenic byway is one of the oldest tourist routes in the nation, stretching from St. Petersburg, Fla., to Charlotte, N.C., for 620 miles. Georgia’s section offers just over 200 miles of scenery, charming towns, and bird sightings along the way.
Attractions Along the Way: The Woodpecker Trail is aptly named for the plentiful woodpeckers living in the nearby forested regions. But along with woodpeckers, you’ll also be able to catch sightings of cranes, hawks, owls, and even bald eagles. Eagles are easiest to spot if you make a stop along the way at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge.
Rather stop and smell the flowers? Take a pit stop along the Altamaha River in Reidsville, where there are more than 125 species of flora and fauna. This scenic Georgia drive also passes through several quaint towns, including Metter. It has hiking trails, waterfalls, and historic charm everywhere you look.
#4. Coastal Highway U.S. 17
The Route: U.S. Highway 17, also known as the Coastal Highway, runs from Florida to Virginia for 1,200 miles. Explore Georgia’s section of this scenic highway for just over 100 miles, where it passes through Richmond Hill, Darien, Butler Island, and Brunswick.
Attractions Along the Way: The most well-known attraction along this Georgia scenic byway is Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city. With majestic live oaks, town squares, cobblestone streets, and Southern charm, this is a must-stop along the Coastal Highway.
Traveler’s Tip: Here’s how to fit in like a local in Savannah, Georgia.
Traveling south, take a small detour to visit several islands, including St. Simons Island, Sea Island, and Jekyll Island. They offer quaint and charming seaside experiences of beaches, fishing, and shops and dining.
This scenic Georgia drive is also home to the Colonial Coast Birding Trail. Pay a visit to the Harris Neck National Wildlife Refuge, along with many other stops for amazing bird watching.
#5. Chattahoochee Scenic Byway
The Route: Comprised of two-lane roads, the Chattahoochee Scenic Byway offers spectacular mountain vistas. Located in the northwest corner of Georgia, it winds its way along state roads 2 and 52 for a gorgeous 56-mile drive through the Chattahoochee National Forest.
Attractions Along the Way: You can start this scenic Georgia drive in one of two small towns, Cohutta or Ellijay, and stop along the way at many viewpoints and other charming mountain towns. In Dalton, Ga., for example, you’ll feel as though you’ve stepped back in time when you enter the famous Prater’s Mill.
From there, stop at Chatsworth for more historical beauty. Enjoy natural beauty at Fort Mountain State Park, with its acres of hiking trails. And you can’t forget the quaint town of Ellijay, known fondly as the Apple Capital of Georgia.
Traveler’s Tip: Here’s how to spend the most charming weekend in Ellijay, Georgia.
A Scenic Drive in Georgia Becomes a Lifetime of Memories
Now that you’ve experienced five of the best scenic drives in Georgia, you may never want to leave. Through Georgia’s Southern charm and hospitality, you’ve not only seen what Georgia has to offer, but you’ve also experienced it. From fresh fruits at roadside stands to hiking in the Appalachians to fishing along the coast, you’ve turned a scenic day’s drive in Georgia into a lifetime of memories.
Where will you go first?