13 of the Best Things to Do in the Georgia Mountains
With abundant natural beauty and surplus of things to experience, the North Georgia mountains are the ideal getaway for any vacationer. Luckily for you, Glen-Ella Springs is right in the middle of it all! If outdoor adventure piques your interest, there are numerous hiking trails and waterfalls to be explored. Some of the best trout fishing streams and most challenging golf courses in the South are only minutes away. Tallulah Falls and Black Rock Mountain State Parks are within 30 minutes of the Inn and offer some of the area’s most beautiful vistas.
Whatever your interests, boredom is never an option in the Northeast Georgia mountains. Just to help you get started, here is a list of just some of our personal favorite things to do in North Georgia that you absolutely must add to your itinerary!
Looking for even more ways to enjoy the mountains? Download your free copy of our North Georgia Mountains Vacation Guide or take advantage of our exclusive packages and seasonal specials for the most memorable trip.
1. Explore Tallulah Gorge State Park
Just 15 minutes from the inn, you’ll discover one of the most scenic regions of the mountains. Tallulah Gorge State Park features six major waterfalls, serene lakes, and tons of opportunities for recreation. Whether you seek adventure or a peaceful excursion, you’ll be able to experience something new and exciting! Hiking, biking, archery, and boating are just a few of the best ways to spend time at Tallulah Gorge State Park. This park is one of the most exciting places to explore in the North Georgia Mountains. The 2,689-acre stretch of land is located along the Appalachian Trail, so be sure to say hello to passing through-hikers when you visit.
2. North Georgia Mountains Waterfalls
Waterfalls are one of the most enchanting parts of nature, and these mountains offer no short supply of breathtaking cascades. There are dozens of waterfalls to hike to near the inn, including the state’s tallest waterfall. Plus, deemed one of the best waterfalls in Rabun County, Minnehaha Falls features a breathtaking 60-foot display. It’s a short 0.6-mile hike from the parking lot, so it’s a quick and easy trip. Don’t forget to bring your camera! Don’t forget to bring your cameras for this adventure! You’ll definitely want to save their beauty to show your friends and family.
3. Delight In the Local Wineries
Georgia may be the Peach State, but don’t be fooled! North Georgia is home to over 20 world-class vineyards and wineries. In fact, the Georgia Wine Highway is a wine lover’s paradise. North Georgia’s soil composition is very similar to that of the Italian wine region, allowing us to successfully grow high-quality European grapes. During your visit, you’ll find that many local vineyards have taken advantage of the region’s prime growing conditions. You’re invited to get a taste of Georgia’s finest local wines and indulge in a fresh vineyard to glass experience. Along the Georgia Wine Highway, guests can attend a variety of annual events including wine hikes, vineyard tours, tasting weekends, festivals, and more – all with a glass in hand!
4. The Gourd Place Museum
This fascinating and unique museum in Helen, GA, features over 200 gourds from 23 different countries. Guests can enjoy perusing the museum, retail shop, and beautiful grounds, and can admire incredible gourd art completely free of charge.
5. Fly Fishing and Trout Fishing
Get ready to cast your lines for the big one! Fishing is one of the most popular outdoor activities in North Georgia, and you’ll find some of the region’s most abundant fishing spots just minutes from Glen-Ella Springs. It’s a fantastic experience for both experienced fishermen and beginners alike, and an ideal opportunity to make fantastic memories. Be sure you are up to date on everything there is to know about the North Georgia fly fishing season!
6. North Georgia Zip Line
If you’re feeling a bit adventurous, then gear up for the wildest ride in the wilderness! The North Georgia Zip Lines send you on an adrenaline-pumping journey through the treetops at high speeds. However, you’ll also be able to experience a brand new way of enjoying the mountain views. You don’t want to miss this one-of-a-kind sightseeing opportunity!
7. Visit Mark of the Potter
This quaint pottery shop sits on the site of the old creekside Grandpa Watts Gristmill. The wide collection of gorgeous hand-made pottery is created by their 4 in-house potters and also brought in from other talented artists in the region. You will find a variety of creations that come in all shapes and sizes. Mark of the Potter is also a wonderful place to view the local scenery.
8. Wander Through Downtown Clarkesville, GA
If you need some retail therapy, head to the center of Clarkesville and visit the many boutiques, shops, and antique stores that line the Downtown district. Downtown Clarkesville is a historic town overflowing in charm and fun things to do. Treat your taste buds to the award-winning cuisine, browse the boutique shops housed in the century-old buildings, or indulge in the nightlife with live music, drinks, and an inviting atmosphere. When you get hungry, stop by a casual cafe for a bite to eat. Century-old historic buildings and blooming flowers provide a perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll Downtown.
9. Start a Fascinating Antique Hunt
North Georgia is every antique collector’s paradise! At antique stores throughout the state, you’ll find beautiful, rare pieces that showcase impeccable craftsmanship and attention to detail. When you stay with us at Glen-Ella Springs, you’ll be just a short drive away from a variety of excellent antique stores in North Georgia. Plus, traveling around the area will give you the chance to explore our beautiful Georgia Mountain towns.
10. North Georgia Hiking Trails
Lace on your hiking boots! The Southern Appalachians are brimming with awe-inspiring natural beauty just waiting to be admired by you. Along the way, you may also have the chance to encounter North Georgia’s wildlife! Surround yourself with the masterpiece of nature and choose your journey down one of best hiking trails in the mountains.
11. Horseback Riding in North Georgia
Enjoy the scenery of the North Georgia mountains from a new vantage point! The multitude of trails and stables provide numerous opportunities for horseback riding in Georgia, and it’s a wonderfully romantic way to enjoy the great outdoors.
12. Learn the Rich Appalachian History
Take a trip back in time and experience what life was like in the North Georgia mountains many years ago. While the Glen-Ella Springs Inn boasts its own captivating history, you’ll find many more museums and historic sites around Clarkesville and beyond! Whether you are a history buff or just in search of something new to try, visiting a local museum is a must!
13. Attend an Exciting Local Event
In Clarkesville, there are numerous things to celebrate! Join in the fun at one of the many festivals in North Georgia! Here are just a few of our favorites:
- Spring Wine Highway Weekend (March)
- Mountain Laurel Festival (May)
- Habersham County Parade (December)
14. Enjoy the Region’s Unique Agritourism
This growing trend satisfied the desire for travelers to not only experience a new destination but get back in touch with nature. Luckily, Clarkesville provides plenty of opportunities for you to put your green thumbs to work and revel in a fun-filled day in the outdoors. We recommend heading to Jaemor Farms if you’re looking for just that. You won’t want to buy produce from the grocery store ever again after a trip to this farm! Jaemor uses its own locally grown produce to make delicious fresh bread, jams and jellies, pickles, BBQ sauces, and more. The best part? They are all available for purchase in the country store.
15. North Georgia Zoo & Farm
With over 80 species of wildlife including primates, large livestock, exotic cats, wolves, and canines, the North Georgia Zoo and Farm delights visitors of all ages. Located in the town of Cleveland, Georgia, this spot is especially entertaining for families.
16. Hamilton Gardens
During the warm spring months, Hamilton Gardens explodes with color as native wildflowers bloom. Guests can stroll through the gardens and experience over 3,000 plants, stunning views of Lake Chatuge, and the majestic rise of Brasstown Bald, Georgia’s highest peak.