There’s no doubt about it: Georgia is absolutely peachy, and we’re not just talking about the beloved agricultural crop that gives it its nickname.
Boasting the largest land area of any state east of the Mississippi, Georgia offers a huge variety of attractions within its borders. Groups will find a wide variety of opportunities in this jewel of the Southeast, from big-city attractions in Atlanta to smaller but no less singular wonders in the state’s small towns.
Long and triangular like an inverted piece of peach pie, Georgia is also graced from its mountainous north to its lowland south by the legendary charm and hospitality of its residents. Groups are welcomed warmly, whether they’re visiting Savannah’s Spanish moss-draped public squares or taking in college town energy in Athens.
Next time your travel group heads to the Peach State, include some of these experiences in your itinerary.
Atlanta Motor Speedway
With a roaring crowd hundreds of thousands strong and the thick, throaty zoom of race cars as they hurtle around the track, there’s nothing quite like race day at Atlanta Motor Speedway. But even if your group can’t make a NASCAR event, they’ll love a tour of the facility, which includes visits to a suite, the garages, Victory Lane and even three laps around the 1.54-mile track in Speedway vans. There are loads of places within the Speedway where groups can sit for a spell and take in the unique ambiance, so think about bringing boxed lunches.
Savannah Historic District
Still regarded as one of the most popular U.S. cities for tourists, Savannah shines in its Historic Landmark District, the largest in the country. Highlights include some 100 restaurants; 22 park squares, like the 30-acre Forsyth Park; museums galore; and historic churches, too. There’s almost too much to see and do, so groups might want to begin exploring the cobblestone streets with a trolley tour, which gives a good overview of the gorgeous city.
Booth Western Art Museum
Tucked away in Cartersville, a town of just 21,000, the stunning, 120,000-square-foot Booth Western Art Museum specializes in exhibiting contemporary Western art. Among the showstoppers on display in the Smithsonian affiliate are works from renowned artist Howard Terpning, a collection of letters written and signed by American presidents and Civil War art from the past four decades. The Booth happily offers groups docent-led tours free of charge.
Up and Coming
Group visitors can now get close to the briny deep’s most feared fish thanks to the Georgia Aquarium’s new gallery, “Sharks! Predators of the Deep.” The 1.2 million-gallon saltwater exhibit that features the apex predators swimming behind floor-to-ceiling acrylic windows debuted in October 2020. It offers groups the unparalleled opportunity to spot species such as great hammerhead and tiger sharks in a massive 20-foot-deep, 185-foot-long tank, one of the world’s largest exhibits of its kind.
Savoy Automobile Museum
It’s been a while coming, but by fall of this year, the Savoy Automobile Museum should be open in Cartersville. Situated on 35 acres, it will feature three temporary exhibition galleries and one permanent exhibit in a 70,000-square-foot main museum that will also provide a presentation theater and private dining rooms for groups. All told, the institution will boast space to exhibit 1,000 cars of all kinds, guaranteeing that motorcoach tours will always find something to love at the Savoy.
Mercer Music at Capricorn
In its heyday during the 1970s, Macon’s Capricorn Sound Studios was where legends like the Allman Brothers, Percy Sledge and the Charlie Daniels Band made music. But bankruptcy shuttered the building for nearly four decades until Mercer University came along and helped save this crucial bit of recording history. Reopened since early 2020, the complex now offers a 1,200-square-foot museum filled with ephemera like ticket stubs, photographs and T-shirts, as well as interactive kiosks where groups can explore the Capricorn catalog. The studios are open for tours, too.
Known to locals around Albany as the Pink House, the Monticello-style Shackleford House was designed by celebrated architect Edward Vason Jones, who is credited with renovating 25 rooms in the White House. With gorgeous detailing like hand-carved molding, trim and doors, the structure is primarily used as a wedding venue. However, Shackelford House welcomes groups for catered meals from area enterprise Stewbos, which serves carefully crafted dishes with regionally sourced ingredients, like homemade pecan pie.
Five and Ten
One of the state’s most celebrated eateries and with good reason, Five and Ten perches prettily within a historic house in Athens on the University of Georgia’s Sorority Row. The digs are lovely, but even more impressive is the cuisine, best described as American soul food with French and Italian influences. Owner and celebrity chef Hugh Acheson, a two-time James Beard Award winner, accepts reservations from tour groups, but travelers may be seated in several different rooms.
From horseback and bike riding to archery and canoeing — plus fishing, golfing and group activities like Fire Kettle Cooking School — there’s so much to do at the Barnsley Resort that groups may never want to leave. In the bucolic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in northern Georgia, the estate dates back nearly two centuries. In 2018, the resort expanded to offer 150 rooms and suites, now offering plenty of space for groups of any size.
Historic Best Western Plus Windsor Hotel
Built in 1892, this historic beauty takes up almost an entire block of little Americus, and the charming town is all the better for it. Despite numerous and extensive renovations, including one completed just last year, the Windsor has managed to retain its Victorian stylings, including a soaring three-story open atrium lobby. That’s no doubt one reason the property is a favorite of celebrities like former President Jimmy Carter, as well as group travelers.