22 Beautiful Small Towns in Georgia

Photo: Courtesy of Explore Georgia

In a Southern state with a gazillion beautiful small towns, we had a hard time picking our favorite places. Small towns are where you'll find festive holidays, quirky traditions, friendly neighbors, and warm welcomes. Small towns bring all the charm. They're our favorite destinations for a weekend trip, and we've found more than a few hidden gems while exploring their quiet streets and cozy sidewalks in Georgia. From quaint downtowns and hillside wineries to mountain views and whitewater adventures, you'll find plenty of what you expect in a small town—and a lot of surprises. Take a spin through our favorites, then let us know yours.

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Blairsville, GA Historic Union County Courthouse
Robbie Caponetto

Population: 725

In addition to fun things to see and do in town, Blairsville invites outdoor adventurers to explore the landscape. Don't miss fly fishing on Lake Trahlyta in Vogel State Park near town. Hike a short or long trail and be rewarded with a glorious waterfall.

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Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
Photo: Michael Hanson

Population: 1,300

From gorgeous mountain views, orchards, and wineries, to a happening restaurant scene, this little burg has a lot to offer. Ride a tube or kayak down the Tocca River, and taste local dishes like trout and barbeque. P.S. You can catch a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway here (pictured).


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via Golden Isles CVB

Population: 16,346

Founded in 1771 and rich with maritime history, this mainland port has plenty to see and do before you explore the neighboring barrier islands—Georgia's Golden Isles. The waterfront park is a good place to watch shrimp boats and catch the sunset. Take a bike cruise around town or see the sights with your sails up.

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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 2,300

When you visit Clayton, check out Persimmon on the Square, Main Street Gallery, and the soda fountain at the Clayton Pharmacy. If you're craving adventure, have a whitewater excursion on the nearby Chattooga River. Award-winning chefs will help you replenish.

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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 13,977

If you were a Vampire Diaries fan, you'll recognize downtown Covington, which "played" Mystic Falls, Virginia, in the series. Tour the town by trolley, brave a ghost tour, and check out area movie sets. It's a fun summer spot, too, and puts on a big Fourth of July bash.

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Dahlonega, Georgia
via dahlonega.org

Population: 6,500

Central to Georgia's wine country, Dahlonega also has waterfalls, hiking trails, world-class cycling, and plenty to see and do. Drive a scenic Appalachian route, pick your own fruit at nearby orchards, and indulge in a wine tour. It's also known for its wonderful holiday cheer.

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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 1,845

This coastal town between Savannah and Brunswick was once a thriving port. Now it's a serene historic town with beautiful scenery, less than an hour from St. Simons Island. Take off in a canoe, on a bike, or by foot to see all this small town has to offer.


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Julep Farms in Dillard, GA
Robbie Caponetto

Population: 337

This North Georgia town is nestled in the southern reaches of the Appalachian mountains and is home to Julep Farms (pictured), a lovely farm resort with stunning views of the hills. Go horseback riding, ziplining, or camping, or hunt for treasures at local antiques stores.

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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 16,106

Find Irish flavor in the eateries, live music, and festivals of the town of Dublin. There's also, of course, the locally legendary Dublin Theatre (pictured). You can find all of it just about an hour southeast of Macon.

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Ellijay Georgia
rodclementphotography / Getty Images

Population: 2,036

Ellijay is fun year-round, but when you visit in fall, you'll find it's Georgia's apple capital. Exploring the town's orchards with an apple cider in hand is the way to do it when the leaves start changing each year. Don't miss out on the doughnuts and pies too.

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Facebook/Downtown Greensboro, GA

Population: 3,384

With its historic downtown and fun shops, Greensboro makes a perfect side trip if you're visiting Lake Oconee. Whether you spend the day on a boat or shopping in the town's boutiques, grab a bite to eat lakeside or at the craft brewery. (And don't miss out on the antiquing!)

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SeanPavonePhoto/Getty Images

Population: 600

Southerners flock to Helen to see the Georgia version of a Bavarian Alpine Village (pictured). Explore more than 200 shops, plus Habersham Winery and nearby Unicoi State Park. Fill up on German potato pancakes and schnitzel after a busy day.

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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 5,000

If you have a taste for peach cobbler, fried chicken, or butter beans, you're in the right place. Besides enjoying local eateries and shops in this town about 40 miles south of Atlanta, you can get outdoors at Jackson Lake, High Falls State Park, or Indian Springs State Park. See if you recognize any of the town's landmarks from the Netflix series Stranger Things.


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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 12,675

One of America's most distinctive (and second-largest) Hindu temples, the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, is in this small town just outside of Atlanta. Head to Old Town for a bite, then stroll along the greenway.

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Madison, Georgia
Van Jones Martin

Population: 4,000

Dreamy Madison has been doubling as a movie and TV set since the 70s. Remember it from My Cousin Vinny, Goosebumps, or Hidden Figures? You can sample this town's charming shops, regional fare, and outdoor fun to feel part of the magic yourself.

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Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 18,933

With its locally owned shops and mix of restaurants, this Main Street town has something for everyone. Don't miss the Greek Revival home Rose Hill at Lockerly Arboretum; Flannery O'Connor's home, Andalusia; and the Oconee River Greenway Park and Riverwalk. Get close to nature in Bartram Forest's trails, perfect for walking or biking.

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Pine Mountain

Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center
Courtesy Caroline Rogers

Population: 1,739

West Georgia's Pine Mountain has a charming downtown stretch with fun shops. It's also next door to Callaway Gardens (pictured), a fun getaway for biking and beaching. Located an hour southwest of Atlanta, it's a great spot for a Southern meal.

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St. Marys

St. Marys
Courtesy of Explore Georgia

Population: 18,088

This little coastal charmer is the gateway to beautiful Cumberland Island, but you'll love rambling around town before you catch the ferry. On land, there are lots of shops to browse. Have a view with your meal at one of the local restaurants.

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St. Simons

DorothyBlahnik/Getty Images

Population: 15,291

This coastal town has a downtown with fun shops, water views, and plenty of ocean breezes along a stretch of Georgia known as the Golden Isles. It's also a festive holiday destination. The moss-covered oaks, specialty shops, and beaches make this getaway feel far from home.

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Tallulah Falls

Tallulah Falls
Art Meripol

Population: 1,719

The beauty of Tallulah Falls is in its natural wonders. It's a Victorian-era resort town that's become a destination for hiking and waterfall watching. You can find your fill of adventure in and around Tallulah Gorge State Park (pictured), which is one of the South's beloved state parks.


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The Bookshelf in Thomasville, GA
Robbie Caponetto

Population: 18,826

This small town has one of the most vibrant downtown districts in the state, and it's a destination for city dwellers seeking a slower pace. Meander through historic neighborhoods, roam the trail around Cherokee Lake Park, and glimpse the 1,500 rose varieties that bloom each spring in the Thomasville Rose Garden. There are also lots of fun restaurants and shops, like The Bookshelf (pictured), to explore.

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City of Washington
Courtesy City of Washington

Population: 4,942

Established in 1780, Washington is one of the oldest towns in Georgia, and it has lots of historic architecture and buildings, one of which can be found in The Fitzpatrick Hotel downtown (pictured). Explore the downtown square to find unique shops and restaurants. Outside of downtown, there is hiking, camping, boating, and fishing.

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