6 roadside attractions to visit in Georgia

Looking for something to do this autumn in Georgia? Here are some roadside attractions to check out

Let’s face it. You don’t have to leave the state to find some pretty cool things to do this autumn. Whether you’re looking to take a camping trip or head to the beach, there is plenty to do in Georgia.

And while you’re out exploring, check out these roadside attractions along the way. Here are six unique stops across the state where you can stretch your legs, explore and see something different.

Explore10 (somewhat) hidden gems to explore in metro Atlanta

Pasaquan

The property known as Pasaquan, which has a designation on the National Register of Historic Places, was home to artist Eddie Owens Martin.

From the mid-1950s until his death in 1986, the self-taught Martin, known as St. EOM, created a phantasmagoric compound on 7 acres around a family farmhouse he inherited near Buena Vista, about 30 miles southeast of Columbus.

Today, visitors can stroll the property to see St. EOM’s artwork. The property is maintained and preserved by Columbus State University.

ExplorePasaquan is the legacy of a Georgia folk artist

Paradise Garden

Near Summerville is folk artist and minister Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden. It was Finster’s home and workplace and is today a park and museum dedicated to his life and work, open to visitors.

Finster was born in 1915 to a farming family near Valley Head, Ala. He became a notable minister and folk artist. Finster died in 2001 at age 84, having completed more than 47,000 gospel-preaching artworks.

You might recognize the site from the 1982 R.E.M. music video “Radio Free Europe,” which was made there.

Credit: J. Stregowski

Credit: J. Stregowski

ExploreFinster Fest captures the spirit of revered folk artist Howard Finster

Giant peanut

The Smiling Peanut has been a staple in the state for more than four decades. The 13-foot statue, which made its debut in 1976, is in Carter’s hometown of Plains.

It was commissioned by the Indiana Democratic Party as a part of Carter’s presidential campaign, according to Time.

The fixture gave a nod to the city’s affinity for peanuts and Carter’s previous career as a peanut farmer. It also intentionally mimicked the politician’s big smile.

ExploreWhat to know about the Jimmy Carter Smiling Peanut

Credit: HANDOUT

Credit: HANDOUT

Doll’s Head Trail

Officially, this area is known as Constitution Lakes Park. Situated just off Moreland, near East Atlanta and Gresham Park, it’s more commonly called “Doll’s Head Trail.” That’s because the grounds are dotted with found objects, including, as the name suggests, some dolls. The items come from pieces found in the park or carried in by the river. The project got its start in 2010 when Joel Slaton began visiting the park.

He started sprucing up the area and leaving behind some creations. Slaton and other volunteers maintain the site and enforce sound of the ground rules: art must be family friendly and free of jagged-edges.

ExploreFound art trail in south Atlanta park turns trash into treasure

Tiny Doors ATL

The public art project, Tiny Doors ATL, got its start when the first door popped up at the Krog Street Tunnel. Over the years, artist Karen Anderson Singer has expanded the 7-inch high displays in various locations, including along the Beltline and Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark.

“The numbered doors around Atlanta are always free to visit and accessible to people of all ages,” according to a post on the project’s website.

When deciding where to install the displays, the folks at Tiny Doors ATL put emphasis on places that are pedestrian friendly.

If you want to go on a tiny door tour, here’s more information on where to find them.

Little White House

In Warm Springs, about 70 miles from Atlanta, see Georgia’s presidential retreat. It’s home to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Little White House.

Roosevelt first came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping the naturally warm water of the springs there (an average of 88 degrees) would help him recover from a crippling bout of polio that struck him a few years earlier.

Roosevelt was visiting Warm Springs when he died suddenly on April 12, 1945, while still president.

Looking for more adventures? Sign up for our Travel newsletter here.

ExploreAJC Photo Vault: Warm Springs was presidential retreat