Near Summerville, Georgia, is folk artist and minster 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.

7 roadside attractions to visit in Georgia this summer

With people hesitant to travel by air this summer, more folks may be hitting the road. Whether you’re looking to take a camping trip or head to the beach, there is still plenty to do this summer in Georgia.

And while you’re out exploring, there are plenty of roadside attractions to check out along the way. Here are seven unique roadside attractions to check out across the state.

» RELATED: 10 (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 seven 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.

» RELATED: Pasaquan is the legacy of a Georgia folk artist

Paradise Garden

Near Summerville, Georgia, is folk artist and minster 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.

Howard Finster's Paradise Garden in Summerville, GA was built as a tribute to inventors. (Jenni Girtman/ Atlanta Event Photography)
Photo: Jenni Girtman/info@atlantaeventphotography.com

Georgia Guidestones

The Georgia Guidestones can be found in a remote field just north of Elberton, about a two-hour drive northeast of Atlanta. The monument consists of four strategically placed rectangular stones standing 19-feet-3-inches tall and a capstone slab atop the installation. More than 4,000 characters in several languages are inscribed throughout the piece, which debuted March 22, 1980, after months of construction.

» RELATED: Georgia Guidestones monument draws tourists and debate

Giant peanut

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

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. 

» RELATED: What to know about the Jimmy Carter Smiling Peanut

The giant peanut statue is a roadside photo attraction in Plains, Ga. (Myscha Theriault/TNS)
Photo: HANDOUT/TNS

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.

» RELATED: Found 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.

The first door created by Tiny Doors ATL was installed at the Krog Street Tunnel. Each door is "individual to itself" but also of a piece with its location, says co-director Karen Anderson. photo by Jill Vejnoska
Photo: Jill Vejnoska/Jill Vejnoska

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.

» RELATED: AJC Photo Vault: Warm Springs was presidential retreat

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

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