Georgia cities worth a visit this spring

Fast facts about Dahlonega, Georgia .In 1829, Dahlonega became the site of the second significant gold rush in the US.Dahlonega is home to the Chestatee River Diving Bell. This rare, one of-a-kind submersible from the nineteenth century .The phrase "There’s Gold in Them Thar Hills" originated in Dahlonega. .The Dahlonega Public Square is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. .A branch mint of the United States was built here in 1838 and produced gold coins for the United States Treasury until 1861

If you want to travel this spring but don’t necessarily have a large chunk of time to spend, take a trip to one of Georgia’s smaller cities. You can visit one or more this spring, and while you’re at it, you’ll spend less money than you would on a longer, more far-flung trip.

Here are a few Georgia cities that are well worth a visit.


Located in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Rome has three rivers — the Etowah, Oostanaula and Coosa — that flow through the city. If you love getting out on the water and canoeing, kayaking, boating or fishing, Rome’s rivers make the city a great spring travel destination.

The area’s natural beauty is also evident on the Berry College campus, which at 27,000 acres, is actually the world’s largest. It’s located about two miles outside of Rome. Nearly 100 miles of hiking, biking, running and horseback riding trails are available to the community, and the campus has lots of historic structures. The world’s largest wooden overshot waterwheel and the Ford Buildings — also known as the castle — were funded by Henry and Clara Ford in the 1920s.

While you’re visiting Rome, take time to stop at the Cave Spring Cave, about 15 miles away. For just $2, you can explore the limestone cave and see its stalagmites as you cool off in the cave’s consistent 57-degree temperature. Before you visit, make sure to bring a water jug or two to collect some fresh spring water from in front of the cave.


You’ll find plenty to see and do in Columbus, and — if you’re a water sport enthusiast — you won’t want to miss the RushSouth Whitewater Park, which contains the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world. Try The Classic Trip, which includes a natural lazy river as well as exciting rapids. If you’re craving more adventure, take The Challenge Trip, which has some of the biggest whitewater in the eastern U.S. And for an even wilder journey, book The Carnage Trip, which lets you run your favorite rapids several times in a small boat and do some aggressive surfing.

For a calmer activity, stroll or bike along the RiverWalk, an outdoor linear park along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. Its route takes you past beautiful water views where you may be able to spot some wildlife, as well as past historic monuments and markers. Benches are plentiful if you’d like to relax and enjoy the scenery.

The Coca-Cola Space Science Center is also a popular attraction in Columbus, featuring sky tours and planetarium shows as well as other space-related activities. You’ll be able to see and learn about the state’s largest collection of NASA Space Shuttle artifacts, experience a rocket launch as if you were inside the body of an astronaut, test your piloting and driving skills in interactive exhibits and more.


If you’re interested in Native American history, visit the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, located across the river from downtown Macon. You can enter the continent’s only reconstructed Earth Lodge, which has the original 1,000-year-old floor and climb to the top of the Great Temple Mound.

For sports lovers, the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum, the country’s largest state sports museum, has plenty to see. It encompasses prep, college, amateur and professional sports and includes unique memorabilia and exhibits such as one that honors the history of Negro League Baseball, focusing on players and teams from Georgia, and another that lets you relive the biggest moments from The Masters.

Amerson River Park, another popular Macon attraction, spans 180 acres and is surrounded by a U-shaped river oxbow. Walk, bike or run some of the seven miles of trails in the park, making time to climb its high bluffs to get a good view of the river. The north end of the park offers the chance to get out on the Ocmulgee River using a kayak, canoe or tube. If you’re bringing the kids along, let them play on the park’s state-of-the-art playground that has equipment for kids of all abilities.


You’ll find several beautiful waterfalls near Dahlonega, including Amicalola Falls, which is located in a state park of the same name. It cascades 729 feet down to a reflecting pool, where you’ll find a paved walkway nearby. If you follow the walkway from near the reflecting pool, you can pass along cascades and then reach platforms and steps that lead to the top of the falls. For a shorter trek, park at spaces near the middle of the falls.

For a less strenuous experience, explore Dahlonega’s history of extensive gold deposits — some of which were used on Atlanta’s Capitol dome. Panning in hopes of finding gold is allowed in most streambeds, or visit one of the businesses set up to let you pan. You probably won’t strike it rich, but it’s fun to try. You can also explore an underground gold mine to take your gold adventure further.

And when you’re ready to refuel during your trip, pay a visit to The Smith House. The restaurant has served visitors since 1899, and food is served family-style at communal tables. Fill up with country favorites like fried chicken, fried okra, collard greens and cornbread, and you’ll be so full that you should probably make this your last stop of the day.