Known as the Peach State, home of the world’s deepest cave and the birthplace of both wine AND Otis Redding….say no more, I am on my way! Where am I going, you ask? Down south to Georgia! There are so many interesting sites to visit in Georgia, but today I’ll take you on a road trip from Atalanta to Thomasville, with some fun stops in between.
Atlanta, Georgia is accessible by air from tons of major cities around the USA. A R/T ticket from NYC was under $200.00 in August of 2021 and the 2 hour flight was non stop! Barely enough time to finish my in flight cocktail!
Spending a night in Atlanta
We stayed over night in Atlanta before beginning our journey south. Atlanta is a bustling city offering a variety of things to do and see. We decided to spend a day exploring Stone Mountain. Stone Mountain offers hiking, a cable car ride, historic homes from the 1700s, a scenic railroad and also has the largest high relief sculpture in the world. Impressive! The sculpture features confederate generals and the president of the confederacy (Jefferson Davis). We spent hours in and around Stone Mountain and actually got a private tour of the restored houses! The cable car ride is the closest I will come to an amusement park-like ride. I was waiting for the option of buying a photo of me screaming half way up as the gondola began to sway.
There were so many other things to see in Atlanta, including museums, an Olympic Park, and even a Walking Dead Tour!!! I hear it’s a killer. Sorry. As a lover of anything scary, I am a big fan of the Walking Dead and would have totally done this tour if we had time.
Next stop ….. Macon, rhymes with bacon, Georgia. This is a worthwhile stop if you are a fan of soul music, historic houses and good southern food. It’s a little over an hour from Atlanta and a world away. It is considered one of the birthplaces of soul and southern rock. Otis Redding grew up here (along with Little Richard) and recorded some of his music at the Douglass Theatre which still stands in town. Good Golly, Miss Molly!!!
Touring the Hay House is another really cool thing to do in Macon. It is a historic landmark dating back to the 1850s with a fascinating history and the most amazing architecture. I took the one hour tour, which is well worth the $14.00 admission. Tours start at 10 am. Twice a month they give a behind the scenes tour and they also have several “ghost” tours and events in October ( I would go back to Macon just for that).
Time to move on….heading west on US 80, you will reach Columbus, under 2 hours from Macon. I absolutely loved this little city and here’s why… in the early 1900’s it was one of the most important industrial centers of the south. Nowadays much of the town has been repurposed to utilize the old grist mills and tile factories, embracing their history instead of tearing it down. The area down by the Chattahoochee River has such character!!! There are historic plaques throughout the city with information about landmarks, a Main Street with neat little eclectic shops and restaurants, and a riverwalk that takes you past historic smoke stacks, along the muddy and fast moving Chattahoochee, and under railroad trestles.
About 2 and a half hours south of Columbus, you will find Thomasville, Georgia. True southern charm…. quant and welcoming. Not only did Thomasville have a days worth of shopping, but they also had a “cupcakery” in town. Why is this not a thing in every town??? I think people might be nicer if there was a cupcakery within reach. Much like baby goats, it is hard to be grouchy when holding a cupcake! Of course, a baby goat might not be as tasty as a cupcake!! There were also some really cool antique shops in Thomasville.
Where to Stay
Atlanta has a large selection of hotels in all different parts of the city but we loved the Buckhead area as it is safe and relatively quiet.
The Marriott in Columbus was a favorite of mine because the building is repurposed. It was originally a grist mill with exposed original brick walls, now a national landmark. Walking distance to the Chatahoochie River.
Windsor Hotel in Americus. This is a great place to stop for the night before heading to Macon. It’s a historic hotel originally built in the late 1800s with a castle-like appearance and beautifully restored interior.
Where to Eat
The Cupcakery – Thomasville . cupcakes. so many cupcakes.
Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop– Thomasville. Cozy, friendly and amazing food!
South City Kitchen-Buckhead – True southern breakfast and sweet potato pancakes!!
So pack your bag, bring your appetite, and leave some room in your luggage for antiques, or in your stomach for dessert. Take your time and stop for road side peaches or peanuts along the way. Admire the scenery, enjoy the mild climate, but don’t forget, if you hear banjos…… RUN!