The state of Georgia is an excellent place to visit at any time of the year, with such a diverse landscape and dozens of fun day trips that make for an even richer RV vacation. You’ll also find many of these towns recommended below are more affordable than Atlanta and much less crowded than the amazing Southern cities of Macon and Savannah. Here are five great places to camp , four of which I tried and one I cannot wait to try, in Georgia and what to do while you are there.
RVers Guide to Georgia: What to See and Where to Go
My husband and I are long-time fans of Jekyll and St. Simons Islands. These, plus along with Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, and Brunswick, make up the gorgeous area known as the Golden Isles. We found Coastal RV Park Resort to be an excellent place to see the Golden Isles, plus it was just a hop, skip, and jump off ofoff I-95.
When we rolled into Coastal RV Park, it looked from the outside like a big jumble of RVs on top of each other, but what it is in reality, they are rows of very organized pull-through sites, separated by blooming magnolia trees and lighthouse-looking cable and cord holders. The park is pristine and has all the necessary items, plus a fabulous heatedfabulous, heated swimming pool. Take a walk on the boardwalk and enjoy fishing, kayaking, and or just sightseeing.
While you are in Brunswick, I recommend visiting the downtown area, which is in the process of revitalization, and with has significant historical markers and lovely churches. If you are hungry, stop by Fox’s Pizza Downtown for an enjoyable meal. I loved the Newcastle Salad and Eggplant Rollatini.
The drive to Jekyll Island will cost you $8 in tolls for a one-day ticket, where you can see the former millionaire playground, where those of means (think Vanderbilts, Rockefellers, and Pulitzers) had second hunting homes in the 1920s. Expect dozens of shorebirds, blue skies, and marsh grasses, in addition to the pristine beach. Then, at Sea Island, tour Christ Church with a gorgeous Louis Comfort Tiffany window and Fort Frederica National Monument of the 18th century.
St. Simons Island, the most visited, is the perfect place to go for a beach day, shopping the cute little downtown and soaking up the sights. Have a meal at one of the quaint eateries that offer excellent food. Georgia Sea Grill is best for thehas great bronzed fresh catch and escargot (the best I’ve ever eaten), while Porch is your go-to for Nashville Hot Chicken and catfish. And youAfter dinner, you can’t miss climbing the 104-foot St. Simons Island Light (lighthouse), one of the prettiest things places in town. For lovers of art, there are manyArt galleries are abundantaround as well, too.
There are choices of cabin rentals or RV spots in addition to the typical lodge offerings at Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge in Dawsonville. It is one of the most visited Georgia State Parks and home to the incredible Amicalola Falls. The RV park rates run under $50 per day and the campground has 24 sites. Or ifIf cabins are more your thing, there are 14 to choose from, with one to three bedrooms.
Amicalola Falls is incredible and has two easy-to-get-to-viewing platforms to spend your efforts on admiringadmire the waterfall. Or, youYou can also walk the 600 steps from top to bottom, or vice versa, with epic views all along the way. The park also has tremendous trails for hiking, some of the top-rated in the state.
You don’t have to go far to enjoy a plethora of outdoor opportunities, such as 3-D archery, zip-lining, tomahawk challenge, and GPS scavenger hunts. Then, in the town of Dawsonville are the There are also the North Georgia Premium Outlets with 140+ designer and name-brand stores. If you’re hungry, dDive into brisket, and pulled pork, or chicken at Big D’s BBQ.
The town of Dahlonega is also a short drive away from Amicalola Falls State Park. There, , and there, you can learn about the first gold rush in our country. Pop into the Dahlonega Gold Museum, where you will see excellent exhibits and a film about the mining history of Lumpkin County. Dahlonega has some lovely local shops, with a great mercantile, outfitter, antique stores, and wine tasting room. Have gourmet burgers at Spirits Tavern (I recommend the Augusta), then head straight to Paul Thomas Chocolates to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Blue Ridge, one of the hippest towns in Georgia, is 45 minutes away and a sensational day trip. You can take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, eat at some gourmet-style restaurants, shop for high-end goods and clothing, plus eat fried pies from Mercier Orchards, exceptional in every way.
St. Mary’s, GA
You may not want to leave Crooked River State Park when if you stay hereat this Georgia State Park. Nestled back off the beaten path beneath canopies of palmettos and Spanish moss-draped oaks, you’ll find a bird-watchers haven and quiet, peaceful surroundings with large campsites and abundant wildlife. There is a nature center to learn about wildlife, mini-golf, a bait and tackle shop, and epic sunsets over the Intracoastal Waterway.
The town of St. Mary’s has a box-store area with retail shops and one of the two Trident submarine bases in the world, only minutes from the state park. We ate delicious Mexican food from Compa’s Mexican Grill & Cantina. Be sure to stop by the sugar plantation ruins (McIntosh Sugarmill Park), dating back to 1825.
In the historic part of St. Mary’s, park your car and walk the waterfront streets and through Howard Gilman Memorial Park as youto enjoy the sights of the pristine beautiful St. Mary’s River. Swings and benches are available to bask in this beautiful area. If you are hungry, let me suggest Riverside Cafe, which surprisingly, has primarily Greek food., and Greek food done really well.
The unique thing in St. Mary’s is that it is the gateway to Cumberland Island National Seashore, part of the National Park System. You have tomust get to the island via a 45-minute ferry ride, which runs from the Mainland Visitor Center twice a day. There are tours you can sign up for, but know before going, that there are no shops, restaurants, or public facilities on the island, only a rustic getaway with 50 miles of roads, trails, cultural ruins, historic sites, and undeveloped beaches. If you aren’t on a guided tour, expect to either bike, hike, or enjoy the beaches on your visit.
Whether or not you go to Cumberland Island, at least pop in the Mainland Visitor Center and check out the shop and historical information about the seashore. There is also an interesting museum down the street from it.
The luxury campsites at Unicoi State Park & Lodge have amazing views and are nestled in a natural setting of the Appalachian foothills. The scenery blew me away. You’ll have 100 choices for campsites, including Buddy and ADA sites. Then, there are 1,000 acres of landscape to blaze your way through. Activities range from hiking, mountain biking, fishing, and even soaking up the sun and swimming at Unicoi Beach, open seasonally. You have the sensational Anna Ruby Falls right on property, or five to ten minutes away is the Bavarian town of Helen.
This premier, pet-friendly campground includes full hook-ups, plus a fire ring, grill, and picnic tables. If you aren’t an RVer, but like the idea of camping, tent sites are plentiful, plus 2 and 3 bedroom cabins and historic barrel cabins, super quirky-cool indeed, are available.
Anna Ruby Falls is only a 1/2 mile1/2-mile hike, and viewing platforms afford excellent views and close enough proximity to feel the splash from the raging waters. It is one of the prettiest waterfalls I’ve been up close and personal with.
In downtown Helen, browse the shops, primarily geared toward tourists, and sample fudge, strong coffee, and German fare. My favorite places to eat are The Heidelberg, located inside the prettiest building in town, nestled in a back corner, and Muller’s Famous Fried Cheese Cafe. Habersham Winery has an attractive tasting room and sells gourmet food products if you fancy a glass of wine. For something unique, a ride on the Alpine Georgia Mountain Coaster is something you’ll want to tell your friends all about.
Gem mining is a big attraction in Helen, and if you haven’t tried it, give it a shot. It is not just for kids— we also saw many families doing it together. You’d be surprised at some of the cool things you can uncover, and you can even have the precious stones cut and polished to be made into jewelry.
The property of Eastern Pines RV Park in Thomasville, Georgia, is on my list for my next travels to Thomasville, the “City of Roses.” The pet-friendly RV Park, renovated in 2018, lists typical campground amenities and high-speed internet in much of the park. A trick I’ve learned since being on the road is to let the RV park know when I book if the internet is necessary so that they can place me in a campsite with ample coverage or near a tower.
If you are a fan of southern towns and have not had the pleasure of seeing Thomasville in the past, you are in for a real treat. This quintessential city is steeped in history and Southern traditions visible in places like circa 1934 Pebble Hill Plantation, former cotton, sugarcane,, and tobacco, turned hunting plantation. Thomasville has one of the coolest downtowns that I’ve ever experienced. One-of-a-kind boutiques line N. Broad Street and spur off ofoff W. Jackson Street.
A few of my favorite shops include The Bookshelf, Firefly, Relish, Imagination Emporium, and Kevin’s Fine Outdoor Gear. Tasty restaurants are include Liam’s for bespoke cocktails and artisan cheese boards, and you can’t miss Sweet Grass Dairy Cheese Shop for excellent charcuterie boards. For two extraordinary places to see, try Harden’s Taxidermy and SouthLife Supply Co.
Cherokee Park is a wealth of photo opportunities with a one-mile waterfront paved and lighted walking path, dozens of geese and ducks, and picturesque flower gardens. Adjacent, the Thomasville Rose Garden has 1,500+ rose bushes in four themed beds, all well-labeled. In April, the Thomasville Rose Show and Festival showcase the award-winning blooms and has been an anticipated Georgia event since 1922.
Wherever you go in Georgia, you are in for a unique and unforgettable experience. The history, culture, and natural beauty are abundant throughout the state, and with so many great RV campsites, you can experience it all!