TAKE THE ROADS LESS TRAVELED: FEWER CROWDS, HIDDEN GEMS HIGHLIGHT GEORGIA DESTINATIONS FOR FUTURE TRAVEL PLANS (Part 1)

Now is the time to plan a getaway on roads less traveled. From the mountains to the southern plains, Georgia offers a perfect combination of historic small towns and wide-open countryside for an off-the-beaten-track vacation. All provide plenty of relaxation, interesting outdoor adventures, with fewer crowds and room to wander. These trip-worthy Georgia destinations inspire with scenic beauty, history, culture and adventure—all yours to explore.

Albany

Known as the birthplace of  musical genius Ray Charles and significant Civil Rights history, Albany is an ideal resting place  enroute to/from Savannah, Charleston and Florida. It offers outdoor adventure with plenty of water relaxation. One of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders, Radium Springs Gardens pumps 70,000 gallons per minute of clear, 68-degree water from an underground cave. Walk through a garden terrace and courtyard where the former Radium Springs Casino once stood. The Kinchafoonee and Muckalee Creeks flow into the Flint River at Lake Chehaw, a 1,400–acre lake great for boating, fishing and paddling. Float the Flint River by kayak or canoe via the Georgia Power Dam, Riverfront Park Launch, Ray Charles Plaza Launch or the Marine Landing input areas. Floats can range from one to seven hours. Kayak Attack Adventures rents kayaks, canoes and life jackets. Continue outdoor explorations at six-acre Riverfront Park, spread out along the Flint River, featuring a beautiful lawn for picnics, a music- and light-animated play fountain, pavilion areas, the Horace King Overlook and a three-mile Riverwalk Greenway Trail ideal for bike rides. The Albany Welcome Center in the Historic Bridge House offers rental bicycles, including a helmet, a lock and basket. For more information, VisitAlbanyGA.com

Americus and Sumter County

In west-central Georgia, convenient to I-75, three hours south of Atlanta and only two hours north of I-10, Americus is an ideal stopping point enroute to Florida. Enjoy a historic driving tour of 47 homes from Victorian to Antebellum. The oldest home in Americus dates to 1833, just one year after the founding of the city. Sumter County is one of only three counties in the nation with two national historic sites. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site in Plains honors our country’s 39th president, while the Andersonville National Historic Site is home to the Andersonville National Cemetery and the nation’s only POW Museum. Have a cup at Cafe Campesino Roastery, Georgia’s first and only 100% fair trade, organic coffee company. Then, cool off at Lake Blackshear with fishing, boating, tubing, and skiing. Georgia Veterans State Park has a swimming beach, canoe and kayak rentals, a golf course and even a military museum. For more information, VisitAmericusGA.com