Gainesville beckons with its captivating blend of Southern charm, scenic beauty, and rich history.
If you are fortunate enough to heed its call, this ode to Southern hospitality will leave an indelible mark on your travel experience.
Gainesville is rich in history, agriculture, cuisine and other important varieties of life. This listicle is here to help you explore Gainesville to the fullest.
Before you visit Gainesville, here are best and fun things to do in Gainesville, GA.
Things To Do in Gainesville, GA
1. Enjoy the beauty and grace of Lake Lanier
Lake Sidney Lanier, often referred to simply as Lake Lanier, satisfies you with recreational opportunities, natural beauty, and water management.
Lake Lanier is one of the largest reservoirs in Georgia. It covers approximately 38,000 acres (150 km²) of water surface and 600 miles of shoreline.
With a wide range of recreational activities available at the lake, you dare not say don’t have so many interesting things to in Gainesville, GA.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers oversees 76 recreational areas, which include 40 parks and campgrounds. Additionally, there are 10 marinas and the Lake Lanier Islands under their management.
The vast water surface of Lake Lanier makes it ideal for various boating activities. You can enjoy powerboating, sailing, kayaking, and canoeing.
Lake Lanier is home to a variety of fish species. You can join others made fishing a popular pastime at the lake.
There are a lot of designated swimming areas around the lake for you to swim. Also, some parks and recreational areas have beaches with sandy shores so you can swim and sunbathe.
There is also Lake Lanier Islands Resort’s golf courses where you can enjoy a round of golf in a picturesque setting—if you like that kind of thing.
These are just a few of the fun outdoor activities you can enjoy at Lake Lanier.
2. Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden offers a captivating journey through a world of breathtaking beauty, diverse landscapes, and immersive experiences that will leave you inspired and refreshed.
This attraction is a breathe-taking thirty acres of display gardens and shady woodlands.
There is an incredible array of plant life here. Apart from carefully curated carnivorous plants, herbs, roses, and many more flowers, the garden’s diverse collections include an array of trees, shrubs, perennials, and seasonal displays.
The Garden also features several sculptures, other art works and water features. It is recognized as housing one of the largest permanent displays of works by Dale Chihuly in a botanical garden.
Admission into the garden is not guaranteed if you didn’t buy your tickets online in advance. Check out the prices of tickets here.
|When is the Garden open?
|The Garden is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday, and the last entry is at 3 p.m.
Hours may change for private events, and any updates will be shared on the homepage’s green alert box and social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter).
The Garden hours vary during the year, and some Mondays are open to visitors. Remember that the last entry is one hour before the closing times mentioned below.
|Special Open Mondays
|February 20, 2023
|9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
|APS Spring Break
|April 3, 2023
|9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
|May 29, 2023
|9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
|June 19, 2023
|9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
|September 4, 2023
|9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
|Indigenous Peoples’ Day
|October 9, 2023
|9 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The last entry is allowed one hour before the specified closing times.
3. Dive into bliss at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center
Aquatic bliss is redefined at the Frances Meadows Aquatic Center.
If you plan to leave out anything on this listicle about things to do in Gainesville, GA make sure you don’t leave out your visit to this place.
Let the waters of Frances Meadows carry you into a world where every splash is a celebration of life’s aquatic wonders.
This 60,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art aquatic wonderland seamlessly blends fitness and aquatic escapades.
Below are some of the immersive activities to enjoy
|Embark on the Experience
|🏋️♂️ Elevate Your Fitness
|– Enter the Fitness Center and the Underground FitZone
– Engage in a Variety of Cardio and Yoga Classes
– Experience Unique Fitness Classes
|🏊♂️ Dive into Aquatic Mastery
|– Glide through the 10-lane Indoor 25M Competition Pool
– Dip into the Intimate 4-lane Indoor Warm Instructional Pool
|🏊♀️ Join the Aquatic Symphony
|– Enlist in the Lanier Aquatics Swim Team for Elite Swimmers
|🏊♂️ Swim Lessons for All Ages
|– Delve into Expert-led Swim Lessons, Perfect for All Skill Levels
|🎉 Celebrate with Style
|– Transform Your Celebrations with Vibrant Party and Pool Rentals
|💦 Chase the Sun in the Outdoor Water Park
|– Revel in the Seasonal Water Park’s Aquatic Magic
4. Journey through Green Street’s Victorian splendor
Green Street emerged as the crown jewel of residential districts by preserving the architectural splendor of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
The street offers a glimpse into the bygone era when Neo-classical architecture reigned supreme in North Georgia. Visiting here will gently connect you to the past in unique ways more than you can imagine.
As you prepare to explore, check out the Green Street brochure for better insight.
5. Appreciate community sacrifice at the Beulah Rucker Museum
Beulah Rucker Museum is dedicated to preserving the history and legacy of Beulah Rucker Oliver, an African American educator.
The Museum is the first to focus on African-American heritage in Gainesville-Hall County and North Georgia.
so, visiting the museum is a good step towards reflecting on the relevance of black people to the broader context of American history.
Exploring the museum with knowledgeable guides will help bring the exhibits to life with anecdotes, historical context, and a passion that makes the journey even more enlightening.
Make sure you ask questions so you can unlock answers to richer narratives. Contact Beulah Rucker Museum administrators for further details about visit and events.
6. Swing into serenity at Chicopee Woods Golf Course
Gainesville, with its small-town charm and hospitality, adds a delightful layer to your golfing getaway.
The Chicopee Woods Golf Course offers an unparalleled experience that seamlessly blends the thrill of the game with the tranquility of nature.
The course has 27 meticulously designed holes masterfully crafted to challenge your skills while providing a visual feast for your senses. The course is divided into three distinct nines – the Mill, Village, and School – each with its own character.
You will certainly enjoy a dynamic and engaging round of golf.
Prices for a memorable Tee Time starts at $48 and you have to book ahead online.
7. Conquer the mystique of Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
with its 867,000 acres, the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest will help you step off the beaten path and embrace the untamed allure of the wild.
This is a gem and true essence of the Southern wilderness.
Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is a treasure trove of biodiversity. White-tailed deer, beaver, squirrel, river otter, vibrant plumage of migratory birds, lakes and rivers, peaks, mountains, valleys, woodlands, and many more are here to mesmerize you.
Passes and permits are needed to enchant, inspire, and ignite the adventurer within you at the forest.
|Regulations for Road, Trail, and Area Users
|Users must comply with the Motor Vehicle Use Map, Federal, State, and local laws and regulations.
|Forest roads are open only to registered vehicles and mopeds in accordance with state law.
|Other vehicles, including “motorized carts,” “low-speed vehicles,” “multipurpose off-highway vehicles,” and “all-terrain vehicles,” are not permitted.
8. Unveil history through time at Alta Vista Cemetery
Established in 1872, the Alta Vista Cemetery is a rich tapestry of stories etched in stone.
The labyrinth of Victorian monuments, adorned with intricate carvings that narrate the lives of pioneers, war heroes, and influential figures who shaped the very fabric of Gainesville and Hall County.
Seeking solace and introspection at the graves of civic leaders, entrepreneurs, and visionaries, isn’t a bad thing to do in Gainesville, GA.
Admission is free and the cemetery is open year round.
9. Embark on a floral odyssey along North Georgia Garden Trail
The kaleidoscope of colors and breathe in the fragrant whispers of nature in the 26 gardens of North Georgia Garden Trail is a masterpiece you should behold in the things to do in Gainesville, GA.
Each visit offers a new spectacle as the garden adapts its palette with the seasons. It doesn’t matter whether you visit during the vibrant burst of spring blossoms or the rich hues of autumn foliage.
To make the most of your journey, here’s a guide on how to effectively use the North Georgia Garden Trail brochure
- Plan your route
- Highlight must-see gardens
- Check for events and workshops
- Understand garden etiquette
- Take note of dining options
- Capture moments with photography tips
- Connect with garden experts
- Keep an eye on seasonal tips
- Utilize trail amenities
- Collect stamps or souvenirs
11. Discover, shop and groove in the charm of Gainesville Square
The heart of Gainesville, Georgia vibrantly pulsates where beautiful people of the community converge at the enchanting Gainesville Square.
At the square, you will be captivated by a fusion of Southern charm, eclectic boutiques, and a rich cultural tapestry.
In Gainesville Square, every step tells a story, every shop reveals a piece of the city’s soul.
Pack your curiosity and set forth to unravel the hidden treasures, rhythmic beats, and heartfelt stories that await you here.
Here is a summary of some of the places at the square
- Upsy Daisy Boutique: A gift shop with appealing store windows and a variety of gift items and home decor.
- Moe’s Record Shop: A record store with a diverse selection of new and used vinyl records, making it a great stop for music enthusiasts.
- Storybook Market: A children’s bookstore with a whimsical and wonderful atmosphere, catering to young readers. It appeals to bookworms.
- Rahab’s Rope: A world market with a focus on supporting the fight against human trafficking. The shop features hand-made items by artisans in India, providing a unique shopping experience.
- Main Street Market: A centralized location with multiple businesses, including a wine bar, Sweet Magnolia’s Cafe and Bakery, a wine club, an art gallery, live music, the Next Chapter bookstore, Peyton’s Pie Company, and more.
12. Immerse yourself in creativity at Quinlan Visual Arts Center
Creativity knows no bounds and artistic expression flourishes at the Quinlan Visual Arts Center. Colors come alive, and imagination takes flight.
The center showcases a diverse array of exhibitions, featuring works that range from the avant-garde to the traditional.
The architecture of the building itself is a work of art that provides a charming backdrop to the vibrant exhibits within the center.
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a solo traveler, a family seeking creative adventures, or an art connoisseur.
Check the center’s schedule for upcoming exhibitions, workshops, and events to tailor your visit to your artistic interests.
Certainly! Here’s the information organized in a table format:
|HOURS OF OPERATION
|MONDAY – FRIDAY
|9 AM – 5 PM
|10 AM – 4 PM
| Admission | Free to the public |
|514 Green Street N.E., Gainesville, GA 30501
13. Roam, pet and play at the North Georgia Zoo and Petting farm
The North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm invites you to wild adventure in the heart of Georgia. The farm has over 80 different species of exotic animals.
At North Georgia Zoo, you’re not confined to viewing from a distance.
You get to hand-feed and interact with a diverse array of gentle creatures, from playful goats and fluffy alpacas to exotic lemurs and majestic kangaroos.
Roam freely, pet gently, and play joyfully as you create lasting memories in this captivating haven of wildlife wonders.
Children under 2 years of age can go into the farm free. Prices starts at $19.99. The package and extras you choose determines how much you get to pay.
Taking pictures aren’t allowed in the facility. Only designated professional photographers assigned by the authorities can take pictures of visitors and animals.
Pets aren’t allowed.
14. Unveil the tranquil wonders of Don Carter State Park
Your next great adventure awaits at Don Carter State Park. Write your own adventure.
The park is on the shores of the expansive 38,000-acre Lake Lanier. It pays tribute to the legacy of Don Carter, a visionary real-estate executive who dedicated 29 years to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources board.
There are plethora of activities to cater to every adventurer’s soul at the park. There are convenient boat ramps that offer swift access to both Lake Lanier and the Chattahoochee River.
If you wish to extend your adventure into the night, there are various overnight options. There is a cozy and scenic escape near the lake in a two-bedroom cabins perch on wooded hillsides.
|Activities and Attractions
|Boating — private boats permitted
|Hiking — 14.5 miles of trails
|Horseback Riding (trail fee, weather permitting, check for availability) — 14.5 miles of trails
|Paddling — 8 miles of trails
|Kayak, Paddleboard & Aquacycle Rentals — seasonal
|All-Terrain Georgia Action Track Chair
There is a sandy beach, a playground, outdoor fitness equipment, docks, a fish cleaning station, and a charming gift shop.
15. Explore the rich history and creative haven of Smithgall Arts Center
The Smithgall Arts Center is blend of history, architectural wonders, and an effective arts community.
The outdoor pavilion and stage of the center is a 6,300-square-foot spectacle. It can sit 300 people.
There are events like The Arts Council Evenings of Intimate Jazz Series and North Georgia Chamber Symphony.
16. Embark on a journey of flavor at the Cool Springs Blueberry Farm
At the Cool Springs Blueberry Farm, a sea of ripe, juicy blueberries are waiting to be picked.
The farm offers a unique u-pick experience that allows you to immerse yourself in the joy of harvesting your own delicious berries.
If this is on your list of things to do in Gainesville, Georgia, just know that in October, Cool Springs transforms into a festive wonderland, featuring fall festivals, a lively pumpkin patch, and a whimsical “booberry” farm where trick-or-treating takes on a whole new level of charm.
The cost of admission is a mere $4 per pint, $7 per quart, or $19 per gallon.
We don’t know about you but for us, this is a small price to pay for the joyous experience of harvesting your own blueberries and indulging in the farm’s seasonal festivities.
The berries aren’t sprayed with pesticides. The farm is a little way out of town but worth the trip to get delicious locally raised blueberries.
17. Craft beer tales at Left Nut Brewery Taproom
Every sip at Left Nut Brewery Taproom tells a story and each brew is a testament to the art of craft beer.
The brewery was founded in 2013. Founded in 2013 a journey into the passion and creativity that birthed its quirky name.
Left Nut Brewery Taproom has a setting that adds to its allure. It’s in a refurbished old mill.
Essential Details: Where, When, and How Much
Located at 2100 Atlanta Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30504, Left Nut Brewery Taproom opens its doors to beer enthusiasts on:
- Tues-Thurs: 4 PM – 9 PM
- Fri-Sat: 1 PM – 11 PM
- Sun: 1 PM – 7 PM
For inquiries, contact them at (678)-827-6678, or visit their website. To ensure there’s something for every budget, prices vary.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sip, savor, and unwind at Left Nut Brewery Taproom.
18. Let the charm of Kinsey Family Farm be the highlight of your journey
The Kinsey Family Farm is a verdant treasure trove tucked away at 7140 Jot Em Down Road.
Kinsey Family Farm transforms into a winter wonderland during the holiday season. The farm’s roots trace back to the essence of Christmas traditions, where the quest for the perfect tree takes center stage.
Navigate through a sea of pumpkins and a cornucopia of harvest crops, capture the essence of fall with your phone, and quench your gardening thirst with retail offerings, including bagged landscaping supplies, rocks for DIY projects, and outdoor water features.
Before you embark on your journey to the Kinsey Family Farm, it’s essential to note a quirk in some navigation apps and GPS devices.
They might lead you astray to a small growing field, situated 2 miles away from our main farm. If you find yourself amidst the greenery next to Lanierland Park, don’t fret—simply journey 2 miles eastward to discover our expansive 50-acre site.
19. Discover nature’s wonders at Elachee Nature Science Center
Elachee Nature Science Center is where wonders of the natural world and education meets adventure in unforgettable way.
The efforts here are dedicated towards actively contributing to preserving the delicate balance of ecosystems through research, habitat restoration, and community engagement.
This attraction is a 1,500 acres of pristine wilderness blessed with almost endless biodiversity.
The wildlife exhibits at the center provide a rare chance to witness the fascinating habits of Georgia’s fauna. The network of nature trails that wind through diverse ecosystems is also worth beholding. This is why we made sure we included the center in this listicle on things to do in Gainesville, GA.
To give visitors deeper understanding and appreciation for the environment, the center has hands-on educational programs designed for all ages. Fun and learning is guaranteed.
Watch 25 native reptile and amphibian species from Georgia as they thrive in carefully curated habitats.
Embark on an exhilarating trail race navigating through slopes, descents, as well as natural obstacles like roots and rocks, all set against the backdrop of Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve.
|Hours & Access: Chicopee Woods Hiking Trails
|Trail System Hours: Open daily from 7 a.m. to sunset
|Gate Schedules: Vary by season
|Hours & Fees: Elachee Exhibits
|Admission Fees: $10 per person
|Family Maximum: $50 (Ages 3 and older)
|Elachee Members: FREE admission
|Public Visitation Hours: Mon-Sat, 10 am – 3 pm
|Closed on Sundays
|Note: Not all indoor exhibits are always open to the public; call ahead or check at the Elachee Visitor Center.
|Business Hours & Contact Information
|Administrative Office Hours: Mon-Fri, 8 am – 4 pm
|Elachee Nature Science Center Address: 2125 Elachee Drive, Gainesville, GA 30504
|View Map/Google Map: Enter the FULL Elachee address in your navigation app for accuracy.
|Email: [email protected]
20. Embark on a Java Journey at Boarding Pass Coffee
We love coffee- everyone does. This is why this listicle on things to do in Gainesville, GA would be incomplete without us telling you to treat yourself to some nice coffee.
Boarding Pass Coffee stands out for its exceptional brews and its captivating ambiance. It’s a journey into the world of exquisite coffee and unparalleled aesthetics.
The owner of the Café offers a tasting experience known as the pièce de résistance. Make sure you don’t miss it.
You can also collect stamps for every unique coffee you try so you can create a personalized map of your flavor preferences.
The employees are quite nice and don’t worry about your budget. There is a cup of coffee for every type of budget.