With big cities, iconic small towns, picturesque mountains, and a prime spot along the Atlantic Ocean, Georgia is one of the most diverse vacation destinations in the South.
To help you decide which Georgia locales are most worth your time and vacation dollars, U.S. News took into account the variety and uniqueness of attractions, availability of accommodations, and opinions of everyday travelers to decide the best places to visit in Georgia.
The Best Places in Georgia to Visit in 2023
Everyone, from hikers to history buffs, can find something exciting or relaxing to do in the Peach State. Among the best places to visit in Georgia are also beautiful state parks and the sprawling metropolis of Atlanta. Vote for your favorite places below to help determine next year’s list.
Ushguli is a tiny collection of villages high in the Caucasian mountain region of Svaneti. After nearly five years of non-stop world travel, I feel confident in saying that Ushguli is one of the most incredible places to visit, not just in Georgia but in all of Europe.
Dozens of ancient watchtowers guard the entrance to this surreal UNESCO World Heritage Site, which is hemmed in by jagged and imposing mountains.
Tbilisi is definitely the top city to visit in Georgia, and probably the first stop on your Georgia itinerary. Almost every tourist traveling to Georgia will make a visit to Tbilisi at some point, and the city, despite being so popular with the travel crowd, won’t disappoint. Tbilisi contains a charming old town situated on a dramatic cliffside, which makes for some awesome views.
Batumi reminds me of what would happen if you mixed Singapore with Atlantic City, shrunk it down ten sizes, and plopped it onto the Black Sea’s pebble beaches. Batumi offers incredible modern architecture; Donald Trump once even had plans to build a skyscraper here before he was elected President.
It also has an enormous and gorgeous botanical garden and a bunch of black pebble beaches (note for Western travelers: you can’t really compare these to sand beaches).
Mestia is the main town in the region of Svaneti in the Caucasus Mountains. Though not as hard as going all the way to Ushguli, it still isn’t easy to get to (unless you can snag one of the few flights from Tbilisi to Mestia).
That said, it’s well worth a visit to this stunning but isolated mountain region, especially if you’re a hiker or trekker (just make sure you have Georgia travel insurance coverage if you’re going up in the mountains!).
Perhaps the most recognizable icon of Georgia, the Gergeti Trinity Church stands guard over the Kazbegi region from its perch on a hillside just under Mount Kazbegi.
You can access Kazbegi as part of a day trip from Tbilisi (here is the best tour to book if doing that). Alternatively, you can opt to drive the route from Tbilisi along the Georgian Military Highway yourself and stay overnight in Stepantsminda town, allowing you to get up early to beat the crowds and catch the morning sun glistening off Trinity Church.
Even in modern times, Georgians have a deep appreciation for their wine. Almost every household that you talk to will have something fermenting in their cellar at some point. It is little wonder that the Kakheti area of Georgia is swiftly becoming famous for producing some of the best wine in the world at prices that are among the lowest.
Not to mention the fact that it is, in and of itself, one of Georgia’s most attractive tourist destinations in its own right.
In comparison to Tbilisi, the city of Kutaisi appears to be much smaller in size, despite the fact that it is officially considered to be one of the largest in Georgia. Nevertheless, Kutaisi is charming and provides enough things to do, including churches, monasteries, and restaurants, to encourage a stay for at least a couple of nights.
In addition, Kutaisi is an excellent location for day trips to local attractions such as Martvili Canyon.
The spectacular Ananuri Castle Complex is located around 70 kilometers north of Tbilisi and is considered by many travelers to be an absolute must-see when visiting Georgia.
The magnificent edifice, which dates back to the 17th century and stands in stark contrast to the Aragvi River, which it overlooks, has withstood countless assaults throughout the course of the years.
9. The Uplistsikhe Cave City
The amazing cave dwellings of Uplistisikhe (occasionally written “Uflistsikhe”) are another major Georgian point of interest that can be found just an hour outside of Tbilisi and a few kilometers outside of Gori.
The “cave city” of Uplistiskhe is one of the oldest towns in Georgia. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Kartli, and it is noteworthy since it was later a place where Christians and pagans co-lived together. This makes it one of the most interesting places in Georgia.
Wait until you hear about Tusheti National Park before you decide that Ushguli is the most challenging national park to visit.
This extremely isolated alpine region is actually cut off for the majority of the year because it is impassable due to snow, and only a small number of border guards are stationed there. Tusheti is inhabited during the summer months by Georgian herders who bring their sheep and settle there for the season.
It is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about places in Georgia, and it is high on my personal travel list as one of the few Georgian tourist spots that I have not yet visited. In fact, it is soon to become one of the most talked-about destinations in the entire country.
Although the state of Georgia is most commonly associated with peaches and deafening yells of “Go Dawgs,” it is also a place full of history, attractive small villages, bustling metropolises, and an astonishing amount of biodiversity. Peaches and “Go Dawgs” are both trademarks of Georgia. It is the busiest airport in the world, so there is a good chance that you have found yourself passing through Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
However, you will need to make your way outside of the terminals in order to experience the charming bookstores of Savannah and the adrenaline-pumping hikes in Tallulah Gorge. A refreshing plunge in Lake Oconee or a breeze off the coast on Tybee Island are the best ways to beat the heat and humidity of the summer months.