The best times to visit Georgia through the seasons

Georgia is a state meant to be experienced outdoors – from hiking in the mountains of North Georgia to strolling the historic squares in Savannah. While there’s plenty to do outdoors year-round, there are differences in climate (and culture) throughout the state. 

Drive to the bottom half of the state, and you’ll notice the hills of North Georgia disappear into flat plains. That’s because eons ago, the southern half of Georgia was once covered in water. You may also experience an average temperature that’s a degree (or five) higher than Georgia’s Piedmont region.

The shoulder seasons are my favorite time to experience the gifts of Georgia’s outdoors, but there’s something to do every time of year.

Girl walking on boardwalk to the beach on Jekyll Island, Georgia
Head to family-friendly beaches on barrier islands like Jekyll Island this summer © Margaret.Wiktor / Shutterstock

Late May to August is peak beach time on Georgia’s barrier islands

Couples and families eager for some beach time flock to Georgia’s coastal islands in the summertime. Temperatures easily stay in the 90s during the day, and rain showers are less frequent and typically short. Tybee Island, Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island have the most popular beaches. Those looking for a quieter beach should consider Cumberland Island, which limits the number of visitors per day.

A lake at Yonah Mountain during autumn, Georgia USA
The time for leaf-peeping is during the fall months in Georgia © Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

September to November is the busiest season for Savannah and North Georgia 

Savannah claims to be the most haunted city in Georgia, so many tourists plan their visits around Halloween festivities. Cooling temperatures after Georgia’s hottest days in the summer also make this an ideal time to visit Savannah.

On the other side of the state, the fall kicks off North Georgia’s extended season for weekend mountain retreats. Temperatures dip from the humid summer highs to a range between 55°F and 75°F. By October and November, leaf-peepers are on the hunt for trees with the most vibrant hues. Hiking among the colorful fall leaves feels enchanting.

December to January is the best time to rent a cabin in the Blue Ridge mountains

By the winter months, cabin season is in full swing in North Georgia, with some parts of the state getting small accumulations of snow. Mountain towns, such as Helen and Dahlonega, are at their most charming with many displaying Christmas lights and hosting special winter events. It’s enough for anyone to feel like they’re in the middle of their own Hallmark movie.

Day one - General Public  - on stage at the Music Midtown Festival in Piedmont Park Atlanta, Ga USA on September 15th, 2018
Spring brings revelers to festivals across the state including in Atlanta © Jamie Lamor Thompson / Shutterstock

February to May ushers in festival season and the best all-around weather

Late winter and spring bring the most temperate weather across the state, which is quickly followed by festival season. Big crowds show up for events like Atlanta’s Dogwood Festival, Sweetwater 420 Fest, and Macon’s Cherry Blossom festival. Temperatures are mild in the mid-60s to low 80s°F. Visitors have to contend with Georgia’s infamous pollen, but it’s a small price to pay for incredible weather.

Here is more expert advice to help you plan your trip to Georgia:

This article was first published Apr 14, 2022 and updated Jul 5, 2024.

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