21 Fun Things to Do in Gainesville (GA)

If you’ve been trying to learn about the various exciting things to do in Gainesville, GA, for families, kids, couples, adults, and for the weekend, this article is for you.

Gainesville, Georgia, has been referred to as the “Hospitality Capital of the World” because of the way it hosted the 1996 Olympic rowing and kayaking events.

The 38,000-acre Lake Sidney Lanier is a great place to gather for recreation. There are numerous activities available, such as kayaking and canoe rentals. 

The area around downtown Gainesville is filled with various shops and restaurants. 

Gainesville is also home to the Elachee Nature Science Center and several other exciting locations. 

Where is Gainesville, GA?

Gainesville, Georgia, is located in Hall County, Georgia, and is the county seat of this region. 

It is known as the poultry capital of the world due to the number of processing plants it has. 

The city is also included in the Gainesville Metropolitan Statistical Area.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Gainesville, Georgia, has a total area of 33.9 square miles. Of this, 31.9 square miles are land, while 1.9 square miles is water.

The city is bordered by the city of Oakwood, and the I-985 and U.S. Route 23 pass through its southern section. 

They go through the city’s northeast and southwest portions, with the former leading to Baldwin and Cornelia and the latter to Atlanta. 

The other route, U.S. Route 129, goes through the east side of town and leads to Jefferson.

See Also: Fun Things to Do in Dawsonville GA

Fun Things to Do in Gainesville, GA

1. Northeast Georgia History Center

The museum was established to preserve the history of this region, which dates back to over 11,000 years. 

Several structures and artifacts in this area have existed for over a thousand years. 

One of these is a cabin built during the eighteenth century that also housed a prominent Cherokee leader.

The museum also features a blacksmith shop that was once a part of this region’s history. 

It also displays various exhibitions highlighting the activities of the people who lived in this area.

Address: The Northeast Georgia History Center is at 322 Academy St NE, Gainesville, GA 30501.

2. Lake Sidney Lanier

Sidney was a Georgia poet, and the park’s name was derived from his poem. 

The park was established in 1950 by constructing a dam in the Chattahoochee River.

Due to its beautiful location and numerous attractions, the lake has attracted many tourists.

It also manages various water-related activities such as flood control and navigation.

If you plan on visiting Gainesville, then a trip to Lake Sidney Lanier is worth it. 

It has been estimated that approximately seven million people visit this region each year. 

Aside from water activities, the lake also features various other recreational activities.

Address: Lake Sidney Lanier is at 1050 Buford Dam Rd, Buford, GA 30518.

3. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

The national forest in northeast Georgia’s Chattahoochee-Oconee region is known for its various recreational activities. It is also a great place to spend time with family and friends.

The forest covers about 867,000 acres of land and features various recreational opportunities. 

It also has numerous walking trails and picnic areas. It has beautiful streams and rivers.

The forest also houses various native species of animals, such as bobcats and black bears. This area has attracted thousands of hikers and nature lovers every year.

Address: The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is situated at 1755 Cleveland Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30501.

4. Smithgall Arts Center

Established as a non-profit organization, the Smithgall Arts Center is in the central section of the region’s arts and culture scene.

The Smithgall Arts Center is known for its achievements in the field of art movements in Georgia. 

It also supports various arts groups and individuals. It features a wide variety of visual and performing arts.

The Smithgall Arts Center features various art programs and events. Some of these include the Summer MusicFest and the Movies on the screening series.

Address: The Smithgall Arts Center is at 331 Spring St SW, Gainesville, GA 30501.

5. Elachee Nature Science Center

The park’s name is derived from the Cherokee word Elachee, New Green Earth. This natural area is a must-visit for anyone planning to visit Gainesville.

One of the most popular natural areas in the area is the Chicopee Woods Nature Preserve, located in the Upper Walnut Watershed. 

This region is protected from cotton plantations. This area has been preserved for future generations.

The nature center in this area offers various conservation and environmental classes. 

It also has hiking trails and camping areas for children. This area is a great place to spend time with family and friends.

Address: Elachee Nature Science Center is at 2125 Elachee Dr, Gainesville, GA 30504.

6. Chattahoochee Golf Club

Robert Trend Jones Sr. designed the Chattahoochee Country Club. It has been regarded as one of the best public golf courses in North Georgia.

The Chattahoochee golf club is on a farm that features a total of 182 acres of land. 

This facility has various features that both amateur and professional players can utilize. 

These include a driving range, a service pro shop, and a practice area with a sand bunker and a chipping green.

This course is considered to be one of the best in the state when it comes to playing golf. 

In addition, the various tree species found in this area, such as the pear trees and the Cherry trees, are also stunning during the springtime.

Address: The Chattahoochee Golf Club is situated at 301 Tommy Aaron Dr, Gainesville, GA 30506.

7. Kinsey Family Farm

The family-friendly and fun-filled facility known as the Kinsey Family Farm is a must-visit for anyone planning to visit Gainesville. It offers various rides and attractions for the whole family.

The farm is also a nursery and garden center that can be visited during the fall season. 

During this time, the kids can participate in animal and fish-feeding activities.

During the winter, this area is known for its various activities, such as tree-cutting. This is a great way to spend time with family and friends.

Address: The Kinsey Family Farm is situated at Kinsey Family Farm, 7170 Jot Em Down Road, Gainesville, GA 30506.

8. Scott’s Downtown

One of the most popular restaurants in the area is Scott’s Downtown. 

This establishment serves the best food and is dedicated to providing its customers with the best possible service.

The staff members of Scott’s Downtown are known for their impeccable customer service. 

They also provide a variety of beverages and liquors to their patrons. 

Scott, the restaurant owner, ensures that the ingredients used in his food are made from locally grown and raised food. He additionally oversees the preparation of the food.

Address: Scott’s Downtown is at Scott’s Downtown, 131 Bradford Street N.W., Gainesville, GA 30501.

9. Downtown Drafts

The Downtown Drafts is a unique establishment that serves homemade beers. 

If you are a fan of good liquor, this establishment should be on your list of places to visit in the City of Gainesville.

The establishment is owned and operated by a family. It has a warm and welcoming atmosphere and serves liquors made by other local and regional breweries. 

This is a great place to spend time with family and friends while visiting Gainesville.

Address: The Downtown Drafts is located at 115 Bradford St NE, Gainesville, GA 30501.

10. Atlanta Botanical Garden

Photo by sailn1 via Flickr

The Atlantic Botanical Garden in Gainesville was first established in 2015. It is an excellent place for nature lovers and those passionate about gardening. 

The facility has an outdoor garden designed to provide a tranquil atmosphere. This area is also known for its various garden displays.

Address: The Atlantic Botanical Garden is located at Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1911 Sweetbay Dr, Gainesville.

11. Frances Meadows Aquatic Center

The Frances Meadows Aquatic Center features a large four-lane warm water pool and a ten-lane indoor water pool. 

It also has various other features such as a viewing lounge, a fitness center, and a changing room.

The Frances Meadows Aquatic Center is an excellent venue for various events, such as conferences, training sessions, and business retreats. It can also host seminars and workshops.

Address: The Frances Meadows Aquatic Center is situated at 1545 Community Way, Gainesville, GA 30501.

12. Quinlan Visual Arts Center

Photo by Mike Finn via Flickr

For over 60 years, the Quinlan Visual Arts Center has provided various arts opportunities to the people of Gainesville.

The organization is located in downtown Gainesville on Green street. It is one of the oldest art groups in the area.

Address: The Quinlan Visual Arts Center is situated at 514 Green St NE, Gainesville, GA 30501.

13. Piedmont Hotel

Photo by DV via Wikimedia

One of the most popular attractions in North Georgia is the historic and charming Piedmont hotel.

This establishment was first opened in 1876 and had been hosting prominent individuals in the history of the Civil War.

The hotel was owned and operated by Lieutenant General James Longstreet, who used it as his base for his political activities during his time as a Republican.

Address: Piedmont Hotel is situated at 827 Maple St, Gainesville, GA 30501.

14. Beulah Rucker Museum

The Beulah Rucker Museum, which dates back to the 19th century, is a part of the national register of historic places.

This historical building has multiple rooms decorated with artifacts and recent furnishings.

The museum was established in honor of Beulah Tucker Oliver, the daughter of Willis Rucker and Caroline Wiley. 

She was a teacher and dedicated her life to helping African-American children.

Address: The Beulah Rucker Museum is situated at 2101 Athens Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30507.

15. Don Carter Park

Don Carter Park is a state park that was first established in the 38,000-acre reservoir. 

It has various recreational facilities such as a swimming area, a multi-use trail, and a forest. 

This park is ideal for people interested in getting active and experiencing the outdoors.

Address: The Don Carter Park is at 5000 N Browning Bridge Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506.

See Also: Fun Things to Do In Duluth GA

16. Cool Springs Blueberry Farm

Cool Springs Farms is a family-oriented farm that offers various activities and events throughout the year. 

During the summer, the farm hosts various events such as festivals and You-Pick activities. 

Its staff members are amiable and will make you feel like you’re at a special place. 

Aside from these, the farm also offers other outdoor activities such as camping and trick and treat.

Address: The Cool Springs Blueberry Farm is situated at 5975 Smith Mill Rd, Gainesville, GA 30506.

17. Poultry Capital of the World Monument

The Poultry Capital of the World monument was constructed to honor the people who slaughtered chickens. 

It was constructed by placing a large life chicken on top of it. This park has limited parking spaces but multiple gardens and benches designed to make it look very enticing.

Address: The Poultry Capital of the World Monument is situated at 444 Jesse Jewell Pkwy, Gainesville, GA 30501.

18. Laurel Park

This park is dog-friendly, and people are allowed to bring their pets along. 

However, they must be on a leash and not allowed to run through the ball fields. 

This facility has various recreational facilities such as a playground, a pavilion, and grills.

It’s a great place to spend time with family and friends during your vacation in Gainesville. 

Besides this, it has various other recreational facilities designed to make it an enjoyable experience.

Address: Laurel Park is at 3100 Old Cleveland Hwy, Gainesville, GA 30506.

19. Solar System Walking Tour

The walking tour featured in this exhibit features a scale model of the solar system that showcases various sculptures. It also goes through the downtown area to the lakeshore.

This park is also a great place to spend time with family and friends. It has various recreational facilities designed to make it an enjoyable experience. 

You can also use the pathway that cuts through the various parks in the area to explore the city.

Address: The Solar System Walking Tour is located at Spring St SW, Gainesville, GA 30501.

20. Longwood Park

The Longwood Park is located on Pearl Nix Parkway, opposite the Gainesville High School. 

It’s a great place to break from the daily grind and enjoy the park’s peace.

The park features various walking trails that go through the lakeshore. It also has eight tennis courts and a fishing pier.

Address: The Longwood Park is at 20 Pearl Nix Pkwy, Gainesville, GA 30501.

21. City Park

The park has various recreational facilities such as a concession building, a fishing pier, and multiple tennis courts. 

It also has numerous softball fields, picnic tables, and pavilions. The kids will love playing in the park.

Address: The City Park is at 830 Green Street Cir, Gainesville, GA 30501.