Callaway Gardens wins Best Georgia Attraction title

Atlanta Botanical Garden, The Big House Museum, Georgia Aquarium and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge also winners

Atlantic beaches, historic small towns, coastal marshlands and northern mountains – the largest state east of the Mississippi is a study in contrasts. On one side you have the rural Old South with its moss-draped oaks and grand plantations. On the other side sits metropolitan Atlanta, arguably the capital of the New South.

Center for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta)
Visitors to the Center for Civil and Human Rights explore the fundamental rights of all humans through the lenses of the American Civil Rights Movement and international human rights movement that continues to this day. The 42,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta opened its doors in 2014. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development
Savannah Historic District (Savannah)
Recorded history of Savannah begins in 1733, the year when General James Oglethorpe and the good ship Anne made landfall along the Savannah River front and the colony of Georgia was established. Considered America's first planned city, Savannah still has 22 of its original 24 public squares, thanks in part to the Historic Savannah Foundation who helped forge one of the country's largest National Historic Landmarks, Savannah's Historic District. Photo courtesy of Visit Savannah
Ocmulgee National Monument (Macon)
Some 17,000 years of continuous human occupation on are in evidence at Ocmulgee National Monument near Macon. Paleo Indians arrived during the Ice Age, followed by Archaic hunter gatherers and the Woodland culture. By 900 AD, the Mississippians arrived at the site and began building the earthen mounds they're famous for. Photo courtesy of NPS Photo
Cumberland Island National Seashore
Georgia’s lovely Cumberland Island is for nature enthusiasts. Picture-perfect oaks drip Spanish moss serve as trail sentinels here, living estuaries bubble with life and the air and skies are filled with sights and sounds of egrets, storks and other resident birds. History, along with nature, abounds – Native American, Spanish, English – and the ruins of the Carnegie family’s mansions now serve as reminders of the island’s long lost masters. Photo courtesy of NPS Photo
Atlanta History Center (Atlanta)
Located on 33 acres in one of Atlanta’s most vibrant neighborhoods, the Atlanta History Center is where the stories, mysteries and crusades of the region thrive. The visitor experience features award-winning exhibitions, three historic houses (including the elegant 1928 Swan House and Smith Family Farm, an 1860s working farmstead where kids can pet goats or sheep), six enchanting gardens and a variety of year-round adult and family programs. Photo courtesy of Atlanta History Center
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Established in 1937 as a refuge and breeding ground for migratory birds, Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge protects a swath of the Okefenokee Swamp at the headwaters of the Suwannee and St Marys Rivers. Popular among birdwatchers for the chance to spot wood storks and red-cockaded woodpeckers, the refuge also provides a habitat for 600 species of plants and several amphibians. Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development
Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta)
The crown jewel at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta is the Ocean Voyager exhibit, where guests can watch whale sharks, manta rays and giant schooling fish swim past 22- to 33-foot tall viewing windows within the same exhibit. Other guest favorites include a stellar penguin exhibit, as well as many marine mammals – beluga whales, bottlenose dolphins, sea otters and California sea lions. Photo courtesy of 2014, Gene Phillips, Courtesy of ACVB &
The Big House Museum (Macon)
In spring of 1969 legendary guitarist Duane Allman formed the Allman Brothers Band, known for their rock-fueled blend of blues, jazz and country music. The Big House was the center of the band's activities during their early years, and today, the Tudor-style house in Macon houses a museum filled with guitars and other memorabilia.  Photo courtesy of Georgia Department of Economic Development
Atlanta Botanical Garden (Atlanta)
The Atlanta Botanical Garden comprises 30 acres of outdoor garden space, including a Children's Garden and Edible Garden. The Fuqua Orchid Center located within the Atlanta garden's Fuqua Conservatory houses one of the most important orchid collections in the United States. Photo courtesy of Atlanta Botanical Garden
Callaway Gardens (Pine Mountain)
Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia sits on a 14,000-acre property, complete with a golf course, tennis center, spa, woodlands, lakes and elaborate gardens. During spring, some 5,000 varieties of native and hybrid azaleas begin to bloom in the 40-acre Callaway Brothers Azalea Bowl – the largest of its type in the world. Photo courtesy of Callaway Gardens

We asked a panel of Georgia travel writers and photographers to nominate their favorite attractions in the state, and our readers have been voting for their favorites for the past four weeks.

The top 10 winners in the category Best Georgia Attraction are as follows:

  1. Callaway Gardens - Pine Mountain
  2. Atlanta Botanical Garden - Atlanta
  3. The Big House Museum - Macon
  4. Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta
  5. Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
  6. Atlanta History Center - Atlanta
  7. Cumberland Island National Seashore
  8. Ocmulgee National Monument - Macon
  9. Savannah Historic District - Savannah
  10. Center for Civil and Human Rights - Atlanta

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Allison EntrekinCaroline Eubanks (, Judy and Len Garrison (Seeing Southern), Cory Lee (, Renata Parker, Jan Schroder (Girl on the Go) and Annita Thomas were chosen based on their knowledge and experience of travel in Georgia.

Congratulations to all these winning attractions.