The Booth Museum in Cartersville
No Wild West tour of Georgia would be complete without a visit to The Booth Museum in Cartersville. This world-class museum of Western art includes an exhibit on Western movie posters, a presidential exhibit, and a very hands-on indoor playground for kids where they can ride in a stagecoach or cook at the chuck wagon.
Doc Holliday Driving Tour in Griffin
The famous Wild West gunfighter, gambler and Wyatt Earp pal was born and raised in Griffin, Georgia. Take a self-guided Doc Holliday driving tour that includes seven markers around town that introduce you to young John Henry Holliday. Afterward, stop at the Doc Holliday Saloon for a shot of whiskey and some vittles.
Glen-Ella Springs Inn in Clarkesville
This bed and breakfast in Clarkesville is located on Bear Gap Road. The road was originally called Old Stagecoach Road. Travelers used it to travel from Clayton to Athens. Today, the Glen-Ella Springs Inn is family-owned and operated by the Kivetts. Stay the night, or just go for dinner in the award-winning restaurant.
Historic Westville in Columbus
Travel back in time to an authentic 1850s community, and learn what life was like for the Creek Indians, the frontier settlers, rural farmers and townspeople. Historic Westville, a living history museum, provides a firsthand experience of what life would have been like in the 19th century. The buildings in Westville were moved from the museum’s original location in Lumpkin to Columbus. Meet and interact with interpreters dressed in period clothing who represent the culture and traditions of those that occupied this region, as well as a variety of authentic trade-based shops, homesites, and historic churches.
New Echota in Calhoun
Visit New Echota State Historic Site in Calhoun and learn about the Native American tribe, the Cherokee. New Echota was the capital of the Cherokee nation and includes government buildings, as well as the newspaper office where The Phoenix, the first Cherokee newspaper was printed. This is also the beginning of the Trail of Tears. In addition to life in the Cherokee nation, learn about the forced removal of 16,000 Cherokee from Georgia to Oklahoma in the 1830s.
Pine Mountain Gold Museum in Villa Rica
Dahlonega isn’t the only site of a gold rush in Georgia. Native American legends tell of gold near present-day Villa Rica. Spanish explorers came searching for it, but the first documented account was recorded in the mid-1820s. Since then, 19 commercial gold mining operations have been recorded in the town.
The Pine Mountain Gold Museum pays tribute to the mining industry in the area and includes exhibits, a documentary on the history of the Villa Rica mines, and a place to pan for your own gemstones. Two highlights within the complex are the authentic 19th-century gold stamp mill and the Pine Mountain Scenic Railroad that takes guests on a tour around the mountain.
Providence Canyon in Lumpkin
Known as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon,” Providence Canyon in Lumpkin is a group of massive gullies, as deep as 150 feet, that were caused by poor farming practices in the 1800s. The result is a gorgeous canyon with striations of orange, salmon, red, white, purple and pink soil layers. Hike the rim, or head down into the canyon.
SAM Shortline Railroad in Cordele
If you didn’t have a horse, the best mode of transportation in the Old West was by train. In Cordele, board the Historic SAM Shortline Railroad, Georgia’s only rolling state park, for a trip through Georgia’s southwest corner. Be sure to sample the peanut ice cream in Plains, and don’t miss the Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie, which has a very unique take on the history of communications from the Creek Indians through modern-day telephones.
Traveler’s Rest in Toccoa
This National Historic Landmark in Toccoa was once a stagecoach stop on the Unicoi Turnpike. Visitors can tour the house that has many of the original artifacts and furnishings. For an added treat, visit Traveler’s Rest during Pioneer Days in October and learn skills needed to be a pioneer in the 1800s.