By Alli Hill
You never need a reason to celebrate the great outdoors, but Georgia knows how to do it in style. Their abundance of festivals year-round offer a little something for every outdoor enthusiast. And, given Georgia’s mild climate year-round, there’s never a bad time to experience all the state’s natural scenery. Whether you love fishing or hiking, kayaking or boating, nature or wildlife, you won’t want to miss these eight best outdoor festivals and events in Georgia.
Part of the highly acclaimed Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon, this brightly colored event is dedicated to all things pink. Start with a pink pancake breakfast, then don your pink gear and enjoy a group bike ride through the city of Macon. Cycles and Change Macon and Live Healthy Macon-Bibb brought this epic event to the city just last year and received a huge response from the community. Even if pink isn’t your color, you can’t help but have fun on this one-of-a-kind bike ride.
This prestigious event held at the breathtaking Callaway Resort & Gardens is the summer kickoff every outdoor enthusiast needs. Sponsored by Nautique, FATSAC, Rockstar Energy Drink, Eagle Sports, SeaDek, and other top names in watersports, guests can watch some of the best athletes on the water come together in an action-packed water ski and wakeboard tournament. Live music, beach games, kid-friendly zones, food, drink, and more will be there to celebrate summer’s arrival.
Anyone can host a bike race, but only Atlanta turns this traditional sport into a full blown festival. This multi-day event features bike rides, classes, and plenty of fun for an entire week. You can learn how to bikepack, enjoy a doughnut ride, or experience the MTB Film Festival. Some of the biggest names in cycling, outdoors, and fun are part of this event including Bicycle Ride Across Georgia (BRAG), Eventide Brewing, Zombie Camels Mountain Bike Club, Caravan Bicycles, Atlanta Bicycle Barn, and many more!
This beautiful event at Callaway Gardens will be a weekend to remember. Colorful hot air balloons light up the morning and evening skies, offering plenty of entertainment and photo ops for kids and adults alike. The festival also includes a kids zone, food and drink vendors, disc dog demos, live music all weekend long, and tethered balloon rides so you can experience the great outdoors from a completely different perspective.
Combining outdoor living, wildlife, and art, this festival is truly one of a kind. A long line up of events bring people and animals together through wildlife encounters, education, an off-road outing, and other presentations to bring attention to conservation efforts. Whether you love wildlife or art (or both!), this unique combination of events brings out the best of the Red Hills region.
This outdoors-themed scavenger hunt will be loved by kids and parents alike. Each of the items are related to Georgia wildlife, plants, or history. Participants will hike the trail and look for clues along the way. Located at the Pettit Preserve, guests can choose between a 1.7-mile scavenger hunt or a less intense 0.4-mile hunt.
This Memorial Day weekend tradition in the Northeast Georgia mountains offers the best of both land and lake. Board your canoe or kayak at the Walker Creek Boat Access and embark on a paddling adventure to see the historic sites along the Tugaloo River. Points of interest include an old logjam, ancient Cherokee villages, Longnose Creek Falls, and more. There’s also a separate tour for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Each tour is professionally guided, and there will be a few kayaks or canoes available to rent.
This seven-mile paddle takes place on the Yellow River is an old-fashioned outdoor adventure. Journey through untouched wilderness down the river, dock on a sandbar for a picnic, play on the rope swings along the way, and keep your eyes open for native deer, herons, turtles, and otters. This is a laidback section of the river, offering shallow depths and calm waters, so bring the kids along. The journey ends with live music, craft beer, and plenty of hometown restaurants to sate your appetite.