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4 Weird Roadside Attractions in Georgia

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georgia welcome sign

Photo: MPD01605

The Peach State is home to many things, but nothing compares to what you can find when driving on its roadways. From ancient military machines to a smiling nut, you won’t know what to think of these four weird roadside attractions in Georgia.


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paradise gardens howard finster

Photo: Brooke

Paradise Gardens

In 1976, Reverend Howard Finster received a vision from God to create 5,000 sacred works of art. He did so by 1985 and went on to create almost 50,000 more pieces of art before his death in 2001. But before receiving that vision from the man upstairs, Finster had already started building an outdoor art environment, called Paradise Gardens, in the ‘60s, which housed creations made from junk and recycled items. The garden, located in Summerville, features unique buildings, concrete sculptures, and what some might call unsettling yet beautiful paintings. What is now a location on the National Register of Historic Places is a must-see when traveling through Georgia.

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Jimmy Carter Smiling Peanut

Georgia is home to 39th President of the United States Jimmy Carter. Before his presidency, Carter was a peanut farmer after having served in the Navy. Naturally, the state thought it would be appropriate to build a 13-foot smiling peanut statue to honor our former Commander in Chief. The statue, which sports an exaggerated version of Carter’s trademark grin, was built in 1976 and was located in Carter’s hometown of Plains until 2000, when it was toppled by an out-of-control driver. The repaired peanut is now set in concrete and has a permanent home in front of the Davis E-Z Shop. You might want to stop by and see this while you can, as many have taken chunks out of the statue as personal keepsakes when visiting the giant nut.

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Rock City

When you visit Rock City in Lookout Mountain, you’ll feel like you’ve entered a fantasy world. The scenic mountaintop path winds across gigantic rock formations, caverns, lush gardens, and a suspension bridge, offering picturesque panoramic views of the Peach State. To top it all off, the area also features quaint signs, folk-art sculptures, garden gnomes, souvenir photo-ops, Mother Goose and Fairyland themes, and many beautiful statues. While the site has been a marvel since the days of the Great Depression, the geological history of Rock City spans millions of years prior. Before leaving, be sure to stop at the gift shop for a lovely trinket to commemorate your trip.

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tank town usa georgia mud course

Photo: Yumacool

Tank Town USA

Morganton is home to Tank Town USA, which is the perfect place to get any frustrations out through smashing things and shooting guns. For a truly destructive experience, you and your group must go through a brief tutorial going over safety. From there, you can rent a tank and drive it through a muddy, rugged course filled with hills. For an extra cost, you can add a junk car to crush with the tank. If driving a tank around isn’t enough to get your blood pumping, you can also shoot 100 rounds from the M1919 Browning machine gun or even dig a hole with a giant excavator. Tank Town is typically at full capacity every weekend, so you’ll want to make a reservation online if you plan on stopping by.

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