Road Trip in Georgia
Georgia is a state full of variety, housing everything from big cities to rural routes to coastal cruises. But to see everything the Peach State has to offer, you'll have to do some driving.
Make sure to pay attention to the rules of the road to help on your journey through the varied terrain, but know that it's all worth it to see this unique southern state.
Major GA Roadways
Georgia may not be the biggest state, but there are a number of major highways that can take you across the Peach State in nearly every direction.
- Interstate 75—The longest major highway in Georgia, the road runs from the Tennessee state line in the northwest to the Florida state line in the southeast. Traveling along I-75 can lead you to the city of Macon and in and around Atlanta and many of the city's major suburbs, among other destinations.
- Interstate 20—Cutting east-west across the entire state, Route 20 begins its journey in Augusta in the east before making its way westward to the Alabama state line. In between, the highway runs directly through Atlanta.
- US Highway 1/Interstate 95—One of America's most famous highways, it ultimately stretches from Maine to Florida. Its relatively short trek through Georgia leads from the South Carolina state line at the Savannah River southward down the coast, exiting at the Florida state line near St. Mary's River. Aside from the occasional ocean views that can be seen along the way, I-95 can bring you to Savannah.
- Interstate 85—Cutting diagonally across the state from the South Carolina state line in the northeast to the Alabama state line in the southwest, this highway runs straight through Atlanta and many of the city's major suburbs.
- Interstate 16—A highway existing entirely within the boundaries of Georgia, this major roadway runs east-west and connects two of the state's biggest cities, Macon and Savannah. Interstate 16 also intersects with several other important freeways, including Interstate 95.
Georgia Driving Laws
Just like every other state, Georgia has a number of laws specific to its state roads. Check out Georgia's driver handbook for any questions that may not be covered below.
Seat Belts & Car Seats in GA
Seat belts are required for all Georgia drivers and passengers UNLESS the car is older than a 1965 model year.
The state also requires all children under 8 years old to sit in an approved Department of Transportation safety seat appropriate for that child's particular height and weight.
Texting & Driving in Georgia
It is illegal for any driver to text or use any wireless telecommunication device while driving in Georgia.
This requirement is only waived in a state of emergency, such as when reporting a:
- Traffic accident.
- Criminal act.
- Situation where you believe you are in danger.
GA Motorcycle Laws
Georgia requires all motorcycle riders to wear helmets and protective eye gear while riding in the state.
School Buses in Georgia
In Georgia, you must come to a complete stop in the presence of a school bus that has pulled to a stop or is flashing red lights, regardless of the side of the street you're driving on.
This law is only waived when you are driving down the opposite side of the street from a stopped school bus on a roadway with a median.
Out-of-State Licenses in GA
Drivers with licenses from a different state are legally able to drive on Georgia roads using that license as long as the license is valid/unexpired.
If you decide to make your stay in Georgia permanent, you will have to apply for a GA driver's license after declaring residency. Visit our handy page on applying for a license in Georgia for details.
Notable Georgia Destinations
As America's southernmost original colony, Georgia boasts a healthy amount of history, as well as a number of more modern fun destinations.
The state's capital and by far its biggest city, Atlanta has literally risen from the ashes to become the thriving epicenter of the South. The city has everything, from an array of historical sites—ranging from colonial times, to the Civil War era, up through the powerful Civil Rights movement of the 1960s—to a large and lively nightlife scene.
As the state capital, it's home to many historical and art museums, and also the home of Georgia's professional sports teams.
A city so beautiful, it was the only metropolitan area to be spared the torch in Sherman's destructive March to the Sea during the Civil War. The Northern general “gifted" Savannah to President Abraham Lincoln during the war, and with good reason—a stunning mixture of colonial, Victorian, and medieval-style architecture gather around ancient weeping willows in the city's many squares.
Today, aside from the many historical sites that survived the war, it's the home of the Savannah School of Art and Design—one of the best design schools in the nation—which gives the city a young, vibrant, and sometimes funky energy.
Visitors can also stroll down the beautiful waterfront, enjoying unique stores, restaurants, and bars lining the water or just gazing at the steam boats often launching from the port.
A beautiful city just shy of the South Carolina boarder and stationed along the Savannah River, Augusta's obvious draw is for golf fans. The city hosts the Master's Golf Tournament each year.
Its other attractions are not to be dismissed either, including a number of lovely state parks, a riverwalk dotted with parks, restaurants, and live music venues, and a number of museums and theaters.
National Civil War Museum
Located in Port Columbus, along the state's western border, this museum is a bit off the beaten path, but a worthwhile visit for any history buff. A number of artifacts and exhibits—many originating in Georgia itself—fill the rooms of this remembrance of the nation's bloodiest war to date.