15 Best Things to Do in Greensboro, GA

Greensboro, GA
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Established in 1786, the charming town of Greensboro is the seat of Greene County.

Its Southern roots steeps the town in tradition and history.

People have claimed the place as one of those rare places that have it all: charms, history, and style.

Thanks to elegant antebellum homes and churches, you can experience America’s heartland just by walking through the streets.

The historic “gaol” in Greensboro is one of the oldest jails in the state of Georgia.

If history isn’t your thing, you can always go shopping.

Find unique offerings for everyone, including clothing, jewelry, antiques, and gifts in specialty stores around town.

Check out the best things to do in Greensboro, GA.

Learn Greene County’s History at the Old Gaol

Exterior of The Old Gaol
Swall12345, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In 1807, Greene County’s Superior Court requested local authorities to build a new and bigger prison.

So, they commissioned one of Georgia’s most impressive prisons built out of stone.

That original “rock gaol” still stands today; it’s among the oldest in all the state.

The European-designed Old Gaol has many different cells in its basement, including a cell system that closely resembles catacomb cells in Europe at the time.

Back then, the prisoners would stay inside a cell made of stone and chained to the wall.

All they had was straw for their beds, buckets for toilets, and candles for light.

Metal window of The Old Gaol
Swall12345, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

There was no ventilation, no other light, and no heat.

Upstairs, at least, there was some form of light to thwart the darkness.

Visit the Old Gaol, now rebranded into the L.L. Wyatt Museum, to learn about Greene County’s law enforcement history.

Stop by the L.L. Wyatt Museum and pick up a key from reception that unlocks the Gaol doors for a self-guided tour during business hours.

You can also listen to some of the old stories laid out across a solar box outside the prison walls.

Facade of The Old Gaol
Swall12345, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Taste of Greensboro’s Beautiful Past at the Yesterday Cafe

If you head to the Historic Downtown Greensboro, you’ll come across a beautiful traditional American restaurant called the Yesterday Cafe.

You’ll immediately notice the nostalgic atmosphere as you walk through the door.

Historical photographs and memorabilia cover nearly every inch of space on the Yesterday Café’s walls.

See the memorabilia from Greensboro and Greene county dating as far back as the 19th century.

Right away, the sounds of yesterday fill your ears with favorites such as Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra.

The Yesterday Café started as a small diner serving buttermilk pies, squash casserole, green beans, and mashed potatoes.

Today, they’re famous for their Southern Cuisine.

The “Lake Oconee Magazine” and “Southern Living Magazine” even featured them.

You have no excuse for not experiencing a taste of Greensboro, Georgia, or anywhere else that time has stood still and people have forgotten.

See Incredible Shows at the Oconee Performing Arts Society

The Oconee Performing Arts Society is a local theater group in Greensboro that puts on regular performances throughout the year.

If you’re looking for a night of entertainment, this is the place to go.

The society presents unique, high-quality live entertainment while using the arts to foster a sense of community.

OPAS holds its shows at Eatonton’s Plaza Arts Center, and at the waterfront at Lake Oconee.

They also perform at downtown Greensboro’s Festival Hall, Harbor Club’s Polo Arena, and the Ritz-Carlton Lodge Reynolds Plantation.

From performing under the stars to under the stage lights, OPAS’s performances are as warm and inviting as ever.

The Oconee Performing Arts Society’s education and outreach programs have helped put on free concerts and art shows for thousands of young students throughout Putnam and Greene Counties.

Shop ’Til You Drop in Historic Downtown Greensboro

Two words immediately come to mind when shopping in downtown Greensboro—“quaint” and “charming.”

It doesn’t matter whether you’re interested in history or shopping, as the destination is home to both.

Wander the shops and visit each store brimming with classic southern charm and elegance.

You’ll not only find some fantastic items but also meet up with a lot of friendly and helpful locals.

Some of the best places to visit in Historic Downtown Greensboro are Genuine Georgia and Greensboro Antique Mall.

If you visit either store at the correct hour, you can see designers or artisans hard at work on their creations.

The Potted Geranium and Yesterday Café are both great lunch options after walking around downtown.

Historic Downtown Greensboro is the best place to feel an immediate sense of southern hospitality.

Visit Greene County African American Museum

The Greene County African American Museum aims to create a space that allows for the empowerment and education of the community

The museum celebrates the important achievements of African Americans throughout their history.

On the other hand, it also sheds light on the problems that still need addressing.

In 2020, social entrepreneur, educator, organizer, and historian Mamie Hillman founded Greensboro’s Greene County African American Museum.

The museum focuses on telling the story and history of Black life in Greene County through exhibits and workshops.

Through Arcadia Press, Mamie published her first book entitled Black America Series: Greene County Georgia in 2004.

The book explains how Blacks earned freedom and started living according to their traditions but faced obstacle after obstacle afterward.

Enjoy Camping at Old Salem Park

Old Salem Park offers solitude and refreshment at the shores of nearby lakes and streams.

These sites are perfect for a family getaway, but it’s also fun to observe the local wildlife in the area.

There’s always something to see year-round, including day-use picnic areas, a swimming beach, and wheelchair-accessible playgrounds.

The campsite even has boating access for fishing enthusiasts.

Grilling stations and pavilions provide ample space for events and outdoor gatherings.

Everything in Old Salem Park is consistently clean and well-maintained, from bathrooms to shower rooms and the campsites themselves.

Bring your dog for a walk, too, because the park is dog-friendly; just keep them on a leash.

All sites sport a lake view and are also close to the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds hotel, which offers not just golf but dining as well as a spa.

Find a Heartwarming Souvenir at Genuine Georgia

When you step through the beautiful Wisteria archway at Genuine Georgia, you will know you’ve arrived in the quaint historic town of Greensboro, Georgia.

If a gift store can be an experience in itself, this store should be the best example.

Genuine Georgia is full of distinctively south-born novelty items for use in your everyday lifestyle.

Amble through an art gallery, imagine all the stories behind each artwork, and soak in the fragrance of Gooseberry candles.

These things are only part of what makes Genuine Georgia special.

If you’re looking for a souvenir from your trip to Greensboro, this gift shop offers valuable and artistic items that you can give anyone.

This is also the only place in town that can get you access to the Old Gaol.

It’s also nearest the chamber of commerce’s office.

Get Fresh Produce and Canned Southern Treats at Ripe Thing Market

Ripe Thing is a local market at heart that wants to connect with the people around it and help them enjoy their experience.

Ripe Thing looks like an old country store with a front porch and chairs and tables.

During warmer months, you can enjoy an outdoorsy experience with all sorts of fresh ingredients.

You’ll find a wide variety of food like homemade soups from the deli and some piping-hot Boar’s Head sandwiches.

There are lots of yummy treats as well, such as gummy chicken feet and some seat salt caramel honeycomb candy.

Not to mention they also offer various types of coffee.

If you’d like to pick up something to bring back home, the excellent Ripe Thing Market has a variety of other fantastic products that you might love.

Enjoy Lake Oconee with Young Harris Water Sports

Sunset reflecting on Lake Oconee
Benz Travel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Lake Oconee is a top choice for anglers.

You’ll discover excellent varieties of fish, including catfish, crappie, bass, and many more.

Boaters and water skiers love spending time on the lake too.

Young Harris Water Sports wants to share the fun and spirit of water sports with everyone as much as possible.

They’ve rented out their jet ski and boating equipment for 16 years.

This marine and RV dealership has even built a loyal customer base of water sports enthusiasts who live along the Georgia coast.

Daytime view of Lake Oconee
Tara Ballard / Shutterstock.com

Their well-trained staff will help show you a good time, whether you’re an experienced rider or a beginner looking to get out on the water.

They offer delivery services to launch sites on Lake Oconee and several other lakes nearby.

Their delivery service also includes any piece of equipment you’re looking for.

Young Harris Water Sports also offers seasonal boat rentals where you can rent jet skis, ski boats, or other boats, depending on your preference.

Lake Oconee offers plenty of activities for everyone to enjoy.

Bring your camera to capture the beautiful surrounding scenery.

Challenge Yourself at Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds

Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds is known for its unparalleled versatility.

The terrain contains sharp canyon tops and gently rolling hills, which makes it an ideal destination for anyone who wants to try out new things.

Among its 100 acres of beautiful landscape, its well-groomed grounds offer a wide range of challenging activities.

Its 20-station sporting clays course is one of the best in the country.

You can also try its five-stand shooting range, shooting clinics, and games.

Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds also has an archery range and air rifle shooting station.

Great Britain’s Justin Jones isn’t only an international shooting champion.

He also knows everything about managing and developing elite shooting facilities.

As one of the world’s most excellent experts in professional shooting, Justin Jones designed Sandy Creek Sporting Grounds.

This location has everything you need on your getaway, including fishing, canoeing, kayaking, an off-roading course, and more.

Look for the Best Deals at Greensboro Antique Mall

When you feel like spending a day browsing and looking at antiques, Greensboro Antique Mall is the place for you.

Spanning 11,000 square feet and housing more than 50 dealers, Greensboro Antique Mall is the biggest antique mall in the Lake Oconee region.

Built in 1860, its building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Your antiquing expedition will be in good hands here.

Find vintage furniture, pottery, books, jewelry, and plenty more in their collection of one-of-a-kind gems, a must for any second-hand shoppers out there.

The prices can be steep, but you can also find plenty of great deals within these walls.

Other lovely items you’ll also find here range from antique bottles for decor to stunning 1950s-style dresses fit for a real Josephine Baker.

It’s like a treasure trove of your greatest dreams whose rewards you can reap at an astounding rate.

Experience Greensboro on an E-Bike with Pedego Electric Bikes

Pedego Electric Bikes Lake Oconee isn’t your average bicycle store in Georgia.

They also offer electric bike rentals for those looking to discover Greensboro on two wheels.

There’s something for everyone. whether an avid biker or a newbie.

However, they’ll usually offer a 24-inch Interceptor or a 26-inch Interceptor cruiser e-bike.

Ride your bike to the nearby beautiful wilderness, which is also not so hard to traverse.

You’ll enjoy all the winding paths on the nearby trails.

You will have a great time biking through these trails.

If you’ve never used an electric bike before, Pedego Electric Bikes will see that you can work the equipment before setting you on the road.

Unwind at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds

The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds hotel offers guests a tranquil setting within easy reach of all attractions in the area.

Rooms overlooking gardens or Lake Oconee invite guests into a calming getaway for groups or families.

You can also enjoy relaxing cuisine in the indoor and outdoor spaces.

You can even do something as simple as crack open a book on one of the lake’s sandy beaches, amid little more than nature and silence.

On any given afternoon, you can bond with family with a scavenger hunt or a fantastic fireworks show.

You can check out their award-winning golf course during the day or their award-winning spa treatments at night.

If you have some more time on your hands, you can arrange for custom activities like bike rentals.

Go on scenic trails around Lake Oconee while staying at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds.

Try Glamping at KOA Holiday Campgrounds

Do you want to stay at a whimsical train-themed camping site?

You’ll love this unique concept at the KOA Holiday Campgrounds in Greensboro.

Experience this special KOA firsthand on a 55-acre campsite, with 13 actual cabooses, club cars, and railroad boxcars scattered across the land.

It’s perfect as a base camp for boaters eager to get out on the lake or anglers looking to reel in a trophy catch.

Additionally, bring the kids to the campground.

They’ll love the two swimming pools and the white sand beach.

The 4,000-square-foot clubhouse here can host large groups.

The KOA Holiday Campgrounds also overlook the lake, making it the perfect place to spend your time while camping.

Celebrate the Southland Jubilee

If you’re looking for a fun event with a flair for the community, Southland Jubilee may be what you want.

Since 1998, this quality heritage arts festival has become one of downtown Greensboro’s most cherished community events and street fairs.

This celebration allows visitors from across the region to enjoy distinctive, quality arts and cultural programs.

Celebrate the festivities in a welcoming atmosphere that is family-oriented and friendly.

Southland Jubilee features live performances, an extensive collection of crafts and food vendors, and demonstrations by farmers and artisans.

You can also check out hoe-downs, bluegrass music jams, or old-fashioned square dances.

See classic cars and experience hands-on children’s activities such as face painting or stomp dancing.

The Southland Jubilee is Greensboro’s biggest annual event, taking place on the third weekend in April.

Final Thoughts

During spring and summer, people come from miles around to spend their days on Lake Oconee.

They also check out the music venues, festivals, and restaurants that made Greensboro a popular destination.

Bookmark this article if you want inspiration to make the trip to Greensboro.

Start planning your trip today!

You might even find more things to do in Greensboro, GA after you arrive.