Lavonia is a city in Franklin County, Georgia, which offers residents and tourists a suburban and rural mix in terms of lifestyle.
The city was founded in 1878 with the construction of the Elberton-Air-Line-Railroad, allowing Lavonia to become a thriving cotton market.
Agriculture was one of the earliest industries in the city, and sewing helped boost its economy.
Lavonia is the smallest city in the US with an original Carnegie Library, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Many tourists flock to this city to catch the beautiful view of Lake Hartwell and explore the downtown streets filled with antique shops and restaurants serving some of the best home-cooked meals.
Despite being a small city, you can do dozens of things in the area.
Check out 15 of the best things to do in Lavonia, GA.
Catch Live Performances at Side Track Theater @ On the Rail
Nothing beats a day filled with music and good times.
The Side Track Theater @ On the Rail sits on a siding for Hartwell Railroad.
Visitors can enjoy 4,000 square feet of open theater seating with a 12x16-foot stage.
The high ceiling made of rough-sawn wood and the rustic feel of the 85-year-old post-and-beam warehouse makes for a great listening experience.
Side Track Theater @ On the Rail is also an excellent venue for hosting group activities, parties, and musical and theatrical production sets.
Hang Out by the Dirt Tracks at Lavonia Speedway
Feel the thrill of the chase and drown in the sound of roaring engines at the Lavonia Speedway along Lavonia Highway.
The banked, 3/8-mile clay oval on Highway 77 hosts weekly racing programs from March to October.
Enjoy a unique experience by hanging out near the dirt tracks and catching stock V8s, streetcars, and other limited late models battling it out on the speedway.
Visitors can choose from various seating arrangements一each with its perks.
Enjoy a cool drink on a hot day at the grandstand, which can seat approximately 2,500 guests.
You can also park your car or truck against the fence to look at the speedway.
You can also enjoy the race in the middle of the oval and hang out by the pit area.
Spend a Day on the Lake with Harbor Light Marina
Get front row seats to the best views of Lake Hartwell with Harbor Light Marina.
The family-owned and operated marina has everything you need to spend a relaxing day on the calm waters of Lake Hartwell一from boat and slip rentals to fuel sales and a stocked ship store.
Located on the southeast side of the I-85 bridge, Harbor Light Marina is also a great space where large boats can venture down the lake into wider waters.
Take the helm and go on your adventure with your family and friends while exploring Lake Hartwell’s shoreline.
Rent one of the company's 16 boats, which includes pontoons, performance pontoons, and deck boats.
Explore Tugaloo State Park
Discover the natural wonders of Lavonia by exploring Tugaloo State Park.
The park is situated on a wooded peninsula with campsites and cottages overlooking 55,590 acres of Lake Hartwell.
Engage in watersports activities like swimming, water skiing, sailing, and boating.
You can also try fishing and catch an abundance of large-mouth bass.
If you enjoy wandering the great outdoors, hike along the park’s trails and marvel at the sight of oak, walnut, mulberry, and cherry trees gracing the area.
Drink and Dine at Tilly’s Tiki Bar and Grill
Make your way to Tilly’s Tiki Bar and Grill along Harbor Light Marina Road and stop by for a round of drinks and good food.
The restaurant’s striking tiki theme is enough to turn heads, let alone the delectable dishes you can spot on their menu.
Indulge in a plate of buffalo or smoked wings, or start your meal with house-fried potato chips topped with bleu cheese, bacon, and scallions.
Next, choose finger food and other meals, such as the Mushroom Swiss Burger, Shrimp Po Boy, Fried Fish Sandwich, French Dip, etc.
Of course, what’s a meal without drinks?
Head over to the bar for a couple of shots or glasses of your favorite cocktails to end the day.
Satisfy Your Cravings at 211 Main Street Restaurant
Grab some of the best home-cooked meals in Lavonia by popping in 211 Main Street Restaurant.
Bob and Trish Toews founded 211 Main Street Restaurant, which offers nothing less than freshly made meals using only the finest ingredients.
While you’re here, don’t forget to try their best-selling chicken salad and quiche.
211 Main Street Restaurant also doubles as a bakery, serving a wide selection of unique desserts and pies.
Grab a seat and indulge in the flavors of their six-layer cakes, cinnamon buns, Pecan Cream Caramel Cream Cheese Pie, pound cakes, and more.
Go Duck Hunting at the Skeeter Branch Hunting Preserve
If you’re ever interested in duck hunting, stop by the Skeeter Branch Hunting Preserve and venture on a unique outdoor experience.
The duck hunting preserve comprises 250 acres of land flooded with cornfields.
Inside the hunting preserve, you’ll see the original hunting lodge, a bunkhouse, skeet range, and an outdoor picnic area.
Skeeter Branch Hunting Preserve also boasts a pre-civil war era cabin, a must-see for history buffs.
Meet up at the site a few hours before daylight as you go over the details of the hunt.
You’ll ride a trailer that will bring you to one of the nine sloughs and ponds, where you’ll climb into the blinds.
After a full day of hunting, enjoy a home-cooked breakfast to end the session.
Tour Lake Hartwell with Lake Hartwell Boat Tours
There’s no better way to enjoy the panoramic view of Lake Hartwell than hopping on a boat and exploring its waterways.
Lake Hartwell Boat Tours offers an alluring sunset cruise perfect for you and your friends.
During the cruise, you’ll also hear about Lake Hartwell’s rich history.
Check out Tugaloo State Park from the lakeside and pass under I-85 to see what’s happening near Party Island.
The captain can also anchor the boat in a cove where you can swim, rope swing, or dive off a cliff.
Get a Bird’s Eye View of Lavonia with Balloon Safaris International
The city of Lavonia might be small, but it’s full of unique adventures that will surely be one for the books.
Balloon Safaris International is Georgia’s oldest hot air balloon company, with a staff equipped with the necessary training and credentials that guarantee a safe and fun ride.
Go on a hot air balloon ride with your friends and check out the city from high up.
You can even plan a ballooning festival with the company or reconstruct a hot air balloon.
Charters depart twice daily, but make sure you’ve booked a reservation before going to the venue.
Blow off Steam at Woodchuck’s Axe Throwing
Engage in a thrilling game of ax throwing at Woodchuck’s on Main St.
Woodchuck’s Axe Throwing offers visitors a heart-racing game of ax throwing for nine-year-old kids and above.
Throw axes for an hour, picking between a single or double target setting.
If you’re planning to visit this entertainment center anytime soon, wear closed-toe shoes for your safety as outlined in company policy.
To help you remember your experience, you can shop for souvenirs like hats, koozies, shirts, and an ax throwing kit for kids.
Shop for Great Finds at the Southern Alpaca Connection
The Southern Alpaca Connection has everything you need to kickstart your creative endeavors from yarns and needles to hooks, looms, and patterns.
Judy and George Dick founded the Southern Alpaca Connection, which showcases the luxurious alpaca fiber and weaves it into numerous fashionable pieces.
You can also enroll in knitting and weaving classes and expand your artistic horizon.
Enjoy a cup of coffee roasted on the farm, giving you that flavorsome and aromatic taste.
Or, if you’re more of a wine person, you can also enjoy a glass right from the store while shopping for alpaca gifts and crafts.
Grab Art Pieces and Honey Goods at Sweet Combs of Honey
There’s a lot to love about Sweet Combs of Honey on West Ave.
The company grows and raises honey bees that produce sweet honey and and a complete line of Nora Mill Granary products.
Besides sweet delights, Sweet Combs of Honey also features local and regional art in pottery, baskets, jewelry, and more.
The company also makes their wine, which you can buy from the shop.
After your shopping spree, swing by the Honey Bee Cafe and indulge in a fresh salad with house-made dressings.
Celebrate the Lavonia Renaissance Festival
Step back and relive the Renaissance period as you wander downtown Lavonia.
The Lavonia Renaissance Festival happens every May.
Enjoy the day-long festivities at Lavonia City park, just behind the city hall.
Relive the days when the Vikings ruled the lands.
Or, if you’re up for it, go for the whole Renaissance experience by dressing up in period costume for the occasion.
Shop at the Spring Vintage Market
Find handmade and vintage crafts at the Spring Vintage Market in downtown Lavonia.
Here, you’ll find a wide array of crafts that make a great souvenir to commemorate your trip to this beautiful city.
Shop from over 50 vendors from morning until afternoon.
If you’re planning to set up your booth, the organizers only allow vintage or antique items, and handmade art.
Buy Fresh Produce from the Farmers Market
Depending on the season, the Lavonia Farmers Market typically runs from April through October, giving customers varying fresh produce typically.
Remember that the harvests also depend on weather conditions, so it’s essential to have a trusty guide as to what fruits and vegetables are available before you visit the market.
Take home a bag of fresh cherries and blueberries from May to July or pears and nuts if you’re in the city from September to November.
You can also shop for dozens of vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, lettuce, kale, pumpkins, spinach, etc.
Lavonia is one of the best places to dine and experience unique adventures.
Despite being a small city, Lavonia makes for a great tourist destination thanks to great finds and activities that will surely make you want to come back for more.
Don’t miss out on the adventure of a lifetime, and book a trip to Lavonia today!