I woke up this morning with the Statesboro GA blues. After spending a long weekend in this cool Georgia college town, I was feeling a little nostalgic. Maybe I can’t go back in time to my sorority days, but fortunately I created new memories on the beautiful campus of Georgia Southern University and experienced authentic natural attractions in Bulloch County.
Instead of eating ramen, a popular college staple, I feasted on braised pork belly, perfectly grilled filet, smoky sweet barbecue, samosas, southern fried chicken and coconut crème brûlée. A diverse menu of international restaurants, down-home diners, boisterous breweries, hip wine bars and classic venues serve signature cocktails and upscale cuisine.
The charming historic downtown of this Georgia city is lined with vintage shops, antique booths, cafes and eclectic boutiques. Every Saturday, hyper-local growers and vendors gather with fresh produce, flowers, home-baked goods and artisan specialties at the lively Statesboro Main Street Farmers Market. The indoor venue transforms into an open air market situated by a lovely park with live music and perfect picnic areas to sample your fresh market finds. It gives you those amazing small town vibes.
Statesboro, Georgia, is the perfect place to write a country song. Just ask homeboy Luke Bryan, who actually once called my AirBNB on Cypress Lake home. The scenery is surreal. Giant cypress trunks with sprawling roots and limbs dripping with Spanish moss line the shores creating a creepy cool sanctuary, just 45 minutes north of Savannah, and close to Interstate 16.
Here are some of our favorite things to do in Statesboro GA that we know you’ll love too.
Do you wish you could travel more, but don’t want to pay the expensive cost of airfare for your whole family? There is a way to fly your family for free and it’s easy to learn! Families Fly Free is a program that teaches families how to fly for free using travel rewards – including our family!
Want to learn how your family can do it too? Click here to grab 7 Secret Hacks for flying free that the founder of Families Fly Free personally uses to take her family of 4 all over the world!
WET & WILD ADVENTURES
SPLASH IN THE BORO
Get your feet wet and dive in the deep end at Splash in the ‘Boro, an awesome and affordable waterpark featuring Georgia’s only dual FlowRider. The FlowRider revolution opened the way to a completely new surfing experience. Flowboarding, also known as flowriding, is the sport in which the rider uses a flowboard or bodyboard to perform acrobatic maneuvers, taking advantage of a sheet wave, that allows riders to surf in place.
With over a million gallons of water, Splash in the Boro is one of the most unique water parks around. Featuring a wonderful wave pool, exhilarating slides, a pool play area for kids, a lounge-worthy lazy river and Georgia’s only dual Flow Rider, find bucket loads of fun for all ages. Buy your advance tickets online and save a few bucks.
Outside food and beverages are not allowed in the park, but families can pack a picnic to eat outside and get hand stamps allowing them to gain re-entry to the water park. If you’re feeling extra lazy, spend the afternoon chilling out under a rented cabana and nosh on goodies from onsite concessions, where people watching is always entertaining.
Imagine floating through an ancient forest on a calm and kind of creepy green-covered swamp. It is oddly relaxing and peaceful. Get out on the water at Blackwater Preserve and kayak or canoe your way through the area’s pristine wetlands. Follow the vintage metal signs posted on the huge cypress tree trunks to explore miles of wetland waterways for a memorable outdoor adventure in an area that time forgot.
Fish, paddle and observe numerous birds and animals in the unspoiled nature preserve. Camping is also available and reservations are required for access to this natural attraction. Go fishing or just paddle through the cypress swamp to take in the numerous birds and animals in this unspoiled back-to-nature preserve
GEORGIA SOUTHERN WILDLIFE CENTER
Face your fears of the unknown and learn more about creatures you might naturally be afraid of. Get up close (maybe too close for obvious comfort) and personal with eagles, raptors, reptiles and more at Georgia Southern University’s Center for Wildlife Education and The Lamar Q Ball, Jr. Raptor Center. You don’t have to touch the giant snakes, but it is still cool to see them! Expert tip, you can run faster than they can slither.
Providing quality immersive environmental education for visitors of all ages, the Wildlife Center is an excellent place to learn more about the animals indigenous to south Georgia. The critical role of humans in the environment is the unifying theme for its programs. Touch an owl, handle a snake or pet a prehistoric cockroach. Meet Freedom, a magnificent bald eagle and the official mascot of GSU.
Executive Director Steve Hein brings his passion for falconry, artistic talent, business skills and a tremendous sense of fun to his work at the Center for Wildlife Education. He holds Federal and State Licenses as a Master Falconer, and practices this ancient art with confidence and enthusiasm.
ANCIENT OCEANS & CREATURES of GSU MUSEUM
The Georgia Southern Museum fosters life-long learning by engaging visitors with impressive collections, fascinating exhibits and educational outreach.
The Uncharted Worlds exhibit transports you through millions of years of dramatic changes to Georgia’s landscape, from an ancient ocean with mosasaurs prowling the seas to forests and prairies with mastodons and mammoths, to the arrival of the first humans, and finally to the coastal plain we know today.
Come face-to-face with a mosasaur, Tylosaurus proriger, a 78 million-year-old, 26 foot-long marine reptile, and Georgiacetus vogtlensis, a 41 million-year-old whale, the most primitive whale fossil discovered in North America. Hear stories of giant sharks, ice age creatures, and really cool research at Gray’s Reef National Marine Sanctuary. Young visitors can “be a paleontologist” and explore the mosasaur inside and out.
The Charted Worlds exhibit explores the cultural contributions of civilizations on the Coastal Plain. When the first humans reached the Coastal Plain approximately 13,000 years ago, they began to adapt to the unique environment, exploring its resources and chart paths to create a home.
Charted World highlights important stories of interactions between cultures and environment that created the distinct traditions and heritage of Georgia’s Coastal Plain. Examine an interactive timeline featuring arts, crafts and tools of regional Native Americans with projectile points and pottery, traditional watercraft (including a dugout canoe and Ogeechee River boat), a rare antebellum cotton gin and turpentining artifacts.
Take a leisurely stroll. The gorgeous Botanic Garden located on the sprawling campus of Georgia Southern University features over 11 acres of gardens on the early twentieth-century farmstead of Dan and Catharine Bland. Wander the trails, paths, and courtyards and explore the intriguing natural and cultural wonders of the southeastern coastal plain, where persistence, ingenuity, and deep respect have bound people to the land.
Discover a significant and growing collection of native and heritage plants, including over 20 of the state’s protected species. Peer down a pitcher plant, gaze upward at the gnarled branches of magnificent longleaf pines, and inhale the heavy scent of confederate jasmine.
More than just woodland trails, the Botanic garden features a landscape garden of coastal plain natives, a native azalea collection, an arboretum, a children’s garden, a complex of early 20th-century farm buildings, the Rural Life Museum, the Whelchel Camellia Garden, heritage gardens, a bog and sandhill, and the Kennedy Outdoor Classroom.
The Botanic Garden is a research and educational resource for faculty and students and provides undergraduate and graduate programs, projects, and internships as well as continuing education programs of interest to the community.
BLIND WILLIE MCTELL TRAIL & COUNTRY MUSIC ROOTS
Wild nights don’t get much better. Dive into the area’s deep musical roots by exploring Blind Willie McTell’s time in Statesboro and his infamous song titled “Statesboro Blues.” Visit some of the old stomping grounds of Luke Bryan and Cole Swindell, both of whom launched their rise to stardom in Statesboro, and take in a special exhibit featuring Gretsch Guitars at the Museum on Main. Listen to live music at authentic dive bars, sleek clubs, public parks and even a brewery.
The Blind Willie Mctell Trail, named after the legendary blues master, begins at Fair Road’s Memorial Park and ends at Triangle Park in the heart of downtown Statesboro. The hiking trail consists of 7,415 square yards of architecturally designed asphalt, six varieties of trees, custom-designed benches by the university’s art students, cobra lighting throughout and more.
Amenities include bike racks, picnic tables, landscaped islands, raised pedestrian crosswalks and much more. The McTell Trail beckons visitors and locals to walk and picnic in the scenic area and to cycle safely without using city streets.
FABULOUS FOOD IN STATESBORO GA
DOLAN’S BAR B QUE & HONEY SPECIALTIES
These girls are smoking hot. Don’t miss local favorites such as Dolan’s Bar B Que, where a fearless female pitmaster cooks up some of the area’s best traditional, pit smoked barbecue.
Originally opened in Millen in 2017 by sisters Lazar Brown Oglesby and Mary Beth Brown, Dolan’s Bar B Que was officially moved to the city of Statesboro in 2021.
Let them eat cheesecake! Both sisters have a fierce passion for food, and their individual strengths have only made business soar higher. Mary Beth handles the barbecue side of things, and is proud to be one of the few female pit masters in the business. Lazar founded Honey Specialties with her trademark cheesecakes, which are perfect dessert pairings for foodies.
Add live music and creative cocktails for the perfect experience.
UNCLE SHUG’S BAR-B-QUE PLACE
After the long-running success of Uncle Shug’s Chicken Barn, a walk-up and take out restaurant, owner Stacy Underwood decided to open a sit-down restaurant, Uncle Shug’s Bar-b-Que Place. Stacy shares his love of barbecue with Bulloch County, combining old-fashioned barbecue favorites along with burgers and made-from-scratch sides.
He created a restaurant that provides customers with delicious BBQ chopped pork, BBQ chicken, BBQ ribs, smoked wings, fried & grilled chicken tenders, all-beef hamburgers, and made-from-scratch sides.
Don’t miss Vandy’s Bar-B-Q Downtown, where the ‘cue is slowly cooked in one of just six open-air barbecue pits in the state of Georgia!
The Beaver House, a haunted boarding house, offers family style restaurant service with huge bowls and platters of southern specialties, including my favorite, lemon chess pie. The ghosts are friendly, and the owner is very entertaining. Get dinner and a show in this antebellum treasure.
The Beaver House is one of the few remaining boarding house style restaurants in the state. You don’t have to believe in ghosts, but believe me, you have to try this fried chicken!
SUGAR MAGNOLIA BISTRO & BAR.
Treat yourself. Satisfy a sweet tooth at Statesboro’s own Sugar Magnolia Bistro & Bar. Stop in for fresh baked breads and treats as well as breakfast pastries, cookies, brownies and more.
BULL AND BARREL STEAKHOUSE
Bull and Barrel Steakhouse is an elegant establishment that provides an elevated dining experience. A seasonal menu is inspired by the classics, and foodies will find refined yet familiar dishes that do not disappoint.
The fork-tender filet, extensive wine list and decadent desserts make this dinner unforgettable, in the best way.
From fine wines and craft beers to carefully curated charcuterie boards, Vino 1910 offers a unique space for the curious and confident to explore tastes from around the world in beautiful downtown Statesboro.
EAGLE CREEK BREWING COMPANY
Have a beer and a burger and a great time at Eagle Creek Brewing Company. This is my kind of guided tour. Before you sample the local brews, like River Street Praline and Tea Party Amber, take a fascinating look at the brewing process. Statesboro’s first and only brewery specializes in serving up local craft beer, burgers, and other great bites.
Catch local and touring musicians on the weekend and wind down with friends in this welcoming watering hole.
MORE FUN IN STATESBORO GA
You will want to join the fun at The Clubhouse. Play your heart out with 38 acres of outdoor fun and 42,000 square feet of indoor fun, including The Coca-Cola 125 Raceway with fully electric go-carts, a mini-golf course, 24 bowling lanes with four luxury lanes in a private suite, state-of-the-art arcade, and laser tag arena.
So, winning makes me hungry. Inside The Clubhouse, Spikes Sports Grill & Bar offers a full menu of homemade appetizers and entrées, like Spikes Wings, housemade chips, chicken tenders, pizza, shakes and ice cream sundaes.
MILL CREEK REGIONAL PARK
Mill Creek Regional Park includes 155 acres of parkland, 15 lighted baseball/softball fields (12 lighted), seven soccer/football fields (four lighted), two playgrounds, 1.25-mile walking trail, nine picnic pavilions, eight public restrooms, and one lake. Hours of operation: From sunrise to sunset.
The park is open to the public for outdoor recreation. Special events and sporting events are scheduled throughout the year. Admission is free.
MUSEUM ON MAIN
Continue your education by learning something new about local history. Located inside the Statesboro Regional Visitor Center, the Museum on Main hosts free annual changing exhibits on the history and culture of Bulloch County and South Georgia developed by graduate students in the Public History Program.
The current exhibit, Behind the Pines: Uncovering Camp Lawton, includes findings from the 1864 Civil War POW camp.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- SAVANNAH: 19+ Things To Do in Savannah Ga With Kids: Your Brilliant Guide to a Stress-Free Vacation
- BEACHES: Beaches In Savannah: 7+ Spots Near Savannah Perfect For Fun In The Sun
- TYBEE HOTELS: 10 Tybee Island Hotels Perfect for Your Next Beach Vacation
- TYBEE ISLAND: 19+ Relaxing and Fun Things To Do in Tybee Island on Your Next Family Vacation
WHERE TO STAY IN STATESBORO GEORGIA
We make no guarantees of any price listed on our site. We are not responsible for content on external web sites linked from ours, including linked resources, an external blog post, any partner site, hotel property sites, or affiliate sites. We only write about places we love in an attempt to help you in your adventures, but we can’t guarantee you will love them, too.
Posts may contain affiliate links at no cost to you. Several of our trips are also compensated by the respective tourism boards for the city or state we are visiting. This never impacts how we share the destination with you – opinions are always our own and we pride ourselves on that. We do not sell links or accept unsolicited guest posts under any circumstances. Don’t even ask.
United States Copyright, 365 Atlanta Family, LLC