New Reasons to Visit Griffin + Spaulding, Georgia This Year

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Griffin + Spaulding, Georgia | I-75 Exit Guide

Charming tree-lined streets, stately historic homes, diverse history, heritage, and a thriving dining and arts scene. The Griffin + Spalding area is a sweet Southern find. As the birthplace of Doc Holliday and the photogenic filming location for movies and shows from “Fried Green Tomatoes” to “The Walking Dead,” Griffin + Spalding has something interesting around every corner. The list of things to do in this small town just keeps growing.

Downtown Excitement

Head south on I-75 just 45 miles from Atlanta to explore historic downtown Griffin. Take the self-guided Film & TV Marker Tour to learn about more than 100 movies and shows filmed in the area, and along the way, enjoy colorful murals, boutiques and antique shops. Choose from more than 20 cafes and restaurants, from upscale dining to casual bites. Those in the Arts and Entertainment District offer Griffin Go-Cups for ages 21 and up, for strolling the streets from 4 p.m. to midnight.

Enjoy live music and entertainment every weekend, including Second Saturday events and free summer concerts. Local professional productions and national acts play big here at reasonable ticket prices, and without the big-city crowds. The venues – from the carefully restored Griffin Opera House to the sleek Griffin Auditorium – are intimate and welcoming, with free public parking all over town.

New Restaurants, Attractions and Places to Stay

Griffin + Spalding is filled with excitement and energy with new places to eat and drink, new recreation activities, a new museum and new hotels. 

Food and Drink

Putt & Pour, the first-ever fully self-serve mini golf bar, brings a groundbreaking fusion of leisure and libation to downtown Griffin. Dispense your own craft beers and fine wines while playing an intricately designed mini golf course that’s fun for all skill levels.

Two new breweries are opening in Griffin this year. Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen will open in spring 2024 with an all-season patio, a bar and brewery, and a menu of favorite foods from its Macon location along with a few fresh twists. Fire Maker Brewing Company, named Best Brewery in Atlanta in 2022 and 2023 and voted the #2 Best New Brewery in America by USA Today, is renovating a 114-year-old building in Griffin for its second taproom, with a target opening in fall 2024.

Sports and Recreation

Explore the Griffin-Spalding Athletic Hall of Fame and learn about Olympic Gold Medalist Wyomia Tyus, Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductee/Dallas Cowboy Rayfield Wright, Atlanta Falcon great Jessie Tuggle and Chicago Bears superstar/track star Willie Gault. Participate in a variety of leisure recreational activities from Cherokee Rose Sporting Clays and Helice to golf, disc golf and skateboarding. The world-class, 18-court Spalding County Pickleball Complex at Wyomia Tyus Olympic Park has made Griffin a hotspot for this hot new pastime for pros and amateurs.

If trail riding, hiking, running, or walking is your obsession, don’t miss Quarry’s Edge Park, an unexpected new treasure with a four-mile trail amid acres of woodlands, streams and wildlife. Once an active rock quarry, the site also features an extensive, challenging bouldering section for rock climbers.

Join water fitness classes or just cool off after a day of exploring at the new Spalding County Aquatic Center. A 50-meter competition pool is ideal for lap swimming and competitive swimming events, while a 25-yard warm water pool features wide entry steps and a zero-entry ramp.

Black History Museum

Griffin + Spalding honors its notable residents year-round in murals, museums and parks. You’ll see dynamic memorials that celebrate generations of history and stories of achievement, from football pros to Olympic stardom to aviation. The newest is Our Legacy Museum, the Griffin Spalding African American History Museum. The former Fairmont Vocational High School, a Segregation-era Rosenwald School, is renovated and under museum gallery development, to be completed fall 2024. Be inspired by the historic cultural experiences of Griffin-Spalding’s African American community in a space where people of all backgrounds can learn their shared heritage and discover what they can achieve together.  

New Hotels

With so much to do and more on the way, you’ll want to stay a while. Griffin + Spalding has plenty of lodging options, including a historic loft, a bed and breakfast, Airbnbs, VRBOs and several flagship hotel brands.

Coming soon are two new boutique hotels. A stylish and modern Home2 Suites by Hilton will open late spring 2024, featuring 81 guest suites. Right off the interstate, guests are only a five-minute drive from historic downtown Griffin.

The Griffin Hotel, once one of the grandest hotels in Georgia, has been reclaimed and will open as The Historic Griffin Hotel in fall 2024. The National Register property will feature exposed brick walls, original floors, high ceilings and historic charm throughout, including in the original ballroom and impressive two-story lobby.

Events and Things to Do

Doc Holliday Festival

Before Doc Holliday’s career as a Wild West gambler and gunslinger, he was a small-town dentist in downtown Griffin. On the Saturday after Labor Day (September 7, 2024), at the annual Doc Holliday Festival and BBQ Championship, browse the wares of local vendors, and sample brisket, ribs, wings and more from the barbecue championship cook-off. Watch lively reenactments of the 1881 Shootout at the O.K. Corral. Explore Holliday’s Griffin haunts on a driving tour.

Stop by the Griffin Regional Welcome Center for ideas for entertainment, dining, shopping and accommodations, and enjoy the Griffin-Spalding Art Association’s art gallery of regional works. Upstairs are ADA-accessible public archives and the Griffin Museum, containing an impressive array of artifacts and memorabilia dating from the mid-1800s, including a Doc Holliday exhibit.  

Visit www.InGriffin.com to keep up with new developments and plan your trip. Check the Griffin events calendar to make sure you don’t miss any of the fun while you’re in town.


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