Hartwell, Georgia, is a picturesque city in the scenic foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The city has a rich history, natural beauty, and a warm, welcoming community. This charming city attracts visitors from far and wide, drawing over 100,000 tourists annually.
Hartwell boasts a fascinating history dating back to the early 19th century. Its historical downtown area, with well-preserved architecture and a significant railway heritage, offers glimpses into the past. The city’s historic significance has earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.
The city’s prime attraction is the sprawling Lake Hartwell, which spans over 56,000 acres and offers a multitude of water-based activities, making it a haven for boating, fishing, and outdoor enthusiasts.
Hartwell experiences a temperate climate with hot summers and mild winters. The best time to visit is during the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, and outdoor activities are in full swing. Summers offer ideal conditions for water-based adventures.
Beyond its natural and historical treasures, Hartwell is known for its friendly residents and a vibrant community, making visitors feel right at home. Whether you’re exploring the local art scene or enjoying delicious cuisine, you’ll experience the Southern hospitality that the city is famous for.
Hartwell, with its combination of history, nature, and community spirit, remains a beloved destination for travelers seeking an authentic and engaging experience. Whether you’re here to unwind by the lake or immerse yourself in the city’s heritage, Hartwell offers a little something for everyone.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, or just seeking some good old-fashioned fun, Hartwell has something for everyone. Here are the 21 most fun things to do in Hartwell, GA.
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1) Lake Hartwell State Park
Lake Hartwell State Park is a popular destination that lies on the shores of Lake Hartwell. It offers a range of activities and beautiful views.
The park’s history can be traced back to its establishment in 1958, when it was created to provide recreational opportunities for the community.
This state park covers more than 1,900 acres and has 82 camping sites. Visitors can enjoy boating, fishing, and picnicking. It’s a serene spot for nature lovers and a great place for birdwatching. The park also features a playground for children to enjoy.
One interesting fact is that Lake Hartwell is a man-made reservoir formed by the Hartwell Dam on the Savannah River. It stretches across 56,000 acres and is known for its abundant fishing opportunities, hosting various fish species.
This park is a fantastic spot for family gatherings and outdoor adventures in a tranquil setting, offering a place to enjoy charming things to do in Hartwell.
330 Hart State Park Rd. Hartwell GA 30643, United States
2) Hartwell Dam
Hartwell Dam is a vital structure on the Savannah River that serves multiple purposes. It was completed in 1962 and named after the nearby town of Hartwell, Georgia.
The dam stands at 204 feet tall and stretches for 12,400 feet across the river. It plays a crucial role in flood control, helping to manage water levels and reduce the risk of flooding in the region.
Hartwell Dam’s construction brought changes to the landscape, including the creation of Lake Hartwell. This lake spans across 56,000 acres and offers opportunities for boating, fishing, and other water-related activities.
An interesting fact is that the dam and Lake Hartwell are managed jointly by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
Hartwell Dam is not only a functional engineering marvel but also a popular recreational area, drawing visitors who come to appreciate its scenic beauty and the vast range of activities it offers.
5625 Anderson Highway, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
3) Historic Downtown Hartwell
Historic Downtown Hartwell is teeming with rich history and vibrant culture in the heart of the city. This charming downtown area was established in 1854 and was once the center of commerce and social life.
The district’s architecture showcases a variety of styles, from Victorian to Greek Revival, giving visitors a glimpse into the town’s architectural heritage and experience new things to do in Hartwell.
Hartwell’s historic downtown has been meticulously preserved and earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, making it a treasure trove of history and culture.
The district buzzes with unique boutiques, locally-owned shops, and delightful restaurants, making it a favorite spot for both locals and tourists. It’s a great place to explore and enjoy the historic ambiance, with events and festivals often taking place throughout the year.
Historic Downtown Hartwell is a delightful blend of the past and the present, offering a memorable and authentic experience for those who visit.
456 E Howell St, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
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4) Hart County Botanical Garden
Hart County Botanical Garden is a haven of natural beauty in Hartwell, Georgia. It was established in 2014 and is a relatively new addition to the city’s attractions.
This garden, spanning four acres, showcases a wide variety of plants, including native species and exotics. It provides a tranquil space for visitors to relax and learn about horticulture.
The garden is maintained by the volunteers of the Hart County Botanical Garden Club, highlighting the community’s dedication to preserving and enhancing its natural surroundings.
The garden features themed sections, including a rose garden, a butterfly garden, and a pond area. It’s not only a place of beauty but also an educational resource for local schools and residents.
Hart County Botanical Garden is a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving nature’s beauty and offering a peaceful, educational space for all to enjoy.
1277 Elberton Hwy, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
5) Cateechee Golf Club
Cateechee Golf Club offers a scenic retreat for golf enthusiasts. It was established in 1996 and was designed by renowned architect Mike Young.
This 18-hole course is known for its stunning layout, meandering around Lake Hartwell, and the surrounding natural beauty. The course is a par-72 and challenges golfers of all skill levels.
Cateechee Golf Club frequently hosts tournaments and events, attracting golfers from across the region to its well-maintained fairways and greens. The club offers visitors to enjoy some unique things to do in Hartwell.
The club also features a pro shop for golfers’ needs, and it offers lessons and clinics for those looking to improve their game. The club’s restaurant provides a delightful dining experience with scenic views of the course.
Cateechee Golf Club is not only a golfing haven but also a place where visitors can enjoy the serenity of nature and the joy of the game in a picturesque setting.
140 Cateechee Trail, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
6) Hart County Chamber of Commerce
The Hart County Chamber of Commerce has played a pivotal role in the community’s growth and development. It was founded in 1948, with a mission to promote and support local businesses.
The chamber serves as a hub for local businesses and offers resources, networking opportunities, and events to facilitate economic growth in Hart County.
Hart County Chamber of Commerce hosts various events and initiatives, such as the annual Farm City Week, designed to celebrate the partnership between rural and urban communities.
The chamber actively advocates for business-friendly policies and initiatives, working closely with local government and organizations to boost economic prosperity in Hartwell and the surrounding areas.
The Hart County Chamber of Commerce stands as a vital resource for businesses and the community, fostering a thriving environment for both residents and entrepreneurs.
10 South Carolina St., Hartwell , GA 30643, United States
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7) Hartwell Marina
Hartwell Marina is situated on Lake Hartwell. It has a rich history and is a hub for recreational boating. This marina was established to provide boaters with a convenient spot for launching and docking their vessels.
The marina offers boat rentals, making it accessible for those without their own boats to enjoy the scenic beauty of Lake Hartwell.
Hartwell Marina is part of the larger Lake Hartwell, which spans across Georgia and South Carolina, covering approximately 56,000 acres and is known for its exceptional fishing and water sports.
The marina provides amenities such as a ship store, fuel dock, and a restaurant for visitors to enjoy after a day on the water and experience new things to do in Hartwell.
Hartwell Marina is not only a gateway to Lake Hartwell but also a place to soak in the tranquil beauty of the lake and partake in a variety of water-based activities, making it a popular spot for locals and tourists alike.
149 Hartwell Marina Dr, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
8) Hartwell Antique Mall
Hartwell Antique Mall is a treasure trove of vintage and collectible items. The mall has a history dating back to its opening, providing antique enthusiasts with a place to discover unique items.
Visitors can explore a wide range of antiques, from furniture and jewelry to vintage clothing and decor. The mall hosts a diverse collection of items from different eras and styles, attracting collectors, decorators, and those in search of one-of-a-kind gifts.
The mall’s variety of vendors and sellers offer an ever-changing selection of items, making each visit a unique experience. It’s not just a place for shopping but a journey through the past, offering visitors to experience some new things to do in Hartwell.
Hartwell Antique Mall is not only a place to find hidden gems but also an opportunity to connect with the history and culture of the area, making it a must-visit destination for antique lovers and history buffs.
150 W Franklin St, Hartwell, GA, 30643, United States
9) Elrod Ferry Recreation Area
Elrod Ferry Recreation Area is a picturesque spot offering various outdoor activities. The history of this recreation area is deeply rooted in its establishment to provide a natural escape for locals and visitors alike.
The area features beautiful lakefront views, making it a popular destination for picnicking, fishing, and boating. Elrod Ferry Recreation Area was named after the nearby Elrod Ferry, which historically transported people and goods across the Savannah River.
Visitors can enjoy the serenity of the surroundings and experience the tranquility that nature has to offer. The area also has boat ramps, making it easy for boaters to access the waters of Lake Hartwell.
Elrod Ferry Recreation Area is not just a place for outdoor fun but also an opportunity to connect with nature and appreciate the historical significance of the region, making it a peaceful escape for all who venture there.
1284 Elrod Ferry Rd, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
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10) Hart County Historical Society Museum
The Hart County Historical Society Museum holds a rich history of the region. It was established to preserve and showcase the cultural heritage of Hart County.
The museum’s collection includes a wide range of artifacts, photographs, and documents that offer insights into the area’s past. The museum is housed in a historic 1890s-era home, adding to its charm and historical ambiance.
Visitors can explore exhibits related to agriculture, industry, and the daily life of the people who have shaped the history of Hart County. The museum also hosts events and programs that aim to educate and engage the community about its heritage, adding variety to the list of things to do in Hartwell.
The Hart County Historical Society Museum serves as a window into the past, providing a deeper appreciation of the history and culture of the region, making it a valuable resource for locals and history enthusiasts alike.
31 E Howell St, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
11) Hartwell Art Center
Hartwell Art Center has a history deeply intertwined with the local art community. This center was established in 2010, and it plays a significant role in promoting and supporting the arts in the region.
The center provides a platform for local artists to showcase their talent and creativity. It features a variety of art forms, including painting, sculpture, and crafts.
Hartwell Art Center often hosts art exhibitions, workshops, and events, offering opportunities for residents and visitors to engage with the local art scene and experience new things to do in Hartwell.
The center’s mission is to nurture the artistic spirit of the community, making art accessible and encouraging creative expression among people of all ages.
Hartwell Art Center is not just a place for artists but also a cultural hub for the community, fostering a love for the arts and providing a space for inspiration and imagination.
338 E Howell St, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
12) Hartwell Falls
Hartwell Falls is a tranquil spot for relaxation and reflection. While its history may not be extensively documented, it has long been cherished by locals as a serene escape.
The falls feature a picturesque waterfall that cascades over natural rocks, creating a soothing and peaceful environment. The area surrounding Hartwell Falls is known for its natural beauty, making it a popular spot for photographers and nature enthusiasts.
Visitors can take leisurely walks along the scenic paths, enjoy picnics, or simply unwind while listening to the gentle sounds of the flowing water.
Hartwell Falls serves as a testament to the natural beauty and serenity that can be found in the heart of Hartwell, making it an ideal place for those seeking a peaceful and refreshing getaway in nature.
10 Lake Falls Dr, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
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13) Lake Hartwell Escape Rooms
Lake Hartwell Escape Rooms offer a unique and interactive form of entertainment. Although they might not have an extensive history, escape rooms have gained popularity in recent years as a thrilling pastime.
Escape rooms challenge participants to work together to solve puzzles, riddles, and mysteries in a set time frame, usually around 60 minutes.
Lake Hartwell Escape Rooms provide a variety of themed rooms, each with its own storyline and unique challenges, catering to a wide range of interests and difficulty levels.
Visitors can enjoy fun things to do in Hartwell and have an intellectually stimulating experience while trying to “escape” from a room by using their wits and teamwork.
Lake Hartwell Escape Rooms are not only an exciting adventure for groups and families but also a great way to test problem-solving skills in a dynamic and entertaining setting.
636 W Franklin St, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
14) Hartwell Golf Club
Hartwell Golf Club has a history that traces back to its establishment in 1992. This 18-hole course was designed by noted golf architect Russell Breeden and has become a beloved spot for golf enthusiasts.
The course offers a challenging yet enjoyable round, with beautiful views of the surrounding landscapes and Lake Hartwell.
Hartwell Golf Club frequently hosts golf tournaments and events, attracting golfers from the region who seek the course’s scenic beauty and well-maintained fairways.
The club boasts a welcoming atmosphere, making it accessible to golfers of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned players.
Golfers can also enjoy the club’s practice facilities and the cozy clubhouse, offering a great place to relax after a day on the course and experience calming things to do in Hartwell.
Hartwell Golf Club is not just a place for golf, but a scenic escape offering a serene atmosphere to connect with nature and enjoy the sport in a picturesque setting.
755 Golf Club Rd. Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
15) Spa by Laura
Spa by Laura in Hartwell, GA is a relaxing oasis. The spa was established in 2005. Laura, the founder, wanted to create a haven for people in need of rejuvenation.
The spa offers various treatments. From massages to facials, they’ve got it all. It’s known for its tranquil atmosphere. Clients come here to escape the daily grind.
In 2010, Spa by Laura expanded. They added a new building. This allowed for even more services and an enhanced experience for visitors. Their growth shows their dedication to customer satisfaction.
Laura’s spa is a hit among the locals. People visit from all around the area. They appreciate the personal touch and the quality of the services.
Spa by Laura is a soothing retreat founded by Laura herself. It has grown over the years, becoming a beloved spot for relaxation and self-care. The locals are proud to have it in their town.
100 N Forest Ave, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
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16) Hartwell’s Art in the Park
Hartwell’s Art in the Park is a vibrant cultural event. Since its start in 1983, this annual art festival has been a local favorite.
Art in the Park showcases a variety of artwork, including paintings, sculptures, and crafts. It’s a wonderful opportunity for artists to display their talents and for the community to appreciate their creations.
The event takes place in Hartwell’s historic downtown square. It’s a charming setting that adds to the festival’s charm. Families, friends, and art enthusiasts gather to enjoy the diverse art on display.
Hartwell’s Art in the Park has grown in popularity over the years. It now draws artists and visitors from all over the region. This event not only supports local artists but also provides entertainment and culture to the community.
Hartwell’s Art in the Park has been a beloved tradition since 1983. It showcases an array of artwork, draws crowds from near and far, and enriches the cultural scene of Hartwell, offering visitors to experience new things to do in Hartwell.
338 E. Howell Street Hartwell GA 30643, United States
17) Hartwell Speedway
Hartwell Speedway is a thrilling racing venue with a rich history. It was established in 1967 and has been a hotspot for motorsports enthusiasts for over five decades.
The speedway features dirt track racing, hosting a variety of racing classes and events. It’s a place where local and regional racers showcase their skills and compete for glory.
Over the years, Hartwell Speedway has witnessed several upgrades and improvements. These enhancements have made it even more exciting for both racers and fans. It’s a popular weekend destination for those seeking high-speed action.
One interesting fact is that the speedway hosts the annual “Georgia State Outlaw Championship,” a major event that draws top racers from the region.
Hartwell Speedway in Hartwell, GA is a historic dirt track racing facility that has been a hub of racing excitement since 1967. With constant improvements and marquee events like the Georgia State Outlaw Championship, it continues to be a motorsports gem in the community.
254 Speedway Rd. Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
18) Hartwell Windchime Lady
The Hartwell Windchime Lady is a beloved local landmark. This iconic statue, created by renowned artist Gregory Johnson, stands tall and proud, welcoming visitors with open arms. It holds a giant wind chime, which produces soothing music as the wind gently blows.
The statue’s history dates back to 2005 when it was unveiled as part of the city’s beautification efforts. It was intended to symbolize the community’s welcoming spirit and the harmony of its people. The Windchime Lady quickly became a favorite spot for both locals and tourists.
The wind chime she holds is no ordinary chime; it’s one of the largest wind chimes in the world, producing a peaceful melody that resonates throughout the town. The statue itself is an artwork made of bronze, adding an artistic touch to Hartwell’s landscape.
The Hartwell Windchime Lady is more than just a sculpture; she’s a symbol of Hartwell’s hospitality and a source of joy through her melodious chimes.
1106 Ridge Rd, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
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19) Hart Memorial Park
Hart Memorial Park is a treasured community gem, offering a mix of history and recreation. The park was established in the 1940s and it’s named in honor of Nancy Hart, a local heroine from the Revolutionary War.
The park covers 28 acres, featuring lush green spaces, playgrounds, and sports facilities. It’s a hub for family gatherings and outdoor fun. Over the years, it has undergone various improvements to provide a better experience for locals and visitors.
One remarkable feature is the Nancy Hart Cabin which is a historical structure preserved within the park. Nancy Hart used to live here, and the cabin offers a glimpse into her life and the past of Hart County.
Hart Memorial Park hosts annual events, like the Fourth of July celebration, attracting people from all around to experience charming things to do in Hartwell. It’s also home to the Hartwell Dam, a significant landmark with a rich history in the region.
Hart Memorial Park is a living testament to the area’s heritage, offering green spaces and community gatherings amidst historical significance.
1171 Royston Hwy, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
20) Hartwell Farmers Market
The Hartwell Farmers Market is a vibrant and cherished community institution. Established in 2004, it has grown to become a bustling hub for local farmers, artisans, and food vendors.
The market operates in the heart of downtown Hartwell, and its rich history is steeped in the tradition of promoting fresh, locally sourced produce. It offers a wide variety of goods, including fruits, vegetables, homemade crafts, and more.
One interesting fact about this market is its commitment to fostering a sustainable and healthy community. It’s a place where you can meet the people who grow your food and learn about their farming practices.
The market is open from April through October, allowing residents and visitors to enjoy the bounties of each season. The atmosphere is lively, and it’s a great opportunity to support local businesses.
The Hartwell Farmers Market is more than a place to shop; it’s a community gathering spot where you can connect with local growers and artisans while enjoying fresh, local products.
Hartwell Sun Parking Lot, 8 Benson St., Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
21) High Cotton Music Hall
High Cotton Music Hall stands as a testament to the town’s vibrant music scene. This intimate music venue was established in 2012 and quickly became a local favorite for live performances.
It hosts a diverse range of musicians, from emerging artists to seasoned performers, drawing music enthusiasts from all around.
One interesting fact about High Cotton Music Hall is its unique ambiance. The venue is known for its cozy, rustic atmosphere, providing an up-close and personal experience with the artists.
The hall’s acoustics are specially designed to enhance the musical performances, creating a delightful auditory experience for the audience to enjoy some new things to do in Hartwell.
The venue also plays a significant role in the community, organizing events and concerts that bring people together. It provides a platform for local talent, fostering a sense of pride and unity among residents.
High Cotton Music Hall is a cultural hub that enriches the local music scene. Its history is woven into the fabric of Hartwell, making it a must-visit destination for music lovers and a source of community pride.
57 Depot St, Hartwell, GA 30643, United States
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Hartwell, Georgia, is a hidden gem offering a wide range of activities and attractions for all ages and interests. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature enthusiast, a foodie, or simply seeking relaxation by the lake, this charming town has something to offer.
Plan your visit to Hartwell today and experience the warmth and beauty of this vibrant community with these 21 most fun things to do in Hartwell, GA.