Things to Do

Dining Fast FoodShoppingCollegesHospitalParks, Recreation, ArtNearby small cities Nearby large cities ♦  Festivals and Activities

Visitors to Swainsboro and Emanuel County are sometimes surprised to discover how agriculturally based the community truly remains. Once you drive outside the city limits of Swainsboro you will find gently rolling landscape of fields filled with cotton, peanuts, corn and hay, massive stands of evergreen forests and livestock grazing in huge pastures.

The three rivers running through the county (Ohoopee, Ogeechee, and Canoochee), and the smaller streams and innumerable ponds make the region an excellent recreation and fishing area. Outside the city limits of Swainsboro, Emanuel County is truly the outdoorsman's paradise. Hiking, cycling, boating, fishing, or hunting—there is literally something for just about everyone!


Instead of providing a list of all area restaurants, we thought it would be far more helpful to highlight dining options.

Fast Food

Fast Food options include all the normal players such as McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Dairy Queen, Subway, Sonic, Hardee's, Maryland Fried Chicken, etc.

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Pizza Hut Logo ZaxbyLogoREALCHICKENLOWRES sonic dominos logo Maryland  Huddle House Logo

Sit Down Restaurants

Standard Franchises:

Sit-down options start to slim significantly, particularly when looking for an "every night of the week" schedule. For example, the Huddle House—open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—is a smaller restaurant which bears the company slogan is a "place where folks would gather, or 'huddle up,' for great food and good times..." There is a Pizza Hut, Zaxby's and Waffle King for added variety. On balance there are no restaurants such as Chili's, Applebee's, Golden Corral, etc.

BBQ Restaurants:

BBQ places include Ware's, and Lynn & Bob's, but you need to carefully check their website for hours of operation as they are not open every night for dinner.


To satisfy taste desires on the international front—and open each night of the week—there are Mexican; El Valle and El Rinconcito (they even have self-serve chips and salsa bar!), Chinese (New China Restaurant and Peking Super Chinese Buffet), and a Japanese-style restaurant (Koiya Japanese Express) available.

Easy Solution

All of that is to say, if you like fast food or something Mexican or Asian, you will have good access for dinner any night of the week. However, if you're looking for a nice sit-down meal on Sunday-Wednesday of each week, you might consider booking your meal with us at Edenfield House along with your room reservation, or simply call us at 478-237-3007 if you only want to eat with us!.



Most grocery shopping takes place at the Wal-Mart Supercenter, Harvey's, or the Sanitary Market. While other stores certainly do sell groceries, these are the big three in town.


Again, the Wal-Mart Supercenter is a main player along with Cato, Citi Trends, Goody's, It's Fashion Metro, and Shoe Show. There are a couple of specialty shops such as Dots, Wrens and Young Fashion on the downtown square.

Dollar Stores

There are a number of variety stores in the city to include Dollar General, Family Dollar, and Dollar Tree.

Other Shopping

All of the basic necessities (such as clothing, appliances, auto parts, jewelry, flowers, etc.) are easily found at the Wal-Mart Supercenter or other stores, including Sears Hometown Center, Advanced Auto Parts, Stewart's Jewelers, Southern Tradition, etc. Once your needs go beyond this type of inventory, you will need to travel to Vidalia, Dublin, Statesboro, or Augusta to finds larger specialty stores such as Best Buy, The Big Screen Store, Home Depot, Lowes, J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Barnes and Noble, etc.


There are two wonderful colleges in Swainsboro: East Georgia State College and Southeastern Technical College.


Emanuel Medical CenterEmanuel Medical Center (EMC) is a general medical and surgical hospital in Swainsboro, GA, with 91 beds. EMC is a fully accredited hospital by the Joint Commission. In-patient care includes birthing rooms, skilled nursing care, and an infection isolation room.

Out-patient care offers a women's health center, breast cancer screening, and a sleep center. Patient and Family Support Services offer ambulance services, chaplaincy/pastoral care services, patient support groups, as well as patient representation and translation services.

Diagnostic and therapeutic imaging services includes activities such as a CT scanner, a diagnostic radioisotope facility, magnetic resonance imaging, multi-slice spiral CT, single photon emission CT, and ultrasound.

There are at least five separate pharmacies in the area to meet patient needs.

Parks, Recreation, and Art

Harmon Park

This public park is located approximately two miles south of the center of downtown Swainsboro at the intersection of U.S. 1 (Business Route) and Meadowlake Parkway. The park features plenty of open spaces to enjoy the outdoors, including four lighted tennis courts, a lighted one-mile walking trail, gazebo, park benches, playground equipment, covered picnic tables with charcoal grills, four ponds for public fishing, and restroom facilities. There are several covered pavilions for family get-togethers.

Billy C. Carmichael Recreation Complex

This complex includes a lighted walking trail, four lighted softball fields, concession stands with scoring tower and restrooms, batting cage with warm-up area, two playground areas, four picnic pavilions with grills, a cook shelter, and two ponds.

Located in the same complex, the Connie Kight Recreation Center houses the Swainsboro/Emanuel County Recreation Department offices, a two-court gymnasium and an activity room with exercise equipment and dressing rooms.

The Recreational Complex is located at 632 McLeod Bridge Road. For more information please contact (478) 237-8089.

Baseball Complex

The Recreation Department's Baseball Complex includes three lighted ball fields with scoring tower, two batting cages, playground areas, picnic tables, concession stand, and restrooms. The Baseball Complex is located at 534 McLeod Bridge Road. For more information please contact (478) 237-8089.

Swainsboro Golf Course

Swainsboro Golf Course is an 18-hole public golf course offering a challenging opportunity to test your golfing skills. Located at 557 McLeod Bridge Road, the course has electric golf carts, putting area and driving range. Hours are seasonal. Call (478) 237-6116 for more information.

Disc Golf

The campus of East Georgia College is home to one of the newest disc golf courses in the state. This 18-hole course, designed by World-Champion disc golfer Pete May, is situated around the outer perimeter of the campus set among stately pines and incredible landscaping. The course has been referred to as "the most beautiful disc golf course found on a four-year college campus." There is no charge to play and it is open to the public year round. For more information call East Georgia College at (478) 289-2017.

Tennis Courts

Public tennis courts are available at East Georgia College at 131 College Circle, as well as Harmon Park located on Meadowlark Parkway off U.S. 1 South. Courts are open at the college until 10 p.m.

Swainsboro Raceway

The Swainsboro Raceway track features races in road warrior, mini stock, pure stock, super stock, and sportsman divisions. Known as "the South's finest and fastest half mile dirt track," the Raceway features year-round racing including most weekends and holidays. Fourth of July Firecracker 100, Turkey 100, Pine Tree Festival and New Year's 100 highlight a full racing season.

The dirt track is located approximately 2 miles north of Swainsboro on Hwy 56. For more information on the Swainsboro Raceway, please call (478) 252-1300 or (478) 494-5005.

Emanuel Arts Center

Built in 1896, this former Methodist church, featuring unique architecture and stained glass windows, now hosts a variety of art and cultural events, classes, and programs throughout the year.

The Kalmanson Gallery features regional artists with monthly exhibitions and an opening reception usually held the second Friday of the month from 6-8 p.m. to meet the artist.

The gallery and gift shop are handicap accessible. Shows remain on display through the month. Admission to the gallery is free; however, donations are accepted. The center's lower facility, also handicap accessible, has capacity for 120 and is available for reservations.

George L. Smith State Park

With natural beauty, lakeside camping and cozy cottages, this secluded park is the perfect south-Georgia retreat. It is best known for the refurbished Parrish Mill and 412-acre pond, a combination gristmill, saw mill, covered bridge and dam built in 1880.

Some campsites sit right on the water's edge, while cottages with gas fireplaces and screened porches are nestled into the woods. Canoeists and kayakers can join the Park Paddlers Club.

While on the water, nature enthusiasts can look for wildlife in all shapes and sizes such small mammals, reptiles, and lots and lots of birds...some that sing, some that wade at the coastline, and some that do a little fishing of their own—like the osprey! The park rents boats, and nearby outfitters offer guided paddle trips. Hikers can stretch their legs on seven miles of trails while searching for gopher tortoises, Georgia's state reptile.

The park is located at 371 George L. Smith State Park Road, Twin City, GA (about 14 miles from Swainsboro) and their telephone is (478) 763-2759. This is a GREAT day trip!

Mill Pond Kayak Tours

Mill Pond Kayak, LLC offers guided tours of the 412-acre cypress-lined Watson Mill Pond at George L. Smith State Park near Twin City, GA. This is a great outing for school groups, scout troops, church groups, company picnics, reunions, or family and friends. They provide everything needed for an estimated 2½-hour tour while you explore roughly ten miles of blackwater trails on the mill pond.

Mill Pond Kayak Tours also offers ½ and full day kayak tour packages of the Ogeeshee and Ohoopee Rivers. They can be reached by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling (478) 299-6616.

Nearby Small Cities

There are numerous cities in the nearby area which offer expanded opportunities for dining, shopping, and entertainment. This would include local choices such as Dublin, Statesboro, Waynesboro, and Vidalia--all less than an hour away and with each possessing a unique personality based on its own culture, heritage, and local economy.

Nearby Large Cities


At just over an hour—the city of Augusta—is a wonderful for selection for even more choices and options ranging from retail and extended through the cultural arts. Such as:

  • Museums of Art and History
  • Sacred Heart Cultural Center
  • Riverwalk and Historic Downtown
  • Augusta Symphony Orchestra
  • Home of President Woodrow Wilson
  • Imperial Theatre
  • Country Club Dance Hall & Saloon
Augusta Georgia city seal and official logo

A simple Google search using the keyword phrase "things to do in Augusta" yields many websites which may help match your potential interests with Augusta-based opportunities such as:


At just over an hour and a half—the city of Savannah—is simply amazing.

  • Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
  • Historic Savannah Theatre
  • Riverwalk and Historic Downtown
  • Bonaventure Cemetery
  • Fort Jackson and Fort Pulaski
  • Juliette Gordon Low's Birthplace
  • Skidaway Island State Park
  • Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum

Again, a simple Google search using the keyword phrase "things to do in Savannah" yields many websites which may help match your potential interests in Savannah. You will be shocked on how many fantastic things await you only 90 minutes away!

Okefenokee Swamp Park

Located in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, the Okefenokee Swamp Park is a convenient point of entry and a magnificent show-window for the "Land of the Trembling Earth." The park's lily-decked water trails, with their miraculously reflective waters mirroring the overhanging beauty, lead to all points in this vast wilderness of islands, lakes, jungles, forest and prairies. Boat tours on original Indian waterways, wilderness walkways, Pioneer Island and native animals in their own habitat, all combine to weave a spell of pioneer American life.

Mighty Eighth Air Force Museum

The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization with a modern extensive museum facility located in Pooler, Georgia, in the western suburbs of the historic riverfront city of Savannah. It educates visitors through the use of exhibits, artifacts, archival materials, and stories, most of which are dedicated to the history of the Eighth Air Force of the United States Army Air Corps that served in the European Theatre during World War II. Among the many World War II exhibits are aircraft including a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber that can be viewed while being restored, a Bf 109G Messerschmitt fighter, and a P-51 Mustang fighter.

Fort Pulaski National Monument

A Turning Point in Military History
For much of the 19th century, masonry fortifications were the United States' main defense against overseas enemies. However, during the Civil War, new technology proved its superiority to these forts. The Union army used rifled cannon and compelled the Confederate garrison inside Fort Pulaski to surrender. The siege was a landmark experiment in the history of military science and invention

Festivals and Activities

Masters Golf Tournament – April - Augusta
Pine Tree Festival – May - Swainsboro
Vidalia Onion Festival – May – Vidalia
Speir's Turnout Festival – October – Bartow
Million Pines Festival – November - Soperton