Often overshadowed by its northern neighbors, the Carolinas, for tourism kudos, Georgia has just as many things to do but with far less crowds. From the Golden Isles beaches to the urban buzz of Atlanta and into the North Georgia uplands, visitors have a full menu of outdoor activities, sports, and recreation to choose from.

The countless lakes in Georgia can be found in all corners of the state, offering an ideal spot for boating, fishing, and other water sports. The Georgia Mountains are laced with hiking and biking trails, and the rivers are popular for kayaking and rafting. The state is also one America’s premier golfing destinations, with both legendary private courses and a wealth of impressive public ones.

A little cruising around Georgia quickly reveals its obsession with golf. From the hallowed links of Augusta to the timeless layout of Harbor Club, duffers of all levels have a tempting array of courses to choose from. Head to Lake Oconee where seven championship courses await. Check with the Georgia State Golf Association for all the information you may need.

There’s a lot of water in Georgia, most of it in the form of lakes, but its rivers like the Chattooga or Amicalola are prime territory for white water rafting and kayaking trips. Contact a leading company like Appalachian Outfitters to guide you down the shoreline or to the towering Amicalola Falls.

Casual boating and canoeing along with incredible fishing are possible on the dozens of major lakes scattered across the state, and a favorite thing to do among locals. Northeast Georgia’s Hartwell Lake, East Georgia’s Clarks Hill Lake, and Lanier, Sinclair and Oconee lakes provide amazing recreation in the center. Guide shops like Unicoi Outfitters in the northeast and Kent Klewein in the central region can arrange everything from fly fishing to bass fishing.

The legendary Appalachian Trail begins in the northern hills of Georgia, but there are a myriad of other trails and paths spread around the state’s coastal areas that are perfect for hiking and biking. Companies such as Oconee Outfitters and Mountain Adventure Outfitters can arrange any kind of cycling excursions, from single-track mountain biking to multi-day cruisers along miles of restored railroad paths. Most hiking trails are within state parks and easy to navigate on your own, but if you need a little guidance or advice, check with the folks at North Georgia Mountain Outfitters for gear and insider tips.

Georgia has a number of highly ranked professional sports teams to enjoy. Catch an NFL game with the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome or an NBA game with the Hawks depending on the season. The Atlanta Braves are the state’s professional baseball team, and then there’s the Masters Golf Tournament each spring in Augusta. Ticketing firms like Georgia Sports Arena and Barrys Tickets make it easy to get great seats to any event.