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Small-town Side Trip: Dublin, GA

Beautifully restored and revitalized, downtown Dublin is a side trip worth slowing down for.

Located just east of the center of the state, Dublin, Georgia, was once one of the South’s busiest railroad towns. While the trains, tracks and traffic no longer bring travelers to the heart of this real Georgia gem, historic downtown Dublin is just a hop, skip and a jump from Interstate 16. Read on to find out why the Rural Center recommends it as a must-see, small-town side trip!

Where is Dublin?

About an hour southeast of Macon, Dublin can be accessed via Interstate 16 exits 49, 51 and 54.

Who should make Dublin a stop?

East- or west-bound Interstate travelers searching for a stop between Savannah and Macon should plan on breaking their trip at Dublin. Within a few minutes’ drive of I-16, you’ll find just about anything you could possibly need in one of the prettiest downtowns in the state. Traveling with pups in tow? The Dublin Visitors Center at exit 51 boasts a dog park and offers guests free coffee, free wi-fi, clean restrooms and a friendly staff ready to answer any Dublin-related question you can come up with. Downtown Dublin’s restaurants, shops and sites are a short 10-minute drive from the visitors center.

What’s best to do, see, and eat in Dublin?

Depending on how long you have to spend on this small-town side trip, there is plenty to prioritize, but here are a few popular places to start your list.

DO: If your legs (or your pup’s) need a stretch, plan to take in one of downtown Dublin’s walking tours. Choose from the app-based Downtown Dublin Audio Tour, the Historic Dublin Walking Tour or the Historic Bellevue Avenue Walking Tour. Or opt for a leisurely stroll through Stubbs Park, a favorite local picnic spot just a few blocks off the “main drag.” Jackson Street also offers a number of unique shops to browse for a souvenir of your side trip. Hello Sunshine is a local favorite where you can “purchase with a purpose”. Don’t leave downtown without stopping in at Strickland‘s Boots, Smith’s Jewelers, Dublin International Market and the Exchange.

SEE: For a small town, Dublin has a lot to take in. Recent restoration work at the Dublin Carnegie, Theater Dublin and the “Dublin Skyscraper” (Georgia Military College) make these architectural treasures must-sees for proponents of preservation. Likewise, history buffs will want to experience Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Monument Park, which commemorates the Civil Rights leader’s first public speech, delivered in 1944 at the nearby First African Baptist Church.

EAT: Likely the most difficult decision you will make during your side trip to Dublin will be which of the town’s unique, local restaurants to try! Local favorites Company Supply, Deano’s, Saltwater Fishery, Jack’s Burgers, Minute Grill and Miller’s Soul Food are all located within walking distance of the Laurens County Courthouse square. There is ample, free, public parking near all of these options, but check this webpage for hours of operation before you set your heart on a specific spot. If lighter fare is what you crave, Dublin’s got you covered with more local favorites, like ice cream from Rosie’s, coffee from Society Kaffe, or donuts from Williamson’s Bakery. A bit further afield but definitely worth the drive is Brian’s Giant Subs, located in the same center as Williamson’s Bakery and closer to the Dublin VA Healthcare complex.

Find out more at or on Facebook, or scroll through reviews of Dublin hot spots at TripAdvisor.

When is the ideal time to visit Dublin?

As in most of the South, spring and fall promise the most enjoyable weather for walking or enjoying outdoor seating at restaurants. Along with her namesake across the pond, Dublin celebrates St. Patrick’s Day throughout the month of March, making it a popular month for locals and visitors alike.

How much time should I allot for a side-trip to Dublin?

Due to downtown’s proximity to the Interstate, your side trip to Dublin can be squeezed into an hour if you’re in a rush. However, the Rural Center recommends you allocate a little more time to stroll through the beautifully restored and reinvigorated heart of this rural Georgia town!

Photos courtesy of Visit Dublin GA and Explore Georgia.


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