While Gwinnett County in northern Georgia is known for its natural beauty and excellent school system, there are also some amazing hidden gems in Gwinnett you must know about. There are really so many cool places to find and neat things to do here. Keep reading to find out where some special, secret spots are!
Before you venture off the beaten path, be sure to grab a bite for brunch.
Table of Contents
- 1 History and Science
- 2 Parks
- 3 Art
- 4 Grown-Up Fun
- 5 Food and Coffee
- 6 Enjoy the Gems!
History and Science
Maybe you are a history buff, looking to learn something new, or wanting to give your kids an educational experience. Whatever it may be, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading for some different and interesting ways to delve into some history and science.
The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir (Hindu Temple)
Located in Lilburn is the largest Hindu Mandir, or temple, in the United States. This sacred gem is one you can’t miss. The BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir is breathtaking, to say the least. Spend time taking in beauty, culture, and intricate craftsmanship in this Mandir encompassed by Indian sandstone and Italian marble.
Hours for visitors are each day from 9 am to 6 pm, free of charge. Arti, a Hindu ritual, takes place daily at 11:15 am and all visitors are welcomed to attend.
*Dress code is required. Knees must be covered and no sleeveless tops are allowed.
Gwinnett Environmental and Heritage Center
There’s no better place to think outside the box than at the Environmental and Heritage Center in Gwinnett. This Eco friendly museum is often overlooked thus being a gem worth mentioning. Here you are exposed to science, the environment, and culture through free exhibits such as:
- The Power of Children: Making a Difference, an inspiring exhibit, shares stories of children in history who have overcome great challenges.
- The Water Rise exhibit delves into water usage and provides interesting insight into water consumption.
- The Pioneer School provides a genuine experience with a look into a classroom from the mid 1800s.
This is a great family outing and gives the opportunity of being indoors and outdoors (trails and rope courses are located outside). Check out more outdoor activities in Gwinnett here.
Hours vary and admission price varies from $3.50 to $10.50.
Yellow River Post Office
Next up on the list of hidden gems in Gwinnett is Yellow River Post Office. This 5-acre park offers a serene environment filled with history dating back to the 1800s. This spot is a different kind of educational experience where you will find an old post office, barn and wash house, and general store.
Pack a lunch to enjoy at a picnic table after a wander around and walk on the trail.
Hours are sunrise to sunset and there is no cost.
Southeastern Railway Museum
The Southeastern Railway Museum, in Duluth, isn’t like many museums you’ve seen! It opened in 1970 and features about 90 historic rolling stock items like Pullman cars and steam locomotives. How unique, right? You can really get an authentic experience while taking a ride in restored cabooses, walking around on different train cars, and also exploring ‘old timey’ buses and taxis. You can even walk around a dining car that Franklin D Roosevelt used. This is truly a cool experience for all ages!
Hours and prices vary.
Ready for more hidden gems in Gwinnett that are outdoors? It’s no secret that Gwinnett has about a trillion parks to explore! I mean, the nature is one of its greatest features. There are a few parks that you don’t always hear about first that you really ought to check out.
There’s probably many parks in Gwinnett that you’ve visited because there’s so many great ones. But, if you haven’t been to Vines Park you are really missing out. This park is different because people don’t frequent it and it’s the perfect peaceful spot. Take a walk around the lake, marvel at the lovely flowers, search for wildlife like butterflies and turtles, take in the exquisite scenery, and snap some photos. It’s even better in the Spring and Summer when everything is in full bloom. This place is a dream for photographers!
McDaniel Farm Park
If you’re seeking a great place for a photo shoot or a park that has it all, McDaniel Farm Park is where it’s at. Sneak away behind the Gwinnett Place Mall to find this piece of paradise. There’s an abundance of paved trails, tables for a picnic, a charming farmhouse, gardens, and several historical features. If you are here at night, you may even spot some deer.
White Street Park
Last up on the list of parks is White Street Park. While this charming spot is not right in Gwinnett County, it’s just up the road off the beaten path in Suwanee. Georgia’s biggest community garden is a special place to see a butterfly garden, a cute red barn (can be rented for an event), and a nice trail for strolling. It’s also a great location for a picnic and/or a photo shoot!
It’s always good to get creative and discover sometimes! Art brings a sense of freedom and Gwinnett has a spot just for that.
Kudzu Art Zone
This small but special local art gallery is located in Norcross. Kudzu Art Zone is a nonprofit run by volunteers with a mission to support local artists and promote the importance of art. If you’re feeling creative or want to learn something new, classes and workshops are offered for kids and adults.
Exhibitions are free of cost and hours are Monday through Saturday 11 am – 4 am.
While other mentioned hidden gems in Gwinnett are most definitely for adults, keep reading for something extra special to really bring some good times that you may not have thought to do. And you can actually make a whole day and night of it if you’re celebrating something special or just really need to let loose.
Oftentimes thought of as a traffic-filled area, the intersection of Pleasant Hill Road and I-85 can now be thought of as an “adult playground.” Sounds fun right? All within a mile from this intersection, you can find several fun places to enjoy an afternoon and/or out with your friends or significant other.
- Watch a movie with dinner and a drink at Studio Movie Grill.
- Ride indoor go karts at K1 Speed.
- Enjoy the adult arcade at Dave & Busters.
And, here’s even more Gwinnett date ideas!
Food and Coffee
With so many secret spots to find, you are sure to work up an appetite. No need to worry because here’s a few must eat hidden gems in Gwinnett.
This “creative southern kitchen” is a quaint restaurant tucked away by a gas station in Buford. It may not be super fancy but it is extra tasty and well worth a visit. It’s very likely you will want to visit more than once to try all the cuisine. The menu includes gumbo, bbq, fried chicken, and cheesy grits. YUM!
They are open Tuesday through Friday from 4 pm – 7 pm and Saturday from 12 pm – 7 pm. Take out is also available.
Georgia French Bakery & Cafe
This is the perfect spot for a sweet treat or casual lunch. Don’t let its placement in a shopping center turn you away. Georgia French Bakery & Cafe is a small but cozy cafe which specializes in perfect french pastries. Croissants, quiches, and lattes are also highly recommended.
Hours are Monday through Friday from 7:30 am – 3 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.
Another true treasure in a shopping center is Antoinette’s Cafe, located near downtown Buford. They have quite the selection of drinks such as coffees, teas, and smoothies paired with a relaxing and comfortable environment to enjoy your beverage and a snack. They also have great vegetarian and vegan selection.
Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am – 7 pm, Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm, and closed on Sunday.
Enjoy the Gems!
Now that you have a hefty list of hidden gems in Gwinnett, I hope you’ll enjoy your time off the beaten path to relish in the many treasures that Gwinnett has to offer.
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