Seniors Seek Out Small-Town Perry


Out of curiosity, this senior’s middle name, I asked Google for the Best Small Towns in Georgia. They gave me a list of eleven, Perry was #1. The county seat of Houston County, Perry has a population of 15,000.

Take a walking tour of Historic Perry and seniors will see why it is so popular. Founded in 1823 as Wattsville, the town was located near the center of Houston County. The name was soon changed to honor Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, a hero of the War of 1812. The Georgia General Assembly incorporated the town on December 9, 1824.


The original city limit was a circle, one mile in diameter, except where bounded on the north by Big Indian Creek. Perry is perhaps best known as the location of the annual Georgia National Fair.

Seniors Enjoy The Culture

Tourism has been important to the local economy since about 1920, when U.S. Highway 41 to Florida was paved. The New Perry Hotel, built in 1870 and rebuilt in 1925, became a landmark for many Florida tourists. President Jimmy Carter’s family frequented the hotel.

The downtown area is home to several quaint shops and restaurants. In the early 1960s Interstate 75 passed through the western side of the city, bringing more businesses that cater to travelers. Seniors will find Perry abounding with culture.


Festivals, fairs, museums and of course Historic Downtown Perry are big draws. The town has a lot going for it and has many notable residents over the years including Sam Nunn, Sonny Perdue and Al Thornton, an NBA player.

Seniors Stroll The Renovated Downtown

The New Perry Hotel, listed on the National Register of Historic Sites, portrays a vital part of the city’s heritage, having served travelers since it was known as the Cox Inn dating back to the early 1800s.

Perry’s rich history and architecture can be further explored through a walking/driving tour of significant sights which begins at the New Perry Hotel. Old Perry, as it is called, is a must see. This renovated downtown area is a charming Williamsburg village setting with specialty shops and a down-south, restful atmosphere.


A perfect place for a stroll; enjoy the year-round flowers with benches and shop windows designed to lure senior visitors inside where any shop owner will be happy to tell you about Perry’s rich history. That’s where my wife and I would start off our visit.

TripAdvisor rates Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter #1 with Historic Downtown Perry close behind. So set your GPS on Georgia and specifically for Perry where you will find a plethora of amenities that include good southern hospitality. -jeb

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