Stay and Play in Georgia
There’s so much to see and do beyond Atlanta! Try some of our ideas for a family road trip in Georgia this summer.
Pasaquan. This fascinating 7-acre complex, created by artist Eddie Owens Martin, features structures, sculptures and walls elaborately painted in African, Mexican and Native American symbols. Buena Vista.
Museum of Aviation. A hands-on, interactive experience, the museum has more than 85 historic aircrafts, missiles and cockpits in four airplane hangars. Warner Robins.
Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall and Sports Museum. Explore the heritage of University of Georgia athletics through memorabilia, displays and videos, including Herschel Walker’s Heisman Trophy and items from the 1996 Olympics events. Athens.
Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary. Take a self-guided tour of this safe haven for more than 1,500 injured, abused or orphaned animals, and see exotic cats, birds, reptiles and primates, including Sheila, a Bengal tiger and Calvin, a capuchin. Locust Grove.
Tree Spirits. Go on a one-of-a-kind treasure hunt to find the weathered faces carved into the island’s oak trees, or download a map that shows the location of each face. St. Simons Island.
The Rock Garden. Kids love exploring this beautiful garden, home to 50 miniature stone castles, buildings and bridges crafted from tiny stones, pebbles and shells. Calhoun.
Toccoa River Swinging Bridge. At 270 feet long, it’s the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. View the beautiful Toccoa River as you hike the easy one-mile Benton McKaye Trail. Blue Ridge.
Minnehaha Falls. This multi-tiered waterfall cascades over a cliff near the shore of Lake Rabun. A short, easy hike winds through the woods to the base of the falls and is especially kid-friendly. Tallulah Falls.
BabyLand General Hospital. Tour the birthplace of the Cabbage Patch Kid, where Mother Cabbage is always on display beneath the branches of the Magic Crystal Tree. Witness the “birth” of a hand-sculpted Cabbage Patch Kid, and play with and find the perfect Original Kid or Cabbage Patch Kid to adopt. Cleveland.
State Botanical Garden of Georgia. The Alice H. Richards Children’s Garden includes almost three acres of interactive and immersive fun with themed gardens, edible landscapes, hands-on garden plots, an underground adventure area and more. Explore the beautiful grounds with nature trails, hikes and native and international plants and flowers. Athens.
Honeybee Festival. This annual event celebrates honeybees and their conservation with live music, vendors and food. Visit the Kids Zone, sample BBQ, and see an array of antique tractors at the Cruise-In. June 4. LaFayette.
Sunflower Festival. Take a stroll through Copper Creek Farm’s sunflower field and enjoy farm fun, including a splash pad, zipline, hayride, gem mining, pig races and pony rides. June 10-July 23. Calhoun.
Honey Bee Day. Held at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum, visitors can enjoy a day of honey tasting, meet-and-greet with the bees, demonstrations, homemade honey ice cream, train rides, gold and gemstone panning and more. June 18. Villa Rica.
Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games. Celebrate all things Scottish with bagpipes, dancers, athletic competitions, sheep herding and birds of prey. Activities just for kids include a bouncy castle, mini golf, train rides, face painting and more. June 11-12. Blairsville.
Watermelon Days. The “Watermelon Capital of the World” celebrates its heritage with six days of fun, with a parade, food trucks, vendors, competitions and plenty of family-friendly fun. June 20-25. Cordele.
Georgia Mountain Fair. Held at the historic Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds, this annual event features musical performances, arts and crafts, carnival rides, midway food, a pioneer village and more. Aug. 19-27. Hiawassee.
Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village. Live interpreters and interactive exhibits explore agricultural innovations of the 19th century American South. Visit the Historic Village to see representations of businesses, workshops and homes, the Exhibit Hall for unique cultural pieces, the Vulcan Steam Train and more. Tifton.
Rock House Creamery and Garden. Go on a tour to learn what it’s like to be a dairy farmer. Meet dairy cows, learn about the milk process, and sample milk and cheese curds. After the tour, dig into the vegetable gardens and what it means to work in agriculture. Newborn.
Adams Farm. During the summer, pick strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and blueberries. You can also shop cantaloupes, peaches, nectarines, onions, tomatoes and more in the market. Fayetteville.
Dickey Farms. Farm tours include the history of the Georgia peach, Musella and farming in Georgia, as well as a tour of packing line, equipment and cooler room and sampling fresh peaches. Enjoy peach and strawberry ice cream, hand pies, fritters, smoked BBQ and more, play on the farm playground, and shop at the General Store. Musella.
DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm. This locally run blueberry farm features u-pick blueberries, and you can bring bread and veggies to feed the Scottish Highland cows, Coco and Rudolph. Lawrenceville.
Fitzgerald Fruit Farms. The largest first-generation peach operation in Georgia has peaches all summer long, as well as onions, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes and more. Enjoy homemade ice cream, and adults will love the Wine Tasting Room, where you can try a variety of muscadine, fruit and red grape blends. Woodbury.
Lane Southern Orchards. This 11,000-acre orchard features 5,000 acres of peaches and 6,000 acres of pecans. Shop fresh peaches and pecans, as well as jellies, syrups, pastries, candies, baked goods and more. Enjoy Southern cuisine at the Peachtree Café & Bakery. Fort Valley.
Mercier Orchards. Head to Blue Ridge for a tractor ride to their orchard with strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. Go fishing on their pond containing bass, grass carp and brim. Stop by the winery for wine and hard cider tastings. Try delicious baked goods at the market, and you can also shop for apparel, condiments, jams, mixes and more, and the Candy Kitchen is filled with sweet treats, including candy apples, peanut brittle and more. Blue Ridge.
Mitcham Farm. Their summer season includes u-pick blueberries and blackberries, as well as a farm market with squash, corn, tomatoes, peas and more. For free, you can visit the farm animals and play on the playground. The paid FUN ZONE includes train, jump pad, pedal karts, spiderweb climbing net and more. Oxford.
Southern Belle Farm. Enjoy summer adventures with u-pick peaches, blueberries and blackberries, and you can fill a souvenir cup with gorgeous zinnias in their u-pick flower patch. Visit Belle’s Barn to see chickens, donkeys, cows, horses and more, and search for gems and artifacts with gem mining. McDonough.
Serenbe Farms. Walk the fields with Farmer Ian, Cole or Jess to learn about organic farming, pest and disease control, composting, over-cropping and more. The farm offers more than 300 varieties of vegetables, herbs, flowers and fruits. Chattahoochee Hills.
For Overnight Stays
Why not get a firsthand experience of farm life with an overnight stay?
6 Ponds Farm. Featuring 33 acres of gorgeous property, including forest, pasture, chickens, goats, gardens and six ponds, this farm has available overnight stays in the guesthouse, treehouse, glamping site and Skoolie, a renovated school bus. While there, try kayaking or paddle boarding, go biking or hiking along the trails, and see if you can catch the biggest fish. Morganton.
Southern Cross Guest Ranch. Located in the historic Georgia heartland, this ranch has a horse riding program for wandering six miles of wooded trails and pasture, rooms for an overnight stay with fishing, foosball, swimming and more. Roam all over the 225 acres of pasture and woodland with horses, a mountain bike ride or hiking. Madison.
White Oak Pastures. The cabins at White Oak Pastures offer on-farm accommodations, so you can learn where your food comes from and meet the workers who cultivate it. Wake up to cattle, sheep, goats and hogs, visit their General Store, and enjoy a “digital detox” and bonding as a family. Go on a guided walking tour to observe the red meat and poultry abattoirs, view the leather workshop, and learn about Bluffton history. Bluffton.
Etowah Indian Mounds. This Georgia State Historic Site was home to several thousand Native Americans and protects six earthen mounds, a plaza, village site, borrow pits and defensive ditch. As the most intact Mississippian Culture site in the Southeast, a visit to this spot includes both beautiful nature and interesting history. Cartersville.
Okefenokee Swamp Park and Okefenokee Adventures. Considered the headwaters of the Suwannee and St. Marys Rivers, this fascinating swamp provides habitats for threatened and endangered species, more than 600 plant species and contains 353,981 acres of National Wilderness Area. Explore the area with a boat or train tour, and view live wildlife shows and exhibits. Waycross and Folkston.
Rock City. Located atop Lookout Mountain, Rock City is a true marvel of nature with ancient rock formations, gardens with more than 400 native plants and a panoramic view where you can see seven states. Explore natural areas, including Hall of the Mountain King, Grand Corridor, Mushroom Rock and Fat Man’s Squeeze, and kids will love the whimsical Gnome Valley, Fairyland Caverns and Mother Goose Village. Lookout Mountain.
Tallulah Gorge State Park. As one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders, this spectacular canyon is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. Hike rim trails to several overlooks, or if you’re looking for more of an adventure, obtain a permit to hike to the gorge floor. Other activities include archery, biking, fishing, geocaching, swimming and more. Tallulah Falls.
Radium Springs Gardens. Radium Springs Gardens pumps 70,000 gallons per minute of 68-degree water from an underground cave, and in the 19th and early 20th century, many believed bathing in mineral water had healing properties. Walk through a courtyard where the former Radium Springs Casino once stood to view natural foliage, crystal clear waters and beautiful flora. This spot is also considered one of Georgia’s Seven Natural Wonders. Albany.
Go Treasure Hunting
Consolidated Gold Mining Company. Join a real gold mining experience with this underground adventure. With every scoop, you’ll find all kinds of precious and semiprecious gemstones, such as emeralds, rubies and sapphires. The tour includes stories, gold panning instruction and a free gold sample. Dahlonega.
Crisson Gold Mine. Try your luck panning for gold and gemstones, and you might even find rubies, emeralds, sapphires, garnets or amethyst. This open pit gold mine was established in 1847 and opened to the public in 1969, and you’ll see a 130-year-old rock crusher and antique gold mining machines. Dahlonega.
The Lilly Pad Village. This family fun locale is located in the heart of the Aska Adventure Area for a beautiful mountain setting where you can mine for gems. You can also go fishing, or play miniature golf to spend time connecting as a family. Pack a picnic to enjoy at the picnic tables. Blue Ridge.
At the Amusement Park
Splash in The Boro. This water park features a wave pool, a lazy river, slides for toddlers, a leisure pool and more. Race each other on their five-lane mat racer, and this park also has the only dual Flow Rider in Georgia. Statesboro.
Wild Adventures. A theme park, water park and animal park all-in-one, this park is definitely worth a visit! With more than 100 rides and attractions, including nine roller coasters, there’s something for every level of thrill seeker. View the native and exotic animals, enjoy summer shows, and drop by Splash Island Waterpark for a refreshing way to cool off with Bonzai Pipelines, Catch-A-Wave Bay, Paradise River and more. Valdosta.
Summer Waves Water Park. The beautiful Jekyll Island houses the exciting Summer Waves Water Park for a day of water play. Go on relaxing laps around Turtle Creek Lazy River, ride the waves of the Frantic Atlantic, take in high-speed thrills down Pirate’s Passage, play in the Splash Zone and more. New for 2022, try the exhilarating Man o’ War for a suit-soaking ride. Jekyll Island.
Lake Winnepesaukah. This delightful amusement park includes more than 30 family and kiddie rides to please the entire family, including a carousel, Ferris wheel, Cannonball Roller-coaster and more. The five-acre SOAKya Water Park features a Crazy River, slides, a Mat Racer and an interactive kids’ area. Rossville.
Wild Animal Safari. This 300-acre animal safari park offers an up-close look at many animals from around the world. With the Drive-Thru Safari and Walkabout Adventure Zoo attractions, you’ll see Bengal tigers, African lions, peacocks, lemurs, reptiles and more. Pine Mountain.
Rigby’s Water World. Explore the water playground Paradise Island with 10 waterslides, water sprays and a pineapple bucket that drops gallons of water. This attraction also has six thrilling waterslides, a lazy river, a leisure pool and a kid’s area. Warner Robins.
See Georgia’s Minor Leagues Play
Savannah Bananas. When the Bananas play at Historic Grayson Stadium, it’s more than just a sporting event. Players perform choreographed dances, play in kilts and more for plenty of fun. Savannah.
Gwinnett Stripers. Special nights at Coolray Field include fireworks, free admission for dogs, kids running the bases, Family Value Tuesdays and more. Catch Chopper the Groundhog cheering with fans all season long, and the Little Anglers Kids Club for ages 12 and younger includes special perks. Lawrenceville.
Rome Braves. Catch a game at State Mutual Stadium. Special promotions include Weenie Wednesday, Family Fun Day, $2 Tuesday and more. Fun activities available depending on the schedule; check the website for an inflatable entertainment show, superheroes, fireworks, a chance to run the bases and more. Rome.
Macon Bacon. Head to Historic Luther Williams Field for themed games, including Southern Rock Night, Superhero Night and Star Wars Night. Stop in the Pork Shop for souvenirs. Macon.
-Emily Webb and Mary Williams