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9 Affordable Day Trips for a Georgia Getaway

  • The Creek Golf Course at Hard Labor Creek State Park

With so many school vacations, it's difficult to plan a trip for each one. Or maybe you don't have kids, but can't steal away for a full week's vacation. Instead of traveling for an extended visit, why not plan some awesome day trips? Here are nine great one-day outings that will have you exploring all the regions of Georgia.

Atlanta Metro

American Girl Package at Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta
American Girl Package at Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta

Atlanta is the perfect place for a shopping holiday. Girls of all ages will enjoy the American Girl Store at North Point Mall. Make it extra special by spending the night at the Atlanta Marriott Alpharetta with the American Girl package.

Classic South

The Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, Georgia
The Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, Georgia

Relax with a classic comedy at the Laurel and Hardy Museum in Harlem, Ga. Afterward, head to nearby Martinez for a little outdoor fun at the Reed Creek Nature Park and Interpretive Center.

The Coast

Nanny Goat Beach on Sapelo Island
Nanny Goat Beach on Sapelo Island

A day trip to Sapelo Island is the perfect way to escape the world for a few hours. Board a boat in Meridian, Ga., near the town of Darien. Take the day tour of Reynolds Mansion, or book a private tour of the small community of Hog Hammock and the natural side of Sapelo Island.

Historic Heartland

Mountain Bike Trails at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia
Mountain Bike Trails at Hard Labor Creek State Park in Rutledge, Georgia

On your way to play golf, go mountain biking or swim at Hard Labor Creek State Park, make a pit-stop in historic Rutledge. You can lunch in an authentic train caboose and pick up some locally made honey as well as some local history at the Rutledge Hardware.

Historic High Country

Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia
Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

No time or money to visit the Old West? Then head to Cartersville to the Booth Western Art Museum instead. In addition to cowboys and Indians, you'll also find a gallery of American presidents. Best of all, the Booth is free the first Thursday of the month after 4 p.m.

Magnolia Midlands

Center for Wildlife Education in Statesboro, Georgia
Center for Wildlife Education in Statesboro, Georgia

Get back to nature at the Center for Wildlife Education on the campus of Georgia Southern University in Statesboro. This facility is known for birds of prey, so be sure to catch the flight show during your visit.

Northeast Georgia Mountains

Sue and a friendly camel at North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm, Cleveland, Ga.
Sue and a friendly camel at North Georgia Zoo and Petting Farm, Cleveland, Ga.

Get up close and personal with camels, wolves and more at the North Georgia Zoo in Cleveland, Ga. For a really wild time, spend the night at the zoo.

Plantation Trace

Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville
Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville

Visit the grandeur of the Old South at Pebble Hill Plantation in Thomasville. Afterward, come back to modern times with lunch at one of Thomasville's many downtown restaurants.

Presidential Pathways

Stops on the SAM Shortline include the Georgia Veterans State Park and the Telephone Museum
Stops on the SAM Shortline include the Georgia Veterans State Park and the Telephone Museum

The best way to see this area of Georgia is by train. Take the SAM Shortline to the Plains Depot with a stop in Leslie at the quirky Rural Telephone Museum.

Sue Rodman

Sue Rodman is Georgia’s official Smart Travel Explorer and the managing editor of the award-winning family travel site 365 Atlanta Family.

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