Ocmulgee National Monument Park

Walk along the same paths as American Indians at Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon.

50 Budget-Friendly Travel Ideas for Families

It doesn't have to cost a lot of cash to have fun with your family in Georgia. In fact, it doesn't have to cost anything!

Here are some ideas for affordable, downright cheap and even free family fun around Georgia.

Due to COVID-19, some destinations might have changed their visitation information. This list may not reflect the most recent updates. Before you go, check social media, the venue's website or call to confirm your plans. For more information, visit Explore Georgia's COVID-19 travel information page.

The Rock Garden in Calhoun, Georgia. Photo by @mdcoa
The Rock Garden in Calhoun, Georgia. Photo by @mdcoa

1. The Rock Garden, Calhoun - Stroll among the folk art creations of volunteers, featuring wee-sized buildings resembling castles and cathedrals amid acres of flowers and greenery.

2. The Booth Museum, Cartersville - Giddyup to this impressive museum where kids and adults can make like cowboys.

3. Downtown Dalton - High-five a farmer and find out how he grows his awesome food.

4. Howard Finster's Paradise Garden, Summerville - Travel inside the mind of visionary folk artist Howard Finster.

5. Rome-Floyd E.C.O. Center, Rome - Learn about wildlife native to the Etowah, Coosa and Oostanaula River Basin.

Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, Georgia. Photo by @mikedesilvestri
Etowah Indian Mounds in Cartersville, Georgia. Photo by @mikedesilvestri

6. Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site - Immerse yourself in the history of Georgia’s Native Americans.

7. Silver Comet Trail, Rockmart - Bike, skate, ride your horse, jog with your dog or walk this 61.5-mile trail from Atlanta to the Georgia/Alabama state line. Along the way, look for these Seven Landmarks on the Silver Comet Trail.

8. Tallulah Gorge State Park - Sway on a suspension bridge above this rocky canyon and hike to the waterfalls. Plan your trip with this Guide to Tallulah Gorge State Park.

9. Don Carter State Park, Gainesville - Laze away a summer afternoon on the beach on Lake Lanier.

10. Centennial Olympic Park - Cool off in the Fountain of Rings on a summer day or catch a free concert in this Olympic-sized green space.

Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Photo by @kodysworld2
Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Photo by @kodysworld2

11. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park - See where Dr. King was born, worked, worshipped and is buried.

12. Historic Oakland Cemetery - Learn Atlanta’s past at this monument-filled final resting place.

13. Atlanta BeltLine - Walk, run, bike and skip Atlanta’s in-town traffic on this former rail corridor.

14. Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park - Hike or drive up the mountain that was home to General Sherman’s Union Army in June 1864.

15. Noah's Ark Animal Sanctuary, Locust Grove - Meet thousands of rescued animals at this 250-acre family-owned sanctuary.

Beluga whale at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Photo by @c15roy
Beluga whale at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Photo by @c15roy

16. Atlanta CityPass - Atlanta CityPass allows you to visit five of the best attractions in the city while saving 45% off admission. See the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and choose three more from Zoo Atlanta, Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

17. Georgia Museum of Art, Athens - Release your artistic talents during monthly Family Days.

18. State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens - Get dirty learning about plants, wildlife and the environment.

19. Skate Park of Athens - Make like Tony Hawk at this state-of-the-art facility.

20. Otis Redding Statue at Ocmulgee Heritage Trail Gateway Park, Macon - Walk, jog, bike, canoe or fish along this 11-mile trail.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon, Georgia. Photo by @rumersongs
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon, Georgia. Photo by @rumersongs

21. Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon - Immerse yourself in Georgia’s ancient history.

22. Mistletoe State Park, Appling - Camp, picnic, bike, hike, swim or fish at this top bass spot.

23. Augusta Canal National Heritage Area - Jog, walk or bike along wide towpaths once used by mules to pull canal boats.

24. Phinizy Swamp Nature Park - Hike through this swamp located near downtown Augusta.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta. Photo by @mwaters18
See a replica of the Oval Office at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta. Photo by @mwaters18

25. Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum, Atlanta -  Step into an exact replica of the Oval Office and experience a day in the life of the president.

26. Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Plains - Get schooled on the life of our 39th President.

27. Andersonville National Historic Site - Learn history firsthand at this infamous Civil War military prison.

28. National Infantry Museum & Soldier Center, Columbus - Trace infantry history from colonial times to the present.

Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia
Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia

29. Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins - See more than 85 historic U.S. Air Force aircraft, missiles, cockpits and award-winning exhibits, and experience the Virtual Reality Simulator.

30. Jesup Drive In – Watch the latest releases under the stars at one of the few remaining drive-in theaters in Georgia.

31. Splash in the Boro Family Water Park & Aquatic Center, Statesboro - Dive in and have a blast at this family waterpark.

32. Kolomoki Mounds State Park, Blakely - Explore the oldest and largest Woodland Indian site in the Southeastern U.S.

33. Chehaw Park, Albany - Roam among rhinos, cheetahs and lemurs at this zoo designed by Wild Kingdom’s Jim Fowler.

34. Ray Charles Plaza, Albany - Sing along by his life-sized statue as the Albany native’s hits fill the air.

The Big Oak in Thomasville. Photo by @whighamimages
The Big Oak in Thomasville. Photo by @whighamimages

35. The Big Oak and Big Oak Cam, Thomasville - Pose for a pic by this historic (c.1685) live oak.

36. Wild Adventures Theme Park, Valdosta - Win the entertainment trifecta at this theme park, animal park and water park all-in-one.

37. Vidalia Onion Museum - Discover the story behind the Vidalia Sweet Onion, and meet Yumion, the colorful mascot!

38. Okefenokee Swamp Park, Waycross - Glide through the lily-laden waterways of the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

39. Tybee Island Lighthouse/Museum - Climb the 178 stairs of Georgia’s oldest (c.1732) and most intact lighthouse.

40. Douglas County Film Trail - Take a self-guided tour of locations you've seen in your favorite film and TV shows, including The Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, The Haves and Have Nots and Stranger Things.

41. Juliette Gordon Low Birthplace, National Historic Landmark, Savannah - Learn about the fascinating, artistic, forward-thinking founder of the Girl Scouts.

Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia
Forsyth Park in Savannah, Georgia

42. Forsyth Park, Savannah - Spread a blanket and enjoy a picnic in this downtown park with its iconic white fountain.

43. Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah - Wander beneath the massive moss-draped live oaks in this 200-year-old cemetery.

44. Old Fort Jackson, Savannah - Defend the city from the state’s oldest standing brick fortification (c. 1808).

45. Cumberland Island National Seashore Museum, St. Marys - See artifacts that cover the timeline and people of the island, including Native Americans, African Americans, the Staffords and the Carnegie family.

46. Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island - Marvel at the mystery and tenacity of these ancient creatures.

Kayaking with Altamaha Coastal Tours in Darien, Georgia
Kayaking with Altamaha Coastal Tours in Darien, Georgia

47. Altamaha Coastal Tours, Darien - Access the magic of the Georgia shore in a sea kayak or canoe.

48. Geechee Kunda Cultural Arts Center & Museum, Riceboro - Immerse yourself in Geechee culture at this living museum.

49. Walking Tours Savannah - Venture into the haunted past of this mysterious city.

50. Geocaching in Georgia State Parks - Hunt for hidden treasure using your brain, tech-savvy skills and a GPS or smartphone.

Published: February 2021