9 Spring Break Trips for Grown-Ups
The term "spring break" may elicit images of out-of-control college students or family-friendly getaways. But it doesn't have to be either! Georgia has plenty of appeal for grown-up spring break trips, and when you're not restricted to a school calendar to determine your vacation, you can choose to take a spring break when the timing is right. Start planning your perfect spring getaway with these nine ideas.
Wine all day
What could be a better grown up spring break than a trip to wine country? A stay at Chateau Elan Winery & Resort in Braselton has everything you could want, from wine tastings to the spa to restaurants. Dahlonega and Helen are also the ideal bases for exploring the North Georgia Wine Country, whether it’s taking in the scenery at wineries like Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery or downtown tasting rooms.
Offbeat road trips
Remember all of those wacky attractions you’ve always wanted to visit? Spring break is the perfect time! Summerville in the Historic High Country region is home to Howard Finster's Paradise Garden, the former home of renowned folk artist Howard Finster. See where he lived and worked with artwork on every visible surface. Similarly, folk artist St. EOM made his home at St. EOM's Pasaquan in rural Buena Vista. The colorful grounds are designed with futuristic figures that were painstakingly restored. The The Rock Garden in Calhoun has recreated the castles and cathedrals of Europe in miniature form.
Georgia’s small towns aren’t just for antiquing and bed and breakfasts. There’s a rising population of young professionals starting businesses in them. Americus, for example, has its own record label, distillery and organic coffee roaster. The thriving downtown is great for exploring in between trips to nearby Plains and Andersonville. Watkinsville, known as the Artland of Georgia, sits just outside Athens and is full of galleries with working artists. In Columbus, visit the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center, and go on an adventurous rafting trip down the Chattahoochee River. Once you’ve dried off, grab a beer at Nonic or hearty Southern fare at 11th and Bay.
But there’s certainly an appeal to these charming Southern towns. Savannah may be the most well-known for its historic homes open to tours. Spend the night in one of the historic inns and chow down at some of the state’s best restaurants. Madison is known as “the town Sherman refused to burn,” and its most stunning homes still stand today. The town puts on tours of homes throughout the year, so plan your visit accordingly. The Madison-Morgan Cultural Center, a former school turned museum, can’t be missed. If you're up for a bicycle adventure, set out to follow the Antebellum Trail Bicycle Route from Athens to Macon, and visit seven towns along the way. Thomasville has become an arts hub, with gallery walks and performances. The downtown shopping district has won countless designations. Plan your visit around the Rose Show & Festival, held every April.
Spring is the perfect time to head to Georgia’s lakes. A short drive from Atlanta, Lake Oconee has the stunning The Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, which can be your base for visiting nearby towns. Greensboro has its own brewery (Oconee Brewing Company) as well as the famous buttermilk pies at The Yesterday Cafe. Eatonton has the Uncle Remus Museum. Stay in Gainesville to explore Lake Lanier.
Theme parks for big "kids"
Roller coasters and thrill rides don’t have to be for kids. Adults can also enjoy the theme parks located around the state, and they don’t have to worry about being tall enough. Six Flags Over Georgia in northwestern Atlanta has some of the region’s best roller coasters, including Superman and Goliath. Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta has the Cheetah and Boomerang coasters that will excite. It’s also a popular spot to catch a concert. And Stone Mountain Park, also in Atlanta Metro, has plenty to do for younger visitors, but grown ups will enjoy the thrill of climbing the granite monolith.
Don’t forget about the mountain towns. Young Harris is home to its namesake college as well as a number of wineries and Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa. For a totally unique retreat, spend your time at Elatse’yi in Ellijay, which is part alpaca farm and part glamping resort with vintage Airstream trailers and a geodesic dome. Local outfitters can get you set up for whitewater rafting and kayaking. Blue Ridge is another favorite, offering activities like ziplining as well as things only adults can do. Leave the kids at home as you visit breweries like Fannin Brewing Company, or crush a car at nearby Tank Town USA.
Spring adventures around Atlanta don’t have to be all adventure. Staying within one of the cities and larger towns is also a fun getaway. In Atlanta, use your spring break as an opportunity to stay in a neighborhood like a local. The Highland Inn is great for wandering around Poncey-Highland and nearby Little Five Points. Decatur is another neighborhood perfect for intown trips. While Athens is more of a town than a city, there’s plenty to keep you occupied. Splurge on a spa visit at the Graduate Athens before dinner at Five & Ten and a show at the Georgia Theatre. Augusta is one of the state’s underrated cities. Learn about local legends Bobby Jones and James Brown at the Augusta Museum of History and, if weather allows, take a trip with Augusta Canal Petersburg Boat Tours. Dine out at downtown restaurants Craft & Vine or The Bee's Knees.
Nearly private islands
Beaches are great, but beaches without crowds are even better. Thanks to Georgia’s 100-plus miles of coastline and more than 14 barrier islands, there are plenty of opportunities to visit nearly private islands. Little St. Simons Island is an all-inclusive eco-resort accessible only by boat. Spend the entire day at the deserted beach or go on one of the naturalist-led excursions. Cumberland Island National Seashore is home to incredible pristine beaches and the Dungeness Ruins. You can camp in the campground or stay at the prestigious Greyfield Inn. Sapelo Island is another nationally protected island with unique coastal wildlife and campground accommodations. While you’re there, be sure to tour the Reynolds Mansion on Sapelo Island, another Gilded Age getaway. And on Eagle Island, you can have your own Private Islands of Georgia, which comes with a house and access to fishing, kayaking and wildlife spotting.