Jekyll Island Club Resort

Great Places for Family Reunions in Georgia

Spending time together and sharing experiences is a great way to stay connected as an extended family. No matter your budget or your geographic preference, there are lots of great destinations in Georgia that will keep multi-generational groups happy. Here are a few of our favorites.

On the Coast

Jekyll Island beach

Jekyll Island

All the new additions to Jekyll Island make it an even better place for a family reunion. The Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island is a perfect base camp. Located right on the beach, there are standard hotel rooms as well as suites, which offer a more condo-like experience.

Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island

The Holiday Inn has lots of gathering spots for family, including the pool, restaurant, bar and fire pits in the evening. There is a kids club, too, so parents can have some time to enjoy themselves without the little ones around.

Beyond the hotel is a plethora of activities from bike riding to tours of the Jekyll Island Historic District and the very popular Georgia Sea Turtle Center. Both are located next to the Jekyll Island Club Resort, where families have been vacationing for generations. Kids and kids at heart will want to spend at least one day at the Summer Waves Water Park located on the island.

In the Mountains

Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen

Smithgall Woods, Helen

Georgia State Parks are an excellent choice for family reunions of any size. Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen is the perfect place for smaller families. The hotel has 17 bedrooms spread out in six cottages, plus two pioneer campgrounds.

Smithgall Woods State Park in Helen

Duke's Creek, which runs through the property, is one of the premier trout streams in the state and a popular place for catch-and-release fishing. Be sure to call ahead if you want to fish, though; they limit the number of anglers.

All ages can enjoy the discovery room museum at Smithgall Woods, and the 28 miles of hiking trails any time.

In the City

Summer time in the city at Atlanta's Piedmont Park

There is no shortage of hotels within the city, so focus reunion planning on unique events at cool venues like these.

The Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta

Readers of USA Today voted the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta one of the 10 Best Attractions in 2017. There's good reason for that.

In addition to seven galleries, the Georgia Aquarium has a live dolphin and Sea Lion show, as well as a 4-D Funbelievable Theater and an animatronic show with Deepo, the mascot. In 2018, the aquarium is introducing puffins.

Take a Behind the Scenes tour of the Georgia Aquarium to see how the animals are fed

A favorite of young and old is the daily waddle walk with the Aquarium penguins. It happens each day between 10 and 11 a.m. In addition to learning about the adorable animals, you can also get a fun photo-op.

For something really adventurous, plan an overnight at the aquarium for the entire family! More traditional sleeping arrangements can be found at these six hotels near the aquarium.  

Savannah Rapids Park, Augusta

Commemorate your family reunion at the Augusta Canal National Historic Area Headgates by attaching a padlock to the headgate, just like couples do in Paris. While you are there, take in the historic buildings and view of the Savannah River rapids below.

Kayak at Savannah rapids in Augusta

For a low-key event, plan a family picnic by Reed Creek Falls. There is a playground nearby for youngsters to get some energy out before dessert. If weather is a concern, you can rent the Savannah Rapids Pavilion. The Pavilion can accommodate up to 500 and has an observation deck to view the rapids.

For active family members, rent a kayak (single or double) or bikes. Bicycle Peddler is a vendor at the park, and they even offer bike trailers for the little ones.

Southwest Georgia

Live oak trees overhang W. Society Ave. in Albany, Ga. Photo by Philip Wages.

Merry Acres, Albany

Base your family adventure out of Merry Acres Inn & Event Center, a 100-room boutique hotel with a lot of Southern flare. In addition to event space, your family can also hang out with a sweet tea on the large Southern porch or meet up at the mineral-water pool.

Merry Acres Inn in Albany, Georgia

Albany has lots of activities for every member of the family. Science lovers will like the Thronateeska Heritage Center with its old trains and Wetherbee planetarium.

Outdoor enthusiasts will want to take in Radium Springs Gardens, a natural blue hole cave that pumps 7,000 gallons of natural spring water every day. Radium Springs is one of Georgia’s seven wonders.

And animal lovers won’t want to miss Chehaw Park started by Jim Fowler of Wild Kingdom fame. And that doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the things to do in Albany!

Sue Rodman is Georgia's official Smart Travel Explorer. Find more of her budget-friendly tips and trip ideas on, and visit to find more Georgia trip ideas.

Published: January 2018
Written by: Sue Rodman