State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. Photo by @meganlogden

State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens. Photo by @meganlogden

3 Family Getaways for Outdoor Fun this Fall

Start a new tradition with a getaway to experience Georgia's magnificent fall foliage! These three destinations offer awesome overnight stays, and outdoor adventures for family and friends.

Historic Banning Mills


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There's no better way to experience Georgia's fall foliage than a high-flying adventure with Banning Mills in Whitesburg. The tours combine the excitement of blazing fast zips and thrilling dual-zipline races, with birds-eye nature walks and sky bridges for the ultimate fall color views.

In addition to ziplining, guests can play mini golf, fish in the lake, take guided horseback rides and much more. They even have wheelchair-friendly Eco-Spider ATVs, which are controlled using hands only, making them very accessible, even to persons with reduced mobility.

Stay the night at Banning Mills in a treehouse overlooking a gorge, a cabin, cozy cottage, the inn, or go RV camping. Overnight guests enjoy a full breakfast in the lodge each morning.

Banning Mills is just a short drive from hardwood forest hikes through the brilliant colors of fall at Chattahoochee Bend State Park. You might also like to stop to tour Senoia, the town where fans of "The Walking Dead" flock to catch glimpses of zombies and the stars.

Visit Banning Mills

Wine barrel cabins at Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia

Unicoi State Park in Helen, Georgia

Unicoi State Park

Make the most memorable fall of all tucked away in the forest of Unicoi State Park near Alpine Helen. One of Georgia's most exciting Adventure Lodges, Unicoi offers ziplining and mountain biking thrills through the trees and some of the state's most unique overnight options. Guests stay in stylish lodge rooms, quirky barrel cabins, or camp in the one-of-a-kind squirrel's nest.

Enjoy beautiful mountain scenery hiking to the nearby waterfalls and fly fishing trout streams. Take a scenic drive through the mountains and the brilliant fall foliage. And stroll through the Bavarian-style village of Helen, being sure to take a spin on the Georgia Mountain Coaster.

Visit Unicoi State Park

University of Georgia campus in Athens, Georgia. Photo by Ben Galland

Athens, Georgia. Photo by @benjamingalland


Getting away to Athens for a few days is always a hit for everyone in the family because there are plenty of things to do in town, and outdoor adventures are not hard to find. Stroll the paths at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia to take in the changing colors of the season and explore the Alice H. Richards Children's Garden designed to inspire children with a love of nature. Visit the wildlife and walk the trails at Memorial Park and Bear Hollow Zoo, and bike the Firefly Trail and the trails in the Oconee Rivers Greenway System.

There are many great places to stay in Athens with features families love, like complimentary breakfast, suites and pet-friendly rooms. Stay the night at the Graduate Athens, located right outside of campus with an in-house spa, coffee shop, and decor inspired by its college town surroundings. The Hyatt Place Athens/Downtown is another favorite, with rooftop dining, free Internet and free breakfast with extensive options that will please everyone in the family.

Be sure to check the UGA football schedule when making your plans so you can either join the football weekend fun or avoid it, depending on your preference.

Visit Athens

Published: June 2023
Written by: Candy Cook
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