State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. Photo by Bryan Redding, @visitathensga
National publications like Frommer's, Conde Nast Traveler and The New York Times all have been raving about Macon's attractions, music scene and revitalized downtown district lately. Visit in 2023 as the city commemorates its bicentennial and feel the positive energy exuding from this central Georgia city.
Listen for ancient drumbeats inside the Earth Lodge, North America's oldest public building, at Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, soon to be the nation's newest national park. Visit during the International Cherry Blossom Festival in March and join the Lantern Light Tour for a rare look at the Great Temple Mound, which overlooks downtown and is a stargazer's dream spot.
Explore Macon's music scene with Rock Candy Tours and hear stories about legends like Little Richard, Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers Band. Don't miss the memorabilia at the Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House, and check out the interactive listening station and exhibits at Capricorn Sound Studios and Museum.
While in town, make time for meals at family favorites like Ingleside Village Pizza and Piedmont Brewery & Kitchen, which even has an arcade in the basement. At night, rest easy at downtown's first boutique hotel, Hotel Forty Five.
Find more Macon trip ideas in this Guide to Macon.
In this southwest Georgia city, you can spend an entire day at Chehaw Park, designed and supervised by Jim Fowler (think "Wild Kingdom"). Take an open-air ride through the African veldt, or feed Bogart, the two-hump camel. Or, tour Flint RiverQuarium for a lesson in blue holes and aquatic creatures, and a unique opportunity to see an albino alligator. A stop at Thronateeska Heritage Center offers science fun, a planetarium show, and a special train adventure.
Merry Acres Inn & Event Center is the best spring break slumber location, with spacious rooms, a mineral spring pool and easy dining options.
Find more Albany trip ideas in this Guide to Albany.
Visit Athens, home of the 2021 & 2022 College Football National Champion Georgia Bulldogs, to experience a college town atmosphere like no other. Explore the shops and restaurants downtown before strolling through campus, making sure to stop by Sanford Stadium and the UGA bookstore across the street to pick up some souvenirs.
Talk to the animals at Bear Hollow Zoo and then follow up with a trip to Sandy Creek Nature Center, where kids can hike more than 4 miles of trails, see wildlife and even check out a 19th-century log cabin.
Try skateboarding/BMX riding at the Skate Park of Athens and check out the World of Wonder playground next door. Or, you can stroll through the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, which features a 2.5-acre children's garden with interactive learning elements.
Find more Athens trip ideas in this Guide to Athens.
Visit this city on the Georgia/South Carolina border, and explore the waterways on the Serene 18 paddle trail in nearby Columbia County. Ride bikes along the Augusta Riverwalk, stopping for a picnic or a concert in a shady park. Hike through Phinizy Swamp Nature Park or kayak at the Augusta Canal National Historic Area Headgates.
See what life was like in 1845 at the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area museum and take one of the Augusta Canal Petersburg Boat Tours. Visit the Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson or Meadow Garden, Historic Farm House of George Walton, one of Georgia's three signers of the Declaration of Independence. Learn about Native American history to today's Masters of golf before shouting "I Feel Good!" with James Brown’s music and memorabilia at the Augusta Museum of History.
Find more Augusta trip ideas in this Guide to Augusta.
For something a little different, see the Lasso the Moon Alpaca Farm & Lardworks Glass, Fiber & Jewelry Studio. Ride horses, see the multitude of waterfalls in the area, or hike a strip of the Appalachian Trail.
Find more Blairsville trip ideas in this Guide to Blairsville.
The whole family will love a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway to the border town of McCaysville, where you can take your picture standing in two states at once. Back in Blue Ridge, pick fruit and enjoy some sweet treats at Mercier Orchards, and go gem mining or fishing at Lilly Pad Village.
For outdoor adventure, hike Fall Branch Falls or the 265-foot Swinging Bridge Trail over the Toccoa River, part of the Benton MacKaye Trail.
To wind down in the evening, roast marshmallows over a fire at your cabin.
Find more Blue Ridge trip ideas in this Guide to Blue Ridge.
Explore Smithsonian affiliates Tellus Science Museum and The Booth Museum, and the Savoy Automobile Museum, three amazing institutions all in the same city. Hike the Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site and do not skip the west rim loop of the Pine Mountain Recreation Area. Visit the Bartow History Museum and Red Top Mountain State Park.
Plan your overnight in nearby Adairsville at the lovely Barnsley Resort.
Find more Cartersville trip ideas in this Guide to Cartersville.
Explore the Chattahoochee RiverWalk, and ride the rapids with Whitewater Express. Visit the The National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus, The Columbus Museum (the second largest art museum in Georgia) or the National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center at Fort Benning.
Find more Columbus trip ideas in this Guide to Columbus.
Pan for gold at Consolidated Gold Mines or Crisson Gold Mine, and stop at the Dahlonega Gold Museum State Historic Site for more information about Georgia's gold mining history. Ride horses at Gold City Corral & Carriage Company, or see the animals at Chestatee Wildlife Preserve, A North Georgia Zoo.
Visit the downtown area’s restaurants, wine tasting rooms and shops, and take a spooky ghost tour!
Find more Dahlonega trip ideas in this Guide to Dahlonega.
Golden Isles & Jekyll Island
Climb the St. Simons Island Lighthouse, frolic the beaches and take a trolley tour. Go shrimpin’ on the Lady Jane Shrimpin' Excursions, or take a dolphin tour. There are bikes, geocaches, mini golf, tree spirits and seriously yummy eats.
Find more trip ideas in this Guide to Georgia's Coast.
Relax poolside at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, a AAA Five Diamond Resort named one of the best hotels in the country. Or, take part in the resort's many activities from horseback riding to golfing and canoeing.
Over in Eatonton, the Young Harris Water Sports at Lake Oconee rents jet skis, pontoon boats and wake boats, as well as skis, wakeboards, knee boards and tubes to pull behind the boat.
Find more Greensboro trip ideas in this Guide to Greensboro.
Two state parks grace the town of Helen – Unicoi State Park & Lodge and Smithgall Woods State Park – each with hiking, fishing and plenty of fun. Hike Anna Ruby Falls, and then grab peanuts at Fred’s Famous Peanuts.
Find more Helen trip ideas in this Guide to Helen.
Historic Banning Mills
Fly through the air on the world's longest and largest zipline, Banning Mills Screaming Eagle Eco Zip Line Canopy Tours. The Crazy Squirrel Village provides aerial elements for even the younger crowd. Enjoy a live birds of prey show, kayaking, horseback riding and hiking. Stay in the lodge or cabins, or high in the sky in one of the treehouses.
Don’t miss a stop at The Dillard House for lunch.
Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge
Spanning the Georgia-Florida border, the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge protects the Okefenokee Swamp, one of the seven wonders of Georgia. Families can see the sites along Swamp Island Drive, including The Pond, Discovery Trail, Chesser Island and others. The adventure of a lifetime awaits daring families with older kids: a paddle trip through the swamp. Make it an overnight experience, roughing it at one of nine designated shelters in the swamp's interior.
Callaway Resort & Gardens explodes with color in spring. Tour the gardens and the butterfly house. Ride bikes, play tennis and golf, and hike through the blooming gardens. Explore the trails and go fishing at F.D. Roosevelt State Park, or talk to the animals on the Wild Animal Safari.
Find lodging at Callaway or in the state park.
Situated in northwest Georgia in the Appalachian foothills, Rome's history and location at the convergence of three rivers make it a fascinating place to explore. Tour the world's largest college campus at Berry College and take in the gorgeous scenery and historical buildings. Learn more about the college's founder at Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum.
For more history, visit the Rome Area History Museum and the Clock Tower Museum, and wander the Chieftains Museum / Major Ridge Home. For outdoor adventures, download Georgia's Rome Outdoor Pass to find scenic trails and caves, and bring your bikes to check out the riverside ECO Greenway.
Take the family out to a ballgame to see the Rome Braves, Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves. The season begins April 6, 2023, with a three-game series against the Greenville Drive.
Explore the shops and restaurants downtown, making sure to eat at family favorites like Harvest Moon Cafe and Blossom Hill BBQ & Burgers. Enjoy a good night's sleep at one of Rome's many hotels like the Hawthorn Suites by Wyndham Rome downtown, a renovated 1890’s warehouse with original wood floors, brick walls and a large sky-lit atrium.
Find more Rome trip ideas in this Guide to Rome.
Valdosta is home to Wild Adventures Theme Park, which has thrilling roller coasters, water slides, and exotic animal encounters. Opening in March 2023, the 3-acre Oasis Outpost will feature the new Trail Trackers Adventure Ride, four new animal exhibits, including caracal cats and porcupines, and the Misty Springs Soak Zone, a play area with towering misting posts and splash pads.
Also in town, interact with animals at Fifth Day Farm, a petting zoo and family farm with everything from photo ops to goat yoga. Look for wildlife as you navigate the pine forests and cypress wetlands at Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area by kayak, boardwalk, or 54-foot viewing platform.
Find more Valdosta trip ideas in this Guide to Valdosta.