Scenic view of a vineyard with mountains in the background.

Kaya Vineyard & Winery in Dahlonega, Georgia

Give These Top Georgia Experiences as Holiday Gifts

Instead of giving them "stuff" this year, give these unique Georgia experiences to everyone on your holiday shopping list.

The holiday season is upon us, and that means shopping for the loved ones in your life. The process can be stressful — braving crowded stores and juggling deliveries from online stores, not to mention the wrapping process.

This year, how about switching out items that crowd the home for unique Georgia experiences? Give the gift of memories that last well beyond when the paper and bows are untied. Whether you’re looking for something for your sweetie, your parents, friends, children, or even pets, you’re certain to find the right gift in Georgia. Here are some of the best experiences to give as gifts this year.

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Gifts for Significant Others

It can be stressful to find the right gift for your honey, whether you’ve been together for a few months or decades. But these experiences appeal to every interest and price level.

Night scene of Plant Riverside District in Savannah, Georgia
Plant Riverside District in Savannah, Georgia

Plant Riverside in Savannah

Gift cards start at $25

Your sweetie will love a trip to Savannah’s Plant Riverside District, the new must-see part of the city. Stay at the luxurious JW Marriott Savannah Plant Riverside District, indulge in spa services at Poseidon Spa, and enjoy meals at any of the 14 dining options, including the nearby Rocks on the River restaurant.

Girl on a driving simulator at Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, Georgia
Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Porsche Experience Center in Atlanta

Starting at $100

Those who live in the fast lane will love the high-octane excitement at the Porsche Experience Center at the luxury car company’s North American headquarters set near the Atlanta airport. Give the gift of the center’s driving experience, demonstration laps, or the simulator lab. There’s also an onsite restaurant overlooking the track for after their drive!

View of a courtyard at Sea Island Resort on Sea Island, Georgia
Sea Island Resort on Sea Island, Georgia

Sea Island Resort Spa Day

Gift cards from $100

Splurge on your honey by gifting a spa day at the famed Sea Island Resort. The Forbes Five-Star facility has a series of interconnected pools and offers treatments like hydrotherapy, aromatherapy, and massage. Guests can go just for the spa or add treatments to an overnight stay.

Fly fishing on Toccoa River in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Fly fishing in Georgia

Ken Louko Fly Fishing School in Cumming

From $150 per person

Outdoors fans will jump at the chance to spend a day on the water learning how to fly fish from Ken Louko Fly Fishing School, an expert guiding company in North Georgia. Gift certificates can be used for fly fishing instruction, a guided trip, or a personal mentoring package to develop skills. Send your love off for a day of fun, or join them!

Hot air balloon ride with Balloons Over Georgia in Cumming, Georgia
Balloons Over Georgia in Cumming, Georgia

Balloons Over Georgia in Canton & Cumming

From $350 per person

Share the dreamy experience of admiring the scenery of the Peach State from above with a bucket list-worthy hot air balloon ride with Balloons Over Georgia. All you’ll hear is the puff of the flame keeping the balloon afloat as you gently glide over the forest, with views of landmarks like Lake Lanier, Kennesaw Mountain, and the Atlanta skyline.

 


Gifts for Friends

Celebrate your friendships with activities you can do together. These fun days out are found all over the state and are sure to please your pals.

Cocktails at Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega, Georgia
Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery in Dahlonega, Georgia

Winery Tours & Transportation in Dahlonega

Tastings from $25

What better way to celebrate with friends than a winery tour in North Georgia? Dahlonega is at the heart of the state’s designated AVA region, home to Wolf Mountain, Montaluce, and Kaya Vineyard & Winery, among many others. Let someone else do the driving by arranging a tour with DSH Transportation.

Pizza in Thomasville, Georgia
Taste of Thomasville Food Tour in Thomasville, Georgia

Taste of Thomasville Food Tour in Thomasville

From $45

Allow your pals a chance to dine on the best that the city has to offer with a Taste of Thomasville Food Tour. The tour is a three-hour progressive lunch highlighting dishes from local restaurants, including shrimp and grits, pizza and organic coffee. You can walk between all locations!

Glass blowing at Blown Studios in Savannah, Georgia
Blown Studios in Savannah, Georgia

Glass-Blowing Class at Blown Studios in Savannah

From $99

Embrace your friend’s artsy side by gifting a glass-blowing class in the Hostess City’s Blown Studios. They can learn how to blow their own molten glass into items like glasses, ornaments, and sculptures before ending the day in the shop for glass souvenirs to bring home.

Family at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia
Family at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by @hesamusicman

Animal Encounters at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

From $69.99

You’ve never seen the Georgia Aquarium until you’ve seen it from underwater! Book your friend an animal encounter in one of the world’s largest aquariums, which ranges from swimming in the massive tank with sharks, encounters with penguins, and a behind-the-scenes visit with the playful beluga whales.

Scenic view of Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia
Providence Canyon State Park in Lumpkin, Georgia

Georgia State Parks Passes & Friends Membership

From $50

Gift a year of the great outdoors with Georgia State Parks passes or annual membership to the Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites. The combo pass package grants access to more than 60 attractions across the state, and memberships have a number of perks, including complimentary nights at the campsites, discounted lodge rooms, and free picnic shelter rentals. Plan a getaway to a state park!

 


Gifts for Parents

How do you thank your parents for everything they do for you? With a gift for a Georgia getaway, of course!

Rooftop bar at Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia
Fox Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia

Fox Theatre in Atlanta

Starting at $25

Give your parents a date night at the fabulous and historic Fox Theatre, one of the most storied venues in the nation, designed in the Moorish style in 1929. Gift cards can be used for behind-the-scenes theatre tours, including to see the famous pipe organ, or to attend the many shows there, ranging from concerts to plays to comedy acts.

Interior of guest room at Hotel Simone on St. Simons Island, Georgia
Hotel Simone on St. Simons Island, Georgia

Coastal Getaway to Hotel Simone on St. Simons Island

Starting at $199 per night

Couples will love a stay at Hotel Simone, a retreat on charming St. Simons Island. Plan the entire weekend with dinner at Georgia Sea Grille (gift cards from $5-$500), tastings at the famed Richland Rum distillery (tours and tastings starting at $25), and pints at Silver Bluff Brewing in nearby Brunswick.

Chairs by a fireplace at Blue Ridge Inn B&B in Blue Ridge, Georgia
Blue Ridge Inn in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge Inn Weekend Getaway in Blue Ridge

From $200 per night

Send the parents on an escape to the charming town of Blue Ridge to the circa 1890s Blue Ridge Inn. The Victorian home has eight suites with full Southern breakfasts, and the porch has rocking chairs to unwind during their stay. Nearby, they’ll have easy access to the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway and downtown shops and restaurants.

Overhead view of charcuterie dining at Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia
Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Georgia

Spa & Golf Getaway at Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee

Starting at $548 per night

Your parents will love a luxe stay at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, an easy drive from Atlanta. The resort is known for its incredible dining, spa treatments, and golf courses, not to mention boating and kayaking. Packages can include daily breakfast and a resort credit to use around the property.

 


Gifts for Kids

The little ones are sure to remember these experiences around Georgia. The options range across all ages and are educational!

Rafting on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia
Rafting on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, Georgia. Photo by @gcalebjones

Whitewater Express Rafting & Ziplining in Columbus

From $25

Adventurous kids will love the chance to raft the rapids on the Chattahoochee River and zip between Alabama and Georgia during a day out with Whitewater Express in Columbus. Gift cards can be used for thrilling experiences for the whole family as well as bike rentals for the Riverwalk. The minimum age for rafting is 7 and 10 for ziplining.

Sea turtle at Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, Georgia
Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, Georgia

Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island

$50 adoption; admission starts at $9

If your little one wants a pet, how about a turtle? But don’t worry, you don’t have to buy a tank for it. The Georgia Sea Turtle Center offers an adoption program that allows your donation to support one of the creatures in their care. Then, your child can visit the adopted turtle during your next trip to Jekyll Island.

Children cooking at Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios in Alpharetta, Georgia
Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios in Alpharetta, Georgia

Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios in Alpharetta

Gift certificates available in any amount

Teach the little ones how to create a culinary masterpiece with a gift certificate for a class with Flour Power Kids Cooking Studios. The Alpharetta school offers classes for kids from preschoolers to teens, as well as adults and families, to make treats like cupcakes, pasta, and more.

Child on a roller coaster at Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia
Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia. Photo by @benjamingalland

Wild Adventures Annual Pass in Valdosta

Starting at $99.99

Kids will enjoy thrill rides and wild animals with an annual pass to Wild Adventures, the beloved theme park in south Georgia. The park has one of the largest ride collections in the region, including a number of roller coasters. For kids that don’t yet meet the height requirement, go on the safari train and slides at the seasonal water park.

Family on a water slide at Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia
Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange, Georgia

Stay at Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange

Gift cards from $25-$500

Let the kids earn their wolf ears with a stay at the beloved Great Wolf Lodge. The indoor waterpark and hotel is a fun escape for families with multiple deals and packages, including for dining credits and gifts. The large and rustic suites with bunk beds have room for the whole group, and the games will keep you entertained well into the night.

Megalodon shark tooth found with Sundial Charters on Tybee Island, Georgia
Sundial Charters on Tybee Island, Georgia

Fossil Hunting with Sundial Charters on Tybee Island

Starting at $560 for two people

Search for buried treasure on the beaches of Tybee Island on a day out with Sundial Charters, an outfitter that specializes in fossil hunting. The company’s guides take guests to the coastal marshes and barrier islands to spot dolphins and maybe even find your own megalodon tooth, the ultimate souvenir!

 


Gifts for Pets & Pet Owners

Don’t forget about your pets and loved ones with animals! Georgia has an abundance of pet-friendly spots.

Fetch Park in Atlanta, Alpharetta & Columbus

Starts at $10

Atlanta’s best dog park has expanded to multiple locations around the state and is the best place to spend the day with your pet. The Fetch Park membership is your best bet for frequent trips, but you can also pay $10 per visit for a fenced play area and a bar for owners to grab a pint while the pups explore.

Dog at a waterfall at Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia
Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @wandersofthewild

Tails on Trails Club at Georgia State Parks

$20

Sign Fido up for the Georgia State Parks Tails on Trails Club, which is a special pet-friendly trail passport program that comes with an exclusive owner shirt and bandana for your pup. Visit all of the participating parks within a year for the full experience.

Aerial view of Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Georgia
Barnsley Resort in Adairsville, Georgia

Barnsley Resort Getaway in Adairsville

$25 and up

Escape with your furry friend to the pet-friendly Barnsley Resort in North Georgia. The award-winning resort has gift cards available for $25 to $5,000. They can be used for overnight accommodations, onsite dining, spa treatments, golf, hunting or shooting at the sporting grounds, horseback riding, or souvenirs for your pup in the resort shop.

Dog at The Peregrin on Oliver Bentley's Dog Walking Tour in Savannah, Georgia
Oliver Bentley's Dog Walking Tour in Savannah, Georgia

Oliver Bentley's Dog Walking Tour in Savannah

Starting at $29

You don’t have to leave your dog behind while exploring the squares and parks of Savannah. Oliver Bentley’s offers 90- to 120-minute dog-walking tours of the city’s best spots. You also can get their signature dog biscuits for your pal!

Published: September 2023
Written by: Caroline Eubanks
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