Child jumping on beach at St. Simons Island, Georgia. Photo by @bowtiesandbloomphotography

St. Simons Island, Georgia. Photo by @bowtiesandbloomphotography

Summer Family Adventure List

Spend the summer exploring Georgia with these family-friendly destinations.

Looking for summer family fun around Georgia? We have ideas for you spanning all the corners of the state, with overnight options to boot! 

Truist Park at The Battery Atlanta. Photo by @kayla_marie_smith

Truist Park at The Battery Atlanta. Photo by @kayla_marie_smith

Atlanta Metro

World of Coca-Cola

The whole family will love exploring the World of Coca-Cola's vault in Atlanta, which holds the secret formula to the famous drink, known for spreading happiness worldwide. Experience the Scent Discovery exhibit, and challenge yourself to identify a variety of sweet, fruity and spicy scents. Take a photo with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, and pour more than 100 Coke beverages from around the world using your phone!

Chattahoochee Nature Center

At the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, see a bald eagle, explore the Chattahoochee River on a guided canoe trip, or hike the trails at Atlanta's nature destination. Nearby, get out on the water with Nantahala Outdoor Center, where you can rent tubes, kayaks, paddleboards and more.

Make it a weekend:

Stay near The Battery Atlanta to introduce the kids to America's pastime by catching an Atlanta Braves game and touring Truist Park. The lively mixed-use development surrounding the baseball stadium at I-285 and I-75 includes shopping, entertainment, restaurants, the Omni and Aloft hotels, and more. Nearby, add to the excitement by skydiving indoors at iFly Atlanta, riding the waves at Six Flags White Water, and braving the coasters at Six Flags Over Georgia.

Serene 18 Paddle Trail in Augusta, Georgia. Photo by @benjamingalland

Stallings Island near Augusta, Georgia. Photo by @benjamingalland

East Georgia

Serene 18 Paddle Trail

Explore 18 square miles of calm water trails with the family on the Serene 18. Rent boats and look for wildlife as you paddle Clarks Hill Lake, the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal – all within a few miles of one another.

Savannah Rapids Pavilion

View the Augusta Canal National Historic Area Headgates while taking a picnic. Sit along the banks of Reed Creek, view the falls or rent bikes for a 7.5-mile ride to Augusta.

Make it a weekend:

Indulge at Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee, a luxurious lakeside resort in Greensboro on Lake Oconee. Enjoy resort activities, like tennis, fitness classes, non-motorized watercraft such as canoes and pedal boats, and access to the driving range and putting greens. With the renovated pool deck, s'mores by the lake, and bike rentals, there is plenty of fun for the whole family.

Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @mrsbrittanyelizabeth

Tybee Island, Georgia. Photo by @mrsbrittanyelizabeth

Coastal Georgia

Savannah & Tybee Island

Only 20 minutes from each other, Savannah and Tybee Island go together like summer and sunshine. Whether you stay in the historic city and make day trips to the beach or vice versa, you'll love exploring all the sights in these coastal Georgia highlights.

Jekyll Island

Jekyll Island was once a winter retreat for America's richest families, including the Rockefellers, Pulitzers and Vanderbilts. Now a playground for seaside lovers everywhere, Jekyll Island offers a variety of activities ranging from environmental education to plain old-fashioned beach fun.

Children visiting rehabilitating turtles at Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, Georgia
Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island, Georgia

Georgia Sea Turtle Center

Visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center for an up-close look at these lovable creatures of the deep. Try your hand at the interactive exhibit gallery, view the open turtle hospital and check in on the turtles in the rehabilitation pavilion as they get nursed back to health. Join Sunrise Turtle Walks in August to learn more about beach ecology and look for recently hatched sea turtle nests.

Jekyll Island Club Resort on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @wandernorthga
Jekyll Island Club Resort on Jekyll Island, Georgia. Photo by @wandernorthga

Make it a weekend:

Stay at the Jekyll Island Club Resort or Ocean Club. Choose to stay at the historic hotel or on the beach, with white sand beaches conveniently outside your door. Be sure to rent bikes to pedal the island's miles of bike paths.

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon, Georgia. Photo by @cute.thulhu

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon, Georgia. Photo by @cute.thulhu

Central Georgia

Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park

Native Americans first came here during the Paleo-Indian period hunting Ice Age mammals. See the mounds built by the Mississippian culture more than 100 years ago in Macon, and visit the museum.

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area

The Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area covers 40,000 acres of land right outside Atlanta, including two massive granite outcrops, the South River, miles of trails, multiple historic sites and more. Many visitors know about the area's two granite outcrops Panola Mountain and Arabia Mountain, but you may not know about the expansive area's many more natural and historic highlights. Here are five off-the-beaten-path destinations you should explore on your next outing.

Make it a weekend:

It's a bed and breakfast, a horse farm and a guest ranch. Southern Cross Guest Ranch in Madison is home to 150 Paint and Quarter horses. The all-inclusive package includes two horseback riding sessions, three meals, lodging, use of the video game room, mountain bikes and video library access. Kiddos must be at least 4 years old to stay, and lower rates may apply to kids 8 and under.

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Northwest Georgia

Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

Chug-a-chug on board the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway's restored passenger train as it follows the Toccoa River to McCaysville, where you can straddle the Georgia/Tennessee line for a photo op and enjoy lunch by the river.

Treehouses at Banning Mills in Whitesburg, Georgia
Treehouses at Banning Mills in Whitesburg, Georgia

Historic Banning Mills

About an hour west of downtown Atlanta is Historic Banning Mills and the longest zip line in the Georgia, aptly known as the Screaming Eagle. The Banning Mills zip lines are definitely fun, but you can also mix things up with the high ropes course, and for those truly adventurous types, there is the Free Fall, a 10-story drop, straight down.

Make it a weekend:

Stay in Cartersville for easy access to popular attractions like Red Top Mountain State Park, The Booth Museum, Tellus Science Museum, and Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site. Play on the water at Terminus Wake Park, see the Euharlee Covered Bridge (the oldest covered bridge in the state), and spend a night stargazing at Rocky Mountain Recreation and Public Fishing Area in Rome.

Burnham House Cottage at General Coffee State Park in Nicholls, Georgia

Burnham House Cottage at General Coffee State Park in Nicholls, Georgia

South Georgia

River Bend Wildlife Management Area

Explore 1,700 acres filled with walking trails and bird-watching opportunities at River Bend Wildlife Management Area in Dublin. Fish or kayak at Troup's Spring Lake where a clear water spring flows to the swamp's edge.

Splash in the Boro

Jump into 768,000 gallons of fun, ride on a wild slide, or relax and go with the flow on the Lazy River at Splash in the Boro Family Water Park. Water park enthusiasts will enjoy full amenities of a big city facility on an economical budget.

Make it a weekend:

Overnight at General Coffee State Park in Nicholls. The Burnham Cottage is a restored farmhouse with wooden floors, antique furniture and a claw-tooth tub. There are also plenty of hiking opportunities, a heritage farm, a 4-acre lake with pedal boats and canoe rentals, and even a playground.

Tubing in Helen, Georgia

Helen, Georgia. Photo by @pwhidby

Northeast Mountains

Tubing in Helen

Pick a tube with or without a bottom, don a life vest and float down the Chattahoochee River in Helen for a leisurely, fun time.

Mountain Fresh Creamery

Visit Mountain Fresh Creamery, where you can tour the dairy facility and see the cows that make their all-natural milk. Don't forget to stop for an ice cream after your tour.

Make it a weekend:

Stay in a room, suite, cottage or chalet at The Dillard House in Dillard. Your mountain escape includes pool time, trout fishing, petting zoo, horseback riding and more. You're also near Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah Falls, whitewater rafting through the Southern Nantahala Wilderness Area in Clayton and three lovely Georgia wineries.

Wildlife at Chehaw Park in Albany, Georgia

Chehaw Park in Albany, Georgia

Southwest Georgia

Chehaw Park

This park in Albany features natural habitat exhibits with native and exotic animals, yet it is much more than a zoo. Chehaw also feature nature trails, BMX bike racing, camping options and one of Georgia's largest play parks.

Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village

Experience 19th century-style farm activities, from planting and harvesting to cooking, spinning and quilt making in Tifton at the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village. More than 35 buildings have been relocated, restored and preserved on this 95-acre site.

Make it a weekend:

Spacious rooms, a mineral water pool and easy dining options for the kids make Merry Acres Inn in Albany a lovely escape for the family. Sit under the ceiling fans at the on-site Manor House Pub noshing on delightful eats as the kids play with a tub of toys to the side. It's "Retro Done Right" at the Southern boutique hotel.

Whitewater Express in Columbus, Georgia

Whitewater Express in Columbus, Georgia

West Georgia

Whitewater Express

Located in the heart of downtown Columbus is the Chattahoochee Whitewater Park, the longest urban whitewater course in the world. Brave the 2.5-mile stretch of river with guides from Whitewater Express, which takes families of all age groups out on rafts to navigate the rapids. After 4 p.m., the water level rises, creating more excitement for thrill-seekers. You also can soar high above the water on the only dual zip line in the United States that connects two states!

Great Wolf Lodge

Great Wolf Lodge in LaGrange attracts families for its indoor water park, onsite accommodations, character encounters, kids activities and multiple dining options. Made up of more than 93,000 square feet, it's the perfect year-round destination for your little travelers.

Make it a weekend:

Relax at The Lodge and Spa at Callaway Resort & Gardens in Pine Mountain, where elegant touches meet mountain lodge serenity. Unwind at the pool, stretch out on the patio or let the Piedmont Grille pack you a beach picnic to enjoy at Callaway Resort & Gardens. The deluxe rooms offer plenty of space for the family, with a gorgeous bathroom, fridge, microwave and extra-large patio with views of the courtyard and pool.

Published: April 2022
Written by: Lesli Peterson