Summer Family Bucket 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!
Savannah Rapids Pavilion, Martinez. 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.
Durhamtown Off Road Resort, Union Point. This off-road family resort offers 14 tracks and 150 miles of trails for dirt bikes, ATVs, side-by-sides, jeeps and more. No equipment? No problem. They offer an extensive rental fleet with safety equipment included.
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, bikes and 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 the Linger Longer Express train, there is plenty for the kids, but half- or full-day Ritz-Kids Camp is available should you need to escape to the spa.
Folkston Funnel Platform, Folkston. Have a seat at the train-viewing platform, and watch 60-70 locomotives pass by each day (a little less on weekends.) Expect fans, Wi-Fi, picnic tables and restrooms.
Georgia Sea Turtle Center, Jekyll Island. Visit the center dedicated to conservation of the sea turtle. Try your hand at the interactive exhibit gallery, view the open turtle hospital or take a peek at the turtles in the rehabilitation pavilion.
Make it a weekend: Stay at the Holiday Inn Resort at Jekyll Island. Guests to the resort will find plenty of ocean view rooms and white sand beaches conveniently outside their doors. Oversized rooms and baths, refreshing décor, refrigerators, a guest laundry and kitchenettes in oceanfront suites add to the comfort and relaxation of a family stay at the beach.
Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon. Native Americans first came here during the Paleo-Indian period hunting Ice Age mammals. See the mounds built by the Mississippian culture over 100 years ago, and visit the museum.
Monastery of the Holy Spirit, Conyers. Spend the day exploring the ground’s nature walks, learning about bonsai in the Garden Center, feeding the ducks at the lakes or riding bikes along the Rockdale River Trail through the property. Don’t miss a snack made at the café by the monks.
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.
Historic High Country
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, Blue Ridge. Chug-a-chug on board a 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.
Pine Mountain Gold Museum & Scenic Railway, Villa Rica. Visit the museum’s exhibits dating back to the 1800s. Tour the ruins and gold mines at the mountain, and ride the Gold Nugget train. Kids will also enjoy grubbing for gold themselves.
Cave Spring. Explore a limestone cave, and then taste the pure waters bubbling up from the spring. The water flows down to fill the state’s second largest swimming lake, invigorating guests with its mineral water.
Make it a weekend: Barnsley Resort in Adairsville mingles elegance with the outdoors. Stay in a breathtaking cottage with a fireplace, rocking chair porch, claw-tooth tub and tree-lined walks. Explore the historic grounds and ruins, play lawn games, Frisbee golf and tennis, and don’t miss evening s’mores.
River Bend Wildlife Management Area, Dublin. Explore 1,700 acres filled with walking trails and bird-watching opportunities. Fish or kayak at Troup’s Spring Lake where a clear water spring flows to the swamp's edge.
Center for Wildlife Education, Statesboro. As one of the leading environmental education facilities in Georgia, visitors can enjoy special weekday and weekend programs with several wild birds of prey.
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 peddle boats and canoe rental and even a playground.
Tubing in Helen. Pick a tube with or without a bottom, don a life vest and float down the Chattahoochee River for a leisurely, fun time.
Mountain Fresh Creamery, Clermont. Visit the Georgia Grown 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.
Chehaw Park, Albany. The park 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, Tifton. Experience 19th century-style farm activities, from planting and harvesting to cooking, spinning and quiltmaking. 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.
The Rock Ranch, The Rock. Pick berries, ride the train, zip through the trees and focus on fun with over 35 exciting ways to enjoy the outdoors. You can also stay overnight in a farmhouse or enjoy a more rustic experience in the Conestoga wagons.
Biblical History Center, LaGrange. Step back in time at this living museum of life in ancient times. Sit in an authentic goat-hair tent like the nomadic shepherds have lived in for thousands of years. Enter the Time Tunnel and learn about the worship practices of pagans, Jews and Christians from 2500 BCE to 500 CE by exploring replicas of excavated houses of worship from Israel.
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 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.