The Lodge & Spa at Callaway Resort & Gardens
Spring Break Vacations that Won't Break the Bank
Spring break is the perfect time for parents and kids to recharge before the crazy, jam-packed, marathon that is the end-of-school. Planning a spring break vacation on a budget can be daunting, but it's perfectly doable, if you know where to look. Here are eight favorite spring break locations in Georgia that won't break the bank.
Georgia State Parks
There is no better value than a Georgia State Parks vacation. I like to call them my "yes" vacations. Whatever anyone wants to do, the answer is yes, because everything is so affordable. We've canoed at George T. Bagby State Park, learned archery at Panola Mountain State Park, ridden horses at F. D. Roosevelt State Park, and studied the water at Amicalola Falls State Park.
Between Jekyll Island and St. Simons Island, there is a lot of free and inexpensive fun, besides just playing on the beach. Our favorites: the Tidelands Nature Center on Jekyll and searching for tree spirits on St. Simons Island. With so many free and inexpensive activities in the Golden Isles, there may be room to splurge on accommodations.
The Golden Isles offers vacationers a plethora of lodging options, from the luxurious Cloister at Sea Island, to the beachside King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort on St. Simons Island or the historic Jekyll Island Club Resort.
Looking for pristine beaches away from the resort crowds? Try remote Cumberland Island. The only way to get there is by ferry, so you won't have to contend with the usual spring break throngs. Cumberland has secluded and affordable camp sites within a half-mile of the ferry dock. Wagons are available for rent, so it's sort of like car camping, without the car. In addition to the gorgeous beaches, there are historical tours, ranger-led programs for the kids, and the Dungeness Ruins to explore.
The Rock Ranch
For something a little unique, plan a camping trip in a Conestoga Wagon at the Rock Ranch near Barnesville, Georgia. These authentic wagons include bunk beds, wood for the fire, clean port-a potties and a folding table stocked with essentials. Inexpensive add-ons like a hot dog dinner, storyteller or astronomer are available, but frankly, we had a wonderful time just enjoying roasting marshmallows and running around the pasture.
Stone Mountain Park
Part theme park, part natural park, Stone Mountain is a fun escape just outside of Atlanta. The Crossroads section offers a 4D theatre, SkyHike, mini-golf, train rides and more. Be sure to see the special offers available on their website for discounts to Stone Mountain attractions. The outdoor granite museum, and the hike to the top of the Stone Mountain is a must and free.
The Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort is perfect for families. A recreation area off the main hotel allows kids to swim inside or out, as well as play with giant chess or checker sets while Mom and Dad relax with a cocktail on the porch or by the outdoor fire pits.
There are so many different things to do in Atlanta, it's hard to choose a few for this article. For those looking to keep the costs of visiting multiple attractions down, consider an Atlanta CityPass. You can visit some of Atlanta's most popular attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Studio Tours and either Zoo Atlanta or the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and either Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame. The passes are good for nine days after the first use and allow you to save time by bypassing the ticket lines.
Callaway Resort & Gardens
et your adventure on at Callaway Resort & Gardens. Treetop Adventure is a challenging ropes course with moderate zip lines, perfect for families. For a budget option, watch the free Birds of Prey show where falcons fly through the air instead of humans. Springtime is also when the famous Callaway azaleas start to peak. Take a hike or a bike ride through the gardens to find the beautiful blooms. Callaway has multiple lodging options as well, including The Lodge and Spa and Mountain Creek Villas.
One of our favorite cities in Georgia is Columbus. Whitewater Express is the place to go for high adventure, with daily rafting trips down the Chattahoochee, as well as the Blue Heron Aerial course. For less expensive fun in Columbus, visit the National Infantry Museum, voted the best free museum in the nation, or Oxbow Meadows for turtles, snakes, alligators and more. The Columbus Marriott is a perfect home base for your city getaway.