Whale shark at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

Ocean Voyager exhibit at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

8 Georgia Experiences That Would Make the Perfect Present

What do you get for the person who has it all? Sometimes the best gifts aren't things, but experiences. Make this the year you give the gift of Georgia travel with any one of these eight options for your loved ones.

Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @natebowery

Georgia State Parks Membership & Gift Cards

Cloudland Canyon State Park in Rising Fawn, Georgia. Photo by @natebowery

Share the gift of the great outdoors by supporting the 60 Georgia State Parks and affiliated sites, which span a variety of landscapes from mountains to coast to marsh. The parks system also includes historic sites like the retreats of presidents, battlefields, and Native American sites. The parks have amenities like hiking trails, ziplining, camping, and more.

You can purchase Georgia State Parks gift cards to be used throughout the parks. You also can purchase Friends of Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites gift memberships, which includes a year's worth of entry into affiliated parks. Extended passes include free nights of camping, discounted lodging, and discounts on picnic shelters.

Treehouse in Flintstone, Georgia, available for reservations on Glamping Hub.

Glamping Stay Gift Cards

If you're not prepared to "rough it" in the Peach State, you're in luck. There are glamping locations around the state, including geodesic domes, safari-style tents, Airstream trailers, and tiny houses. Glamping Hub offers gift cards ranging from $75-400.

Located in small-town Suches, Getaway's "outposts" are made of stylish tiny homes overlooking the mountains. They come complete with kitchenettes, fire pits, and games to keep you entertained without WiFi and electronics. Getaway has gift cards ranging from $50-500. Read more about what to expect during your tiny cabin getaway.

Rafting in Columbus, Georgia with Whitewater Express

Urban Whitewater Rafting Excursion

Did you know that Columbus is home to the longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world? A trip down the Chattahoochee River is the perfect gift for the adrenaline junkie in your life. But fear not as they release the river at different times, producing varied rapids for beginners and experts. Whitewater Express operates excursions of the class II to V rapids and even has a zipline over the river into Alabama! They also have kayaking, paddleboarding, fishing, and bike rentals.

Dinosaur fossils at Tellus Science Museum in Cartersville, Georgia

Museum Memberships

Georgia's amazing museums are the gifts that keep on giving all year long. From Cartersville's Tellus Science Museum with its exhibits on fossils, minerals, and the creatures of the state; to the extensive art collections and programs at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Telfair Academy in Savannah; to the historic collections at the Augusta Museum of History and the engaging programs for kids of all ages at the Center for Puppetry Arts, there are museums for every interest in Georgia. Give the gift of continuous learning through memberships to Georgia's museums.

Ziplining the Peach State

Give the gift of adventure at one of Georgia's many zipline courses. Banning Mills is the largest zipline adventure park in the world, as determined by Guinness World Records. Purchase a gift card to use on the zipline canopy tours or the high ropes courses. They also have treehouse and inn accommodations.

Animal Encounters

Gift the animal lover in your life one of the many unique experiences throughout the state.

Georgia Aquarium

At the Georgia Aquarium, you can purchase encounters with your favorite creatures, including sharks, dolphins, penguins, seals, beluga whales, and sea otters. If the person has their dive certification, they can also go diving in the whale shark tank and earn a specialty certification. Purchase a gift certificate in your chosen amount.

Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island
Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island
Georgia Sea Turtle Center

You also can adopt a turtle on Jekyll Island's Georgia Sea Turtle Center and go for a behind-the-scenes tour. Supporters get a certificate, photo, and updates from your turtle.

Horseback riding on Jekyll Island. Photo by Jody Overstreet, @jodyo.photos
Horseback riding on Jekyll Island. Photo by Jody Overstreet, @jodyo.photos
Horseback riding on the beach

Or book a spot on a horseback ride on the beach, also on Jekyll Island, for your friend or family member. Three Oaks Farm offers trips through the Maritime Forest to Driftwood Beach. Ride during the day, at sunset, or even in the moonlight.

Fossil Hunting

Finding fossils isn't just for archaeologists! Book a spot on a fossil hunting trip with Sundial Charters on Tybee Island for your aspiring Indiana Jones. Megalodon teeth are found in the barrier islands on the Georgia coast, which are very valuable. The price includes a private tour of up to six people, including at least two adults. They also have open boat fossil hunts for $110, but the dates vary. Purchase a gift certificate to offer flexibility for your loved one.

Stranger Things scene at Sleepy Hollow Farm in Powder Springs, Georgia. Photo by Andrea David

Celeb Sighting

Hopper's Cabin from "Stranger Things" at Sleepy Hollow Farm in Powder Springs, Georgia. Photo by Andrea David

You never know who you might see on an excursion with a movie tour in Georgia. In Covington, film fans can take a tour with Mystic Falls Tours to see filming spots for "The Vampire Diaries," "The Originals," and more. In Savannah, take a Segway or van tour to see famous places from movies like "Forrest Gump" and "Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil." Head to Senoia to see iconic scenes from "The Walking Dead" with Georgia Tour Company and Water Tower Tours, and in Powder Springs, you can see the actual cabin used in "Stranger Things" at Sleepy Hollow Farm, which has incorporated it into an escape room game. Buy a gift certificate or pick a tour you know they'll love.

Published: November 2020
Written by: Caroline Eubanks