You’ve got 18 short years. Stop wasting time! Here are the best-of-the-best things to do in Georgia for kids of all ages, specifically designed for planning your adventures and vacations!
What will you mark off your to-do list this year??
Invite your friends! Call the neighbors! Grab your extended family members! Bring them all to Blue Ridge! There are amazing cabins to fit everyone…and your budget. Enjoy the North Georgia mountains year round with the whole gang! Now, go ahead and make some memories.
In The Georgia Mountains
Len Foote Hike Inn - A 5-mile walk in, stay in a bunk, eat delicious meals with your new friends, explore the area, relax, and hike back out. Truly a life changing experience. This is a Top 10!
Mercier Orchards - Berry picking!! Blueberries, peaches, apples, strawberries...even blackberries! Nothing is as sweet and delicious as the fruit here. We also love to eat at the restaurant (that jam!), pick up groceries for our cabin stay in Blue Ridge, and for mom and dad -- you'll want to try the hard apple cider and bring a bottle home for later!
Howard Finster's - Paradise Garden is a wonderland of upcycled art that will inspire your little artist.
Blood Mountain Hike - A fulfilling hike along the AT with wonderful views all year round. It's awesome.
Snorkel in the Basin - The Conasauga River is the most bio-diverse river basin in the world - bring your snorkel!
Camping near Denton Branch Falls - Denton Branch Falls is my favorite Georgia waterfall. It's remote and fun for the entire family. Just a short walk down the road from the falls is Sandy Bottom Campground. Again, remote and on the water, it is great for public camping.
Amicalola River Trail - Go in the summer when the weather is warm enough to play along the rocks here. Bring a picnic and stay all day!
Mountain Crossings - An ancient building with so much history, and the only covered part of the Appalachian Trail -- it runs right through the building! It's an awesome shop that offers snacks, hiking gear, and more. And the mountain views from the back are amazing.
Drink from Cave Spring - Bring a jug and fill it with delicious water bubbling up from Mother Earth. Explore the cave, hang out at the playground, or enjoy the seasonal pool here too!
Springer Mountain - Even if you don't plan to hike the AT, this is a fun, short hike to the south-most point of the trailhead.
Raven Cliff Falls - While in Helen, hike to Raven Cliff Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest with your kiddos! It's a gorgeous, moderate hike your kids will love.
Become a Georgia State Park Jr Ranger - There are three levels to this program, and it's a great way to visit the state parks, and get your kids involved and excited.
Explore Cloudland Canyon State Park - There is so much to do in and around Cloudland Canyon State Park in northwest GA! The park, the waterfalls, hang gliding at Lookout Mountain, and Rock City is just across the border in TN.
Carriage Ride in Helen - Don't forget a carrot for the sweet horses! This is just one of MANY ways to explore Alpine Helen, which was just designated by the State House and Senate as Georgia's Outdoor Adventure Destination.
Watch the Whitewater Release at Tallulah Gorge - Only a few times a year can you see the dam waters released. The waters rush through the gorge, and it's truly an amazing sight!
Pick a Pumpkin at Burt's Farm - A celebrated fall tradition. Get your cameras out -- this place is beautiful and filled with HUGE pumpkins! The line for the hayride is long, but you have to do it at least once.
Sleep in a Yurt - Camping? Cabin-ing? A little of both!
Stop By the Georgia Guidestones - If you're already in the area, this roadside attraction is a must-do! Located near Watson Mill Bridge State Park, this "American Stonehenge" is cool to see.
On The Georgia Coast
Escape to Little St Simon's Island - Georgia's only all-inclusive private island, it has pristine beaches and is heaven on earth.
Shell Hunting on Cumberland Island - An island that doesn't allow cars or development? Yes, please! Pristine for camping and exploring. The wandering wild horses make it extra special.
Tybee Island - Play on the beach! Enjoy water sports! Climb the Tybee Lighthouse! The beach here is beautiful and not too crowded. Shark teeth can be found along the beach when tide is low, and it's not unusual to see dolphins jumping in the waves.
Seek Out JP Morgan's Ghost - Jekyll Island Club Hotel was a playground to the rich and famous, and a few of them decided to stick around.
Find Tree Spirits on St. Simons Island - When you explore St. Simons Island, you can uncover the beautifully carved tree spirits, or find painted rocks.
Wander Savannah's Historic District- Spanish moss dripping from the trees, beautiful homes, and of course - River Street! Your kids will especially love the candy shop, River Street Sweets.
Middle and South Georgia
Boating on the Okefenokee - The Okefenokee is one of Georgia's seven natural wonders! See the alligators among the black, swamp water. Stargazing is also popular here -- it's a certified "black sky park."
Chehaw Park and Zoo - Such a special park in southwest Georgia, especially the African Veldt Ride. And don't miss feeding the two-hump camel.
Head to The Masters - Parents win the ticket lottery? Kids 8-16 years old can go for free with a patron pass holder.
Camp in a Conestoga Wagon -The Rock Ranch offers the ability to camp in a real wagon, with marshmallows to boot!
Paddle on the George L Smith Blackwater - George L. Smith State Park is a gorgeous park to paddle the blackwater. Boats, canoes, and kayaks are available for rent.
Fly with Young Eagles - Your kiddos can learn to fly an airplane...for free!
A Boat Tour of the Augusta Canal - Don't tell the kids they'll be learning some history...they'll never know because it's too much fun.
Whitewater Rafting in Columbus - The longest urban whitewater rafting course in the world!
Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens - Stand with these beauties and let them fly around you.
Experience a Bit of Luxury - Ritz-Carlton's Reynolds Plantation is the BEST family resort in the state. Let the kids be pampered, if only for a weekend.
Ride the SAM Shortline Train - Love trains and history? A ride on the peach state's historic SAM Shortline Train is worth it! Some excursions make a stop in Plains, GA -- home of the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site.
In Atlanta Metro
Fernbank Museum of Natural History - No doubt about it, we think Fernbank is Atlanta's best museum for families. From free parking to the indoor playground called NatureQuest, and from high-quality rotating exhibits to Martini’s & IMAX events for adults -- this place has it all. Now, with the opening of WildWoods and Fernbank Forest there is just no other place like it.
Trail of Tears - Did you know the Capital of the Cherokee Nation was here in Georgia? The politics of the Trail of Tears occurred just north of the city, and you can tour what is left of the town.
BTS with Ga Aquarium - We are fortunate to have the Georgia Aquarium. With 10 million gallons of water, it's the second largest aquarium in the world. Check out the Sea Otter Encounter, or the "Behind the Seas" tour that will let you check out the massive manta rays and whale sharks from above!
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site - A wonderful way to explore the Civil Rights movement with the kids. And Ebenezer Baptist Church, where Dr. King preached, is across the street.
The Varsity - The world's largest drive in...grease and all. Don't skip the frosty orange.
Skyline Park at Ponce City Market - Enjoy an afternoon at Skyline Park with snacks, arcade games, a huge slide, mini golf, and amazing views!
Piedmont Park - Hike, play on the playground, have a picnic, fly a kite, swim in the pool, enjoy the Dogwood Festival, walk your dog, visit the farmer's market and SO. MUCH. MORE. You'll never run out of things to do at this popular park.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens during the Holiday Season - There is never really a bad time to visit the gardens, especially with so much to do year round. For us, there is just something extra special about the time when it's completely decked out in lights for the holiday season.
L5P Halloween Parade - One of the top 10 Halloween events in the United States. You'll see a diverse and eclectic gathering, and the kids will love it.
Phipps Santa - He's a little more expensive than other mall Santas, but we were so pleased with the photos and the experience. Every family should do this at least once. (Just make sure to make a reservation way in advance!)
Yellow Daisies at Arabia Mountain - The yellow daisies only grow within a 60-mile radius of this area, and only in the fall. A short climb to the mountain top here is a wonderful way to see them.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights - I took my oldest at 6 years old...wish I'd waited a few more years, but we'll be back. It's a wonderful demonstration of the importance of loving everyone, no matter what. Be sure to download the Family Guide before heading out.
Booth Western Art Museum - The Booth Museum has several hands-on programs for kids, but our favorite is the Sagebrush Ranch indoor playground. Play on a stagecoach, horse, and even a chuck wagon.
Chattahoochee Nature Center Guided Canoe Trip - I've only done this with my hubs, but the oldest will be able to do it this year, too. One of the best guided tours! Can't wait to take him!
Westin's Glass Elevator - A fabulous way to see the city!
Drink in the World of Coca Cola - The World of Coke is one of the most popular attractions in Georgia. Make sure to stop by the tasting room and try the Beverly!
Catch a Flick at the Drive-In - Pop some corn, pack a cooler, and head to the drive-in, old school style.
Shoot the Hooch - The Chattahoochee is guaranteed to cool your jets. There are several places in the Metro to do this, but our favorite still remains the trip in Helen!
Play in the Centennial Park Fountain - Check the calendar for brown bag concerts. Listen to great music while you play in the water.
Visit Stone Mountain Park - For fun in the outdoors, adventure, and excitement - this park has it all. Known for the massive carving on its rock face (of Confederate soldiers from the Civil War), this park offers a famous summer laser show, a Skyride to the summit, a scenic railroad, hiking trails, and so much more.
Mary Macs Tea Room - Great food, great history. Don't skip out without grabbing a pack of cinnamon rolls.
Milkshake at Flip Burger - Lunch or an afternoon treat stop here, and your kids will love you forever. They will adore the Krispy Kreme Donut milkshake, or try the Nutella and Toasted Marshmallow one. You can't go wrong!
Explore the Atlanta Beltline - A precious gem in our city, possible because of grassroots efforts. Rent a bike, see the art, play at the playground...
Climb a Tree with Tree Climbers International - A harness and a hardhat make this an exciting adventure.
Play at a Unique Playground - There are so many, you could fill an entire year exploring!
Find a Special Trail to Call Your Own - We especially love the Pine Mountain Trail in Cartersville and the Indian Seats at Sawnee Mountain in Cumming. Find a trail that is special to you, and hike it every season as they grow older.
Southeastern Railway Museum - Kids can climb on the equipment, touch it, run through it, and learn through all their senses.
Zip Line at Banning Mills - They are breaking new world records on a regular basis! Fun for the whole family, even options for younger kiddos - go for the day or stay for the weekend.
Take a look at this fun Georgia Bucket List from our Australian friends!
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After 18 years in software development, Lesli bailed on the corporate scene. When she’s not traveling, she’s hiking in the mountains or checking out Atlanta’s culinary scene, whiskey in hand.
Lesli has two kiddos -Cooper and Elliot- plus two bonus kids currently at UGA, and she’s happily married to her soul mate.