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 2018 adventures and vacations! What will you mark off your to do list this year??
Blairsville in situated in the beautiful North Georgia Mountains, and it’s filled with spectacular and unique ways to explore. From a Disney-esque Sleepy Hollow stop to Mountain Crossings, the only covered part of the Appalachian Trail! Helton Creek Falls is an unbeatable waterfall. Vogel State Park is another gem, with cabins and trails galore! Brasstown Bald, Trackrock, Lake Nottely…the sites are endless here!
In The Georgia Mountains
Len Foote Hike Inn - A 5-mile walk in, stay in a bunk, explore the area, and hike back out. Life changing. This is a Top 10!
Caving at Cloudland Canyon - Must be 6 years old, at least. Think mud, mud, bats and mud!
Mercier Orchard - 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! yum!,) pick up groceries for your cabin 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.
Snorkel in the basin - The Conasauga 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, 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 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 AT.
Drink from Cave Spring - Delicious water bubbling up from Mother Earth. Explore the cave while you visit.
Springer Mountain - Even if you don't plan to walk the AT, it's a fun short hike to the south-most trailhead.
Become a Georgia State Park Jr Ranger - There are three levels to this program; a great way to visit the state parks.
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.
Pick a pumpkin at Burt's Farm - A celebrated fall tradition. 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!
Catch a flick at the Drive-In - Pop some corn, pack a cooler, and head to the drive-in, old school style.
Camp in a TeePee - Bunkbeds are cool in the teepee, and the zip lines are fun during the day with North Georgia Canopy Tours.
On The Georgia Coast
Escape to Little St Simon's Island - Georgia's only all-inclusive on a private island with pristine beaches is heaven on earth.
Shell hunting on Cumberland Island - An island that doesn't allow cars or development. Pristine for camping and exploring.
Tybee Island - Play on the beach - as simple as that. It's beautiful and not too crowded. Sharks teeth can be found along the beach when tide is low.
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 beautiful carved tree spirits, or find painted rocks.
Middle and South Georgia
Boating on the Okefenokee - The Okefenokee is a Georgia-wonder. See the alligators among the blackwater.
Chehaw - Such a special park, especially the African Veldt Ride. And don't miss feeding the two-hump camel.
Head to The Masters - Parents will the ticket lottery? Kids 8-16 yo can go for free with a ticketed adult!
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 - This is a gorgeous park to paddle the blackwater. Boats available for rent.
Fly with Young Eagles - Your kiddos can learn to fly...for free!
A boat tour of the Augusta Canal - Don't tell them they'll be learning some history...they'll never know because it's too much fun.
Whitewater rafting in Columbus - The longest urban whitewater oppty 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.
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. 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. A behind-the-scenes look will help you appreciate it even more.
MLK National Historic Site - A wonderful way to explore Civil Rights with the kids.
The Varsity - The world's largest drive in...grease and all. Don't skip the frosty orange.
Atlanta Botanical Gardens during tulips bloom 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 the tulips come into bloom.
L5P Halloween Parade - One of the top 10 Halloween events in the country. You'll see a diverse and eclectic gathering, but 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.
Yellow Daisies at Arabia Mountain - The yellow daisies only grow within a 60-mile radius of this area, and only in 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 yrs old...wished 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, 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. Can't wait to take him!
Westin's Glass Elevator - A fabulous way to see the city!
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.
Mary Macs Tea Room - Great food, great history. Don't skip out without grabbing a pack of cinnamon rolls.
Milkshake at Flip Burger - Lunch is better than dinner with kids...or maybe just an afternoon snack. They will love the Krispy Kreme, or the S'more milkshake with toasted mini mallows.
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!
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!
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.