Boasting a range of natural landscapes, historic sites and world-class attractions, Georgia is located in the heart of the South. Bordering the Atlantic Ocean and nestled amongst the picturesque Appalachian Mountains, a day trips in Georgia range from bustling cosmopolitan cities to tranquil barrier islands. The perfect blend of old and new, Georgia is home to Civil War battlefields, charming churches, captivating modern attractions and plenty of cultural landmarks worthy of an excursion. Whether visitors take a road trip to the charming streets of Savannah, catch a glimpse of the swamplands at Okefenokee Swamp, or camp overnight in the Chattahoochee National Forest, read on to discover the best day trips in Georgia.
Jekyll Island (Nearby Hotels)
Known as “millionaires island,” Jekyll Island is a barrier island on Georgia’s coast that was bought by a group of East Coast millionaires. Sold to Georgia in 1947, the area is now lined with beautiful beaches, nature trails and recreation facilities. Visitors can play a round at one of the award-winning golf courses, visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, or indulge in a variety of biking and horseback riding adventures. The breathtaking beachfront paradise has a fun-filled water park for those with kids, while a quiet 10-mile stretch of beach is perfect for lounging, kite flying, swimming and unwinding from the stress of daily life.
Forsyth Park, Savannah (Nearby Hotels)
The crown jewel of Georgia, Savannah is filled with charming moss-draped streets and oozes with captivating historic landmarks. Nestled in the midst of the city’s picturesque cobblestoned streets is Forsyth Park, a 30-acre tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life. A perfect day trip destination, visitors can explore this historic mid-1800s designed park with a period fountain, walking trails and photogenic, towering trees that shade the lush landscaping. A hub of social interaction, visitors can find an array of festivals and local events happening throughout the year, where people watching and taking in the surrounding scenery are the premier activities.
Okefenokee Swamp (Nearby Hotels)
To experience a unique Georgian landscape, visitors can head to the Okefenokee Swamp and get a peek at the magnificent “Land of the Quaking Earth”. Located in the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, visitors who come to explore this area will find lily-decked water trails and reflective waters that highlight the area’s diverse wildlife. A vast wilderness of prairies, forest, lakes and jungle, take a boat trip out to Pioneer Island or Billys Island. Drive along Swamp Island Drive, hike through Upland Discovery Trail or take a canoe out to the Wilderness Canoe Trails to discover a maze of swamps and grassland. Home to 10,000 alligators and many endangered species, it is certainly a day trip you’ll never forget.
Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta (Nearby Hotels)
Standing proud as the world’s largest aquarium, the Georgia Aquarium offers visitors a fascinating insight into over 80,000 animals and 500 species. Visitors can easily spend an entire day at the aquarium, where animal lovers can spot beluga whales, albino alligators, penguins, sea otters and giant octopi throughout the facility. Featuring permanent and rotating exhibits, visitors can explore the popular Ocean Voyager exhibit to soak in awe-inspiring views of whale sharks, stingrays, hammerhead sharks and manta rays. Those who are really brave can even swim with whale sharks on a thrilling behind-the-scenes tour.
Chattahoochee National Forest, Suches
Nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts will be delighted with the abundance of adventure the Chattahoochee National Forest provides, as a day of road tripping around its scenic parts will leave you recharged for the rest of the week. Covering 750,000 acres in North Georgia, visitors are spoiled for choice in natural vistas, where you’ll find numerous lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Perfect for those looking to go hiking, canoeing, kayaking and swimming, it even boasts a variety of postcard-worthy spots to set up a picnic for those who prefer to stay put. If one day is not enough, avid outdoor adventurers can even pitch a tent and camp overnight under the stars.
Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta (Nearby Hotels)
Located in the heart of the cosmopolitan bustle of Atlanta, the Centennial Olympic Park appeals to all types travelers, from couples to families with kids. A 21-acre stretch of land, visitors can come here for a day of meandering through its lush landscaping, impressive artwork, and various pools and fountains. A picturesque park with plenty of history, it serves as a legacy of the 1996 Olympic Games and neighbours many of Atlanta’s top attractions. Catch a live show, attend an annual festival or take an audio walking tour of the area. The kids will especially love the Fountain of Rings, the world’s largest interactive fountain to incorporate the Olympic Rings symbol.
High Museum of Art, Atlanta (Nearby Hotels)
An impressive physical structure, the High Museum of Art is a Richard Meier-designed building covered in white porcelain and winding walkways, famous for its collections of classic and contemporary art. One of the most renowned art museums in the Southwest, browse through 19th and 20th century American Art, Italian works from the 1300s, and a range of sub-Saharan African art. Hosting an array of special events throughout the year, visitors can find plenty of educational programs, meeting and event facilities alongside a variety of dining options.
Rock City, Lookout Mountain (Nearby Hotels)
Perfect for those looking for a day trip filled with adventure, Rocky City is a unique attraction where visitors can soak in breathtaking landscapes. Home to Lookout Mountain, come to explore the postcard-worthy rock formation and nearby gardens nestled 1,700 feet above sea level. Nearby Ruby Falls is one of the most visited underground waterfalls with millions of geological formations. Reach the 100-foot waterfall cascading down the mountain and catch a bird’s eye view of the sweeping landscapes from the mountainside deck. Hike to Lover’s Leap to see the famous “Seven States”, watch a thrilling Birds of Prey show and visit the Fairyland Caverns.
Ocmulgee National Monument, Macon (Nearby Hotels)
With an impressive 17,000 years of continuous human habitation, the Ocmulgee National Monument has been preserved over 10,000 years of Native American culture. From Civil War battles to hunting for Ice Age mammals, the grounds of this monument are significant, to say the least. Dating back to when the American Indians first came here during the Paleo-Indian period, visitors can explore burial and ceremonial mounds, check out over 2,000 artifacts and walk the numerous trails that lead to archaeological sites. Aside from its historical significance, visitors can hike the Heritage Trail, go bird-watching or try their hand at fishing in the river.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site (Nearby Hotels)
A National Historic Site in Atlanta, the birthplace and grave site of Martin Luther King Jr. is a must see for historic enthusiasts. A dreamer, instrument for social change and important Civil Rights Leader, visitors can take a tour around where Martin Luther King Jr. grew up and walk in his footsteps right to the church where he inspired others. Meander through the International World Peace Rose Garden, Freedom Walkway and Reflecting Pool, and make sure to catch a glimpse of the Eternal Flame, a symbolization of his vision for a world of justice, peace and equality for all of mankind.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
Boasting 30 acres inside the picturesque Piedmont Park, visitors who explore the Atlanta Botanical Garden will find a vast expanse of colorful gardens, including a 2-acre interactive children’s garden. Meander through the hardwood forest with walking trails, explore tropical and desert climates in the Fuqua Conservatory, and soak in the sights and smells of the award-winning Fuqua Orchid Center. For those without a fear of heights, head to the Canopy Walk and stroll along the 600-foot suspension bridge through Storza Woods.
Explore pop culture at World of Coca-Cola
One of the world’s most popular soft drinks, the World of Coca-Cola is a museum dedicated to Coke. A fascinating insight into the brand’s historical milestones and presence in pop culture, visitors can also learn the process of bottling the famous drink. A perfect day trip excursion for travelers with kids, visitors can explore this two-level facility that boasts an engaging presentation of the company’s past, where kids can indulge in unlimited samples of more than 100 different varieties of Coke at the Taste It! area, with flavors from Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America.