Road Trip Ideas: 5 Family Friendly Places In The South You Can’t Miss!

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Y’all, the weather is warming up and that means it’s time for a family road trip. AmIright? We all want Spring and Summer travel ideas to hit the road with our people – spontaneous, short trips and longer ones. There’s nothing like making family vacation memories in an exciting new Southern destination. I’m sharing five super cool spring break and summer road trip ideas that your family does not want to miss!

view of road trip ideas teal car and woman's teal heels hanging out window

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There are so many wonderful things to see and do in the south from visiting incredible historic places to deserted beaches that are home to wild horses, the diversity of the state of Georgia is unmatched. This road trip begins in West Georgia (Columbus), travels up to Atlanta, then to the Northeast Georgia Mountains (Dawsonville).  You’ll drive south from the mountains to the eastern side of an Atlanta suburb (Stone Mountain) before heading down along the Atlantic Coast to the largest and southernmost barrier island of Georgia (Cumberland Island) where wild horses roam.

This road trip takes you on a big sweep from one side of the state to the other and ending up on the most unique deserted island you’ve ever seen. Of course there are many other Georgia attractions along the way that are fabulous but it depends on how much time you have (message me for questions).  For now, here’s a few ideas for a simple road trip to must-see places in Georgia that are fun to share with your family:


Infantry Museum - road trip idea in the south
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For all of you history buffs out there, this museum in Columbus Georgia is a must visit.  From tanks to sprawling fields green grass for picnics, this museum offers the best place for the whole family to enjoy some patriotic fun. There are over 65,000 artifacts to browse, so if you have a kiddo that’s a history buff, then this is the museum for you because it profiles the 238 year old history of the US Army from the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror.

Visit the National Infantry Museum for free but donations are welcome!


image of Coca-cola museum as road trip idea in the south
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This museum in Atlanta Georgia chronicles the over centuries long history of this mammoth corporation and it features exhibits at the end of the tour that offers a tasting of Coca-Cola products from all over the world.  Walk through and walk kids be amazed (you probably will be too) at how America’s most popular drink come to be and is now made all over the world.  Walking distance from the World of Coca Cola is the beautiful Centennial Park,  the CNN experience, and the Georgia Aquarium.


Check this little known state park in Dawsonville Georgia, a mere 50 mile road trip from Atlanta.  This gorgeous park is the gateway to the southern section of the Georgia to Maine Appalachian Trail. There’s a 57-room luxury lodge that sits atop the 739 cascading waterfall where the main activities to enjoy is hiking and just taking it easy.

view of road trip idea, Amicalola Falls, Georgia


image of Stone Mountain Park train- 5 Road Trip Ideas
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Stone Mountain Park in Stone Mountain Georgia is one of the state’s most favorite family places for fun activities. There are so many annual festivals and events, that you will want to go back year after year. There is everything from hot air ballooning, hiking, tennis, fishing, golf and more, they have a 360 acre lake along with 2 golf courses. So, don’t miss this fantastic theme park this summer!


view of Cumberland Island wild horses on the sand as a road trip idea in the south
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St. Mary’s is the gateway to Cumberland Island, Georgia’s largest and southernmost barrier island.  Catch the ferry from the mainland and see the pristine maritime forests, undeveloped beaches and wide marshes that whisper the stories of both man and nature. Natives, missionaries, enslaved African-Americans and wealthy industrialists all walked here.   You know, the Carnegies?!   It’s also the site where J.F.K. Jr. and Carolyn Bessette had their secret wedding.  The island offers rustic camping as well as a luxurious 5-star Inn.  Visit Cumberland Island Georgia before the temperature gets too high!

I hope this was helpful in your quest to find new and exciting places to visit for your spring break vacation, summer road trip, or any time of the year. I’ve written in detail about Amicalola Falls and Stone Mountain in my post, Vacation Spots in Georgia (the 7 Wonders!) if you’d like to check that out as well!

Did I leave out any of your Southern road trip favorites? Share them with us in the comments!

More posts related to road trip vacations that you might enjoy:

the Perfect Family Getaway!

Last Minute Travel

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Published on HuffPost, Okefenokee Living Magazine, and more, Shan is a Family Travel Journalist with a passion for helping women lose the overwhelm of planning family-friendly trips in the south. She shares travel reviews & insider secrets that Women REALLY want to know about Georgia, Florida, & the Carolinas vacations.

☕️ It’s THE REAL DEAL around here ☕️



  1. Misty@Joy in the Journey
    February 28, 2017 / 7:14 am

    Oh fun! We are coming from Ohio to Atlanta for the Southeast Homeschool Expo this year. Which of these would be close to us and a don’t miss?

  2. Joanne Tabares
    February 28, 2017 / 8:23 am

    I’d love the Coca Cola one! I need to see what sights there are to see here where I live.

  3. Erin Nichols
    February 28, 2017 / 9:06 am

    I have never been to Georgia, but after seeing some of these attractions, I am adding it to my travel list.

  4. Sasha
    February 28, 2017 / 9:18 am

    These are great picks! My kids would love to visit some of these!

  5. Alayna
    February 28, 2017 / 9:49 am

    These all look like so much fun! Stone Mountain Park would probably be my favourite.

  6. Ayanna
    February 28, 2017 / 11:59 am

    Great list! We used to live right outside of Atlanta and are thinking of taking a road trip back to Georgis this spring. We have been to the World of Coca-Cola, but not the others. So I will definitely have to share this with my hubby.

  7. Kim
    February 28, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    My husband JUST mentioned a Georgia vacation this summer. You may have sold me! Love all these treasures and know my kids would too~

  8. Harmony, Momma To Go
    February 28, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    Pinning BC I want to drive from NY to FL need cool places to stop on the way!

  9. Jennifer Dunham
    February 28, 2017 / 4:13 pm

    These are such fun places to visit! I have always wanted to visit the world of Coca-Cola, along with Hershey’s Chocolate World in PA. 🙂

  10. Amy Scott
    February 28, 2017 / 6:27 pm

    Cumberland island is magical! Still trying to get to Atlanta for Coca Cola but maybe when I’m allowed more caffeine lol

  11. Kenya
    February 28, 2017 / 7:21 pm

    These are alll great ideas we just moved from ohio to North Carolina and we are looking for fun places to go!

    • Shan
      March 3, 2017 / 7:41 am

      Yay, Kenya! North Carolina is a special state!

  12. val
    February 28, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    The Coca-Cola museum looks so great!

    • Shan
      March 3, 2017 / 7:41 am

      It’s pretty fun, Val.

  13. Adrienne
    February 28, 2017 / 9:20 pm

    I can’t believe Columbus made the list! There is a ton to do aside from the Infantry Museum, but I’m so glad that made the cut!

    • Shan
      March 3, 2017 / 7:42 am

      I’ll have to research that, Adrienne!

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  15. Sincerely Miss J
    March 22, 2017 / 7:37 am

    I’ve never been to anywhere else in Georgia except for the Atlanta airport!! Lol! Hope to explore more there someday!

    Sincerely Miss J

  16. Virtuous Mama
    March 22, 2017 / 7:39 am

    I love Stone Mountain! I haven’t been there since girl scouts, but I remember it clearly! The lights on the mountain at night are so cool!! 🙂
    “The Devil went Down to Georgia”

    Virtuous Mama

  17. Kate
    March 22, 2017 / 7:40 am

    I have not been to the museum in Columbus bit have been everywhere else on the list!!! We like to get together with my family in Jacksonville and take the boats over to Cumberland Island. We swim to shore for a picnic and then make a stop in St Augustine for dockside snack/supper on the way home!

  18. Dara
    March 22, 2017 / 8:44 am

    My brother lives in Atlanta so we’ve been there a few times. We’ve done the world of coca-cola but none of the rest! I have Stone Mountain on my list for next time though!

  19. Jen
    March 22, 2017 / 9:17 am

    These are great tips! We are headed from CT to SC in a few weeks…I’ll have to see which may be near our path. Thanks for the great tips!

  20. Kate
    March 22, 2017 / 9:40 am

    We live in Florida and keep meaning to take a road trip up to Georgia, but just haven’t found the time. This might inspire us to finally get up there! I know my son would absolutely love the Stone Mountain Park!

  21. Rachel Li
    March 22, 2017 / 9:44 am

    I’ve only been to #2 and these are all great ideas that I would love to check out! Thanks for sharing!!

  22. jehava
    March 22, 2017 / 10:14 am

    We have to make sure that we check these out next time we visit! We loved the Coca Cola experience! Great ideas!

  23. Susan | The Sparrow's Home
    March 22, 2017 / 10:20 am

    I lived in Georgia for almost 10 years and miss it! We LOVED Stone Mountain. Especially the laser show. When we visited with our boys several years ago, we were sure to go. When we lived there, we took a road trip to Savannah that was lovely. Thanks for the opportunity to think about Georgia today. :-)_

  24. Ref J
    March 22, 2017 / 10:32 am

    Great tips! I am eager to see the Coca-cola museum this summer when I am in the Atlanta area.

  25. Amy Blake
    March 22, 2017 / 10:49 am

    Awesome list! We are always looking for great places to take our family.

  26. Kimber Daley
    March 22, 2017 / 10:52 am

    Ooh, #3 looks gorgeous! Funny story … I have actually never been to Georgia, but my husband and I were chatting the other day about where we might want to live and I said, “Georgia”. I didn’t really have a good answer other than it seems delightful to me!

  27. Laura Rike
    March 22, 2017 / 2:09 pm

    Georgia is not even in my top 10 of top tourist destinations. But after seeing this, I’ll definitely go and visit Georgia with the family! Thanks for this! <3

  28. Britt @ Sweet Tea & Thyme
    March 22, 2017 / 6:03 pm

    Loved the Coca Cola Factory when we were in Atlanta last year! I was hoping to see the Georgia aquarium on the list, my son ADORED it and it’s not far from the Coca Cola Factory. Great list, those falls are mesmerizing.

  29. Krysten
    March 22, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    I have been through several of those places when roaming the south, I need to explore more. Especially the coca cola factory!n

  30. Bonnie
    March 22, 2017 / 7:37 pm

    I have a friend who lived in Georgia and she talked about those falls all the time. I really hope to see them one day!

  31. Emily
    March 22, 2017 / 8:22 pm

    Great list! We’re in Northeast Florida, so a Georgia road trip to hit all these spots sounds perfect! After Baby #3 is born, of course 🙂

  32. Anita
    March 22, 2017 / 8:30 pm

    Amicalola Falls looks heavenly, wow. I have been meaning to see Georgia for quite some time. I definitely need to make a stop there really soon.

  33. Jennifer
    March 23, 2017 / 8:34 am

    I had no idea about some of these places! Definitely on my list now for an upgraded stay cation:-)

  34. andrea
    March 23, 2017 / 10:34 am

    WOW all these places sound amazing! Thank you for sharing. We are taking a road trip this summer and will going right through GA I need to add a few of these places to our list

  35. Pamela Marks
    March 23, 2017 / 4:59 pm

    The falls looks like a great place to visit thank you for telling us about it

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  38. Kaitlynn
    May 10, 2017 / 7:48 am

    I have never been to Georga but that waterfall looks amazing!!

  39. Carissa Link
    November 27, 2017 / 8:02 am

    I remember going to Stone Mountain so many times as a kid! Loved it! And just recently my husband and I visited Blue Ridge in Georgia and we went to Amicalola Falls! My hubs would loooove the Coca Cola factory – haha! These are great places 🙂

  40. Dani Oldroyd
    November 27, 2017 / 12:36 pm

    Great list! They all look so fun!

  41. Lee
    November 27, 2017 / 4:27 pm

    These all look like great places to go!

  42. Julie Hoag
    November 28, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    I love these ideas! I’ve learned about a few new places to add to my family’s travel bucket list! My boys would love the coke site!!

  43. Chelsea
    February 5, 2018 / 11:15 am

    I haven’t explored the south much besides when I lived in Florida for a few years. I need to get back down there!

    • Shan
      February 5, 2018 / 11:29 am

      I love all the diversity of the South’s landscape. Whatever mood you are in, you can find it here! 🙂


  44. umiko
    February 5, 2018 / 10:06 pm

    I haven’t been to Georgia but I would like to visit Amicalola Falls and Cumberland Island National Seashore.

    • Shan
      February 5, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      Those are two remarkable landmarks of our beautiful state. We’d love you to come visit Georgia soon.


  45. Kristin
    February 6, 2018 / 10:01 am

    I’d love a chance to explore the south more! Or just move there because I’m SOOO sick of this snow haha

    • Shan
      February 6, 2018 / 10:05 am

      haha I’m sure, Kristin! To me, snow is fun for a couple days but not worth all the trouble that comes after that. 🙂 We gladly “visit” snow and come home to carry on with our pretty mild temps year ’round. I genuinely love the South so much.


  46. Sam | Away She Went
    February 6, 2018 / 10:14 am

    Those all look like such fun suggestions! I would love to see that waterfall. Hopefully I’ll make it to Georgia someday and can check out some of those places!

    • Shan
      February 6, 2018 / 2:09 pm

      Thanks! Yes, please come visit Georgia. It’s wildly diverse in its landscape and regions. So many fun things to see and do for families!


  47. Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten
    February 7, 2018 / 7:17 pm

    Georgia has so much more to offer than I realized. I love road trips and being from Florida, Georgia is so easy to get too for us. Thanks for the ideas.

    • Shan
      February 8, 2018 / 8:04 am

      Thanks, Sherrie! Yes, Georgia is like an unsung hero: mountains, Appalachian Trail, beaches, big cities, Mayberry cities, etc. The list goes on and on. We welcome our Florida neighbors!


  48. Maggie
    March 2, 2018 / 11:24 pm

    So many fun things to do! I haven’t been to Georgia before, except to visit Ruby Falls and Rock City (those are in Lookout Mountain, right? It was a while ago), but I’d love to visit the coast. It looks like a place from a favorite novel.

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