Unique Vacation Spots In Georgia Families Will Love

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Although there are SO many of the best vacation spots in Georgia that aren’t on Georgia’s seven wonders list, I was intrigued when I found about this list! When I started looking beyond Jekyll Island Georgia (many cool vacation spots), I found lots of unique places to visit in Georgia. Consider this your Georgia travel guide from a local of Georgia vacation ideas to some of the absolute best vacation spots in the USA.

view of vacation spots in Georgia - lighthouse and ferris wheel
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BEST VACATION SPOTS IN GEORGIA

How did this Seven wonders of Georgia list begin?

Back in 1926, a newspaper journalist asked the state librarian what Georgia’s most stunning physical features were and she responded with a list that was published in a Georgia magazine.

The places to visit in Georgia list was revised and placed in the Atlanta Journal Constitution in 2001 and the rest, as they say, is history

There are many other fabulous Georgia places and fun things to do in Georgia that are not on this “wonders” list that are great last minute travel ideas like Jekyll Island, Cumberland Island, and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Georgia beach vacation scene of small crashing ocean waves on the sand and a blue sky backdrop

We love visiting Georgia with all the fun things to do in North Georgia and secluded places in Georgia.

The peach state and the largest east of the Mississippi has incredible beauty and its landscape is as diverse as it gets.

Now, let’s get on with that “wonders” list, shall we?

#1 OKEFENOKEE SWAMP

While the “Land of the Trembling Earth” (coined by the Seminole Indians) is famous throughout the world for its alligators and cypress trees, it’s so much more.

view of an AWESOME Vacation Spots in Georgia YOU need to see - Okefenokee Swamp Welcome Center
Okefenokee Swamp Park Welcome Center

Located in a National Wildlife Refuge, Okefenokee Swamp Park is a vast wilderness of lily-covered water trails, islands, and prairies.

view of alligators sunning at one of the best Vacation Spots in Georgia - Okefenokee Swamp Park
A normal sight – alligators that are freely roaming the Okefenokee Swamp Park grounds – sunning themselves!
view of Okefenokee Swamp Park Black Water - Vacation Spots in Georgia YOU need to see!
Sweet Tea black waters of the Okefenokee Swamp Park
  • Jump on the railroad tour and go back in time to Pioneer Island
  • Keep your eyes on nature with the live animal show
  • Take a primitive adventure walk to the Observation Tower
  • See the Alligator, Otter, and Turtle habitats
  • Take a guided boat tour through the Seminole Indian waterways
  • Visit the bear observatories
  • Touch “Ole Roy” the big, bad stuffed alligator
  • Walk “into” the Okefenokee on the boardwalk
  • Visit the Nature Center
  • Check out the Swamp Building
  • See what’s in the Living Swamps Exhibit
  • Experience the Pogo Possum mascot creation and creator, Walt Kelly
  • Try out the Snack Shack (Yes, a gator burger is on the menu)
  • Ride the Light Show Train (during Christmas holidays)

Insider Tip:  The Okefenokee is within an hour of Georgia beaches.

HOTEL PRICES NEAR OKEFENOKEE SWAMP PARK

#2 PROVIDENCE CANYON IN WEST GEORGIA

The “Little Grand Canyon,” as the locals call it, is one of the most unique spots for a vacation in Georgia.

The view is jaw-dropping!  

A combo of farm practices, sand, and lack of natural vegetation caused the sand to slide downhill and form the gullies – up to 150 feet deep. 

Providence Canyon was formed by quite an accident… poor land management in the 1800s. 

Multicolored sand layers are the result and paint a pretty picture against a background of green trees and blue sky.

Insider Tip:  Don’t share deep secrets at this venue. Voices echo from the canyon floor and can be heard loud and clear from the Providence Canyon rim.

RVers stay at Florence Marina State Park

#3 WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA

Early on, Warm Springs Georgia found its fame when settlers heard about the healing waters that the Iroquois and Creek Indians had discovered.

view of Warm Springs, Georgia and bridge - Vacation Spots in Georgia YOU need to see!
with permission from GRANT DAWSON

In the 1800s, the town boomed with resort amenities surrounding the springs. But when Franklin Delano Roosevelt visited in 1924 and fell in love, this little community gained more wealth and attention.

Franklin D. Roosevelt first sought out Warm Springs, Georgia after hearing of the healing waters the Indians once took their sick to. He’d fought Polio for years and the disease had left him paralyzed from the waist down.

Warm Springs became a charming vacation retreat, but also a place where polio patients could find relief. Special pools had been created for them where the temperature was always 88 degrees.

Roosevelt visited as often as possible for twenty-one years and even died in his “little white house” during his presidency.  

The Little White House has been preserved exactly how he left it when he passed in 1945. There’s also the White Springs Museum, Memorial Fountain, and Roosevelt’s classic cars there.

Downtown Warm Springs has over 60 little shops in century-old buildings. We enjoyed one of our favorite Georgia vacations camping at FDR State Park, riding horse trails with Roosevelt Stables, and visiting Callaway Gardens.

Insider Tip:  The “unfinished portrait” is on display inside the Little White House. Don’t miss it!

LODGING PRICES NEAR WARM SPRINGS, GEORGIA

#4 RADIUM SPRINGS, GEORGIA

Not to be confused with Radiator Springs, Radium Springs became known in the 1500s with mentions from Spanish expeditions and Creek Indians.  

In its heyday, Radium Springs was one of the most bustling resorts in the state.  Radium was discovered within the Springs (which was thought to heal ailments), and in 1927 a casino, hotel, cottages, and golf course, and trails overlooked the Springs.

view of Warm Springs Postcard - Vacation Spots in Georgia YOU need to see!
Vintage postcard of Radium Springs Resort – Vintage Georgia USA

The Great Depression closed down the resort initially and it suffered major damage from flooding over the years.  Radium Springs made a comeback, however, as a historical gardens area and is now open to the public again.

There are gorgeous gardens, walkways, courtyard, gazebos, picnic area, resort ruins, and a terrace.  Self-guided tours are fun to see the 70,000 gallons of clear water pumped per minute with a steady 68 degrees from an underground cave.

Clearly, Radium Springs is one of the best choices for laid-back, outdoor places to go in Georgia.

Insider Tip:  Radium Springs is a lovely place to take the family to the park for a picnic.  It’s also a fabulous backdrop for family photo opportunities.

#5 STONE MOUNTAIN

Even though Stone Mountain is one of the most easily recognizable landmarks of the south, it has not become an overly crowded vacation destination for families.  

And uncrowded tourists spots in Georgia are my jam!

Its magnificence can only be experienced in person with the granite dome 650 feet in the sky.  

Did you know that Stone Mountain is 2 miles long and 7 miles in circumference around the base, making it the largest exposed granite in the world?

To reach the summit of Stone Mountain, you can ride the Skyride or hike the one-mile trail to the top.  

Take a scenic train ride around the mountain, experience the largest laser light show with fireworks, hike the fifteen miles of walking trails, or play a round of golf.  

The laser light show is a kid-approved experience of music and light synchronization. Promise me you’ll grab your oversized blanket and wait for the light show to begin with your family!

These Stone Mountain activities top many lists as the best things to do and best places to visit in Georgia.

Insider Tip:  Check Stone Mountain’s site for fun seasonal events like Snow Mountain.

LODGING NEAR STONE MOUNTAIN PARK

#6 AMICALOLA FALLS 

If you want to be a Georgia waterfalls chaser, one of the best places to visit in Georgia is Amicalola Falls.

Amicalola Falls is by far the tallest cascading waterfall in the southeast (east of the Mississippi) at 729 feet.  

Wow, it’s breath-taking in person.  

You can choose to walk the pathway (a bit more adventurous) or you can take the (more challenging) stairway to the top.  

If you are a true hiker, take the 8.5-mile trail to Springer Mountain, which is part of the famous Appalachian Trail.  

Not that skippy?  Then take the smaller, Amicalola loop.

When visiting Amicalola Falls, you can stay at the campground, cottages, or 56-room lodge

Take part in fishing the trout fishing stream, ranger programs, Geocaching, picnicking. You can also choose to spend time at the amphitheater and visitor’s center, the Lodge’s restaurant, the playground, and nine different trails.

Exploring North Georgia will teach you that beauty is where you least expect it. Never stop the search!

Insider Tip: While hiking on the waterfall trail, look for the moonshine truck that is said to have tumbled down the hill during the days of Prohibition.  

STAY AT AMICALOLA FALLS LODGE

#7 TALLULAH GORGE

Tallulah Gorge is a one-of-a-kind adventure because it’s a 1,000-foot deep chasm that has been formed by the Tallulah River flowing through the floor of the gorge. 

If you enjoy photographing magnificent nature, then Tallulah Gorge State Park has more photo opportunities than you can possibly dream of. 

Just west of the Georgia-South Carolina line, be sure to start at Visitor’s Center and watch the movie about the gorge before heading out to hike the rim.

Insider Tip:  If you are a serious hiker seeking some adventure, arrive at the gorge early to get one of the only 100 permits given per day to hike the floor of Tallulah Gorge.  Call ahead to ensure that the water levels won’t interfere!  

HOTEL NEAR TALLULAH GORGE ON THE LAKE

What fun places to visit in Georgia!

If you know anything about the How-to Guru, me, you know I adore sharing Georgia travel guides and the best vacation spots in the East Coast!

colorful street of Savannah Georgia with cobblestone streets and buildings and live oak canopy of trees over dirt path.

best vacation spots in Florida

YOU MAY NEED

Visiting these Georgia attractions means lots of walking, so you know what that means?

You need a good pair of lightweight slip-on walking shoes. THESE are super cute too!

A substantial hiking stick.

Cutest and highest rated polarized sunglasses.

No travel vehicle should be without THIS.

BEST PLACES IN GEORGIA FAQS

What is the prettiest place in Georgia?

Of course, there are many opinions on this but several on this “wonders” list come to mind. Tallulah Gorge has been voted the most beautiful. If it’s a gorgeous Georgia beach view you want, Coastal Georgia wins the prize.

Where can I relax in Georgia?

My vote would be at a St. Simons beach resort or a perfect North Georgia cabin rental!

Best road trips from Atlanta?

Savannah, Callaway Gardens, Athens, Brasstown Bald, Providence Canyon, Augusta, and Mercier Orchards.

What’s Georgia weather like?

Georgia boasts short, mild winters, but also at least three months of very humid summers. Spring and Fall are mild weather perfection!

Where should I vacation on the Georgia coast?

Personally, I would choose Sea Island, St Simons, Jekyll, or Cumberland Island.

Best vacations spots for cheap?

There are hundreds of gorgeous parks around the peach state. We personally think Georgia State Parks are the best. Most fees are only $5!

More travel that you may enjoy:

Visiting every Coastal Georgia county and island

Secretive Reasons to Visit Jekyll Island Soon

Best things to do in Beaufort SC post quarantine

Best Hidden Gulf Coast Beaches vacation spot

Which of these vacation spots in Georgia are you most excited to visit with the family?

Georgia travel advisory updates

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Shan

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 ☕️

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46 Comments

  1. Jaime
    June 2, 2016 / 6:45 am

    Wow! I’ve enjoyed our brief travels through Georgia, and we’ve stayed in the Atlanta area a few times, but I had no idea about any of these except for Stone Mountain! Absolutely breathtaking.

    • Shan
      Author
      June 2, 2016 / 10:17 am

      Thank you so much, Jaime. That’s what I love doing MOST – spilling the beans on these gorgeous, hidden treasures in the south. Thanks for your sweet words. Glad it was helpful.

      blessings,
      Shan

  2. Michelle Knight
    June 2, 2016 / 7:05 am

    I have never been there and I wish I would have a chance. What a wonderful post you have. I will bookmark it to plan for a vacation. Thank you for sharing!

    • Shan
      Author
      June 2, 2016 / 10:15 am

      Thank you, Michelle! I pray that an opportunity comes for you to visit. Georgia is a special place. Glad it was helpful.

      blessings,
      Shan

  3. Kim @ This Ole Mom
    June 2, 2016 / 9:00 am

    I had no idea they had all those gorgeous places to visit in Georgia. Thank you for sharing I am planning to visit my that lives in Georgia this summer.

    • Shan
      Author
      June 2, 2016 / 10:15 am

      Thank you so much. I had no idea of all of these either until recently, and that’s what I love – the HIDDEN Gems – without the crowds! I hope you are able to visit a few this summer. Be sure to let me know when you do.

      blessings,
      Shan

  4. Meena
    June 4, 2016 / 5:45 pm

    I live in GA and had no idea of these spots.

    Thank you so much for this post and all the work you
    did on it.

    • Shan
      Author
      June 4, 2016 / 5:48 pm

      Thank you, Meena! Your sweet comments are much appreciated. It’s my favorite part of travel writing – unveiling the genuinely, amazing places for families in the south. 🙂

      blessings,
      Shan

  5. Steve Patterson
    June 7, 2016 / 2:44 pm

    Now those are cool spots for Vacation Bible School

  6. Shan
    Author
    June 9, 2016 / 10:54 am

    Yay! I’m so glad it was helpful. They are truly beautiful and much fun.

    blessings,
    Shan

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  8. Dara
    June 10, 2016 / 7:12 am

    So I was born in Dalton and my dad’s family is from Claxton, but I have only ever been to Stone Mtn and Amicalola Falls! I at least knew about the swamp (although I actually thought it was in Florida)…My only excuse is that I am a Coast Guard brat and we didn’t actually spend my entire childhood in Georgia!

    Thanks for the tips. I will be sure to check some of these out 🙂

    • Shan
      Author
      June 10, 2016 / 8:09 am

      Glad to have you around, Dara! I understand, I was a military brat kid too and lived in Key West when small, til my Mom longed to be back in Georgia when my Daddy retired. The two that you have seen are great ones at least! Glad you are planning to check out the other ones.

      blessings,
      Shan

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  10. Ellen
    June 22, 2016 / 5:36 pm

    Believe it or not we went to the Okefenokee Swamp while on our honeymoon ha! I wasn’t thrilled at the time! We rented a motor boat and went all through that swamp. I was sure we would be lost forever and with all those alligator eyes poking out of the water – no thank you! It was just not my thing. Guess that was our first big argument 🙂 I can look back on it now and it is very humorous and my husband feels really bad about taking me there. But he has made up for it plenty since then and I am sure the place is improved since we went 39 years ago. I have been to all the other places except Radium Springs. This is a great list and these are spots that anyone would love to visit. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. Anna
    August 26, 2016 / 8:33 pm

    Cool post! I’very been to Stone Mountain. Every Georgiant must go once, preferably as a teenager. Also I’ve been to Okefenokee and Amicalola. I just recently found out about the little grand canyon. A great way to discover Georgia is to get a state park pass and camp at the different parks. Our family has loved doing this for inexpensive vacationing!

  13. Melanie
    September 22, 2016 / 1:36 pm

    LOVE all of these!! I love Georgia, but have only been to Stone Mountain and Amicalola. Providence Canyon has been on my bucket list for awhile, but the others are all new to me!! So glad you joined in this month’s linkup so I could add these to it! Hope to see you again next month!
    Happy Thursday!

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  16. candy
    February 8, 2017 / 7:57 am

    Well I guess Georgia will have to be put on our list of places to visit. Beautiful photos of the many great fun places to visit and have a good time.

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 8:51 am

      Thanks, Candy!

      Yes, put GA on the list. There are so many unique things to do here for families in every region. Let me know if I can help!
      blessings,
      Shan

  17. Kirstin
    February 8, 2017 / 8:16 am

    Wow! Beautiful. Hubby and I are planning to head down south this fall so maybe we will have to check Georgia out!

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 8:50 am

      Thanks, Kirstin. I may be a little biased as a Georgia Girl, but it truly is beautiful and so diverse. Come see us!
      blessings,
      Shan

  18. Bonnie
    February 8, 2017 / 8:50 am

    I have a friend who lives in Georgie…maybe we’ll check those springs out when I visit her!

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 8:53 am

      Yes, Bonnie. I highly recommend it. Such a beautiful part of Georgia – lots to explore!
      blessings,
      Shan

  19. Kelsey
    February 8, 2017 / 9:44 am

    I can’t believe these spots are in Georgia! I live in SC and will def be making some trips!

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 10:02 am

      I know, right, Kelsey! Some I didn’t even know about and I’ve lived here my whole life. I love South Carolina too and will be writing even more about it this year! Thanks for your input!
      blessings,
      Shan

  20. jehava
    February 8, 2017 / 12:07 pm

    These are all so beautiful! We really need to check these out. We went one time for a vacation but, would love to go back.

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 10:47 pm

      Thanks, Jehava. Georgia would love to have you back. Let me know if I can help with your Georgia trip in any way when the time comes!
      blessings,
      Shan

  21. Kristine-Bites of Flavor
    February 8, 2017 / 1:59 pm

    Great list!! I lived in Atlanta for a few years and only went to Stone Mountain. That place was amazing!

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 10:48 pm

      Thanks, Kristine. Well, it’s time for you to come back and visit us to see what you didn’t know you’ve been missing. 😉 Thanks for your input.
      blessings,
      Shan

  22. Jen
    February 8, 2017 / 9:37 pm

    Who knew Georgia had so many great places to visit? I used to live there and the only one of these I knew about was Stone Mountain!

    • Shan
      Author
      February 8, 2017 / 10:50 pm

      Jen, now I don’t feel so bad for not knowing about most of these until I was an adult. It’s time for another visit.
      blessings,
      Shan

  23. Shan
    Author
    February 10, 2017 / 5:17 am

    Most people don’t realize these gorgeous spots are in Georgia either — even me. We’d love to have you come visit our Peach State. Let me know if I can be of any help.
    blessings,
    Shan

  24. Shan
    Author
    February 16, 2017 / 5:27 am

    Thanks, Pat. These are the actual 7 Wonders of Georgia list created in the 1920s, but yes those you mentioned are awesome places too. Thanks for your input. Love my South!
    blessings,
    Shan

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  26. Katie werthmann
    January 30, 2018 / 10:32 am

    Oh my! I’ve never hears of stone mountain but I daresay now I am obsessed with after this post! I’ve never seen anything like that, not even mount rushmore!! MY pal and I were just talking about georgia last night and how i need to go back there since it’s been 16 years, but dang, now I have more reason to because it looks way more awesome than just getting stuck in atlanta traffic!

    • Shan
      Author
      January 30, 2018 / 12:46 pm

      It is the coolest thing to see in person. Amazing to me how long and hard it was to do the carving. It’s just a beautiful area! 😉

      shan

  27. Sam | Away She Went
    January 30, 2018 / 10:49 am

    I’ve never been to Georgia, but this is making me want to go! I would love to see those waterfalls!

  28. Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten
    January 30, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    This is really great article! I live in Florida and I had no idea Georgia had so much to offer. I will need to go North for a nice road trip to visit some of these areas. Stone Mountain looks so amazing! I wonder why it is not more well known?

    • Shan
      Author
      January 30, 2018 / 10:25 pm

      Thank you so much. Come on up and visit! We adore Florida too! 🙂

      shan

  29. Kristin
    January 30, 2018 / 7:55 pm

    My boyfriend said he used to go to Stone Mountain all the time when he was a kid! This is a great list of places!

    • Shan
      Author
      January 30, 2018 / 10:49 pm

      Stone Mountain is the coolest. It must be viewed in person for sure!

      shan

  30. Amanda Martin
    February 2, 2018 / 11:09 am

    I never thought of visiting Georgia but oh my!! The Tallulah Gorge and Providence Canyon are breathtaking! I had no idea!
    http://www.AmandasOK.com

    • Shan
      Author
      February 5, 2018 / 8:00 am

      Thanks, Amanda. I’m so glad that Georgia is on your radar for visits now. It’s a beautifully diverse state!

      shan

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