Summer Day Trip Guide from Atlanta

Looking forward to a long summer getaway is certainly a sparkling feeling to behold. The planning itself can often be as much fun as the forthcoming excursion. Yet with all the glory of an extended holiday, summer is also host to an unsung hero of adventure: the day trip! Whether spontaneous or planned, epic or nostalgic, close to home or pushing boundaries, the day trip has unlimited potential for whimsy and can fit comfortably into an otherwise jammed schedule. The day trip also offers an uncomplicated solution for families of split households. With elaborate custody schedules to bear in mind, a day trip might be a fun, practical option for families to spend time together without upsetting an agreement or igniting misunderstanding. At the end of the day, you’ll sleep restfully in your own beds after a satisfying adventure. Here are some family-friendly ideas for day trips from Atlanta:

In Georgia


1. Amicola Falls

-More than 7 falls

-State Park

-Tallest waterfall in GA (over 700ft.)

418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534

2. Helton Creek Falls

-Near Vogel State Park

-Swimming hole at the bottom of the falls

2641 Helton Creek Rd, Blairsville, GA 30512

3. Raven Cliff Falls

-Longer hike to get to the waterfall (5.8 miles, out and back)

-Incredible view once there

3000 Richard B Russell Scenic Hwy, Helen, GA 30545

4. Tallulah Falls

-Six different falls

-Huge, expansive gorge with stunning view looking up and down

-Cross the 80-foot suspension bridge for a totally immersive experience

-Lots of stairs

338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive Tallulah Falls, GA 30573

Historic Banning Mills

-Four levels of zipline canopy tours, designated by length and intensity

-Two-tiered ‘Crazy Squirrel Village’ for adventures and obstacles catering to younger children

-ATV tours

-Horseback riding


-Rock climbing


205 Horseshoe Dam Rd, Whitesburg, GA 30185

Providence Canyon State Park

-‘Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon’

-One of the most unique landscapes in GA

-Playground and picnic areas

-Hike down to the canyon and explore

8930 Canyon Rd, Lumpkin, GA 31815

Helen, GA

-Georgia’s German village thanks to the Bavarian architecture

-Enjoy the restaurants and downtown shopping

-Tube the Chattahoochee to cool off

-Hike at Anna Ruby Falls and bring a picnic to eat along the river

-Take a carriage ride through downtown

Etowah Indian Mounds

-With especially energetic children, conquer the six mounds built around 1000 A.D. (the biggest is taller than a six-story building)

-Learn about the culture, politics and religion of the former Native American residents via the park museum

-Follow the Etowah River nature trail to find examples of their fishing techniques as well as industrious methods of employing native trees for food and medicine

813 Indian Mound Rd SE, Cartersville, GA 30120

Callaway Gardens

-Lounge on the beach, splash around or paddle board on Robin Lake

-Get up close and personal with colorful, winged friends at the Butterfly Center

-Take in the Birds of Prey show

-Explore the 2,500 acres on foot or bike and be sure to stop by the gardens

-Play a round on the golf course

4500 Southern Pine Dr, Pine Mountain, GA 31822

Consolidated Gold Mining Company Tour

-Take the gold mine tour deep underground and hear stories of miner’s of yore

-After the tour, mine for gold yourself using the helpful instruction of experienced panners

185 Consolidated Gold Mine Rd, Dahlonega, GA 30533

Raft the Chattooga

-Fully guided white water rafting

-Choose your trip from a variety of options broken down by length of journey, intensity of rafting and minimum age requirement (youngest is 8 years)

-Equipment provided, meals served on the river

-If water is not your thing, consider the canopy tour

1251 Academy Road S-37-14, Long Creek, SC 29658

Out-of-State Destinations

Chattanooga, TN

-Guided tour of Ruby Falls

-Hike across Lookout Mountain for a sprawling view of the river and downtown or take the Lookout Mountain Incline Railway

-Get a sandwich from River Street Deli and lounge in Coolidge Park (carousel and interactive water feature for the kids)

-Walk across Walnut Street Bride, the largest pedestrian bridge in the world

-Stop by the Tennessee Aquarium

-Get spooked on the Chattanooga ghost tour

-Sign up for a bike or paddle tour with Rock Creek Adventures (equipment and sustenance provided)

Highlands, NC

-Hike the Whiteside Mountain Trail for unparalleled views of the NC mountains

-Take a dip in the refreshingly cool watering hole of Bust Your Butt Falls going west along 64

-Eat at The Pizza Place of Highlands for the best pizza of your life

-Stop by Kilwin’s for dessert

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