When making vacation plans, it’s easy to forget the many attractions located in your backyard. The metro Atlanta area offers an endless array of fun activities, ranging from world-famous attractions and water parks to educational opportunities. Consider taking a day or weekend trip to one of our favorite Atlanta staycation destinations to entertain kids, visiting family or for a personal getaway.
The Atlanta CityPASS® allows users to save 45 percent on admission to the six best attractions in Atlanta: the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Zoo Atlanta, the College Football Hall of Fame, Fernbank Museum of Natural History and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. A regularly priced ticket to all venues totals around $141 for adults. With the Atlanta CityPass, the cost is $77 per adult! For children ages 3 to 12, prices reduce from $116 to only $63 per child. The Atlanta CityPASS is perfect for a weekend of non-stop fun!
Available through the Georgia Public Library Service, Zoo Atlanta is free with the Zoo Atlanta Library Pass! When you check out and return the Zoo Atlanta DVD, you get a receipt that grants admission to the park. The receipt is valid for four weeks and allows a family of three to enter the park for free. Restricted to one check-out per year, adults must have a valid library card to check out the DVD. Zoo Atlanta is open Sunday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 363 days a year! Purchase tickets online to reserve a time slot.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a fantastic place to see an aerial view of Storza Woods, one of the few remaining hardwood forests left in the City of Atlanta. When visiting with kids, be sure to check out the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden for a fun time filled with splashing, climbing and playing. Daily admission for adults starts at $22.95 and $19.95 for children three and older. Garden Members or children under the age of three are free. Open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Atlanta Botanical Garden is available to visitors Tuesday through Sunday.
Another great find in the city is the Fernbank Museum, where science, history and nature come together! Home to the world’s biggest dinosaur and the largest IMAX Theatre screen in Atlanta, there is so much to discover. Permanent exhibits include Fantastic Forces, A Walk Through Time in Georgia, Giants of the Mesozoic, Reflections of Culture, WildWoods, Dinosaur Plaza and Fernbank Forest. The museum also offers fun ways for both adults and kids to discover the beauty and fun found in science and history. Tickets and time slots are available online.
More interested in spending the day in the sun? Head northeast of Atlanta to Lake Lanier Islands Resort! Spend the day relaxing on the beach at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, visit the family fun park, water park or unwind on one of several brunch cruises. Other attractions include golfing, boating, canopy tours, zip lines, horseback riding and sailboat charters. General admission is $34 per person.
To spend more than a day at Lake Lanier, visit the website for multi-day attraction admissions and overnight accommodations in campgrounds, lake houses, villas or the Legacy Lodge.
For more outdoor fun, try your hand at camping at a Georgia State Park. With almost 50 sites statewide and activities ranging from hiking, fishing and biking to golf, geocaching and paddle boarding, there is a state park for everyone! Overnight accommodations include cottages, campsites for tents and RVs, yurts, lodges and group facilities.
Preserving a Civil War battleground from the Atlanta Campaign, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers a glimpse of the past. Open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., dive into history at the Visitor’s Center to learn more about the area. The Kennesaw Mountain road is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and the grounds are open from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily. Visitors are free to explore the road during the week and a shuttle bus services the mountain during weekends. A $5 daily park entrance fee goes towards the upkeep of national parks. Frequent visitors have the option to purchase a $40 annual pass.
The Chattahoochee Nature Center offers kids the opportunity to embrace Georgia wildlife programs, become environmentally educated and learn about horticulture. Various interactive activities include following the Wildlife Walk to view beaver and native birds of prey, visiting the Discovery Center and much more! Open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m., tickets are available for purchase online. Walk-ups may not be accommodated depending on daily visitation traffic.
An hour and a half south of Atlanta sits the beautiful Callaway Resort & Gardens. The 2,500-acre attraction offers cabins, a hotel, two 18-hole golf courses, miles of walking and biking trails, a lake, beach and plenty of family-fun activities. Discover the most talked-about attraction, Birds of Prey, and learn all there is to know about these majestic birds. Take a bike ride at the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, which houses more than 1,000 butterflies. Glide across the lake through the self-guided TreeTop Adventure and Zip Line. The opportunities are endless! Daily general admission is $24.95 and special military discounts are available. Garden admission is free for resort guests.
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