Researching spring break ideas? Here are a collection of places guaranteed to make lasting memories for an entire week or a long weekend, and they are all within reach of Atlanta.
Our 18 recommended spring break destinations for 2018 include towns in Georgia, cities just over the border, and a handful of places that require an (affordable) jaunt in a plane.
Just Down The Road
Savannah is often thought of as a place for adult fun, and that is certainly the case. But it's also a fantastic destination for families. Educational fun at the Children's Museum and Railroad Museum, PinPoint Museum, and Old Fort Jackson. Embrace your pirate side with tours and even a pirate-themed restaurant, and explore the Riverwalk with delicious eats and sweets. We're excited to return for a visit to the new Prohibition Museum (kiddo-friendly) and to check out the plethora of new hotels popping up.
If your family loves the outdoors, then Blairsville is where to point your car. Helton Creek Falls is easy to get to, and a great place to spend your day. It's close to Vogel State Park and Mountain Crossings, both superb stops. Blood Mountain is probably our favorite family hike in the state! Plus there is Sleepy Hollow for your Disney-lover, and tons of great places to eat. We'd recommend a cabin on the lake!
Ellijay is also a mountain town, with a bit of a different vibe. We adore the square, with shops and restaurants that will impress event the snobbiest foodie. The locals are wonderful - with open minds and open hearts. From music to art to photography, their love of the arts captivate visitors. Take the kids to Expedition Bigfoot for a super unique experience! Our favorite family hike in the area is Tumbling Waters at Carter's Lake, without a doubt.
Henry County is "comfortably south" of Atlanta, and it sometimes gets over looked. Don't make that mistake, because it is jam-packed with tons for families. We LOVE it here! Spring is the perfect time to see animals at Noah's Ark, or hike the trails in Stockbridge. Take flight in a Huey helicopter, visit a family-friendly brewery, or play some disc golf. And don't forget Panola Mountain State Park - heck, you can even sleep here!
Even further south of the city is Georgia's prettiest small town of Milledgeville. Fill up on a chocolate chip pancake breakfast, then bike around the Oconee River Greenway. It's always more fun knowing a SweeTreats ice cream is waiting for you at the end! Take the trolley tour, visit the Old Governor's Mansion, stroll through the arboretum, or relax on Lake Sinclair.
Callaway's newly renovated accommodations are the ideal "home base" for exploring this Georgia gem. With so much to do, you can stay active or relax and unwind (maybe a little of both?) Golf, tennis, hiking and biking, geocaching, boating...the list is enormous and perfect for some "spring training!" Spring is when Callaway comes alive with color and grandeur (and some great events!) Wow - and we haven't even mentioned the beach or the spa yet!
Augusta is more than just the Masters. A lot more. Visit the Augusta Canal for interactive learning and a water tour, take a kayak ride at Savannah River Rapids Park, or even take in an Augusta Green Jackets game, the kids will adore it. The trolley tour is super fun for kids, and the number of family-friendly (delicious) restaurants will mean you're never hungry! Oh gosh, don't miss Phinizy for hiking, and whatever you do, get a taste of the dessert at Boll Weevil. If you are traveling I-20 from Atlanta, be sure to make a pit-stop at Farmview Market where you can enjoy the only farm-to-table quick serve restaurant in Georgia and pick up a picnic of high quality, locally-sourced goods from trusted farmers and artisans.
Our top VRBO picks: The sweet Lindsie Cottage offers beautiful vintage decor sleeps six, and includes a sunroom with ice cream and popcorn maker.
Across State Lines
Disney World, Orlando, FL
We are heading to Disney this winter, but it is just as much fun to visit in Spring (before the heat and summer vacation visitors show up!) I've been panicking a little about preparing for our trip, but I got some help from a Disney Parks Panel Mom to ease the pain (follow the link to benefit from her knowledge as well.) PS - bring that swim suit. We may not be celebrating warm weather here, but you'll want to hit the water park in Florida. If you prefer the sea, then you might also consider booking a Disney Cruise. Either way, seeing Mickey is an ideal way to spend Spring Break!
Our top VRBO picks: Try this Disney Themed condo only 2 miles away, with strollers and everything! This Fantasy World condo is great for your break from the parks, with a lazy river, water slides and more.
Amelia Island, FL
How about horseback riding on the beach? Hiking island trails? Exploring the waterways? Sounds a little like heaven, but it's Amelia Island. Don't miss the family-friendly pirate playground or a trip to Fort Clinch. And if you're feeling super adventurous, you can take a ferry to Jacksonville! Our favorite? the pirate tuck-inn at the Ritz.
Martin County, FL
One of our favorite things to do here was a naturalist-led catamaran tour of the everglades - and we DROVE the catamarans! Other fun ways to explore outside include hiking at Jonathan Dickenson State Park and beaching at Blowing Rocks Preserve. We saw antique cars at the Elliott Museum, and fed turtles and sting rays at the Coastal Center. And I highly recommend a stay at Old Colorado Inn in Stuart - that private pool was heavenly!
Orange Beach, AL
I visited Orange Beach for the first time ever this year, and I was mesmerized by the white sands and crystal waters. I'd even dare compare it to Cancun - glorious! From sensational seafood and cajun eats to family condos right on the beach...we loved every inch of it. We spent most of our time in OB, but Gulf Shores is adjacent and offering just as many ideas for a family vacation. But seriously, if the beach is your thing...this one is the BEST for families in Atlanta.
Carter County, TN
Many people haven't even heard of Carter County in NE Tennessee...but we can't keep it a secret any longer. Black bear Retreat offers rustic accommodations, perfect for Off The Grid Mountain Adventures trekking or a hike along the river. Also, don't skip an afternoon at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Park and Shook Branch Park.
Westgate River Ranch, River Ranch, FL
On our list for three years now, Westgate is a fantastic glamping getaway in Central Florida. Stay in a large, luxurious glamping tent (or even a tee-pee!) Use your golf cart or bikes to head around the property - hiking, a weekend rodeo, climbing wall and zip line...horseback riding or airboat fun...there is just so much at Westgate. You'll gather together with other glampers at night around the community fire, swamping stories as the kids climb in the trees and play tag under the stars.
Only A Plane-Ride Away
We have a trip planned to California for break this year, hitting San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo. We asked our readers for some tips while planning and boy did they come through. A few of our favorites – rowing boats on Stow Lake, playing video games at the Musee Mecanique in San Francisco, surfing and redwoods in Santa Cruz, and whale watching in Monterey. We are taking a kayak tour in Morro Bay where we hope to see sea otters in the wild! There are so many options, we may never make it south to San Diego!
Monument Valley, UT
Driving through Monument Valley National Park and stopping at the breath-taking rock formations is definitely a must do out west, but for a truly spectacular experience you’ll never forget, book an overnight glamping trip to Hunt’s Mesa. The ride there is an experience in itself. There are no roads, we road straight up rock formations in an old Tahoe, but the risk was worth it. Our guide, a Navajo medicine man, told us stories under a brilliant star lit sky. We watched the colors of the valley change to gold and grey for both sunset and sunrise. On our way out, we were treated to a private backcountry tour of the valley climbing gorgeous arches and peeking into long ago deserted hogans.
Antelope Canyon, Page, AZ
The Grand Canyon is on most people’s bucket list, for good reason. But a lesser know, equally amazing site is about 100 miles north in Page AZ. This is where you’ll find the Antelope slot canyons. A slot canyon is narrow canyon formed by wear of water rushing through the rock, creating a gorgeous pastel world below the ground. When you go, book an early tour. It’s single file to get into the canyon, which makes the line grow as the day progresses. You can wait a few hours to get in, and some of that can be in the hot sun, so bring sunscreen, hat and water too. But I promise, it will be totally worth it. While you are in the area, be sure to visit Horseshoe Bend as well.
Although Breckenridge is arguably one of the best ski resorts in Colorado, one of the many reasons I love Breck is that it’s not just a contrived ski resort, but a real working, breathing town with a history beyond snow. There’s a lot to do in the town of Breckenridge beyond just playing on the mountain at the Breckenridge Ski Resort. We love to go sledding at Carter Park, learn about Breck's history at the Welcome Center and peruse the many shops and art studios in town - all free activities. For a break from the slopes, we also enjoyed a snowshoe hike of the Iowa Mine Trail, where we saw old mining equipment and had a tour of the miners cabin. And you can't visit Breck without getting stopping for a drink at the Gold Pan Saloon. Although not always the Gold Pan, there has been a saloon on this site since 1865. The bar itself dates back to the 1800’s.
Park City, UT
Utah is home to 19 different ski resorts, with Park City being among the most popular. In late season, the crowds begin to thin out, but the snow is still great. In fact, you can sometimes ski in March with short sleeves - and that's just what we're doing this year. I'm hoping we can do some dog sledding and take out a snow mobile. And forget Georgia's mountain biking - how about SNOW biking! Woot! Don't miss a stroll through Park City's downtown for museums, shops and great eats. Could our upcoming vacay be our favorite spring break ever?
Need more ideas? We love these budget-friendly options from our friends at Global Munchkins (oh! we love the all inclusive resort!!)
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