The southern state of Georgia is a large and diverse destination with everything from coast and countryside to sprawling cities and culture-packed museums. Georgia's history places it firmly on the map, with Martin Luther King being born here and civil rights movements. The state is also home to world-renowned corporations like Coca-Cola and some of the most impressive National Parks. Whatever you decide to do during your trip to the state of Georgia, you're sure to be enthralled and entertained.
The vast Georgia Aquarium is home to more than 100,000 animals ranging from marine life and reptiles to mammals and coral of all shapes and sizes. The whale sharks are one of the most popular attractions with adults and children alike marvelling at the huge spotted creatures. The aquarium features tons of fun, interactive exhibits, and you're sure to learn loads from the informative volunteers on site.
For those who prefer their thrills to come in the form of rollercoasters, Six Flags Over Georgia is one of the best theme parks in the state. Not only does the park boast epic rides and attractions, but there are themed characters from Warner Bros. productions and DC Comics to interact with all over the park. There is a range of rides to suit all ages and plenty of great shops and restaurants where you can relax out of the heat of the day.
Another excellent option for a family day out in Georgia is Lake Lanier in the north of the state. This reservoir, fed by the waters of the Chestatee River, is a picturesque destination in which to enjoy outdoor activities and fun water sports. From swimming in the lake and reclining on beaches to boating and biking, there are loads to do. Lake Lanier is also home to water parks such as Margaritaville, which feature swimming pools, slides, mini-golf, and much more.
Most kids love Coke, so it would be amiss not to visit the famous World of Coca-Cola while in the state of Georgia. This museum, located in the heart of Atlanta, portrays the history of the most renowned brand in the world, with films, exhibits, and information on the secret formula! A visit to the World of Coca-Cola also gives you the chance to taste over 60 different varieties that are available around the world.
The state of Georgia played host to the Summer Olympic Games in 1996, and the Centennial Olympic Park was built in downtown Atlanta as one of the major destinations of the games. Not only is the 21-acre park a lovely place to take a stroll of an afternoon, but it also hosts concerts, events and fireworks displays throughout the year. If you're there on a Wednesday in summer, you should check out which Wednesday WindDown concert will be playing in the park.
Martin Luther King, Jr. is probably one of the most famous Georgians in the world, thanks to his essential role in the American Civil Rights Movement. The National Historical Park named after King comprises his childhood home, his family church, the Ebenezer Baptist Church, a visitor center and museum, and the "I Have a Dream" International World Peace Rose Garden. This is a moving place to visit and should be a must on your top things to do in Georgia list.
The High Museum of Art is part of the greater Woodruff Arts Center, which presents a diverse range of art with over 15,000 pieces. The collections within the High Museum include pieces such as Auguste Rodin's The Shade. It was donated to the museum by the Louvre in France after a devastating plane crash killed 106 Atlantan arts patrons in 1962. The museum features artwork from all over the globe with portraiture and photography, and classical sculpture and contemporary design.
Another important site in Georgia is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This modern museum was created by the family of the late civil rights activist, Ralph David Abernathy, along with other important players such as Andrew Young and John Lewis. While the museum only opened in 2014, it has already become a famous attraction. It features exhibitions to highlight both former civil rights movements as well as current human rights struggles.
Lookout Mountain in Georgia combines both history and natural beauty as it features scenic trails, and pristine panoramas, all while being an important Civil War battle site. The mountain lies in the northwest of the state, looking out towards Alabama and Tennessee. The underground Ruby Falls is perhaps the most famous attraction here, with water powerfully flowing 145-foot down into a pool at the bottom of the cave - it's truly fascinating.
Stone Mountain Park is Georgia's most visited attraction, with loads of outdoor activities being offered for all the family. The park is centered around a massive stone mountain (as the name suggests!), in which visitors can take a cable car up to see incredible views from the top. The park boasts 3,200 acres, which include places to hike, bike, camp, and explore. Kids will love the summer activities, while there are festivals, photo ops, and train rides for the adults.
Another fantastic State Park in Georgia is Amicalola Falls in the north. Amicalola, meaning 'tumbling waters' in Cherokee, gives you a good idea of what this park has to offer, and you won't be disappointed when you see the 729-foot waterfall! Visitors can spend their time meandering through the plethora of hiking trails across the park during a day trip or choose to stay in the lodges and cabins along the way.
If you want to witness the breath-taking Blue Ridge Mountains but don't fancy hiking or driving yourself, take a ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Each season brings its special something to the journey, with ever-changing foliage making for a beautiful visit each time.