The area around Atlanta is beautiful and well worth exploring. Highlights include the Smoky and Blue Ridge Mountains, as well as a number of small towns with thriving museums, cultural venues and romantic getaways. For another taste of Southern big cities, Nashville and Birmingham provide different perspectives on urban centers in the region. Regardless of where one goes on a day trip outside Atlanta, the immediate vicinity will certainly not disappoint. CDC information for travelers. Hours/availability may have changed.


1. Athens (1 hour 20 min)

Athens (1 hour 20 min)
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Athens is the home of the University of Georgia as well as a thriving indie music scene. The city has a number of historical buildings with typical Southern architecture in addition to several 18th-century house museums open for touring. A college town, it is quite walkable and packs many venues into its small downtown area.

For art lovers, the city offers an array of eclectic art galleries, both large and small alike. With two performing arts centers within the city limits, Athens is never wanting for cultural experiences, while sports fans can get their fill by attending the Bulldogs’ games at the university’s stadiums. Things to Do in Athens

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2. Chattanooga (2 hours)

Chattanooga (2 hours)
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Chattanooga positions itself as an affordable tourist destination and presents a number of historical, natural, and cultural attractions. The city’s downtown is a historical site in its own right, with several Civil War monuments along its pedestrian Riverwalk.

However, more formal history tours can be found at the 6th Cavalry Museum, the Cravens House, or the Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield. Named “Best Town Ever” by Outdoor magazine, Chattanooga also has plenty of outdoor fun. In addition to parks and the Riverwalk, there are also a host of adventurous activities to enjoy along the rushing Tennessee River, such as white water rafting, hang-gliding, and hiking. Things to Do in Chattanooga

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3. Stone Mountain Park (30 min)

Stone Mountain Park (30 min)
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Stone Mountain Park is Georgia’s most-visited attraction, located just a short drive outside Atlanta at Stone Mountain, the largest granite formation in the world. Carved into this formation are the faces of important figures from the South, namely Stonewall Jackson, Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee.

In addition to its historical exhibits, the park is also an amusement park with a variety of thrilling rides for guests of all ages. Beyond the rides are a rope course and a four-story barn space. For an overnight stay, accommodation is also readily available at the nearby campground and numerous hotels located in the surrounding area.

1000 Robert E. Lee Drive, Stone Mountain, GA 30083, Phone: 800-401-2407

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4. Georgia Guidestones (2 hours)

Georgia Guidestones (2 hours)
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The Georgia Guidestones, popularly referred to as America’s Stonehenge, are a collection of large granite statues located atop a hill in Elbert County, Georgia. The composition is made up of five vertical columns that hold up a central capstone which is a towering 19 feet tall.

Each of them is engraved with ten guidelines in twelve different languages: eight modern and four ancient. The guidelines, which are phrased as commandments, are meant to provide advice for living wisely in the world. The origin of the Guidestones remains an eerie mystery, as no one knows who actually commissioned the landmark.

Hartwell Hwy, Elberton, GA 30635, Phone: 706-283-2551

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5. Birmingham (2 hours 10 min)

Birmingham (2 hours 10 min)
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Birmingham is the most populated city in the state of Alabama and an important major metropolis in the American South. The city was founded in 1871 and quickly began to develop thanks to the fact that it was home to significant limestone, iron, and coal resources, all of which are necessary for the production of steel.

Today, Birmingham is Alabama’s cultural capital, with many large performing arts theaters, several well-attended annual festivals, and lots of museums, including the biggest art museum in the Southeast, the Birmingham Museum of Art. It is also the site of several universities and colleges, which add to the life and energy of the city. Things to Do in Birmingham

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6.Dahlonega (1 hour 30 min)

Dahlonega (1 hour 30 min)
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Dahlonega is a historic town tucked away in the breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. Settled during the early period of the Gold Rush, its heritage has remained alive in Dahlonega, where visitors can learn about the Gold Rush or even pan for gold themselves. The town is also at the center of Georgia’s wine country and has five vineyards and 12 wine tasting sites. Things to Do in Dahlonega

Dahlonega’s quaint downtown is listed in the Historic Register, and the community celebrates its history with a number of museums and tours. It is also known for its many festivals, which are dedicated to its rich past and fortunate place among the surrounding nature. Next read: Romantic Weekend Getaways from Atlanta

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7.Lake Lanier (1 hour)

Lake Lanier (1 hour)
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Lake Lanier is a manmade reservoir that was created when the Chattahoochee River was dammed in 1956. Originally a project to control the flooding of the river and provide water for the city of Atlanta, today the lake is a recreational center where lovers of the outdoors can enjoy swimming, boating, and water sports.

Several parks are located just off the lake, and there are also a number of forest hiking trails nearby. Thrill seekers can try jet skiing out on the water or zip lining through the trees above, while those looking for a more laidback afternoon can try fishing or soaking up some rays on the sandy banks.

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8.Mableton (20 min)

Mableton (20 min)
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Mableton is a suburban town of 20,000 people located just outside downtown Atlanta. One of its main attractions is the Mable House, which includes a historic home and a performing arts center in one building. Despite its small size, Mableton has five parks for picnicking, sports, strolling, and soaking up the sunny Georgia weather.

Another attraction is the Silver Comet Trail, a hiking trail that runs along the route of the old Silver Comet railroad line all the way out to the Georgia-Alabama state line. Mableton also has a wide selection of restaurants with both home-style and contemporary menus for visiting foodies to enjoy.

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9. Callaway Gardens (1 hour 20 min)

Callaway Gardens (1 hour 20 min)
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Callaway Gardens is an outdoor recreational area outside Atlanta, Georgia, that has activities for the entire family. The extensive property of the gardens includes several lakes that have boating, fishing, and watersports facilities as well as beaches for relaxing. Dining and shopping options are also scattered throughout the territory for easy access to the fun. But what really draw the crowds to Callaway are its many natural exhibits.

The gardens have a dedicated azalea garden, a historical pioneer log cabin as well as hydrangea and holly gardens. Its LEED-certified Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center is where more than 1,000 butterflies from 50 species make their home and welcome guests throughout the year. Read more

17800 US Hwy 27 Pine Mountain, GA 31822, Phone: 800-852-3810

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10.Toccoa Falls (1 hour 40 min)

Toccoa Falls (1 hour 40 min)
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Standing on the campus of Toccoa Falls College, Toccoa Falls is a towering 186 feet tall, making it one of the highest cascades east of the Mississippi River. Although technically on the college campus, the falls are secluded in a separate area surrounded by cliffs and tucked away from the institution’s academic buildings.

A private path leads to their base, from which a fantastic view of the area opens up, making for a lovely photo opportunity. The cascade is often called the most beautiful waterfall in Georgia, which is appropriate given that the word Toccoa means beautiful in the Cherokee language.

Toccoa Falls, GA 30577, Phone: 706-886-8451

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11.Brasstown Bald (2 hours 20 min)

Brasstown Bald (2 hours 20 min)
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The tallest mountain in Georgia, Brasstown Bald, is quite a sight and presents stunning long-range views on clear days. It spans the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountain chains in the northeastern part of the state. On high-visibility days, the four states of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Tennessee are all visible from the top of this 4,784-foot peak.

Its views change with the seasons, making it a worthwhile destination all year round. Brasstown Bald is accompanied by a small visitors center which has presentations on the history and ecology of the region in addition to its own gift shop.

Georgia Spur 180, Blairsville, GA 30512, Phone: 706-745-6928

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12.Providence Canyon State Park (2 hours 10 min)

Providence Canyon State Park (2 hours 10 min)
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Providence Canyon, fondly referred to as the “Little Grand Canyon” of Georgia, was actually a geological error created by the improper farming techniques that were utilized in the 1800s. This land formation was a fortunate mistake, however, that has created some of the area’s most picturesque views.

Most notable are the many pastel red, pink, and orange tones in the different layers of soil and rock in the canyon. The park has many hiking trails, in addition to opportunities for climbing along the canyon face and camping nearby. A unique feature of Providence Canyon is that it is the world’s only home for the beautiful plumleaf azalea, which blooms here during the summer months.

Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites Headquarters, 2600 Highway 155 SW, Stockbridge, GA 30281, Phone: 770-389-7286

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13. Nashville (4 hours)

Nashville (4 hours)
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Fondly known as Music City, Nashville is without a doubt the country music capital of the United States. In keeping with this theme, the city has a number of music-related attractions, including the Country Music Hall of Fame and the legendary Grand Ole Opry.

Nashville also has many smaller, intimate venues where future stars of the genre perform for local audiences. This Tennessee gem is divided into several distinct neighborhoods, each of which has its own personal vibe. It has a growing culinary and arts scene and is quickly developing into a beloved tourist destination for Americans and foreigners alike. Things to Do in Nashville

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14.Chattahoochee National Forest (2 hours)

Chattahoochee National Forest (2 hours)
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Chattahoochee National Forest blends seamlessly into another US preserved area, Oconee National Forest, to span across more than 867,000 acres of beautiful forest territory. This designated forest space has dedicated wilderness areas, miles of trails, and loads of opportunities for outdoor recreation activities. These include everything from hiking, horseback riding, hunting, and fishing to wildlife watching, picnicking, and rock and mineral collecting.

One of the most famous sites in the forest is the Chattooga River, which creates its own beautiful views and is a popular white water rafting route. Other attractions include the Track Rock Gap Petroglyph Site and Scull Shoals Historic Site.

Suches, GA 30572, Phone: 770-297-3000

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15. Gatlinburg (4 hours)

Gatlinburg (4 hours)
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Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a bit further away from Atlanta with a roughly four-hour drive, but it has much to offer as it is situated next to Smoky Mountain National Park, which offers 150 trails winding through 800 miles of gorgeous natural forestry.

The area contains an impressive diversity of wildlife and is one of only a few International Biosphere Reserves across the world. Some well-known natural Gatlinburg attractions within the park include Cades Cove, a popular biking area, and Roaring Fork, the site where two stunning waterfalls meet. The town abounds with historical cabins and mills that give a glimpse of what Smoky Mountain life was like many years ago. Things to Do in Gatlinburg

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16.Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge (1 hour 10 min)

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge (1 hour 10 min)
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Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is located in the central part of Georgia and provides a habitat for many species of flora and fauna in its wetland and forest environments. Although this land is fertile and well preserved today, overuse in the late 19th-and early 20th-centuries meant that it used to be barren. Some of the most famous inhabitants of Piedmont are beavers, wood ducks, turkeys, white-tailed deer, and the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker.

The refuge has several different hiking trails and permits hiking and fishing within the established regulations. Naturally, because of the diversity of animal species it boasts, Piedmont is also a great place for bird and animal watching

718 Juliette Road, Round Oak, GA 31032, Phone: 478-986-5441

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17.Consolidated Gold Mine (1 hour 20 min)

Consolidated Gold Mine (1 hour 20 min)
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A trip to Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahnolega, Georgia, is a great way to experience the Gold Rush without having to take a trip back in time. The mine runs deep into the ground to a depth of 200 feet and offers tours, interactive experiences, and educational programs about both gold and gem mining.

Tour guides explain the processes for mining, extracting, and refining these precious objects, and then guests are invited to try their own hands at panning for gold in the water and sifting through rocks in search of shiny rubies, emeralds, and amethysts, to name just a few of the stones featured here.

185 Consolidated Gold Mine Road, Dahlonega, GA 30533, Phone: 706-864-8473

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18.Andersonville National Historic Site (2 hours)

Andersonville National Historic Site (2 hours)
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Andersonville National Historic Site, which is run by the National Park Service, is an important historical landmark in the southern United States. It is here that Camp Sumter, a prisoner-of-war camp used by the Confederate Army in the final year of the Civil War, has been restored and maintained. During the war, more than 45,000 Union soldiers were held captive at the camp. 13,000 of them died, a testament to the poor conditions which led to high rates of diseases such as scurvy and dysentery.

Today, visitors can take a look at exhibits connected to the site, a cemetery with the graves of the prisoners of war and the National Prisoner of War Museum, in order to gain a better understanding of the place this location holds in history.

760 POW Rd, Andersonville, GA 31711, Phone: 229-924-0343

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19.Anna Ruby Falls (2 hours)

Anna Ruby Falls (2 hours)
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Anna Ruby Falls is a waterfall and recreational area located deep in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. Composed of two drops, one from Curtis Creek and one from York Creek, Anna Ruby Falls is accessible via a ½-mile-long asphalt trail and two longer unpaved forest trails. The falls have their own dedicated visitors center, which adds to the fun of a trip here.

The center features a gift shop with local art and craft items for sale, snacks and drinks for purchase, and guided activities such as stargazing. Fishing aficionados can cast their bait into one of the creeks and see if they land a bite, while others might choose to enjoy a picnic in one of the designated areas under the falls.

3455 Anna Ruby Falls Road, Helen, GA 30545, Phone: 706-878-1448

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20.National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force (3 hours 30 min)

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force (3 hours 30 min)
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The National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force is a museum-tribute to the Eighth Air Force of the United States, which served in Europe during World War II. The museum is located in Pooler, Georgia, a suburb of the city of Savannah. In its exhibitions, the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth incorporates curated information, artifacts, and personal accounts of the soldiers who served in the force.

Of particular note are its collection of World War II-era aircraft and the outdoor memorial garden that stands next to the museum building and serves as a memorial to the veterans who served in the conflict.

175 Bourne Avenue, Pooler, GA 31322, Phone: 912-748-8888

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21.Museum of Aviation (1 hour 35 min)

Museum of Aviation (1 hour 35 min)
© Museum of Aviation


The Museum of Aviation in Robins, Georgia, has five venues with two main exhibition projects, namely its aircraft exhibit and its museum of aviation projects. Situated close to the Robins Air Force Base, it is actually run by the military. As one might expect, the museum’s 93 airplanes are housed in two separate airplane hangars, while other exhibits have been placed in the other buildings in the facility.

A unique characteristic of this museum is that its aircraft span a wide range of categories, including bombers, cargo planes, drones, and helicopters. Guided tours on the history of aviation are available, as are teacher training programs and team building exercises.

1942 Heritage Blvd, Robins AFB, GA 31098, 478-926-6870

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22.Rock City Gardens (2 hours)

Rock City Gardens (2 hours)
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Rock City Garden is the name given to a territory at the top of Lookout Mountain in Georgia. This area brings together many different natural attractions that showcase the gardens’ cliff formations, waterfalls, and caverns. All of these lie along the 4,100-foot-long Enchanted Trail, which runs along both natural scenery and manmade attractions for the entire family.

The latter include the Lover’s Leap rocky cliff, High Falls, and Fairyland Caverns. Curated entertainment includes a fantastical installation of fairytale scenes and the heart-stopping Swing-a-Long suspension rope bridge. Another notable staple of the gardens is its one-of-a-kind peregrine falcon nursing and release program.

1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750, Phone: 706-820-2531

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23.Mercier Orchards (1 hour 40 min)

Mercier Orchards (1 hour 40 min)
© Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia, is a family-owned farm that has been in operation for over 70 years. The orchard produces a wide range of fruits and has many exciting attractions and events for visitors to enjoy. Guests can spend the day picking their own in-season fruits and then enjoy a tour of the orchard’s hard apple cider brewery.

In addition to adult beverages, the owners also make great use of their fruits by incorporating them into sweet treats and baked goods for purchase on site. Considering that the orchard also has a deli that serves breakfast and lunch, it’s easy to make a trip to Mercier a full day out.

8660 Blue Ridge Drive, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513, Phone: 706-632-3411

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24.Amicalola Falls State Park (1 hour 30 min)

Amicalola Falls State Park (1 hour 30 min)
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Amicalola Falls State Park is unique in that it contains a trail leading to Springer Mountain, which is the southern endpoint of the famed Appalachian Trail. The state park is home to the gorgeous Amicalola Falls that give it is name as well as many other natural features that make it a popular destination with outdoors aficionados.

Its well-equipped visitors center has maps of its trails, exhibits about the history and ecology of the area, and even live animals. For overnight stays, visitors have a number of accommodation options, from modest campgrounds to luxury hotels and even a backcountry lodge.

280 Amicalola Falls S.P. Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534

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25.Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (1 hour 50 min)

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (1 hour 50 min)
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This historical park and site of military significance covers parts of both northern Georgia and southern Tennessee near the city of Chattanooga, which was a desirable strategic population center during the Civil War. At the time, Chattanooga was a major railroad hub and was considered an outlet to the rest of the Confederate territories.

For several months in 1863, the Union and Confederate armies fought for control of the area, with Union soldiers ultimately emerging victorious and successfully pushing the Confederates southward. Today, rangers give guided tours of the battlefield to visitors who come to learn about its rich, significant history.

3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742, Phone: 706-866-9241

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25 Best Day Trips from Atlanta, Georgia



More Ideas: Six Flags White Water

Six Flags White Water is a water park in Marietta, Georgia offering play areas, amusement rides, thrill rides and live entertainment over 69 acres. The park is located just 20 miles northwest of Atlanta.

Children’s areas at the water park include Buccaneer Bay for the littlest park visitors. A 25-foot tall pirate ship “beached” on a splash pad offers fountains and nooks and corners to explore. Captain Kid’s Cove is a playground-like environment in a shallow pool with a pirate theme, stocked with water contraptions like tipping buckets, waterfall curtains, water spouting pipes and small water slides. Lily Pad Crossing offers older children an obstacle course over a pool as they balance on lily pads to cross the water, holding on to a rope above.

Family play areas include the Little Hooch River, a lazily winding river perfect for wading, or floating in an inner tube. Visitors pass under bridges and through waterfalls, or can float off to a small pool, for those who want to stay in place for a while rather than drifting along the quarter mile river. Family friendly water slides include the Bahama Bob, which kids can ride in a tube with an adult through 600 feet of rapids. The Run-A-Way River also allows small children to ride with an adult, as they pass through complete darkness in enclosed tubes through more than 700 feet of twists and turns. The ride begins with a 70-foot drop in total darkness. Body slides for the family include Black River Falls, Dragon’s Tail and Lizard’s Tail, Mutiny Chute and Three Slide Body Flume and the Tidal Wave. The Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool offers 700,000 gallons of ocean-sized waves, with plenty of space in the shallows for relaxing.

Among the park’s more thrilling slides is the Dive Bomber. The tallest slide at over 10 stories high, the Dive Bomber drops riders at record breaking speeds down a slope of close to 90 degrees into the pool below. The Dive Bomber is a recipient of the Golden Ticket award, given annually to the best new water ride nationwide. Other thrilling slides include the Tornado and Typhoon Twister, both of which drop guests on rafts through bowl shaped chutes which circle them into a drain to the pool below. The Wahoo Racer is a head-first body slide in which 6 visitors race down 6 separate chutes, while the Gulf Coast Screamer send guests feet-first down a high walled water slide to be launched into the air before landing in the water below.

A wide variety of concession stands and dining options offer everything from healthy salads and wraps, to pizza, hamburgers, ice cream and snacks. Souvenir shops are stocked with everything from candy to t-shirts, swimsuits, sunscreen and beachwear.

History: Six Flags White Water was originally White Water Atlanta, and opened in 1984. In 1999, the park was purchased by the same limited partnership group, which owns Six Flags Over Georgia, the leading area theme park. The only Six Flags theme park that does not use the Hurricane Harbor name, White Water is one of just four stand-alone water parks operated by Six Flags.

Recent updates to the park have included the 2011 introduction of the Flash Pass, which made the water park the first in the world to incorporate the virtual queuing system into their rides. The Flash Pass reduces wait time for rides, and allows guests to wait in the pools, cabanas, or anywhere in the park instead of standing in line at each ride. The successful introduction soon spread to other Six Flags parks nationwide. The Dive Bomber was added in 2015, and the Wahoo Racer in 2016.

The park continues to attract a healthy attendance, even after the opening of Six Flags Hurricane Harbor just 15 miles away at Six Flags over Georgia. The park hosts upwards of 500,000 guests each year, ranking it in the top 15 of North American water parks.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Group outings are available for corporate groups, schools, birthday parties and others. Customizable packages are available that include discounted tickets for groups of over 15, catering and private event space.

The Dine In Movie events are the park’s most popular. The summer shows feature family friendly films on a large outdoor screen, while visitors watch from lounge chairs, or while floating in the Atlanta Ocean Wave Pool.

250 Cobb Parkway N #100 Marietta, GA 30062, Phone: 770-739-3400

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More Ideas: Telfair Museums

The Telfair Museums of Savannah, Georgia, consist of three facilities, the Telfair Academy, Owens-Thomas House, and Jepson Center. Collectively, they are the oldest public art museums in the southern United States. Both the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House are home to artwork from the 17th century through the early 20th century.

The collection includes American and European paintings, textiles, decorative arts, furnishings, books, and sculptures. Pieces from the school of American Impressionism as well as the Ashcan School of Realism are considered highlights of the collection. Acclaimed artists represented in the permanent collection include George Bellows, Frederick Frieseke, Robert Henri, and George Luks. The Owens-Thomas House includes a parterre garden and the original carriage house, which is one of the oldest remaining examples of urban slave quarters in the United States. Both the Telfair Academy and the Owens-Thomas House were built by the British architect William Jay in the Regency style, inspired by classical antiquity and named for the Prince Regent, King George IV. The two buildings are quite different, however, and architectural historians consider the Owens-Thomas House as one of the United States’ best examples of Regency-style architecture. The Jepson Center is a contemporary art space featuring over 7,500 square feet of exhibit space. The collection at the Jepson includes the Kirk Varnedoe Collection, named for the late Savannah resident and MoMA curator. The collection includes works on paper by some of the most influential American artists, including Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, and Chuck Close. The diverse collection at the Jepson spans the past 50 years and includes Sylvia Shaw Judson’s iconic Bird Girl statue, made famous by the photograph on the cover of the book, Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The Telfair is also home to the largest American collection of paintings and drawings by Kahlil Gibran, author of The Poet. ArtZeum at the Jepson is an interactive museum space for children that uses reproductions of works in the Telfair collection to educate and entertain, asking children to consider what art is and why we make it.

History: The Telfair Museums were founded in 1883 when Mary Telfair, a Savannah resident and philanthropist, bequeathed her home and furnishings to the Georgia Historical Society. The Telfair Academy was originally Mary Telfair’s home. It was built between 1818 and 1819 for her brother, Alexander Telfair. Mary and Alexander’s father, Edward Telfair, was a Revolutionary War patriot and once governor of the state of Georgia. After Mary donated the home to be used as a museum, it underwent significant renovations, including the addition of a rotunda and sculpture gallery. The museum opened in 1886 as the Telfair Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Owens-Thomas house was built between 1816 and 1819. Just three years after the home’s completion, the owners fell into financial hardship. The home was sold and passed through a few owners before George Welshman Owens, a Georgia congressman, purchased the property in 1830. The house remained in the Owens family until 1951, when George’s granddaughter Mary bequeathed it, along with its contents, to the Telfair Museums. The Jepson Center, home of the Telfair Museums’ contemporary art collection, was built in 2006, designed by the acclaimed Israeli-Canadian-American architect Moshe Safdie.

Ongoing Programs and Education: Tours of the Telfair Academy include the Mansion to Museum tour as well as tours of current special exhibitions. Tours of the Owens-Thomas House focus on the Owens family furnishings, the decorative arts collection, and the history of the carriage house and slave quarters. The Jepson Center offers architectural tours and tours based on the current exhibits. Telfair Museums offer a wide range of classes, from painting and drawing to yoga. Gallery talks and lecture programs are geared towards adults. Children’s programs include hands-on workshops and curriculum-focused tours. The Jepson Center is home to a 220-seat auditorium, which hosts many of these programs as well as film screenings and performances. The Teen Council is a group of up to 20 high school studentts who create programming for other teens as well as plan and promote community events.

Past and Future Exhibits: Ongoing exhibits at the Telfair Museums include From Mansion to Museum at the Telfair Academy, highlighting the story of the academy’s creation, the founding museum director, the architects of the home and its transformation, and the story of the slaves who lived in the house at the time. Hot Pink by French artist Anne Ferrer is an installation of a large inflatable sculpture in the Jepson Center atrium. Complex Uncertainties: Artists in Post War America is an ongoing Jepson Center exhibit featuring works by noted American artists from the museum’s contemporary collection.

207 W. York Street, Savannah, GA 31401, Phone: 912-790-8800

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More Ideas: Booth Western Art Museum

Located in Cartersville, Georgia, the Booth Western Art Museum is the second-largest art museum in the state, featuring the largest permanent exhibition in the United States dedicated to the art of the American West. The Booth Western Art Museum opened in August of 2003, occupying an 8,000-square-foot space in downtown Cartersville with the purpose of displaying art and artifacts related to the role of the American West in the development and history of the United States.

History

In 2006, the museum became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, and in 2008, was invited to join the Museums West Consortium. A major expansion in the fall of 2009 brought an additional 4,000 square feet of exhibit space, making the museum the second-largest art museum in Georgia. The museum has been nominated for a National Medal for Museum and Library Service and is considered a major resource of historic and contemporary art of the American West.

Permanent Exhibits

The museum’s exhibits chronicle the history of the American West from an artistic perspective, from the works of its indigenous people to its role in American expansion and through the present-day works of contemporary Western artists. Works by early Western artists such as Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Remington are highlighted, although the bulk of the museum’s permanent art collection is comprised of works by living masters and contemporary artists. A variety of museum galleries showcase Western works throughout history, including a Native Hands Gallery, which features more than 200 works by historic and contemporary Western indigenous artists. The flagship American West Gallery is divided into four sections, offering a 100-year overview of traditional Western art along with several galleries detailing the lives of indigenous tribes and their conflict with early American settlers. The lives and experiences of American pioneers are showcased in the Neva and Don Rountree Heading West Gallery, which highlights imagery of stagecoaches and covered wagons. A Cowboy Gallery is dedicated to the legendary heroic figures of Western culture, and a Mythic West Gallery explores depictions of the West in film, television, and print media. The Modern West Gallery features works by contemporary artists such as T.C. Cannon, Allan Houser, Thom Ross, and Donna Howell-Sickles, while underrepresented Western artists, including female and African-American artists, are highlighted in the Faces of the West Gallery.

Several historical galleries include multimedia holdings to showcase the American West’s role in major historical events, including a War is Hell Gallery, featuring paintings of battles and defining moments of the American Civil War. The museum also holds a collection of one-page signed letters from every American president, along with an extensive collection of presidential memorabilia, including portrait photographs by photographer Yousuf Karsh. A two-story Sculpture Court also showcases large-scale works by artists such as Vic Payne, Herb Mignery, and John Coleman.

In the interactive children’s gallery Sagebrush Ranch, a variety of exhibits offer hands-on learning opportunities about the art and history of the American West. A Foreman Rodeo Joe statue greets visitors to the ranch, and a ¾-scale Stagecoach allows children to climb inside and simulate driving on a desert landscape. Interactive play areas include a Bunkhouse, which offers cowboy and cowgirl dress-up opportunities, a Tall Tales Barn, showing vintage Western-themed television programs, and an Artist’s Studio and Puzzle Corral, offering games, puzzles, and Western-themed art activities. Barrel Computer Stations throughout the playspace teach fundamental art principles and offer facts about Western settlers and explorers.

In addition to exhibits, a 60-seat multimedia theater offers showings of the museum’s award-winning short documentary “The American West.” A museum cafe offers light American fare, and a museum store sells books, art, and handmade crafts with Western themes.

Ongoing Programs and Education

In addition to student field trip opportunities tailored to Georgia curriculum standards, the Booth Western Art Museum also offers a variety of family and adult art workshops, hosted by the Booth Artists’ Guild. Workshop classes are offered on the first Tuesday of every month, focusing on multidisciplinary arts, as well as topics related to art marketing and careers in the art industry. The Booth Photography Guild offers open photography instruction and community events to participants of all skill levels, including monthly photography guild meetings, a lecture series, and an annual juried photography exhibit. Writers of all genres, including poetry and songwriting, are also invited to participate in events held by the Booth Writers Guild.

An annual Southeastern Cowboy Gathering is held in March, featuring a gallery walk and exhibition opening, Western-themed music and entertainment, and family-friendly activities. In October, the four-day Southeastern Cowboy Festival and Symposium showcases gunfight reenactments, Native American demonstrations, and a Kids’ Corner with mechanical bull rides and a petting zoo. Periodic artist lectures and book signings are also hosted at the museum throughout the year, along with an annual summer concert series.

501 N Museum Dr, Cartersville, GA 30120, Phone: 770-387-1300

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