Georgia is a southeastern US state that is known for its beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, the populous city of Atlanta and for Martin Luthur King Jr (and peaches, of course). Georgia has beaches, farmland, mountains, lakes, cities and charming towns, with something to offer all visitors. I spent a summer in Georgia working at a summer camp after University and wanted to share 5 of the top things to do in Georgia.
With over 100,000 animals in seven massive exhibits, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the world’s greatest aquariums. Besides marveling a wide variety of marine life swimming around some 8 million tons of water, you’ll have the opportunity watch incredible live shows, see a 4D movie, and even pet a few of the aquarium’s animals. Definitely prioritize visiting the Ocean Voyager tank first since this is the home of the museum’s star attraction: whale sharks.
We visited both with our campers on a day out from camp and again on one of our days off! The Aquarium is honeslty one of the most incredible I’ve ever been to in my life and I think it would be tough to find one to beat it. Kids and adults alike would love every minute they spend at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta.
Blue Ridge Mountains
Only 90 miles north of Atlanta are the Blue Ridge Mountains. This beautiful region holds an important place in my heart as I spend a summer working as a camp counsellor & lifeguard at a summer camp deep in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
There is over 106,000 acres of national forest, 300 miles of hiking trails and 100 miles of streams and rivers! The region is jam packed full of activities from trout fishing to hiking, visiting waterfalls, tubing down rivers, shopping in small boutique towns and getting back to nature in gorgeous mountain cabins.
The Blue Ridge Mountains also feature the beginning of the famous US hike, the Appalachian Trail! This stunning mountain range stretches across many states from Georgia through to Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The Blue Ridge Mountains are the perfect place for an adventure holiday with no shortage of incredible things to do and see in this beautiful region of the US.
Centennial Olympic Park
The Centennial Olympic Park is a public park in downtown Atlanta which was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Today the park sees millions of visitors every year.
One of the key features of the park are the Fountain of Rings interactive fountain which has lights and jets of water that are synchronised with music! There are 251 jets that create a beautiful water sculpture in the park. The fountain area is surrounded by flags which represent the host countries of each of the Summer Olympics which were held prior to 1996. There are also several sculptures dotted throughout the park as well as a small amphitheatre!
Whilst working over the summer at camp, I had the opportunity to visit the charming town of Helen on two separate occasions. Helen is a gorgeous town that is situated on the Chattahoochee River in Northeastern Georgia.
When visiting Helen you will be surprised to find out you are still in fact in Georgia and haven’t been miraculously transported to Bavaria, Germany. This is due to the fact that over 50 years ago Helen was transformed from a dying lumbar village into a German themed village. Today the German themed village of Helen is one of the most popular and visited towns in the state for locals and tourists alike. Helen has over 200 speciality and import shops and both the facades and interiors of most buildings and restaurants truly make you feel as if you are in Germany, with even German themed street names.
Helen is renown for its outdoor and adventure activities. We took 100-odd teen campers tubing with the Cool River Tubing company along Helen’s own natural lazy river. Tubing down the Chattahoochee River is fun, exciting and allows you to tube down on your own or tie yourself to friends or family by linking your tubes together. Helen also boasts beautiful waterfalls nearby, hiking trails in the scenic Blue Ridge mountains and countless waterways to explore.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
As the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., Atlanta was a major center for the American Civil Rights movement. One of the best places to learn about Dr King is the Martin Luthur King Jr, National Historical Park. Here you can visit the places where he was born, lived, worked and worshipped, and finally, where he was laid to rest. Being able to walk in his footsteps, helps to preserve his legacy and keep his dream live.
There are some excellent exhibitions on Dr King and the civil rights movement at the National Park Service Visitor Centre, as well as the peace garden, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, a statue of Gandhi, who profoundly influenced Dr King and the King Centre and Tomb, just to name a few. This location was chosen by Dr King’s wife as it was located between his place of birth and his spiritual home at the Ebenezer Baptist Church.
A visit to the Martin Luthur King Jr, National Historical Park is definitely one of the top things to do in Georgia. I found it to be incredibly moving, informative and quite an emotional place to experience. An absolute must visit.
Since my visit the state of the art, Center for Civil and Human Rights has also been established, which is an incredible place to learn about this impact of this important era in American history. Created in 2014, this center’s main exhibit is called “Voice to the Voiceless” and contains many important artifacts from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life. Another important area to explore here is the “Rolls Down Like Water” exhibit, which explores pivotal moments in the history of the US Civil Rights movement.
This post was written in collaboration with Vacations Made Easy.