The idea of a stay-cation can be very appealing. Treat your hometown as a tourist would, going to see sites you wouldn’t otherwise go to on an everyday basis and enjoying the touristy items that appeal to out-of-town visitors.Take time to visit the attractions below or take part in the packages that can make you and your family feel like you are discovering something new for the first time in Atlanta.
Downtown Atlanta CityPASS Package
Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and CNN Center Tour
Centennial Olympic Park
Atlanta, GA 30303
Price: $69/adult, $49/children under 12
Hours: Aquarium – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., World of Coca-Cola – 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., CNN Center Tours – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Atlanta CityPass allows you to experience all of these sites – and several others – for almost 50 percent off what you would normally pay at the door for each attraction individually. The passes allow you to visit five sites over a nine-day span. The Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca and CNN Center Tour are all hot spots located around Centennial Olympic Park, so catch them all at once or extend the tourist fun across the nine days available. Additional sites accessible to remain within your five-site CityPass limit include Fernbank Museum or the High Museum, and Zoo Atlanta or the Atlanta History Center.
Related: Best Art Museums In Atlanta
5887 Georgia Highway 354
Pine Mountain, GA 31822
Callaway Gardens offers enough opportunities to keep you engaged for a couple of days — offering multiple nature trails ready to explore. Its birds of prey program is a great educational experience for the whole family – especially if your family members get the chance to hold a red-tailed hawk! The other educational programs including geocaching, photography workshops and various other workshops are valuable as well. The butterfly and horticultural gardens are beautifully maintained, so make sure to add them to the list. Lastly, events are offered throughout the year as special attractions. See website for more details.
Related: Atlanta’s Most Interesting Gardens
Yellow River Game Ranch
4525 Highway 78
Lilburn, GA 30047
Price: $8 for ages 12 and up, $7 for ages 3-11, Free for children 2 and under
Hours: Mon to Fri – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sat and Sun – 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
While Zoo Atlanta may offer a fairly traditional zoo experience (with the exception of its pandas), Yellow River Game Ranch offers animals in somewhat free-roaming areas. You never know when an antelope or peacock will strut right across your path – or block it. It is located east of Atlanta on Highway 78, beyond Stone Mountain. It is also the home to General Beauregard Lee, more commonly known as Beau. Keep a close eye out on Groundhog’s Day for a sign of his shadow. It is great fun for the kids, and can also be coupled with nearby Stone Mountain for a fun trek.
767 Clifton Rd NE
Atlanta, GA 30307
Price: $17.50 for adults, $16.50 for students and Seniors over 62 with ID, $15.50 for ages 3-12, Free for children under 3
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Martinis and IMAX – Fridays 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The Fernbank Museum is also included in the CityPASS option above, but equips enough fun to suffice a visit all on its own. Located east of Atlanta in the Emory Community, the Fernbank Museum offers popular exhibits throughout the year. The dinosaur and Georgia history exhibits always thrill little ones. Their rotation of IMAX films provide something new and educational over and over again. Lastly, their Martinis and IMAX event on Friday nights is always a popular nighttime activity for couples.
Silver Comet Trail
Intersection of Mavell Rd and Cooper Lake Rd
Smyrna, GA 30082
Hours: sunrise to sunset
The Silver Comet Trail stretches from northwest Atlanta and Cobb County to almost the Alabama border. The 61 miles of trails are great for spending a day on a bike, running or just relaxing with a picnic. If you with to go further, the Silver Comet Trail connects at the state line to the Chief Ladiga Trail, extending 33 miles into Alabama. Eventually, the trail will reach over 100 miles to Anniston, Alabama, but it might take you all of spring break to get there.
Michael Francis is a freelance writer studying at Georgia State University. His work can be found at Examiner.com.