We live in a hurried and fast-paced world, so sometimes singles, couples and families decide to get a little R&R by just hanging out at home and doing things in their hometown. For those of us that travel frequently for work, a staycation sounds like a good idea. Here are some great things you can do in and around Atlanta as part of a staycation during the 2014 holiday season.
225 Baker St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
There is no better time than a staycation to come out and enjoy everything at the Georgia Aquarium. Spend the entire day walking around and checking out the variety of exhibits. Don’t miss Cold Water Quest and the Georgia Explorer exhibits. Dolphin Tales is one of the best dolphin shows you will ever see and the staff at the Georgia Aquarium is always willing to point out something unique and answer questions. The Georgia Aquarium will be busy during December and early January, so reserve your tickets ahead of time.
Blue Ridge Scenic Railway
241 Depot St.
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
Blue Ridge is a great day trip for those in the metro area. While in Downtown Blue Ridge, you can catch the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway from the depot built in 1905. During the holidays, you and your family can take a one-hour Santa Express, with carols, a delightful reading of “Twas the Night Before Christmas” and a visit from Santa. In the afternoon, you can take a four-hour excursion to Copperhill, Tennessee and then back to Blue Ridge. A special rail trip to “Santa’s Pavillion” is offered in the early evenings until December 20.
Ritz-Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation
1 Lake Oconee Trail
Greensboro, GA 30642
If you haven’t been to the Ritz-Carlton Lodge at Reynolds Plantation, you need to check this place out, and the holidays are the perfect time to take a look. The grounds are tastefully decorated and the lobby of the Ritz has quite possibly the coolest gingerbread house on display for all to see. This is a great resort and the staff is first class. If the weather is nice, make sure you squeeze in some golf.
Chattahoochee Nature Center
9135 Willeo Road
Roswell, GA 30075
The Chattahoochee Nature Center focuses on learning and education. Kids love this place, but it’s also a great place for a family to spend the day and appreciate nature. Located on 127 acres in the Chattahoochee River watershed, this center offers trails, gardens and animals like owls, snakes and a bald eagle. During the holidays, camps are offered for kids and adults can take a Master Naturalist class. Don’t miss “Reindeer Day” on December 14.
College Football Hall of Fame and Fan Experience
250 Marietta St. N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Downtown Atlanta is loaded with great attractions and the College Football Hall of Fame is the newest “must see” when downtown. You don’t have to be a football fan to enjoy the high-tech exhibits, but it sure helps. The Hall of Fame is interactive, meaning you select your favorite team or where you went to college while going through the entrance, and parts of the Hall will give you specific information on your chosen team. There are rare artifacts on display, but this Hall really pays respects to everyone that has put on a uniform and played college football. It’s a great way to spend a day.
Rick Limpert is a freelance writer/photographer in Atlanta and he loves covering anything sports and tech-related. His work can be found at Examiner.com.