Here’s a great list of day trip ideas for families. You can overnight in Columbus and make the short drive to any of these places. Perfect for spring, summer, or fall break!
East Alabama Day Trips
Chewacla State Park
Facilities include a 26-acre lake, swimming area, playgrounds, hiking trails, a modern campground, picnic areas with tables, grills, and shelters, and newly renovated cabins. Open 7 a.m. to sundown.
Fort Mitchell Historic Site
561 Highway 165, Fort Mitchell
Established in 1813, Fort Mitchell is one of the oldest forts in the region. The park features a reconstruction of the 1813 stockade fort that was an important post in the Creek War, a museum with exhibits about the fort’s history and a collection of historic carriages, a restored 19th-century log home, and a visitor center. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and Sunday 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.
2301 Coliseum Pkwy., Montgomery, AL
Home to over 500 animals from five different continents, including South America, Asia, Africa, Australia, and North America. All animals are housed in natural, barrier-free habitats. You can walk the paths or ride a miniature train. You can also visit over 275 wildlife exhibits at the Mann Wildlife Learning Museum located on the zoo grounds. The zoo is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (CDT) year-round with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Years Day.
Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site
1616 Chappie James Ave., Tuskegee, AL 36083
The Tuskegee Airmen fought the war on two fronts: axis powers overseas and racism at home. Through exhibits, audio-visual programs, historic buildings, and guided walks, step back in time and share in the Tuskegee experience. Open 9am – 4pm.
Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site
Tuskegee University Campus, Campus Ave., Tuskegee, AL 36088
A national park dedicated to educating the public about the importance and accomplishments of the Tuskegee Institute. There is a special emphasis on the home of Booker T. Washington (The Oaks) and the George Washington Carver Museum. Open daily 9-4:30. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year’s Day
For more information: Visit Alabama Travel – The official website of the Alabama Tourism Department. This website includes great travel ideas and trip planning tools. All you need to find great vacation experiences, places to stay, activities, and dining in Alabama is at your fingertips. You’ll find information about events, special offers, attractions, hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and restaurants all in one place.
West Georgia Day Trips
Andersonville National Historic Site
Route 1, Box 800, Andersonville
Andersonville, or Camp Sumpter, was one of the largest Confederate military prisons during the Civil War. Today, Andersonville National Historic Site is the only park in the National Park System to serve as a memorial to all Americans ever held as prisoners of war. Visit the National Prisoner of War Museum, go on the Andersonville Prison Historical Hike. A Junior Ranger Program is available for children ages 6-12.
Georgia Highways 18, Pine Mountain
Callaway Gardens is packed with fun family activities. Kids will enjoy visiting the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center, seeing the Birds of Prey show, picnicking at Robin Lake Beach, and other fun activities.
Biblical History Center
130 Gordon Commercial Drive, LaGrange
The Center is a living museum of life in ancient times. Through archeological replicas, you can step back in time and experience ancient Middle Eastern life first hand. There is a Kids’ Dig Area with four archaeological pits for kids to learn archaeological techniques and reconstruct history.
F.D. Roosevelt State Park
2970 Georgia Highway 190, Pine Mountain
Located on Pine Mountain, this 10,000-acre park is deeply rooted in the historical era of four-time President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Take your kids hiking, camping, or horseback riding. Children ages 6-12 will have fun learning in the outdoors as they work toward earning a Junior Ranger badge.
Jimmy Carter National Historic Site
300 North Bond Street, Plains
Jimmy Carter, the 39th President of the United States, began his life in the small town of Plains. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site gives you a glimpse into life on the Carter Farm in the 1930s. Older kids may enjoy the Jimmy Carter Historical Hike. This 5-mile hike starts at Plains High School, goes to the Carter Boyhood Farm (roughly 2 miles from town), and returns to Plains.
1207 Emery Hwy, Macon, GA 31217
Ocmulgee is one of the few places in the southeast with an archaeological record dating back to Paleo times — it has been inhabited by humans for at least 17,000 years. The 702-acre park offers access to several Mississippian-era mounds. The site is considered sacred to members of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation as well as to other federally recognized tribes.
Museum of Aviation Flight & Technology Center
GA Hwy 247 & Russell Pkwy, Warner Robbins
Located off Exit 144 on I-75, the Museum of Aviation is just “plane” fun! Explore 200,000 sq. feet of exhibits. Climb inside a C-130 “Hercules” and see over 90 aircraft and missiles spanning a century of flight, including an SR-71 “Blackbird” and more. The museum is open 9 am-5 pm, 7 days a week. Free admission.
Roosevelt’s Little White House
401 Little White House Rd, Warm Springs
Franklin Delano Roosevelt first came to Warm Springs in 1924 hoping to find a cure for the infantile paralysis (polio). He built the Little White House in 1932 while governor of New York.
Wild Animal Safari
1300 Oak Grove Road, Pine Mountain
The 500-acre Pine Mountain Wild Animal Safari offers a unique experience. Visitors can see, touch, and feed hundreds of exotic animals. The park has animals from every continent except Antarctica and has nearly twice as many animals as the Atlanta Zoo. Visitors can ride through the park, observe, take pictures, and feed the animals from their car or one of the Zebra Vans.
Providence Canyon State Park
Route 1, Box 158, Lumpkin
Visitors are amazed at the breathtaking colors of Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon.” The rare Plumleaf Azalea and other wildflowers, as well as the pink, orange, red and purple hues of the soft canyon soil, make a beautiful natural painting at this unique park.
Historic SAM Shortline Railroad — Our Review
105 East 9th Avenue, Cordele
The SAM Shortline Excursion Train operates between Cordele, Georgia, and the Jimmy Carter homestead west of Plains. Trains run on Friday and Saturday with occasional trips on Monday and Thursday. Trips vary from 6 to 8 hours long, but passengers can board at any stop. Special excursion trips are offered throughout the year, including the annual “Day Out with Thomas” in October.
Sprewell Bluff Park
740 Sprewell Bluff Road, Thomaston
This little-known gem on the Flint River is the perfect location for a daytime getaway. Visitors can cool off in the gently flowing river, skip rocks across the water, picnic on the river’s edge or toss horseshoes in a grassy field. A three-mile trail winds along the bank and up rocky bluffs, offering excellent views from high above the river. A boat ramp is available for canoeists, kayakers, rafters and anglers, and canoes may be rented from nearby outfitters.
St. EOM’s Pasaquan
238 Eddie Martin Road, Buena Vista, GA
Located a few miles west of the historic town of Buena Vista. Pasaquan consists of six major structures, all interconnected by a series of painted masonry walls, colorful concrete sculptures, and an assortment of landscape elements and plantings. Pasaquan’s oldest building is a circa 1880s farmhouse that was virtually encapsulated by additions designed and executed by the artist, St. EOM.
Warm Springs Village and Roosevelt Historic Pools Museum
706-655-5870 (Pool Complex)
Experience the warmth and charm of this Victorian village as you stroll through more than 65 shops. Also, visit the Historic Pools Museum where President Franklin D. Roosevelt and other polio patients were treated. The historic pools are now part of a Museum which is located within the Little White House State Historic Site. Unfortunately, the pools are not available for public use, but a touch pool still exists where visitors are welcome to feel the actual warm spring water and listen to information about its history. The Pool Complex is open daily for tours 9:00 a.m. – 4:45 p.m., except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
3557 S. Lumpkin Rd, Columbus
Historic Westville is a history museum representing a 19th century west Georgia town. Westville is a re-creation of a historic village with over 30 authentically restored and furnished antebellum buildings and land that include the village, pasture, and fields. Historic Westville is currently closed to the public as it undergoes a move from Lumpkin to Columbus, GA, and re-interpretation. Once completed, Westville will cover the entire 19th century and be organized into four interpretive areas, including the Creek Indian area, the frontier interpretive area, the rural area, and the town center.
For more information: Visit ExploreGeorgia.org – The official website of the Georgia Department of Economic Development. This website includes great travel ideas and trip planning tools. All you need to find great vacation experiences, places to stay, activities, and dining in Georgia is at your fingertips. You’ll find information about events, special offers, attractions, hotels, bed and breakfast inns, and restaurants all in one place.