Take a short ride for even more to do

September 30, 2012 

Middle Georgians looking for a quick getaway don’t have to look far to find a variety of places to go and things to do. The homes of two presidents, the great outdoors and plenty of art and artifacts abound, all within range for a day trip.


Albany Civil Rights Movement Museum and Institute: 326 W. Whitney Ave., Albany. Housed in historic Old Mount Zion Baptist Church, the museum tells the story of the Albany Movement, in which the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. fought alongside the Southern Christian Leadership Council, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, the Congress of Racial Equality and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in the battle for civil rights. (229) 432-1698. www.albanycivilrightsinstitute.org. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays; closed holidays. $2-$6.

Booth Western Art Museum: 501 Museum Drive, Cartersville. Exhibits include contemporary Western American art, historic Western art, Civil War art, presidential portraits and letters, Western movie posters and Western illustrations. Other features are an interactive gallery for children and special and temporary exhibit galleries. (770) 387-1300. boothmuseum.org. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays and Fridays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays. $7-$10.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History: 767 Clifton Road NE, Atlanta. Permanent exhibits include the “Giants of the Mesozoic” dinosaur exhibit, “A Walk Through Time in Georgia,” “Reflections of Culture,” “Conveyed in Clay: Stories from St. Catherine’s Island,” “Sensing Nature,” “Curator’s Corner” and “World of Shells.” The museum also includes special exhibitions and an IMAX theater. (404) 929-6300. fernbankmuseum.org. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays, noon-5 p.m. Sundays. Museum tickets: $15.50-$17.50; IMAX tickets: $11-$13; combination tickets, group rates and memberships available.

Georgia State Capitol and Museum: 206 State Capitol, Atlanta. Exhibits, artifacts, memorials and artwork can be found throughout the gold-domed Capitol and the Hall of Valor can be found on the first floor. Visitors may choose between guided or self-guided tours. (404) 656-2846. www.libs.uga.edu/capitolmuseum. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; closed holidays. Free.

The High Museum of Art: 1280 Peachtree St., NE, Atlanta. Works of 19th- and 20th-century American art, European paintings and decorative art, African American art and collections of folk, modern and contemporary art make up the High Museum’s permanent collection, which totals more than 13,000 pieces. (404) 733-4400. www.high.org. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Wednesdays and Fridays-Saturdays; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays; noon-5 p.m. Sundays. $12-$19.50 adults. Advance reservations recommended.

National Infantry Museum and Soldier Center: 1775 Legacy Way, Columbus. The museum traces the history of the United States Army Infantryman from the American Revolution to the present. Features include combat simulators and a rifle range for an additional charge, artifacts, interactive exhibits and an IMAX theater, which shows original productions as well as current feature films. (706) 685-5800. www.nationalinfantrymuseum.org. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays. Free admission, donations requested.

Old Governor’s Mansion: Campus of Georgia College and State University, 120 S. Clarke St., Milledgeville. The High Greek Revival-style mansion housed Georgia’s governor for more than 30 years and served as headquarters during Gen. William T. Sherman’s “March to the Sea.” Exhibits display artifacts of the building and its inhabitants. (478) 445-4545. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays and 2-4 p.m. Sundays; tours begin on the hour. $2.14-$10.70.

Roosevelt’s Little White House: 401 Little White House Road, Warm Springs. Visitors can tour Preisent Franklin Roosevelt’s home, see his “Unfinished Portrait,” 1938 Ford convertible and his stagecoach, and visit the pools where FDR soaked in the warm springs to help his polio. (706) 655-5870. www.gastateparks.org/LittleWhiteHouse. 9 a.m.-4:45 p.m. daily; closed holidays. $6-$10.

Westville: 9294 Singer Pond Road, Lumpkin. This 1850s living history museum features period buildings and puts the Antebellum lifestyle on display. (229) 838-6310. www.westville.org. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; closed holidays. $5-$10.

Historic sites

Andersonville National Historic Site: 496 Cemetery Road, Andersonville. Visitors can look around Camp Sumter military prison, where thousands of Union soldiers died during the Civil War due to starvation, disease and lack of shelter. Also at the site are Andersonville National Cemetery and the National Prisoner of War Museum. (229) 924-0343. www.nps.gov/ande. National Prisoner of War Museum: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, closed holidays; park grounds: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, closed holidays; National Cemetery: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Free.

Jarrell Plantation Historic Site: 711 Jarrell Plantation Road, Juliette. The site of a former cotton plantation includes plantation buildings with the original handmade furniture from 1847, a museum with a film and a picnic area. Special events are held throughout the year. (478) 986-5172. www.gastateparks.org/JarrellPlantation. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; closed holidays. $4-$6.50; group rates available with advance notice.

Jimmy Carter National Historic Site: Plains High School/Visitor Center, 300 N. Bond St., Plains. Visitors can explore the hometown of the 39th president of the United States. The Jimmy Carter National Historic Site is made up of four sites that influenced Carter: Plains High School, the historic district of Plains, the Plains Train Depot and Carter’s boyhood farm, as well as Carter’s private residence, which is not open to the public. (229) 824-4104. www.nps.gov/jica. The Visitor’s Center is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. Free.

Theme parks

Wild Adventures Water and Theme Park: 3766 Old Clyattville Road, Valdosta. There’s something for every member of the family at Wild Adventures: amusement park rides, animals, water rides, miniature golf, go-kart track (for an additional fee) and live entertainment. (229) 219-7080. Hours vary by season. $45.99.


Buckhorn Creek Ranch: 1944 Ga. 135, Vidalia. The family-operated wildlife preserve and farm offers guests a wagon tour of the 250-acre working ranch and a chance to see the exotic and native species living there, including Asian sika deer, blackbuck antelope, wild boar, buffalo, camel, Watusi cattle, farm animals and more. Visitors can grind corn to throw to chickens and toss pumpkins to a buffalo. A petting zoo and summer camp are also available. (912) 583-2737. buckhorncreekranch.net. Tours by appointment only. $8 per person, minimum $40 per group.

The Rock Ranch: 5020 Barnesville Highway, The Rock. Families, school, church and business groups can visit the 1,250-acre cattle ranch for a day of “agritainment,” including train rides, zip lines (for an additional fee), jumping pillows, corn maze, cane pole fishing, paddle boats and more. (706) 647-6374. www.therockranch.com. Hours vary by season. Cost varies by event; season passes available.


High Falls State Park: 76 High Falls Park Drive, Jackson. The park features hiking, fishing, boating, camping and miniature golf (for additional fee). Kayaks, canoes and pedal boats are available to rent. (478) 993-3053. www.gastateparks.org/HighFalls. 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. $5; annual pass available.

Little Ocmulgee State Park and Lodge: 80 Live Oak Trail, Helena. Features of the park include the 18-hole Wallace Adams Golf Course, the splash pad with fountains for children and the 2.6-mile Oak Ridge Trail for hikers. A campground, rental cottages and lodge are available for guests who want to stay a little longer. (229) 868-7474. www.gastateparks.org/LittleOcmulgee. 7 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. $5 daily parking fee.


Lockerly Aboretum: 1534 Irwinton Road, Milledgeville. Lockerly Arboretum is a public garden devoted to educating visitors on the conservation of natural resources in Middle Georgia. Hiking and driving trails are available, and educational programs may be scheduled in advance. (478) 452-2112. www.lockerly.org. 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. Free.

State Botanical Garden of Georgia: 2450 S. Milledge Ave., Athens. The garden serves as a “living laboratory” for University of Georgia students as well as for the enjoyment of the public. Visitors can explore a native flora garden, an international garden, a heritage garden, a flower garden, a display of garden art and more. (706) 542-1244. botgarden.uga.edu. 8 a.m.-6 p.m. daily October-March and 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily April-September, closed holidays. Free, donations accepted.

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