Middle Georgia a great base for day trips

lshirley@macon.comMay 5, 2013 

Macon’s location in the middle of the state opens plenty of options for short drives and entertainment choices all across Georgia with all the sights and sounds the state has to offer.

From history, amusement parks and water parks to zoos, the world’s largest aquarium and outdoors options, the destinations are as varied as they are plentiful. And they are all within a day’s drive of Macon.


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.

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.

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.

World of Coca-Cola: 121 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. Exhibits include memorabilia, artwork and the history behind the soda and the story of its secret formula. Visitors also will enjoy a 4-D movie experience and tasting of sodas from around the globe. (404) 676-5151 or (800) 676-COKE. www.worldofcoca-cola.com. Hours vary and are available online; closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days. $16 adults (ages 13-64); $14 seniors (65 and older); $12 children ages 3-12; children under 3 free with an adult; annual pass available. Parking is available in the World of Coca-Cola parking garage for a fee of $10 per vehicle per day.

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 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. $1-$6.50; group rates available with advance notice.

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. www.wildadventures.com. Hours vary by season. $46; season passes available.

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.

Six Flags Over Georgia: 275 Riverside Parkway SW, Austell. Rides are available for all ages, from kiddie rides to roller coasters and everything in between. Concerts and shows also provide entertainment, and a variety of concessions are available. (770) 739-3400. www.sixflags.com/overGeorgia. Hours vary throughout the season and are available online. $56.99 general admission; $39.99 children under 48 inches tall; free for children 2 and younger; season passes available; parking starts at $20.


Lockerly Aboretum: 1534 Irwinton Road, Milledgeville. Lockerly Arboretum is a public garden devoted to educating visitors about 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.

Callaway Gardens: 17800 U.S. 27, Pine Mountain. Visitors can see more than 3,000 hybrid azaleas, a five-acre greenhouse and garden complex, a tropical butterfly conservatory and vegetable garden. Other activities include zip lines, golf, tennis, fishing and boating, bicycling and nature trails. (800) 225-5292. www.callawaygardens.com. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily. $18 adults (ages 13-64); $15 seniors (65 and older); $9 children ages 6-12; free for children 5 and younger; annual passes available; different rates apply for special events.

Water parks

Splash in the Boro: 1388 Ga. 24 East, Statesboro. The family water park offers a lazy river, slides, a spray pad and an assortment of pools. The park also features snack and sandwich shops. (912) 489-3000. www.splashintheboro.com. May 18: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; May 19: noon-6 p.m.; May 25-Aug. 11: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays and Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursdays and Saturdays, and noon-6 p.m. Sundays. Aug. 17-Sept. 2: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays, noon-6 p.m. Sundays; Sept. 2: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $12 adults and children over 48 inches tall; $10 adults and children under 48 inches tall; free for children ages 2 and younger; season passes available.


Georgia Aquarium: 225 Baker St. NW, Atlanta. Visitors can see the world’s largest aquarium exhibit, featuring thousands of sea creatures, as well as exhibits of both fresh and salt water and the sea life therein. Touch pools and a theatrical performance bring the exhibits to life for guests. (404) 581-4000. www.georgiaaquarium.org. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sundays-Fridays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturdays; hours vary during the spring and summer. $34.95 adults; $30.95 seniors (65 and older); $28.95 children ages 3-12; $10 parking in attached deck.

Zoo Atlanta: 800 Cherokee Ave. SE, Atlanta. There are plenty of mammals, including giant pandas, birds, reptiles and amphibians on display. Plant life is also abundant. (404) 624-9453. www.zooatlanta.org. 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays; 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays, closed Thanksgiving and Christmas days. $21.99 adults (ages 12 and older); $17.99 seniors (65 and older), military and college students; $16.99 children ages 3-11; free for children 2 and younger; parking is free.

Noah’s Ark Animal Sanctuary: 712 LG Griffin Road, Locust Grove. This nonprofit organization provides save haven for more than 1,000 exotic, wild and domestic animals in habitats similar to their natural environments. (770) 957-0888. Animal habitats: noon-3 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays (weather permitting); welcome center, picnic area and office: 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Free, donations accepted.

The Telegraph is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service