As the summer season draws to a close, enjoy a last hurrah with a Labor Day weekend getaway. Spend the extended weekend exploring the great outdoors and getting in a final swim session before the pools close for the year. From beaches to amusement parks, there’s something exciting for everyone. Make your trip unforgettable by staying at a Georgia vacation rental within walking distance of the coastline or tucked away in the beautiful mountains. Here’s a look at the top Labor Day weekend getaway spots in Georgia to help you start planning your vacation.

1. Atlanta

downtown atlanta

Hit the big city for a weekend of fun in Atlanta. See all the best sights in town on a Segway through a tour with ATL-Cruzers. This group takes the time to teach you how to ride before leading you through town. Dress in costume as your favorite character to attend the annual Dragon-Con event. Centennial Olympic Park is a great green space in downtown. Grab lunch from one of the food trucks, and sit on a bench while the kids run through the water fountains. Before leaving the park, hop on the SkyView Atlanta and leave the ground behind for stunning views of the city.

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2. Stone Mountain

mountain bas-relief

To the west of Atlanta sits the small town of Stone Mountain, where a lot of outdoor fun awaits your family. Take the gang to the Stone Mountain Park to spend the day hiking, riding a train, swimming, playing golf, riding the gondola to the top of the mountain, and zooming along the ziplines. This park hosts the Everyday Heroes festival each year with fireworks at the end of the night. At the end of the day, throw a blanket down to watch the Lasershow Spectacular in Mountainvision. Stop by Crazy Ron’s BBQ on the way back to your vacation rental for some sandwiches.

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3. St. Simons Island

sunrise on st simons beach
Source: Flickr/Bert Cash

Soak up the sun and enjoy one last weekend on the beach in St. Simons Island. Driftwood Beach is a great place to toss down a towel, play in the surf, and walk up the beach to look at the driftwood. Take a tour of the Fort Frederica National Monument to learn more about life in the area during Colonial times. Crab cakes are one of the best items on the menu at Barbara Jean’s, and the menu also includes American classics for your picky eaters.

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4. Helen

helen square
Source: Flickr/Jeff Gunn

Escape to the mountains and a Bavarian-influenced town in Helen, a couple of hours north of Atlanta. Spend a day on the Chattahoochee River on tubes from Cool River Tubing. This company also picks you up at the exit point and brings you back to your car. Walk around the downtown area with its charming shops, and stop by Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen for a sweet treat.

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5. Savannah

forsyth park

Unwind in Savannah with its tree-lined streets and city parks. Take a walk along River Street, and stop in at River Street Sweets to watch the staff make their famous pralines in massive copper kettles. Afterward, hop on one of Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ old-fashioned paddle boats with your treats. Board the Old Town Trolley to see all the beautiful brownstones in the historic district, and get off at any of the stops you find interesting.

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6. Austell

six flags over georgia roller coaster
Source: Flickr/cryogenic666

About half an hour east of Atlanta, the town of Austell is the place for a family with children of all ages to visit. Spend your weekend riding the rides at Six Flags Over Georgia. Teens and ‘tweens love all the coasters and thrill rides, including BATMAN: The Ride and the Blue Hawk. Take little ones on the Daffy Duck Bucket Blasters and the Sky Cars to see the entire park from the air. Check the schedule of shows for special events for the Labor Day holiday. At the end of the day, pick up finger-licking good food at Wallace Barbecue Restaurant.

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7. Ellijay

amicalola falls
Source: Flickr/Jeff Gunn

Do some hiking over the weekend when you stay in Ellijay. Gaze in awe at the stunning Amicalola Falls, then hike up to the top of the falls. There are several other hiking paths in the Amicalola Falls State Park to explore. Another popular hiking spot is Fort Mountain State Park, which includes the Lake Loop Trail with stunning lake views. In the evening, walk around the charming downtown area before having dinner at the Cajun Depot Grill with its spicy Cajun dishes.

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8. Tybee Island

tybee island beach
Source: Flickr/Jason A G

Soak up some sun and play on the beach on Tybee Island. Less than an hour south of Savannah sits the quintessential beach town. Let your kids meet some dolphins at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center, and sign up for one of their free nature walks to learn more about the local ecosystem from the professional guide. Tour the Fort Pulaski National Monument with a knowledgeable guide who tells you what life was like for soldiers at this fort.

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9. Athens

georgia theatre athens ga

Athens is home of the University of Georgia and offers a trendy vibe. Take a walking tour of this historic campus – it was one of the first land-grant colleges – and see the buildings that date back to the early 1800s. Explore the downtown area, ducking in and out of the shops or grabbing a slice of pizza at Transmetropolitan. Check out the schedule to see if there’s a home game at Sanford Stadium, or get tickets for a performance at the Georgia Theatre.

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10. Brunswick

jekyll island
Source: Flickr/Fen Labalme

In southern Georgia, Brunswick sits close to the coast and offers a laid-back feel. Contact Mad Shark Charters to spend a day out on the water exploring the Sea Islands. This is a chain of more than 100 small islands just off the coast of Brunswick. Some of the islands are home to wild horses that make kids scream in delight. Take a tour of the Old Town Historic District, and see the amazing old homes that line the streets of this small town.

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