If you have a Thousand Trails membership, Carolina Landing is worth the visit. Not because of the quality of the park, but because of the proximity to so many incredible adventures along the Georgia, South Carolina border. I vacationed to North Georgia quite a bit as an adolescent; It was fun to recreate experiences with my own family!
Babyland General Hospital, located in Cleaveland, holds unforgettable memories from my childhood. When I was a young girl, the Cabbage Patch Factory, as I called it, was a magical place, where little girls dreamed of spending every day. The hospital is set-up as a museum, showcasing dolls from long ago and today. Pretend nurses will greet you as you progress through each room. The dolls are creatively arranged in cribs, treehouses, and a variety of lifelike scenes. Our family's favorite is the schoolroom. When you visit, stay until the tree comes to life and a baby is born from the cabbage. If the doll hasn’t already been adopted by a specific family, the crowd will get to name the doll and watch the nurse prepare the baby for adoption. I still have my doll born from the magical tree twenty-five years ago. My daughter plays with him now, and I hope to pass the tradition along to my grandchildren one day. There is no fee to tour Babyland General Hospital, however, the authentic Cabbage Patch Kids do come with a hefty price tag. Remember, you’re buying an experience that your daughter will cherish for the rest of her life.
Another family favorite includes the Tallulah Gorge. When you check into the park, don’t skip the museum. You’ll learn about Karl Wallenda, a high wire artist who walked across the gorge on a two-inch wire. Animal enthusiasts will love the display as well. This mama loved the air conditioning… Anyways, wear walking shoes and make sure you have a step tracker! You’ll hike down hundreds of steps to a suspension bridge. Once across the bridge, check out the overlook. It’s only 221 extra steps, but the view and photo op are worth the exercise. Don’t leave Tallulah Falls without taking a look at the dam. It’s a neat pit stop that only takes a few minutes. Just past the dam is access to the lake. The park does have a beach and picnic area if you need a break after hiking all of the steps.
I have so many favorites in the area, the list goes on and on. Helen, Georgia is another memory I hold dear. The quaint Bavarian town is full of adventure, from mining for gold and mini-golf to hand made wooden toy shops. Visitors can tube through rapids around the city, enjoy amazing international cuisine, or simply walk through the neat little shops. I never miss the glass shop and I always find a spot on the river to eat!
Henderson Falls Park is definitely worth the mention. It is a fairly short drive away, just outside of Toccoa Falls (another neat sight.) The park has a nice playground and plenty of water for the kiddos to splash around in.
Last but not least, I took the opportunity to show my son the campus of the best college in the south, The University of Georgia. We walked around the best part of Athens to find the bulldog statues, see the stadium and take a photo with the arch. If you visit the campus, grab a warm cookie from Insomnia, you won't be disappointed!