This holiday season, wow friends and family with the gift of the great outdoors. Choose from the below eight ideas and watch a simple present turn into a new infatuation with Mother Nature.
- Gift Cards – Fit 37 lakes, seven waterfalls, three canyons and a swamp into one little stocking. Convenient gift cards can be used on campsites, cabins, yurts, golf greens, picnic shelters, museums, boat rentals, gift shops and more. They come in any denomination starting at $5 and can be purchased at most Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites, online at GaStateParks.org/GiftCards or by calling 1-800-434-0982. With no shortage of possibilities, gift cards are the perfect solution to the gift-giving conundrum.
- Trendy Gear for the Outdoor Enthusiast – Most state parks have gift shops where you can snag an ENO hammock, KAVU pack or blanket to snuggle up in as the colder weather creeps upon us. While browsing, pick up a gift with hometown roots including Georgia Grown items, local honey, nature-themed books, clothes and toys.
- Historic Site Annual Passes – Squeeze 18 outings into one little card with a Historic Site Annual Pass. Perfect for Georgia newcomers or students, the pass is good for admission to Etowah Indian Mounds, Dahlonega Gold Museum, Roosevelt’s Little White House, Fort King George and numerous other destinations on GaStateParks.org/History. Passes may be purchased on GaStateParks.org/ThingsToKnow or at historic sites.
- State Parks Annual ParkPasses – With more than 60 parks across Georgia, there are many ways to treat family or friends to a year of outdoor fun, long after the seasons change. Annual ParkPasses are $50 and help fund trail work, dock maintenance and shelter renovations. Half-off ParkPass discounts are available for seniors 62 and older, as well as 25% off for active-duty military and veterans. Bonus: Buy a Friends of Georgia State Parks membership and receive an Annual ParkPass in return. To purchase, visit any Georgia State Park or GaStateParks.org/ThingsToKnow.
- Weekend Getaways – Make experiencing nature easy and enjoyable for the whole family and reserve an adventure at a state park. From mountains to marshes, the options for accommodations are truly endless and range from cottages to campsites and even the beautiful 19th-century Burnham House at General Coffee State Park. Six Georgia State Parks offer "glamping" yurts as well. Reservations can be made at GaStateParks.org/Reservations.
- Unique Experiences – Georgia's state parks offer visitors a variety of unique activities in several locations, making the great outdoors the perfect backdrop for explorers and adventurers of any skill level. Try geocaching or archery, purchase a membership to Park Paddlers, Muddy Spokes or Canyon Climbers clubs, or reach new heights while tree climbing at Panola Mounain. For more information on these unique experiences visit, GaStateParks.org/ParkActivities.
- Tails on Trails Club – The perfect gift for four-legged family is the Georgia State Parks’ Tails on Trails Club, getting Fido out in the great outdoors. The quest challenges dog hikers to explore 12 specific trails at Georgia State Parks. Members get a bragging-rights t-shirt and matching bandana for Bailey. Finish them all and get a certificate of completion to show off on social media. To join, stop into one of the participating parks or buy a card online at GaStateParks.com/TailsOnTrailsClub.
- Stocking Stuffers – Looking for a gag gift to get a laugh? Forget coal and throw in a bag of cricket chips or a scorpion lollipop. Many quirky white-elephant gifts are available inside state park and historic site visitor's centers. Find one near you on GaStateParks.org/map.
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About Georgia State Parks & Historic Sites
Georgia's State Parks & Historic Sites are affordable destinations for vacations and quick getaways. Waterfalls and lakes, salt marsh and mountains are just some of the beautiful environments of the state parks. Georgia State Park Golf Courses offer the best variety and value around. With eight golf courses to choose from, each feature natural settings and picturesque surroundings, as well as fun and challenging play. Most state parks offer fishing, boating, hiking, camping, geocaching, birding and more. Accommodations include campsites, cabins, lodges, even yurts, and vary by park. Among the Georgia State Historic Sites are presidential homes, ancient Indian mounds, battlefields, plantations and even a gold museum. Georgia's public libraries have ParkPasses and Historic Site Passes that can be checked out like a book. More information can be found at GaStateParks.org.