Booking a family trip to North Georgia to stay in a Blue Ridge Mountain cabin is always a great way to spend time together. It’s amazing to get away from work or school, and it allows everyone to relax and have fun! While there are so many activities and adventures awaiting you near your vacation rental, sometimes it’s even more fun to go on a drive and explore the surrounding areas on a day trip getaway. Cleveland, Georgia, has plenty to do — including outdoor activities (playgrounds, historic sites, covered bridges, biking/hiking trails in the North Georgia mountains, etc.), family farms, great restaurants, museums, art galleries, breweries, and more!
About 1 hour and 15 minutes from Ellijay and Blue Ridge, Cleveland isn’t too far, so you don’t have to worry about the kids getting antsy on the way there. Plus, all the great family-friendly things to do in Cleveland, GA, are a fantastic reason to pack up the family for a fun day trip! Once there, you can check out unique Cleveland attractions — like the Cabbage Patch Kids experience at Babyland General Hospital, fishing in Smithgall Woods State Park, or picking up an order of fresh produce at Loganberry Heritage Farm for dinner. Need more ideas? Read on for some of our top things to do in Cleveland, GA!
Family Fun Activities in Cleveland, GA
North Georgia Wildlife Park
The North Georgia Wildlife Park will keep your kids entertained and captivated. Zoo admission is $24.99/ adult, $22.99/child (ages 2-11), and FREE for infants. This includes being able to visit and interact with tons of miniature and rare breed farm animals. You can even get up close to animals like a giant tortoise, alligator, parakeet, and much more! There’s also a wildlife walk to learn more about wild animals such as deer, kangaroos, lemurs, Fennec foxes, snakes, and alligators.
At the zoo, there’s a petting farm that kids love and a reptile experience you can add on. You’ll encounter giant pythons, giant tortoises, monitor lizards, alligators and crocodiles, tarantulas, giant frogs, chameleons, dragons, and iguanas. And there’s so much more you can do there! The wildlife park has been featured on Dirty Jobs and Wild About Animals, so you can meet some TV animal stars! At the North Georgia Zoo, they love animals. They treat them the way they were created to be treated, with dignity and love. All you have to do is enjoy your time!
If you love river thrills and getting wet, then Wildwood Outfitters is perfect for you and your family on the Chattahoochee River. Featuring a variety of trips for all ages and expertise — with scenic views — Wildwood is a top option for relaxing downriver floats, canoe and kayak tours, or speedy rapid runs. There are 4 rafting sections to choose from, each with a minimum age requirement of at least 5 years.
- Section I — class I rapids, 5 miles & 2½-3 hours
- Section II — class I-II rapids, 5 miles & 2½-3 hours
- Section III — class I-II (III) rapids, 5 miles & 2½-3 hours
- Section IV — class I (II) rapids, 5-10 miles, 2 ½-3 hours (5 miles) or 4-6 hours (10 miles)
Ziplines at Nacoochee Adventures
Ziplining is only a hop, skip, and jump from Cleveland to Helen’s Nacoochee Adventures near Sautee Nacoochee, GA. Along with zipline tours, they have ATV excursions, a giant swing, tree houses, and a 3-level challenge course. By undergoing continuous safety and communication training, they’ll ensure you have the best and safest trip possible. There are multiple zipline packages available with a variety of pricing, tour lengths, and weight and age restrictions.
If ziplining isn’t for you, the giant swing, bicycles, and challenge course are just as much fun! The swing is $20/person and about 10-15 minutes long. Bicycles can be rented at $5/hour or $20/day. It’s truly a unique way to see this alpine mountain town. The Yonah Quest Challenge Course is $39/person with guides to help and supervise on the side.
Anna Ruby Falls
If you love hiking, nature, and waterfalls, then you must take your family to see Anna Ruby Falls near Unicoi State Park in White County. Designated a National Recreation Trail, the gorgeous Anna Ruby Falls is worth a small entrance fee. You can reach the base of the waterfall along a paved trail that stretches for about a ½ mile from a public use area and parking lot.
While the paved trail offers an easier walking path that takes about 30 minutes one way, you can also take the challenging and adventurous Smith Creek Trail that spans 4½ miles from the Anna Ruby Falls into Unicoi State Park. Parking is $5, and the admittance fee is $3/person (16+ years of age). Hours to hike to and view the falls are 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. daily, weather permitting.
Similar to Anna Ruby Falls is another picturesque waterfall hike to DeSoto Falls — famously named for the Spanish armor found nearby that likely belonged to explorer Hernando DeSoto or one of his men. Located in the Chattahoochee National Forest is the DeSoto Falls Recreation Area with 2 trails leading to 2 waterfalls that pour into Frogtown Creek.
What’s more, you can cast a line to go fishing while you’re out there. It’s also a great spot for family camping in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In the lower campground area, the DeSoto Falls Trail starts at the bridge and is an easy to moderate hike. You’ll spot the lower falls about a ¼ mile downstream and the upper falls roughly a ¾ mile upstream. Don’t forget your camera!
Bavarian Mountain Miniature Golf
You might not be the best golfer in the world, but that’s ok because you can sharpen your putting skills at Bavarian Mountain Miniature Golf and Arcade which perfectly pairs with the Bavarian theme of Helen, GA — only 15 minutes from Cleveland. As one of the most fun kid-friendly things to do in North Georgia, it’s worth mentioning!
Complete with awe-inspiring views of passing streams and towering mountain peaks, this scenic mini-golf course features two 18-hole courses plus a whopping arcade with fun challenges.
Even if your kids don’t enjoy mini-golf, arcade games are always a hit. You’ll find your kids begging you for more money for the games, so they can win even more and have a blast!
Tips for Family Travel
Make the most of your family time with some of our favorite vacation tips.
- Be prepared — check the weather, traffic, trail reports, and updated events info online.
- Be flexible — things change on vacation, so learn to go with the flow!
- Try to stay in the moment with your family and enjoy it (put away the screens).
- Bring any creature comforts that make you feel at home while you’re away.
You and your family are now all set to have family fun in Cleveland! On your way there, make sure to encourage your kids to look out the window as it’s a pretty drive. And be sure to check out other great scenic drives while passing through neighboring mountain towns north of Atlanta.