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Spring break ideas that won’t break the bank

POSTED: March 22, 2010 9:59 a.m.

ATLANTA — Tight finances don’t mean families have to give up a spring break vacation. Parents who plan ahead can take advantage of affordable accommodations at Georgia’s 48 state parks. Once settled in, they’ll find mini-resorts outside their doors, with a range of amenities such as nature trails, playgrounds, fishing docks, ranger programs, disc golf and more.

For about $24 per night, families can pitch a tent under the stars and toast marshmallows on a campfire. All state park campgrounds have bathhouses with hot showers, and some have laundry facilities. Campers at Stephen C. Foster State Park can rent kayaks or boats to explore well-marked trails in the Okefenokee Swamp. Campers at Kolomoki Mounds Historic Park can learn about early Indian civilizations during hikes.

Fully equipped cottages with up to three bedrooms average around $100-$140 per night, depending on the park’s location. Families can cook their own meals in the cottage kitchens. Several state parks are on large lakes, such as Seminole and Clarks Hill, so cottages are perfect for families with boats. For great hiking, vacationers can rent cottages at Cloudland Canyon, Hard Labor Creek, Fort Mountain, Vogel and several other parks.

Finally, those who prefer hotel-style accommodations can still wake up surrounded by beautiful park scenery. There are lodges with restaurants at Amicalola Falls, Red Top Mountain and Unicoi in north Georgia, and George T. Bagby and Little Ocmulgee in south Georgia. Lodge rates begin at $69 during the week. For information, go to

Accommodations book quickly during spring break and summer, so reservations should be made in advance. Call 800-864-7275 or go to for details. Park enthusiasts can also keep up with the latest specials and events on Facebook and Twitter.

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