December is such a busy month for everyone but that doesn’t mean I can’t squeeze a little trip in! A Stone Mountain Park weekend getaway was the perfect option for us. The drive from upstate South Carolina to the eastern side of Atlanta is only a few hours making it the perfect short trip for our family.
Stone Mountain is great anytime of the year but this trip was especially fun! They turn an area in the park to “Snow Mountain”. South Carolina winters are severely lacking snow so I’m sure you can understand the appeal for us. Keep this place in mind if you’re a Southerner!
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Avalanche Alley Snow Tubing
The best part of the whole area was tubing! The excitement in her scream made the whole trip worthwhile! We lost count of how many times we rode the conveyor up the mountain just to slide back down it!
Playing in the SnowZone!
Stone Mountain Park Christmas
The decorations are all beautiful but the highlight of the Stone Mountain Christmas is the Snow Angel Snowfall Finale! Angelina descends and the snow starts falling. It really is a little magical even as an adult!
Stone Mountain Park Activities
There is so much to do in this 3,200 acre park that spending a weekend here is no problem at all!
Ride The Ducks: These are 1940’s Army Duck vehicles that drive from land down a ramp and into the water! It’s quite the experience for little children!
Summit Sky Ride: A Swiss cable car that takes guests to the top of Stone Mountain. On the ride up you have a spectacular view of the Confederate Memorial Carving!
Scenic Railroad: 1940’s open-air car that takes you on a 5 mile ride around Stone Mountain.
There are also a ton of activities that are much more fun during the summer months like the Camp Highland Outpost, which has rock walls to climb and a ropes course.
They also have a great putt-putt course that is called The Great Locomotive Chase Adventure Golf. It is an 18 hole course based on the pursuit of a stolen locomotive.
SkyHike is a treetop adventure course that has an overhead safety harness system to keep everyone safe while they explore!
Geyser Towers is the best thing here in the hot summer months! This is a course of suspended bridges and tunnels made out of netting and all of this is built over an erupting geyser! You have no idea when it will go off so if you want to stay dry you better keep climbing up!
The highlight of any trip to Stone Mountain is the Lasershow Spectacular on Mountainvision! This show is filled with lights, music, lasers, fireworks and flame cannons! It is really a “not-to-be-missed” event! It all takes place on the Memorial Lawn where everyone gathers with their blankets or chairs and focuses their attention on 825 foot tall granite wall and waits for the show to begin! If you’re interested here is a video that Stone Mountain Park provides with more information on the laser show!
Stone Mountain Park Lodging
There is literally no reason that anyone could not afford to spend the night here!
There are spaces for your tents or RV, as well as cabins to rent and 2 hotels to choose from!
The campgrounds are great because they hold events like ice cream socials, Easter egg hunts for families, Bingo nights, and morning coffee and danish socials on Saturdays!
However, I am no camper so let me tell you about the 2 great hotels they have on the property!
They both have their perks but I personally enjoy them each in particular seasons.
The Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort is my favorite during the warmer months because they have a very inviting outdoor area. The outdoor pool is large and rarely seems crowded. It is in a wooded area so it really feels like you are in a resort cut off from the rest of the park. They also have a very highly rated spa with many treatments to choose from!
The Stone Mountain Inn is my favorite during the cold winter months. It is a beautiful brick structure that is made to be a replica of a 19th century plantation. During the Christmas season the inn is decked out with all of the Christmas decor.
I use Booking.com for our hotel reservations. It is part of The Priceline Group and I always find it to have the best prices.
How We Pay for the Hotel
I should mention that we never pay to stay in these hotels. We always use points from our Marriott Rewards Credit Card. Below is a screen shot of our account with our points balance and membership status in the top right corner.
The 55,000+ points we have come from part of our everyday spending. We never spend money we wouldn’t have anyway just because it is a credit card. We treat it like cash and pay it off with our paychecks.
The Gold Elite status means that we spend more than 50 nights per year in just Marriott hotels! We also get lounge access, free room upgrades, and free breakfast where available. We rarely pay for any of these stays. The only exception would be if we receive a great offer and it doesn’t make sense to spend the points because it would make the value of them less. We believe in getting the most “bang for our buck” so to say!
If you do not have a Marriott Rewards Credit Card you can sign up here! Using this link gets you an offer to receive 80,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months! That sounds like a lot of money but it really isn’t that hard to do. I pay all of our bills with our credit card as well as using it for gas and groceries. This easily adds up to $1,000/month!