In October, something magnificent happens in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. The trees catch fire. Not literally, of course. But, a drive up from Atlanta warrants some of the most spectacular fall foliage sightings in the state. Bright oranges, yellows, and red nearly glow against the blue fall sky. Rolling mountains ablaze with the colors of fall treat visitors and locals to autumn in all of its glory.
All of this beauty can easily be accessed on a quick daytrip from Atlanta. If possible, travelers boarding flights to Atlanta this fall should set aside some time to take in one of nature’s greatest shows. Start your trip heading North on I-85, then take I-985 North. After the road turns into 365 north of Gainesville, at mile marker 35, is your first stop, Jaemor Farms Market. This northeast Georgia farm has something for everyone — an expansive fresh produce market; fresh baked goods; and a family fun center complete with an 8-acre corn maze. There’s even a hay ride to enjoy.
After stocking up on farm-fresh goodies, the beauty of Georgia’s fall foliage really hits with a drive to Tallulah Gorge State Park in Tallulah, Georgia. The state park treats visitors to stunning spreads of multi-colored trees plummeting down 1,000 feet to the gorge. At the park, there are also scenic waterfalls, hikes, and even a suspension bridge.
For those 21 and over, head through the winding roads to Tiger Mountain Vineyards. Set in the midst of country roads and cascading hills, the small winery offers wine tastings and cheese to snack on. Throughout the month of October, the winery offers patio parties complete with tastings, snacks and live music.
Goats on the Roof is the next stop in the Georgia Fall Foliage Tour. This attraction has, you guessed it, goats living on a roof. While you can’t pet them, you can marvel at their lives and their unique vantage point. While at Goats on the Roof, grab some homemade fudge, make smores in the firepit, or go mining for gems on this Highway 441 attraction.
Finally, to cap off an afternoon of driving, head to Helen, Georgia. This replica of a German town tucked into the changing colors of the mountains offers a wide-variety of activities, including horse-drawn carriage rides. In the heart of the season, Helen kicks it up a notch with Oktoberfest, so expect traffic through this little German-inspired town.
Stay the night at one of the many hotels in Helen, or head back down to Atlanta, only a few hours away, to enjoy a Southern evening in the city.