Atlanta’s cultural melting pot and diverse restaurants, historical sites and parks draw millions of visitors from all over the world. But sometimes it’s nice to get away for a day.
Here are some of the best day trips just miles from Atlanta.
Stone Mountain Park
Just 22 miles outside of the city and encompasses 3200 acres, surrounding the world’s largest granite monolith. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk to the top, (chairlifts are also available.) Enjoy the natural cliffs as well as a breathtaking carvings of three Confederate war heroes– Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee and Thomas Jackson on the mountainside. Visit during the summer months to enjoy a mountainside laser show, and be sure to bring your appetite for the famous weekend chili cook-offs and barbecue festivals. If one day just isn’t enough to experience the glory of Stone Mountain, pitch a tent at one of the many campsites complete with full water, electric and sewer hook-ups, comfort stations and more.
One hour southwest of Atlanta lies Callaway Gardens, a botanical wonder, and world-class resort right in the Appalachian foothills. Stunning gardens, nature trails, outdoor sports, festivals, seasonal events and special workshops make each season and visit unique. Visit the Cecil B. Day Butterfly Center where you’ll walk amidst exotic tropical flowers while hundreds of colorful, live butterflies fly around you. In the spring, check out the 40-acre Azalea Bowl, a hillside garden featuring more than 3,000 hybrid azaleas. And if you’re in Atlanta for the holidays, you can experience Callaway’s Fantasy in Lights, a jaw-dropping outdoor Christmas display that features more than eight million individual electric lights.
Château Élan Winery and Resort
Sommeliers unite! Just north of Atlanta in Braselton, GA, you’ll find the elegant, upscale Château Élan Winery and Resort. Providing scenic beauty and sophisticated entertainment for 20 years, the winery treats guests to tours, wine tastings and amazing options for dining, equestrian adventures and outdoor sports. Test your skills at one of the resort’s four golf courses, or practice your backhand at one of the many tennis courts. If you decide to stay overnight, the hotel has a full-service health spa and unique themed rooms. You’ll wake up feeling like you’re in a modern, French estate.
Pine Mountain Trail at F.D.R. State Park
The North Georgia Mountains are just what the doctor ordered. Located about 80 miles southwest of Atlanta, the Pine Mountain Trail at F.D.R. State Park offers various paths with summit views, stream-filled forests, relaxing waterfalls and fascinating rock outcroppings. With oak-pine forests and rich wildlife (look out to spy a woodpecker!), the well-maintained trail and the majesty of the mountains offers something for everyone.
History buffs will love Washington, GA. The beautiful architecture of antebellum, Victorian, and Colonial homes offers a quaint, peaceful view of Georgia. This two-hour ride from the city embodies the spirit of southern charm. Walk along the narrow, tree-lined streets and enjoy a picnic with some of the local Southern delights. Visit the town’s three history-packed museums. Find great shopping, exquisite southern cuisine, and a newly restored Victorian hotel downtown. Be sure to bring your sunscreen, and keep your phone or camera charged – you won’t want to forget your time spent in this beautiful Georgia city.
There’s no need to venture far from Atlanta’s borders to fully enjoy the beauty of the peach state. Beautiful sceneries, wine, quaint towns with Victorian architecture are all just a short drive away.