Explore Georgia with these Fun-for-Everyone Road Trips

Tallulah Falls, Tallulah Gorge State Park; Photo Credit: Explore Georgia

Northwest Georgia: Dubbed "the land of sights and legends," northwest Georgia claims more than its fair share of history and natural beauty. Go glamping on a mountaintop in the clouds, wander romantic Southern gardens and trace the footsteps of indigenous civilizations. Here are the best places to go, where to eat and great experiences for kids.
 

Hiking & biking

This rugged corner of the state compels visitors to get outside. Hike past tumbling waterfalls and one of the state's best vistas at Cloudland Canyon State Park, or hit the trails at Fort Mountain State Park for long-range Blue Ridge views. Epic mountain biking awaits at Blankets Creek in Holly Springs, Ellijay’s Bear Creek, and various other single-track hotspots. Cyclists enjoy smoother terrain along the 61-mile Silver Comet Trail, which slices through northwest Georgia on a repurposed rail path, complete with historic trestle and tunnel.

Fishing & boating

Prefer watersports? The Toccoa River and its tributaries offer the finest trout fishing in the state. Hook giant bass on Lake Allatoona, a popular pleasure-boating destination because of its size and proximity to Atlanta, or visit Carters Lake, Georgia's deepest reservoir and also one of its quietest (development is prohibited).

Fannin County is the trout capital of Georgia thanks to the Toccoa River and its year-round cold, clear water. Outfitters like Fly Shop Co. in Blue Ridge bring novice and seasoned anglers to the river and area creeks, where you might reel in a trophy spotted or rainbow trout.

Sparkling water and forest-lined shores make Lake Blue Ridge the picture-perfect spot for a pontoon ride. For a faster ride, head to Cartersville’s Terminus Wake Park, where cables tow wakeboarders over ramps and rails. Finally, grab a SUP (stand-up paddleboard) from Rome’s River Dog Paddle Co. and skim the lazy Etowah or Oostanaula rivers. Reward your workout with a local brew from the shop's on-site beer garden.

Lula Lake Land Trust

Open to the public on select days, Lula Lake Land Trust in Lookout Mountain boasts plenty of epic photo ops, including two waterfalls cascading into turquoise water.

Old Car City

More than 4,000 vintage automobiles are covered in rust, moss, and pine needles at Cartersville's junkyard-turned-museum, Old Car City USA, a photographer's paradise.

Barnsley Resort

This 3,000-acre Adairsville estate exudes romance. Beyond the vine-cloaked ruins of an 1840s manor lie upscale cottages and a 55-room inn, as well as a spa, sporting clays, horseback riding, and a Jim Fazio–designed golf course.

Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site

See six earthen mounds and a visible town layout of the Mississippians, a Native American civilization that thrived here (near present-day Cartersville) around 1,000 AD, at Etowah Indian Mounds State Historic Site. Climb a staircase to the top of the largest knoll, which towers some six stories above the landscape, and visit a museum housing artifacts excavated from the site.

Take an Offbeat Road Trip in West Georgia:

Georgia is about more than big cities. It's also about small towns and countryside as far as the eye can see. If you stick to the cities, you're missing a lot of what makes this state so great.
Some of the greatest gems are hiding in plain sight in west-central and southwestern Georgia. You just need to know where to go. Even lifelong Georgians may be unfamiliar with some of these wonderful and unusual attractions. Expand your understanding of Georgia - and have a blast - when you try this offbeat road trip.

  • No less of a time capsule, the Lunch Box Museum in Columbus, south of LaGrange, celebrates that trusty grade-school accessory of yesteryear, the metal lunch box. More than 2,000 vintage containers line the walls, celebrating pop-culture heroes like Wonder Woman and Scooby Doo.

  • From there, head east to stretch your legs — and cultural horizons — in Buena Vista at Pasaquan, the seven-acre farmstead that legendary folk artist Eddie Owens Martin transformed into a technicolor wonderland.

  • The full spectrum of nature’s color palette is on display at Lumpkin’s Providence Canyon, aka Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon, to the southwest. Poor erosion control by 19th-century farmers created a showcase for 21st-century hikers: massive gullies revealing eons of mineral-dyed geology.
  • ​Head east to Plains for a photo with the Jimmy Carter Peanut Statue, a 13-foot plaster peanut that has worn its toothy grin since 1976. Visit the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site which includes the farm where he spent his boyhood, the Plains High School he attended, and the train depot that served as headquarters for his 1976 presidential campaign.


 

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