Day Trips From The Atlanta Metro

Since moving to the Atlanta suburbs, TJ and I have been finding lots of fun day trips to fill some of our weekends! So I thought I would share some of our favorite places and what we did there. Spoiler alert: it's a big mix of some outdoor activity and finding more antique stores.

Cities and Towns:
Athens, GA
We loved spending the day in Athens. We visited the Georgia Museum of Art on the University of Georgia campus. And The State Botanical Gardens of Georgia, which features a Porcelain and Decorative Arts Museum! The gardens were beautiful to see in June. Then we ended the day by visiting Creature Comforts Brewery.

Blue Ridge, GA
Growing up in NC, I couldn't help but think that Blue Ridge's downtown area reminded me a lot of Blocking Rock, NC. There were a few antique stores in the area and quite a few options for hikes.

Chattanooga, TN
We have made two trips to Chattanooga over the summer, and we would go back again! On the first trip we went to Rock City, which has an overlook that is said you can see into the borders of 7 states. Then we went to Chattanooga Choo Choo, the restored train station and had a beer in an old train car. Plus some antique stops at Southside Antiques and Chattanooga Mercantile. We arrived close to closing time, but could have spent hours in Chattanooga Mercantile. On our second trip, we went to the Tennessee Aquarium, Cherry St Brewing, and dinner at Mayan Kitchen downtown.

Dahlonega, GA
This town is the closest to the Atlanta area and we have passed through it twice now. There are several antique stores, plenty of restaurants, and some unique shops. It's a great stopping point as you're going further north to towns like Helen and Hiawassee.

Helen, GA (pictured above)
I had heard a little bit about this town as one of the places that make you feel like you're in Europe. We visited once in the spring and again recently for Oktoberfest. This Bavarian town is very touristy, but a lot of fun! I especially enjoyed Windmill Dutch Imports, a store full of blue and white pottery direct from Holland. There are also some other import stores with products from Germany and Russia. On our first trip we spent some time in Nachoochee Village Antique Mall and Wonderland Antiques & Curiosities outside of the main town center. We also enjoyed coffee with a view on the way in at Jumpingoat Coffee Roasters and lunch from Nachoochee Village Tavern & Pizzeria. Plus a stop on the way back for a beer from Tantrum Brewing in Cleveland, GA. On our second trip, we celebrated Oktoberfest with a beer from International Cafe, which has a covered patio over the river. We also had dinner at Mueller's Fried Cheese!

Hiawassee, GA
We stopped in this town after seeing Bell Mountain, unfortunately as things were mostly closing down for the day. But we got some great barbecue from Hawg Wild BBQ & Catfish House. They have a beautiful view of Bell Creek (which looks more like a lake at that point) from the restaurant. And we will try to make it back sometime soon to see more of what the town has to offer!

Hikes and Waterfalls:
Brasstown Bald
A short but very steep hike, located in between Helen and Hiawasee. There is a whole observation deck at the top with a great view.

Bell Mountain (pictured above)
The road to get up to Bell Mountain is the toughest part. Let's just say we would not do it again with a 2 wheel drive sedan...but once you get to the parking lot, it's just a short walk for panoramic views of mountains and Bell Creek. It's a short drive from the town of Hiawassee for restaurants, shopping, and more.

Dukes Creek Falls
About a 10 minute drive from the town of Helen, this was about a mile hike each way to some beautiful waterfalls.

Falls Branch Falls
This waterfall is near Blue Ridge GA, a fairly short hike and some great views!

We also want to go to Toccoa Falls, in Toccoa, GA. But I unfortunately was sick the weekend we had planned to go. So hopefully we will get another chance to see them sometime soon!

Other Activities:
Callaway Gardens (pictured above)
This is a golf resort with bike trails, a butterfly house, a lake beach, and a few food options. We loved spending a day on the bike trails, there were 10 miles of them! Plus a beautiful chapel that you can stop in to, and lots of family activities. We also walked around the small downtown area of Pine Mountain, GA on the way out and enjoyed a few of the antique stores.

Strawberry Picking
We picked some strawberries at LCCL Strawberry Farm in Rome, GA back in the spring. Don't leave without also getting some of their fresh strawberry ice cream! 

Apple Picking
Last year, we picked some apples at B.J. Reece Orchard in Elijay, GA. It was likely the closest option to go from Atlanta or we picked the most popular day, because it was very crowded. But we got some great apples, and if you have kids, they have lots of family activities as well. There are also several antique stores nearby!

Thanks for reading!

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