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There are full of wonderful things to do in Atlanta and see, but what many people tend to ignore is that it's also a great starting point for a lot of amazing road trips to discover some of the most amazing places in the southern United States. Autumn foliage in Atlanta are also very beautiful, second to only the autumn foliage in Idaho.

This city has lots of Southern Charm while also being a major urban center and the economic hub of the Southeast. The city has an incredible tree canopy with beautiful, historic homes and nice residents. It is becoming more walkable, and there is lots to do and see.

So, in this post, we'll be seeing some amazing destinations that are close enough to Atlanta for you to organize a trip that I guarantee you won't ever forget.

Now have in mind that these trips will require you to have a reliable vehicle, as there will be a lot of driving involved. If you don’t own a car or if yours is a little run down, don't worry, you can rent one. This way, you can choose among many types of vehicles. So if your day-to-day car would be uncomfortable for longer trips, then you can get one that will be more suitable for the longer periods of driving.

It’s also a great way to squeeze a lot more from your visit to Atlanta, as all of the trips we’re going to discuss are doable in a single day allowing you to enjoy more than just Atlanta during your stay. In fact, even if you have a car, this will save you a lot of headaches as you'll be sure to have a vehicle that’s up to the task.

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Plus, you can make the rental process much easier and inexpensive if you use companies such as Miles Car Rental. These websites offer the lowest prices and the most options in little time.

Now, without further ado let’s begin!

1. Outdoor Adventures in Atlanta


Outdoor enthusiasts can find white water rafting, zip lining, hiking and mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, horseback riding and boating - all within four hours of Atlanta in North Georgia, or the neighbors Tennessee, Alabama, and North and South Carolina. Others may prefer to pick fresh apples and strawberries from the farm, wash gold for water, visit historic villages or go shopping at discount malls.

Some 700,000 international tourists arrive in Georgia every year, making it the second fastest growing state in global tourism, according to government statistics. Most visitors come from Europe and the Americas, but a growing number are from Asia. South Korea and Japan now rank in the top five countries of origin, with China and Hong Kong in ninth place.

Many within one million international visitors come every quarter for business and educational opportunities, while others visit Georgia solely for relaxation and recreation.

2. Exploring the Fantastic Outer


Whether tourists arrive in Atlanta to attend classes or take a vacation, they find a variety of outdoor activities and weekend getaways from Atlanta within a couple of hours by car from the city. These opportunities include:

3. White Water Rafting


Just two hours north of Atlanta is the Chattooga River, which is part of the Georgia-South Carolina border. Three companies offer part-time rafting and overnight rafting trips in federally protected Wild and Scenic River through the Blue Ridge Mountains. Section III of the Chattooga is best for beginners, mostly with Class II and III rapids ending in a Class IV "Bull Sluice".

For greater emotions, section IV offers fast Class III and IV rapids. Drive for an hour northbound and rafting through national forests on the Tennessee Ocoee River (home of the 1996 Olympic rowing competitions) or the Nantahala River in South Carolina.

4. Kayak and canoe


There are thousands of miles of rivers and dozens of lakes where you can explore the water with a guide or on your own. Small equipment rental locations, ports and resorts such as Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain rent kayaks and canoes.

The Altamaha River, one of the last virgin and still wild rivers in the country, is a popular rowing destination about three hours south-west of Atlanta. The river - one of the 75 Last Great Places on Earth of the Nature Conservancy, flows through remote forests and swamps. Puerto del Ridges Resort rents boats and jet skis for trips to Lake Chatuge. Or you can Shoot the Hooch.

5. Zip lining


The longest and largest canopy ecological zip line in the world is at Historic Banning Mills in Whitesburg, about 45 minutes west of Atlanta. Banning Mills has more than nine miles of zip lines, towers, airlifts and other challenges up to 300 feet in height. The main piece is the tour "Screaming Eagle" on Snake Creek, half a mile.

Nestled on 1,200 acres of preserved forest, Banning Mills also has the world's highest self-sustained climbing wall. Do you prefer a less exhausting route? Try North Georgia Canopy Tours in Lula; Chattooga Ridge Canopy Tours in Long Creek, South Carolina; or with Foxfire Mountain Adventures in the vicinity of Sevierville, Tennessee.

6. Hiking, cycling and skiing


Miles of hiking trails wind through northern Georgia at the Tallulah Gorge State Park (a two-mile canyon with a depth of more than 1,000 feet); Amicalola Falls and Anna Ruby Falls.

You can also find trails for mountain biking throughout the area, along with conventional biking trails such as the Discovery Trail in Callaway Gardens and the Riverwalk in Chattanooga, Tennessee. While Georgia does not have its own ski resort, one finds itself less than four hours away by car on the slopes of Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee, or Cataloochee, Sugar, Beech, Sapphire Valley and other inns in North Carolina.

7. Historical towns in Dahlonega


In rural areas around Atlanta, there are hundreds of villages with their own unique stories and modern stories. The North American Revolution and the Civil War had battles on Georgia soil, leaving battlefields, museums and other places paying homage to those conflicts.

You can look for gold in Dahlonega (the place of the first gold rush in the United States); track the steps of Native Americans along the 300-mile Chieftains Trail; explore the Etowah Indian Hills in Cartersville; or enjoy Oktoberfest in the alpine village of Helen. Travel pre-war homes, such as the Jarrell Plantation Historic Site in Forsyth and the Gordon-Lee Mansion in Chickamauga.

Many towns also have a variety of shopping experiences in a less hectic environment, from Scott's Bookstore in Newnan to High Country Art & Antiques in Blue Ridge. Most areas host annual fairs and festivals where local art, crafts, and jewelry are displayed and sold.

Bargain hunters will enjoy the many discount stores near Atlanta. North Georgia Premium Outlets in Dawsonville, Calhoun Premium Outlets, and Tanger discount stores in Commerce and Locust Grove are only an hour away. The Smoky Mountains are home to the largest concentration of discount stores in the country, housing two Tanger Outlets, Pigeon Forge Outlet Mall and Belz Outlets.

There are also many traditional shopping centers, led by Lenox Square in Atlanta, the first closed shopping center in the southeastern United States.

8. Wine tasting


It is another relaxing alternative for the weekend. The wine industry in Georgia has grown dramatically over the last decade, with dozens of new vineyards opening and winning prizes. The North Georgia Wine Trail links eight established vineyards in the mountains, including Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, Three Sisters Vineyards in Dahlonega, Habersham Winery in Helen and Tiger Mountain Vineyards in Tiger.

Just 40 miles from Atlanta is Chateau Elan in Braselton, a full-service resort with tavern, spa, cooking classes, golf, tennis, vineyard tours and wine tasting.

The vine is just one of the many agricultural products that are grown throughout Georgia, where agriculture is the largest industry (followed by tourism). Gilmer County produces more than 600,000 bushels of apples each year, with eight apple producers present along the Apple Orchard Alley near Ellijay.

During the growing season at Mercier Orchards, you can take a tractor tour on the farm and harvest your own apples, strawberries and blackberries. Lane Southern Orchards in Fort Valley has more than 4,000 acres of walnuts and peaches. You can see corn and wheat being ground at Nora's Mill in Helen and Logan Turnpike Mill in the vicinity of Blairsville.

9. Tybee Island


If you have a long weekend and want to drive a little further, it's only five hours to reach the lush gardens of historic Savannah and the beautiful beaches of Tybee Island. Golfers will be attracted to Augusta, home of the PGA Master Championship. The beaches of northern Florida are less than six hours from Atlanta, including historic San Agustin on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico resorts such as Panama City, Destin, Seaside and Pensacola.

However - apart from the ocean - you can find mountains, forests, streams and other natural environments less than two hours by car from Atlanta.

10. Providence Canyon State Park


Providence Canyon State Park is also known as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon and for a good reason. The state park features some truly amazing landscapes, with canyons and gorges that have a truly unique coloration that goes from bone-like white to a striking bright red. However, unlike in the real Grand Canyon you'll also see a lot of lush greenery, as the site is set in the middle of a forested area.

Many trees grow in this strangely colored scenery, making it one of the most picturesque places in all of Georgia. In the state park, you'll find everything from picknick shelters to campsites, even a museum and a seasonal visitor center.

As a little fun fact about this place, these canyons and gorges were created due to poor farming practices from farmers in the 1800s which in turn eroded the soil and created this fascinating landscape. It makes you think about nature’s amazing ability to make beauty out of humanity’s disasters. It also makes you wonder: What the heck were those farmers doing to their lands to make this place into a barren rock canyon!

There is a roughly two-hour drive from Atlanta to the state park so the trip is not that long the nearest town you'll find is Lumpkin, which is a mere 10-minute drive from the canyon.

An there you have it, next time you visit Atlanta make sure to at least, consider some of these destinations so that you can plan out some amazing road trips. If you need some assistance when it comes to renting a car, remember to use sites such as Miles Car Rental. If you visit their website you'll get a lot of advantages and make the whole process easier. So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and explore!
Kalyan Panja Kalyan Panja Author

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