While Atlanta is a constant running machine producing new activities and events for its residents, the craving for a breath of fresh air is inevitable.
In the hustle of Downtown, it’s common to have the natural man-made creations beyond the city slip your mind. So, before you jump on the Marta to attend another bank-breaking festival or purchase an overpriced one-day pass to Six Flags, consider an inexpensive weekend road trip to Northern Georgia.
A breath of fresh air
Merge onto I85 South from the Georgia State exit and wave goodbye to the gloomy skyscrapers in your rearview mirror. Reintroduce your city-life senses to towering Maple and Sweetgum trees transitioning to popping autumn colors of orange, red and yellow.
Breathe in the sweet crisp air of Dawsonville, GA where the first stop on your weekend road trip begins at the infamous, aesthetically pleasing Fausett Farms. The farm opens for the 2017 season on September 30, remaining open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Sunday.
A popular location for those blooming sunflower Instagram posts, Fausett Farms offers professional photography for $35 and an array of sunflowers to choose from that will be sure to brighten up your dorm or apartment. If you are originally from a rural part of Georgia where horses typically reside, bring your furry friend to Fausett Farms. The farm accommodates horseback riding through the sunflower fields; an ideal activity for a romantic getaway with a significant other.
Fausett Farms differs from comparable sunflower fields in Georgia, like Anderson’s Sunflowers, because it opens purposefully in early fall for out of town visitors. This leads us to the next stop on our excursion, Georgia’s long time autumnal hotspot—Burts Pumpkin Farm.
Located just one and a half miles away, Burt’s Pumpkin Farm sits quietly in the mountains anticipating their busiest time of the year. Opening in late August, the farm carries thousands of pumpkins to choose from.
Along with pumpkins, decadent desserts and colorful vegetables are an essential purchase at their country store during your visit. The farm welcomes all age groups by providing a hay ride for families, “Burt’s Pumpkin Farm” attire for every size and delicious foods for everyone to munch on throughout the fall day.
If you are planning to visit the area for more than a day, Dawsonville has a luxurious camping ground just down the street from Burt’s Pumpkin Farm at the base of the Appalachian Mountains. Under the Hemlock Campground provides camping and cabin options for overnight visitors. Each of the cabins have the following amenities available to guests:
- King Bed with fitted sheet
- Mini Refrigerator
- Coffee maker
- Air Conditioning/ Heat
- Dining Table (inside)
- Picnic Table (outside)
If you choose to RV or Tent camp water and electricity hookups are obtainable.
Fall in love with the Falls
For a full weekend of outdoor fall fun, the Under the Hemlock Campground is located only a mile away from Amicalola Falls. The falls sit between an array of trees— another one of Georgia’s hidden treasures. The hike to experience the entirety of the falls and surrounding foliage is not simple, the total length is about 15.5 miles and is rated on the difficulty scale as strenuous. Amicalola Falls has also been named one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Georgia for its timeless beauty.
The Amicalola Falls Lodge is another great choice for an overnight stay in Dawsonville. The lodge offers four different packages to choose from that will surely make your stay relaxing and comfortable. Unfortunately, there are no student discounts as of now.
Package #1: The Bed and Breakfast
If you are looking for the biggest bang for your buck, The Bed and Breakfast package is probably not your best choice.The package starts at $119 per night and offers a quiet bedroom in the mountains, but not much else. With this package, what you decide to do with your excursion is mainly on you. The lodge website recommends “hiking the waterfall, touring the local towns, or just pausing for a break on your ‘road trip’.” Which sounds fine, but for a weekend getaway, you might as well get the most out of your money with one of the other packages.
Package #2: The Zip N Stay
If you are more on the risk taking, adventurous side The Zip N Stay package might be the right choice for you. This daring package includes an overnight lodge room and a Zip Line tour of Amicalola State Parks for two. The package starts at $99 per person, and they currently have a promo code available online for a reduced price. I think this package would be an ideal choice for anyone craving a new adventure while gliding through the trees with the crisp Autumn air.
Promo Code: ZIPNSTAY
Package #3: The Adventure Package
The Adventure Package is the ultimate outdoor experience at the Amicalola Lodge. At $179 this package includes archery, survival skill activities and guided hikes through the beautiful state park. The package also includes a cozy mountain view room and breakfast for two at the hotel restaurant.
Package #4: The Sunset Dinner Package
For all the couples looking for a sentimental experience, The Sunset Dinner Package will best suit your interests. For couples over 21, the lodge will offer its house wine while watching the sunset over the mountains. The romantic night’s price depends on the room the couple chooses and the day of booking.
Northern Georgia on my mind
Dawsonville holds a variety of different activities for visitors to enjoy during their weekend getaway from Georgia State. This excursion is a memorable way for students to forget about deadlines for a weekend and savor time with family and friends they are too busy to see.
Finding peace in the natural wonders of Georgia will bring you back to your roots and have you revitalized for your next upcoming assignment. Whether you decide to visit one day at Burt’s Pumpkin Farm or stay the entire weekend at the Amicalola Lodge or Under the Hemlock Campground, you will be reminiscing on the down-home road trip for the rest of fall.