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Be a tourist in your own state: road trip around Georgia

Photo Illustration by Julian Pineda | The Signal

You don’t have to travel far for an unforgettable summer trip. As college students, spending money on plane tickets, attractions, and hotel mini bars is an unrealistic idea. (At least, if you plan to pay rent this summer.) Thus, packing your mom’s van and hitting Interstate 75 for an inexpensive Georgia road trip is the way to go.

 

  1. LOVER’S LEAP

Address: 1400 Patten Road, Lookout Mountain, GA 30750

Driving time: Two hours

Two hours north of Georgia State, lies the hidden gem of Rock City. Located on the line of Tennessee and Georgia, Rock City is a romantic retreat full of mountain sights and critter sounds, perfect for an outdoorsy couple.

Lover’s Leap, located at the well-known Lookout Mountain, is the site of a beautiful waterfall overlooking miles of Georgia mountains. Risk takers will love climbing the side of Lover’s Leap for an unbelievable view of several different states in the distance.

To make the most out of this location, pack a picnic of your favorite foods to enjoy lunch with a view.

 

  1. JAEMOR FARMS

Address: 5340 Cornelia Hwy, Alto, GA 30510

Driving time: One hour

Jaemor Farms is about as “Georgia” as it gets. Get out of the city and spend the day picking decadent Georgia peaches. Since peaches ripen in the midst of summer, now is the perfect time to visit the farm.

Because come on, are you really from Georgia if you’ve never picked your own peaches?

 

  1. TOCCOA RIVER

Address: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, GA 30572

Driving time: Two hours and 30 minutes

Traveling through Cumming and Dahlonega, the Toccoa River runs deep through the Blue Ridge Mountains. If you are on the way to Lovers Leap, and don’t mind a two hour delay for a splash in the river, this is an ideal stopping point. If you want more time at this stop, you can pitch a tent by the river overnight for a rustic camping experience, then continue on to Lookout Mountain the next day.

No matter what your preference, fishing, kayaking, tubing, or canoeing, Toccoa River is the ultimate oasis for water activities on a sweltering summer day.

For a scenic Insta-post, snap a pic on the locally-famous swinging bridge above the river. If you aren’t afraid of heights over rushing water, of course.

 

  1. VISIT THE SET OF YOUR FAVORITE TV SHOW OR MOVIE

Shows like Stranger Things and The Walking Dead have numerous set locations around Georgia. Drop by Stockbridge, GA to take a pic in front of Hawkins Middle School or visit the Hawkins National Laboratory less than 20 minutes from Georgia State. There are even Walking Dead Tours south of Atlanta in Senoia where the show was filmed.

Some locations, like the backdrop of scenes in Infinity Wars, are even closer than you think. Check out The Signal’s latest story visiting the locations around Atlanta where Infinity Wars was filmed.

Simply search online where the scene was shot, or, make a game out of it with your friends and see who can find the location first by looking at pictures of the film or show.

This road trip option is a must for movie-buffs and tv-bingers alike.

 

  1. PROVIDENCE CANYON STATE PARK

Address: 8930 Canyon Rd, Lumpkin, GA 31815

Driving time: Two hours and 30 minutes

Can’t make the trip to Arizona this year? No problem, Providence Canyon State Park has got you covered.

If you see a picture of this gorgeous canyon, it might be hard to believe its resting somewhere in west Georgia. In fact, it is so magnificent that it is known as Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon. The Canyon is one of Georgia’s less-known treasures, making it a diamond in the rough.

Instead of renting a hotel room, make use of your car and sleep under the stars. If you have a truck, transform the bed into a comfy scenic loft with lots of pillows and blankets. Or, if you have a smaller car, lean the seats back and watch the stars from your windows with your buds.

 

  1. TYBEE ISLAND

Address: 30 Meddin Dr, Tybee Island, GA 31328

Driving time: Four hours

You can’t forget about the beach! Summer is the prime time to head to the water, and if you spent spring break inside studying for finals, why not splurge a little bit?

No need to travel six or more hours to the Florida Panhandle when you can make it in five to Tybee Island. Plus, you can ride along the coast until you find the perfect beach for your needs.

If you’re bringing your pup, there are plenty of dog friendly beaches nearby, as well as picturesque wildlife refuge walks.

 

  1. CALLAWAY GARDENS

Address: Callaway Gardens, U.S. 27, Pine Mountain, Georgia 31822

Driving time: One hour and 30 minutes

If you are feeling out of touch with nature, and would rather go glamping than camping, Callaway Gardens should be number one on your road trip excursion.

Despite its name, Callaway Gardens is much more than just flowers. For a fairy tale experience, there is a center filled with butterflies just waiting for a finger to land on. Along with spa services, zip-lining, and hot-air balloon rides, there is something for everyone within an allotted budget.

For this location, make sure to have a game plan ready ahead of time so there are no surprises when it comes to expenses.

 

  1. DOLL’S HEAD TRAIL

Address: Doll’s Head Trail, Constitution Lakes Park, 1305 S. River Industrial Blvd, SE, Atlanta, Georgia, United States

Driving time: 20 minutes

Depending on your tolerance for spooky sights, this may be your first stop on your road trip. Located only a little over 8 miles from Georgia State, this trail is an unlikely edition to the city you know and love.

The Dolls Head Trail is a graveyard for scraps of trash and forgotten dolls. While it might sound gruesome, the trail has actually become a form of recycled artwork and is a place for artists and sculptors alike to express themselves.

To enjoy this road trip spot- in all it’s spooky glory, visit the trail around sunset. Or, venture out to the trail on an eerie, foggy early morning.

 

  1. ST. SIMONS ISLAND

Address: Saint Simons Island, GA 31522

Driving time: Four hours and 45 minutes

Feel like taking a dip in the sea, but not spending your entire savings on a destination? St. Simons Island is where small town meets ocean life in a suburban setting.

The island is a quiet getaway from the sounds of the city, while still offering many food and shopping options for your days ashore.Not to mention, there is a number of large oak trees on the island carved into different faces.

If you appreciate art and a small-town vibe, this is definitely a place to visit on your road trip list.

1 Comment

  1. I would add Cumberland Island, a National Seashore and barrier island located south of St. Simons just north of the Florida border. You can catch a National Park Service ferry to the island from the charming coastal town of St. Marys, Ga. Cumberland is known for unspoiled beaches, natural woodlands, wild horses, and great camping and hiking.

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