The stunning scenery of Northeast Georgia’s mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, as well as quaint small towns, make it a great Georgia summer road trip destination. [Click here for our tips on keeping your vehicle ready for a road trip] You can explore gorges, historic towns, vineyards and history all within hours each other. Here is our list of what not to miss:
Tallulah Gorge State Park
The hiking, biking, and trail running options at Tallulah Gorge State Park are plentiful – and the sights are simply stunning. The trail to the floor of the gorge is several hundred steps in each direction, but worth the trip. If you want to camp on-site you can, but be sure to get your reservations early as there are only 50 spots.
Toccoa Falls, Georgia
A semi-hidden gem, Toccoa Falls is the highest single-drop waterfall east of the Mississippi. 186 feet of swirling water that swiftly plunges into a gorgeous canyon; it’s an impressive 26 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Great for hiking, there are lots of wooded spots to relax and eat while taking in views of the falls.
Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald, is a must-see at over 4,000 feet and surrounded by the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. On clear days, visitors can see four states from the observation deck.
Ellijay, Dahlonega, Hiawassee, Blue Ridge, Helen
Georgia’s mountain towns offer both small town charm and plenty of things to do. Exploring the towns you will encounter historic sites, be able sip local wines at nearby vineyards, and eat at some amazing restaurants. You can stay in for a night or two in a number of them to get a feel for what makes each unique, or plan to stay at only one as a home base for exploring the region.
Dahlonega is just an hour outside of Atlanta and has a more contemporary air while retaining its small-town historic feel. Blue Ridge and Ellijay are both quintessential mountain towns with numerous hiking trails, fishing and numerous cabins to stop at on your Georgia summer road trip.
Helen is known for its vineyards and Bavarian-style buildings. It is an Alpine retreat in the South.
Hiawassee is famous for being the home of Georgia’s highest peak, Brasstown Bald. Hiawassse is also near Lake Chatuge, a TVA lake with more than 100 miles of shoreline in one of Georgia’s most beautiful areas.
We like to head to the Northeast through the smaller back roads via Swainsboro, Dublin or Millidgeville and get off the main highway. If you travel I-16 or I-75, you will not find unique stops like Goats On The Roof, Georgia Bob’s BBQ, The Tree that Owns Itself or LouAnn’s Biscuits.