When fall comes, there's a sense of urgency in the air to squeeze the last bit of adventure from the fading glow of summer. If you're looking for an escape from the city, here's the perfect Atlanta autumn getaway.
Stone Mountain is part nature park, part theme park, and all fun. The centerpiece here is Stone Mountain itself, a massive wall of granite with a 3-acre Confederate Memorial carving etched onto the side. Hike the mildly strenuous one-mile trail to the top, or take the Swiss cable car Summit Skyride to the top for never-ending views of the Appalachians, which look stunning in the fall. Restaurants, shops, golf courses, a petting zoo, a scenic railroad, a ropes course, museums, historic homes, and tons more can be found here as well, and an awesome calendar of events keeps things fresh throughout the fall, winter, and summer.
Treat yourself to a good meal at one of Atlanta's most inventive eateries: Illegal Food. Their foods blend inspiration from all over: think bahn mi burgers, okonomiyaki french fries, and ancho chili cocktails. If that all sounds a little too crazy, they nail the classics too: sometimes, a fried chicken sandwich and a craft beer are all you need to have a perfect meal.
Stonehurst Place is a totally one-of-a-kind bed and breakfast that combines historic charm (it's located in a gorgeous turn-of-the-century mansion) with modern-day convenience (it has totally rad solar panels). The six individual rooms are an artfully planned blend of modern elegance with vintage charm, and the gardens, parlor, and other community spaces are beautiful. Relax and enjoy the comfy beds, gourmet breakfasts, and excellent location near Piedmont Park!
Soak up the last few drops of summer and enjoy the brief but lovely period when the seasons are changing at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The park's location along the river means there are plenty of opportunities to dip your toes in the water, picnic on the rocks at the river's edge, jog or bike on the trails, see birds, or canoe. And, of course, once autumn sets in, the views of the brightly hued trees are unbeatable! It's one of the Atlanta area's best spots for a leaf-peeping hike.
Not too far from the Recreation Area, you'll find Morgan Falls Overlook Park. With its picnic tables, fire pits, and swinging benches, it's the perfect place to roast some hot dogs and s'mores and watch the sun set while the weather is still warm enough! Plus, is there anything more cozy than a fall bonfire?
For an unforgettable meal, reserve a table at Canoe Restaurant. The location along the river means that they serve up views that are just as enticing as their dishes, which are inspired by fresh, local ingredients. They do lunch and dinner, but their weekend brunch and their dessert menu are totally decadent. Plus, they have a flower garden to explore, live music, and more.
Sweetwater Creek is another outdoor wonderland where you can enjoy the season! Rent canoes at the park’s visitor center and enjoy the leaves from the water, fish in the reservoir, or take a history hike out to the remains of the New Manchester Manufacturing Mill, a textile factory that was burned down during the Civil War. The rangers also offer guided hikes through the woodland, so you can join one and learn all about the trees and plants here.
The nice thing about autumn is that the weather is perfect: not too hot, and not too cold, perfect for hiking. There are lots of trails at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, which offer a look at a well-preserved Civil War battlefield. Earthworks, cannons, fences, and more can be seen, and you can also climb to the top of Kennesaw Mountain for sweeping views of the park. Plus, the visitor center offers some really interesting information about the crucial battle that occurred here.
Red Top Mountain State Park has plenty to do: There's the lake, which has a beach and is great for boating and fishing; the 19th century homestead; the campground with cottages and a yurt; and 15 miles of trails to explore. It's named for the red soil, commonly found across Georgia, which complements the colors of autumn leaves perfectly!
Atlanta in the fall is a special place. The heat begins to fade and the leaves start to turn, drawing everyone to the great outdoors to enjoy the brief but beautiful season!
Discover Georgia’s scenic beauty from the Appalachian Mountains to the coastal islands. Along the way, stop into historic small towns, homegrown restaurants and unique local shops. Experience outdoor fun at Georgia’s state parks filled with breathtaking foliage, trails, waterfalls and much more.