The last days of winter are upon us, and spring and summer are rapidly approaching. Many of us will no doubt get the urge to get out and enjoy the weather. If you’ve lived in the state of Georgia in the U.S. for a long time, you probably already know about some of the natural wonders, but there might be a lot more to discover than you think. This season, consider exploring the wonders of Georgia with a road trip! Get outside of Savannah and Atlanta to see some wonderful examples of nature. We’ll provide some suggestions and a few safety tips to help get you started.
So why should you choose exploring what Georgia has to offer over other alternatives? A few reasons. First, money is tight for just about everyone these days — and a road trip across the state will cost you a lot less than an airplane trip across the country, especially if you have a family. Not only that, but a Georgia road trip means shorter distances to travel, meaning you might find a new favorite spot for a weekend trip in Georgia that’s only a few hours away!
Finally, it’s worth noting that Georgia has a lot to offer in terms of unique and varied landscape: mountains, canyons, waterfalls, swamps and springs, it’s all here.
Amicalola Falls is the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast, offering a stunning view, a five-mile trail, and a backcountry lodge, Le Foote Hike Inn, to stay in during your visits. If you are planning to explore the Appalachian Trail, this is where to begin.
Okefenokee Swamp is not only the biggest blackwater swamp in North America, it’s also part of the 400,000 acre Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. This is an ideal destination for nature and water lovers, with opportunities for boating and camping far from the bustle of urban life.
Also known as the “Little Grand Canyon,” Providence Canyon resembles nothing so much as a scene from the days of the Old West. Visitors can go backpacking along a 7-mile trail ending in campsites, and learn about the colorful geology and history of the area.
Radium Springs has been preserved as an historic site as the largest natural spring in Georgia and a one-of-a-kind attraction. Visitors can travel down the Flint River and look down into the crystal clear water, or enjoy the lush botanical gardens.
Stone Mountain is not only an amazing natural wonder, but has some man-made wonders, too: it has the world’s longest-running laser show, not to mention the world’s biggest bas-relief carving. Simply enjoy the hiking trail to the top of the mountain, or learn more about Stone Mountain at the on-site museum.
The hot, relaxing spring waters of Georgia’s Warm Springs rose to fame when President Franklin D. Roosevelt came there looking for a polio cure. Not only that, but next to warm springs you’ll find the largest state park in Georgia!
If you enjoy mountain biking, rock climbing, or just spectacular views, the Tallulah Gorge is the destination for you. Almost a thousand feet deep, this two-mile-long gorge offers amazing sights and plenty of opportunity for exploration.
As with any road trip or vacation, it pays to put safety first. Nothing will put a damper on the fun faster than an avoidable mishap, or even worse, an injury or expensive accident. With that in mind, here are a few safety tips for driving in Georgia, especially when you’re visiting the more remote areas.
Get your car serviced before the trip. Breaking down on the road is the last thing you need, so make sure everything’s in good working order, with all the fluids topped up, tires properly inflated, and no outstanding issues. And even then, make sure you have all the necessary safety equipment, like a first aid kit, tire jack, road flares, and other supplies.
Plan your route. Before heading out, check the appropriate websites or apps to see if there are any roads under construction, road closures, or other issues. Also, plan your rest stops (or at least know where they are) and decide what sights you want to see along the way. And make sure to book any accommodations you need in advance!
Make certain you take your car registration and proof of insurance documents with you before you go. And while you’re at it, make sure your car insurance is up to date, and know what kind of incident it covers. Reviewing your insurance policy is also a great time to compare quotes, inquire about discounts with your existing insurer, and look at some of the smaller insurance companies. For example, according to Kristine Lee at The Zebra, Auto-Owners offers one of the cheapest full coverage rates, making it some of the best cheap car insurance in Georgia.
If driving at night, exercise caution. Make sure your windshield is clean and your dashboard lights dimmed to maximize visibility. Watch your speed to allow for decreased visibility at night.