By Lily Davis
When considering the best ‘action-packed’ destinations in the United States, Georgia may not come to the front of everyone’s mind. However, after spending a week in the state and a few crazy days (and nights!) in the Georgia mountains, I beg to differ! So, here’s my round-up of the top outdoor adventures I would recommend next time you’re in the Peach State:
- Hike the Appalachian Trail: A real bucket-list adventure – okay, so we didn’t have time to hike the entire trail in our one morning (it takes a ‘typical’ hiker approximately five to seven months to hike the full 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine, or the other way around). However, get a taste of what the mountain has to offer and start your trail taster trip at Mountain Crossings in Blairsville, an outdoor outfitter which offers both gear and expertise to thru hikers along their journey.
- Tubing along the Chattahoochee River: Drive into Helen and you can’t miss the river that runs alongside the road, filled with bright coloured ‘tubes’, or rubber rings as we call them in the UK. Fun for ALL the family – what could be better than floating along the Appalachian foothills in the Georgia sunshine?!
- Stay at the Valhalla Hotel Resort: Complete with its own helicopter landing pad – if it’s good enough for Richard Branson, it’s good enough for me and my UK media group. Located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Valhalla is the latest hotel to open in Helen and is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a bit of luxury after a busy day exploring.
- Go Zip Lining at Nacoochee Adventures: Still looking for that adrenaline rush? Say hi to the guys at Nacoochee Adventures and you will be sure to leave buzzing. Take it to the extreme with the half mile long zip line – which isn’t called ‘The Intimidator’ for nothing – then follow that with a ride on the Giant Swing and experience the valley from a truly unique perspective.
Watch a video here
- Have a drink at Wolf Mountain Vineyards: If (like me) you need a drink after all that, you don’t have to travel far to visit some of the state’s best local vineyards, breweries and distilleries. Located just five miles from Dahlonega, take in the views from the beautiful Wolf Mountain Vineyards while enjoying a glass (or two) of its famous Claret red wine.
- Amicalola Falls State Park: A trip to the Georgia Mountains wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the beautiful Amicalola Falls. Georgia’s tallest waterfall at 729 feet, the strenuous hike features 605 stairs, so I would recommend taking it easy and enjoying the spectacular scenery and wildlife along the way.
- Refuel at Big Daddy’s Restaurant: Finally, after a long day in the mountains what could be better than a burger at Big Daddy’s? Try the Fried Green Tomatoes, Calamari Tacos and Rocky Top Burger – you won’t be disappointed!
So, there you go – from hiking to zip-lining, waterfalls and (more than 26!) wineries, the North Georgia Mountains really do have it all. Click here for more information if that’s made you want to start planning your next adventure!