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Your guide to 16 great Georgia state parks

When you feel the pull of the outdoors, don’t overlook the obvious choice: Georgia’s 63 state parks and historic sites cover incredibly diverse terrain, from North America’s largest blackwater swamp to one of the world’s great mountain ranges. Here are a few of our favorite places to explore, especially when the leaves start to turn.
Valhalla Resort Hotel

This resort hotel in Helen, Georgia, wants to take you to Valhalla

The pet-friendly resort, which also offers a rooftop bar, spa, and wine cellar, sits on five acres. All 25 rooms, which start at $395 a night, are king suites with mountain views, mini bars, and 24/7 room service.
50 Best Things To Do in Georgia what to do in Georgia

Pretend to be a thru-hiker on the Appalachian Trail

Even if—like most folks—you’re not inclined to hike the AT all the way to Maine, you can still get a taste of the glory at the trail’s southern terminus at the top of Georgia’s Springer Mountain.
Asheville

Destination: Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville may be a small city, with a population of just around 83,000, but it’s known nationally as a destination for outdoor adventures and craft beer (there are at least 15 breweries within the city limits).

Ten Favorite Mountain Towns in the South

Some of our picks are celebrated locales; others may be new to you. All share these essential elements: natural splendor, a colorful history, and a slate of interesting places to drink, dine, and do a little shopping.
Grandfather Golf & Country Club

Our Second Home: Grandfather Golf & Country Club

The club has a lake, so it offers boating and fishing, as well as hiking and a top-ranked golf course. Most unique is the Arts Loft, a staffed studio that serves both professionals and novices—offering classes, shows, dinners, and wine events.
Highlands, North Carolina cabin

This Highlands, North Carolina home has an updated take on cabin decor

Like many Atlantans, Scott Murphy and David Spirt were smitten with the charms of Highlands, North Carolina. Last year they decided the town was perfect for a weekend escape from their demanding jobs.
Maharaj mountain home

Our Second Home: A cabin in Blue Ridge

Davind and Rookmin Maharaj both grew up in Trinidad and Tobago, so they never especially craved a second home along the coast. This past spring they settled on a cabin outside Blue Ridge, less than a two-hour drive from their home in Cumming and, just as importantly, a 10-minute walk from the Toccoa River.

Our mountain home: Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Marietta residents Gigi and Shawn Poole were charmed by Blowing Rock, North Carolina, long before the town became the inspiration for Jan Karon’s bestselling Mitford novels. They both grew up vacationing in the area, and they lived only an hour away in Lincolnton when their children, Will and Mills, were young.

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