While bustling Atlanta is Georgia’s main draw, you may not know that this southern state boasts a number of natural attractions, as well. Escape the urban sprawl at one of these incredible outdoor wonders.
Cumberland Island, Where Wild Horses Roam Free
A sprawling area of pristine white sand beaches along the Atlantic marked by the wild horses who’ve roamed the area what’s estimated to be as far back as the 16th century, the dunes, mashes, and stately plantation houses make an interesting backdrop to disconnect with no phones, no roads and very few permanent residents to speak of. Most of the area is a designated National Seashore with 9,800 acres of protected Wilderness.
Bellwood Quarry, A Walking Dead Tour
If you’re a fan of AMC’s post-apocalyptic horror drama, a trip to the zombie survivor’s camp is a must. Actually just a few miles outside of downtown Atlanta the 100-year old granite quarry is being converted into a lake as part of the new 300-acre park along Atlanta's Beltline, a 22-mile corridor of parks, trails, and transit that will encompass the city. The proposed Westside Park is nearly twice the size of Atlanta's current largest city park, Piedmont Park. The area was also used as a filming location for the Vampire Diaries.
Fricks Cave, Georgia’s Richest Biologic Environment
Home to 10,000 endangered gray bats, Georgia’s only known population of the rare Tennessee cave salamander, and 33.8 acres of north Georgia karstland, this extremely unique area of wildlife is protected by the Nature Conservancy, who opens up the caves to visitors just one day a year in winter when the bats are not present. Don’t try to sneak in either because fees if you’re caught can run you up to a whopping $50,000.
Tallulah Gorge, “Niagara Falls of the South”
One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., the suspension bridge overlooking Tallulah Gorge is a sight to see. A collection of six waterfalls, anyone can hike the rim for gorgeous vistas, but to reach the gorge floor only 100 visitors a day are given the opportunity to brave the slippery two-mile hike through the cascading waters. Don’t worry though; there are a number of other cool ways to explore the area by white water rafting, slackline (tight rope tours), or full moon hikes.