My family has been going to Amicalola Falls in North Georgia since I was very young and it has always been one of our favorite hiking spots. The waterfall is gorgeous and well worth the hike. It's also great for shooting photos and the North Georgia Outlets are close by. If you're wanting to stay the weekend, check out The Hike Inn.
Blue Cove Hideaway
I discovered Blue Cove this Summer and have fallen in love. It's in Athens, Tennessee, so it's a 2 hour for me drive but 100% worth it. This is one of the neatest places I have ever been, and my favorite by far. The water comes from a spring, so it's crystal blue and clear, allowing you to see the fish swimming around. It's a big open area to swim and there's a 50+ foot cliff jump off the platform shown in the photo above. The area is privately owned by locals, and they couldn't keep people out, so admission is $5.
This is about an hour from Amicalola Falls and worth the drive once you make it to the gorgeous waterfall. There are also camping grounds and cabins in the area if you want to make a weekend trip. I've gone here on a few different occasions and during the Summer for church retreats- it's an awesome location!
Etowah River Park
This is a newer park in Canton. The sunflowers may or may not be dead, depending on what time of the year you go. I mainly use this park to shoot with the sunflowers or find a quiet spot to eno. There is also a spot to launch canoes. This is nothing special if the sunflower field isn't in bloom.
I absolutely love Indian Seats located in Cumming! The view on the top of the mountain is absolutely gorgeous and it's only an hour drive for me, so a trip I make a lot. On top of this mountain is a perfect spot to watch the sun rise.
As close as Kennesaw mountain is to me, I do not go there often. The view on the top of the mountain is nice, but the hike is straight up hill and a pain in the butt. If you're close, it's worth a hike, but definitely not for a long drive.
Lake Allatoona + Victoria Beach
I normally canoe on Lake Allatoona since it's the closet lake. There are a few cool islands to explore, and some would be good for a camp out overnight. I also frequent Victoria Beach for cookouts on Summer nights or a good spot to tan and play beach volleyball.
Mercier Orchards is in Blue Ridge and a must during the fall time. The scenery is gorgeous and they have the best apple cider I've ever tasted. You can also go apple-picking in the fall- and other fruit in the summer. You can make a day out of it and go to downtown Blue Ridge.
This spot is known as the Little Grand Canyon in Omaha, Georgia. It's about a two hour drive from Atlanta, but only an hour if you're in Auburn, Alabama. Walking through the canyon and seeing the view from the top is truly a remarkable experience and something I recommend you do if given the chance.
Rope Mill Park
Rope Mill is an awesome park with great hiking trails and a spectacular place to watch the sun set on the water! It's not pictured, but there is a set of train tracks you can walk over and a bunch of cool graffiti. I shoot a lot of content here and love the trails for running. There is also a bridge you can jump off (be careful it's shallow in parts) and a lot of spots to eno along with a few spots you could swim. You could start kayaking here and make it out to Alatoona. Also, if you're bold enough, there's some falls you can go off-trail to find. One thing I forgot, this is a prime fishing spot.
I love the mill for what it is and how close it is to home. There's a huge waterfall right at the front and you can take a trail back to a rope swing and cliff jumping (if you know how to get there). Once again, there are tons of locations to eno and a bunch of hiking trails. I spend a lot of Summer days here swimming with my friends. I have also shot a lot of content here. There are also a bunch of ruins and older buildings from the old mill. This is a must-see if you're in the area!!
Sope Creek Park
This is a small area with hiking trails and ruins in Marietta. I've only been a few times but do enjoy hiking along the creek to the ancient mill ruins; it's pretty neat!
The view on top of Stone Mountain is breathtaking, but the hike up there is treacherous. It is straight up and solid rock, with complete exposure to the sun. If you're really not feeling it, you can pay extra to take the sky lift, but it defeats the purpose of hiking. Oh and parking is $15 even if you just want to hike and skip the other attractions. This is not a hike I make often, but everyone should go at least once.
Sweetwater Creek State Park
This is a pretty neat park with old mill ruins and a gorgeous view along the water! The mill ruins are surrounded by a gate, but you can see them if you go on a ranger-guided tour. It's outside Atlanta, and definitely a cool hike. There are a lot of great enoing spots here as well.
Tallulah Gorge is gorgeous!! If you go early enough, you can get a free pass and go on the gorge floor. It's a 2 hour drive, but so worth it and another must-see.
I might have left out a few locations, but these are my most hiked/explored spots. If you visit any of these spots, definitely tag me on Instagram and Twitter @dariasmithyt! I know this was so requested, sorry it took me so long to get it up, enjoy!! If you like this, check out my Adventures Playlist on YouTube.