Just a quick road trip from Atlanta, the North Georgia mountains offer spectacular adventures. Check out these top things to do in the North Georgia mountains in this day trip itinerary.
Looking for a quick escape from Atlanta full of adventure? Then it’s time to head to the North Georgia Mountains!
A day trip to the breathtaking North Georgia Mountains is the perfect getaway that can provide a much-needed break from city life.
From exploring a waterfall hike to eating in a Bavarian-inspired town to mining for gold, here are a few of the best things to do on a day trip to the North Georgia Mountains.
Best Things To Do in the North Georgia Mountains
Follow this North Georgia road trip itinerary for the perfect day in the mountains!
Hike Anna Ruby Falls
Our first stop was Anna Ruby Falls.
To get to Anna Ruby Falls, you drive through the lush Unicoi State Park, though it isn’t actually part of the park. The falls are named for the daughter of John H. Nichols, a wealthy White County resident who owned much of the land nearby.
The story goes that that Nichols found the falls while riding through these mountains shortly after the death of his wife and child. The tallest of the two waterfalls is the Curtis Creek falls with a drop of 153 feet. The York Creek falls have a drop of 50 feet.
The path to the falls is paved and is just under half a mile. Because I am apparently becoming an outdoorsy person, I agreed to visit again to do the rest of the 5 mile unpaved hiking trails.
Explore Helen, Georgia
Back on the road, we made the short drive to the mountain town of Helen, Georgia.
On the drive to Helen, we passed campsites, wooden adventure courses, and people tubing down the streams. The alpine town of Helen, Georgia was once the most popular tourist destination in the North Georgia mountains. A former logging town that was in decline, the town resurrected itself in the 1960s by becoming a replica of a German town.
The Bavarian design is mandated so that every building represents this style. Helen’s sister city is Füssen, Germany, which, wouldn’t you know?, I’ve been to!
We stopped in Helen to wander around and get lunch at a delicious German restaurant overlooking a music-filled courtyard.
Visit the Consolidated Gold Mine in Dahlonega
Consolidated Gold Mine is the largest hard rock gold mine east of the Mississippi. Gold was first discovered in the Dahlonega area in 1828, twenty years before the Gold Rush to California. In the Dahlonega side of the mountain, several extremely large veins of quartz containing gold formed one giant vein 22ft thick.
That vein is still one of the largest veins of quartz discovered in the world containing gold. Investors bought 7,000 acres of land around the discovery site to continue mining the “Glory Hole” vein. All this land formed the Consolidated Gold Mine.
The tour takes you 200ft underground where you can see the mined Glory Hole and the tools miners used to extract the quartz and gold. After the tour, we panned for gold and each found three tiny flecks of gold for 20 minutes of work sloshing sand and water in a pan.
With gold in hand, it was time for us to head out of the mountains and back to the city.
More Things To Do in North Georgia
- Hike Brasstown Bald at Sunset
- Enjoy a Mystery Weekend in Dahlonega
- Take a Winery Day Tour from Atlanta
- Spend a Wine Weekend Getaway in North Georgia Wine Country
- Have a A Girls’ Weekend in Ellijay, Georgia
Ready to visit the North Georgia Mountains? Plan your trip with these tips.
- Book your flight: Find the cheapest flights using Skyscanner, my favorite flight search engine.
- Find accommodation: You can find top cabin rentals in Helen or in Dahlonega using VRBO.
- Get packing: Make sure you’ve packed everything you need with my packing list resources.
Have you taken a day trip to the North Georgia mountains? Tell me your adventures in the comments!