6 Spontaneous Day Trips Less Than 3 Hours Away From Atlanta

These are the perfect way to end the summer!

​A woman standing in front of a waterfall. RIght: A woman crossing a suspension bridge over water.

A woman standing in front of a waterfall. RIght: A woman crossing a suspension bridge over water.

These spontaneous road trip ideas are ideal for days when you just wake up in the mood to get out of town for a little while.

These must-see destinations are all less than 3-hours away from Atlanta, so you can make the most of your time away.

All of these spots are affordable, or completely free to visit.

All you need is a tank full of gas, and maybe some friends to accompany you as you venture into spots unknown.

Rock City Gardens

Time From Atlanta: 2 hours

Price: $24.95

Address: 1400 Patten Rd., Lookout Mountain, GA

Why You Need To Go: This easy stroll will take you up Lookout Mountain with beautiful cliffside and waterfall views. There's even a swinging bridge if you're feeling brave enough to cross.

Diamond Hill Mine

Time From Atlanta: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Price: $20

Address: 100 Diamond Mine Rd., Abbeville, SC

Why You Need To Go: At Diamond Hill Mine, you can dig and mine for your own unique and rare crystals and gems at this huge site.

High Falls Park

Time From Atlanta: 2 hours

Price: Admission Fee

Address: 969 County Rd. 144, Grove Oak, AL

Why You Need To Go: This huge waterfall has a width of 300 feet and plummets down 35 feet. You can walk across the natural bridge at the top if you're looking for an adrenaline-raising pastime.

Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve

Time From Atlanta: 2 hours and 55 minutes

Price: Free with a permit

Address: 8408 Co. Rd. 30, Woodville, AL

Why You Need To Go: This 2-mile hike will bring you to a cave with massive caverns and an underground waterfall that will unearth your inner Laura Croft.

Loch Low-Minn Scuba Diving Resort

Time From Atlanta: 2 hours and 35 minutes

Price: $20 admission, not including equipment rentals.

Address: 116 County Rd. 420, Athens, TN

Why You Need To Go: This quarry is filled with all types of wildlife and if you don't have any scuba equipment, you can rent some for cheap while you're here. There's even a sunken underwater school bus you can explore.

Toccoa River Swinging Bridge on the Benton MacKaye Trail

Time From Atlanta: 2 hours and 15 minutes

Price: $2 for parking

Address: Toccoa River Swinging Bridge Hwy 60, Blue Ridge, GA; parking lot located at N 34°44.350' W084°10.213'

Why You Need To Go: This is the longest swinging bridge east of the Mississippi. It comes in at a massive 270-feet-long and will lead you through lush nature views.

This article has been updated since it was originally published on June 11, 2020.

Before you get going, check our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.

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