One of the more popular activities here is paddling, kayaking, and canoeing through the mirrory waterways. The glassy swamp will encompass you with its beauty and make you feel like you've stepped completely away from reality.
But there's so much more than taking paddle adventures here worth checking out, including fishing, wildlife watching, hiking, or even simply watching the sunrise and sunset.
Paddling through the natural wonder that is this cypress swamp will take you past tower cypress trees that are growing right out of the water to really set the scene for something enchanting. It almost feels like you've wandered into Endor from the Star Wars universe.
You can bring your own kayak and launch your craft without any cost, as there are no fees to use the launching dock. But if you don't have your own kayak, Banks Lake rents them out for a small fee.
A full day rental from 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. will cost you $35. For a half-day rental from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 3:45 p.m., it's $20. Either way, you're looking at a super affordable day out.
Grab a cooler full of your favorite drinks and snacks, rent a kayak, and be on your way for a day full of tranquility.
Banks Lake National Wildlife Refuge
Price: Free admission, though you may pay a small fee for kayak rentals if you don't have your own
Address: 307 GA Hwy 122, Lakeland, GA
Why You Need To Go: This enchanting area in South Georgia will make you take a step back from reality. Take a kayak ride through a cypress swamp surrounded by a forest of towering other-worldly looking cypress trees.
Georgia has so many hidden gems, natural wonders, and places you need to visit at least once in your lifetime. From the top of the state to the bottom and everywhere in between, there's something to be discovered and seen no matter where you go. The Big Oak at this Georgia park is one of those must-see spots, and it resembles the Whomping Willow that's seen in the Harry Potter movies.
The Big Oak in Thomasville, Georgia is the sweeping tree you need to see at least once in your lifetime. It was first planted in 1685, growing from a tiny acorn into a now ginormous beast with limbs going in every direction.
According to Thomasville's visitor center, back in the day, President Eisenhower was in awe of this massive tree and personally took photos of it because he loved and was so impressed by it.
Explore Georgia reports that this Southern Live Oak is one of the largest east of the Mississippi. The limb span is over 165-feet, with the circumference of the trunk coming in over 26.5-feet, standing about 68-feet tall.
It's said to be over 337 years old and still kicking to this day.
The tree is located right in the middle of Elizabeth Ireland Poe Park. While you're in the area, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pack a little picnic for you and your boo thing and make it a romantic afternoon under the sprawling branches.
There's even a gazebo you can stand in to take romantic photos and pretend you're in a fairy tale, or Harry Potter if that's your thing.
One of the coolest things about this site is the Big Oak Cam. There's a camera that'll snap your photo for free and you can download it later to cherish forever.
Grab your favorite bottle of wine, some cheese and meat to make a charcuterie board and a comfy blanket to make this the date of a lifetime.
The Big Oak
Address: 124 East Monroe St., Thomasville, GA
Why You Need To Go: This huge oak that's over 300 years old is so massive that it looks like something mystical. You can go up to it and explore around the park it's in.
Sitting on the couch and binging Hulu or Netflix is fun most of the time — until you get tired of the same routine, that is. Spending a weekend in nature or in a new city with your besties could be fun and help you create new memories. There are plenty of places to explore near Savannah that are less than three hours away and perfect for a day trip with your favorite peeps.
The nice thing about Savannah is that it's close to the beach, many nature preserves, and treasure troves of amazing restaurants and bars — and each experience can be made even better when your friends are along for the ride.
Taking your BFF to try something different from your usual grinds like paddleboarding and kayaking or horseback riding on the beach might be the move for the weekend if you're tired of being cooped up in the house.
So if you're looking to go on a different kind of adventure this weekend, these seven spots are close by, affordable, and great to experience with your BFFs. Time to get that road trip playlist ready!
Grab Some Wine At The Beach
Distance From Savannah: ~55 minutes
Address: 11 Palmetto Bay Rd., Hilton Head Island, SC
Why You Need To Go: Twisted Cocktail and Wine Bar is located right off the beach and is a place to let your worries fade away. You can get a charcuterie board and a wine flight to have the perfect BFF night near the waves.
Why You Need To Go: This beautiful and enchanting island is a great spot to really become one with nature and relax. You can find various wildlife species, a maritime forest, freshwater ponds, and salt marshes here.
Why You Need To Go: The Jekyll Island Club Resort looks like something straight out of a fairytale fit for a Disney Princess. You can either stay the night or just explore around the entire island and property.
Why You Need To Go: This relaxing ride will take you through Jekyll's Driftwood Beach for an hour as a unique activity you can't do every day. It's also near Jekyll's fishing center if you want to double down on your nature activities.
Why You Need To Go: St. Simons Paddleboard and Kayak take you paddleboarding on the backwaters of St. Simons Island to not only learn a new skill but to get a little exercise. There's also the potential to see many wildlife species including birds and dolphins.
Why You Need To Go: CoCo's Sunset Grill is located in the most ideal spot to watch the sun go down. Sit on the back patio, order some of your favorite seafood, and watch the sky erupt with color as the sun sinks below the horizon.
Price: Free, but you'll have to rent a boat, kayak, or jetski to get there.
Address: 802 1st St., Tybee Island, GA
Why You Need To Go: This island is only accessible by boat, kayak, or jet ski, but you can rent all of these on Tybee Island before you head on your way. LTI has tons of untouched beaches, which leaves you with more opportunities to find some type of treasure when hunting for shells and sea glass.