There are days where you'll just wake up and be sparked with the spirit of adventure. Get out of your small town or big city and head somewhere you've never been before. Pack up the car for a day trip from Atlanta to these spots that might just make your jaw drop. The best part? They're all less than 3-hours away so you can make the most of your escape time.

All of these spots are affordable, or completely free to visit, which is always an added bonus. All you need to do is fill up the tank and grab a friend or two, and be on your way to adventuring.

You might be surprised at what beauty surrounds The Peach State.

Rock City Gardens 

Time From Atlanta: ~ 2 hours

Price: $12.95 to $24.95, ticket choice depending

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: You can actually dig and mine for your own unique and rare crystals and gems at this huge site. You can also camp here for free. 


High Falls Park

Time From Atlanta: ~ 2 hours 

Price: Free

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

Why You Need To Go: This huge waterfall is has a width up 300 feet and plummets down 35 feet. You can walk across the natural bridge at the top if you're down for a daredevil adventure.


Stephens Gap Callahan Cave Preserve

Time From Atlanta: ~ 2 hours and 55 minutes 

Price: Free with a free 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 & 35 minutes

Price: $20 admission; equipment rentals will add more to price.

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. 


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 Mississipi. It comes in at a massive 270-feet-long and will lead you through lush nature views.


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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