Starting in the North Georgia Mountains is a type of vacation that few think of doing these days, it’s called the road trip. Southern Highroads Trail is one of these driving vacations. Located in the Southern part of the Appalachian Mountains is a route through 13 counties and 4 states (including Georgia, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina). It’s a collaboration of all the Chambers of Commerce, the states’ tourism boards, and the retailers of this area.
Through a map of the region (available by requesting a brochure) your road trip unfolds before you as you can pick and choose wherever you’d like to go. Along the route is lodging (including cabin rentals, bed & breakfast inns, and motels), restaurants, shopping, attractions, museums, state parks, hiking trails, whitewater rafting adventures, and kayaking. The beauty of this type of holiday is your ability to be spontaneous but still maintain a route.
What could you expect to see on the Southern Highroads Trail? Let’s take a look:
The Gateway to the Trail is Alpine Helen, which is located in Helen, GA and a re-creation of an old German town. As expected, they throw a fun loving Oktoberfest every year (Walhalla in South Carolina does as well, and are also located on the trail). While not in the month of October, Helen has a lot of fine dining and shopping to experience and some fun family activities.
Blue Ridge, GA is well-known for it’s beautiful region… but did you know about the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway? You can pull your car over and let someone else drive you in a locomotive on the historic Marietta and North Georgia Railline. The trip takes around 3 hours, but stops in the quaint downtown area of McCaysville, GA.
If lakes are your thing, you could always travel along to Lake Blue Ridge or Lake Chatuge. Along Lake Chatuge is The Ridges Resort & Club which is a luxurious resort located in Hiawasee, GA. It has 5 restaurants, golf courses, walking trails, marinas, and much more. Spend a few days there and head back on the trail for your next destination.
If rafting is your thing, there’s plenty of opportunity to do so on the Southern Highroads Trail including Ocoee River in Tennessee, the Chattooga River in Georgia, and Nantahala in North Carolina. In order to begin your whitewater rafting adventure, see the website or your brochure to see where these places are located along your route.
For a little downtime visit one of the many wineries or vineyards along the way… or you could make your entire Southern Highroads adventure a wine tasting event (don’t worry, there’s plenty of lodging near by the vineyards!). You could begin in Georgia at Habersham Vineyards or Crane Creek Vineyards and then head over to North Carolina to visit Valley River Vineyards in Cherokee County and stop by a quaint micro-winery called Calaboose Cellars also located in Cherokee County.
I’ve barely scratched the surface that everything the Southern Highroad Trails cover. There’s horseback riding, hiking trails, antiquing, agri-tourism (such as farms and orchards), marinas, fishing, and golfing. And it’s all along the trail so no matter where you start and where you end, there’s something to do along the entire way.
For more information visit The Southern Highroads Trail on their website (http://www.southernhighroads.org) and from there request a brochure to get your driving holiday started!