Atlanta’s Best Excursions
Best Destination for Scarlett O’Hara Groupies: The Marietta Gone With the Wind Museum: Scarlett on the Square (18 Whitlock Ave., 770/794-5576, www.mariettaga.gov/gwtw, Mon.–Sat. 10 a.m.–5 p.m., $7 adult, $6 student and senior) is one of three museums in the metro area devoted to Margaret Mitchell’s classic novel, but this noteworthy collection pays particular attention to rare volumes of the book — including foreign-language texts and a first edition signed by the author.
Best View: The trip to the top of Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park (900 Kennesaw Mountain Dr., 770/427-4686, www.nps.gov/kemo, daily dawn–dusk) is worth the effort even if Civil War history isn’t your cup of tea.
Best Way to Climb a Mountain: Stone Mountain Park (1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., 770/498-5690, www.stonemountainpark.com, daily 6 a.m.–midnight, $8 per car, cash only) has dozens of attractions aimed at the whole family, but none can beat the simple thrill of the Summit Skyride, a slow-moving cable car that lifts visitors to the peak of the granite monadnock.
Best Place to Beat the Heat: The sandy beach at Lake Lanier Islands Resort (7000 Holiday Rd., 800/840-5253, www.lakelanierislands.com) is a favorite getaway for landlocked, water-starved Atlantans.
Most Romantic Getaway: Modeled after a 16th-century French château, the resplendent Château Élan Winery and Resort (100 Rue Charlemagne, 800/233-9463, www.chateauelan.com) features a vast vineyard and lots of chances to sample Georgia wines with the one you love.
Most Colorful Downtown: More than just a college town, Downtown Athens (70 miles east of Atlanta) is a hip and artsy destination for offbeat shopping, eclectic restaurants, and tipsy nightlife.
Best Place to Reconnect with Nature: With five miles of nature trails and 300 acres of forest, The State Botanical Garden of Georgia (2450 S. Milledge Ave., 706/542-1244, www.uga.edu/botgarden, Tues.–Sat. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m., Sun. 11:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m., free) offers manicured plant collections, a great conservatory, and lots of raw woodlands to explore.
© Tray Butler from Moon Atlanta, 1st Edition