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The North Georgia Mountains and Georgia coast continue to be year-round draws for Atlantans, thanks to natural and manmade attractions. Hiking, mountain-biking, canoeing, kayaking, fishing, and horseback riding are just the beginning of activities for visitors itching to get outside and enjoy the region’s natural beauty, no matter the season.
But a wealth of manmade attractions—ranging from Blue Ridge’s growing culinary scene to Ellijay’s thriving winery selections and St. Simons Island’s historic sites—offers much beyond Mother Nature’s charms.
Perhaps the best part is that these destinations are easily reached in less than five hours from downtown Atlanta, making them ideal for a quick weekend jaunt, as well as a longer family vacation, girlfriends getaway, or couples retreat.
Aska Adventure Area cabin, Blue Ridge
Located in a gated community in the Aska Adventure Area near Blue Ridge, this three-bedroom, three-bathroom cabin sleeps up to eight. In addition to a massive covered porch complete with a stacked stone fireplace, you’ll also enjoy vaulted ceilings, a double-sided fireplace, a recreation room with air hockey table, a wet bar, hot tub, and internet service. Average nightly rates start at $338, but increase with owner’s and service fees.
Buena Vista Beach Club, Tybee Island
One-half of an oceanfront duplex, this four-bedroom, four-bathroom home sleeps up to 10, yet doesn’t feel crowded at all given it has 2,200 square feet. Inside, amenities include WiFi, satellite TVs, washer and dryer, and DVD player. While you can enjoy ocean views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the living room, the better spot is the expansive back deck overlooking the sand dunes and ocean. Average rates are $244 per night, plus fees.
Sautee Nacoochee cabin (on the cheap), Helen
Just six miles from downtown Helen, this two-bedroom, two-bathroom cabin sleeps up to eight—including the family dog. Enjoy panoramic mountain views from the comfort of the large, vaulted living room, or, in the loft, challenge friends to a game of pool. Head outside for a soak in the hot tub, or relax on the screened-in porch. Rates can start as low as $74 per night but average $175 per night, particularly when you add in the “owner’s fees.”
Hide Tide B, St. Simons Island
Located on the beach of St. Simons Island, this two-story condo features three bedrooms and three bathrooms. While you can enjoy ocean views from the comfort of the couch, you’ll also find plenty of relaxing spots outside on the shaded porches or the private lawn. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, washer and dryer, hair dryer, and two parking spaces. In addition, you’re just a 10-minute walk from the nearby village and the St. Simons Pier. Average rates are $272 per night, although cleaning fees can bump that up quite a bit.
Cloud 9, Cleveland
With three bedrooms and three bathrooms, this property actually includes not one, but two cabins. The first is home to two bedrooms, with the third bedroom in the second cabin. A deck connects the two structures and contains a sunken hot tub and freestanding fireplace. Entertainment options include a pool table, ping-pong, smart TVs, Wi-Fi, Play Station 4, and a Game Cube. Rates start at $250 per night, plus fees.
Deer Creek, Ellijay
A new riverfront cabin in the gated Coosawattee River Resort in Ellijay, this three-bedroom, four-bathroom property welcomes visitors who want to relax to the sounds of nature. Outside, a fireplace dominates a large covered deck, while a hot tub, fire pit, and second deck offer additional opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors. Inside, relax in the spacious living room, or indulge in pool, foosball, or Xbox tournaments. Rates start at $239 per night, plus fees.
Arbor Hill, Blue Ridge
For those wanting a mountain retreat loaded with modern amenities, Arbor Hill in Blue Ridge answers the call. USB charging ports, free Wi-Fi, and smart TVs are just the start of contemporary comfort in this three-bedroom, three-bathroom cabin. Outside, hammock swings, a hot tub, and a fire pit all vie for your attention. There’s even an air-hockey table in the downstairs den. Rates start at $187 per night, plus fees.
Galt’s Gulch, Big Canoe
The largest property of the bunch, and the closest to Atlanta, Galt’s Gulch in Big Canoe between Jasper and Dawsonville is a five-bedroom, five-bathroom residence that claims to be a “true luxury mountain home.” Mountain views are prevalent in the winter, but are a bit more obscured from spring through fall when the leaves remain. Amenities include two entertainment rooms with pool, ping-pong, air hockey, two decks, and high-end furnishings and appliances. Rates can be as low as $180 but average $240 per night, plus fees.
Chasing Fireflies, Blue Ridge
In this two-bedroom, three-bathroom cabin, there are “mountain views everywhere.” Although the aesthetic is pure rustic, it’s done with a modern spin, which is reflected in the kitchen and bathrooms—and the dynamite exterior. The screened deck is loaded with a hot tub, ping-pong, darts, swing, hammock, 65-inch TV, fireplace, and wine fridge. Rates start at $227 per night, plus fees. (Note: The no-children or tobacco policy sounds strictly enforced.)