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Mountains covered in fall color with river running down the middle.
Tallulah Gorge, a perennial autumn highlight.
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13 great day trips for fall foliage near Atlanta

Autumn is in the air, and that means beautiful leaves, apple-picking, pumpkin patches, corn mazes, and more

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Tallulah Gorge, a perennial autumn highlight.
| Getty Images/iStockphoto

Although cooler temps have yet to truly arrive in Atlanta, a spattering of changing leaves is heralding that glorious autumn is here indeed.

The colorful foliage is joined by many favorite fall activities across the metro and North Georgia, including excursions for fresh-picked apples, hayrides through the fields, strolls through the corn maze, and so much more.

To help get you into the season’s outdoorsy spirit, check out these destinations filled with autumnal entertainment—and the potential to see awe-inspiring fall colors, when the time comes.

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1. Black Rock Mountain State Park

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3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy
Mountain City, GA 30562
(706) 746-2141
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Leaf-gazers will get their fill and more when visiting this Georgia State Park. From both the Cowee Overlook and the scenic overlook at the visitor center, you can enjoy panoramic vistas up to 80 miles across the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visit the mountain summit, and take in views of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee all at once. Admission is free, but there is a $5 parking fee. 

2. Burt's Farm

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5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Rd
Dawsonville, GA 30534
(706) 265-3701
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Whether shopping for pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, autumn and Thanksgiving décor, or baking pumpkins for your favorite pumpkin treats, you’ll find more than enough to choose from at this fall favorite. While you’re there, pose for fall family pictures in the pumpkin patch, take a hayride around the farm, or shop for some tasty treats at the farm store.

Note that while the pumpkin patch and store are open daily, hayrides are available daily during October and weekends only during November. Admission and parking are free; hayride tickets are $6 per person (children age 2 and younger are free). 

3. Tallulah Gorge

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Tallulah Gorge
Tallulah Falls, GA 30523

For sweeping views of gorgeous fall colors, head to Tallulah Falls, where you can take in breathtaking views from the Tallulah Point Overlook. Looking down on the Tallulah Gorge and the Tallulah River, this is the perfect vantage point for autumnal leaf-lookers. You even can relax on the covered porch at the overlook, and enjoy a glass-bottled Coke or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Be sure to check out the spot where Karl Wallenda crossed the gorge on a high wire in 1970.

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4. Yule Forest Family Farm

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3565 GA-155 N
Stockbridge, GA 30281
(770) 954-9356
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Open through October 31, this family-friendly destination is much more than just a pumpkin patch. Admission also includes a hay maze, hayride, petting zoo, fun zone, science center, bee house, puppet show, pumpkin movie, outdoor classroom, S.T.E.M. garden, dinosaur exhibit, and an old country store.

Admission is $12 for children and adults, $10 for seniors ages 65 and older, and free for children ages two and younger. 

A child feeds a goat through a fence on a farm. Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau

5. Ellijay

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Known as the Apple Capital of Georgia, this mountain town offers nearly a dozen apple houses, each with a variety of fresh-picked apples.

But there’s much more to sample, including fresh fried fruit pies, homemade jellies and jams, and apple cider. Some even offer family activities such as petting farms, wagon rides, and pony rides. 

A red building with a white roof. There is a sign on the building which reads: R and A Orchards. Karon Warren

6. The Rock Ranch

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5020 Barnesville Hwy
The Rock, GA 30285
(706) 647-6374
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While this family friendly destination always has a lot going on, a fun fall event not to miss is National Pumpkin Destruction Day. It’s held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 2, and visitors can come and unleash their inner beast by destroying pumpkins.

Options include pulverizing gourds in the pumpkin cannon, through pumpkin bowling, or by smashing them with sledgehammers. Tickets start at $21.59.

7. Athens

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Believe it or not, fall colors in Athens go way beyond the red and black that takes over Sanford Stadium from September through November.

You’ll find plenty of autumnal hues at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia at UGA as well as throughout the UGA campus. And if you’re looking for fall fun beyond what’s found between the hedges, check out the North Georgia Folk Festival taking place Saturday, October 12, at Sandy Creek Park. Admission is $15 for everyone age 12 and older.

This bald cypress (Taxodium distichum ‘Mickelson’) is showing off its beautiful fall foliage. Bald cypress is one of the...

Posted by State Botanical Garden of Georgia at UGA on Friday, November 16, 2018

8. Gibbs Gardens

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1987 Gibbs Dr
Ball Ground, GA 30107
(770) 893-1881
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Always a huge draw in the spring, when its colorful flowers are in full bloom, Gibbs Gardens is equally stunning when wearing fall foliage. In fact, both the Wildflower Colorfest and Japanese Maples ColorFest run through November, with flowers and trees showing off their vibrant shades of red, gold, burgundy, and yellow.

It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $10 for children ages three to 17. Children age two and younger are free. 

9. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

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241 Depot St
Blue Ridge, GA 30513
(877) 413-8724
Visit Website

One of the best ways to enjoy the fall beauty of the North Georgia Mountains, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway takes passengers on a 26-mile roundtrip voyage along the Toccoa River to McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill, Tenn.

The four-hour journey includes a two-hour layover in McCaysville/Copperhill, where you can grab lunch or do some shopping. Tickets start at $55 for adults, $50 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $35 for children ages two to 12. Children 23 months and younger are free, but do require a ticket. 

10. Candlelight Forest

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9862 GA-193
Chickamauga, GA 30707

Just south of Chattanooga, Candlelight Forest in Chickamauga, Ga., is an ideal spot for taking in fall colors. Settled in the Chattanooga Valley, visitors can immerse themselves in reds, oranges, and yellows as they fish, canoe, and SUP on Lake Angela or set out on the many walking and hiking trails. Other activities include visiting with the Pygmy goats, playing in the Pete Nelson Grand Tree House, and going on a mason jar treasure hunt.

11. Helen

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With its popular Oktoberfest in full swing, this mountain town has plenty to offer for fall (and the brouhaha continues through the Christmas season, too). Famed for its Bavarian-style buildings, Helen welcomes visitors to stroll the sidewalks through downtown, where they can shop in local boutiques and stores or enjoy a variety of cuisine in the many restaurants. Also, beer.

Just beyond the city limits, Mother Nature beckons with hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and more. 

People sit at tables with yellow umbrellas. In the foreground is a sign that reads: Welcome to Oktoberfest Alpine, Helen Georgia. In the background are buildings with alpine facades. Alpine Helen-White County CVB

12. Historic Banning Mills

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205 Horseshoe Dam Rd
Whitesburg, GA 30185
(770) 834-9149
Visit Website

Nothing gets you closer to beautiful fall foliage than zip-lining through the trees themselves. At Historic Banning Mills, choose from five levels of challenging, one-day zip courses, or opt for level 6, The Two-Day Rush Tour.

Turn your visit into a full weekend getaway by booking one of the property’s treehouse rooms. Zipline tour pricing starts at $49. 

13. Warbington Farms

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5555 Crow Rd
Cumming, GA 30041
(770) 889-1515
Visit Website

Open weekends through November 3, Warbington Farms offers all the family friendly entertainment you can imagine for fall. That includes a hayride, corn maze, the barnyard, and fun park activities.

The latter activities range from a jumping pillow, swings, and obstacle course to roller slides, tire yard, corn crib, and more. Tickets are $13 per person. 

Join us on the farm for our 2019 fall season. Portions of each admission will be donated to the BADGE of FCSO organization. Thanks to Banks Septic for sponsoring our fall season.

Posted by Warbington Farms on Sunday, August 4, 2019

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1. Black Rock Mountain State Park

3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy, Mountain City, GA 30562

Leaf-gazers will get their fill and more when visiting this Georgia State Park. From both the Cowee Overlook and the scenic overlook at the visitor center, you can enjoy panoramic vistas up to 80 miles across the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Visit the mountain summit, and take in views of Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee all at once. Admission is free, but there is a $5 parking fee. 

3085 Black Rock Mountain Pkwy
Mountain City, GA 30562

2. Burt's Farm

5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Rd, Dawsonville, GA 30534

Whether shopping for pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns, autumn and Thanksgiving décor, or baking pumpkins for your favorite pumpkin treats, you’ll find more than enough to choose from at this fall favorite. While you’re there, pose for fall family pictures in the pumpkin patch, take a hayride around the farm, or shop for some tasty treats at the farm store.

Note that while the pumpkin patch and store are open daily, hayrides are available daily during October and weekends only during November. Admission and parking are free; hayride tickets are $6 per person (children age 2 and younger are free). 

5 Burts Pumpkin Farm Rd
Dawsonville, GA 30534

3. Tallulah Gorge

Tallulah Gorge, Tallulah Falls, GA 30523
Getty Images/iStockphoto

For sweeping views of gorgeous fall colors, head to Tallulah Falls, where you can take in breathtaking views from the Tallulah Point Overlook. Looking down on the Tallulah Gorge and the Tallulah River, this is the perfect vantage point for autumnal leaf-lookers. You even can relax on the covered porch at the overlook, and enjoy a glass-bottled Coke or a scoop of your favorite ice cream. Be sure to check out the spot where Karl Wallenda crossed the gorge on a high wire in 1970.

Tallulah Gorge
Tallulah Falls, GA 30523

4. Yule Forest Family Farm

3565 GA-155 N, Stockbridge, GA 30281
A child feeds a goat through a fence on a farm. Henry County Convention and Visitors Bureau

Open through October 31, this family-friendly destination is much more than just a pumpkin patch. Admission also includes a hay maze, hayride, petting zoo, fun zone, science center, bee house, puppet show, pumpkin movie, outdoor classroom, S.T.E.M. garden, dinosaur exhibit, and an old country store.

Admission is $12 for children and adults, $10 for seniors ages 65 and older, and free for children ages two and younger. 

3565 GA-155 N
Stockbridge, GA 30281

5. Ellijay

Ellijay, GA 30540
A red building with a white roof. There is a sign on the building which reads: R and A Orchards. Karon Warren

Known as the Apple Capital of Georgia, this mountain town offers nearly a dozen apple houses, each with a variety of fresh-picked apples.

But there’s much more to sample, including fresh fried fruit pies, homemade jellies and jams, and apple cider. Some even offer family activities such as petting farms, wagon rides, and pony rides. 

6. The Rock Ranch

5020 Barnesville Hwy, The Rock, GA 30285

While this family friendly destination always has a lot going on, a fun fall event not to miss is National Pumpkin Destruction Day. It’s held from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on November 2, and visitors can come and unleash their inner beast by destroying pumpkins.

Options include pulverizing gourds in the pumpkin cannon, through pumpkin bowling, or by smashing them with sledgehammers. Tickets start at $21.59.

5020 Barnesville Hwy
The Rock, GA 30285

7. Athens

Athens, GA

Believe it or not, fall colors in Athens go way beyond the red and black that takes over Sanford Stadium from September through November.

You’ll find plenty of autumnal hues at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia at UGA as well as throughout the UGA campus. And if you’re looking for fall fun beyond what’s found between the hedges, check out the North Georgia Folk Festival taking place Saturday, October 12, at Sandy Creek Park. Admission is $15 for everyone age 12 and older.

8. Gibbs Gardens

1987 Gibbs Dr, Ball Ground, GA 30107

Always a huge draw in the spring, when its colorful flowers are in full bloom, Gibbs Gardens is equally stunning when wearing fall foliage. In fact, both the Wildflower Colorfest and Japanese Maples ColorFest run through November, with flowers and trees showing off their vibrant shades of red, gold, burgundy, and yellow.

It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $10 for children ages three to 17. Children age two and younger are free. 

1987 Gibbs Dr
Ball Ground, GA 30107

9. Blue Ridge Scenic Railway

241 Depot St, Blue Ridge, GA 30513

One of the best ways to enjoy the fall beauty of the North Georgia Mountains, the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway takes passengers on a 26-mile roundtrip voyage along the Toccoa River to McCaysville, Ga., and Copperhill, Tenn.

The four-hour journey includes a two-hour layover in McCaysville/Copperhill, where you can grab lunch or do some shopping. Tickets start at $55 for adults, $50 for seniors ages 65 and older, and $35 for children ages two to 12. Children 23 months and younger are free, but do require a ticket. 

241 Depot St
Blue Ridge, GA 30513

10. Candlelight Forest

9862 GA-193, Chickamauga, GA 30707

Just south of Chattanooga, Candlelight Forest in Chickamauga, Ga., is an ideal spot for taking in fall colors. Settled in the Chattanooga Valley, visitors can immerse themselves in reds, oranges, and yellows as they fish, canoe, and SUP on Lake Angela or set out on the many walking and hiking trails. Other activities include visiting with the Pygmy goats, playing in the Pete Nelson Grand Tree House, and going on a mason jar treasure hunt.

9862 GA-193
Chickamauga, GA 30707

11. Helen

Helen, GA 30545
People sit at tables with yellow umbrellas. In the foreground is a sign that reads: Welcome to Oktoberfest Alpine, Helen Georgia. In the background are buildings with alpine facades. Alpine Helen-White County CVB

With its popular Oktoberfest in full swing, this mountain town has plenty to offer for fall (and the brouhaha continues through the Christmas season, too). Famed for its Bavarian-style buildings, Helen welcomes visitors to stroll the sidewalks through downtown, where they can shop in local boutiques and stores or enjoy a variety of cuisine in the many restaurants. Also, beer.

Just beyond the city limits, Mother Nature beckons with hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, and more. 

12. Historic Banning Mills

205 Horseshoe Dam Rd, Whitesburg, GA 30185

Nothing gets you closer to beautiful fall foliage than zip-lining through the trees themselves. At Historic Banning Mills, choose from five levels of challenging, one-day zip courses, or opt for level 6, The Two-Day Rush Tour.

Turn your visit into a full weekend getaway by booking one of the property’s treehouse rooms. Zipline tour pricing starts at $49. 

205 Horseshoe Dam Rd
Whitesburg, GA 30185

13. Warbington Farms

5555 Crow Rd, Cumming, GA 30041

Open weekends through November 3, Warbington Farms offers all the family friendly entertainment you can imagine for fall. That includes a hayride, corn maze, the barnyard, and fun park activities.

The latter activities range from a jumping pillow, swings, and obstacle course to roller slides, tire yard, corn crib, and more. Tickets are $13 per person. 

5555 Crow Rd
Cumming, GA 30041