If you long for a touch of old-fashioned romance, Georgia offers a variety of beautiful day and overnight trips that will bring magic to your soul without emptying your wallet.
From Athens, you can follow US-129 North up to Blue Ridge, Georgia and enjoy the drive-in movie experience at Swan Drive-In. Built in 1955, Swan Drive-In offers double features on weekends and a single feature is offered nightly. The concession stand boasts funnel cakes, deep-fried Oreos, hamburgers, hot dogs, and a variety of sodas and snacks.
Swan is a cash-only enterprise, but it's pricing is a pleasant change from your usual ticket prices, charging only $8 per person. Chair rentals are available, bring a blanket, or simply watch a movie from your vehicle while sitting under the stars.
While in Blue Ridge, consider heading over to Taste of Amish to visit the deli and pick up a few essentials for a picnic lunch. Taste of Amish is open 6 days a week and closed on Sundays. With your picnic lunch ready to go for tomorrow, it's time to find a place to stay for the night.
For a scenic stay overnight, drive over to Blanche Manor at the Georgia/Tennessee border. You can choose the lodge, bunkhouse, or one of the yurts for your overnight experience. The yurt is a magical glamping (glamour camping) experience and boasts a skylight, scenic view, fire pit, hammock, nearby bathhouse, and a hot tub. Blanche Manor also offers horseback riding excursions and a wagon ride that features a fireside dinner.
From Blanche Manor, follow US-76 to Blairsville. Stop for breakfast at The Sawmill Place, but be sure to bring cash. This establishment doesn't accept credit cards! This rustic restaurant offers a big breakfast and friendly service. We recommend the strawberries and cream pancake breakfast made with homemade whipped cream.
Nothing says romance quite like a picnic and waterfalls! From Blairsville, head to Helton Creek Falls, where you can enjoy a short hike followed by a scenic overlook of the waterfalls. On a hot day, you can swim beneath the falls or wade in the creek and enjoy the view. To see Helton Creek, it is a leisurely two-mile drive into the forest with only a short walk to the falls.
From Helton Creek, you're only a short drive away from Desoto Falls and Dukes Creek Falls, but you should definitely check out Raven Cliff Falls for the final waterfall of the day. It's a longer hike, but the scenery is beautiful and the waterfalls make it well worth the hike in. Hiking is a great way to spend quality time together, and you can bring a picnic lunch to enjoy when you reach the scenic destination. Of course, to keep the parks beautiful, be sure to pack out any trash you bring in so that other visitors can enjoy the natural beauty too!
After the hike, you can head south to Athens for the final stretch of the journey. US-129 or US-441 will both get you back to the starting point in a romantic trip that lasts only 24 hours and includes a drive-in, scenic overnight stay, picnic, and beautiful waterfalls!
Have more than a day for your trip? Consider a scenic train ride at the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway. Or route yourself from Raven Cliff Falls to Anna Ruby Falls in Helen and then enjoy a day of tubing on the river. The route is also dotted with wineries throughout the drive, perfect for a romantic stop along the trail!
However long you have or whatever options you choose, when it comes to old-fashioned romance, Georgia is
filled with hidden gems only a short drive away. Clocking in under 6 hours total, this drive can easily be accomplished in a day or overnight without breaking the bank and will provide a dose of the old-fashioned romance you’re seeking.