Travel

10 Road trip-worthy Georgia destinations and attractions that won't break the bank

Visitors can hop on the ferry and camp out on Cumberland Island.

Photo by Ralph Daniel

There's a lot of wide open America to fall in love with between your home and your destination. Taking the long way or the road less traveled isn't a bad thing. It can lead to new adventures that end up as fond memories.

Almost as important as the destination itself is the vehicle you choose to road trip in. Click here to see AutomotiveMap's picks for best road trip SUV and here to see the best road trip cars. Click here to see AutomotiveMap's advice for planning the perfect road trip.

The next time you're planning a road trip to Georgia, consider the following destinations, which are not on the usual tourist roster.

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island hiking path Spanish moss oak tree

Photo by Ralph Daniel

If you're looking for an Instagram-worthy island on Georgia's coast, seek out Cumberland Island. The destination is only reachable by ferry and there's only two departures from the mainland each day. You can't take your vehicle so bring your walking shoes.

Like other National Parks, there is a visitor's center but that's not the main attraction. There are miles of beaches, hiking trails, bike paths, and fishing areas. Camping reservations can be had and there are managed hunting opportunities throughout the year.

One of the main attractions is the ruins of Dungeness Mansion on the southern end of Cumberland Island and the 22,000-square foot Plum Orchard Mansion. Also be sure to stop by The First African Baptist Church, which was established in 1893 and hosted the September 1996 wedding of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and Carolyn Bessette.

Georgia Movie/TV Tours

You can road trip to the Atlanta or Savannah area then let someone else do the vehicle operations part. The cities have a rich film history from "The Walking Dead" to "The Hunger Games" to a number of superhero films. Tour companies have popped up offering themed tours for TV and film productions, as well as general overview tours. Check out the full list on Explore Georgia's website here.

George L. Smith State Park

If you paddling and fishing, Georgia L. Smith State Park is for you. The state park is home to a 412-acre lake that is surrounded by thick stands of cypress and tupelo trees draped with Spanish moss. The state stocks the lake with bass and bream. If you're not in to tent camping, have no fear, there's well-appointed cottages that can be rented as well as space for tents, RVs, and campers.

National Infantry Museum

The National Infantry Museum

Photo courtesy of the National Infantry Museum

The National Infantry Museum encompasses 190,000 square feet of galleries that give insight into the U.S. military's role in the military campaigns that have helped shape the world's history. There's something for everyone from children to adults. The museum is located just outside Fort Benning, a U.S. Army post. There is no admission fee to get into the museum but they do ask for a $5.00 donation to help maintain the facility.

Chehaw Park & Zoo

Chehaw Park and Zoo

Photo by Ralph Daniel

What is Chehaw? A BMX biking facility, campground, an education center, and a zoo. The facility consists of over 700 acres of conservation land. The zoo consists of hundreds of animals including cheetahs, black rhinos', meerkats, black bears, and alligators. There's RV, camper, and tent camping on-site as well as cabins for rent. The disc golf course and BMW bike track give plenty of opportunity for good clean fun.

Atlanta Beltline

Atlanta Beltline Eastside Ponce City Market

Photo by Ralph Daniel

You can take the Atlanta Beltline from one side of Atlanta to the other, if you don't mind a long bike ride or walk. Or, you can opt to do it in sections. The east side of the Beltline was completed first and has the most development alongside it. There's art installations, popsicle carts, shopping, bar patios, cornhole games, and bike rentals available in addition to a myriad of cuisine options.

Stone Mountain Park

Step aside from the theme park area of Stone Mountain Park and head instead to the natural side where paddling, fishing, biking, hiking, and much more take precedence. There's a bevy of sleeping options from a traditional hotel to a yurt to tent and RV sites (and more). A general store, laundry facilities, and a swimming pool are also available. Remember to bring cash - there's a $20/day parking fee ($40 for an annual pass).

Oakland Cemetery

Oakland Cemetery tour

Photo by Ralph Daniel

Sure, it sounds macabre but some of the best storytellers can be found hosting tours of Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery. The historic cemetery is the final resting place of thousands of people (and animals) with enough stories to fill several days including "Gone with the Wind" author Margaret Mitchell, 27 Atlanta mayors, golfer Bobby Jones, and six past governors of Georgia. There's DIY options and a wide variety of themed tours available most of the year. Bring your walking shoes. There's a lot of ground to travel.

Roosevelt's Little White House

Warm Springs Little White House

Photo by Ralph Daniel

Enter into the world of President Franklin D. Roosevelt at his Little White House in Warm Springs, Georgia. Just a few miles from Callaway Gardens, the site takes visitors back in time to learn more about the man that helped the U.S. navigate the Great Depression and World War II. Splurge on a stay at Callaway Gardens or camp out in F.D. Roosevelt State Park where there are tent, trailer, and RV sites as well as backcountry accommodations and cottages. Remember, you can still get a day pass to Callaway that includes the opportunity to walk or bike around the grounds, visit the nature centers, and enjoy the lake. Buying a ticket in advance can save you money.

Hike a monadnock

Panola Mountain State Park

Photo by Ralph Daniel

There are three places to see mondanocks, stone outcroppings that rise out of the surrounding landscape, in Georgia and they're all relatively close to one another. Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain State Park are the least busy. Experts say that monadnocks are the closest thing we have on Earth to what it's like to be on the surface of the moon. If you're feeling ambitious, pack a picnic in your backpack and make a day of it.

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Nuts & Bolts

 
 

Carvana's flagship vending machine has opened in midtown Atlanta.

Photo courtesy of Carvana

Its flagship has been born. Situated alongside the I-75/85 Connnector in Atlanta's trending Midtown neighborhood is Carvana's newest car vending machine, the tallest it has constructed yet. It stands 12 stories high and has a 43-vehicle capacity.

In time for its debut, Carvana filled the machine with brightly colored models, which stand out amongst the red and painted brick facades of buildings adjacent to it. Customers aren't limited to those models. They are able to choose from more than 20,000 vehicles via Carvana.com and take care of the finance, purchase, trade in, and schedule as-soon-as-next-day pick up there too.

Carvana Customers can buy and sell their vehicles via Caravan in a paperless process. Photo courtesy of Carvana

The entire process is social distancing-friendly. Customers who choose Car Vending Machine pickup can set an appointment by selecting a day and time convenient for them. When they arrive, they will be the only customer inside the Car Vending Machine, will be greeted by a Customer Advocate, and receive a commemorative Carvana coin to activate the automated vending process.

As more and more buyers turned online for vehicle purchases when the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, used car retailer Carvana (NYSE: CVNA) has s reaped the rewards. Q3 revenue was up 40 percent year over year and income was up more than 76 percent. On March 20, the company's stock was priced at $29.35 per share. Today, the value per share is $221.59.

When buyers purchase their next vehicle through Carvana's all-digital service, they also get a seven-day return policy , which allows them to drive the vehicle for a week to make sure it's truly a good fit.

All vehicles sold by Carvana must pass a 150-point inspection, have never been in a reported accident, and have no frame damage. Features, imperfections and updated information about open safety recalls are listed on every car's vehicle description page on the auto seller's website.

Customers can also sell their current vehicle to Carvana and receive an offer in just minutes—even without purchasing a vehicle.

Can't make it to the car vending machine in Atlanta? Carvana also has machines in Kentucky, Tennessee, Texas, Florida, Maryland, Arizona, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and California.

The Atlanta Car Vending Machine is located at 166 16th Street NW. Location hours are Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Vehicle pickup at any of Carvana's Car Vending Machines is free for all Carvana customers.

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Porsche has allowed prying eyes into its archives to see some previously unseen concept cars.

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

A car's journey from paper to dealership lot is longer than most probably realize, with each generation taking the better part of a decade to bring to fruition. Before a car becomes a car, it's a prototype. Before it's a prototype, it's a concept car. Stretching back even further, there's models and drawings.

Porsche has hidden a number of its concept cars away from the prying eyes of the public for years and only recently opened the proverbial vault of treasures. Here's what was found, with descriptions by Porsche.

Porsche 919 Street

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model) was developed on the basis of the technology used in the Porsche 919 Hybrid, promising to make the exhilarating driving experience of the LMP1 race car available to amateur drivers. Under the outer shell are the carbon monocoque and powerful 900 PS hybrid racing drivetrain that helped the Porsche 919 to achieve numerous victories at Le Mans. The dimensions and wheelbase were also the same as on the race car.

Porsche Vision Spyder

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

With its spartan, puristic cockpit, the characteristic radiator grilles over the mid engine, red graphic elements and the suggested fins at the rear, the compact Porsche Vision Spyder (2019; 1:1 hard model) clearly calls to mind the Porsche 550-1500 RS Spyder from 1954. At the same time, the study was intended to further develop the design identity of Porsche and provide a pool of ideas for future details – for example, the ultra-modern roll bar.

Porsche vision “Renndienst”

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche vision "Renndienst" (2018; 1:1 hard model) is the free interpretation of a family-friendly space concept for up to six persons. The design team designed a futuristic "space shuttle" with exciting proportions. The study shows how the Porsche design DNA with its characteristic surface modelling can be transferred to an unknown vehicle segment for the brand. In the interior, passengers find a comfortable and modular travel cabin. The driver sits in a central driver's seat. The all-electric drive technology is located in the underbody. As a result, passengers can enjoy an unexpectedly generous space and travel experience combined with Porsche-like flair.

Porsche 906 Living Legend (2015)

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

In this vision of a super sports car, the Porsche 906 (2015; 1:1 hard model) provided the proportions and design cues. Particularly innovative is the visual impression of the car being two bodies pushed into each other. The gap between the elements serves as a ventilation duct for a powerful mid-engine.

Porsche Vision 918 RS

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

The Porsche 918 Spyder (2019; 1:1 hard model) was a milestone as the first hybridised super sports car from Weissach. In 2019 the designers created a new fascinating evolutionary stage of the 918. With further developed drive and chassis technology as well as an aerodynamically perfected body, the Porsche Vision 918 RS would once again set standards on the road and racing track.

Porsche Vision 920

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

How to combine the formal language of Porsche's road sports cars with the functional design of a prototype racing car? With the Porsche Vision 920 (2019; 1:1 hard model) the design team has created an extreme hypercar. The aerodynamically optimised body and the central cockpit blur the boundaries between racing track and road.

Porsche Vision E

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

In Formula E, the technology of the future is tested under high performance and pushed to its limits. Based on the Porsche 99X Electric, the design team developed a radically light single-seater racing car for private racers called the Porsche Vision E (2019; 1:1 hard model). The fully electric driving experience should be breathtaking.

Porsche 919 Street

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

With the Porsche 919 Hybrid, Porsche has won the 24 hours of Le Mans three times. Based on the LMP1 racing car, Michael Mauer and his team developed this vision of a special series for private racing drivers called the Porsche 919 Street (2017; 1:1 clay model)

Porsche 917 Living Legend

Photo courtesy of Porsche AG

At the wheel of the Porsche 917 KH in the red and white livery of Porsche Salzburg, Hans Herrmann and Richard Attwood won the first overall victory for Porsche at Le Mans in the summer of 1970. When Porsche returned to the LMP1 sport in 2013, the team in Weissach developed a modern interpretation of the winning car of yesteryear. The Porsche 918 Spyder served as the technical inspiration for the Porsche 917 Living Legend (2013; 1:1 clay model). "In the super sports cars from Porsche, you always have the feeling of practically sitting on the road between the high wheel arches," says Michael Mauer. "We wanted to emphasise this even further."

Want to see more? The previously unpublished design studies are being presented exclusively by the Porsche Newsroom in a series of articles. The 9:11Magazine web TV format has also dedicated an episode to selected studies and examines the connection between the studies and the current production models together with Porsche Chief Designer Michael Mauer. For fans of the brand, the book entitled "Porsche Unseen" has been released by Delius Klasing.

Porsche Unseen - The Book www.youtube.com

A selection of studies will also be on display later for fans to admire live: the Porsche Museum will be integrating the models in the exhibition in 2021.

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