20 Perfect Summer Getaways
Where to Go: Amicalola Falls State Park, Georgia.
Distance: 70 miles from Atlanta.
Where to Stay: Hike five miles on a moderate trail (with five more-strenuous hills) through Amicalola Falls State Park and Chattahoochee National Forest to Georgia’s only backcountry eco-lodge, the LEED-certified Len Foote Hike Inn, which has 20 simple rooms, each with two bunks. (Hot showers are in a bathhouse.) Most guests pass their time hiking, chatting, reading, or playing board games in the Sunrise Room or rocking in an Adirondack chair on the wraparound porch.
What to Do: Stroll along the gorgeous one-mile Cove/Fire Break Interpretive Trail loop to look for native wildflowers: fire pinks and brilliant orange Turk’s cap lilies, as well as stunning butterflies like the blue- and orange-dotted spicebush swallowtail. If you’re really ambitious, hike 4.5 miles to Springer Mountain, the southern starting point of the Appalachian Trail-and then 4.5 miles back to the inn.
Price: Doubles from $140; $97 per single adult occupancy; 20 percent discount in July/August. Includes large family-style dinner and breakfast.
Insider Tip: Before hitting the trail to the lodge, check in at the Amicalola Falls State Park Visitors Center for information about the private trail.