Just a short drive from ATL awaits a remote town offering horseback riding on scenic trails, a petting zoo stocked with tiny farm animals, world-class whitewater rafting adventures and a snow-filled winter wonderland. Let’s go!

1. Serenbe
There’s always something interesting happening in this idyllic Chattahoochee Hills ’hood—whether it’s a live show at Serenbe Playhouse, a cooking class at the Bosch Experience Center or an annual trail race. Our vote: grab breakfast at Serenbe’s Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop, then saddle up for a day of horseback trail riding.

2. Tanglewood Miniature Animal Farm
Less than an hour north of the city at the base of the North Georgia mountains in Canton, Ga., lies Tanglewood, a 10-acre patch of land populated by more than 150 rare, miniature and heritage-breed creatures. A day spent feeding, holding and playing with cute, tiny farm animals surrounded by a cheeky Wild West-themed backdrop—need we say more?

3. Chattahoochee River Whitewater Rafting
If you’re looking for a particularly adventurous expedition, Whitewater Express offers class II to V rafting opportunities on the Chattahoochee River’s longest urban whitewater rafting course, less than two hours outside ATL. If you prefer slightly tamer activities, they offer kayaking, fishing and stand-up paddleboarding as well. And if we know anything about Atlanta weather, well... it could be nice out, or it could freeze overnight. So get out while the gettin's good!

4. Snow Mountain
Winter is the time when beloved hiking destination Stone Mountain transforms into Snow Mountain, a wintry park covered in five football fields worth of real, fluffy snow. Don your cold-weather gear and ready for sledding, tubing down a 400-foot hill and snowman building, then head to Stone Mountain’s Memorial Lawn for snacks, drinks and s’mores roasting at Snow Fire Point.


Caroline Cox is a writer and editor in Atlanta. She edits and writes at four glossy print magazines and co-runs the arts website CommonCreativATL. Follow her on Twitter at @carolinecox because she’s funny and "Roses" by OutKast is about her.