Worth the Trip

Vacation Spots Here, Near, and Worth the Trip

Vacation time is precious. It is a rare and valuable thing. Use it wisely! Whether it is a family road trip, a girls’ trip that’s been planned for years or a spontaneous getaway for two, there are so many places in this world to see. To help Vinings Lifestyle readers find destinations that are worthy of using that precious vacation time, we put together a list of three unique vacation spots that are close to Vinings (“Here”), some that are not too far away (“Near”), and others that may be far but are worth it (“Worth the Trip”).

Historic Banning Mills

Just 45 minutes west of Vinings is the adventure resort and retreat center in Historic Banning Mills. This bed and breakfast atmosphere is located on 300 wooded historic acres and is thee place for ziplining in the South (and maybe the entire world). Historic Banning Mills holds two Guinness World Records, including one for the World’s Longest Continuous Zipline Course, and also has an Eco-canopy Adventure Tour with six different adventure levels. In addition to the famous zipline canopy tour, Banning Mills has the World’s Tallest Freestanding Climbing Wall, standing at 140 feet. Other exciting outdoor adventures include Sky Trek, a 600-foot long bridge suspended 180 feet over Snake Creek Gorge, GPS Trek courses, two aerial adventure parks and a 100-foot power free fall.

For smaller thrill-seekers, a two-tiered obstacle course adventure is available exclusively for children ages four and up. After a fun-filled day, plan to stay the night at the treehouse village nestled about 70 feet above the gorge setting. This “high rise” just opened in March 2016. Overnight guests can dare to branch out from traditional accommodations and channel their inner Swiss Family Robinson as the treehouses are only accessible by rope and wood sky bridges. The tree house village is the only accommodations of its kind east of the Mississippi River. Banning Mills also offers comfy cottages, rustic cabins and a cozy country Inn. More information: HistoricBanningMills.com

Georgia Wine Country in Dahlonega, Georgia

Dahlonega is the place for an authentic, mountain getaway about an hour and fifteen minutes north of Atlanta. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Dahlonega offers postcard-worthy scenery and an abundance of activities, like wine tasting. There is no need to hop a plane to California, France or Italy to savor award-winning wines – Dahlonega is home to Georgia’s own highly-acclaimed wine country. A wide range of European and American varietals and blends are offered at each tasting room, each of which has its own distinctive personality, from country farmhouse to Tuscan villa. The Dahlonega Wine Trail includes five Lumpkin County vineyard and tasting experiences, plus seven downtown tasting rooms.

Not into wines or are you bringing the kids along? Dahlonega is the ultimate Gold Rush town. Families can still pan for gold by wading in the river. They can also enjoy a pleothera of outdoor activities in the Chattahoochee National Forest which surrounds the city. More information: Dahlonega.org

Worth the Trip: 
Turks and Caicos

To get WAY off the beaten path, why not find the way to Turks and Caicos? While it’s Caribbean counterparts like Jamaica and the Bahamas might get more press, the appeal of Turks and Caicos is that it is a beautiful, pristine, unblemished paradise. Turks and Caicos is a series of islands in the Atlantic Ocean just southeast of the Bahamas. It is a quick 2.5 hour flight from Atlanta and Delta flies direct. Fly into Providenciales and enjoy the expansive Grace Bay Beach, with luxury resorts, shops and restaurants. It’s no wonder that Grace Bay was recently voted the “Best Beach in the World” by Trip Adviser.

Families can stay at the super family-friendly all-inclusive, Beaches Resorts, for one-stop entertainment, dining, and accommodations for all ages. For those who don’t want the all-inclusive package, check out the many luxury hotels lining Grace Bay including both boutique and sprawling resorts, such as Seven Stars Resort. Enjoy their famous stretches of uncrowded beaches and vibrant coral reefs or simply just relax in the refined beauty of these islands.