Trip Ideas

Fast, Affordable and Fun Pit Stops Along I-75

Add some excitement to your road trip with these four easy stops that won't break the bank.

  • Centennial Olympic Park

Carrying travelers from Georgia's northwest tip to the center of its southern border, I-75 is one of the most popular routes from Tennessee to Florida. In between the exits extolling gas and food are some fun pit stops where you can stretch your legs and have a little fun. Here are four easy stops just a few miles off the highway that won’t break the bank. 

Exit 285: Red Top Mountain State Park, Cartersville. Stop at this park just 1.5 miles off I-75 for a refreshing hike on the paved trail behind the park office and see how many deer you can spy. The trail goes to a reconstructed 1860s homestead, adding a bit of interest for kids. If you have more time, try the 4-mile Iron Hill Trail with views of Lake Allatoona.

Exit 249C: Centennial Olympic Park, Atlanta. Less than a mile off the highway, this park was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics, and now, it is the epicenter of tourism in Atlanta. If you stop around mealtime, you will find several options, including Googie Burger within the park, and the nearby food court inside CNN Center. You will have to pay for parking, but you can find it easily with this handy interactive map. Along the park are several museums, including the Center for Civil and Human Rights, as well as the College Football Hall of Fame, Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, The Children's Museum of Atlanta and Inside CNN Studio Tour. For a quick thrill, ride the SkyView ferris wheel, or just walk around and read the memorial bricks throughout the park. For more about SkyView, check out Field Trips with Sue.

Exit 101: Georgia Rural Telephone Museum, Leslie: It's 17 miles off I-75, but if you have some time, this is a fantastically quirky museum. As you would expect, there are lots of antique telephones dating back as far as Alexander Graham Bell's first model. There are also huge switchboards, telephone lines and lineman tools, and even a few Creek Indian artifacts. Call before you go to make sure they're open. 

Exit 63B: Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historic Village, Tifton. If you don't have much time, just visit the Country Store for some authentic South Georgia merchandise. (Note: The store is open Monday – Saturday from 9 – 5 p.m.) If you have a little more time, stroll through the Historic Village, which has more than 35 structures that have been relocated to showcase rural life in 19th century South Georgia. (Note: The Historic Village is not open on Sunday and Monday.)

Sue Rodman is Georgia's official Smart Travel Explorer. Find more of her budget-friendly tips and trip ideas on ExploreGeorgia.org.

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