Road Trip on a Budget: 5 Wallet-friendly Roadside Stops

Take a break from the highway to see these hidden gems and Georgia landmarks worth a detour.

Who doesn’t love a road trip? After all, sometimes the journey is just as much fun as the destination, especially if you know where to stop along Georgia’s 339 miles of highway.

In between the exits extolling cheap gas and cheap food are some roadside stops to get you out of the car, stretch your legs and have a little fun — on the cheap. Whether you are heading to a weekend getaway in Georgia or just traveling through, these stops will make you want to take a little more time getting to your final destination. 

  • Cool Roadside Stops
    Museum of Aviation in Warner Robins, Georgia

Cool Roadside Stops in Georgia

Gateway Antique Market, Ringgold

Find hidden treasure at Gateway Antique Mall, less than a mile off the highway in Ringgold. Whether you buy anything or not, it’s an interesting place to walk around and get the circulation flowing again after a long car ride. Meander through Daniel Boone’s Trading Post, explore the Man Cave or find your favorite throwback from childhood in the Antique Toy Collection.


The Big Chicken, Marietta

You have to eat somewhere right? Pull off for a meal at the Big Chicken, the most unique Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in the United States. It’s also the most well-known and beloved landmark in Marietta. In fact, if you ask locals for directions, they’ll give them to you based on your destination’s location in relation to the Big Chicken, as in “it’s four blocks south of the Big Chicken.” The huge advertisement was almost torn down several times throughout the years, but each time public outcry saved the landmark.


Museum of Aviation, Warner Robins

A break at the Museum of Aviation might be a little bit more than a quick pit stop. The Museum of Aviation is located just outside the entrance to Warner Robins Air Force Base and is free to the public. Although you may not have heard of this museum, it’s actually the second largest Air Force museum in the United States, second only to the National Museum of the United State Air Force in Ohio. Of course, there are lots of planes in this museum, but it also has an eclectic assortment of artifacts with loose ties to aviation, such as a display on the music of World War II and the Georgia Invitational Golf Tournament that helps to fund the museum.


Ellis Brothers Pecans, Vienna

You can’t travel Georgia’s roads without stopping for some nuts. Ellis Brothers is famous for their pecans, and the retail store is located less than a half mile off the highway in Vienna. Try a few of the many samples available, and find the perfect snack for the rest of your road trip.


Crime and Punishment Museum, Ashburn

There’s always one person in the car who complains a little too much. Tell them the next time they complain, they go to the electric chair. It’s not just an empty threat. At the Crime and Punishment Museum in Ashburn, guests like to take a photo in "Old Sparky," an accurate replica of Georgia’s electric chair. After a quick bite at the Last Meal Café, snap one last selfie at the World’s Largest Peanut — a monument to Georgia’s No. 1 cash crop — before hitting the road again.

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

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