Worth the Drive

Written By: Julie Hostetter

AVERAGE AREA SNOWFALL in the North Georgia Mountains and its environs is small by Northern standards, but can be just as beautiful and fun … if you know where to look.

Both Atlanta and Athens boast roughly 2.9 inches of annual snowfall, with Blairsville coming in on top with a “whopping” 3.1 inches! But anyone who knows, the first couple inches are the prettiest anyway. And in the South, we luckily can enhance Mother’s Nature’s winter gift to create some spectacular fun.

Check out these winter wonderlands that will be ready to greet guests this season. Be sure to check websites for current COVID regulations when planning your trip.

SNOWY WONDERS AT STONE MOUNTAIN.

Unfortunately, tubing at Georgia’s Snow Mountain has been canceled this year, but don’t quip “Bah Humbug” just yet. Stone Mountain’s Christmas is scheduled to open as usual from November 14 through January 3. This fantastical event includes dazzling lights, spectacular shows and a special visit from the Snow Angel, who shimmers guests with “snowflakes.” You can also enjoy some snow tubing at Lake Lanier’s License to Chill at Snow Island, which opens Nov. 6.

HIT THE SLOPES.

If you are looking for snowy slopes within driving distance of North Georgia, then may we suggest you check out Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain Ski Resorts in North Carolina and Ober Gatlinburg in Tennessee. Here you can enjoy skiing, tubing, ice skating and even snow shoeing! And if you want to get a real cool rush, be sure to check out the brand new Wilderness Run Alpine Coaster in nearby Banner Elk, North Carolina.

OUTDOOR ICE-SKATING ADVENTURES.

For hitting the ice, we recommend Alpharetta’s Avalon on Ice, open November 22 through January 18. Inspired by New York’s Rockefeller Center, Avalon on Ice puts the community’s health first, with all skaters required to wear masks and limits to just 50 skaters at a time. Also, check out Ice Skating at INOLA Holiday Festival in Blue Ridge from November 27 to January 5. Here you can book a private skating party of 10 or more guests from 10 a.m. to noon!

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