Woodstock Georgia Weekend Planner
Overview of Woodstock, Georgia
"No, not THAT Woodstock!" Jim laughed. We had just invited some friends from New Jersey to spend a weekend at our new home and, of course, when he told them the name of our new city, they immediately associated Woodstock, New York - where all good hippies flocked back in the day.
We moved to Woodstock, Georgia - just about an hour north of Atlanta and set along the fringe of its urban sprawl. Woodstock has become one of the top 50 places to live in the U.S. offering the advantages of a dynamic metropolis nearby without being immersed in that crazy vibe.
Though Atlanta continues to creep north along I-85 and I-75, Woodstock sits on I-575 in Cherokee County - the gateway to the north Georgia foothills. And, because of its location, we enjoy a more rural setting quite close to a big city. It's a great place to live, but why would anyone consider it a destination worthy of tourism?
The charm of small towns is a magnet for busy urban dwellers, but Woodstock sets itself apart as a really good option for an enjoyable weekend. With a great selection of restaurants, an active arts community, weekend amphitheater concert series, fun shopping, and excellent outdoor activity venues, there really is something for everyone.
Centrally located, Woodstock is a launching point for day excursions into Atlanta or to the north Georgia mountain wineries, lakes, hiking, and fly-fishing streams. If you're making a trip to (or through) Atlanta, Woodstock is a good option for a weekend of relaxation and fun.
Where to Stay
McKinney Campground, on Lake Allatoona - An Army Corps of Engineers campground, McKinney offers lovely RV campsites on the edge of Lake Allatoona. About 15 minutes from Woodstock, it is the nearest campground and the one we prefer. The bathhouse is well maintained and conveniently located. Boat launch, swimming beach, and playground are all quite nice. Gravel-surfaced sites are equipped with water and electricity hook-ups, fire ring, picnic table, grill, and lantern hook. There are several other Army Corps campgrounds around Lake Allatoona like Victoria Campground - a nice campground with a marina right next door!
Red Top Mountain State Park - Book early because like many state parks near a city, this one fills up fast with only 92 RV and tent campsites. The sites are natural surface or gravel. Red Top Mountain State Park also offers 18 cottages and one yurt for rent.
Woodring or Doll Mountain Campgrounds at Carters Lake - If your like a more remote option, take an hour's drive up I-75 to 3,200 acre Carters Lake. Another Army Corps of Engineers lake, it offers two campgrounds right on the water's edge: Woodring Campground and Doll Mountain Campground. Carters Lake is the deepest of Georgia's reservoir lakes and offers 62-miles of shoreline to explore.
The gravel-surfaced sites are typically equipped with water and electricity hook-ups, fire ring and picnic table. The centrally located bathhouse has a laundry. There is also a sand swimming beach that works perfectly as a put-in point for kayaks.
If you prefer to rent a cabin or cottage, Carters Lake is well equipped to offer private cabin rentals around the lake through VRBO and Air BnB.
Things To Do
Fishing - Lake Allatoona and Carters Lake offer good fishing opportunities, but you can do a little fishing in Woodstock at Olde Rope Mill Park from the river bank or the bridge. You can expect to catch bass, crappie, and catfish in all three areas.
Hiking - Greenprints Trail System Walking Trail - Noonday Creek Trail is a 15-mile trail that connects downtown Woodstock with Highway 92 and crosses over Noonday Creek
Olde Rope Mill Park - Trestle Rock Trail is a paved .4-mile flat rail, that runs along Little River with lovely views of the water and ruins of the Rope Mill diversion chute.
Red Top Mountain State Park - The state park offers six different hiking trails ranging from .75 to 5.5-miles in either natural surface or paved trails and rated as either easy or moderate hiking.
Biking - The city-wide Greenprints Trail system is available for bike riders, and bikes can be rented from the Elm Street trail entrance. If your taste is more for mountain biking, there are 30-miles of single-track trails available at Old Rope Mill Park and Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trail System.
Kayaking - You can actually put-in your kayak at Olde Rope Mill Park and paddle along Little River that empties into 12,000 acre Lake Allatoona. Lake Allatoona and Carters Lake also offer great access for boating of any kind with lots of shoreline and coves to explore by kayak or canoe. Lake Allatoona is the busier of the two lakes and also offers several swimming beaches and marinas. Carters lake also offers a marina.
Shopping - Lot's of fun and quirky, locally-owned shops in downtown Woodstock with everything from clothing, local artists, gourmet cooking olis, books and home decor. A bonus for shopping mavens is The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta on I-575 in Woodstock. There you will find upscale clothing, shoes, kitchen equipment and lots more.
Sightseeing - On the Mill Street-facing wall of the 100 year-old Woodstock Pharmacy, is the huge Woodstock Community Mural. Painted by artist Anna Lysa Kimball, the mural depicts an intersection of the history, present, and future of Woodstock.
Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground (about 30 miles north) is a spectacular 200+ acre garden created by Jim Gibbs. You'll find 32 bridges, 24 ponds, 19 waterfalls, and 16 separate gardens to stroll through. Bring your camera and prepare for many 'instagram" moments!
Century House Tavern - this old home-turned-restaurant offers a nice selection of small plates as well as a full menu. We sat on the covered porch and enjoyed the lovely weather but the interior dining rooms feature the works of local artists.
Partners Pizza - You just have to find a good pizza place when you travel and this is our favorite. Crust is 'almost New York' and the toppings and sauce are perfect. The place is tiny, so if you come during peak hours a seat will be hard to find. If you're in your RV, park around back and just order "to go".
Reformation Brewery - Opening a downtown location in 2018, the brewery offers six year-round varieties of locally made craft beers, adding limited production brews seasonally. The brewery is across the street from the Elm Street Event Green and has good parking in the municipal lot in front of its building.
Don’t Forget to Bring
bikes (or rent bikes at the Elm St. trail entrance)
camera for capturing the moment
fishing pole and license
The Woodstock Community Mural on Mill Street is great for a photo. Stand next to the people painted on the wall and become a part of the mural! You can also walk to the Elm Street Arts Village Event Green and take a photo next to the giant mosaic-covered guitar.