Run for the hills … or the beach

Curt Yeomans

Curt Yeomans

The weekend getaway.

What does that even mean? Most Americans who work standard 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. jobs Monday through Friday already get the weekend off. Therefore, they are already getting away from work even if they stay home on Saturdays and Sundays.

But the weekend getaway isn’t necessarily an escape from our jobs. It could be described as an escape from our everyday lives. A couple of days to run away to some other place and enjoy a different environment.

You might say that sounds like a vacation. You would be correct in saying so, but the weekend escape is a chance to run away when we don’t have the luxury of taking a full week off.

How you spend that weekend depends on what interests you. It could be a week away for golfing or it could be a weekend trip to do some whitewater rafting on the Ocoee or Nantahala rivers.

It could be a trip to Lookout Mountain in Chattanooga, or a very quick escape to New Orleans or Charleston.

It can really be anything you want to cram in — within reason of course — between Friday and Sunday nights. Obviously, you’re not going to jet off to Paris, France and expect to do much considering how long the flight there and back would take.

These are the short trips. The there and back again in a quick turnaround kind of trips.

In other words, keep it close to where you live. Even a southern city like New Orleans might be a stretch considering it takes nearly eight hours to drive there and back. And that’s if you just do straight driving with no stops to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom or grab something to eat.

That’s one of those trips where you catch a flight to your destination and rent a car to get around. That, of course, also drives up the cost of your trip whereas driving to your destination is a considerably cheaper option.

Are there plenty of weekend getaway trips in Georgia? Of course there are.

From gold mining in Dahlonega, to touring FDR’s Little White House in Warm Springs, the state has an abundance of weekend escapes.

You could even go up in the mountains and watch Cabbage Patch Dolls being made at Babyland General Hospital, 300 N.O.K. Drive, in Cleveland. It’s near Helen, with its alpine village and Unicoi State Park, so you can make a full weekend of it.

You could also head south, deep into the state, and visit the Civil War-era Andersonville Prison National Historic Site, 76 POW Road, in Andersonville.

You can even visit any part of the Golden Isles along Georgia’s coast, including St. Simon’s Island, Jekyll Island and Cumberland Island.

The best about these trips is that they don’t really require much advance planning. You can just up and decide today to run off to any of these places this weekend.

So what will be your weekend getaway?