Come spring, there is a countless list of festivals that celebrate the prickly, juicy goodness of strawberries.
Lucky for berry believers in Atlanta, several of those strawberry festivals are just a weekend drive away.
Here are 11 of the most noteworthy strawberry festivals within a reasonable distance of Atlanta:
Georgia Strawberry Festival
115 miles from Atlanta
3 E. William Wainwright Street, Reynolds. 478-847-3493
This grandaddy of all strawberry festivals kicks off with a BBQ chicken dinner in the park Friday night and includes a 5K run, vintage tracker show, wiener dog race and a children's parade.
Rock Ranch Strawberry Festival
The Rock, Georgia
60 miles from Atlanta
The Rock Ranch near Barnesville throws a heck of a strawberry party including strawberry ice cream and visits from Strawberry Shortcake and the Strawberry Princess
The Rock Ranch, 5020 Barnesville Hwy, The Rock. 706-647-6374
Mitcham Farm Strawberry Festival
35 miles from Atlanta
Mitcham Farm, 797 W Macedonia Church Road, Oxford. 770-597-6346
This annual event features craft vendors, live music, hayrides and an area for viewing farm animals. And lots of strawberries, from pick your own to items that with strawberries as an ingredient.
Jaemor Farms annual Strawberry Festival
73 miles from Atlanta
Jaemor Farms, 5340 Cornelia Hwy., Alto. 770-869-3999
This 350-acre family farm features an event with a strawberry cookoff, along with local vendors, shopping and a mobile dairy unit. If you want, you can pick your own berries there, too (if the crop is cooperating.)
Strawberries abound at this annual event, which also features hayrides, a petting barn, arts and crafts vendors and live entertainment. Moms get in free in honor of Mother's Day!
Sweet stuff out of state:
Tennessee Strawberry Festival
April 29-May 13
152 miles from Atlanta
Multiple locations in downtown Dayton, 107 Main Ave, Dayton, Tennessee
Beginning with a pageant on April 29, The Tennessee Strawberry Festival is the celebration of small town life. It showcases arts and crafts, food, entertainment along with its historic courthouse and downtown area.
Cullman Strawberry Fest
196 miles from Atlanta
211 2nd Ave NE, Cullman, Alabama,
Still a pleasant day trip from Atlanta, our Alabama strawberry cohorts put on a festival with Cullman County strawberries and other produce, a classic car show on Saturday, and an antique tractor show and arts and crafts fair both days. Other old-fashioned fun includes wagon rides, a pet parade, and lots of strawberry-inspired food vendors.
EPB Strawberry Festival
118 miles from Atlanta
Chattanooga Market, 1829 Carter St., Chattanooga. 423-648-2496
A strawberry fiesta, with everything strawberry, from cake to jelly to salsa and even candles.
If a big festival isn't your thing, try these smaller strawberry happenings near Atlanta:
LCCL Strawberry Farm and Strawberry Patch Express
69 miles from Atlanta
LCCL Strawberry Farm, 3743 Old Dalton Road, Rome. 706-295-2587
In addition to pick your-own-berries as available in the six-week season that starts mid-April, LCCL has $1 train rides for the kids on Saturdays and Sundays.
Whitley Farms pick your own
38 miles from Atlanta
917 Bob Smith Road
A sweet place to pick berries starting in April and check out the local farm, too. This is a good one for the wee ones and others with shorter attention spans.
April 22-May 13
Spring Saturdays at Washington Farms
61 miles from Atlanta
$8 person over age 2
5691 Hog Mountain Road, Bogart.
Each Saturday from April 22 to May 13, go to the farm to enjoy a spring day and some farm activities, along with concessions like kettle corn and hot dogs. Harvest some berries to bring home, too.