- Lesli Peterson for The AJC
Roadside attractions are generally places one stops on the way to a final destination, but occasionally a place is a worthy stop on its own. If you’re keen on oddities, rarities and one-of-a-kinds then you’ll want to plan an itinerary with the following Georgia treasures.
Mt. Olive Cemetery
Frankie Allen Park is nestled in the Garden Hills neighborhood of Buckhead. Near the entrance sits Mt. Olive Cemetery. Herein lays the last of Atlanta’s Macedonia Park community, founded by free slaves just after the Civil War. The community was completely self-contained and included a few churches, the most popular of which was Mt. Olive Methodist-Episcopal Church, to which the cemetery belonged. See 50-100 marked and unmarked graves of Atlanta’s forgotten residents.
White House Replica
You don’t have to drive to Washington DC to see the White House; there’s one here in Atlanta. Briarcliff Road’s replica of the White House is a ¾ -scale model, built by Fred Milani. The newest owner purchased it in 2013 for $2.2 million. While the exterior resembles 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, the gigantic outdoor pool is an artistic addition. As a private home, tours are not available, but be sure to stop and snap a photo. 3687 Briarcliff Road, Atlanta.
Doll's Head Trail
DeKalb County’s Constitution Lakes Nature Preserve appears to be your run-of-the-mill county park. A paved trail meets boardwalk near the lakes, and fortuitous visitors glimpse river otter, beaver and turtles. Shortly after the boardwalk to the left ends, the Doll’s Head Trail begins. In 2011, regular visitors started collecting trash within the park and using it to create art pieces along the trail. From dolls’ heads to fishing lures, and antique toys to glass bottles, the upcycled junk art trail is worth a visit.
Goats on the Roof
Goats on the Roof is the epitome of a roadside stand. Feed the goats via a Rube Goldberg-esque bicycle contraption that elevates cups of food to the roof. When you’re done, peruse the selection of Amish goods, homemade fudge and ice cream. Mine for gems and sit by the fire to roast marshmallows.
Georgia is home to well over 50 labyrinths, but Rome’s labyrinth is immediately off the road with ample parking, and it’s free. The spot was originally an amphitheater built in the 1930s, but was repurposed by a local resident. 5,490 bricks laid end to end were officially dedicated in 2010.
Typically labeled a cross between Stonehenge and the Rosetta Stone, no one knows the exact purpose of these granite masterpieces dubbed the Georgia Guidestones. They are a little freaky and a lot weird, but there is no denying their artistic appeal. A new brick mysteriously appeared recently, inscribed with the year 2014, then was subsequently destroyed. The mystery continues.