Stone Mountain Park, which surrounds the largest exposed mass of granite in the world, is one of Atlanta’s most enduring landmarks and tourist attractions.
The park features 3,200 acres of geology, land and history, including the iconic Stone Mountain, which displays the controversial memorial carving depicting three Confederate heroes of the Civil War −Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.
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From its beginnings as a meeting and ceremonial place for Native Americans to its emergence as a major tourist resort in the 1850s, Stone Mountain Park has continued to grow.
The natural attraction also offers 15 miles of wooded nature trails, the Grist Mill and Covered Bridge and a 363-acre lake for anglers. In addition to its natural wonders, Stone Mountain Park’s year-round highlights include the Summit Skyride, a high-speed Swiss cable car with views atop Stone Mountain, and the Confederate Hall Historical and Environmental Education Center.
The following are five can’t-miss events that are held at Stone Mountain each year:
Memorial Day Weekend
Stone Mountain celebrates Memorial Day each year with a salute to the troops, laser show and fireworks nightly. Attractions are normally open from 10:30 a.m.-8 p.m., and the laser show with an extended fireworks finale has music and is specially choreographed to honor the troops.
Yellow Daisy Festival
The Yellow Daisy Festival has grown from a modest arts and crafts show to become a four-day event that’s received multiple tourism awards. It attracts more than 400 artists and crafters from throughout the country to display their works. You’ll be able to purchase arts and crafts, enjoy live entertainment, view demonstrations and sample festival foods.
The 2022 festival will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 8 to 11. Admission is free with paid parking.
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The Pumpkin Festival
From September 17 to October 30, 2022, Stone Mountain’s Pumpkin Festival rings in the autumnal season with fun for all ages. Visit mini golf or take a ride on the scenic railroad where you’ll meet classic storybook characters.
After the sun goes down, the party keeps going. Check out the Nighttime Party Parade. And don’t miss exploring the glow-in-the-dark experiences that feature glowing dinosaurs, pirates and buried treasure, and the Queen of Hearts Maze.
Stone Mountain Highland Games
For 49 years, Stone Mountain has hosted its Highland Games for Scots and those who want to be a “Scot for the Day.” Athletic events, piping and drumming, harping, dancing, and other activities will be featured.
The 50th Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish Festival will be held the weekend of October 14-16, 2022. An additional event ticket is required, and it can be purchased in the fall.
Kids’ Early New Year’s Eve Celebration
Ring in the New Year with kids without the late night and cranky morning after. Come to Stone Mountain Christmas on December 31 to enjoy the regular Christmas events. The early New Year countdown begins with magical snowfall and culminates at 9 p.m. When the clock strikes, the New Year is ushered in with a brilliant fireworks display. All in time for a decently timed tuck-in.
Kids’ Early New Year’s Eve is included with a daily Christmas Attractions Pass or annual Mountain Membership. As the date draws near, be sure to check the events calendar for more information prior to your visit.
Tickets and hours
Daily parking passes are $20 per vehicle per day, or you can buy an annual parking pass for one vehicle for $40. To pack the most into a Stone Mountain day trip, check out the different Attraction Passes options, which include combinations of the Scenic Railroad, Dinosaur Explore, Mini Golf, and live entertainment. Special events may have separate ticketing.
Stone Mountain Park gates are open daily from 5:00 a.m. to midnight. Attraction hours vary. Visit the park’s calendar page for attraction hours before making a visit.
How to get there
Stone Mountain is located at 1000 Robert E. Lee Blvd., Stone Mountain. For directions, visit http://www.stonemountainpark.com/Directions.
From Downtown/Midtown Atlanta (via I-85): Take I-85 North to I-285 East. Once on I-285 East, take Exit 39B, the U.S. Hwy 78 East (Snellville/Athens) exit. Travel 7.7 miles and take exit 8, the Stone Mountain Park Main Entrance. Follow the exit ramp to the East Gate entrance of Stone Mountain Park.
From Downtown Atlanta (via I-20): Take I-20 East to I-285 North. Once on I-285 North, take Exit 39B, the U.S. Hwy 78 East (Snellville/Athens) exit. Travel 7.7 miles and take exit 8, the Stone Mountain Park Main Entrance. Follow the exit ramp to the East Gate entrance of Stone Mountain Park.
From Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport: When exiting the airport, follow signs to I-285. When you get to I-285, take I-285 East (towards Augusta). Follow I-285 to exit 39-B, the U.S. Hwy 78 East (Snellville/Athens) exit. Travel 7.7 miles and take exit 8, the Stone Mountain Park Main Entrance. Follow the exit ramp to the East Gate entrance of Stone Mountain Park.