Consider an affordable weekend trip just in time for Veteran’s Day weekend.

Consider an affordable weekend trip just in time for Veteran’s Day weekend. Beginning November 11, you can salute our veterans and the freedom to explore our land with the following go-and-do ideas.

Lookout Mountain

From the Atlanta area, it’s approximately a two-hour drive to reach Chattanooga, Tennessee, a choice spot for a weekend trip. The crisp fall weather bodes well with Lookout Mountain’s triple threat of family entertainment.

Experience Ruby Falls, Rock City, and the Incline Railway separately or together. Ruby Falls takes guests into the country’s deepest commercial cave and home to America’s largest underground waterfall. Rock City offers gardens, trails, and breathtaking scenery, including an eye-widening view from atop Lookout Mountain. Younger kids may enjoy Fairyland Caverns, home to Humpty Dumpty and other nursery rhyme stars. Hop aboard the Incline Railway for a steep trip up Lookout Mountain.


Season 7 of The Walking Dead, AMC’s popular TV series, just kicked off in October. The show has helped put this formerly sleepy town, about a one-hour drive south of Atlanta, on the map. Senoia serves as a location for the show, and zombie-loving “Dead” heads visit to see it all in real life.

The Georgia Mercantile Company on Broad Street offers the Touring Dead, a walking tour of show locations. The stretch of retailers and eateries on Main Street—downtown Woodbury on the show—can keep visitors busy for hours. The Woodbury Shoppe, a gift shop and museum, shares space with the Waking Dead Cafe coffee house.

Nic & Norman’s, a restaurant co-owned by show director Greg Nicotero and star Norman Reedus, opened its doors in summer 2016. Consider bunking at the Veranda Historic Bed and Breakfast Inn, where several cast members have also stayed.

Smoke On the Harbor BBQ Throwdown

Smoke On the Harbor BBQ Throwdown, a Charleston, South Carolina barbecue competition, hits the grill Veterans Day weekend, November 11 and 12. For a price, guests can nosh on chicken wings and pork butt samples. Other festival food fare will be sold and libations flow in a cocktail competition. Live music fills the air, and so may the laughter of tots. The latter get busy in the Kids Zone, a play area for the younger set.

Five Points 29th Annual Chili Cook-Off

On November 12, those brave enough to stomach a full afternoon of chili gorging can grab a spoon and dive into this enduring event. Nearly fifty teams put their chili creations to the test at the Five Points 29th Annual Chili Cook-Off.

While parents stuff their faces with chili, their offspring can spice up their own afternoon by playing in Little Pepper’s Place. The children’s area features face painting, a bouncy house, a massive inflatable slide, and more. Six live bands rock the festival grounds, including headliner Drivin’ N Cryin’.

Want to salute veterans in a variety of ways with the family? There are guaranteed to be parades and other celebrations taking place near you and also throughout the entire country.

Jon Waterhouse

About the AuthorJon Waterhouse

Jon Waterhouse is an award-winning, Atlanta-based journalist specializing in entertainment, travel and lifestyle. His work has appeared in Esquire, BlackBook, Paste, Boy's Life,, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and many other publications. He's also served as an online reporter for and, and exclusive publicity writer for Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame act, Van Halen. In addition to writing, Waterhouse has the ability to produce exceptional audio/visual content, including audio slideshows. As the host, writer and producer of "The Pop Culture King Show," Waterhouse won a Georgia Association of Broadcasters Award for his work.