Roadside attractions: Plan a trip to Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia / Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Athens, Georgia, is best known as home to the University of Georgia, but some would say its most beloved resident is a 70-foot-tall white oak that has legal ownership of itself. The now named Tree That Owns Itself was reportedly loved so much by its owner, Col. William H. Jackson, that when he died in 1832 he deeded the tree, along with the eight feet surrounding its base, to itself in his will. The majestic oak that stands at the corner of South Finley and Dearing streets in downtown Athens is actually known as the Son of the Tree That Owns Itself, as it was planted using an acorn from the Tree That Owns Itself after the original tree fell during a windstorm in 1942.

Drive time from Chattanooga: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Other claims to fame:

> The State Botanical Garden of Georgia's 313 acres include multiple themed display gardens and five miles of nature trails representative of the habitats in the region.