In summer, the Ocoee River becomes a rowdy party grounds. Join the flotilla on a ten-mile float with Ocoee Rafting that hits more than 40 Class III–IV rapids. Then chow down on brisket at Michael's Casual Dining in nearby Etowah and drive 13 miles to Reliance for a slice of quiet. Your hot-tub-equipped cabin at Mountain Stream Lodging is buffered by the Cherokee National Forest and the Hiwassee River. The next day, hike the six-mile John Muir Trail, fly-fish, or bring your mountain bike and ride 11.5 miles out and back on the Clemmer and Benton Falls Trails.
NEAREST AIRPORT: Atlanta, three hours.
EXPENSE REPORT: One-day raft trip for two (ocoeerafting.com): $180. Two nights in a cabin (mountainstreamlodging.com): $230. Smoked brisket dinner at Michael's Casual Dining (michaelsgreatfood.com): $25. Breakfast and grilling provisions: $40. Total: $475