Stone Mountain, Georgia, is the world's largest exposed piece of granite -- 7.5 billion cubic feet of rock. This immense, bulging monolith is just a half-hour drive from Atlanta. But it's not just the size of the mountain that drives people to visit. Stone Mountain's outstanding feature is the Confederate Memorial Carving. Three southern heroes from the Civil War have been carved into the rock: Confederate President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee, and General Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. The relief is massive, spanning 90 by 190 feet, and is surrounded by a carved surface that covers three acres.
While planning for the sculpture began in 1915, it was not completed until 1972. Stone Mountain can be visited by taking a cable-car ride up the north face. Intrepid visitors can hike along various trails to get closer to the amazing mountain. A visit to the top reveals rock pools and views of a downtown Atlanta that seems close enough to touch.
Located just outside the park's west gate is Historic Stone Mountain Village. The village was established in 1839 and offers more than 50 specialty shops and restaurants. Visitors can browse through quaint antique stores as well as shop for art and jewelry created by local artisans.