Stone Mountain is the most famous mountain near Atlanta. It is famous for the Confederate Memorial Carving on it, and has a sad history surrounded by racism- if you are thinking about visiting, I would recommend doing your research and understanding where you are visiting.
That being said, Stone Mountain has over 3,000 acres of space where you can hike, kayak, bike, and camp. There also have a cute “town” at the base of the mountain and a few fun attractions like the Summit Skyride. If you plan to go for the day, check out their festival schedule. They have a lot of festivals, including the famous Yellow Daisy Festival and Stone Mountain Christmas.
Hiking the mountain is really fun- it has a great view of the city and is a steep climb. It is a pretty challenging hike, so I would be sure to wear appropriate shoes and bring a water bottle. I did learn the hard way to not go if it has been raining in the past 12 hours- the rock gets very slippery.
If you are only planning to hike, an annual parking pass is your best option if you plan to go more than once a year. Daily parking is $20, while an annual parking pass is $40. Some of the other attractions and events do require full tickets.
I like to hike Stone Mountain with friends after work, and we time it to see the sunset over the city. It’s beautiful If you plan to do this, but do keep in mind that you will be hiking down in the dark which can be a little tough. It’s a fun workout- and the sunset is totally worth the hike!