The best place to go for scenic views near Atlanta is Stone Mountain. Located about 20 miles east of Atlanta, Stone Mountain is large granite dome rising 825 feet above the surrounding park. It is 5 miles in circumference with many trails including a mile-long trail to the top. You'll want to bring your camera as the view from the top of Stone Mountain offers panoramic views of forest and lakes below and the Atlanta skyline in the distance.
The carving on the north end of the rock dome is the largest bas relief sculpture in the world. It depicts three Confederate leaders of the Civil War, President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson. The sculpture is the focal point in the park, and as impressive as it is, there is still more to see and do here. The park has nature trails, a covered bridge and an old grist mill. The park is not a nature-lovers paradise as it draws large crowds for the theme park located there. It's perfect for kids as they operate a skylift to the top of the dome, a train ride, and a riverboat ride on one of the lakes. Every night from April through October there is a lasershow in front of the sculpture.
It's a shame Stone Mountain isn't free. At a mimimum it costs $8.00 for parking. But you can hike the trails and watch the lasershow for free if you stay until dark.