I was born and raised in Atlanta and can’t say I’ve spent that much time exploring Georgia or even outside Greater Atlanta. If you live somewhere for so long, it’s easy to take a place for granted and assume you’ll just get to things later. We’ve been there.
Just a short drive away from Atlanta you can find yourself surrounded by lush, green forests, small historic towns, and even beaches. If you are really limited on time, check out our 15 Most Popular Day Trips from Atlanta, which are even closer. You can always make them weekend getaways too!
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Last Updated: Jun 19, 2019. First Published Nov 6, 2017
15 BEST WEEKEND TRIPS FROM ATLANTA GEORGIA
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1. Chattanooga, Tennessee
Chattanooga has a ton of charm. We visited often when I was a kid, and I have fond memories of the Tennessee Aquarium, Rock City, and Ruby Falls. Even to this day, the attractions are fun to explore and there are many outdoor activities in the area too. Regardless of your interest, there is plenty to keep you busy over a weekend.
Asheville has a bit of everything! There’s an amazing food scene, craft breweries to quench your thirst, beautiful outdoor landscapes, fun murals and art to track down.
3. Augusta, Georgia
Most well known for The Masters, Augusta is Georgia’s second oldest city. It definitely draws golfers from all over the world but is a great spot for weekend getaways. With plenty of food options, eat til you can’t walk anymore, check out the growing arts and theater scene or catch a concert.
4. Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway is an amazing spot for anyone who loves the outdoors. There are beautiful hikes, fishing, and camping. If you don’t like being outdoors, you can enjoy the beauty without getting out of the car on the scenic drive. Don’t forget to check out all the amazing spots the drive takes you through.
Charleston is one of my favorite cities close to Atlanta. It’s the oldest and second largest city in the state. I love the cobblestone streets, horse-drawn carriages, and beautiful architecture. On top of that, there are amazing rooftop bars and delicious seafood!
6. Destin, Florida
Distance: 315 mi / 5 hr 10 min (map)
What to Do / See: Henderson Beach State Park, Destin Harbor Boardwalk, Gulfarium Marine Adventure Park
What to Eat: McGuire’s Irish Pub, Louisiana Lagniappe, Beach Walk Cafe
Where to Stay: Home2Suites Destin, Courtyard by Marriott Sandestin, Henderson Beach Resort
If you’re looking for clean, white sand beaches, Destin is your spot! Spring Break will bring party-ers to town but much less than some of the neighboring beaches. Though I prefer to stay longer when we drive down to the panhandle, we’ve done it for a weekend before.
7. Great Smoky Mountains NP / Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the closest national park to Atlanta and the most visited in the US. Fall is one of the busiest times with everyone enjoying the foliage, but there are plenty of spots to explore. Although touristy, Gatlinburg is a popular spot to set up home base and also gives you more options for attractions and restaurants.
8. Jekyll Island, St Simons, Little St Simons, Sea Island (Golden Isles)
Located on the Georgia coast are four beautiful islands: St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. Pristine marshlands fill the landscape accompanied by beautiful beaches. Each island brings its own character. On one hand, Jekyll Island is popular with families, on the other, Little St Simon is privately owned and only 32 people can stay there at a time.
9. Greenville, South Carolina
Find waterfalls, hike beautiful trails, or fly down a zip line in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Greenville has something to offer year round. You can also find one-of-a-kind shops, art galleries, museums, and attractions for the whole family.
10. Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Look for starfish, sand-dollars, and sea turtles at the beach, or spend your day on the golf course, biking, or kayaking. There are beautiful resorts and hotels set amongst spectacular scenery.
11. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Myrtle Beach has sixty miles of beautiful sandy beaches. Bask in the sun or play in the water. If you need a break from the sun, there are a ton of live shows, endless shopping, a lot of great restaurants.
Nashville is the country music capital! Catch an amazing live show on Broadway, see the Country Music Hall of Fame, or try some Nashville hot chicken. Also, there’s a full-sized replica of the Parthenon in Centennial Park.
13. Savannah, Georgia
Explore Savannah on a kayak, ride a carriage around town, or hop on a historical bus tour. If you’re a bit more daring, take a walking ghost tour. Savannah is a quintessential southern town with so much southern charm.
14. Birmingham, Alabama
Birmingham is currently the largest city in Alabama and is where history meets present day. Even though the city is relatively young, it has a lot of historical significance that you can learn more about in their museums. If you’re a sports fan, be sure to check out the nation’s oldest baseball stadium.
Our parents own a timeshare down in Orlando, so we’ve been going at least once a year ever since I was a kid. Even as adults, we’re still big fans of Disney. Obviously, there’s Disney World and the Universal Parks, which can keep you busy in and of themselves, but there’s plenty around town if you’ve already been.
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How many of these weekend trips from Atlanta have you done? Can you think of any other weekend trips you’ve done?