15 Best Weekend Trips from Atlanta Georgia

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 it later. We’ve been there.

To give you some inspiration to get out and explore, we’ve put together a list of best weekend trips from Atlanta. Just a short drive away, 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: June 15, 2020

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.

Distance: 208 mi / 3 hr 25 min (map)
Can’t Miss Attractions: Biltmore Estate, Looking Glass Hike, Foundation Walls
What to Eat: 49 Best Places to Eat in Asheville
Where to Stay: The Best Places to Stay in Asheville

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

Distance: 164 mi / 2 hr 55 min (map)
What to Do / See: Fall Foliage, Tons of Stops Along the 469-Mile Road
What to Eat: Haywood Smokehouse, Buttered Biscuit, The Sweet Onion
Where to Stay: Andon-Reid InnRed Leaf River InnBrookside Mountain Mist Inn, Search Nearby Airbnbs

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

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

Distance: 147 mi / 2 hr 15 min (map)
What to Do / See: McWane Center (Aquarium and Science Exhibits), Birmingham Museum of Art, Ruffner Mountain Nature Center
What to Eat: Highlands Bar & Grill, El BarrioBabalu Tacos & Tapas
Where to Stay: Elyton HotelThe RedmontThe Grand Bohemian Hotel, Search Nearby Airbnbs

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.

More Weekend Trips from Atlanta

  1. Adairsville, GA (61 mi / 55 min / map)
  2. Lake Oconee, GA (77 mi / 1 hr 20 min / map)
  3. Pine Mountain, GA (78 mi / 1 hr 10 min / map)
  4. Suches, GA (80 mi / 1 hr 30 min / map)
  5. Americus, GA (143 mi / 2 hrs 25 min / map)
  6. Cherokee, NC (161 mi / 2 hrs 45 min / map)
  7. Tybee Island, GA (265 mi / 4 hrs / map)
  8. Winston-Salem, NC (320 mi / 4 hrs 50 min / map)
  9. Alys Beach, FL (300 mi / 5 hrs 10 min / map)
  10. Pensacola, FL (324 mi / 4 hrs 55 min / map)
  11. Oxford, MS (331 mi / 4 hrs 55 min / map)
  12. Amelia Island, FL (356 mi / 5 hrs 15 min / map)
  13. Durham, NC (382 mi / 5 hrs 45 min / map)
  14. Memphis, TN (391 mi / 5 hrs 45 min / map)
  15. Raleigh, NC (405 mi / 6 hrs 5 min / map)

Essential Tips

Favorite Road Trip Essentials

Best Places to Stay

How many of these weekend trips from Atlanta have you done? Can you think of any other weekend trips you’ve done?

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“Discovery consists not of seeking new lands but in seeing with new eyes” – M. Proust

Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. Best traveling tips for beginners.

  2. A lot of these are within a workable travel distance from DC, too, so we’re excited about trying some of them out! We usually stop in either Atlanta or Savannah when we’re driving back to DC from Scott’s folks’ place in Florida, and I would love to extend our path out to one of these awesome spots!

    1. Ooh that would be a fun trip! When’s the next time you’re thinking you’ll be in the area? :)

  3. Maybe you could actually find things to do closer by or actually in the state of Georgia? Warm Springs? Call away Gardens? Any of half a dozen places in North Georgia mountains? Okefenokee Swamp?

    1. We actually included many of those on our day trips article which is linked at the top of the post :)

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