9 Weekend Trips from Atlanta, Georgia Worth Taking

Girl walking down path towards castle on Cumberland Island

Located in the heart of the South, Atlanta, Georgia is a vibrant city full of energy, history, and entertainment. It’s no wonder many people choose to visit; however, while the city has a lot to offer, sometimes you just need to escape and explore the nearby areas. Luckily, Atlanta is surrounded by beautiful towns, cities, and natural wonders that are perfect for a weekend getaway. We're both southern born and raised and have had a chance to visit much of the south and document it over on our Youtube channel and here on the blog. We love sharing the special places we've been fortunate to call home, so keep reading to explore nine of the best weekend trips you can take from Atlanta.

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Girl and dog walk on sidewalk under Spanish moss covered trees in Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

Located a little over three hours away from Atlanta on the southern coast of Georgia, Savannah is a must-visit for anyone who wants to experience southern charm and history. Walk the cobblestone streets, take a historic tour, and enjoy some of the best seafood around. Whether you're a couple looking for a romantic getaway or a family traveling with young children, Savannah has plenty to offer everyone in the group. To plan your trip to Savannah, Georgia be sure to checkout our 23 Free and Cheap Things to do in Savannah, Georgia and Savannah, Georgia: What to know before you go travel guides to help you plan where to go, what to do, and where to stay in Savannah.

Getting from Atlanta, GA to Savannah, GA: 248 miles | ~2 hr | Google Maps

Asheville, North Carolina

Set in the Appalachian Mountains, Asheville is perfect for nature lovers looking for a weekend of hiking, biking, and fresh mountain air. Be sure to try the local craft beer scene and sample many of the cities delicious and unique restaurants. For being a smaller city, Asheville offers so many different opportunities for visitors. Be sure to pack your hiking boots and checkout some of Asheville's best hiking trails. Or, if you're looking for a quieter and slower weekend, consider booking a room at The Inn on Biltmore Estate or The Omni Grove Park Inn.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Asheville, NC: 200 miles | ~3 hr 30 min | Google Maps

Man paddles a canoe on Tennessee River in Chattanooga, Tennessee
Walnut Street Bridge in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Just two hours north of Atlanta, Chattanooga has a lot of offer, from its endless outdoor opportunities, to its rich history, to its many museums. Don’t forget to check out the world-renowned Tennessee Aquarium or consider booking a tandem hang gliding flight on Lookout Mountain. No matter if you're hoping for a little R&R or want to hop on the Chattanooga Riverwalk for a morning run, the Scenic City has enough to keep you entertained for a weekend. For the best food recommendations in Chattanooga, be sure to checkout our travel guide for the 43 restaurants in Chattanooga where the locals eat and drink.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Chattanooga, TN: 118 miles | ~2 hr | Google Maps

Man holding small dog on a leash looks at waterfall in Falls Park, Greenville, SC
Girl in red dress walking dog in Falls Park, Greenville, SC

Greenville, South Carolina

Known as the “up-and-coming” town in the South, Greenville has seen a lot of development in the past few years with new boutiques, cafes, and restaurants popping up every month. It’s a good spot to relax and take in the charming town. Greenville is especially family friendly, but that doesn't mean it doesn't also cater to couple travelers looking for a weekend getaway together. We visited Greenville as a couple (plus our dog, Kramer) and had a lot of fun. Great breweries, cafes, and more kept us entertained the whole weekend.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Greenville, SC: 145 miles | ~2 hr 30 min | Google Maps

Charleston, South Carolina

Another southern coastal town, Charleston is chock full of history and stunning architecture. Explore the many plantations and gardens or relax on the beach with some sweet tea in hand. Charleston is similar to Savannah, Georgia but also very different. While Savannah is smaller and a bit more loose, Charleston feels a bit more refined. From beautiful, luxury hotels and beautiful beaches, to history and delicious southern food, Charleston has so much to keep you entertained! We especially love Charleston as a couple's getaway given its overall romantic feel and beautiful neighborhoods, but families will also love sharing the city with children.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Charleston, SC: 307 miles | ~4 hr 45 min | Google Maps

Birmingham, Alabama

Two and a half hours southwest of Atlanta, Birmingham is a great choice for those interested in civil rights history and museums like the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The city’s culinary scene is also nothing to scoff at.  Birmingham is home to an incredible selection of restaurants, from small hole-in-the-wall spots to upscale fine dining establishments. Spend a day or two exploring the city on foot and take in some of the best views with a visit to Vulcan Park and Museum.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Birmingham, AL: 147 miles | ~2 hr 15 min | Google Maps

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is a great way to experience the Appalachian Mountains and the stunning foliage that comes with fall. Take to the scenic drives and experience picturesque views around every corner. No matter what time of year you make the drive to Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Atlanta, you'll be greeted with lots of wonderful outdoor opportunities including camping, hiking, wildlife watching, and more. We highly recommend driving the Cades Cove Loop while you're there!

Getting from Atlanta, GA to Great Smoky Mountains: 164 miles | ~ 3 hr 5 min | Google Maps

Man sits on a blue bench next to do outside Independent Baking in Athens, GA
Clayton Street in downtown Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia

Athens, Georgia might be my absolute favorite small town in the country. I should admit I'm a bit biased since I did attend and graduate from the University of Georgia which is located in Athens, but it truly is a wonderful town. In fact, it's regularly ranked as one of the best college towns in America! From world famous beers such as Terrapin and Creature Comforts, to lively football games at home stadium of the back to back national champion Georgia Bulldogs, to world class art museum, some of the best food in the south, Athens has it all. Oh, and did we mention the music scene in Athens? It's world famous, too. Bands including the B52s and R.E.M. originated here and even performed their first concerts here.

Athens is a quick hour and a half drive from Atlanta, so even if you can't afford a whole weekend getaway, it's close enough to slip away to for a day adventure, too.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Athens, GA: 72 miles | ~1 hr 30 min | Google Maps

Girl walks towards castle on Cumberland Island, Georgia
Man walks on boardwalk at Cumberland Island, Georgia

Cumberland Island National Seashore

Cumberland Island National Seashore is a unique experience from any of the other options on the list, and personally, it's one of my favorites listed here. Cumberland Island is maintained by the National Parks Service (NPS) which helps keep the island well preserved and taken care of. To get to the island you have to take a ferry from St. Marys, Georgia over to the island which takes about 45 minutes. The only accommodations on the island are camping at one of the official NPS campgrounds, or staying at the luxurious and all inclusive hotel, the Greyfield Inn. I've never had the opportunity to stay at the Greyfield Inn, but it's a dream, too!

No matter where you choose to stay on the island, your sure to have a memorable time enjoying the miles of quiet beaches, wild horses roaming free, and winding trails shaded by moss covered trees. Planning a trip to Cumberland Island takes a little more effort due to its remote location, so be sure to checkout our complete travel guide for visiting Cumberland Island.

How to get from Atlanta, GA to Cumberland Island Ferry: 343 miles | ~5 hr 20 min| Google Maps

Final thoughts

From the civil rights history of Birmingham, to the stunning foliage in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and from the world-famous beer in Athens to exploring Cumberland Island's remote location - there are plenty of amazing weekend trips you can take from Atlanta. Whether it’s a family vacation or an escape with friends, these 9 options provide something for everyone! So pack your bags and get ready for adventure – all within driving distance. With so many great places nearby, what will be your next destination?

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Hi! We're Chris and Sara a husband and wife video making, storytelling, travel loving duo with a passion for sharing travel tips, tricks, and inspiration with others.
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