City guides

Best weekend trips from Atlanta

Unlock the potential for excitement and discovery with these top weekend getaways from Atlanta

October 23, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 15
A view of the Atlanta skyline at night.

Atlanta, Georgia’s vibrant capital, cradles a plethora of nearby destinations that beckon to the city dwellers with promises of weekend adventures that are just a short drive away. From the tranquility of coastal escapes to the hustle and bustle of neighboring cities, here's a curated guide to satiate the wanderlust in you, letting you explore the unseen, the known, and everything in between.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Just a short hop northward from Atlanta rests the vibrant Chattanooga, an abode of captivating natural phenomena and scenic wonders. At the heart of its attractions is the Ruby Falls, a clandestine underground waterfall that offers a thrilling yet educational excursion for families and solo adventurers alike. Venture a little further and the majesty of Lookout Mountain opens up, presenting hikers with trails that tease with impending spectacular views at the summit. But don't rush off just yet; the city's downtown is a trove of artisan shops, delightful dining spots, and riverfront parks that generously offer both relaxation and recreation. With a weekend here, you'll find yourself amidst an ensemble of nature and modernity, with a splash of heartwarming Southern hospitality to boot.

Helen, Georgia

Embark on a journey to Helen, where the old-world charm of Bavaria is nestled amidst Georgia's picturesque landscapes. The quaint town never falls short of offering that cozy, village-like vibe with its cobblestone alleys and carefully crafted Bavarian architecture. Helen's main street is a haven for leisurely strolls where one can find a plethora of dining venues offering German delicacies that are to die for. Moreover, the Chattahoochee River provides a refreshing foreground to this delightful town, with opportunities for tubing that are bound to tickle the fancy of both the young and old. Whether you're enjoying a tranquil walk or a hearty meal, every moment in Helen is a brush with enchantment.

Athens, Georgia

The lively city of Athens is not just a haven for students but a vibrant locale that extends a warm invitation to all. Beyond the bustling college life, Athens offers a rich cultural tapestry woven with art galleries, live music venues, and theaters that promise evenings of entertainment and inspiration. Step into the State Botanical Garden of Georgia and you'll find yourself wandering through an expansive sanctuary of diverse flora and fauna, with each turn unveiling a new shade of nature's palette. Dine in one of the eclectic restaurants that dot the city, offering culinary delights that promise to satiate all taste buds, making every visit a festival of vibrant experiences that beckon a return.

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Prepare to be mesmerized by the postcard-perfect ambiance of Blue Ridge, a town where art meets nature. Ensconced in the arms of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this destination offers an enticing amalgamation of outdoor adventures and serene landscapes. The Aska Adventure Area is a trekker’s paradise, promising trails that wind through picturesque settings and lead to mesmerizing waterfalls. Lake Blue Ridge beckons with the promise of aquatic adventures, with opportunities to paddleboard, kayak, or simply enjoy a scenic boat ride. In the town, creativity takes center stage with art galleries that house the finest local art and boutiques that offer a range of quaint and unique finds, making it a destination that wears many hats, each as alluring as the other.

Asheville, North Carolina

Art enthusiasts and history buffs alike find themselves drawn to the vibrant city of Asheville, where every nook and corner tells a story. The historic Biltmore Estate stands as a testament to the city’s rich past, offering tours that walk you through a fascinating voyage back in time. Drive through the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, characterized by its winding roads that offer glimpses of the spectacular mountains, an experience that invites you to breathe deeply and embrace the serene surroundings. Asheville is also home to a myriad of art galleries, where the city’s pulsating culture is vividly captured through the strokes of the artists. Gourmet restaurants and quirky cafes dot the streets, offering a culinary experience that promises to pamper your taste buds with a medley of flavors. Asheville insists you linger, offering cozy bed and breakfasts that promise a tranquil retreat after a day of exploration.

Savannah, Georgia

Step into the timeless beauty of Savannah, a city that embodies grace and historic charm. The cobblestone streets tell tales of history as you meander through, leading you to lush public squares where nature gracefully meets antiquity. Savannah offers an array of transport modes, yet a carriage ride remains the favorite, painting a living picture of history as it clinks through the historic district. Food lovers find paradise here with a gastronomy scene that seamlessly blends timeless recipes with contemporary flair. And when the sun sets, the city dons a vibrant robe of nightlife with music and laughter echoing through the streets, promising unforgettable moments under the Georgia sky.

Charleston, South Carolina

Picturesque Charleston welcomes travelers with open arms, inviting them to delve deep into a rich tapestry woven with historical threads and vibrant culture. Wander through the Historic District, where every building narrates tales of bygone eras through its well-preserved architecture. The city buzzes with a youthful energy, echoed through vibrant markets that offer a splash of colors, fragrances, and textures. With a wide array of eateries, Charleston promises a culinary journey through a rich variety of flavors, each dish telling a story of the city’s rich cultural melting pot. Don’t forget to take a stroll along the iconic Battery promenade, where the whispers of ancient oaks tell tales of history, mystery, and southern hospitality.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee

An oasis of tranquility and unspoiled natural beauty, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Envelop yourself in the serene ambiance as you explore trails lined with wildflowers that boast a rich palette of colors in every season. The park offers a haven for wildlife enthusiasts, with a diverse array of fauna finding a home amidst its lush landscapes. The mountain streams beckon, offering opportunities for fishing in crystal clear waters. And as the night descends, the skies come alive, promising stargazing opportunities that allow you to connect with the cosmos in a pristine, undisturbed setting. The Great Smoky Mountains offer more than just a weekend getaway; they offer a journey into the heart of nature, promising rejuvenation and a refreshed spirit.Atlanta opens up a plethora of opportunities for you to indulge in, each unique in its offerings. So take your pick from the rich experiences that lie a short drive away from the city, promising a weekend where the hustle and bustle feels like a distant memory as you immerse yourself in new experiences and refresh your spirit. Remember, adventure is just around the corner, waiting for you to seize it.

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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