“A” for Atlanta could is also “A” for access. With an extensive roadway, and international airport, heading out adventuring is as easy as deciding where you want to go.
Quick Answer Guide: 12 Trips Near Atlanta
Best Day Trips From Atlanta
- Best for Mountain Town Charm - Dahlonega, Georgia
- Best for Quirky getaways and Oktoberfest - Helen, Georgia
- Best for Treasure hunting and Southern hospitality - Madison, Georgia
- Best for American history lovers - Warm Springs, Georgia
Best Road Trips from Atlanta
- Best for Highland adventures - Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Best for Funky mountain vibes, beer lovers - Asheville, North Carolina
- Best for Southern culture and history - Savannah, Georgia
Best Weekend Trips from Atlanta
- Best for Foodies and spooky history - New Orleans, Louisiana
- Best for Big city variety - Chicago, Illinois
- Best for History and art lovers - Boston, Massachusetts
- Best for Tropical escape - Key West, Florida
- Best for Country music fans - Nashville, Tennessee
Best Day Trips from Atlanta
Living in Atlanta is amazing. From iconic theaters to amusement parks, there are so many things to enjoy. Sometimes, you just want a quick getaway to experience something new.
Here are a list of 12 of the best weekend trips from Atlanta, starting with our pick for the best day trips from Atlanta.
1. Dahlonega, Georgia
- Perfect for: Mountain Town Charm
- Highlights of Dahlonega:
- Easy to find
- Casual environment
- Blue Ridge Mountain access
Things to Do in Dahlonega
Once a thriving mining town, Dahlonega is now a haven for adventure in the North Georgia mountains. One of the top wine towns in the country, Dahlonega is home to eight wineries and a dozen tasting rooms. Whether your tastes run towards the down home delicious wines from the first family farm winery in the area Three Sisters, or the sleek Tuscan-inspired winery Montaluce, Dahlonega will quench your thirst and leave you happy.
Outdoor enthusiasts can spend the day hiking the famous Appalachian Trail or head to Amicalola Falls State Park to see the highest waterfall east of the Mississippi. I am especially fond of kayaking on the Chestatee River when I am running from Atlanta summer heat.
How to Get to Dahlonega
Dahlonega is only 90-minute drive from Atlanta. Jump on GA-400 N (via I-85 or I-285). Take it until it ends then turn left on US-19 N.
Where to Stay in Dahlonega
Secluded Treehouse is a modern, well-equipped house requires no tree climbing to enter and offers every convenience. A mere two miles from the Dahlonega Square, you enjoy easy access to wineries, and restaurants, returning to the relaxing quiet of a mountain escape complete with a babbling brook.
A block off the main square, this delightful Old Storehouse Inn is bright and cheery with a tasting room and art gallery on the first floor. Upstairs rooms enjoy a wraparound porch to breathe fresh air and people watch. Room prices vary based on season and day of the week. I love the quirkiness of the piano room.
2. Helen, Georgia
- Perfect for: Quirky getaways and Oktoberfest
- Highlights of Helen:
- European style
- Close to Chattahoochee Oconee National Forest
Things to Do in Helen
Way back in 1969, a decision was made to recreate a quirky Bavarian village in place of a failing logging town, and Helen was born. It might not actually be Bavaria, but you will have a chance to sample German fare and stroll past festively decorated shops and bars. Peak season is fall when the leaves are changing, and the beer is flowing for Oktoberfest. Beat the crowds and go for one of the many spring and summer festivals. Summertime is a great for tubing coolly down the river running through town.
How to Get to Helen
Take I-400 N from Atlanta to GA-115 N, Left on Appalachian Parkway/Cleveland By-Pass. Turn left on GA-75 N for Downtown Helen. The road to Helen gets congested but the town is extremely walkable. You will want to park quickly and head out on foot.
Where to Stay in Helen
In the heart of it all, the lodging at Chalet Munich makes it easy to pop home for a small rest before diving back in to the action. This cute apartment above a shop comes with a full kitchen and balcony overlooking the main drag. Chalet Munich is perfect for grabbing a little midday break or an early start.
The Helendorf Inn was the brainchild of Helen's creator and has been closely tied to the identity of Helen since the 1970s. Spacious and gracious, the rooms at The Helendorf Inn are beautifully decorated and comfortable. Expect a more traditional experience in this riverside hotel, which offers both a free continental breakfast and a swimming pool for guests.
3. Madison, Georgia
- Perfect for: Treasure hunting and Southern hospitality
- Highlights of Madison:
- Undiscovered gem
- Close to Lake Oconee
- Outdoor activities
How to Get to Madison
About 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Atlanta, Madison is halfway to Augusta via I-20 E . Take Exit 113 toward Madison / Monticello. Turn left on GA – 83N. In a mile and a half, turn right on US-278 E. Take this street to the square. There is plenty of parking in Madison, but you might need to try the streets a block off the main thoroughfare for more options.
Things to Do in Madison
Discover the Antebellum architecture that has been lovingly maintained. Go ahead and take pictures. They know they are beautiful. Visit three historic properties — Rose Cottage, The Rogers House, and Heritage Hall -- by booking a tour through the Morgan County Historical Society. With a large collection of antique shops in a small area, you can get lost for a full day treasure hunting here. Stop for lunch at Madison Chop House Grille. You will need your energy!
Where to Stay in Madison
The James Madison Inn is Southern hospitality at its finest. Refined and elegantly decorated, each sumptuous room comes with a selection of written works by local authors. Enjoy local artisan crafts in the warm and cozy breakfast room while you enjoy your included continental breakfast.
If you prefer a more homey experience, check out the Madison Firefly Cottage. Filled with handmade furniture and original art pieces, the Firefly is both comfortable and visually appealing. Settle under cozy quilts after a long day of antique shopping or register for an art class at the onsite gallery.
4. Warm Springs, Georgia
- Perfect for: American history lovers
- Highlights of Warm Springs:
- Forgotten jewel
- Fascinating American history
- Peaceful state park nearby
How to Get to Warm Springs
Warm Springs is an hour south of the Atlanta Airport via I-85 south and 27 Alt/GA 41.
Things to Do in Warm Springs
The Little White House is a must-visit for those who love history. Franklin Delano Roosevelt stayed here while seeking relief from his crippling polio and there are several historical sites in the area. After you have explored the Little White House, take your ticket to the Historic Pools & Springs where FDR took “the waters.” Now a museum, you can learn why the waters were considered to have healing properties and feel the water yourself, but you may no longer swim in the facility.
If you are a fan of the natural world, spend time exploring Roosevelt State Park, Georgia’s largest, has 43 miles of hiking trails for outdoor activities. Or take a short drive to Pine Mountain and visit Callaway Gardens for world-class golf and thousands of acres of colorful gardens.
Best Road Trips from Atlanta
If you need more distance between you and real life, try one of these road trips under 5 hours from Atlanta by car. Here are top 4 best road trips from Atlanta.
5. Chattanooga, Tennessee
- Perfect for: Highland adventures
- Highlights of Chattanooga:
- Close to Atlanta
- Activities are close together
- Brand new art district
How to Get to Chattanooga
From Atlanta, head straight up 75 N
Things to Do in Chattanooga
Less than a 2-hour drive from Atlanta, Chattanooga is the perfect choice for a quick getaway that seems far away from the bustle of the city. The new Bluff View Arts District offers both cultural experiences and fine dining. Visit Lookout Mountain, home to Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest cave waterfall open to the public, is perfect for outdoor activity. The is even ziplining at Ruby Falls! Chattanooga Whiskey, an experimental distillery, will captivate whiskey lovers . Visit the Civil War battlefield just outside of town to learn more about Sherman’s campaign for Atlanta or explore area markers to read about the Cherokee Nation and the Trail of Tears.
Where to Stay in Chattanooga
For an all-in-one experience, you will enjoy the Bluff View Inn bed and breakfast in the brand-new Bluff View Arts District. Bluff View was purpose built to cater to a sophisticated palate with everything from fine dining to a river side sculpture garden.
Bluff View Bed and Breakfast is in three turn-of-the-century homes brimming with comfortable elegance minutes from Tennessee Aquarium and the 12-mile riverwalk.
For Jazz Era opulence steeped in southern charm, the Read House Hotel holds a beloved place in the Historic Registry. Step back in time with elegant fine dining at Bridgeman’s, then move to the Bar and Billiards room for classic cocktails and a rousing game. Minutes from all Chattanooga has to offer, you may never want to go anywhere.
6. Asheville, North Carolina
- Perfect for: Funky mountain vibes, beer lovers
- Highlights of Asheville:
- Cool vibes
- Golf courses
- Art galleries
- Explore the Blue Ridge Mountains
How to Get to Asheville
Head out of Atlanta on I-85 N to I-26 W
Things to Do in Asheville
Asheville has been a magical playground for funky fun lovers from way back. In this artsy little mountain town, you can let your hair down and paint it purple. Fill your time strolling the grounds of Biltmore House, discover up and coming artists or dine in farm to table bistros, drive the Blue Ridge Parkway, or hike a piece of the Appalachian Trail. Beer tourism is a thing and the beer scene in Asheville is legendary. Amazing farm to table restaurants, like Table by James Beard Award nominated Chef Jacob Sessoms, are the norm in Asheville, so you might need several days to check them all out. Outdoor activities abound in the area around Asheville.
Where to Stay in Asheville
Whether you are a sophisticated traveler or a down to earth type, Asheville has you covered.
The historic Grove Park Inn has been welcoming visitors for more than a hundred years. Charming and romantic, the serene environment will make it easy to relax and reconnect with that special someone. You will have easy access to the renowned Blue Ridge Parkway for an afternoon drive or just 3 miles from the elegance and activities of Biltmore House. Save time for cocktails on the Sunset Terrace for a truly memorable experience.
Enjoy nature but not up for the camping scene? Wrong Way River & Cabin offers private A-Frame tiny house style cabins with balcony overlooking a trail head and river. Some of the units are wheelchair accessible, and some are dog friendly. Wrong Way River Lodge has partnered with local experience providers to help curate the perfect trip. Feel like a casual tube float down the French Broad or rappelling down a waterfall? Give them a shout and they will hook you up.
Perfect for a peaceful, romantic weekend getaway, this beautiful “Pink Lady” Victorian called the Cedar Crest Inn sits on three acres of meticulously manicured grounds. Close to Biltmore House and downtown Asheville, the best of Asheville is at your fingertips. Start your day with a 2-course breakfast at your private table and return in time for afternoon tea and cookies before heading out to your romantic dinner for two.
7. Savannah, Georgia
- Perfect for: Southern culture and history
- Highlights of Savannah:
- Day and night activities
- Southern charm
- Huge historic district
- Tybee Island Driftwood Beach
How to Get to Savannah
Drive 4 hours down I-75 S and connect with I-16 E. You can stop in Macon if you need some coffee before you hit the long stretches between exits.
Things to Do in Savannah
Savannah has long been known for southern charm and natural beauty, but also for long-running ghost tours. Spend an afternoon strolling along the boardwalk, take a day trip across the bridge to Tybee Island or sail to a barrier island. Savannah has the largest National Historic Landmark district covering 22 city squares. Grab an iced tea and stroll under the Spanish moss of Forsyth Park.
Where to Stay in Savannah
Atlanta natives love heading to Savannah to stay in one the many historic inns but there are a lot of other options, as well.
A treasured historic property in Savannah, the Kehoe House is one of the most photographed homes in Savannah. Named the number one hotel for Romance in Savannah, Kehoe House is the perfect location to spend time with your sweetheart. The chef-created breakfast is superb and you can enjoy it on the balcony as you watch the day come alive. A truly memorable experience is the order of the day at Kehoe House.
Elegant yet comfy, Azalea Inn is the perfect escape for the most discerning traveler. A fresh, delicious breakfast will start your day of exploring. Return in high style with an afternoon sherry after a refreshing dip in the pool. Perfect for a romantic getaway.
Located in a beautifully restored cotton warehouse, River Street Inn has been recently updated to showcase a fusion of industrial elements like exposed brick and the elegance of four-poster beds.
Best Weekend Trips from Atlanta
Being in a city with an international flight hub has its advantages. With flights heading everywhere, every day, you have easy access to a wide range of unique experiences. There are endless travel opportunities from Atlanta but these 4 destinations are our picks for best weekend trips.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana
- Perfect for: Foodies and spooky history
- Highlights of New Orleans:
- French Quarter revelry
- Garden District strolls
- Swamp tours
- Spooky nighttime storytelling
How to Get to New Orleans
Take a short hour and a half flight from Atlanta to NOLA. Airport is 30 minutes East of the city.
Things to Do in New Orleans
Long considered a major culinary destination, New Orleans continues to receive top marks in foodie travel. The French Quarter in New Orleans is well known for rambunctious evening activities, but it is also home to tons of history. Enjoy beignets for breakfast before taking a stroll through the grandeur of the Garden District or enjoying a boat adventure through Bayou country. Learn all about Mardi Gras at the museum on Conti Street.
Where to Stay in the New Orleans
In the heart of the French Quarter, the Dauphine Orleans offers easy access to the action with a quick escape to quiet conversations on a private courtyard balcony or cocktails by the saltwater pool. Full of southern charm with plantation shutters, cypress ceiling beams and exposed brick, it is easy to fall in love with, and in, the Dauphine Orleans.
Three blocks from the French Quarter in a repurposed 1850s warehouse, The Olde No 77 is stunning. Boasting a rotating art gallery and one of New Orleans’ top restaurants, it is a destination for both art lovers and foodies. The rooms are quiet and filled with adorned with art from local student artists.
Built in 1839 for a minor French noble, the Olivier House still retains many of the original features including most of the ground floor. Walking distance to all that New Orleans has to offer, Olivier House offers 42rooms in the heart of the French Quarter.
9. Chicago, Illinois
- Perfect for: Big city variety
- Highlights of Chicago:
- Easy public transportation
- Magnificent shopping
- Tons of history
- CityPass Available
How to Get to Chicago
Many daily flights leave Atlanta for Chicago every day. A nonstop flight takes just over 2 hours and you can take the train to the city. Chicago is not a car friendly city, but public transport will get you everywhere.
Things to Do in Chicago
Voted the Best Big City in the USA, Chicago has something to offer everyone. Catch a show at Second City where Bill Murray and Tina Fey refined their comedic skills. Enjoy dinner on the river, then head to Al Capone’s favorite jazz club The Green Mill Lounge. Add a couple museums, an architectural cruise, and a visit to “The Bean” for a well-rounded Chicago experience.
For an elegant and romantic finale, visit the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of historic 875 North Michigan Ave for a spectacular sunset over the Windy City. Get the CityPASS for Chicago for easy access to Shoreline Sightseeing Architecture River Tour and the Skydeck, among other attractions.
Where to Stay in Chicago
Right on the Loop and housed in a National Historic Landmark building, Staypineapple is close to the greatest hits of Chicago. Lots of perks are available, including loaner bikes for exploring, unlimited water and in-room coffee. Enjoy the Theater District, Mag Mile, and Millennium Park just outside your door. No need to leave the fur baby at home. Staypineapple is a dog friendly hotel with pet beds, treats and a water bowl included in the pupper price.
Built in1929 as the opulent and exclusive Medinah Athletic Club, the IHG Magnificent Mile Chicago Hotel is perfect for shopping the Mag Mile, exploring Navy Pier, or catching a show at Chicago Theater. The iconic junior Olympic swimming pool on the 14th floor is luxuriously decorated with Spanish Majolica tiles.
This funky, inn sized B & B has 11 uniquely decorated rooms just 4 miles from Navy Pier. Enjoy the included plentiful hot breakfast at this happening location on the West Loop. The Publishing House B & B is the perfect alternative to the slick chains in the area. Step out the door to discover up and coming restaurants or take an easy walk to Chicago Theater for a show, Millennium Park for free events and exhibits, or Water Tower Place for shopping and movies. Free parking is onsite — a rarity in the city. If you are off to discover all things Chicago without a car, the L train is less than a 10-minute walk.
10. Boston, Massachusetts
- Perfect for: History and art lovers
- Highlights of Boston:
- CityPass available
- Frequent flights from Atlanta
- Variety of experiences
How to Get to Boston
Flights to Boston from Atlanta are frequent and will take 2 and a half hours for a nonstop flight.
Things to Do in Boston
Boston is a big city with a uniquely storied past. The 2.5-mile-long Freedom Trail visits 16 sites drenched in historic significance. From a 1660 cemetery known as Granary Burying Ground to the Old South Meeting House where the Boston Tea Party began, you can easily lose yourself here in the voices of the Founding Fathers. The art district south of Washington, or SoWa, is a must see for art lovers. On Summer Sundays, artisans gather with local farmers and shops open their doors to mingle. Enjoy the culinary delights at the High Street Place Food Hall and cap it with a sunset tall ship cruise.
Where to Stay in Boston
Once a motor hotel next to Fenway Park, The Verb has become one of the most unique stays in Boston. It is a modern urban hospitality riff on the musical heritage of the Fenway neighborhood. For a true Rock n Roll experience, stay “Backstage” in a luxury trailer with lush beds designed to reflect life on the road. You will be living like a rockstar with your own Bose Sound Bar and rainfall shower. A cool and interesting way to stay in the city.
Beacon Hill, known for picturesque streets of cobblestone, has long charmed visitors to the Boston area. Housed in what was once the Charles Street Jail, the Liberty Hotel is at once warm and luxurious. Stroll along the Boston Commons, shop the quaint antique shops, or take in the local ambiance for a peaceful, easy afternoon before heading to one of the area’s culinary delights.
The Back Bay area, known for beautiful Brownstones, is perfect for a quiet visit filled with museums and cafes. The elegant Hotel AKA Back Bay, in the old Boston Police Headquarters, is both elegant and comfortable. Explore the many trendy shops in this hip neighborhood or take a half hour stroll to enjoy the Freedom Trail. You can get a a Boston CityPass for easy access to local attractions.
11. Key West, Florida
- Perfect for: Tropical escape
- Highlights of Key West:
- Plenty of nighttime activity
- Dry Tortuga National Park nearby
How to Get to Key West
A flight to Key West from Atlanta, nonstop, is just over 2 hours. The airport is on Key West and is a short 15-minute ride to the heart of the island. You can rent a car at the airport or take the shuttle to town. Most of Key West is walkable.
Things to Do in Key West
Boasting the most southernly point in Florida, Key West is just 90 miles from Cuba. Known more for water sports than beaches, Key West is perfect for boating, snorkeling, and diving. Ernest Hemingway was such a fan of the area he purchased a home and stayed in the Keys to write. You can visit his home today and spend your evening hanging out at Sloppy Joe’s, his favorite watering hole. There are plenty of brilliant sunsets and wildlife viewing opportunities for you to enjoy. Spend the day exploring the coral reefs at Dry Tortuga National Park, reachable only by boat or seaplane. There will lots of fresh seafood to fill your belly and the Cuban influence is all around.
Where to Stay in Key West
The Conch House is a beautifully decorated Old World–style inn steps from the vibrant buzz of Duval Street. Stay cool with ceiling fans and your own refrigerator for keeping lemonade on hand. A light breakfast is included with fresh squeezed orange juice and champagne mimosas. Rent a bike onsite to explore the Hemingway House, the Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory or one of the many lively bars and restaurants at your doorstep.
The casual elegance and convenience of the Southernmost Beach Resort will draw you in and soothe your soul. Take advantage of their “Closest Cabana to Havana” rental and chill at the resort or pop over to Dry Tortuga for the day. Whether you are a play all day type, or like to hang by the pool, Southernmost offers the best of both worlds.
One of only a handful of independently owned and operated lodgings in the Florida Keys, The Porch on Frances sits a short walk from the Hemingway Museum. The 1860s building has reinvented itself over the years, even starring in the TV show “Key West” for a time. Today you will find it resting comfortably as an Inn after being lovingly restored prestigious “Award of Excellence” from the Historic Florida Keys Foundation for its historic preservation. The famously cool colors of the Keys abound in individually styled rooms, each with private tiled baths and amazingly comfortable beds.
12. Nashville, Tennessee
- Perfect for: Country music fans
- Highlights of Nashville:
- Quick flight
- Live music is abundant
- Plenty of outdoor adventures nearby
How to Get to Nashville
At just over an hour, a nonstop flight to Nashville from Atlanta arrives 15 minutes outside downtown. Nashville is not a walking-friendly city, but you can rent a car at the airport.
Things to Do in Nashville
Music rules Nashville and you will find plenty opportunities to discover new talent more than 180 music venues in town. Although it is known as the heart of country music, you will find all genres represented. Catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry or visit the Country Music Hall of Fame. Visit Andrew Jackson’s home, the Hermitage, and enjoy a wine tasting onsite. Add in a city walk or take a short drive and hike to a waterfall for a well-rounded experience in the Music City.
Where to Stay in Nashville
This Victorian mansion in East Nashville known as Urban Cowboy is urban chic with 8 personality heavy rooms that come ensuite with clawfoot tub. Cloud-like beds a will help you start the day refreshed. Onsite dining is divine with award winning Roberta’s Pizza and a full cocktail menu.
This playful little midtown charmer known as The Graduate offers everything from a limousine tour to an animatronic karaoke bar. Full of colorful fun, there is plenty to write home about. Sleep peacefully in triple sheeted beds after taking in the town and maybe a nightcap at the rooftop bar.
In the middle of Music Row, the place where dreams are born, sits a quiet place to create some dreams of your own. Full of natural light, soothing colors and chef-ready kitchens, Placemakr Music Row is a homey base to explore all the music city has to offer.
Atlanta has so much to offer, it is sometimes easy to forget about the resto of the world. With so many amazing locations so irresistibly close, it is worth taking a break to explore, and we hope this list of some of the best weekend getaways from Atlanta helped you make up your mind!