Quick Answer Guide: Family & Kid-Friendly Getaways from Atlanta

‌Kid-Friendly Day Trips From Atlanta‌

‌Family Weekend Getaways From Atlanta‌

‌Best Getaways From Atlanta for Families‌

Looking for a fun time in Atlanta over the weekend isn’t difficult — the city is full of myriad things to enjoy, with lots of kid-friendly adventures and attractions that the whole family can partake in. However, there’s nothing like a good road trip to get some family bonding time in. Enjoying a family trip away from city life is a great way to enjoy a few days away from work and responsibilities, and, of course, there’s nothing like family fun to make memories that will last a lifetime!

Whether you’re looking for a quick day trip that will have you home by bedtime or want to stay gone for a few days or even a week, Atlanta is in a prime location for travelers. There are so many family-friendly destinations within an easy drive or flight of Georgia’s capital city, giving you virtually limitless options for family weekend getaways from Atlanta.

Kid-Friendly Day Trips From Atlanta

Looking for an easy day trip that's within a two-hour drive? One of my favorite things about Atlanta is how many cities are within reach. There's no need to deal with going to the airport or taking a cross-country trip: we've got all we need for a perfect family vacation within just a few hours of Atlanta.

1. Birmingham, Alabama

  • Perfect for:‌ Families looking for a bit of education with their vacation
  • Highlights of Birmingham:
    • Plenty of kid-friendly museums
    • Lots of parks to explore, many with playgrounds
    • Lots of free activities

‌How to Get to Birmingham‌

You'll find that getting to Birmingham from Atlanta is a pretty easy drive to navigate — it's a straight shot down I-20. The drive takes a little over two hours, but remember, you'll have to adjust your car clock back an hour when you change time zones at the state line.

‌Things to Do in‌ ‌Birmingham‌

Birmingham is filled with so many attractions that a day trip almost isn't long enough! The city has numerous fun things to do outdoors, including Vulcan Park and Museum, home to a 56-foot tall sculpture of Vulcan that's the city's official symbol. Another great place to enjoy the natural beauty of Birmingham is Ruffner Mountain, a 1,038-acre nature preserve with more than 14 miles of trails. A self-guided walking tour of the Birmingham Civil Rights District is a great way to teach kids about the history of this great city. You also don't want to miss McWane Science Center. It's one of the top science museums in the Southeast and has tons of interactive exhibits that will entertain the whole family.

‌Where to Stay in‌ ‌Birmingham‌

As one of the largest cities in the region, there's no shortage of great hotels in Birmingham. The unique Birmingham Tree House combines all the best qualities of a bed and breakfast with a boutique hotel, making for quite the experience. Weekly yoga sessions are offered and each room has its own unique decor.

Birmingham Tree House Alabama Book Now

If you prefer to stay in a vacation rental for more of a homey feel, this bungalow in the Crestwood Park neighborhood is a perfect option. It can sleep up to six guests, is pet-friendly, and has its own pool.

Airbnb bungalow in Crestwood Park Alabama Book Now

2. Chattanooga, Tennessee

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  • Perfect for:‌ Active families who love the outdoors
  • Highlights of Chattanooga:
    • Numerous outdoor activities, like rock-climbing and bird-watching
    • Plenty of opportunities for hiking
    • Lots of natural wonders, like caves, mountains, and waterfalls

‌How to Get to Chattanooga‌

Chattanooga is a quick drive from Atlanta. It won't even take you two hours to reach the city, as it's just past the Tennessee state line. The entire drive is on I-75, so you won't have to worry about getting lost.

‌Things to Do in‌ ‌Chattanooga‌

Chattanooga is jam-packed with activities, especially if your family loves the outdoors. Lookout Mountain is a beautiful peak from which you can see seven states at once. The mountain area has plenty of trails to explore, but if you're with little ones that can't make it through a lengthy trek, you can also drive up to the mountain's peak, and there's even a neat incline railway you can ride down. Ruby Falls is a fascinating series of underground waterfalls that are quite magnificent to see in person. Chattanooga is also home to the Chattanooga Zoo and Tennessee Aquarium.

‌Where to Stay in‌ ‌Chattanooga‌

If you find there's so much to do that you want to spend the night, there are lots of hotels in Chattanooga to choose from. The Dwell Hotel is a unique hotel in downtown Chattanooga that offers a combination of quirky modernity with luxury.

The Dwell Hotel Tennessee Book Now

Prefer a vacation rental? There are many vacation rental homes in Chattanooga, too. This unique farm guesthouse Vrbo is just 15 miles outside of the city and can sleep up to eight guests. It's a great way to be away from the hustle and bustle of the city, yet close enough to enjoy the attractions.

farm guesthouse Vrbo Tennessee Book Now

3. Helen, Georgia

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  • Perfect for:‌ Those looking for a taste of Europe close to home
  • Highlights of Helen:
    • Lots of shopping
    • Perfect area for walking around
    • Natural attractions to explore

‌How to Get to Helen‌

Helen is an easy drive from Atlanta. It only requires about an hour and a half on the road, and you'll go through several great towns in North Georgia, like Dahlonega and Roswell, if you take US-19.

‌Things to Do in Helen‌

Helen is an extremely small town of under 1,000 people, but it's quite unique and has a lot to do. This is one of my favorite small towns in Georgia, and its quaint charm never grows old. The entire downtown area is designed like a Bavarian village, giving you a taste of Germany without leaving Georgia. There are lots of great little shops and restaurants downtown. Just outside of the downtown area, you'll find the beautiful Unicoi State Park. Anna Ruby Falls is also nearby and only requires a quick paved half-mile hike to reach, so even the youngest of kids can manage.

‌Where to Stay in Helen‌

Unicoi State Park has a wonderful lodge right on site that's the perfect place to stay if you want to immerse yourself in nature. There are both traditional hotel rooms and cabins available if you'd really like a rustic spot.

Unicoi State Park Tennessee Book Now

There are also many vacation rental homes in Helen and the surrounding area. I love this rustic cabin surrounded by mountain scenery. It's just a few miles from downtown Helen and even has its own Jacuzzi. Up to four guests can stay, so it's a good option for smaller families.‌

Airbnb rustic cabin Tennessee Book Now

Family Weekend Getaways From Atlanta

Sometimes, you just need a little more time away. Whether you're going for your average two-day weekend getaway or you have a slightly longer schedule of 3-4 days, these destinations are all within easy reach of Atlanta for a one or two-night stay and are all perfect for a weekend getaway from Atlanta for families.

4. Asheville, North Carolina

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  • Perfect for:‌ Artsy families who love the quirky and unusual
  • Highlights of Asheville:
    • Vibrant arts scene
    • Lots of historic architecture
    • Milder summers than Atlanta make it perfect for a summer getaway.

‌How to Get to Asheville‌

To get from Atlanta to Asheville requires a drive of about 3 hours and 20 minutes. Highway 197 is one of the most scenic roads in Georgia and you'll have beautiful mountain views.

‌Things to Do in‌ ‌Asheville‌

Asheville is a city filled with natural beauty in its mountain scenery. It's also got plenty of artsy culture and has a great vibe that the entire family can enjoy. There's a lot of historic architecture here, including Biltmore Estate, one of the most famous historic homes in the southeast. Take a walk through the free North Carolina Arboretum for a taste of nature without leaving the city. The Asheville Pinball Museum is a fun trip that will make even the oldest of adults feel young again.

‌Where to Stay in‌ ‌Asheville‌

If you want a real bit of luxury, check out the Omni Grove Park Inn. This unique four-star hotel features amazing views and it's right in the foothills of the magnificent Blue Ridge Mountains. The scenery here is absolutely divine.

Grove Park Inn Asheville Book Now

Want somewhere to stay that's just as fun as the rest of the city? This magnificent vacation home rental in Asheville is a mountain retreat that features amazing views, an outdoor fire pit, an indoor slide, and four bedrooms that can sleep up to eight guests.‌

VRBO vacatio rental in Asheville North Carolina Book Now

5. Gatlinburg, Tennessee

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  • Perfect for:‌ Mountain lovers
  • Highlights of Gatlinburg:
    • Amazing mountain scenery
    • Lots of outdoor activities
    • Many opportunities for shopping

‌How to Get to Gatlinburg‌

The drive from Atlanta to Gatlinburg will take just under four hours. The terrain can get quite mountainous at times, so be wary if you have little ones prone to motion sickness.

‌Things to Do in‌ ‌Gatlinburg‌

Gatlinburg is considered the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. This is the most-visited national park in the country, and with just one visit, it's easy to see why. It's absolutely magnificent and is sure to make lifetime memories for the kids as you explore the hiking trails here. Anakeesta Mountaintop Adventure Park offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor fun in the mountains, including ziplines, a mountain coaster, gem mining, and more. Lovers of the weird and macabre will definitely want to pay a visit to Ripley's Believe It or Not! in Gatlinburg for strange displays like shrunken heads and more.

‌Where to Stay in‌ ‌Gatlinburg‌

The Appy Lodge offers up rustic luxury in Gatlinburg that's the perfect vibe for this mountain town. It's right in the midst of all the activity, so you don't have to travel far for the area's top attractions.

The Appy Lodge Tennessee Book Now

If you prefer the homey feel of a vacation rental, there are plenty of great Airbnbs in Gatlinburg. Check out this delightful cabin that's located right on a stream. It's less than a mile to downtown Gatlinburg and can sleep up to six guests.‌

Airbnb delightful cabin Tennessee Book Now

6. Savannah, Georgia

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  • Perfect for:‌ Families interested in history, particularly if you love ghost stories
  • Highlights of Savannah:
    • Unique scenery that you won't find anywhere else
    • Close proximity to the beach
    • Lots of allegedly haunted places

‌How to Get to Savannah‌

Driving from Atlanta to Savannah is a straight shot. Just hop on I-16 and drive for a little under four hours and you'll be in the Hostess City.

‌Things to Do in Savannah‌

I admit that I'm a bit biased, as I'm from Savannah, but I don't think there is a prettier city in the country. It's got so much Southern charm, from the Spanish moss-lined oaks to the cobblestone streets of River Street. Just outside of the city lies Tybee Island, so there's ample opportunity to get some beach time in. You can also enjoy plenty of historical attractions in the downtown area. One fascinating museum that I enjoy taking guests to is the American Prohibition Museum, which is the country's only Prohibition museum. It's got tons to look at and would be perfect for teens who are interested in history. If you have children that love spooky stories, Savannah is the ideal destination. If you believe the legends, this is one of the most haunted cities in the country! There are several companies, like Ghost City Tours, that offer all-ages walking tours of some of the city's most haunted locales.

‌Where to Stay in Savannah‌

If you want to be close to the action, you'll definitely want to stay in downtown Savannah, the heart of the city's massive historic district. The Marshall House is a great option that has a ton of history — and even has a few ghost stories!

The Marshall House Tennessee Book Now

There are tons of vacation rental homes in Savannah. I love the look of this little bungalow that's in the Victorian district. It's just a few blocks from beautiful Forsyth Park and can sleep up to six guests.

VRBO little bungalow Georgia Book Now

Best Getaways From Atlanta for Families

Got some extra vacation time saved up and want to head out for a little longer, maybe a week or so? We're so lucky to have such a great airport in Atlanta: it means that you can get virtually anywhere pretty easily. There are plenty of great cities within just a few hours' flight of Atlanta.

7. Charleston, South Carolina

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  • Perfect for:‌ Families looking for a beach getaway
  • Highlights of Charleston:
    • Lots of nearby beaches
    • Plenty of history
    • Delicious dining options, especially if you love seafood

‌How to Get to Charleston‌

Charleston's about a five-hour drive from Atlanta, but there are typically direct flights on the schedule that won't take much over an hour.

‌Things to Do in‌ ‌Charleston‌

You'll definitely want to take a walk around The Battery. It's the seawall that borders the city and is immediately surrounded by some of the area's most historic homes, including the colorful group of houses nicknamed "Rainbow Row." The whole family will enjoy a stroll through Charleston City Market, which is one of the country's oldest city markets. If you have older kids that can appreciate the history of the area, there are several great plantation homes that are open for tours, like the elegant Drayton Hall.

‌Where to Stay in‌ ‌Charleston‌

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina is a fantastic upscale hotel option that features plenty of amenities, including a private beach, multiple pools, and sailing camps for kids.

Charleston Harbor Resort and Marina South Carolina Book Now

Vacation home rentals are easy to come by in Charleston. I love this Airbnb that's got its own theater. It's located close to Folly Beach and is only 15 minutes away from downtown Charleston. Up to six guests can stay here.

Airbnb with theater South Carolina Book Now

8. Destin, Florida

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  • Perfect for:‌ Fun in the sun at a family resort
  • Highlights of Destin:
    • Plenty of family-friendly resorts
    • Lots of nearby beaches
    • Fun outdoor activities like parasailing and snorkeling

‌How to Get to Destin‌

A direct flight from Atlanta to Destin is only a little over an hour. You can drive, but it's a bit of a lengthy road trip for most families, with a duration of about 6.5 hours.

‌Things to Do in Destin‌

When most people think of family trips to Florida, the mind immediately goes to Orlando. After all, who doesn't love theme parks? Disney is great, but the lines are so long and you can have just as good of a time at the beach, with a lot less hassle. Destin offers up beautiful white sugar sand beaches that are perfect for a stroll through the waves or kids wanting to play with a bucket and shovel. Henderson Beach State Park is a gorgeous area that will let you experience all the best that Destin has to offer. Want to check out the thrills of a water park? Big Kahuna's is full of rides, slides, and wade pools suitable for kids (and parents) of all ages.

‌Where to Stay in Destin‌

If you're a fan of resorts, there are lots of great ones in Destin. One of the most luxurious is Henderson Beach Resort. This elegant seaside retreat has a spa and lots of activities for the kids.

Henderson Beach Resort Florida Book Now

If you want to be really close to the beach, you won't want to miss this completely remodeled condo on Vrbo. It's got all the amenities you need for a good time and can sleep up to seven guests.‌

Vrbo condo Florida Book Now

9. Raleigh, North Carolina

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  • Perfect for:‌ Families who want to do a little bit of everything
  • Highlights of Raleigh:
    • Great variety of attractions, no matter what you are looking for
    • Within an hour's drive of Fayetteville and Durham, so if you have a rental car, you can spend a day in other cities.

‌How to Get to Raleigh‌

A direct flight from Atlanta to Raleigh is about 90 minutes in length, so it's manageable even with young kids. It's a pretty lengthy drive, at a little over six hours, so you're probably better off flying unless you particularly love family road trips.

‌Things to Do in Raleigh‌

One of my favorite things about Raleigh is what a great variety of activities there are here. The North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences has tons of great exhibits that will entertain the whole family, and admission is free. If you have young kids, the Marbles Kids Museum is one of the top children's museum in the southeast — it's geared towards ages 10 and under. Looking for something a little more active? Go Ape! has amazing ziplines above the treetops that are perfect for adventurers aged 10 and up.

‌Where to Stay in Raleigh‌

The Casso is a perfect hotel option that's right in the heart of Raleigh, not far from many major attractions. It's kid and dog-friendly and has a delicious on-site restaurant.

The Casso North Carolina Book Now

If you've got a large family, this North Raleigh Vrbo is the perfect vacation rental. It can sleep up to 10 guests and is jut outside of the city's most heavily-trafficked areas, so you won't have to worry about being stuck in a traffic jam. It's also close to nearby trails if you'd like to get out for some exercise.

North Raleigh Vrbo Book Now

There are so many family-friendly getaways from Atlanta that are sure to create lasting memories for parents and kids alike. Whether you're seeking the thrills of amusement parks or a tranquil day at the beach, there's something for everyone thanks to Atlanta's proximity to so many wonderful cities. Pack your bags and get ready to explore on a great weekend getaway from Atlanta for families.