6 Awesome Day Trip Destinations Around Atlanta (Short Drives Only!)

There are dozens of great places and locations that you can visit in and around Georgia. In this article, we’ve identified the top day trips from Atlanta.

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What are the best day trip spots around Atlanta?

The best day trips from Atlanta include visits to the Providence Canyon State Park, Lake Lanier Islands, Chattanooga Town, Athens Town, Savannah, and Dahlonega Town. You can plan these day trips any time of the year, thanks to Georgia’s year-round moderate weather. 

There are hundreds of places to visit and things to do in Georgia’s capital Atlanta, whether you are a local or a visitor. However, you may sometimes want to get out of the city to see what the areas around Atlanta have to offer.

Fortunately, there are several great places that you can visit around Atlanta, which are a short drive from the city. In this guide, we will walk you through some amazing day trips from Atlanta, which will give you an opportunity to explore some of the best destinations in the area. 

By the end of the article, you will be in the know about the trips which are the most suitable for you. 

Providence Canyon State Park

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Providence Canyon State Park is a two hours drive from Atlanta. It was formed by natural erosion, occasioned by years of undesirable or poor farming methods.

While it may have been formed as a mistake, it offers some of the best picturesque views that you can find around Atlanta.

Besides the amazing views, this park also offers serenity and peace of mind, for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta.

 You will have an opportunity to hike the area, using various routes and trails.

And during your hike, you will enjoy amazing views of the multi-colored soil, featuring pink, red, orange and pastel hues. 

You may also be lucky to see deer and armadillos, as well as butterflies and raccoons.

Camping sites and small rental cottages are available, for those who would like to spend the night and explore the area more. 

Parking is offered at around $5 per car, making it a great yet affordable day trip from Atlanta.

Lake Lanier Islands

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Lake Lanier was originally constructed in 1956. It was designed to control the flooding on the Chattahoochee River while also providing water to the city.

Today, this lake provides a great recreational spot, where outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of activities.

During your trip, you can participate in activities like swimming in the lake, jet skiing, jumping on a boat, hiking the forest around the lake or zip-lining through the trees, just to mention a few.

And if you have more hours to spare, you can rent a boat and head over to Cocktail Cove. 

Here, area residents spend the day relaxing and lounging on their boats, for those lazy afternoons.

If you will be visiting the area as a family, then you should also check out LanierWorld, where your kids can spend the day playing in the water slides while you assess your golfing skills at one of the mini golf courses. 

Overall, you are assured of having a great time at Lake Lanier, which is only an hour’s drive from Atlanta.


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Outdoor Magazine voted Chattanooga the Best Town Ever. And, it’s easy to see why. It offers visitors a wide range of fun and exciting historical, cultural, and outdoor activities.

It’s without a doubt, one of the best day trips from Atlanta, whether you are going on a solo trip, with your family or as a couple.

If you are a history lover check out the historic downtown area, which has a plethora of Civil War monuments. 

You should also go on a guided tour of the famous Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield and make a brief stopover at the sixth Cavalry Museum. From there, you will proceed to the Cravens House – which was once the home of renowned Chattanooga industrialist Robert Cravens.

But, if you are looking to explore as much area as you can manage during your trip, then you should go for white-water rafting on the Tennessee River and then hike some of the trails in the area.

From there, you should then spend a couple of minutes at the Incline Railway, proceed to Lookout Mountain and then end your trip at Ruby Falls.

Here, you will enjoy breathtaking views and capture some photos and videos, before you head back to the city.  


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Athens is a laid-back, artsy college town, home to the University of Georgia or UGA. It’s renowned for its vibrant music scene, a diverse restaurant culture as well as several 18th-century, Southern-style structures. 

It also has a collection of impressive museums, where you can learn more about the town.

The downtown area is a mecca for art lovers. There are dozens of art galleries, as well as several centers for performing arts. If time allows, you should visit the State Botanical Garden of Georgia, where you can explore its beautiful gardens. You should also plan to attend a show at the iconic 40 Watt Club.

And if you are into sports, then you can catch a Bulldogs’ football game at Sanford Stadium.


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If you are looking to go on a long drive from Atlanta, then a trip to Savannah will be worth it. It’s renowned for its outstanding period architecture. 

On your way to Savannah, you should make a stop at Forsyth Park Fountain – a popular wedding and engagement photoshoot spot for lovebirds.

Once you land in Savannah, you should make sure you visit River Street. It features an array of restaurants, boutique shops and various stores, lined along the river. Here, you can catch some fresh seafood.

Other things to do in Savannah include going on historical tours, riverboat cruises, and ghost tours. You can also make a trip to Tybee Island, which is only a few miles from Savannah for a glimpse of the Ocean Shore.


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Dahlonega is a beautiful town in north Georgia, located approximately 45 miles from Atlanta. It’s known for its vast vineyards and wineries. 

There are more than 10 wineries in the area. And for a day trip, you can manage to visit at least three or four, depending on how much time you have.

Some of the best wineries and vineyards to include in your trip include the Montaluce Winery and Resort, Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery, Wolf Mountain Vineyards and Winery, Accent Cellars, Kaka Vineyard and Winery, Frogtown Cellars and the Three Sisters Vineyards.

Besides being Georgia’s wine country, Dahlonega also has other attractions. 

So, if you are not a wine person, you can also hike the forests and visit waterfalls, book a historic tour, attend festivals, visit local museums or attend the various festivals that take place in the town, celebrating its rich history.  

Key Takeaways

  • Georgia has numerous great spots outside Atlanta that you can visit
  • These spots are only a few hours away making them great for a day trip
  • The places we’ve identified here are all budget-friendly
  • You can visit these spots any time of the year