Feeling depressed or frustrated? These short road trips from Atlanta can brighten up your (and your loved ones’) moods in no time. Sometimes it is just nice to get out of the city and explore some of the wonderful places that Texas has to offer, isn’t it?
What are the best places for road trips around Atlanta?
The best road trips around Atlanta are to:
- Stone Mountain Park
- Lake Lanier
- Callaway Gardens
- Blue Ridge
- Toccoa Falls
- Brasstown Bald
- Cloudland Canyon State Park
- Providence Canyon State Park
- Lake Oconee
Whether you’re looking for a scenic drive or an adventure in or out of Georgia, these trips have something for everyone. So load up the car and get ready for some fun!
I have been living in Atlanta for 11 years now, and I love road trips. All the information stated below has been extracted from my personal experiences at the places.
Short Road Trips From Atlanta
Stone Mountain Park
Just a short drive from Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is a great destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. With 3,200 acres of natural beauty, the park offers something for everyone, whether you’re looking to hike, bike, camp, or just enjoy the outdoors.
The centerpiece of the park is Stone Mountain, a massive granite dome that’s perfect for hiking and picnicking. For those who want a more adrenaline-pumping experience, there’s also an aerial tramway that takes you to the top of the mountain for breathtaking views.
In addition to its many outdoor activities, Stone Mountain Park also features a number of historical and cultural attractions.
The park is home to the Confederate Memorial Carving, which depicts three Confederate leaders from the Civil War. There’s also a museum dedicated to the park’s history, as well as a children’s playground and a variety of shops and restaurants.
Whether you’re looking for a fun-filled day trip or a weekend getaway, Stone Mountain Park is sure to please.
Just an hour’s drive from Atlanta, Lake Lanier is a great spot for a quick getaway. The lake is surrounded by parks and nature trails, making it the perfect place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
There are also plenty of activities to keep you busy, from swimming and boating to fishing and hiking. And when you’re ready for a break from the sun, head to one of the many restaurants or shops in the area. Whether you’re looking for a day trip or a weekend getaway, Lake Lanier is sure to please.
Dahlonega is a city in Lumpkin County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 5,242.
Dahlonega is located at the north end of Georgia 400, which connects Atlanta to many suburban commuter towns to the north. It is home to five colleges: The University of North Georgia (UNG), Lanier Technical College, Dawson Community College (part of UNG), and two smaller bible colleges, a big chunk of the Appalachian Trail runs through Dahlonega.
Dahlonega was founded in 1833 as a Georgia Gold Rush town. Its name comes from a Cherokee word meaning “yellow money.” This refers to the gold found in Dahlonega and throughout Lumpkin County.
Dahlonega is home to the first goldmine in America. Georgia’s oldest state park, Amicalola Falls State Park, is located near Dahlonega.
Dahlonega is located at (34.531954, -83.983989). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.1 square miles (13 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2), or 0.81%, are water.
It is situated in the North Georgia mountains among three tall peaks: Blood Mountain to the east, Chestatee Mountain to the north, and Yahoola Mountain to the south Dahlonega claim to be “the heart of Georgia Wine Country” with over 20 local vineyards and wineries. The University of North Georgia is located in Dahlonega.
Visitors can tour the facilities where gold was minted during the 19th century.
If you are planning a road trip from Atlanta to Dahlonega, here are some spots you might not want to miss:
- Dahlonega Gold Museum Historic Site – Located in the Lumpkin County Courthouse, this museum offers visitors a look at Dahlonega’s gold mining history, complete with exhibits of nuggets, coins, and mining tools.
- Crisson Gold Mine – This working mine offers visitors a chance to pan for gold and gemstones. It is one of the oldest continuously operated gold mines in the United States.
- Hanna Marina – Lake Lanier’s largest marina features 400 covered slips, 400 open slips, a ship store, gas docks, and a restaurant.
- Amicalola Falls State Park – This 729-acre state park is home to Amicalola Falls, the tallest cascading waterfall in the Southeast. The park also features miles of hiking trails, a lodge, and a visitor’s center.
- Dahlonega Square – This historic public square is lined with shops and restaurants. It is the site of many annual events, including the Dahlonega Gold Rush Days festival in October.
- Consolidated Gold Mine – Tour an underground gold mine from the days of the gold rush. Visitors can pan for gold and keep what they find.
There are numerous outdoor activities available in Dahlonega and the surrounding area. Hiking, biking, and horseback riding are popular activities in state parks and national forests.
Fishing, boating, and swimming are available at nearby Lake Lanier. Numerous golf courses are located in the area, including the Achasta Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.
Dahlonega is home to a number of annual events. The Dahlonega Gold Rush Days festival is held on the square in October and features gold panning, live entertainment, food vendors, and craft booths.
The Bear on the Square Mountain Festival is held in April and features bluegrass music, Appalachian crafts, clogging, and square dancing. The Sorghum Festival & Country Fair is held in October and features sorghum syrup-making demonstrations, live music, crafts, and food. The Dahlonega Literary Festival is held in November and features author readings, book signings, and panel discussions.
If you’re looking for a fun and affordable weekend getaway from Atlanta, consider Athens, Georgia.
Just a short drive away, Athens is home to the University of Georgia, fantastic restaurants and bars, and a lively music scene. Whether you’re exploring the city’s history or enjoying its contemporary offerings, Athens is sure to please. Here are some ideas for things to do on your trip:
Visit the University of Georgia: Take a tour of the historic campus, visit the libraries and museums, or catch a game at Sanford Stadium.
Explore Downtown Athens: Stroll down College Avenue to admire the stately Victorian homes, then browse the shops and stop for a bite to eat on Broad Street. Don’t miss the iconic40 Watt Club, a legendary live music venue.
Take a Hike: Athens is surrounded by beautiful hiking trails. Head to the Oconee National Forest for an easy hike to Heron Pond, or challenge yourself with a hike to the top of Mount Yonah.
Visit the Georgia Museum of Art: This world-class museum is free to enter and features rotating exhibitions of both contemporary and traditional art.
Whether you’re looking for a weekend of relaxation or adventure, Athens, Georgia, is the perfect destination. So pack your bags and hit the road – Athens awaits!
If you’re looking for a beautiful place to spend a day or two, look no further than Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia.
Just a short drive from Atlanta, this garden is perfect for a weekend getaway. With over 14,000 acres of gardens and nature trails, you’ll never run out of things to explore. The Flowering Bridge is a must-see, with over 700 blooming plants and flowers.
And be sure to check out the Butterfly House, where you can see hundreds of butterflies up close. After a day of exploring, relax at one of the resort’s five restaurants or take a dip in the pool. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, Callaway Gardens has something for everyone.
Just an hour and a half north of Atlanta lies the quaint town of Helen, Georgia. This Alpine-themed town is nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains and draws in visitors from all over with its Bavarian charm.
There are plenty of things to do in Helen, Georgia, regardless of the season. In the summer, visitors can cool off in one of the many rivers or waterfalls in the area.
Unicoi State Park – which features a lake, hiking trails, and camping sites – is a popular spot for both locals and tourists alike. For those looking for a more adrenaline-pumping experience, zip lining and white water rafting are also available nearby.
In the fall, Helen transforms into a veritable autumn paradise, with the leaves on the trees changing into a stunning array of oranges, yellows, and reds. This is the perfect time to go hiking or leaf-peeping in the nearby Chattahoochee National Forest.
And, of course, no trip to Helen would be complete without experiencing all that its Bavarian-themed shops, restaurants, and breweries have to offer. From German pretzels and strudel to lederhosen and dirndls, there’s something for everyone in this charming town.
Blue Ridge is a city in Fannin County, Georgia, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city had a population of 1,290.
It is the county seat of Fannin County. Blue Ridge is located at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Mountains and offers many outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, and fishing. The city also has a number of historical sites and museums.
If you’re looking for a short road trip from Atlanta, Blue Ridge is a great option. The drive is only about two hours, and there’s plenty to do when you get there. Whether you want to enjoy the outdoors or learn more about the area’s history, you’ll find something to love in Blue Ridge.
There is plenty to do in Blue Ridge, Georgia, all year round.
In the summer, visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, and tubing on the Toccoa River. There are also several lakes in the area that offer swimming, boating, and other water activities.
For those who prefer to stay on dry land, there are plenty of golf courses and parks to explore. In the fall, visitors can enjoy the stunning foliage while hiking, biking, or driving through the mountains. The area is also home to many wineries and breweries, perfect for a day trip or a weekend getaway.
And in the winter, visitors can hit the slopes at one of the nearby ski resorts or go snow tubing at one of the many outdoor venues. No matter what time of year it is, there is always something to do in Blue Ridge, Georgia.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy the outdoors and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life, then consider taking a trip to Toccoa Falls, Georgia.
This small town is located in the northeast part of the state and is home to a beautiful waterfall. The falls are accessible via a short hike from the parking lot and offer stunning views of the surrounding area.
There are also several other hiking trails in the area that are perfect for exploring on a nice day.
In addition to its natural beauty, Toccoa Falls is also home to a number of historical sites and museums. The Toccoa Falls Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of the falls and features exhibits on the geology of the area as well as the history of the town.
The Currahee Military Museum is another great option for those interested in learning about the town’s past.
This museum chronicles the history of Camp Toccoa, which was an Army training camp during World War II.
If you are looking for a place to enjoy a nice meal while in Toccoa Falls, there are a number of restaurants to choose from. For a casual dining experience, try one of the town’s BBQ joints or pizza places.
For something a bit more upscale, check out one of the local seafood restaurants. No matter what your budget or dining preferences are, you are sure to find something to suit your needs in Toccoa Falls.
Brasstown Bald is the highest mountain in Georgia.
The summit offers stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding mountains and valleys, and on a clear day, you can even see Atlanta! There are several hiking trails to choose from, ranging from easy to strenuous, so there’s something for everyone.
If you’re looking for a unique experience, you can take a guided hike with a ranger on Sundays during the summer months. Brasstown Bald is also home to a small visitor center where you can learn about the history and ecology of the area.
Whether you’re an experienced hiker or just looking for a beautiful place to spend a day outside, Brasstown Bald is definitely worth a visit!
Cloudland Canyon State Park
There are plenty of things to do in Cloudland Canyon State Park (Rising Fawn, GA), whether you’re looking for a short-day trip or a longer getaway. Here are some of the highlights:
- Hiking: There are over 10 miles of trails to explore in the park, ranging from easy to strenuous. For breathtaking views, be sure to hike to the top of Cherokee Falls or Ruby Falls.
- Camping: There are 96 campsites available in the park, as well as three group campsites. All sites have access to water and restrooms.
- Cave exploring: The park is home to two caves – Nickajack Cave and Ribbon Falls Cave. Guided tours are available seasonally.
- Fishing: The park’s two lakes – Lake Burton and Lake Rabun – are stocked with bass, trout, and catfish. Fishing is also allowed in the creeks and rivers. A valid Georgia fishing license is required.
- Picnicking: There are several picnic areas located throughout the park, some with grills.
Whether you’re looking for a day of hiking and picnicking or a weekend of camping and fishing, Cloudland Canyon State Park has something for everyone.
Providence Canyon State Park
If you find yourself in Lumpkin, GA, on a road trip from Atlanta, make sure to check out Providence Canyon State Park. The park is home to 16 different canyons, each with its own unique rock formations and views.
Hiking and picnicking are popular activities, as are bird watching and photography. In the spring, the wildflowers in the canyon bloom and create a beautiful scene.
The best time to visit Providence Canyon State Park is during the fall or winter when the leaves are changing color or during the spring when the wildflowers are blooming. However, the park is open year-round, and there is always something to see and do. Be sure to bring your camera to capture all of the beauty that the park has to offer.
Providence Canyon State Park is a great place to visit if you are looking for something different to do on a short road trip from Atlanta.
The park is located in Lumpkin, GA, and is known for its unique canyons and red clay hills. There are plenty of things to see and do at Providence Canyon State Park, so we’ve put together a list of the top things to do at the park.
1. Hiking – There are over 10 miles of hiking trails at Providence Canyon State Park, so you can definitely find a trail that suits your hiking level. The trails offer great views of the canyon and the surrounding area.
2. Picnicking – Pack lunch and enjoy a picnic at one of the many picnic areas located throughout the park.
3. Wildlife Watching – Keep your eyes peeled for different types of wildlife while you are at the park. You might see deer, turkey, or even bobcats!
4. Canoeing/Kayaking – Take a canoe or kayak out on one of the many lakes located in the park.
5. Geocaching – There are over 50 geocaches hidden throughout Providence Canyon State Park. This is a great activity for the whole family.
6. Photography – With its unique landscapes, Providence Canyon State Park is a great place to take photos. Be sure to bring your camera and capture some great memories!
Charlotte, North Carolina, is a great city to visit if you’re looking for a short road trip from Atlanta. The city has a lot to offer visitors, from its rich history to its modern attractions. Here are some of the things you can do in Charlotte:
Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame: If you’re a fan of racing or just want to learn more about the sport, be sure to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame. The museum is interactive and informative, and you can even get behind the wheel of a simulator to experience what it’s like to race around a track.
Explore Charlotte’s history: Charlotte was founded in 1768, and there are plenty of historical sites to explore in the city. Visit the Levine Museum of the New South to learn about the city’s role in the Civil Rights Movement, or take a walking tour of Charlotte’s historic uptown district.
See some art: Charlotte is home to several museums and galleries, so there are plenty of opportunities to see some art while you’re in town. The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is a must-see, and the Mint Museum Uptown is also worth a visit.
There’s plenty to do in Charlotte, North Carolina, so be sure to add it to your list of places to visit on your next road trip from Atlanta!
St. Simons Island
St. Simons Island is a beautiful barrier island off the coast of Georgia, just a short drive from Atlanta.
The island is known for its lovely beaches, quaint small-town feel, and abundance of outdoor activities. Visitors can enjoy fishing, kayaking, biking, and hiking in the many parks on the island.
There are also several historical sites to explore, such as Fort Frederica National Monument and the St. Simons Lighthouse Museum. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an action-packed adventure, St. Simons Island is the perfect destination.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a great place for a short road trip from Atlanta. There are plenty of things to do in Gatlinburg, from hiking and sightseeing to shopping and dining. Gatlinburg is also home to some of the best views in the Smoky Mountains.
Visitors can hike to waterfalls, go tubing down rivers, or explore the Great Smoky Mountains, National Park.
There are also plenty of places to shop and eat in Gatlinburg. For those looking for a more relaxing vacation, there are many hotels and resorts located in Gatlinburg. Whatever your preference, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, is a great place for a short road trip from Atlanta.
If you’re looking for a beautiful place to escape the hustle and bustle of Atlanta, look no further than Lake Oconee, Georgia. Just a short drive from the city, Lake Oconee is perfect for a weekend getaway or even just a day trip.
The lake itself is stunning, with crystal clear water and plenty of opportunities for fishing, swimming, or simply relaxing on the beach.
And if you’re looking for more than just lazy days by the water, there are plenty of activities in the area to keep you occupied. There are also plenty of restaurants to choose from, so you can refuel after a day of exploring.
Whether you’re looking for a relaxing retreat or an adventurous getaway, Lake Oconee is sure to please you. So pack your bags and hit the road – it’s time to explore all that this hidden gem has to offer!
Nashville, Tennessee, is a great city to visit for a short road trip from Atlanta. The city is known for its music and culture, and there are plenty of things to see and do there. Here are some of the best things to do in Nashville:
Visit the Grand Ole Opry: The Grand Ole Opry is one of Nashville’s most famous attractions. The country music venue has been hosting live performances since 1925, and it is a must-see for any music lover.
Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame: Nashville is the home of country music, so it is only fitting that it has a museum dedicated to the genre. The Country Music Hall of Fame features exhibits on the history of country music, as well as on the artists who have made it what it is today.
See a show at the Ryman Auditorium: The Ryman Auditorium is another iconic Nashville music venue. The historic theater has hosted some of the biggest names in music, and it is a great place to see a live performance.
Visit the Belle Meade Plantation: The Belle Meade Plantation is a historic mansion and working farm that is open to the public. Visitors can tour the mansion, learn about the plantation’s history, and even go on a hayride.
There are plenty of other things to do in Nashville, but these are just a few of the highlights. Whether you’re a country music fan or not, you’ll find plenty to do in this vibrant city.