27 Perfect Weekend Getaways From Atlanta

Are you looking for the best weekend getaways from Atlanta? Whether you’re in search of a relaxing beach vacation or an adventurous outdoor retreat, there are plenty of options within driving distance of Georgia’s capital city.

From the Blue Ridge Mountains to coastal islands, we’ve rounded up the top destinations that make ideal weekend trips from Atlanta. So grab your friends and family and hit the road! With these incredible spots just waiting to be explored, you won’t regret it.

Plan the perfect weekend getaway with this free printable travel planner.

Atlanta Georgia skyline

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The list below is organized based on distance from Atlanta, starting with the closest to the farthest.

The drive times listed are approximations. The length of time it takes you to drive to each destination will of course depend on several things such as the time of day, your exact starting and ending point, and the weather, etc.

Braselton, Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 48 miles
Approximate drive time: 50 minutes

Spending a weekend in Braselton, Georgia, is an ideal way to escape for a few days and relax. Just a short drive from Atlanta, this small town offers stunning views of the Blue Ridge 

Mountains, a revitalized downtown area, and proximity to nearby attractions such as Road Atlanta Raceway Park.

Braselton is probably best known as the home of Chateau Elan Resort, featuring luxurious rooms, spa treatments, golf, and more.

TIP: Keep track of all of your important travel details with a digital travel planner like this.

Dahlonega, Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 66 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 5 minutes

Dahlonega, Georgia, is an idyllic getaway bursting with engaging historical sites and lovely scenery. This town is renowned for its place in American history as the location of the first major gold rush back in 1829.

If you want to delve deeper into this past, be sure to visit Consolidated Gold Mine or the Dahlonega Gold Museum.

Forrest Hills Resort is a perennial favorite spot for a romantic getaway in Dahlonega.

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Amicalola Falls State Park & Lodge

Tiered waterfall cascading over rocks in Northern Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 72 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Amicalola Falls State Park is an awe-inspiring spot for a quick escape from Atlanta. Falling 729 feet, Amicalola Falls is the third-highest cascading waterfall east of the Mississippi River.

Hikers enjoy the park’s trails. The park is particularly known for the Approach Trail that leads to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail

The park’s lodge rooms feature panoramic views. You’ll be close to the falls and the rest of the park’s beautiful attractions, resort activities, and dining.

Athens, Georgia

city hall building in Athens Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 72 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Athens offers visitors plenty to explore and experience in the home of the University of Georgia. 

Experience the beautiful State Botanical Garden of Georgia or take a bike ride on Firefly Trail, enjoy the works of art in the Georgia Museum of Art, and explore the Lyndon House Arts Center.

After a full day of exploring the city, treat your taste buds to the southern flavors from one of Athens’ many great restaurants. Turn your fun visit into a luxurious weekend with a stay at ATH|BNB :: The Rushmore in Athens’ renowned Five Points Neighborhood.

Pine Mountain

Distance from Atlanta: 85 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Pine Mountain, Georgia, is home to Callaway Resort & Gardens. The popular North Georgia resort includes the famous 2500-acre botanical gardens.

Guests also enjoy views of mountain streams and woodlands along with many attractions such as their butterfly conservatory, golf courses, and zip lines. Or spend your day at Robin Lake Beach.

The resort offers eight on-site restaurants and a variety of accommodations from rooms and suites to cottages and deluxe villas.

Helen, Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 87 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Located in the beautiful North Georgia mountains, Helen is a tranquil alpine-style village with an abundance of things to do.

Helen has become well known as a top Christmas town and offers other special seasonal events and festivals. Don’t miss Anna Ruby Falls or have some fun tubing down the Chattahoochee River.

If you’re looking for B&B accommodations in the heart of town, try Black Forest Bed & Breakfast.

Or enjoy a romantic getaway focusing on North Georgia’s beautiful scenery at Valhalla Resort.

alpine style building with a red roof on a street in Helen Georgia

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 93 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

This charming mountain town offers visitors plenty to explore and experience. You can take in the beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from one of the many hiking trails, or explore the charming downtown area with its unique shops and restaurants.

Ride the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway or explore the Aska Adventure Area to enjoy the North Georgia scenery. Or go rafting on the Ocoee (Toccoa) River.

Blue Ridge is a great place to try a cabin rental or enjoy a stay at the award-winning Aska Lodge.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Distance from Atlanta: 118 miles
Approximate drive time: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a great idea for a weekend trip from Atlanta. Lonely Planet has ranked it as one of the top destinations in the U.S.

Treat yourself to a leisurely walk across the iconic Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge, spanning the Tennessee River and one of the longest pedestrian bridges on the globe.

Explore the famous Tennessee Aquarium, tour the Hunter Museum of Art, and check out the famous Chattanooga Choo Choo.

There are a lot of great places to stay in Chattanooga. Here are a few top options:

Augusta, Georgia

Augusta Georgia skyline

Distance from Atlanta: 145 miles
Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

While Augusta, Georgia, is no doubt best known as the home of the Masters golf tournament, there is much more to this town than its famously exclusive golf club.

Augusta is filled with things to do for all ages. Stroll along the Augusta Riverwalk. Explore the Augusta Museum of History or admire the artwork at the Morris Museum of Art. It’s the oldest art museum in the U.S. specifically dedicated to Southern American art and artists.

Augusta Marriott at the Convention Center overlooks the Savannah River at the Augusta Riverwalk.

If you’re looking for a small, boutique inn, check out Old Town Inn in Augusta’s historic Old Towne Neighborhood.

Birmingham, Alabama

Birmingham Alabama skyline

Distance from Atlanta: 147 miles
Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 15 minutes

Conde Nast Traveler named Birmingham one of the 22 Best Places to Go in 2022. Known as the “Dinner Table of the South,” Birmingham is a top choice destination for food lovers.

From exploring the Civil Rights District to visiting the famous Vulcan Park and Museum, there are plenty of attractions in Birmingham that will keep visitors busy all weekend long.

Tour the Birmingham Museum of Art or the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum. For those who enjoy outdoor activities, take a walk around Railroad Park or check out Red Mountain Park which offers 16 miles of multi-use trails.

The Elyton Hotel offers upscale and modern accommodations in the heart of the city near the art museum and Railroad Park.

Greenville, South Carolina

buildings in downtown Greenville South Carolina

Distance from Atlanta: 145 miles
Approximate drive time: 2 hours, 15 miles

Greenville, South Carolina, is a perfect place for a weekend getaway from Atlanta. The New York Times named it one of their “52 Places to Go in 2023.”

From its performing arts opportunities to award-winning restaurants, there’s much to enjoy during a weekend in Greenville.

Make sure to explore Falls Park on the Reedy before heading over to Main Street for some shopping and dining. And don’t miss the Greenville County Museum of Art or discover nature at one of the state parks close by.

The Westin Poinsett is a classic hotel choice in the heart of downtown Greenville.

Or try the new Grand Bohemian Lodge Greenville on the banks of the Reedy River in the center of town.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

old wooden grist mill in Cades Cove in Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Distance from Atlanta: 165 miles
Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Found in Tennessee and North Carolina, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to some of the most stunning scenery anywhere in the U.S. It’s one of the best southern national parks.

In my opinion, one of the best things about this park is that you don’t have to be super outdoorsy to enjoy it. Anyone can enjoy the scenic drives at Cades Cove and Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail. Avid hikers love the trails to Laurel Falls, Alum Bluff Cave, and Abram Falls.

For everything you need to know about visiting this amazing park, see my Great Smoky Mountains National Park travel guide.

For a complete discussion of where to stay on your Smokies weekend trip, see my article all about where to stay in the Smokies.

narrow paved road through a green forest

Great Smoky Mountains National Park does not really offer any traditional lodging options.

So probably your best option will be to stay in one of the gateway towns at the major entrances to the Park. Gatlinburg is the most popular. Cherokee, North Carolina, and Townsend, Tennessee are also fine options.

Here are a couple of popular options in Gatlinburg:

The Park Vista offers beautiful views of the Smoky Mountains, and every room has its own balcony.

Fairfield Inn and Suites has long been one of our go-to hotels when looking for an economical and comfortable stay. Their downtown Gatlinburg location is mere moments away from the beginning of the Roaring Fork Motor Nature Trail.

Lake Junaluska, North Carolina

Distance from Atlanta: 170 miles
Approximate drive time: 3 hours

Spending a weekend at Lake Junaluska is a unique and perfect way to relax and unwind. With its beautiful scenery and abundance of outdoor activities, there is something for everyone here.

Enjoy fishing, kayaking, birding, and swimming in the lake. Explore the lake on foot using the Lake Junaluska Walking Trail or enjoy 18 holes of golf.

Lodging options include cabins, vacation rentals, and a couple of hotels and B&Bs.

The Terrace Hotel offers beautiful lake views, a heated pool, and easy access to all of the recreational activities the lake has to offer.

The Lambuth Inn appears on the Register of National Historic places and underwent a major renovation in 2018 to modernize and upgrade amenities.

Huntsville, Alabama

city park in front of city skyline in Huntsville Alabama

Distance from Atlanta: 180 miles
Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 15 minutes

Huntsville, Alabama, is a great destination for a weekend getaway from Atlanta. Huntsville offers plenty of attractions and activities to keep you entertained all weekend long.

Enjoy tons of options from the U.S. Space & Rocket Center (Space Camp!) to its many historic sites and museums to exploring nature at Monte Sano State Park or taking a stroll through downtown Huntsville with its eclectic mix of shops and restaurants.

The Huntsville Marriott at the Space & Rocket Center is located conveniently on the grounds of that attraction and offers on-site dining.

Holiday Inn Express – Huntsville Space Center offers affordable rooms near both the Space Center and the Huntsville Botanical Garden.

Asheville, North Carolina

Distance from Atlanta: 200 miles
Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 45 minutes

Asheville, North Carolina, is my top choice among possible romantic getaways from Atlanta. Asheville is located in the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains. With its laid-back attitude, incredible eateries, and historical Biltmore Estate, you won’t want to miss out on all this city has to offer.

Because we got engaged at Biltmore, it holds a special place in our hearts. Read more about how to spend a weekend at Biltmore Estate.

Whether you’re craving a romantic getaway or an unforgettable sightseeing experience, Asheville is the ideal destination all year round, but especially in the fall.

There are many wonderful places to stay in Asheville, North Carolina. For the ultimate luxurious and romantic spa weekend try the Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville.

front of the Village Hotel at Biltmore Estate

For stays on the Biltmore property, The Inn on Biltmore Estate is our top choice, but we also loved staying at the Village Hotel. We’ve spent four wedding anniversaries at Biltmore.

DoubleTree by Hilton Biltmore/Asheville is conveniently located close to the Biltmore Estate and Biltmore Village.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Distance from Atlanta: 215 miles
Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 10 minutes

Knoxville, Tennessee, makes a wonderful weekend trip from Atlanta. It offers plenty of attractions and activities to keep you entertained all weekend long

Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures like hiking or biking at Ijams Nature Center or want to explore the city’s rich history at places like Market Square and James White’s Fort, there are lots of things to do here.

And don’t miss Zoo Knoxville, the Knoxville Museum of Art, or Sunsphere in World’s Fair Park. Plus, if you have time on your hands or are taking a long weekend trip you can even take a day trip into Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Enjoy 4-star accommodations in the heart of Knoxville at The Tennessean. It’s just steps from Sunsphere and the Knoxville Museum of Art.

Cumberland House Knoxville is also conveniently located in the center of the action in Knoxville and is quite close to the University of Tennessee.

Congaree National Park/Columbia, South Carolina

wooden boardwalk path through a forest

Distance from Atlanta: 230 miles
Approximate drive time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

A weekend of hiking and canoeing through South Carolina’s only National Park is a great way to spend a weekend away from Atlanta.

We love its unique landscape of old-growth hardwood forests and wetlands. The park’s boardwalk loop trail is quite popular and one of the easy hikes in Congaree National Park. Avid paddlers won’t want to miss the 15-mile Cedar Creek Canoe Trail.

There are no hotels or lodges available at Congaree National Park, so camping is the only way to sleep within the park. My recommendation is that you plan to stay in a hotel in the Columbia, South Carolina, area.

The rooms are great at Residence Inn Columbia Northeast/Fort Jackson Area. For the money, we love how much space you get at Residence Inn hotels. They also offer a free breakfast.

Savannah, Georgia

Large fountain in a park in Savannah Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 250 miles
Approximate drive time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

For the perfect Southern getaway, look no further than a weekend in Savannah, Georgia. The atmosphere and food make it a southern destination that’s pretty hard to beat. Even if you go to Savannah only for the food, I think you’ll leave happy.

Must-do stops include the Waving Girl Statue, River Street, Leopold’s Ice Cream, and Forsyth Park. And Savannah is one town where I would recommend doing a history walking tour or a hop-on hop-off trolley tour through the historic district.

Savannah pairs well with Charleston for a lovely short road trip. And there are a lot of great things to do between Savannah and Charleston.

Savannah is full of wonderful hotels and inns. The Marshall House is one of the most popular and highly rated (by guests) places to stay in Savannah.

If you’re looking for a great view of both the historic Savannah Riverfront and the boats that travel along it, we enjoyed our stay at Marriott Savannah Riverfront. It’s just steps from the famous Waving Girl Statue at the end of River Street.

Nashville, Tennessee

Nashville Tennessee skyline

Distance from Atlanta: 250 miles
Approximate drive time: 4 hours 15 minutes

Nashville, Tennessee, is a vibrant city with a rich music history that makes it a perfect weekend getaway from Atlanta.

From its renowned Grand Ole Opry, famous recording studios on Music Row, and the legendary Bluebird Café, to the Frist Art Museum and Centennial Park, Nashville has something for everyone looking for a bit of Southern charm and hospitality. There are plenty of ways to make your stay in the Music City unforgettable.

The Conrad Nashville offers 5-star accommodations in the thick of historic Nashville.

For the ultimate in Nashville-ness (is that a word?) try the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

Tybee Island

Historic Tybee Island Light Station near Savannah, Georgia

Distance from Atlanta: 270 miles
Approximate drive time: 4 hours, 15 minutes

Easily the most popular of the day trips from Savannah, Tybee Island also makes a wonderful and beach-y destination for a weekend trip from Atlanta.

Check out my beach day essentials so that you don’t forget to pack anything.

Tybee Island is a popular spot for bird watching, sea kayaking, dolphin spotting, biking, fishing, and just relaxing.

There are hundreds of hotel and motel rooms just steps away from the beach on Tybee Island. Beachview Inn and Spa is just a 3-minute walk from the beach. All units have private bathrooms, and some units include kitchenettes.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Resort on Hilton Head Island beach at dawn

Distance from Atlanta: 285 miles
Approximate drive time: 4 hours, 40 minutes

Hilton Head Island makes a perfect weekend getaway from Atlanta. It’s one of my top choices for romantic getaways in the South.

Travel + Leisure has named it one of the best islands in the continental U.S., and I totally agree. 

For public beach access head to Coligny Beach; it’s a designated swim area with free parking. The small park there is also quite charming. If biking is your thing, you’ll love the miles of beaches and recreational paths to explore.

For a luxurious stay, try the Inn & Club at Harbour Town, the only Forbes four-star hotel on Hilton Head Island.

We loved our stay at Marriott Hilton Head Resort & Spa, which offers great beach views.

Jekyll Island

many driftwood branches on a sandy beach

Distance from Atlanta: 325 miles
Approximate drive time: 5 hours

Jekyll Island is one of the “Golden Isles” barrier islands off the coast of Georgia that include St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island, Sapelo Island, Blackbeard Island, plus Historic Darien and Historic Brunswick.

Jekyll Island is a great destination for beach lovers. Don’t miss Driftwood Beach on the northern end of the island.

Jekyll Island is also home to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, which offers educational programs and works to rescue and rehabilitate sick and injured turtles.

To enjoy a relaxing weekend at a historical 19th-century resort with beaches and biking trails nearby, try a stay at Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Hampton Inn & Suites Jekyll Island offers 3-star accommodations with free breakfast, and it’s just steps from the South Dunes Beach Boardwalk and Picnic Area.

Charleston, South Carolina

city street in downtown Charleston, South Carolina

Distance from Atlanta: 300 miles
Approximate drive time: 5 hours

Charleston, South Carolina, is the epitome of Southern historical cities, so it makes a great weekend trip from Atlanta.

If you’re having trouble deciding between Savannah and Charleston, try combining them into one itinerary for the perfect Lowcountry road trip.

Top sites to visit during your Charleston weekend trip include Fort Sumter, Aiken-Rhett House, Historic Charleston City Market, and The Battery.

And don’t forget the great food in Charleston. This means you must try the hushpuppies.

You’ll enjoy beautiful accommodations near the top fine dining and shopping in the city (on King Street) if you stay at The Dewberry.

The Doubletree Mount Pleasant is outside the city, but it is easier to save money on hotels in Mount Pleasant. It’s also close to two scrumptious breakfast places: Vicious Biscuit and Page’s Okra Grill.

30A (Florida)

Grey wood slat tower in Seaside Florida

Distance from Atlanta: 310 miles
Approximate drive time: 5 hours, 15 minutes

For a relaxing and romantic getaway from Atlanta, try 30A in Florida’s Walton County. The white sand beaches on this stretch of scenic highway have to be seen to be believed.

And there are plenty of things to do in 30A even if you don’t really consider yourself a “beach person.” From great shopping and food to biking and kayaking, you definitely won’t lack fun activities in 30A.

Hotel stays in 30A can be rather expensive, so consider going with a vacation rental to perhaps save some money. And if you have a full kitchen, you could save on food by cooking some of your own meals and eating in.

If you are looking for a luxurious hotel stay, try The Pearl, Rosemary Beach. It’s in the center of town and just steps from a private beach.

Gulf Shores, Alabama

Distance from Atlanta: 350 miles
Approximate drive time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

Gulf Shores offers visitors beautiful white sand beaches, delicious restaurants, stunning views of the Gulf Coast, and plenty of activities to keep you busy.

From scuba diving and snorkeling to dolphin cruises and from golf to biking and hiking, options are endless. Don’t miss the 6,000+-acre Gulf State Park or historic Fort Morgan.

Gulf Shores is a great place to get a vacation rental with beach views and access.

Amelia Island, Florida

Beach on Amelia Island in Northern Florida along the Atlantic Ocean

Distance from Atlanta: 360 miles
Approximate drive time: 5 hours, 30 minutes

A popular beach vacation destination, Amelia Island boasts 13 miles of beaches in Northeast Florida.

In 2020, Travel + Leisure put Amelia Island at number 6 on its list of the top 15 islands in the United States. Southern Living also named it one of the 10 most romantic destinations in Florida.

Enjoy 5-star luxury at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island. Guests love the beachfront location and excellent service.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

crowds on a beach with tall buildings in the background

Distance from Atlanta: 365 miles
Approximate drive time: 6 hours

Myrtle Beach is one of the most popular beaches in South Carolina. The Beach enjoys 215 days of sun a year, so your chances of finding great weather during your getaway are pretty good.

Golfers love that there are an astounding 90 courses in the “Grand Strand.” For outdoor enthusiasts, Myrtle Beach offers a variety of activities, including parasailing, jet skiing, and kayaking. Venture to Murrells Inlet to explore Brookgreen Gardens and the MarshWalk.

A vacation condo or beach house rental is a great option for Myrtle Beach. If a hotel is more what you’re looking for, here are a couple of top options:

Stay in the heart of the Beach at Hilton Grand Vacations Club Ocean Enclave. This beachfront property offers suites with kitchens just steps from the Boardwalk and Promenade.

Check out the SpringHill Suites Myrtle Beach Oceanfront. This is a newer property that offers an outdoor pool with a sun deck and a lazy river.

The bottom line

Taking a weekend getaway from Atlanta is the perfect way to unwind and enjoy some quality time with your special someone.

From 30A in Florida’s Walton County to Gulf Shores in Alabama, there are plenty of romantic options for beach lovers looking for coastal charm and serenity.

From breaks in big cities like Birmingham or Nashville to trips that focus on National Parks and whether you’re looking for luxury or affordability, these spots will have something that fits your needs perfectly and all within driving distance of Atlanta.

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