With Summer right around the corner, there’s no better time to hop in your car, hit the open road and set out on a weekend adventure. And while there are plenty of things to keep you busy in Atlanta like attending concerts, enjoying the city’s hottest restaurants or exploring different neighborhoods around town, one of the best things about living in Atlanta is its proximity to so many other great states and cities.
Whether you’re looking to take a day trip or head out on a weekend getaway, we’ve rounded up 5 must-visit road trip destinations outside of Atlanta.
1. Athens, GA
Distance from Atlanta: 73 miles (1 hour 20-minute drive)
Home to the University of Georgia, Athens is a charming southern town with a laid-back vibe revered for its food scene, live music and cultural experiences. The vibrancy of Athens can be seen in its museums and galleries like the Georgia Museum of Art and Athens Institute for Contemporary Art, award-winning breweries, local shops and live music venues.
2. Lake Oconee, GA
Distance from Atlanta: 78 miles (1 hour 20-minute drive)
A great place to visit if you’re looking to be near water, Lake Oconee is a picturesque network of waterways providing a true oasis outside the hustle and bustle of the city. Daytrippers can enjoy a tranquil day on the lake boating, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing or fishing. If you’re looking for a weekend of fun and relaxation, treat yourself to a stay at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton Reynolds.
3. Chattanooga, TN
Distance from Atlanta: 118 miles (2-hour drive)
Chattanooga has quickly emerged as a road trip favorite among many Atlantans, and it’s not hard to see why. Located next to the Appalachian Mountains and with the majestic Tennessee River running right through town, visitors can take in the beauty of the city with a number of outdoor attractions including Rock City, Ruby Falls and Lookout Mountain.
4. Cashiers, NC
Distance from Atlanta: 140 miles (2 hour 30-minute drive)
Surrounded by the mountain peaks of North Carolina some 4,000 ft. above sea level, Cashiers is aptly known as the Aspen of the East. Many come to marvel at the natural beauty of this lush area, others to stroll down Cashiers’ postcard-perfect Main Street with an overnight stay at the historic Old Edwards Inn and Spa.
5. Savannah, GA
Distance from Atlanta: 248 miles (4-hour drive)
Idyllic beaches, fresh seafood, a storied downtown, and classic southern food are just some of the perks of a road trip to Savannah. Soak up the rich history of Georgia’s oldest city by visiting local attractions Forsyth Park, Bonaventure Cemetery and River Street. Pro tip: many say the best way to see Savannah is by foot or via a trolley tour.