Best Road Trips From Atlanta

Located in the heart of Georgia with Tennessee, Alabama and the Carolinas on your doorstep, Atlanta is the perfect starting point for road trips long and short, featuring traditional city breaks, beautiful mountain retreats, Southern blues and longer drives out of the state.

Top Road Trip Destinations From Atlanta

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Our rankings are based only on editorial opinion, not any commercial consideration.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Scenic Sunset near Gatlinburg
1. Great Smoky Mountains National Park
πŸš— 160 miles ⏱️ 3 hours

On this stunningly scenic road trip, you will visit America's most visited national park, the Great Smoky Mountains, and discover a wonderland of wildlife, hiking trails, and breathtaking mountain views.

The drive itself is dotted with pretty landscapes such as Don Carter and Tallulah Gorge State Parks. Make sure to stop by Dillsboro Chocolate Factory if you have a sweet tooth.

Birmingham, Alabama, USA downtown city skyline on a sunny day.
10. Birmingham
πŸš— 150 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 10 minutes

Journey to Birmingham and explore its important civil rights history, which you can learn more about at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, world-class culinary scene, and the renowned Birmingham Zoo.

On your way there, you can visit Sweetwater Creek State Park, International Motorsports Hall of Fame and Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum to make the best of this relatively short road trip.

Chattanooga, Tennessee, USA taken at the downtown riverfront as an aerial view on a  sunny day with rocks in the foreground.
11. Chattanooga
πŸš— 120 miles ⏱️ 2 hours

To explore Chattanooga's stunning scenic beauty, visit in the fall when the weather is great and the trees begin to turn golden. You will also get to visit the Tennessee Aquarium and Lookout Mountain.

This short but scenic drive to Chattanooga will take you to Red Top Mountain State Park, Tellus Science Museum and Dalton Little Theatre before you reach your destination.

Cherry blossom trees surrounding a stone fountain in the downtown area
24. Macon
πŸš— 80 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 20 minutes

Macon is a great antidote to the hustle and bustle of the big city. The city is known for its music with Otis Redding and The Allman Brothers Band both calling Macon home.

You can make this drive to Macon the perfect day trip by adding Clayton County International Park and High Falls State Park to your itinerary.

Aerial view of the many islands on Lake Lanier in Georgia
25. Lake Lanier
πŸš— 50 miles ⏱️ 55 minutes

Discover the beauty of Lake Lanier, with its jagged coastline and beautiful islands dotted throughout, making it a perfect escape from Atlanta. This is a premier destination for boating, fishing, and water sports.

You can extend this short drive by making a detour to the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth or spending some time in the charming small town of Suwanee.

Old wooden water mill by lake with green trees
26. Stone Mountain Park
πŸš— 25 miles ⏱️ 25 minutes

Stone Mountain Park is one of Georgia's most visited attractions and is a great place as a weekend getaway. The park is also home to paths surrounded by lakes such as Stone Mountain Lake and Venable Lake.

The park is only a short drive from the city center, but you can spend some time in Scottdale and Clarkston before you reach your destination.

View across Lake Oconee, a short road trip from Atlanta, Georgia
27. Lake Oconee
πŸš— 85 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 25 minutes

Escape to Lake Oconee for a peaceful treat. You can play golf, enjoy kayaking on the still water of the lake or hike the tens of miles of trails. There's plenty to do here on a day road trip from Atlanta.

Seeing that this is a shorter drive, you might want to explore places en route, such as Covington, Hard Labor Creek State Park or the city of Madison.

Athens, Georgia, USA downtown cityscape with a stunning sunset.
28. Athens
πŸš— 70 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 20 minutes

Athens is a charming Southern town that is home to the University of Georgia and is known for its excellent food and live music scenes. Pretty Watson Mill State Park is also a short drive from here.

On your way to Athens, consider a stop at Fort Yargo State Park, near Winder, with its 260-acre lake, which is great for fishing, swimming, and watersports.

Aerial photo of Augusta, Georgia and the Savannah River at dusk, with an orange hued sky above
29. Augusta
πŸš— 145 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 20 minutes

The city of Augusta is Georgia's second oldest after Savannah and hosts The Masters golf tournament. It is also home to the scenic Augusta Riverwalk and the Morris Museum of Art.

If you are not in a hurry to reach Augusta, we recommend visiting the charming towns of Covington, Madison and Thomson on the way.

Providence Canyon State Park, Georgia, USA landscape at dusk with tree covered canyons in the foreground.
30. Providence Canyon State Park
πŸš— 150 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 10 minutes

Explore Georgia's β€œLittle Grand Canyon” at Providence Canyon State Park. A hidden secret in Southwestern Georgia, the Providence Canyon State Park is little known outside Georgia.

On your way to the state park, we recommend exploring Newnan and LaGrange, as well as visiting the National Civil War Naval Museum and National Infantry Museum in Columbus.

Historic campus with a pool in the front during twilight hours
31. Rome
πŸš— 70 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 20 minutes

One of the most beautiful small towns in Georgia, Rome is where three rivers meet with a backdrop of pretty landscapes. The town also has a Victorian downtown and an ancient mound complex.

En route, you can also visit Gone With the Wind Museum in Marietta, Red Top Mountain State Park and Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville.

The exterior of the old state capital building during a sunny day
32. Milledgeville
πŸš— 100 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 40 minutes

Milledgeville was once the capital of Georgia and is known for its antebellum architecture and historic sites, including the Old Governor's Mansion and a picturesque downtown.

You can also visit Covington and Madison on your way to Milledgeville, and enjoy a picnic at the beautiful Hard Labor Creek State Park en route.

Tulips growing in spring in Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia
33. Callaway Gardens
πŸš— 80 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 20 minutes

Callaway Gardens features a trail that connects different parts of the gardens, including the world's largest man-made beach around Robin Lake and a butterfly center with over 1,000 butterflies.

This is a short drive, which is great for a day trip but seeing that Newnan and LaGrange lie near the route, you can choose to extend your trip to visit them.

Customers buying flowers from a blue-colored truck during a festival with sun setting in the background
34. Suwanee
πŸš— 35 miles ⏱️ 50 minutes

Suwanee is a beautiful small town known for its high quality of life, busy and lively Town Center, and extensive park system with interactive public art installations and popular community events.

The drive from Atlanta to Suwanee is quite short, so you can make a detour to Duluth to visit the Southeastern Railway Museum if you have the time.

Longer road trips from Atlanta

Longer road trips from Atlanta