If you're thinking of visiting the warm and modern southern city of Atlanta then a road trip from Orlando is the perfect way to arrive in style. Maximize the experience as you travel from the Sunshine State to make it a trip of a lifetime.
The 440-mile road trip from Orlando to Atlanta will take you 6 and a half hours to drive, passing cities like Gainesville, Ocala, Valdosta and Macon, and landmarks such as the Museum of Aviation, Lane Southern Orchards and High Falls State Park.
The route passes by many scenic state parks, wildlife sanctuaries, museums, and more. So keep on scrolling to find all the details you need to make your trip from Orlando to Atlanta a journey that you're sure to remember!
How far is Atlanta from Orlando, and how long will the road trip take?
|Direct Route||440 miles||6 hours 30 minutes|
|Savannah Route||530 miles||7 hours 45 minutes|
The road trip from Orlando to Atlanta is 440 miles long and will take you about 6 and a half hours, without considering the detours you'll take for sightseeing, relaxing, eating, and more.
The route will take you through the warm and pleasant state of Florida and the valleys of the Blue Ridge Mountains to arrive in Atlanta.
While you can cover the distance within a day if you powered through the drive, you decided to take a road trip for a reason, so it's ideal to take the drive slow and explore all the fantastic sights the route offers.
If you decide to break up the trip into a couple of days, you'll truly get to discover the many attractions along the route.
Along the way you can visit the Florida Museum of Natural History, Stone Mountain Park, Wild Adventures Theme Park, Spanish Springs Town Square, learn more about the diverse landscapes of the South, and even get a taste of famous warm Southern food at the any of the well-known eating joints along the way.
It'll be a trip that will fulfil your mind, heart, stomach, and soul!
Best road trip route from Orlando to Atlanta
You can follow two distinct routes while on a road trip from Orlando to Atlanta.
The most direct route passes through central cities like Gainesville, Ocala, Valdosta, Macon to reach the destination. It takes around 6 hours 30 minutes and covers 440 miles.
There's plenty to explore and enjoy along this route. It's primarily an interstate drive with slight detours onto state routes when you stopover at some of the attractions you'll encounter en route to Atlanta.
You can also take a slightly longer trip which follows the coast of Florida and Georgia until Savannah and then heads inland to reach Atlanta.
If you wish to take the coastal route, it adds approximately 70 miles and an extra hour and 15 minutes to your journey.
How to drive from Orlando to Atlanta
The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Orlando and Atlanta. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.
The Direct Route
You'll begin your trip by taking the ramp onto Florida Route 408 West, then exit onto Florida's Turnpike. Heading towards Ocala, you'll follow this road for about 45 miles.
Along the way, you'll pass Palatlakaha River Park, which is a great place to stop for a short hike through a stretch of Florida's beautiful wetland, and Denham Lake.
You'll then merge with Interstate 75 North, which is the road that'll take you right to your destination.
On this stretch of the drive you'll pass The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park, Manatee Springs State Park, Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History, The Annette Turner Center for the Arts, and more.
After about 150 miles on Interstate 75 North, you'll enter Georgia, the Peach State.
If you're planning on visiting Macon, the I-75 takes you right into the city and back out again to carry on your journey northwards. Or to bypass the city, join Interstate 475 North before you reach Macon, then merge back onto the I-75 when the roads meet up again.
After a final 50 miles stretch on the Interstate, you'll want to take Exit 246 to drive into Capitol Avenue in Atlanta, where there's so much to discover, learn about, and experience.
The Savannah Route
Leave Orlando on Interstate 4 which takes you to Interstate 95. You'll follow the I-95 as far as Savannah, passing by Daytona Beach and Jacksonville which are both great places to stop if you want to enjoy some time on the beach before heading inland.
If you're stopping in Savannah, Interstate 16 takes you right into the heart of the city. When you're done exploring, simply follow the I-16 out of the city again and follow it all the way to Macon.
As you pass through Macon the I-16 merges with the I-75 which you'll follow north for the last stretch of the journey into Atlanta.
Best places to stop between Orlando to Atlanta
If you choose to break up your trip into two to three days, you'll have several places that you can stay in, wind down from the drive, and explore while you're visiting!
Explore the attractions in Gainesville
One of the iconic Florida cities on your way from Orlando to Atlanta is Gainesville, home to a plethora of diverse state parks, scenic landscapes, museums, and urban forests.
You'll pass through the city about one-fourth of your way along the Direct Route, making it a great place to stop if you start your drive late in the day after work and want to get an early night in before a whole day of driving.
Perfectly located in the city's heart, Sweetwater Branch Inn offers charm, character and a warm welcome. Set in a delightful building with colorful gardens and its own outdoor pool and hot tub, you'll also find a fantastic breakfast here should you want one after a full day exploring the city.
Gainesville's bars and restaurants are a short walk away, as are the Matheson Historical Center and the Historic Thomas Center.
Some of the city's other landmarks are situated away from the downtown area, but Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Florida Museum of Natural History and Butterfly Rainforest are a short and easy drive away from the Inn.
Soak up some history in Savannah
If you're planning on taking the longer route, Savannah makes the perfect place to stop. It's roughly at the half way along the journey and with its stunning coastal landscapes, tree-lined squares and rich history the city is well worth exploring.
For a stay in the heart of the historic district that really lets you get a feel for the city, McMillan Inn is the perfect choice. The immaculate design in this hotel will make you feel like you've taken a step into a bygone era!
Situated opposite Forsyth Park, where you'll find the city's most famous fountain, the McMillan Inn offers opulent rooms with fireplaces and period antiques, with the opportunity to experience a piece of the city's rich history firsthand.
If you need to cool down after day on the road or seeing the city's sights, you'll find an outdoor pool in the Inn's charming courtyard.
While you're in town, make sure to check out Thomas Square which is well known for its history and architecture. Or take a trolley bus tour of the city for an introduction to the stories that built modern Savannah.
Immerse yourself in the sights of Atlanta
Georgia's capital city is known for its iconic sports teams, modern take on Southern hospitality, impressive music heritage, and more.
As you arrive at your ultimate destination after a fantastic road trip through Florida and Georgia, you should stay at the Hotel Midtown Atlanta, Curio Collection by Hilton to truly soak in all the city offers.
With a stylish entrance, sleek designs and some spectacular city views, as well as a fitness center, spa and pool, it's a great place to unwind and relax while you're in Atlanta.
The hotel is located in the heart of the city, and you'll be close to landmarks such as Woodruff Arts Center, Atlanta Botanical Garden, World of Coca-Cola, Piedmont Park, and so much more.
You should also make sure to explore natural marvels just outside the city - they're well worth the drive. At the Stone Mountain you can hike or take the cable car to reach the peak for an incredible view, or take a walk by the Chattahoochee River.
Things to see on a road trip from Orlando to Atlanta
While you're on a road trip from Orlando to Atlanta, there's so much to see, experience, and learn about, especially with the plenty of State Parks sprinkled along the route. Though there are several places to visit, here are some of the top attractions you can't miss:
- Spanish Springs Town Square - A well-known area in The Villages, Florida, the square is home to several boutiques, art venues, live music, stores, etc.
- Appleton Museum of Art - A contemporary art museum located in Ocala, it is home to several art exhibits, objects, and sculptures that will intrigue all audiences
- Fort King National Historic Landmark - A military fort near the city of Ocala, the monument is named after Colonel William King, who was the first governor of the West Florida region
- The Canyons Zip Line and Adventure Park - Surrounded by two canyons, you'll get a chance to rappel, zipline across nine different courses, as well as go horseback riding.
- Butterfly Rainforest at the Florida Museum of Natural History - One of the most famous museums in Florida, it is located near Gainesville, and amongst many excellent interactive exhibits, it is home to a butterfly garden
- Rainbow Springs State Park - A peaceful state park near Gainesville with campgrounds, unique foliage, a river, and more
- Manatee Springs State Park - Though a minor detour from the route, this state park has a clear-water spring that is known for West Indian manatees, which you can interact with via scuba-diving
- Ichetucknee Springs State Park - Located in Fort White, this state park is home to a long scenic river (where you can go snorkeling, tubing, and on other adventure excursions), and also spot wildlife if you're lucky
- Wild Adventures Theme Park - Located in Valdosta, this is one of the most loved theme parks in the region as it combines water rides, animals, and rollercoasters to give rise to paradise!
- Grand Bay Wildlife Management Area - A 13,000-acre area located in Georgia, it is an educational wildlife area with a recreational lake and other diverse landscapes
- Lowndes County Historical Society and Museum - A museum founded back in 1967; it is home to several fine exhibits that tell the history of Valdosta and its ancestors
- The Annette Turner Center for the Arts - A local art center in Valdosta with several galleries that put up changing exhibitions, support local artists, and has a gift shop
- Lane Southern Orchards - The perfect place for a Southern food feast, this store and café has a buffet and also sells organically grown pecans and peaches, the gold of Georgia
- Kennedy Space Center - Take a detour as you head out of Orlando to explore NASA's fantastic visitor center on Merritt Island.
- Daytona Beach - Unsurprisingly, this city offers you stunning, wide beaches with views stretching out over the ocean. Visit the famous Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse, stroll along the pier, or for something different, check out the world famous speedway track.
- Jacksonville - Another opportunity to get your feet wet, with more sensational beaches, as well as the famous Jacksonville Zoo, the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens, and the Museum of Science and History.
- The Golden Isles - These beautiful barrier islands south of Savannah are the perfect place to get away from the hustle and bustle, with wide sandy beaches, coastal wetlands and luxury golf resorts.
- Savannah Historic District - Take your time to explore the museums, churches, mansions and monuments dotted around Savannah, or visit monuments and forts of the Revolutionary & Civil War eras.
- Forsyth Park, Savannah - Take a stroll past the famous fountain in this beautiful city park.
- Thomas Square, Savannah - A historic neighbourhood boasting beautiful period architecture, shops, restaurants and bars.
- High Falls State Park - An expansive 1,050-acre state park in Jackson, Georgia, with scenic waterfalls, a lake (with boating excursions), mini-golf, and more
- Museum of Aviation - Located just south of Macon, Georgia, this US Air Force museum is home to plane models, a flight simulator, interactive exhibits, and more
- Stone Mountain Park - Spread across 3,200 acres, this iconic state park is home to a natural wonder that stands at 1,050 feet tall with other outdoor activities
Best time to go on a road trip from Orlando to Atlanta
While you can go on a road trip from Orlando to Atlanta during any month, your experience in some months is bound to be different than in other months.
Atlanta summers can be too hot to handle, with average high temperatures reaching 85 degrees and higher from June through August. Room rates hike up in summer too, so it might not be the ideal time to visit.
This means that, for many travelers, the optimal time to visit Atlanta is in the spring, while the weather is dry but temperatures still sitting pleasantly in the 70s.
You'll be able to explore the city and also partaking in some of the many events that take place in the town during this time, like the St. Patrick's Day Parade, Atlanta Film Festival, and Atlanta Dogwood Festival.
The fall is also considered a great time to visit, with the changing colors of the foliage and several outdoor events. However, expect frequent rain and maybe even hurricane warnings during this time.
Additionally, the time from June to November is considered official hurricane season in Florida, so it's best to build in some flexibility if you need to take the trip at this time of year.
No matter what month you plan your trip, be sure to stop over at as many state parks, museums, diverse landscapes, and restaurants as possible, soak in all that the places along the route and Atlanta has to offer, and make it a road trip that you're bound to remember.