We love Atlanta! But even the city’s biggest fans need to escape the humidity for a few days of adventure and relaxation. If you are craving a change of scenery, you don’t have to stray far from Atlanta. There are plenty of great road trips within a reasonable drive from the city! But… where do you start?
Planning an epic, adventure-filled road trip can be a lot of work – and we’re here to help! Whether you’re looking for a weekend escape or an epic journey, there are some fabulous Atlanta road trips that include small-town, city, and outdoor fun. Without further ado, here are the four best road trips from Atlanta!
Shenandoah National Park and Washington DC
Distance: 10 hours
Great for: Nature, river fun, camping, city exploring
Can’t choose between a day in the city or an outdoor adventure? This one tops our list for easy scenic drives from Atlanta where you can have both! Spend a few days running around a new city and enjoy the expansive views and endless experiences in Shenandoah National Park. Washington DC offers history buffs famous national monuments like the White House, The US Capitol, and the Library of Congress! You can also spend hours exploring the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Later, wind down with fantastic food, drinks, downtown DC nightlife, or even hop on a haunted tour!
Once you’ve had your fill of Washington DC, begin one of the best road trips from Atlanta and head to the mountains, overlooks, and rivers of the Shenandoah. From hiking to scenic drives to gorgeous camping, Shenandoah National Park offers endless opportunities to appreciate some unparalleled natural scenery.
You will be craving a plunge into some cool water when you step off the trail. Cue the Shenandoah River! Eventually, you may be looking to relax, so lay back and enjoy a lazy float trip on a tube (river tubing) with a cooler in tow. Or, book something that has a little bit more of a splash factor! Have you ever been canoeing in Virginia? Our rafting, canoeing, and kayaking trips have half, full and multi-day options. Check us out for a true Shenandoah river adventure!
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Distance: 3.5 hours
Great for: Nature, mountains, camping
The Tennessee-North Carolina border and the Smoky Mountains are just a scenic, half-day drive from Atlanta. But, don’t let the name fool you – Great Smoky Mountains National Park can offer gorgeous mountain views that stretch on for miles! The fog that gathers in and around the mountain peaks creates a mysterious, one-of-a-kind mountain view that you will remember forever.
When you visit the ethereal Smoky Mountains, ensure you have enough time for rest and quiet contemplation. There are areas for picnics, nature walks, and hikes for when you want more reflective activities. Further, we recommend adding the Roaring Fork Trail, Cades Cove, and Abrams Fall Trail to your adventure itinerary. Later, when you want to step up the adventure, you can try a guided horseback ride or an exciting UTV tour!
Asheville, North Carolina
Distance: 4.5 hours
Great for: Mountains, city tours
When we talk about road trips from Atlanta, there is no better destination than Asheville! Asheville is an excellent option when you want to be close to the mountains and have a landing pad in a beautiful city. Asheville’s artsy and bohemian downtown keeps things interesting with a unique mix of modern and historic, sleepy and exciting. You can find all the food spots, live music, nightlife, and daytime activities that fit your ideal trip vibe!
Just a short drive away, you can find one of the most botanically diverse areas in the country. The nearby Blue Ridge Mountains are full of waterfalls, beautiful nature trails, and unique high-altitude species you can only find in these mountains.
Some great activities to consider include exploring Blue Ridge Parkway – a long, scenic drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains – walking through the heart of the city, and heading out on a luxury wine or brewery tour. Lastly, you can even try a unique foraging tour to safely identify, appreciate, and savor wild mushrooms, plants, and more.
Charleston, South Carolina
Distance: 3.5 hours
Great for: Coastal activities, city tours, food
Take a break and escape to the beach! Charleston is a perfect getaway for people who want a taste of coastal life without needing to book a flight. The cobblestone streets, lush greenery, and antebellum houses make this half-day drive a true escape to somewhere unique.
You can stroll along waterways and explore the city while you work up an appetite for some famous BBQ and other mouthwatering Southern flavors. Following, for some memory-making activities, you can take a boat tour, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage, walk the landscaped gardens of Middleton Place and snap some photos of Fort Sumter. There is a wide variety of activities to take on, and even a few days in this gorgeous town can feel like a well-rounded vacation.
No matter what direction you head from Atlanta, you will land in a beautiful area to enjoy a long weekend. If you end up in the Front Royal Area on your road trip from Atlanta, reach out to our team to plan an exciting or relaxing Shenandoah River adventure!