Short Breaks And Weekend Getaways From Atlanta

Living in The South’s most happening city and looking for an Atlanta weekend getaway? Here’s a guide to short break destinations near Atlanta, Georgia. But first, find the best deal on Atlanta rental cars here.

Scenic roadway along the Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia near Shenandoah National Park.
The scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway near Shenandoah National Park makes your weekend as escape.

A fair climate greets those who live near Atlanta, so many families make vacation decisions dreaming about snow-covered mountains or white sand beaches. And with so many airlines serving the Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport (the country’s busiest), there are cheap fares available to many destinations that provide snow or sun.

The priorities for a family weekend, however, are different than a vacation. Tucked in the northwest corner of Georgia between the sunny states of South Carolina and Florida, Atlanta is just too far away from the Atlantic Coast (think Sea Island, Golden Isles, Savannah) and the Gulf Coast (Gulf Shores, Alabama) to make a beach getaway practical for a two-day weekend. Same goes for the nearest ski resort.

But first….

Staycations For Atlanta Families

Explore the Center for Civil and Human Rights, a must-see attraction for all ages in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Dustin Chambers for CityPASS.
Explore the Center for Civil and Human Rights, a must-see attraction for all ages in Atlanta, Georgia. Photo by Dustin Chambers for CityPASS.

Have you considered hanging out at home or checking into a local motel and sightseeing? Many families are too busy with school and work to get to know their city like a tourist would. In fact, we can make an easy staycation even easier for you to plan. Want a mobile pass with 42% discounts on the top Atlanta attractions?

An Atlanta CityPASS gives you nine days to use admissions to five top attractions in the city. For 2024, rates are $94 for adults and $74 for children ages 3-12

  • Georgia Aquarium
  • World of Coca-Cola
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • Plus, your choice of any two of the following:
    • Fernbank Museum of Natural History
    • Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
    • National Center for Civil and Human Rights

Short Breaks & Weekend Getaways From Metro Atlanta

If your family is looking for a short break holiday, a cheap vacation package, a fun last-minute detour on your road trip, or a weekend Atlanta getaway from everyday routines, here are some of the choices we discovered within a 200-mile radius of the Atlanta metropolitan area.

Atlanta Weekend Getaways in Nearby Georgia

Summer fireworks display over Lake Lanier. Photo c. Lake Lanier Resort.
Summer fireworks display over Lake Lanier. Photo c. Lake Lanier Resort.

Rocking the Night Away in Macon
A mom takes the family back to her old stomping grounds in Middle Georgia, and discovers more than just memories in the heart of the Peach State.

Aw Shucks! Autumn Adventures in a Major Corn Maze
In less than an hour you could be at a 20-acre corn maze, celebrating the autumn harvest together. Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch welcomes all ages during the day and in October, at night, gets seriously scary for haunted house fans.

A Wild Weekend in Northern Georgia
If your family loves to whitewater raft, hike, rappel or hang gliding, this scenic area around Dawsonville could be your next road trip.

Atlanta Weekend Getaways in Nearby Alabama

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama
Montgomery’s Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Dr. Martin Luther King once preached, welcomes visitors to its lower level.

Montgomery Confronts the Legacy of Racism
Montgomery is much more than leisure and sightseeing. It’s also a modern metropolis whose Civil Rights history and exploration of Black America turn this charming city into an important, compelling trip for the whole family.

Have a Blast in Huntsville, Alabama 
Head to the “Rocket City” where anyone can feel like an astronaut for a day by visiting the US SPace and Rocket Center and other local attractions.

Atlanta Weekend Getaways in Tennessee

Woman in wheelchair and children look at the Ridges to Rivers exhibit at the Tennessee Aqaurium in Chatanooga. Photo c. Tennessee Aquarium
Join Chatanooga’s Spring Break Safari and explore the “Ridges to Rivers” exhibit at the Tennessee Aqaurium in Chatanooga. Photo c. Tennessee Aquarium

Chattanooga, Tennessee
There’s more than a choo-choo train in Chattanooga, a city that has reinvented itself to become a magnet for families seeking interesting attractions for kids of all ages.

Nashville is Fun for All Ages 
Even if your children–from the tiniest of travelers to teens–are not yet fans of country music, they can enjoy a visit to Nashville and enjoy its musical roots.

Great Smoky Mountain Retreat
Explore the natural beauty of Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains National Park, as well as other attractions from Dollywood to Sevierville.

Atlanta Weekend Getaways in The Carolinas

A hybrid wood and steel roller coaster thrills fans at Six Flags Over Georgia. Photo c. Six Flags
A hybrid wood and steel roller coaster thrills fans at Six Flags Over Georgia. Photo c. Six Flags

Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip
Running from Virginia south and west to the Carolinas, the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of America’s most scenic drives.

An Asheville Weekend Getaway
Known for its great leaf-watching, historic mansion tours, and free music festivals, this western North Carolina city makes a great scenic family cultural getaway.

Get great rates on Atlanta hotels and more at Booking.com

Favorite Family Resorts in Georgia

Aerial view of Lake Lanier with the wave pool at the Lake Lanier Resort and busy beach area. Photo c. Lake Lanier Resort
Aerial view of Lake Lanier with the wave pool at the Lake Lanier Resort and busy beach area. Photo c. Lake Lanier Resort

Family Travel Forum has covered the top Atlanta region family resorts. These are all perfect for a real vacation from the everyday life in Atlanta.

Lake Lanier Island Resort
This fully developed private island within an hour of Atlanta transports families into their own picture-perfect world for a weekend getaway from daily life.

Callaway Gardens & Bungalows
Reunite in Pine Mountain, where nature adventures and landscaped gardens provide activities for all ages in summer, and holiday lights touring in winter.

Brunswick & Golden Isles of Georgia
No matter your age or interest, the Golden Isles of Sea Island, Jekyll Island, St. Simon’s and the surrounding towns provide outdoors fun and animal adventures for your next vacation.
For hotel options in Atlanta or near the airport, try the IHG Hotel Group for best rate guarantees. For more travel savings, get a discount with Priceline.

Day Trip Itineraries

Macon, Georgia

Start your day exploring the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, discover the rich musical heritage at the Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House, and enjoy a delightful Southern meal downtown.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Get hands-on at the creative Discovery Museum, take in stunning views aboard the Incline Railway, and immerse yourself in underwater wonders at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Asheville, North Carolina

Explore the magnificent Biltmore Estate, hike to waterfalls in the scenic Pisgah National Forest, and browse unique shops and galleries in the vibrant downtown area.

Seasonal Activities

Spring

Catch a colorful festival like Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival. Explore Atlanta’s gardens like the renowned Atlanta Botanical Garden. Hike blossoming trails in destinations like Amicalola Falls State Park.

Summer

Cool off at waterparks like Six Flags White Water near Atlanta. Seek adventure rafting on the Ocoee River in Tennessee. Go tubing in Helen, Georgia, located in the North Georgia mountains.

Fall

Admire the stunning foliage of the Blue Ridge Parkway with a scenic drive. Get lost in a corn maze at Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch. Embark on a weekend of apple-picking in the North Georgia mountains.

Winter

Enjoy festive light displays at Callaway Gardens’ Fantasy in Lights. Experience the holiday magic of Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Hit the slopes of a nearby ski area if there’s enough snowfall.

Budget-Friendly Tips

Accommodation: Consider camping at state parks, staying in vacation rentals, or seeking out budget-friendly motels for affordable overnights.

Transportation: Look for carpool options, utilize public transportation when available, or bundle flights with hotel stays for potential package discounts.

Activities: Choose free or low-cost attractions like parks, hiking trails, museums with free admission days, and seasonal festivals.

Atlanta’s strategic location makes it an ideal starting point for a variety of weekend getaways. Whether you’re seeking the charm of nearby cities, the natural beauty of national parks, or the thrill of amusement parks, there’s something for every family within a short drive. With so many options available, planning your next escape is just a matter of choosing your preferred adventure.

Remember, weekend getaways don’t have to break the bank. With careful planning and by taking advantage of discounts and deals, you can create unforgettable memories without exceeding your budget. So pack your bags, hit the road, and explore the wonders that await just beyond Atlanta’s borders.

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