Momma Wanderlust - Curating Cultural Travels for Families

Best Day Trips from Atlanta

by Tykesha77
(Last Updated On: January 20, 2024)

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Looking for the best day trips from Atlanta? Well, there are plenty of great destinations just a quick road trip away.

As Georgia’s capital city and the most populous city in the state, Atlanta is a vibrant city with tons of exciting things to do and see. But if you’re looking to add a side trip to your Atlanta itinerary. there are plenty of great options for day trips from Atlanta within a 4-hour drive.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend of museum hopping, history, live music, outdoor adventures, this list has something for every type of traveler.

Here are the best day trips from Atlanta, GA:

Macon, GA

Downtown Macon GA

Distance: 1 hour and 20 minutes by car

What to Do: Explore Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park, Catch a Show at the Douglass Theatre or Theatre Macon, Go Museum Hopping at Gems like Hay House, Tubman Museum, and the Allman Brothers Museum

Where to Eat: H&H Soul Food (Georgia’s most iconic restaurant), Nu-Way Weiners for their famous hot dogs, Christian’s Fine Cuisine for date night

 Where to Stay: 1842 Inn, Hotel Forty Five, TownePlace Suites by Marriott Macon Mercer University

Why Visit: Macon is known as one of the birthplaces of Soul and Southern Rock, has a fantastic soul food scene, and boasts a wide array of historic sites to explore.

Chattanooga, TN

aerial image of the chattanooga, tn skyline

Distance: 1 hour and 50 minutes by car

What to Do: Stroll along the Riverwalk, Hike to the top of Lookout Mountain, Visit the Tennessee Aquarium, Take in the Views from the Walnut Street Bridge, Explore the Raccoon Mountain Caverns 

Where to Eat: Milk and Honey for the best breakfast in Chattanooga, Food Works for Southern classics, Boathouse for romantic river views

Where to Stay:  Chattanooga Choo Choo, The Chattanoogan Hotel by Hilton, Embassy Suites Chattanooga Hamilton Place

Why Visit: With sweeping mountain views and ample hiking trails, Chattanooga is an outdoors lover’s paradise. The city also boasts a 13-mile Riverwalk with a plethora of family-friendly attractions along the way. There are plenty of annual events for year-round fun.

Augusta, GA

image of augusta, ga city square

Distance: 2 hours and 15 minutes by car

What to Do: Visit the Augusta Museum of History, Explore the Augusta Riverwalk, Hike at the Phinizy Swamp Nature Park, Catch a show at the Miller Theater, Check out the childhood home of Woodrow Wilson 

Where to Eat: Frog Hollow Tavern for date night, Honey from the Rock Cafe for brunch, The Juicy Crab for the best low country boil in town

Where to Stay: Olde Town Inn, Hyatt House Augusta/Downtown, Lookaway Inn

Why Visit: While Augusta is best known as the home of the Masters Golf Tournament, the laidback city has much more to offer. Birthplace of the legendary James Brown, Augusta is a vibrant city with a thriving music and arts scene. There are family-friendly festivals throughout the year and tons of scenic hiking trails to explore.

Charlotte, NC

image of downtown Charlotte, NC cityscape

Distance: 4 hours by car

What to Do: Go to the US National Whitewater Center for outdoor adventures galore, Visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Catch a game at the Bank of America Stadium, See a show at the Belk Theater

 Where to Eat: Optimist Hall for endless dining options, Fahrenheit for stellar city views, Leah and Louise for award-winning Southern cuisine

Where to Stay: The Ivey’s Hotel, The Ballantyne, Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel

Why Visit: Charlotte is home to three major league sports teams (Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, and Charlotte FC) and has a thriving cultural scene with tons of great options for dining, art, theater, and outdoor activities.

Montgomery, AL

main street in Montgomery, AL

Distance: 2 hours and 20 minutes by car

What to Do: Check out the Montgomery Zoo, Explore the National Museum for Peace and Justice, Enjoy the art at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, Visit the iconic Rosa Parks Library and Museum

Where to Eat: Central Restaurant for fine dining, Dreamland BBQ for mouthwatering ribs, Wharf for seafood in a relaxed setting.

Where to Stay: Renaissance Montgomery Hotel, Hampton Inn & Suites Montgomery-EastChase, Smith-Byrd House Bed and Breakfast

Why Visit: Montgomery boasts a diverse range of historic sites, museums, parks, family-friendly attractions, and a thriving arts scene. Most notably, it was once the center of the Civil Rights Movement and is a wonderful place to learn more about one of the most impactful times in US history.

Nashville, TN

Nashville, TN at night


Distance: 4 hours by car 

What to Do: Hit up the honky-tonks on Broadway, Take in a show at the Grand Ole Opry, Explore the Country Music Hall of Fame, Check out the Johnny Cash Museum, Visit the Famous Gardens at the Gaylord Opryland Resort

Where to Eat: Josephine for brunch, City House for Sunday supper, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken for the best fried chicken in Nashville

Where to Stay: Graduate Nashville, Dream Nashville, Margaritaville Hotel Nashville

Why Visit: Nashville is world-famous as a country music destination and the birthplace of Bluegrass music. The thriving city is filled with exciting things to do, fantastic nightlife, and an exquisite culinary scene with some of the country’s best fried chicken.

Athens, GA

downtown Athens, georgia at night. In the image is one empty street lined by trees.

Distance: 1 hour and 20 minutes by car

What to Do: Admire the collection at the Gerogia Museum of Art, Enjoy the Outdoors at Sandy Creek Park, Catch a show at the historic Georgia Theatre, Stroll through the vibrant Downtown Athens

Where to Eat: home.made for locally-sourced dishes, White Tiger Athens for delicious BBQ, Five and Ten for upscale dining

Where to Stay: Hotel Indigo Athens Downtown, Hyatt Place Athens/Downtown, Graduate Athens

Why Visit: Outside of Atlanta, Athens is one of the most prominent cultural hubs in Georgia. The city is home to a broad range of historic sites, museums, theaters, nature centers and parks, breweries, and restaurants. There’s plenty to do whether you’re visiting Athens with kids, your partner, or on your own.

As you can see, Atlanta is within close proximity to tons of lively cities that you can travel to by car. If you’re in need of a weekend getaway and want to plan a short trip from Atlanta, you can’t go wrong with any of these fabulous destinations.

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