Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures

Georgia is home to outdoor adventures in the mountains or on the beach, great big cities and fabulous small towns, amazing resorts, and so much more. Whether it’s hunting alligators, digging for gold, riding into the sunset, watching a show, or just spending a lazy day on the beach  — Georgia has it all.

Need some vacation ideas for quick weekend getaways in GA? Here are 31+ fabulous weekend getaways in Georgia. The best part?  They’re all around five hours or less from your home in Atlanta!

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures

Blue Ridge Offers An Exciting Family Weekend Of Fun

Families come to Blue Ridge to disconnect from their worries and reconnect with each other. Cross a swinging bridge over the Toccoa River, or hike to stunning Long Creek Falls. Fill a penny-bag with old-fashioned candy at Huck’s General Store, stand with one foot in Georgia and the other in Tennessee at a stop on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, or mine for gems at Lilly Pad Village.


Blue Ridge Lake offers swimming, SUP, picnicking, camping or kayaking… or head into the forest to test your skills at horseback riding or ziplining! Adventure-seekers can take on whitewater rafting along class 3 or 4 rapids…and unhurried families can opt for a more leisurely pace on a pontoon boat float.

Cabins galore make roasting marshmallows a breeze when evening falls, or pack up the car and head to Swan Drive-In for a flick and some popcorn.

Making a lifetime of memories in Blue Ridge this weekend!

Address:
Blue Ridge, Georgia

Rest and recreation can fill a weekend in Awesome Alpharetta

Need to reconnect to your family, your partner or even yourself? Alpharetta, Georgia is the perfect weekend escape for whatever your getaway needs are. Treat yourself to retail therapy at any of the 250+ shops in a 5-mile radius. Sing your heart out at Ameris Bank Amphitheatre while your favorite act takes the stage, make a hole-in-one at The Back Nine at Fairway Social and travel the world culinary-style while dining in Alpharetta’s 200+ restaurants. Your weekend adventure awaits, find your guide here.

Address:
Alpharetta, Georgia

Milledgeville – Voted One of the Coolest Small Towns in America

As a college town and former 19th century capital of Georgia, Milledgeville is brimming with historic character, a vibrant downtown district, and outdoor adventure options for nature lovers of all ages. It’s so cool in fact that Milledgeville was featured as one of the coolest small town in America by Budget Travel magazine.

Just a short trip away from the hustle of Atlanta, Milledgeville offers authentic relaxation and outdoor recreation. Recreational enjoyment is abundant on Lake Sinclair while their downtown district is full of southern boutiques, historic antiques, and plenty of local eats.

Climb aboard ‘Milly’ the trolley for a guided tour of the charming destination, or grab your swim trunks and favorite rod for a splash in the waters of Lake Sinclair. After all, there’s more to Milledgeville.

Address:
Milledgeville, Georgia

TRY ONE OF THESE UNUSUAL WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN GA

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
Our family at Little St. Simons Island.

SOUTHERN CROSS GUEST RANCH

Southern Cross Guest Ranch is a horse farm and bed and breakfast outside Madison, Georgia.

At this ranch you'll learn to ride your horse, stay in amazing accommodations, enjoy other activities, and relax while the kitchen team prepares daily meals for you.

Beginner horseback riders can enjoy guided tours, while experienced riders can opt to travel the 6 miles of trails alone. In addition to the horses, my boys loved mountain biking in an empty pasture and riding up and down the hills.

Read More: Southern Cross Ranch: A Genuine Dude Ranch in Georgia

CANDLELIGHT FOREST

If you are looking for a getaway that offers plenty of great outdoor activities and has amazing accommodations, Candlelight Forest is calling your name.

Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, badminton, canoes and paddleboards, fishing, fire pits, guided nature walks, a grand treehouse, and more. We loved visiting with the Pygmy goats! Stay in one of their four accommodations: an amazing house, their lodge, or one of two treehouses. I loved staying one of the treehouses here with my kids!

Read More: Candlelight Forest: Georgia's Sweet Little Secret Getaway

LITTLE ST. SIMONS ISLAND

Little St. Simons Island is the perfect family getaway for anyone who loves nature, but hates camping.  The food here can compete with the best Atlanta restaurants, and there is always a cooler of adult beverages chilling on the porch.

Read More: Little St Simons Island: Tips, Tricks and Tidbits

TAKE A TREEHOUSE ADVENTURE

These treehouse rentals Georgia locals love are the best of the best, with options for families or date-night escapes. From romantic to rustic, from the city to the North Georgia Mountains…these selections make staying a treehouse super easy. (PS. You might also like these Georgia Glamping Adventures.)

Read More: 27 Best-of-the-Best Treehouse Rentals Georgia Locals Love

LEN FOOTE HIKE INN

The Hike Inn is an amazing place that is only accessible by a 5-mile hike. It is one of Georgia's MUST DO adventures. I've been half a dozen times, and I can't say enough good things about this rewarding experience.

Watching the sunrise, meeting new people, and enjoying the homemade meals at the community tables are my favorite parts.

Read More: “Hike Inn” To This Epic Fall Destination Perfect For Outdoor Families

GEORGIA STATE PARKS GETAWAYS

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
Courtesy of Georgia State Parks

STEPHEN C FOSTER STATE PARK

It's not just alligators that get kids excited about a trip to the Okefenokee Swamp -- although my kids were pretty pumped when we had a gator sighting. There are also boat trips and boardwalk trails. Families should enter at the Okefenokee Swamp Park, the northern entrance near Waycross. It has a small zoo and a railroad tour and is the most suitable for young families.

However, if you want to spend the night, Stephen C Foster State Park is the western entrance and the most remote part of the swamp. At the park’s office you can rent kayaks, canoes, boats and book guided tours on much larger craft during the day, at sunset, or -- for astronomy lovers -- experience some of their nighttime programs.

FDR STATE PARK

Horseback riding at FDR State Park was a highlight for one of our family adventures. We also love the hiking and cabins along the lake here.

FDR is close to Callaway Gardens too, which offers lots of family fun. The weirdly fabulous Pine Mountain Animal Safari is also nearby. This is where a giraffe tried to lick my then-toddler with his HUUUGGEE tongue leaving us all crying with laughter.

Read More: FDR State Park: 25 Ways to Explore & Enjoy this GA Treasure

CLOUDLAND CANYON STATE PARK

Cloudland Canyon is one of the most popular state parks in the Georgia state parks system, maybe because it's so close to Chattanooga, TN -- another fun, quick getaway.

In addition to hiking the trails at Cloudland Canyon State Park, we enjoyed going hang gliding at Lookout Mountain. Cloudland is also close to the always popular Rock City and Ruby Falls attractions. See more about Chattanooga here.

Read More: Discover Fun and Adventure at Cloudland Canyon State Park

HARD LABOR CREEK STATE PARK

Hard Labor Creek State Park has newly renovated cabins with beautiful rocking chair front porches. Enjoy the hiking, biking, and equestrian trails, play a round of golf, or enjoy a swim at the lakeside beach. We love geocaching with the kids here.

Hard Labor is close to Rutledge, Ga., an awesome small town with one stop sign, and two fantastic restaurants.

Read More: Hard Labor Creek State Park: An Affordable Family Resort

PROVIDENCE CANYON

Several years ago we took a Spring Break trip through southwest Georgia. It was a fun adventure that was built around a trip to Providence Canyon.

Providence Canyon is amazing, and I've since been back to visit many times! Hike to the bottom, explore the canyon, and let the kids get their feet wet. You won't see anything like this place anywhere else.

Read More: The Secrets of Providence Canyon Georgia’s Little Grand Canyon

SWEETWATER CREEK STATE PARK

Sweetwater Creek State Park is a wonderful oasis near Atlanta, and they have some cool new yurts, so you can make a weekend out of it! Hike along the river to the historic mill ruins -- it's a can't miss!

Be sure to take some time and visit the Interpretive Center. I enjoyed listening to the story of the mill's capture during the Civil War.

Read More: Sweetwater Creek State Park: Yurt Village Q&A and Hiking 41

AMICALOLA FALLS STATE PARK

Bring your walking shoes to Amicalola Falls State Park. You'll be hiking 620 steps to the summit – 175 to the viewing area and then another 445 to the top. But you'll be rewarded with beautiful views!  (Psst...you can drive to the top too!)

Make a weekend out of it by staying at the Amicalola Lodge, camping, or staying in one of their cabins.  And if you're up for even more adventure -- they offer ziplining too.

Read More: What You Need to Know about Hiking Beautiful Amicalola Falls

REED BINGHAM STATE PARK

Reed Bingham State Park is best enjoyed in the cooler months, when the gnats of south Georgia have been vanquished by the weather. This state park has camping, a lake beach, geocaching, mini golf, and a paddle-in island campsite!

Located just off I-75, we've stopped here a few times to get out and stretch our legs. The kids love the playgrounds here.

GEORGIA VETERANS STATE PARK

What makes Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park so unique is the opportunity to take a ride on the only roving Georgia State Park, the SAM Shortline train. We enjoyed the Peanut Express that went from Veterans to Plains and back, with a few stops like the Rural Telephone Museum in Leslie. Be sure to indulge in the peanut ice cream in Plains. Lake Blackshear Resort is the perfect place to stay when you visit.

Read More: 7 Reasons We Recommend A Ride On The SAM Shortline Train

PANOLA MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

Panola Mountain State Park is popular for its paved PATH Trail, tree climbing programs, and ranger-led hikes to the 100-acre granite outcrop. My son and I also really enjoyed the archery lessons here.

If you stay for the weekend, take a side trip to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, and the monastic heritage center.

Read More: Panola Mountain State Park & 10+ Superb Outdoor Adventures

BEACH ESCAPES

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
My son enjoying the early morning at Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island.

TYBEE ISLAND

Tybee Island is sometimes called Savannah Beach because it’s so close to the city. In fact, you could stay in Savannah and enjoy a city and sand vacation like we did recently. We love the beaches here! Don't be surprised if you see dolphins while you're out in the water. Make sure to climb to the top of the Tybee Lighthouse for epic views.

Make sure you visit the Wormsloe Historic Site and Forsyth Park while you're in Savannah.

Read More: 27 Relaxing & Fun Things To Do In Tybee Island On A Family Vacation

ST. SIMONS ISLAND

My favorite Georgia vacations are usually at St. Simons Island, probably because I’ve spent the most time there. The King and Prince is where you want to stay to be on the beach. They also have a great pool that overlooks the ocean, making it the best of both worlds!

Read More: St. Simons Island: An Insider's Guide to Stay, Eat & Play

SEA ISLAND

For the most luxurious vacation spots in Georgia, there is no better place than the Sea Island family of resorts. These award winning Forbes Five Diamond resorts offer something for everyone.  The Cloister at Sea Island is the flagship resort. If you love the idea of luxury, but your pocketbook isn't quite deep enough, consider a stay at The Inn at Sea Island. This hotel has the option of using the amenities at the swankier Sea Island resorts.

Read More: Luxury and Family Memories Define The Cloister at Sea Island

JEKYLL ISLAND

Once the playground of America's wealthiest citizens, Jekyll Island is now a favorite family friendly historic city and beach destination. My niece loves to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center, but I'm a bit partial to the less flashy Tidelands Nature Center. Jekyll also has some of the best bike paths, awesome shops, and a great mini golf course.

Read More: Jekyll Island GA: Protected Coastal Beauty with Resort Fun

QUICK GETAWAYS IN BIG TOWNS AND SMALL

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
My boys cannot get enough of the Georgia Aquarium.

DOWNTOWN ATLANTA

If museums and attractions are your idea of a great weekend, then you'll want to stay in Downtown Atlanta. The Omni CNN Center is the perfect location for a weekend of fun visiting the Georgia Aquarium, The World of Coca-ColaThe Children's Museum of Atlanta, and Centennial Olympic Park. For the truly adventurous, book a swim with the whale sharks package at the Aquarium.

Read More: 29 Reasons Your Family Will Love Exploring Downtown Atlanta

MILLEDGEVILLE

You’ve probably heard Milledgeville, GA, referred to as Georgia’s Antebellum Capital. And while that is a fair assessment, it is so much more. If you love exploring the outdoors while taking in a bit of Georgia’s history, this is just the spot! Soak up the sun at Lake Sinclair, bike along the Oconee River, tour the historic district filled with culture and art (or Central State Hospital!!) , and see the surprises offered on the Georgia College campus. 

Read More: 21 Undeniable Reasons Your Family Should Visit Blissful Milledgeville, Ga

ATHENS

Go Dawgs!  Home to the University of Georgia, there is so much more to Athens than just football.  (Although, the football is pretty great.) Visit the tree that owns itself, catch a concert at the Georgia Theatre or 40 Watt, take your kids to enjoy the new play area at the Botanical Garden of Georgia (it's free!), ride your bike down the North Oconee River Greenway, and visit the Farmer's Market at Bishop Park on the weekends.

Read More: The Best Things To Do In Athens, Ga For An Exciting Weekend

AUGUSTA

There are so many awesome things to do in Augusta, it makes for a great weekend getaway, even when The Masters aren't going on.

My favorite place to visit in Augusta is the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area. You can take a ride along the canal and children can get a taste of what life was like for kids in the factories by seeing how fast they can replace the spools on the manufacturing line. At the Woodrow Wilson house, see if you can find the “Tom” etched in the window.

Read More: The BEST things to do in Augusta, Ga: A Weekend Itinerary

COLUMBUS

To say I was surprised by all Columbus, Georgia, has to offer is an understatement. I was absolutely blown away. My boys and I had such a fabulous time here that we're still talking about our rafting adventure with Whitewater Express and our dinner at 11th and Bay is still at the top of our list of favorites. Leave some time for the National Infantry Museum -- which, bonus -- is free!

Read More: 21+ Things To Do in Columbus, GA You Will Love (With Lots of Freebies!)

MACON

This middle Georgia town is filled with history, beauty, and so many things to do!  Now that I have my own kids, we frequently stop here for visits on our way to visit my parents.  Macon has beautiful parks, awesome museums, some really cool historical buildings, and some annual festivals that are not to be missed!

Read More: Your Complete Guide To The Best Things To Do In Macon, GA

FUN WEEKEND GETAWAYS IN GA MOUNTAINS

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures
We love Blue Ridge!

DAHLONEGA

It's been several years since we did the Gold Tour in Dahlonega, GA, but my kids still talk about how much fun they had.  Summer is a great time to go down into a mine as it's always cool down there. The town square in Dahlonega is a great place to shop at the general store and grab an ice cream cone. If you'd like a more active adventure, try tubing the Chestatee.

Read More: 9+ Amazing Dahlonega Wineries You’ll Definitely ‘Cheers’ For

BLUE RIDGE

Ready to enjoy the Blue Ridge Mountains? The fall foliage may bring most people to Blue Ridge, GA, but this mountain town is a great place to visit pretty much anytime. We recommend the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway for your next visit.  And stay at one of these cabins, eat at one of these restaurants, or hike to one of these waterfalls while you're there!  There is so much to do in Blue Ridge -- you'll need to come back  over and over again.

Read More: 50+ Best Adventurous Things To Do In Blue Ridge GA

BARNSLEY RESORT

Take I-75 north toward Chattanooga and you'll find Barnsley Resort in Adairsville.  This resort has it all -- beautiful accommodations, great dining, a spa, and lots of outdoor adventure.  You'll find horseback riding, clay shooting, fly fishing, canoeing and kayaking, and so much more.  After all that outdoor recreation, you must visit their spa to relax and unwind.  It's a great romantic weekend getaway, only an hour north of Atlanta.

Looking for more weekend getaways? Here are 51+ of the Best Family Weekend Getaways in the Southeast!

HELEN

There are so many things to do in Helen, GA, and it ranks among our favorite North Georgia Mountain towns because of the number of outdoor adventures. In addition to great hiking trails and waterfalls, this Bavarian village has delicious restaurants, tubing in the summers, amazing festivals (like Oktoberfest and their holiday offerings), adorable downtown shops, mini golf, and so much more.

Read More: 39+ Best Things To Do In Helen GA for Alpine Fun

BRASSTOWN VALLEY RESORT & SPA

Nestled in the North Georgia Mountains, Brasstown Valley Resort & Spa redefines the typical mountain getaway. You'll find the beauty and natural splendor of idyllic Blue Ridge Mountain rentals without compromising the myriad amenities of a mountain golf resort and spa. Lodging and dining, championship golf, stables, a full-service spa, and a wide range of outdoor activities for the whole family are waiting for you.

Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures

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Weekend Getaways in GA: 31+ Awesome Drivable Adventures