Where to go on a road trip from Atlanta

The city of Atlanta is packed full of exciting things to do, but sometimes you need to experience something different. Fortunately, there are plenty of incredible destinations just a short drive out from the city whether you're looking for another town or just want to get lost in scenic nature. Discover the top 10 best destinations for a road trip from Atlanta.

1. Explore the gateway to the Smokies in Gatlinburg

Driving time from Atlanta: 4 hours Distance from Atlanta: 190 miles

The city of Gatlinburg in Tennessee is known as the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains, and it's a popular destination for road trips from Atlanta. While the area provides plenty of opportunities to enjoy what the mountains have to offer, the city itself is also home to plenty of attractions such as breweries and specialty shops selling country-style crafts.

2. Explore the beaches of Alabama's Gulf Shores

Driving time from Atlanta: 5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 350 miles

The city of Gulf Shores is the premier destination for travelers on road trips from Atlanta looking for white-sand beaches and a relaxing atmosphere. These beaches are remarkably refined and made from fine quartz grains, and the turquoise waters offer a fun swimming experience suitable for the whole family. For more relaxation, you can hit up one of the local golf courses.

3. Visit a seaside paradise at Hilton Head Island

Driving time from Atlanta: 4 hours Distance from Atlanta: 280 miles

When your road trip from Atlanta takes you to Hilton Head Island, you can enjoy a relaxing and refined experience with high-end beaches and an array of golf courses in the area. Of course, you can also partake in high-energy water sports or explore the region via kayak. The sheer beauty of the area makes it a favorite for those looking for a romantic getaway.

4. Relax along the Atlantic Coast in Myrtle Beach

Driving time from Atlanta: 5.5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 360 miles

Road trips from Atlanta to Myrtle Beach have been popular for decades, and that's no accident. You'll find 60 miles of coastline here where you can enjoy the soft sands and the waves of the Atlantic. Of course, South Carolina is known for its Southern hospitality, and Myrtle Beach embodies that perfectly with a welcoming atmosphere and satisfying local seafood.

5. Explore the Music City of Nashville

Driving time from Atlanta: 3.5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 240 miles

Nashville is the capital and most populous city of Tennessee, but there's far more to see than just the city. A road trip from Atlanta will put you in a position to enjoy Music City with extensive museums and live musical performances available all year long that cater to all different kinds of tastes.

6. Visit the land of the sky in Asheville

Driving time from Atlanta: 3.5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 190 miles

If your Atlanta road trip takes you to North Carolina, be sure to stop in Asheville. The city itself is packed with exciting attractions like parks, performance venues, and restaurants, but the star here is the surrounding nature. You can embark on day hikes through vibrant grassland and mountains and even spot breathtaking waterfalls. Of course, a drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway can do much of the same.

7. Enjoy the historical splendor of Tybee Island

Driving time from Atlanta: 4 hours Distance from Atlanta: 260 miles

Tybee Island is one of the most popular vacation destinations in Georgia, especially if you're embarking on a road trip from Atlanta. After a short drive, you'll find yourself close to comfortable clean beaches with gentle waves perfect for the whole family. Tybee Island is a place where you can go and relax to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with plenty of sun and comfort food to enjoy.

8. Find entertainment for everyone on Saint Simons Island

Driving time from Atlanta: 4.5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 310 miles

At Saint Simons Island, you'll find the ultimate beachfront destination for your road trip from Atlanta. This island town offers fabulous beaches, golfing opportunities, and spas and salons. One of the more exciting offerings is the fishing. You can charter a boat to venture out into the water for some serious catches.

9. Escape the city in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Driving time from Atlanta: 4.5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 230 miles

Travelers seeking to get away from the city on a road trip from Atlanta are sure to appreciate the Blue Ridge Mountains. Among this mountain range, you'll find seemingly endless outdoor adventure with opportunities for hiking trails to find waterfalls, bike trails, and boating in local lakes. Of course, you can also enjoy the craft breweries and popular arts and crafts shops.

10. Discover the gem capital of Franklin

Driving time from Atlanta: 2.5 hours Distance from Atlanta: 120 miles

Known as the gem capital of the world, Franklin, North Carolina, is a modest town that's small in size but has plenty to offer. The town itself features fun shops and delicious Southern-style restaurants, while the surrounding nature areas are pristine. You'll find opportunities for hiking, gem mining, and seeing waterfalls.


Explore top kid-friendly destinations for a road trip from Atlanta with our family destination guides