12 Day Trips from Atlanta

If you're anything like me, you're always looking for something fun to do on your days off from work. My husband teases me because I always want to do something "different." Well YEAH. While it's nice to visit our hometown hiking trails, bars, restaurants, etc., it's also exciting to go somewhere new and have a little mini vacation for the day. Below you'll find 12 day trips you can easily take from the metro Atlanta area (in no particular order). I've done most of these and the ones I haven't done are certainly on my day-trip bucket list. Enjoy!


1. Brasstown Bald

~2 hours from downtown Atlanta


Brasstown Bald is the highest point in Georgia at 4,784 feet. Since this is a major tourist attraction for Georgia, it is easily accessible by car. You can drive almost to the top and get a shuttle all the way to top if you would like OR you can take an easy 0.5 mile hike up from the parking lot. The visitor center at the top offers 360 views. On a clear day, you can see 4 states! The entry fee is $5/person ($3 for those 16 and younger). Click here for more information about their hours, directions, etc.


I've lived in Georgia my whole life and only just visited Brasstown Bald a few months ago and it did not disappoint. We were lucky to visit on a beautiful and clear day in November and were able to see the skyline of Atlanta.



2. Yonah Mountain & Tantrum Brewery

~1.5 hours from downtown Atlanta


Yonah Mountain and Tantrum Brewery are both excellent on their own. However, my husband and I recently drove up for the day to hike Yonah and then went to Tantrum after for a snack and a flight of craft beers and I have to say, it was a pretty great pairing. This hike is definitely not easy, but if I can do it, you can too! I will admit, I had to take a few breaks along the way. This trail is about 4 miles (out and back).


Tantrum Brewing Company is just down the street and offers excellent beer (obviously), fun games, a HUGE outdoor space, and is dog friendly.


PS - If you prefer wine over beer, Yonah Mountain Vineyard is also just down the street!



3. Chattanooga

~1 hour, 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta


Chattanooga is a growing city with so many fun things to offer. Spend the day touring Ruby Falls, Rock City, the Tennessee Aquarium, or just roam around by the river or pop into some local restaurants and bars for the day!



4. Bell Mountain

~2 hours from downtown Atlanta


Bell Mountain sits just South of Tennessee border and offers incredible views of Lake Chatuge. In my opinion, the coolest part about this mountain (aside from the glorious views) is the fact that you can drive all the way up to the top! Once you get to the top, there are some stairs you can climb to get even higher.


5. Providence Canyon State Park

~2 hours, 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta


Providence Canyon State Park is one of those that has been on my day-trip bucket list for SO long! It is sometimes known as "Georgia's Little Grand Canyon" and I have heard great things. The hike to Providence Canyon is 2.5 miles and takes approximately 2 hours. There is a $5 parking fee here. Also, this trail is dog friendly! Click here for operating hours and more information.



6. Highlands, NC

~2 hours, 20 minutes from downtown Atlanta


Don't let the over-2-hour distance deter you. Half the fun of heading up to Highlands is the scenic drive through Chattahoochee National Forest. There are several overlooks you can pull off into along the way. I would definitely recommend checking out Dry Falls just outside Highlands, it's gorgeous! Plus, you can walk behind the waterfall which was super neat.


Stop in Highlands for lunch in this charming small town before heading back. Pro tip: I would recommend visiting on a Saturday. We went on a Sunday and lots of places were closed.



7. Athens

~1 hour, 15 minutes from downtown Atlanta


While I did not go to UGA, I can appreciate the beauty of this charming, amazing, unique town. It has so much to offer. Go to a football game, eat amazing food, attend a festival, and more!



8. Lake Lanier

~50 minutes from downtown Atlanta


Lake Lanier is a gorgeous, man-made lake in the suburbs of Atlanta. (Actually, practically in my backyard!) There are tons of entry points into the lake and lots of places you rent boats, jet skis, and other fun water toys from. You could also just go



9. Vogel State Park

~1 hour, 45 minutes from downtown Atlanta


Vogel State Park is a beautiful park complete with a lake, waterfall, and great views. Located in Blairsville, it is very easy to get to and you will enjoy a scenic drive on the way there. The lake has an easy, flat trail around the perimeter and there is a beautiful waterfall tucked away behind the back of the lake. That trail is part of a 4-mile trail loop called Bear Hair Gap Trail which leads up to the peak of the mountain for gorgeous views overlooking the lake.



10. Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino - Murphy, NC

~2 hours from downtown Atlanta


I am not ashamed to admit that I love some roulette. That's pretty much where I spend my time (and money...) at casinos, but this Harrah's has everything you could want in a casino. We have only been to here once, but it was such a fun change of pace. There is also a hotel and restaurants onsite if you want to make a night (or weekend!) out of it.



11. Helen

~1.5 hours from downtown Atlanta


Helen is a cute, Bavarian-style town nestled in the mountains of Northeast Georgia. Visit during the Summer to go tubing down the river or visit during Fall for their epic Oktoberfest.



12. Callaway Gardens

~1.5 hours from downtown Atlanta


Callaway Gardens is another one of my bucket list places. For a low-key stroll-around-the-gardens type of day, this is an amazing choice. They also have an incredible spa so that's an added bonus. Click here for more information.



Until next time!

Jess



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