Last Updated on September 4, 2023 by Laura
Atlanta has no shortage of world-class art galleries, sporting events, and fantastic dining. But it’s also in the heart of the American South, making it a perfect base to explore some of the region’s top destinations.
Fabulous Road Trips from Atlanta
Lake Oconee, Georgia
84 miles / 1 hr. 20 mins.
Take I-20 E out of the capital to GA-44 W, and you’ll be transported to a tranquil scene in Lake Oconee, located halfway between Atlanta and Augusta. This lake town is a favorite Georgia summertime destination where the livin’ is easy. Look for an epic lineup of public events—like evening jazz concerts—plus fascinating historic sites. Foodies will love Lake Oconee’s smoked wing and barbecue joints.
Greenville, South Carolina
145 miles / 2.5 hrs.
Cross state lines to Greenville, South Carolina—one of the country’s fastest growing cities. From Atlanta, you’ll take I-85 N for 2.5 hours. In Greenville, you’ll find a Main Street abuzz with stylish boutiques, farm-to-table restaurants, chic galleries, and trend-defining boutique hotels. Don’t miss the Greenville County Museum of Art, with works by Southern artists spanning several centuries. Nature lovers will love Falls Park on the Reedy for its riverside gardens, suspension bridge, and waterfall views. >> Recommended hotels in Greenville
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
196 miles / 3 hrs. 45 min.
In just under four hours from Atlanta via US-23 N and US-441 N, you’ll find yourself in America’s most visited National Park. It’s popular for good reason: Great Smoky Mountains National Park is celebrated for its biodiversity, the beauty of its ancient mountains, and its Southern Appalachian mountain culture. The range straddles the Tennessee–North Carolina border. Stay in Gatlinburg for easy access to thousands of miles of hiking trails, horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and views upon views. >> Recommended hotels in Gatlinburg
248 miles / 4 hrs.
Once you arrive via US-23 N and US-441 N, ditch the car to make the most of charming Savannah, which is lined with cobblestone streets that are remarkably pedestrian-friendly. This coastal Southern escape lures visitors with its 300-year history, an award-winning culinary scene, preserved period architecture, shady oak trees, and impeccably manicured parks. Nearby, nature-lovers can get their fix with the hiking and stunning views on Tybee and Whitemarsh Islands. >> Recommended hotels in Savannah
250 miles / 4 hrs.
From Atlanta, take I-75 N and I-24 W: In under four hours you’ll reach bustling Nashville. Music City is home to legendary music performances—ranging from country to bluegrass to pop—with bars and venues hosting shows every night of the week. Seeing a live show is a must for all who visit Nashville, and music lovers can dive deeper into the city’s rich history at the Musicians Hall of Fame or the National Museum of African American Music. Foodies will thrill their taste buds sampling the city’s famous hot chicken, biscuits, and Tennessee whiskey. >> Recommended hotels in Nashville