Whether you’re seeking sandy beaches or shady mountains, the Peach State has it all for a weekend trip.
When in need of a break from the day-to-day grind, nothing beats a weekend getaway. Thanks to its busy airport and five major geographical regions ranging from the Blue Ridge to the coastal plains, Georgia offers a variety of escapes from quaint towns and beachside communities to historic cities. The best part? These destinations each offer their own Southern charm. Below are a few top choices for weekend getaways in Georgia.
Often described as one of the most charming places to celebrate the holidays in the South, this north Georgia mountain town is an ideal year-round destination. It was the site of the first major U.S. Gold Rush, and today its hills are better known for liquid gold—wine. Dahlonega serves as the heart of Georgia’s wine country with award winning wineries such as Wolf Mountain Vineywards providing guests with sweeping views and tasty beverages. The surrounding Chattahoochee National Forest presents 22 hiking trails including some around Amicalola Falls where a waterfall plunges 729-feet.
Escape to Germany without ever leaving Georgia in the state’s own Alpine Village. The Bavarian-inspired community rests in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains making it an ideal spot for a cool escape. Beyond quaint German buildings, you’ll find loads of shopping and plenty of outdoor activities. Unicoi State Park is immediately northeast of Helen. There, find twelve miles of trails to be trekked, or head to Anna Ruby Falls for an awesome view of cascading water. This area is also well-known for its wine region. Book a tour with VIP Southern Tours to visit several vineyards in one day before resting at Valhalla Resort. As you head home,, stop for a souvenir from Nora Mill Granary, a 1876 grist mill which still uses the original 1,500-pound French Burr Mill Stones powered by the Chattahoochee River to create grits, flour, and more.
There’s more to the home of the University of Georgia than meets the eye. It’s a funky town with a strong energy. Composed of several small neighborhoods like Five Points, Normaltown, and Boulevard, Athens maintains a small-town charm despite its population of nearly 130,000.
Don’t underestimate a tour of the university’s grounds which includes landmarks like the Arch and the Chapel on North Campus. From there, grab a bite at one of the town’s several chef-driven restaurants such as Puma Yu’s for small plate Thai food by Chef Pete Amadhanirundr or Mimi Maumus’s Home.Made for sandwiches before enjoying live music at the iconic Georgia Theatre. Rest your head at AthBnB, a boutique bed and breakfast in the heart of the Five Points neighborhood, and don’t skip a little shopping at Agora Vintage. Here, Airee Edwards curates a coveted collection of designer handbags, clothing, and accessories.
It comes as no surprise that Georgia’s capital city is among our top suggestions for a weekend getaway. On any given weekend, you can find festivals, concerts, sporting events, and more all within a few miles of each other. Add that to historic sites such as The King Center and museums like The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and it’s the perfect destination. Other attractions include the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Botanical Garden, College Football Hall of Fame, Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coca-Cola. There are ample accommodations for any budget or neighborhood locale, and the shopping and dining scene is unmatched. Spend a day in Clarkston or on Buford Highway to experience global cuisine, no airplane required.
Barnsley Resort is nestled in Adairsville, just a little over 60 miles from Atlanta. Here you'll find yourself seemingly worlds away at a sprawling yet cozy retreat that seamlessly blends luxury with pastoral beauty. This vast 3,000-acre property boasts a Jim Fazio-designed golf course, the renowned Beretta Shooting Grounds, picturesque horseback riding trails, fishing spots, and a spa. Among its treasures are historic ruins and lush gardens, along with multiple dining options and inviting communal fire pits. Choose to stay in a private luxury cottage or in the 55-room inn.
Whether you’re taking your kids on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway or taking in the rolling landscapes at Mercier Orchards, Blue Ridge is a breathtaking weekend getaway. Stay in the heart of the quaint downtown at the Hampton Inn where you are just steps away from shops such as home and accessories boutique Canoe and fly-fishing outpost Oyster Fine Bamboo Rods and restaurants like The Black Sheep housed in a circa 1914 home. There are also ample home rentals in the area with plenty of bedrooms for the entire family. Take everyone to see a movie at the Swan Drive-In which has been in operation since 1955.
Expereince the beauty of Georgia’s Golden Isles at Sea Island. Here, you are surrounded by lush landscaping, five miles of private beaches, and peaceful salt marshes. Spend the morning on the pickleball courts or golf course before dipping into the five-star spa for ultimate relaxation. Book a history tour with the onsite historian, get-up at dawn for sea turtle patrol, or take a hawk walk with a falconer. Dine on American classics or impeccable sushi at the recently renovated Georgian Rooms. Still looking to fill your time? There’s even more to see on nearby St. Simons.
Columbus has long been celebrated as a premier destination for watersports and thrilling outdoor activities. It is home to the world’s longest urban whitewater course, a 2.5-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River. Here, kayakers skillfully navigate the rapids while zipliners dart overhead. The scenic 15-mile RiverWalk park, close to restaurants and shops, allows on-lookers to watch the excitement in the water below. Beyond the water features, Columbus offers a bustling arts and culture scene. Step inside Mollie Jenkins Pottery and pick-up a handmade ceramic. Go to The Bo Bartlett Center, an art gallery and education incubator or take a spin through the Ma Rainey House where the influential blues singer spent many years of her life.
Take the Islands Expressway to one of Georgia’s quaint coastal communities, Tybee Island. Depending on the time of year of your visit, you might hit North Beach for a few hours of sunshine or enjoy the pier near South Beach. Make sure to include a visit to the Tybee Lighthouse. This striking black and white structure was initially built in 1736 and has been assisting sailors navigating the Savannah River ever since. Ascend 178 steps to reach the summit for breathtaking views of the island. Savor a meal at The Breakfast Club, a beloved no frills breakfast eatery.
An untamed island getaway awaits along the Georgia coast. Accessible only by boat and protected by the Cumberland Island National Seashore, Cumberland Island is a rustic yet elegant escape. Immerse yourself in nature and opt to tent camp or book a room at the luxurious, all-inclusive Greyfield Inn. While on the island, hike 50-miles of foot trails or take a bike to the often photographed Dungeness Ruins. Be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife including the famous feral horses, the only unmanaged herd on the Atlantic coast.
Located just of off I-85, LaGrange is ideal for a quick, fuss-free weekend away. Book a room at the Courtyard Marriott in the thick of historic downtown. From there, you can walk to various shops and restairats such as Emberglow which is filled with goods from local makers and award-winning Wild Leap Brew Co. For a hearty Southern meal, make your way a few blocks further to Taste of Lemon. Here, comfort food staples such as fried catfish and poppyseed chicken all served under the roof of the former Second Methodist Church constructed in 1892. Area sites include the LaGrange Art Museum, housed in an 1892 jailhouse, which has free admission and displays national, regional, and local artists and Hills and Dales Estate, a 13,000 square foot historic home and gardens designed by Neel Reid and Hal Hentz.
One of Georgia’s premiere lake destinations, Lake Oconee has 374 miles of shoreline and 19,000 acres to explore. Stay at the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds for a peaceful getaway. Once settled, you can relax at the spa, take an off-roading Jeep tour, play several rounds of golf, or simply enjoy picturesque lake views. To really up your golf game, book a club fitting or private instruction time at The Kingdom. The Kingdom by Taylormade is one of only two facilities of its kind in the world. Clubs are made onsite, so you can have them in your hand before heading home.
This middle Georgia city is a must-see. The Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park is a prehistoric American Indian site and dates more than 12,000 years of continuous human habitation. Other interesting sites in Macon include the Allman Brothers Band Museum and the Tubman Museum which is Southeast's largest museum dedicated to African American art, history and culture. Book a room at Hotel Forty Five which once claimed it was the tallest building between New York City and Miami after the Great Depression. Pro Tip: Plan your trip during cherry blossom season when 350,000 Yoshino cherry trees bloom.
There’s something special about the vibe and history of Savannah. Drop your bags at The DeSoto, a hotel in the thick of it all. As one of Savannah’s tallest buildings, the hotel offers amazing views of many of the bustling streets below. Tour one of the city’s historic homes, take in its incredible food scene by dining at The Grey or The Collins Quarter and sip a classic cocktail at Artillery. Be sure to pop in and out of some of the boutiques on Broughton Street such as The Paris Market and Nourish as well as women’s boutique and gift shop Emily McCarthy on Abercorn.
A gorgeous wellness community just 25-miles from Hartsfield-Jackon International Airport, Serenbe feels a world away. Visitors can participate in horseback riding, hiking, biking, yoga and more. Enjoy their recently expanded spa as well as high end dining at The Farmhouse, one of Atlanta’s first farm-to-table eateries. The Inn at Serenbe has 28 guest rooms for overnight accommodations. Don’t miss the weekly farmers market held each Saturday for local items such as produce and honey.
While this Georgia destination is well known for its annual Masters golf tournament each spring, the city thrives year-round. Drop your bags at the historic Partridge Inn which has been an Augusta darling since opening in 1910 before heading downtown to immerse yourself in the town’s lively art scene. At Westobou Gallery, enjoy contemporary art. To take your experience even deeper, stay for the gallery’s The Curated Palette experience where guests construct a charcuterie board based on their artistic surroundings and learn what goes into curating an exhibit. Other cultural stops include Sacred Heart Cultural Center, a former basilica turned museum and event space, the Morris Museum of Art featuring works by and about the American South, and the Lucy Craft Laney Museum which celebrates the life of the founder of Augusta’s first school for Black children.
Best known as a sportsman destination for quail hunting, Thomasville is an under-the-radar town and a prime weekend getaway. The city is the epitome of Southern charm and is packed with sweet boutiques and inviting restaurants. The Bookshelf is Thomasville’s independent bookshop that has been in business for over 30 years, and you’ll want to stop into Sweet Grass Dairy cheese shop for a taste of local flavor. Kids will love the Power of the Past Museum located at the Thomasville Regional Airport featuring a collection of aircraft engines and aviation memorabilia.
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