City guides

Cheap weekend trips from Atlanta

Escape the hustle and bustle with these affordable weekend retreats from Atlanta.

October 24, 2023
 min read
Last updated:
Jan 15
A view of the Atlanta skyline at night.

Life in the vibrant city of Atlanta is never dull, but sometimes we all crave a weekend getaway to recharge and experience something new. Lucky for you, Atlanta is the perfect launching point for a variety of adventures that won't break the bank. Let’s dive into the crème de la crème of affordable escapes that are just a short drive away.

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Situated amidst the majestic mountains, Chattanooga is a gem waiting to be explored. The city has mastered the art of blending natural beauty with modern entertainment options. One can take a stroll in the picturesque Coolidge Park, which features a beautifully restored antique carousel that provides old-school fun for all ages. Not to forget the captivating Ruby Falls, a 145-foot tall underground waterfall located in the heart of Lookout Mountain. The place offers ample eateries to satiate your taste buds after a day of wandering. It’s a perfect mix of fun, food, and fabulous vistas.

Athens, Georgia

Just an hour's drive from Atlanta, Athens embodies youthful energy and classic southern charm in perfect harmony. This university town has a rich history, reflected in its well-preserved architecture and the iconic University of Georgia campus. Art enthusiasts will find their haven at the Georgia Museum of Art which offers a plethora of visual arts. While in the area, do not miss a performance at the historic Morton Theatre. Whether you're indulging in delightful cuisine downtown or taking a historic home tour, Athens promises an enriching experience for every visitor.

Blue Ridge, Georgia

Step into the paradise that is Blue Ridge, with a scenery so mesmerizing it feels almost painted. Take a leisurely drive through the Blue Ridge Mountains and soak in the awe-inspiring vistas that greet you at every turn. The downtown area is packed with unique stores offering antiques, local artworks, and delightful gastronomic experiences. Make sure to carve out time for a serene journey with the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, which takes you through the Chattahoochee National Forest. This weekend destination pledges not just a trip, but a rejuvenating journey for the soul.

Macon, Georgia

Macon is where history meets elegance and architectural grandeur. Your weekend can be filled with peaceful walks in the Amerson River Park, a 180-acre space offering playgrounds, boardwalks, and picnic spots beside the tranquil river. The Hay House is another unmissable spot, an architectural marvel that spans across 18,000 square feet and boasts incredible Italian Renaissance Revival style. Add to your itinerary a visit to the Allman Brothers Band Museum at The Big House for a glimpse into the rock and roll history. Macon is a city that welcomes every guest with warm southern hospitality and stories that linger in the heart forever.

Montgomery, Alabama

Montgomery is a place that wears its history with pride, offering a rich narrative at every corner. It’s home to the Rosa Parks Library and Museum, a solemn yet empowering journey through the civil rights movement's history. On a lighter note, the city is bursting with new-age developments, including a remarkable entertainment district brimming with breweries, eateries, and live music venues, showcasing the city’s rebirth as a hub of vibrant culture. From history buffs to nightlife lovers, Montgomery offers a weekend of exploration and discovery for everyone.

Columbus, Georgia

Where the vibrant lifestyle meets warm hospitality, Columbus stands. This small yet dynamic city is a hub of adventure and relaxation. The lively RiverWalk area provides a range of activities, from leisurely strolls along the river to bike rides through the picturesque paths. For the brave hearts, the town offers thrilling whitewater rafting experiences. To add a dash of celestial magic to your trip, pay a visit to the Coca-Cola Space Science Center, where you can learn about the wonders of the universe in a fun and interactive way. It's a pocket-friendly destination offering rich experiences at every step.

Helen, Georgia

Imagine stepping into a Bavarian village nestled in the Georgia mountains. Helen offers exactly this unique blend of German culture and natural beauty. The cobblestone streets, charming shops, and beautiful architecture make for a delightful day of exploration. The town is renowned for its fun tubing experiences down the Chattahoochee River, offering joy to both kids and adults alike. Come October, the town turns into a celebration ground with the longest-running Oktoberfest in the United States. Helen promises an unusual yet utterly delightful weekend escape where joy knows no bounds.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville is where the creative spirit flourishes amid the embrace of nature. The city is home to the sprawling Biltmore Estate, a château-inspired marvel with gardens that evoke the grandeur of European royal estates. If art beckons you, the River Arts District will be your paradise, home to numerous studios and galleries showcasing local talent. The Botanical Gardens at Asheville offer a tranquil retreat, featuring native plants and beautiful walking trails. Asheville promises a weekend of aesthetic pleasure and natural beauty, a place to rejuvenate your mind and spirit.

Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville invites you with lush open spaces, a vibrant downtown, and an infectious spirit of positivity. The city offers a host of parks, including the Falls Park on the Reedy, a tranquil space with beautiful gardens and scenic river views. The rich cultural scene is reflected in its theaters and art galleries, promising a nourishing feast for the soul. Food lovers will find a plethora of options, from street food to gourmet dining experiences. Greenville promises a weekend of fun, food, and frolic, encouraging every visitor to embrace the joyous spirit of life.Feel the excitement bubbling up already? Each of these destinations offers a unique flavor and a chance to create beautiful memories without burning a hole in your pocket. So, grab your keys, pack a bag, and set out to explore the rich experiences waiting for you just a short drive from Atlanta. Adventure, after all, is right around the corner, and it’s calling your name.

*Prices fluctuate based on season and day of the week.

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