Woman taking picture of historic home in Milledgeville

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54 perfect day trips from atlanta.

Meet 2 peafowl at Andalusia, the Milledgeville home of Flannery O’Connor

Article originally appeared in Atlanta Magazine . 


Andalusia , the Milledgeville home of Flannery O’Connor, was donated by an eponymous foundation to her alma mater, Georgia College, almost a year ago. Now, after extensive renovations, the farm has reopened to the public as a museum with new staff, more stable funding, and two peafowl: Astor and Mrs. Shortley. The birds allude to O’Connor’s short story, “The Displaced Person,” and to the dozens she used to raise on the property.

Read the entire article on  Atlanta Magazine . 

Day trips from Milledgeville

Hendersonville (North Carolina)

Greenville (South Carolina)

Georgia Museum of Art

Athens (Georgia)

Spartanburg (South Carolina)

South Carolina

Congaree National Park

Hilton Head Island

Tybee Island

Forsyth Park

Columbus (Georgia)

Auburn (Alabama)

Georgia Aquarium

World of Coca-Cola

The Varsity

Piedmont Park

State park day trips from Milledgeville

Tugaloo State Park

Sadlers Creek State Park

Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site

Ninety Six National Historic Site

Chester State Park

Poinsett State Park

Lake Warren State Park

Savannah National Wildlife Refuge

George L Smith St Park

Wormsloe State Historic Site

Hofwyl-Broadfield Plantation

Andersonville National Historic Site

Whitewater Creek Park

George T. Bagby State Park and Lodge

Providence Canyon State Park

Florence Marina State Park

Barbour County State Wildlife Management Area

Chewacla State Park

Cheaha State Park

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Pickett's Mill Battlefield State Historic Site

Stone Mountain Park

Fort Mountain State Park

Blackburn State Park Lake

Coker Creek Falls

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Milledgeville, Georgia is located at latitude/longitude coordinates 33° 4' 48" N  /  83° 13' 55" W

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day trips from milledgeville ga

There’s so much to experience in Blue Ridge; but if you’re up for a bit of driving these North Georgia towns have even more to offer you! We’ve put together a list of 9 of our favorite day trips, within an hour or less, outside of Blue Ridge:

*Cover Photo Courtesy of helenga.org

20+ Minutes Outside of Blue Ridge

day trips from milledgeville ga

Not far from Blue Ridge, sits the lovely town of Ellijay, known for its wonderful apple orchards, fantastic mountain biking trails, inviting wineries, and vibrant downtown area. Since Ellijay is known as the Apple Capital of Georgia we recommend checking out their local orchards in the fall; some of our favorites include  Hillcrest Orchards ,  B.J. Reece Orchards , and  R & A Orchards . And in October you can celebrate Ellijay’s famous apples at their annual  Georgia Apple Festival .

On top of apples Ellijay is known for its wonderful mountain biking trails and a plethora of outdoor activities! Ride your bike through hundreds of miles of diverse biking trails from beginner to expert on Ellijay’s winding mountain trails or hike through  Fort Mountain State Park   where you can take in the sunset from the old fire tower or from the mountain peak. Along with hiking,  Fort Mountain Park  includes other outdoor activities like horseback riding, kayaking, and of course mountain biking. And when you’re done with your exciting outdoor adventures head to one of Ellijay’s famous wineries for a refreshing glass of wine after your busy day. For more things to do in Ellijay check out our Ellijay blog:  https://www.escapetoblueridge.com/blog/top-things-to-do-in-ellijay/

30+ Minutes Outside of Blue Ridge

day trips from milledgeville ga

Blairsville is all about the great outdoors with its great hiking trails, state parks, and mountain peaks to explore. Some of our favorite Blairsville hikes include  Vogel State Park ,  Helton Creek Falls ,  Blood Mountain , and of course  Brasstown Bald , the tallest mountain peak in the state of Georgia. Brasstown Bald sits 4,784 feet above sea level and offers exceptional views of the surrounding mountains. You can even see four different states from the observation deck.

And don’t forget the moonshine! Blairsville is also home to   Grandaddy Mimm’s Distilling Co.  a local favorite in the area. Stop by for a sampling of their best moonshine or take a tour of the distillery itself! Inside you’ll find many eclectic relics, as well as a wide array of music memorabilia and instruments collected by owner Tommy Townsend over the years .

day trips from milledgeville ga

Not too far from Blue Ridge in Murphy, NC is a one-of-a-kind hidden bible theme park that will take your breath away!  Fields of the Wood  covers a total area of 220 beautiful acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains. From Prayer Mountain to the gigantic Ten Commandments, there’s so much to experience here. After taking in the beauty of  Fields of the Wood , pay a visit to the  Charter of Freedom Monument  which pays homage to our American ideals & democracy. Keep the American spirit going with a trip to the  Cherokee County Historical Museum , which dives into the rich history of the Cherokee Indians who called Murphy home. And if you’re looking for a little late night entertainment Murphy, NC is even home to  Harrah’s Cherokee River Valley Casino  where you can try your luck at the craps table or at the slots machine. Learn a little and have some fun in the beautiful town of Murphy!

40+ Minutes Outside of Blue Ridge

day trips from milledgeville ga

Known as “The First Mountain City” and the Marble Capital of Georgia, Jasper is home to incredible long range mountain views, charming wineries, beautiful gardens, and a fascinating Cherokee history. We love grabbing a glass of wine from local wineries,  Fainting Goat Vineyards   and  Sharp Mountain Vineyards . And the  Old Pickens County Jail , with it’s marble jail front, is a unique and fascinating tour through the past, that history lovers should be sure to add to their list. But one of Jasper’s most popular spots is the beautiful  Gibbs Gardens ! Spanning over 220 acres,  Gibbs Gardens  is comprised of more than 16 distinct gardens, each with its own unique style like the Japanese gardens and the Manor House gardens. Some of it’s most remarkable features are it’s breathtaking display of over 20 million daffodils, it’s splendid array of over 40,000 tulips, numerous cherry blossoms, and hundreds of vibrant forsythias. Additionally, local Georgia flowers such as rhododendrons, dogwoods, azaleas, and other wildflowers grace these picturesque gardens.

45+ Minutes Outside of Blue Ridge

day trips from milledgeville ga

Hiawassee, Georgia: A town where you can find stunning mountain peaks, recreational fun on Lake Chatuge, and great live music & events all within a few minutes from each other! For both lake & mountain views, head to the top of  Bell Mountain’s  observation deck where you’ll be treated to stunning 360-degree panoramas of Lake Chatuge, the surrounding mountains, and the quaint little town of Hiawassee below. Standing at over 3,400 feet above sea level, you’ll feel as though you’re on top of the world!

Hiawassee is also home to the  Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds  and the  Hamilton Rhododendron Gardens , two great spots where there’s always something going on! At the Fairgrounds you’ll find monthly concerts from some of the best country, gospel, and rock artists in the business, as well as exciting festivals & events. And every summer they host their biggest event of the year, the Georgia Mountain Fair where thousands of guests come to the Fairgrounds to experience carnival rides, fair food, live entertainment & music acts, craft vendors, and more! The charming  Hamilton Gardens , also on the property, holds the largest collection of rhododendrons and azaleas in the Southeast. As you explore the peaceful garden trails, you’ll learn all about North Georgia’s native flora, while enjoying distant views of Lake Chatuge.

50+ Minutes Outside of Blue Ridge

day trips from milledgeville ga

Dawsonville, GA is widely regarded as the birthplace of NASCAR so it seems only fitting that the town is home to the incredible  Georgia Racing Hall of Fame ! At the museum you can learn all about the history of motorsports in Georgia, and check out their special exhibit featuring Daswonville’s own NASCAR champion, Chase Elliot! Race cars not your thing? No problem! Get some shopping done at the  North Georgia Premium Outlets , which holds more than 140 designer and name brand stores. And in the fall you’ll want to check out  Burts Farm  and  Uncle Shuck’s Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch  for pumpkin patches, corn mazes, hayrides and more!

Dawsonville is also home to the tallest waterfall in the state of Georgia!  Amicalola Falls  claims the title with a towering height of 729 feet. You can access these breathtaking falls from three different routes, each varying in difficulty: a straightforward drive to the top of the falls, a steep yet brief hike along the 2.1-mile loop, or on the 7.5-mile hike along the  Appalachian Trail .

1 Hour Outside of Blue Ridge

day trips from milledgeville ga

This beautiful mountain town is straight out of a storybook with its German influences and architecture. Stroll the charming village streets and take in the shops & restaurants, like  Hansel and Gretel Candy Kitchen ,  Lindenhaus Imports , and  Hofbrauhaus Restaurant . In the fall Helen celebrates Oktoberfest like no other town in Georgia with all the pretzels and beer you can imagine, and in the winter this lovely town transforms into a Hallmark movie, and was even named the #1 Christmas Town in America by Southern Living.

If you’re looking for thrills then check out the  Georgia Mountain Coaster – the first and only alpine coaster in the state of Georgia! You’ll zoom past breathtaking mountain vistas and lush forests at your own pace, as you have full control over the speed of the ride. Helen is also a great place for hikers & waterfall lovers because it’s home to four stunning waterfalls;  Anna Ruby Falls ,  Dukes Creek Falls ,  Horse Trough Falls ,  and   Raven Creek Falls .

And for the history lovers out there, you’ll have the opportunity to learn all about the Cherokee Indian Tribe with a trip to the  Sautee Nacoochee Indian Mound . The site serves as not only a peaceful resting site for many Cherokee Indians but is also home to the  Hardman Farm & Estate , home of Georgia governor Dr. Lamartine Hardman.

day trips from milledgeville ga

You’ve struck gold with a visit to Dahlonega, GA and that’s because this charming mountain town is a historic gold mining town. While Dahlonega is no longer a mining town you can still tour and experience the old mines where Americans first struck gold in 1828, 20 years before the California gold rush! Learn about the history of the Dahlonega gold rush at the  Dahlonega Gold Museum , tour the old mines at  Consolidated Gold Mines Inc , or pan for your own gold treasures at  Crisson Gold Mine . And every October you can celebrate the 1828 gold discovery at the  Gold Rush Days Festival , with hundreds of food & craft vendors and over 200,000 attendees every year!

day trips from milledgeville ga

If you’re ready for the outdoor adventure of a lifetime then plan a rafting trip to the Nantahala River in Bryson City, NC. For over 50 years, the  Nantahala Outdoor Center  has established itself as a pioneer in the whitewater rafting community, and has taken more families on whitewater adventures than any other adventure company in the Southeast. With over 6 rivers to choose from and both full & half day experiences available, you’ll find no shortage of adventures to be had on the water! And on top of world-class whitewater rafting the  Nantahala Outdoor Center  has even more opportunities for outdoor fun with mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, ziplining & ropes courses, and much more. Combine one of these thrilling activities with a rafting package for the ultimate day trip in the great outdoors!

Some other must-sees in Bryson, NC include elk watching at the  Great Smoky Mountains National Park , a walk through the tunnel on  “The Road to Nowhere,”  and a ride on the  Great Smoky Mountains Railroad .

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The Jekyll Island Club in the historic district

Journey Downstate: The Best Day Trips in South Georgia

Craving a unique blend of history, nature, and southern charm?   Day trips in South Georgia are just the answer! The region serves up a hearty slice of Southern charm with its historic landmarks, natural beauty, and tantalizing cuisine.

Key Takeaways for the best day trips in South Georgia :

Historic Enchantment: South Georgia is a time capsule brimming with history. You’ll find stories echoing from grand plantations, Civil War sites, and charming historic districts. These spots aren’t just places to go in South Georgia ; they’re doorways into the past.

Natural Wonders: Picture verdant landscapes, wildlife-laden parks, and untouched beaches. Places to visit in South Georgia include pristine nature reserves that’ll leave outdoor enthusiasts spellbound.

Authentic Experiences: Day trips in South Georgia are much more than sightseeing. Engage in the local culture by attending vibrant festivals, relishing in food tours, and exploring cozy art galleries. Every moment spent here promises a fun thing to do in South Georgia , a journey that goes beyond the typical tourist path.

Let’s dig deeper into the best things to do in South Georgia !

Bask in History

fun things to do in georgia for couples

Your search for places to go in South Georgia must undoubtedly include historical treasures. Start with the Jekyll Island Historic District , where you can walk through time among grand Victorian structures and relive the opulence of bygone eras. Here’s an intriguing fact to get you excited: Jekyll Island was once an exclusive winter retreat for America’s wealthiest families, including the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Pulitzers. As an insider tip, make sure to visit the Georgia Sea Turtle Center located within the district. And guess what makes this island truly unique? A law limits its development to only 35%, ensuring that 65% will always remain a natural sanctuary.

Next, head to the Andersonville National Historic Site to delve deeper into the Civil War’s somber history. This site, once known as Camp Sumter, was one of the Confederacy’s largest military prisons. Enhance your visit by exploring the National Prisoner of War Museum, the only one of its kind in the United States, right here at the Andersonville site. Be sure to time your visit to experience the annual “Night Museum” event, where the haunting past comes alive under the moonlight.

Finally, step into the humble world of the 39th U.S. President at the Jimmy Carter National Historic Site . From a quaint rural town to the global stage, Carter’s journey is a testament to the power of dreams and determination. As a treat for literature lovers, Carter, a prolific writer, has his own section in the Plains High School Museum bookstore, featuring all the books he authored over the years. This is a fantastic opportunity to grab a memento of your visit.

Delight in Natural Beauty

cumberland island horses

For nature enthusiasts, the places to visit in South Georgia offer a delightful playground teeming with an astounding variety of landscapes and wildlife.

Begin your adventure at the Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge , where you can traverse North America’s largest blackwater swamp. Here’s something to ponder while you explore: this swamp is not just a wetland but also a living, breathing peat-producing machine! Embrace the tranquility as you kayak through the reflective water trails. And don’t miss the 90-foot tall observation tower – it’s an ideal spot to witness the untouched wilderness and maybe even spot a bear or two.

Next, set sail to the Cumberland Island National Seashore , an untouched island paradise where wild horses roam free amidst bird-filled dunes. This island is a testament to the adage, ‘life finds a way’ – it was nearly stripped bare by the early plantation economy, but nature reclaimed it, creating an inspiring symbol of resilience. Plan your trip during cooler months to avoid the peak summer heat, and don’t forget to visit the Dungeness Ruins, a haunting reminder of the island’s past.

Lastly, end your journey at Stephen C. Foster State Park . Positioned as the primary gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp and also a certified Dark Sky Park, it promises a unique experience of the natural world. Ever wondered what the night sky looked like to our ancestors? This park, free from light pollution, offers a glimpse. Be sure to join the ranger-led programs to learn about the stars. As a bonus, the alligator serenades during the night are a once-in-a-lifetime treat.

Indulge in Authentic Southern Food

day trips in south georgia

When pondering what to do in South Georgia for a day, immerse yourself in authentic local experiences that will delight your senses and create lasting memories.

Kick-start your day with the Taste of Thomasville Food Tour . Embark on a culinary journey through the heart of Thomasville, where each stop unfolds another chapter of Southern flavors. Fun fact: Thomasville is nicknamed the ‘City of Roses,’ and while you savor the delectable food, take a moment to admire the town’s ubiquitous roses. And make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes – the tour covers around 1.4 miles!

Next, take your taste buds on a coastal adventure and savor the region’s bountiful seafood along the coast. The freshest catches, from succulent shrimps to sweet, tender blue crabs, are waiting to be devoured. Pro tip: head to Crabdaddy’s Seafood Grill on St. Simons Island for a remarkable dining experience, where their signature garlic crabs are a must-try!

As the day winds down, nothing encapsulates Southern charm better than a hearty serving of Southern BBQ and soul food. Visit Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island for a dose of comfort food that will warm your soul. Their slow-smoked meats, served with love and a side of Southern hospitality, are the perfect end note to your day trip.

Embark on Fun-filled Activities for Day Trips in South Georgia

If you’re on the lookout for fun things to do in South Georgia , the region offers excitement, discovery, and fun at every turn.

Start your journey with a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. Step into the fascinating world of sea turtle conservation, and become part of a global effort to protect these awe-inspiring creatures. Keep an eye out for the “Turtle Walks” that the center organizes during the nesting season – a truly heartwarming experience as you witness baby turtles making their first journey into the ocean.

Next, unleash your inner thrill-seeker at the Wild Adventures Theme Park in Valdosta. With a plethora of heart-pounding rides, exotic animal encounters, and live entertainment, the park is an absolute crowd-pleaser. Be sure to check out the “Splash Island Waterpark” while you’re there, a perfect way to beat the Georgia heat!

End your day of adventure by delving into the captivating aquatic life of Albany at the Flint RiverQuarium . Explore a unique blue hole spring, and meet its myriad of inhabitants, including the rare and mesmerizing albino alligators. Also, don’t miss the ‘Adventure Dive Show,’ where scuba divers interact with the creatures and answer your queries in real-time!

Experience Things to Do in South Georgia by Season

Seasonal changes in South Georgia provide a fresh palette of experiences. Indeed, each season brings unique festivals and events, making South Georgia a year-round destination . Let’s explore the things to do in South Georgia by the season.

Spring (March to May)

Spring in South Georgia breathes life back into the world with blossoming flowers and mild temperatures, a perfect setting for outdoor festivals.

Venture to Thomasville Rose Show and Festival in April, a century-old tradition in the ‘City of Roses,’ where over 500 varieties of roses burst into a symphony of colors.

Immerse yourself in the Vidalia Onion Festival , also in April. Celebrate Georgia’s famous sweet onion with a pageant, a carnival, and onion recipe contests in the heart of Vidalia.

Summer (June to August)

Summer in South Georgia, with its warm temperatures, sets the stage for beach trips, water activities, and energetic events.

Savor the Georgia Peach Festival in June, where Fort Valley and Byron cities honor the state’s peach farmers with concerts, parades, and indulgent peach ice cream.

Rock out at the Wild Adventures Summer Concert Series running from June to July. Enjoy live music from popular artists amidst the thrill and fun of the theme park.

Fall (September to November)

Fall in South Georgia is a visual feast, with landscapes transforming into a riot of colors, complemented by fun-filled festivals.

Head to the Honeybee Festival in October, held in Hahira. This sweet festival celebrates the honeybee with a parade, arts & crafts, and an array of honey-themed treats.

Join the party at the Deep Roots Festival in October. This is Milledgeville’s largest event and includes live music, car shows, and a mouthwatering BBQ cook-off.

Winter (December to February)

Winter in South Georgia is mild, an ideal climate for exploring the festive events that bring cheer to the season.

Immerse yourself in the Festival of Lights in December. Albany’s Chehaw Park transforms into a winter wonderland adorned with mesmerizing light displays.

Lastly, get into the holiday spirit at the Thomasville Victorian Christmas festival in December. Enjoy the charm of a Victorian era Christmas celebration, complete with performers, carolers, and even live reindeer!

  Explore Further

After soaking up South Georgia’s charm, venture further:

  • Atlanta : Dine in one of the city’s unique restaurants and explore the many fun things to do for adults in Atlanta.
  • Columbus : Enjoy the scenic Chattahoochee Riverwalk, the awe-inspiring National Infantry Museum and a taste of Southern cooking .
  • Savannah : Experience the historic district , bike through antique squares , vibrant arts scene, and indulge in the traditional Southern cuisine .

South Georgia’s allure lies in its untamed beauty, layered history, rich culture, and delectable cuisine. So pack your bags, hit the road, and let the southern magic whisk you away on an unforgettable journey!

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  • Last Updated On
  • October 2, 2023

39 Best Day Trips From Atlanta — Places Nearby!

Anna Taylor

Atlanta is cocooned by plenty of beautiful things to see and do, from quaint alpine towns tucked away in magnificent mountains to bustling cities with all the urban comforts one could want to tranquil forests where it’s only you and Mother Nature.

From Athens (the American variety!) in the north to Augusta in the south, you have several (39, to be exact) choices to choose from.

Kick back, relax, and plan a scenic outing with the best day trips from Atlanta below.

1. Chattanooga


At the top of the list is the family-friendly Chattanooga, a melting pot of culture, nature, and history.

For all the history buffs, the city’s vibrant downtown area is a must explore, with several monumental reminders of the Civil War along the Riverwalk, as are the tours of the Chickamauga Civil War Battlefield, the Cravens House, and the 6th Cavalry Museum.

If you’re looking for fun outdoors, you’ll find that too at Chattanooga, in the form of several beautiful green lungs and adventure activities such as hiking, hang-gliding, and rafting along the banks of the gushing Tennessee.

One of the unique experiences the city offers is its Incline Railway, which takes you to Ruby Falls (a magnificent 30-million-year-old waterfall), and Rock City (for views of seven states!).

Begin your day trip with something closer, like Chattanooga, which is only under 2 hours away.

2. Rock City Garden

Rock City Garden

1400 Patten Rd Lookout Mountain, GA 30750 (706) 820-2531

Speaking of Rock City, here’s a more detailed breakdown of why making the trip to this family-friendly spot may be worth your while!

Rock City Garden sits atop Georgia’s Lookout Mountain and is a beautiful natural museum of caverns, cliff formations, cascades, and stunning views.

These natural wonders line the Enchanted Trail—4,100 feet of scenic beauty—interspersed with family-friendly man-made entertainment such as High Falls, Fairyland Caverns, and Lover’s Leap.

An especially thrilling feature is the Swing-a-Long suspension bridge, a swinging rope bridge that sits 200 feet above the ground.

Another unique offering is the nursing and release of peregrine falcons, some of the few in the country.

With only a 2-hour car ride, you’ll have enough time to explore its attractions.

3. Dahlonega


Sitting an hour and a half’s worth of driving away from Atlanta, quaint, historic Dahlonega is one of the easiest Atlanta day trips to make.

The small city’s rich heritage will interest history lovers—the first settlers of Dahlonega came here during the initial days of the Gold Rush.

If you’re more interested in gold of the liquid variety, you’ll be happy to know Dahlonega sits at the heart of Georgian wine country, with 12 sites for wine tasting spread across 5 vineyards.

The buzzing downtown area, featured on the Historic Register, is where the old and new come together in Dahlonega, with modern shops, art galleries, and restaurants sharing walls with historic museums and buildings.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Dahlonega Square Hotel & Villas

4. Consolidated Gold Mine

Consolidated Gold Mine

185 Consolidated Gold Mine Rd Dahlonega, GA 30533 (706) 864-8473

Though this mine sits in Dahlonega, it deserves a spot of its own on the list for being a thrilling step back in time and for the chance to be a miner, even if only for a short while!

Sitting 200 feet below the surface, visitors to Consolidated Gold Mine can expect interactive and immersive experiences, tours of the mines, and programs that give you a quick but extensive 101 on mining gems and gold.

Once the lessons end, it’s time to practically apply what you’ve just learned—in a throwback to the Gold Rush era, you can pan for emeralds, rubies, amethysts, and gold in the rocks and the water (this isn’t just a marketing hoax; the mines still have gold in them)!

It’s only a little more than an hour away, so you’ll still have plenty of energy to tour the area.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Comfort Inn & Suites Dahlonega University Area

5. Toccoa Falls

Toccoa Falls

107 Kincaid Dr Toccoa Falls, GA 30598 (706) 886-6831

This majestic 186-foot cascade sits tucked away on the Toccoa Falls College campus, in a secluded area encompassed by dramatic cliffs, away from the campus’s academic life and happenings.

Toccoa Falls is among the highest waterfalls to the Mississippi’s east, 26 feet taller than New York’s Niagara Falls.

You can access the falls via a private pathway that will take you right to the base, where spectacular views and plenty of Insta-worthy photo ops await you.

Aptly named (toccoa means beautiful in the Cherokee language), this spectacle is worth the 1-hour-40-minute drive to the campus if you enjoy being in Mother Nature’s lap.

If you’ve got time left over after visiting the falls, you could enjoy a leisurely walk through the lovely thousand-acre boscage on the campus.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Holiday Inn Club Vacations Apple Mountain Resort at Clarkesville

Related: Activities in Atlanta

6. Gatlinburg


Though you’d be pushing against the upper limits of a day trip by driving to Tennessee’s Gatlinburg (it’s four hours away), it’s worth the effort if you love the outdoors—the city is a gateway to the gorgeous Smoky Mountain National Park.

With over 150 trails snaking across 800 miles of wilderness at its rawest and most unblemished, hiking enthusiasts will find no shortage of trails to explore.

The park is also one of the few International Biosphere Reserves in the world, home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, as well as the Roaring Fork (a gorgeous confluence of two waterfalls).

If you’d just like to wander around Gatlinburg itself, you’ll find plenty of historic buildings and cabins to explore—time has stood still at these, affording a taste of the OG Smoky Mountain way of life!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Carr’s Northside Hotel and Cottages

7. Birmingham


Just a little over two hours away by road, Birmingham is a great urban getaway and a popular one day trip from Atlanta.

One of the South’s most significant metropolises and Alabama’s most populated city, Birmingham is the state’s cultural capital today, brimming with popular annual festivals and theaters for performing arts.

Several renowned art museums also call the city home, such as the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Southeast’s biggest museum of art.

Birmingham also has many prestigious colleges and universities, so if you’ve got a potential college-goer in the family, you can spend the day checking these out.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Birmingham Downtown at UAB

Also See: Best Day Trips From Augusta


Yep, Georgia has its very own Athens, home to the reputed University of Georgia, but don’t be quick to dismiss Athens as just another college town.

You see, Athens is also home to a roaring music scene, several popular historical and natural attractions, and tons of cultural experiences.

If you’re looking for nature-based attractions, check out the “Tree That Owns Itself” (it’s literally that—the tree has legally owned itself and some of the surrounding lands since the 19th century).

The State Botanical Garden is also a gorgeous sight with a super-fun kids’ play area.

Sports fans can catch a game at the Sanford Stadium, while art lovers can check out the many art galleries and the city’s performing arts venues.

For a slice of 18th-century Southern life, tour the many vintage homes-turned-museums and historic buildings that dot downtown Athens.

An hour-and-a half drive is all it takes to enjoy these attractions, and more!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Graduate Athens

9. Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier

Come summer, Lake Lanier turns into a veritable water paradise, with plenty of water sports, adventure activities, and outdoor excursions on offer.

The lake and the beach around it present plenty of opportunities for water sports, beach games, swimming, fishing, and boating, with more water fun at LanierWorld, a waterpark on the beach with a plethora of water slides and its own mini-golf course.

There are many activities for the non-summer months too, such as golfing, hiking the Sawnee, zip-lining, or spending a day pampering yourself at Tranquility, a luxurious Lanier Islands spa offering.

Several superb seasonal events are also hosted at the lake throughout the year; the holiday season’s Lake Lanier Lights event is by far the most popular, attracting hordes of visitors.

Whenever you feel the need to cool off, just drive an hour to this aquatic paradise.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge

Related: Beaches Near Atlanta

10. Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald

A little over two hours away from Atlanta sits Georgia’s tallest peak, the go-to spot for extensive, spectacular views of Georgia’s natural best and the states of Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, and North Carolina.

At an elevation of 4,784 feet, Brasstown Bald is a popular year-round destination—each season adds its own beauty to the views from the peak.

Avid hikers will enjoy the hike (on a paved pathway) to the tip, where an observation tower affords the best panoramic views from the peak.

This spot is a hit with the tykes, who enjoy the easy, rewarding hike and the super-fun scavenger hunt organized by the folks who run the place.

It’s also a fun way to get your kids to learn about the region’s ecology and history; the visitors center also runs many presentations on these.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: The Ridges Resort on Lake Chatuge

11. Mableton


Suburban Mableton sits right outside Atlanta, merely 20 minutes away and a great addition to any list of one-day Atlanta trips.

This charming town’s major draw is the historic Mable House, a period home that also houses a center for performing arts.

After touring the house, you can settle down in any of the five parks and enjoy a picnic, a lovely stroll, or some fun sports under the fine Georgian sun.

Another reason that folks head to Mableton is the Silver Comet Trail, a hiking path that follows the historic Silver Comet railroad, stretching up to the Georgia-Alabama state line.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Holiday Inn Express Atlanta West – Theme Park Area, an IHG Hotel

12. Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park

1000 Robert E Lee Blvd Stone Mountain, GA 30083 (770) 498-5690

No list of Atlanta day trips is complete without the world’s biggest granite formation and one of Georgia’s star attractions—Stone Mountain Park.

What makes this park even more unique is that you’ll find the faces of Southern legends Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Stonewall Jackson carved into the granite face.

Stone Mountain Park also has its own amusement park, with an array of thrilling and fun rides that may excite the young ones in the clan, from a four-story barn to a rope course.

If you find your day trip turning into an overnighter (though the park is only 30 minutes away from Atlanta, you may not be able to prise the kids away from the rides!), sleep under the stars by camping on the grounds or stay at any of several hotels around if you’re a creature of modern comforts.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Atlanta Evergreen Lakeside Resort

13. Nashville


Like Gatlinburg, you’d be pushing it with a four-hour drive to Nashville, but if you’re a fan of folk and country music, you won’t mind the effort at all!

The home of some of the country’s most reputed music venues, Nashville is rightly known as the Music City and fully deserves its spot as the capital of country music in the United States.

Check out the Country Music Hall of Fame, where country music greats are honored and the musical movement evolution is tracked across the ages and the world-famous stage at the Grand Ole Opry.

The many intimate venues peppering the city’s many vibrant, individualistic neighborhoods are also worth checking out, providing a stage for many up-and-coming artists in the genre.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Grand Hyatt Nashville

Related: Weekend Trips in Georgia

14. Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge

Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge

718 Round Oak Juliette Rd Hillsboro, GA 31038 (478) 986-5441

Sitting in the heart of Georgia and a little over an hour away from Atlanta, the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge is a prime example of how a little TLC can nurse a barren landscape back to life.

A wasteland in the 19th and 20th centuries, thanks to all the overuse, the refuge is a well-maintained, lush space today, with thriving forest and wetland environments that are home to a variety of native flora and fauna.

Hike through the various trails winding through the property to encounter the resident white-tailed deer, beavers, turkeys, wood ducks, and the red-cockaded woodpecker, an endangered bird species.

Fishing is also permitted in certain parts of the park.

Given the diversity of its residents, Piedmont is a favorite among animal and birding enthusiasts.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Homewood Suites by Hilton Macon-North

15. Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls

Anna Ruby Falls Rd Sautee Nacoochee, GA 30571 (706) 878-1448

Nestled in the depths of the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, the Anna Ruby Falls is a spectacular waterfall with an adjoining recreational area.

The York Creek and Curtis Creek together form this cascade, which requires trekking up half a mile on an asphalt trail or any of the longer unpaved trails winding through the forest to reach it.

There’s also a visitors center on site, with a gift shop showcasing and selling local artwork, quick bites, and several special tours, including a popular guided stargazing activity.

Fishing fans in the group can bide their time waiting for fish to take the bait in any of the onsite creeks, while the rest of the gang can picnic and chill in any of the assigned spots.

And, the best part is, it only takes a two-hour drive to see this natural wonder.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Helen, an IHG Hotel

16. Andersonville National Historic Site

Andersonville National Historic Site

760 POW Rd Andersonville, GA 31711 (229) 924-0343

This landmark site is steeped in Civil War history, with three distinct parts showcasing different historically significant military events.

Start at the Camp Sumter military prison, run by the Confederates and the site of torturous imprisonment for over 45,000 soldiers of the Union—upwards of 13,000 inmates lost their lives to the poor living conditions.

Next, head to the Andersonville National Cemetery, now a spot where soldiers who died while serving the country are honored but formerly a graveyard where dead prisoners of Camp Sumter were laid to rest.

Round off the trip at the National Prisoner of War Museum, where all American war prisoners, across all wars fought by the country, are honored.

With a little more than a two-hour trip, you can learn vital history lessons up close.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn Americus

17. Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens

17617 US-27 Pine Mountain, GA 31822 (855) 894-0420

There’s a little something for everyone at Callaway Gardens, family, solo adventurer, or love birds!

This gorgeous 2,500-acre recreational retreat is a prime spot for fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, watersports, boating, and plain beach bumming, with several dining and shopping options also liberally sprinkled across.

It’s also a haven of natural beauty, with lovely, romantic gardens of holly, azalea, and hydrangea (a treat in full bloom), a historic log cabin, and a butterfly center housing over 1,000 butterflies across 50 species.

Some popular annual events to catch here are the Hot Air Balloon Festival, the Fantasy in Lights event, and the July 4th Beach Party.

Awe in nature’s splendor after only an hour and 17 minutes of driving.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Callaway Resort & Gardens

18. National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force

175 Bourne Ave Pooler, GA 31322 (912) 748-8888

If the impressive name doesn’t draw you in, this museum’s extensive aircraft collection from the Second World War and excellently curated artifacts might do the trick.

The museum is both a tribute to and a hub of information about the country’s Eighth Air Force, a numbered unit that served in Europe and supplied over 200,000 soldiers, 1,000 single-mission fighters, and 2,000 four-engine bombers to fight against enemies in World War II.

At the museum, you’ll see informational displays, aircraft, and artifacts from the War and read the personal accounts of the force’s soldiers.

The lovely outdoor garden is a memorial to all the soldiers of the Second World War.

It’s nearly a four-hour car ride, but for aircraft fanatics, the time will fly by.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Savannah Airport

19. Museum of Aviation

Museum of Aviation

1942 Heritage Blvd Robins AFB, GA 31098 (478) 926-6870

An hour and a half away from Atlanta, the Museum of Aviation sits in Georgia’s Robins, and as the name suggests, is dedicated to showcasing different military aircraft and their stories.

The museum is run by the military (it sits close to the Robins Air Force Base) and is divided into five internal venues exhibiting aviation projects and aircraft.

You’ll find the 93 exhibited aircraft in the museum’s two hangars and all other exhibits spread across the various buildings on the premises.

What sets this museum apart is the array of aircraft representing several categories, such as helicopters, bombers, drones, and cargo planes.

A guided tour is the easiest and most time-efficient way to learn about the museum’s many exhibits.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: SureStay Plus Hotel by Best Western Warner Robins AFB

20. Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Suches, GA 30572 (770) 297-3000

A long name and an even longer list of things to see and do await visitors to this nearly 867,000 acre expanse of oaks, hiking trails, and native wildlife.

The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is sprawled across eight Georgian counties and is a highly beloved tourist spot that sits just under two hours away from Atlanta.

The forest boasts over 86 hiking trails, so whatever your interest and fitness level, the forest has you covered—not to mention the several beautiful spots that line these trails, perfect for the gram.

You can also find several opportunities for other outdoor activities, such as fishing, horseback riding, picnicking, rock collecting, wildlife watching, and rafting down the Chattooga.

Other points of interest include the Scull Shoals Historic Site and the Track Rock Gap Petroglyph Site.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn Blue Ridge, GA

21. Mercier Orchards

Mercier Orchards

8660 Blue Ridge Dr Blue Ridge, GA 30513 (706) 632-3411

Looking for a romantic day trip outside Atlanta?

Then the 70-year-old family-owned Mercier Orchards should feature on your list of places to visit near Atlanta.

Enjoy picking fruits in the orchard with your significant other against the backdrop of the gorgeous Georgian sun, tour the apple cider brewery, and stuff yourself with the delicious baked treats made with the orchard’s own fruits.

You can also enjoy a delicious breakfast and lunch at the deli, so you’re sorted for the whole day!

You can reach Mercier Orchards within two hours by road from Atlanta.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Comfort Inn & Suites Blue Ridge

22. Amicalola Falls

Amicalola Falls

418 Amicalola Falls State Park Rd Dawsonville, GA 30534 (706) 265-8888

One of the most scenic places near Atlanta, the Amicalola is East Mississippi’s tallest cascade and a must-visit for outdoor aficionados.

This natural wonder is just 90 minutes away from Atlanta, and depending on your interest, fitness level, and available time, you can head by car straight to the top of the falls, the middle, or the bottom (be warned that you have to climb up 620 steps to get to the top!).

You could also follow the trail near the well-equipped visitor center to reach the top, with a fork somewhere in the path leading you to Springer Mountain, the southern tip of the Appalachian Trail.

Enjoy views of the mountains from the back deck, curled up in a rocking chair, or even better, get up close and personal with the surrounding greenery by zip-lining through the trees!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Forrest Hills Mountain Resort

23. Providence Canyon State Park

Providence Canyon State Park

8930 Canyon Rd Lumpkin, GA 31815 (229) 838-6202

Known fondly as Georgia’s “Little Grand Canyon”, visiting the Providence Canyon State Park should be on your list of things to do outside Atlanta if picturesque views and hiking are your thing.

The funny thing about Providence Canyon is that it is actually the (lovely) result of a mistake, created by the irregular farming methods of the 19th century.

This mistake birthed the soil-and-rock formations of the canyon, with their lovely natural orange, pink, and red hues.

There are several hiking trails in the 1,000-acre park, which let you climb along the face of the canyon, as well as a camping ground.

The park is a year-round destination, but fall affords the best colors and summer brings with it the gorgeous plumleaf azalea—this is the only spot in the world where you can see these flowers blooming in the wild.

Travel just two hours from Atlanta to see some of the most beautiful flowers in existence.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: THE FARMHOUSE

24. Charlotte


Some of us don’t have a “green” bent of mind and that’s completely okay—you can forgo the national parks and forests and head instead to the glitz and glamor of urban Charlotte.

North Carolina’s most populated city sits four hours away from Atlanta, but the city’s buzz and energy will help brush off the weariness of a long drive.

Auto and sports enthusiasts will enjoy the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, where informative, interactive exhibits tell you about the sport’s biggest legends and most epic victories.

Adrenaline junkies can spend the day at the Carowinds amusement park, riding its many waterslides and rollercoasters.

A great family-friendly spot is Discovery Place, with an indoor IMAX theater and a lovely indoor rainforest to boot!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: JW Marriott Charlotte

25. The Cherokee Forest

The Cherokee Forest

Elizabethton, TN 37312 (423) 476-9700

Another 4-hour drive from Atlanta that’s worth it if you love the great outdoors, Cherokee Forest is chock-full of breathtaking views, fun water activities, and hiking trails.

Sprawled across nearly 656,000 acres of Tennessee’s wilderness, this woodland was established only a century ago.

Some activities to do here include kayaking, camping, and fishing in Watauga Lake, and hiking up to Roan Mountain.

The deliciously, eternally cold Bald River Falls is an impressive cascade, plummeting 90 feet over sharp rocks—summer or winter, the water’s always cold, so swimming here isn’t recommended.

Of course, as is the perennial case with natural beauty, there are several stunning photo ops at Cherokee Forest.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn Newport

26. Augusta


Every April, Augusta comes alive with teeming crowds and professional golfers aiming for gold at the prestigious Masters Tournament!

Sitting prettily on the Savannah’s banks, this golf lovers’ holy grail is pretty calm the rest of the year, but that doesn’t mean there’s a dearth of things to do.

The Augusta National Golf Club is open to golfers but is quite expensive.

For a more pocket-friendly day out, take a boat cruise down the Savannah, tour the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, visit the Phinizy Nature Park, take a trolley tour, visit the Augusta Museum of History, or do a bit of hiking and biking at the Savannah Rapids Park.

Baseball season is just as revered as golf season—catch a game at SRP Park and experience for yourself the crazy adulation that the Augusta Greenjackets enjoy from a dedicated fan base!

Whether you want a restful or action-packed day trip, the two-hour drive is well worth it.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Home2Suites by Hilton Augusta

27. Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park

3370 Lafayette Rd Fort Oglethorpe, GA 30742 (706) 866-9241

Covering parts of southern Tennessee and northern Georgia, the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park was formerly a Civil War-era strategic population point.

Since Chattanooga was a primary center for railroad travel, the site where the military park sits today was deemed a gateway to all the other Confederate lands.

In 1863, the Confederate and Union soldiers battled it out for control of the site, with the latter emerging as the victors and impelling the former further south.

Today, you can learn about the spot’s rich history through informative guided tours led by rangers.

Visit with family and enjoy a terrific, informative trip about two hours from Atlanta.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Stay Express Inn Chattanooga


Whether you’re a fan of music, history, or good architecture, Macon, sitting right in the center of Georgia, ticks all the boxes.

The Allman Brothers Band Museum must be on your list if you’re a music lover, as well as the annual Bragg Jam, a music crawl spread over two days and held every July.

If you love beautiful buildings, the Grand Opera House and Hay House are must-see spots.

For art and history lovers, a stop at the Museum of Arts and Science and the Tubman African American Museum may be warranted.

Some other things to do include kayaking down the Ocmulgee, exploring downtown Macon (especially during the holidays, when it’s beautifully lit up), spending the day at Lake Tobesofkee, or biking/hiking on the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail.

As you can see, there’s a little something for everyone in beautiful Macon, and it’s just 1.5 hours away from Atlanta!

Recommended Hotel Nearby: 1842 Inn


You’d be forgiven for forgetting that you’re in the United States when you enter this beautiful little alpine village—with its Bavarian-style buildings and culture, Helen brings a slice of Germany to Americans, right down to its own Oktoberfest!

Merely an hour and a half away from Atlanta, Helen has plenty of exciting outdoor activities, such as tubing down the Chattahoochee, riding the new Georgia Mountain Coaster, and hiking through the multitude of trails surrounding Helen.

The Anna Ruby Falls is within easy hiking distance of Helen, with several viewing platforms for great vistas of the falls, as well as designated picnic spots on the banks of the river.

For a truly unique experience, try riding through town in a carriage or taking part in the annual Oktoberfest and Christmas events.

Have a blast exploring Helen’s beauty after just an almost two-hour road trip.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Helen, GA

30. Blue Ridge

Blue Ridge

Another gem of a mountain town sitting 2 hours away from Atlanta, Blue Ridge is an outdoor lover’s dream.

Try fishing for trout in the Toccoa, hike through the beautiful surrounding trails or level up the adventure by rafting down the Toccoa.

A fun experience that visitors can enjoy every fall is picking apples at the local orchards.

But what truly drives folks to this charming haven is the picturesque Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, a two-mile long train ride that takes you through the splendid countryside, with the gently flowing Toccoa keeping you company.

If you don’t want to ride the entire four hours, you can disembark at Copperhill and explore the quaint town’s many antique stalls, gift shops, and cute cafes—try the locally made ice cream and thank us later.

Related: Best Restaurants in Blue Ridge

31. Summerville


There’s something very hard to resist about mountain towns and Summerville is no exception—this mountain town should be on the top of your list if you’re seeking a slow-paced day out amidst crisp mountain air and oodles of mountain-town charm.

If you’re a history buff, start by exploring the Colonial Dorchester State Historical Park, where you can view the beautiful remnants of an era gone by.

If you’ve got little ones in the gang, the Wassamassaw Community Park, with its well-equipped playground, is worth a pit stop.

For a lazy afternoon of lounging around in the fine weather, try Azalea Park or Paradise Gardens.

Summerville also plays host to many amazing community events and festivals throughout the year, so plan a visit that coincides with any of these to experience Summerville in full form!

No need to worry about the travel time—it’s just an hour and 40 minutes away.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Coach Inn – Summerville

32. LaGrange


If making the tykes happy is the sole focus of your day trip, it rarely gets better than LaGrange.

Not only does LaGrange host one of the Great Wolf Lodge hotels with a full-fledged indoor waterpark, but it also has a range of kid-friendly annual events, such as the Azalea Storytelling Festival.

If your tykes love animals, they may adore the Wild Animal Safari Park, a drive-through animal park that sits right outside LaGrange.

The Biblical History Center and the Hills Dales Estate are landmarks in the city and are worth ticking off the LaGrange bucket list.

If you’re planning a day with family, this one-hour-away location can’t be missed.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Courtyard by Marriott LaGrange

33. Bryson City

Bryson City

Cocooned by nature and the many adventures that this brings, Bryson City is a gateway to all kinds of outdoor fun.

For one, ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, with themed rides for both the young (the “Polar Express” themed ride is a must!) and not-so-young (did someone say Moonshine Car?).

The open-air cars that run during autumn are especially beautiful, affording gorgeous views of fall’s changing colors.

Bryson City is extremely close to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, which brings with it its own beauty, such as stunning views, miles of hiking, wildflower carpets, and lush foliage.

If you don’t want to spend so much time doing outdoor activities, you can always cut it short and head to the bustling downtown area to get your fill of great shopping and lip-smacking food.

Bring food or stop at restaurants along the route because the drive will take you three hours.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Sleep Inn Bryson City Cherokee


Athens, a Bavarian town, and now Rome—channeling Europe much?

This postcard southern town is a short drive away from Atlanta and home to all sorts of outdoor activities.

Bike, hike, or walk the Downtown Heritage Trail System which takes you by three of the city’s rivers, or spend the day in the water in Rolater Park’s swimming lake.

The city is also home to the lovely Berry College and the gorgeous campus is worth visiting.

Cave Spring is also close by, though it’s only open seasonally so always check before you visit.

But it’s not all about just the outdoors in Rome—you can have more than your fill of amazing shopping, superb restaurants, baseball games (during the season), and unique activities like navigating a labyrinth!

You don’t have to travel miles away just to get to Rome; only an hour and 25 minutes will do.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn and Suites Rome, GA

35. Milledgeville


Just a little under two hours away from Atlanta, Milledgeville is your quintessential college town—great colleges, rich history, and of course, tons of summer parties.

If you’re visiting during the summer, don’t miss the annual family-friendly Beach Bash, where residents bring the beach to Milledgeville by spreading tons of sand (we’re talking about 80-90 tons here) in the local post office’s parking lot for a day of partying!

Recover from the party (and the hangover) by lazing around on Lake Sinclair’s beach or jogging and fishing at the Oconee River Greenway.

History lovers should check out the historic district, which houses the Natural History Museum and the Lockerly Arboretum and is the starting point of the African-American Heritage Tour.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: La Quinta by Wyndham Milledgeville

36. Serenbe Farms

Serenbe Farms

8715 Atlanta Newnan Rd Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268

If you’d like to spend the day on a lovely farm buying top-quality organic produce, Serenbe Farms, located in the Serenbe neighborhood, is a no-brainer.

Each Saturday in the months from April to November, the farm plays host to a thriving Farmers Market where the artisanal goods and natural produce will leave you spoilt for choice.

The live music and fun activities add to the energetic vibe, as does the warmth of the Serenbe community.

Serenbe, though only 45 minutes away from Atlanta, is a world of its own, so take the chance and explore the community while you’re here.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hampton Inn Atlanta-Newnan


“The Walking Dead” fans alert—this one’s for you!

Visit the town that served as the backdrop for the hit television series; there are convenient Walking Dead tours that’ll take you around all the spots in the town that make an appearance on the show.

This doesn’t mean that Senoia shouldn’t be on your list if you’re not a Walking Dead fan—plenty of folks make their way here for the slow-paced life and the relaxed vibe of the city.

Small-town charm oozes out of every cobblestone in the downtown area, with its array of antique stores, amazing restaurants, and gorgeous vintage homes—you could easily spend your whole day here.

If this got you excited, then drive quickly, but not too quickly, and you’ll be there in under an hour.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Hilton Peachtree City Atlanta Hotel & Conference Center

38. Pasaquan


238 Eddie Martin Rd Buena Vista, GA 31803 (706) 507-8306

One of the more unique offerings on this list, Pasaquan may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it will definitely excite art lovers.

This impressive installation sits south of Columbus and is a folk art piece conceptualized and constructed by famed artist and visionary Eddie Owens Martin (also called St. EOM).

The installation, along with other works of art, sits on a seven-acre compound and is under the care of Columbus State University, which does a great job of preserving the work and organizing tours for visitors.

You’ll never experience anything more artsy than this attraction just two hours away.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham Columbus/Near Fort Benning

39. Cloudland Canyon

Cloudland Canyon

122 Cloudland Canyon Park Rd Rising Fawn, GA 30738 (706) 657-4050

If hiking is the name of the game and the focus of your day out, you can hardly go wrong with Cloudland Canyon—hiking trails abound at this spot.

For an easy hike, hike the canyon’s rim and be rewarded with splendid views.

If you want to challenge yourself a little, take a hike right into the canyon, where you can see two beautiful cascades—Hemlock Falls and Cherokee Falls—and make the steep climb back.

This gorgeous state park is among Georgia’s most unique and beautiful offerings, and sitting just 2 hours away from Atlanta, is a popular day destination for many active, outdoor-loving families.

No matter which spot you pick for your day trip, you’re bound to make many lovely memories, considering that these are the best day trips from Atlanta.

If you haven’t already got the car and the kids ready to head to one of these spots, what are you even waiting for?

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Days Inn by Wyndham Trenton

Map of Day Trips Near Atlanta, GA

39 Best Day Trips from Atlanta, GA for 2024

  • Chattanooga
  • Rock City Garden
  • Consolidated Gold Mine
  • Toccoa Falls
  • Lake Lanier
  • Brasstown Bald
  • Stone Mountain Park
  • Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge
  • Anna Ruby Falls
  • Andersonville National Historic Site
  • Callaway Gardens
  • National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force
  • Museum of Aviation
  • Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest
  • Mercier Orchards
  • Amicalola Falls
  • Providence Canyon State Park
  • The Cherokee Forest
  • Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
  • Summerville
  • Bryson City
  • Milledgeville
  • Serenbe Farms
  • Cloudland Canyon

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Cherry Blossoms cover a pathway in Macon, GA.

16 Interesting Day Trips From Atlanta For Your Bucket List

April 5, 2021 //  by  Southern Trippers

While the city has so much to offer, it’s time to take some day trips from Atlanta to get out and explore. Haven’t you ever wondered what else the Peach State has in store for your Georgia state of mind?

The state of Georgia borders many states, making your possibilities endless! Surrounding the state are Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida! Depending on how far you want to drive, you can really get a change of scenery.

It doesn’t matter what you want to do. Georgia and its surrounding states have so much to offer. Whether you want to explore national parks, waterfalls, or just quaint rural towns, there’s a lot to keep you busy on your road trip !

The Metro area can get tiresome really quickly. So when you’re tired of the hustle and bustle, in desparate need of an escape, and you don’t know where to go? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. Here are the best day trips from Atlanta to feed your wanderlust.

A road winds through trees in Georgia.

Day Trips From Atlanta Within 1 Hour

At a mere 26 minutes northwest of the city, Marietta makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta! With a historic town square surrounded by a dramatic mountain backdrop, it’s just far away enough from the city to feel cozy.

To get a good feel for the town, you can take the Marietta Trolley for a one-hour, fully narrated tour from Antebellum Square on Thursdays through Sundays. You’ll tour grand antebellum homes and the battlefields at Kennesaw Mountain.

Nature lovers will love the hiking trails at the Chattahoochie River National Recreation Area. Take a raft and drift leisurely through the shoals or go fishing on the misty waters as the sun comes up. You can even have a picnic with some friends!

Drop the kids off at Six Flags White Water for a day of water park fun while the adults can go play at Treehorn Cider. Get a true taste of Treehorn by sampling their hot mulled cider or the drop biscuits with cider sage butter. Don’t forget to take home some hard cider for later!

An intersection in Marietta, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

Serenbe Farms

Just 35 minutes to the south, you’ll realize that Serenbe Farms makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta! A truly magical community near Chattahoochee Hills, you couldn’t feel further away from the hustle and bustle of the big city.

Serenbe describes itself as a wellness community connected to nature. A neighborhood full of fresh food and fresh air, the citizens and community are focused on wellbeing. The community is small, just hitting 350 homes over the past 15 years of development.

Check out the Artisan and Farmers Market every Saturday from April through November. You’ll find organic food and artisan goods. While you shop, you’ll be listening to live music and be able to participate in other fun activities too! Not to mention the views of the Georgia landscape can’t be beat!

A view of the mountains from Serenbe Farms.

Callaway Gardens

Just an hour and fifteen minutes west and a little bit to the south, you’ll find a lush paradise that makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta! Callaway Gardens is a beautiful haven for nature and flower lovers alike!

Over 2,500 acres, beautiful plants and flowers decorate the grounds. If you want to extend your day trip, there’s even a resort and spa! You can unwind with luxurious spa treatments Thursday through Monday 11 AM to 6 PM, but keep in mind, they’re closed on Tuesday and Wednesdays.

Callaway Gardens also boasts biking and hiking trails, a swimming beach, and two incredible golf courses. If you’re the outdoorsy type, you’ll love traversing the grounds at your leisure. Drop your kids off for some swimming while you hit the links!

The gardens also host events throughout the year, too! Check out Fantasy in Lights during the holidays which has been profiled by National Geographic! You can see colorful balloons float through the air in September during the Hot Air Balloon Festival. Head over to the swimming beach for the July 4th Star Spangled Beach Party for some fireworks!

A bridge traverses over a waterway in Callaway Gardens, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

Just an hour away from the big city, LaGrange makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta! Back in the early 1800s, General Marquis de Lafayette was reminded of his estate in France when he saw the area’s rolling hills, so he named this area LaGrange!

LaGrange is home to the Great Wolf Lodge. A gigantic indoor water park hotel, this is a perfect place to drop off the kids for the day! Day passes start at $40. In addition to the water park, you can also enjoy mini-golf, a rock climbing wall, bowling, an arcade, a ropes course, and more!

While the kids are playing, head to the Nutwood Winery and sample homemade breads, Amish cheeses, and a variety of desserts to pair with their signature wines. Then you can hit the links at the Fields Golf Club, which also hosts festivals and live music!

LaGrange also has amazing restaurants, the Biblical History Center, and is home of the Azalea Storytelling Festival! Just outside of town you’ll find the Hills Dales Estate and the Wild Animal Safari Park where you can drive through and feed the hungry animals!

Just an hour away from the big city, Senoia makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta . There are two major reasons to head to Senoia: if you’re looking for a relaxing break from city life, or if you’re a fan of The Walking Dead!

Senoia illustrates just how wonderful a slower pace of life can be. Get away from the hustle and bustle of Atlanta at Merimac Lakes Park. Walking trails are open every day of the year and if you have a valid fishing license, you can take advantage of the fishing venues!

The town’s downtown area is filled with shops and antique stores, so you’ll always find something unique. Don’t forget to hit up the amazing restaurants like the Southern Country Steakhouse & Saloon. You can even tour the beautiful historic homes and leave feeling refreshed!

If you’re a Walking Dead fan, there’s even more for you to do here! Take one of the many tours available in Senoia like Dad’s Zombie Roadtrip and you’ll be able to see many of the show’s filming locations starting from Season 1. Afterward, grab a frightfully good cup of coffee at the Walking Dead Cafe!

The Walking Dead Cafe, one of the most popular tourist attractions in Senoia, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

Atlanta Day Trips Between 1-2 Hours Away

Named for Christopher Columbus, Columbus makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta, only one and half hours away. Originally inhabited by the Creek Indians, it was an important shipping port and today is still popular because of its location along the Chattahoochee River.

Outdoor adventurers absolutely rave about Whitewater Adventures. USA Today named it the number one Man-Made Adventure in the World! You’ll glide down the river with your family along either a mild Lazy River or down wild and crazy Class V rapids.

You can also explore Uptown Columbus, the area’s entertainment district. Right along the Chattahoochee River, you can walk or bike the RiverWalk, a 22-mile paved trail that follows the river. The area also hosts Market Days on Broadway with a farmers market! And don’t forget about the free concert series!

Columbus is also a haven for art lovers! Along Broadway, you can take in the Sculpture Walk where you’ll see original art and sculptures. Each year, they add more pieces, so it’s never the same! You can also tour the National Civil War Naval Museum at Port Columbus for a taste of history.

The skyline of Columbus, Georgia.

If you’ve never been to Macon, then you’re missing out. One of the most quaint and charming towns in Georgia , this is one of the best day trips to take from Atlanta, especially for all things pink!

Among other things, Macon is home of the Cherry Blossom Festival. Held for two weeks every spring, the trees are lined with the pink petals and make the downtown area truly a beautiful wonder to behold. Even if you don’t visit during the festival, the trees themselves make the perfect Instagram photo op!

Macon’s downtown area is filled with activities and even hosts a two-day music crawl event every July. Bragg Jam allows you to see your favorite musicians while experiencing specials at the local restaurants and shops in the downtown area. During the holidays, the area is decorated with lights and just beautiful.

If you’re the outdoorsy type, then visit Amerson River Park. You can walk the paths by the Ocmulgee River. Watch the kayakers paddle by or hop in one for yourself and take in the sights! Then visit the Ocmulgee National Monument, hike the Ocmulgee Heritage Trail, or pack a picnic to enjoy on Lake Tobesofkee!

A pathway in Macon, one of the best day trips from Atlanta, is covered by blossoming Cherry Blossoms.

Great Wolf Lodge

Let’s face it, they don’t call it Hotlanta for nothing. This is why the Great Wolf Lodge makes one of the best day trips from Atlanta. The perfect way to beat the unbearable summer heat? Hit up Georgia’s indoor water park, the Great Wolf Lodge.

At the Great Wolf Lodge, the water is always 84 degrees. Not too hot and not too cold! The water park has plenty of slides, pools, and activities for all ages. At the end of the day, you can even retire to a hotel room, or a charmingly themed Wolf Den for kids.

Enjoy simulated rapids on River Canyon Run. Leave the kids at Fort MacKenzie, a four-story water treehouse while you relax with the adults at Northwood Oasis. Or simply relax in Otter Run, the park’s lazy river.

When you need to dry off but you’re still not done having fun? Don’t worry, the Great Wolf Lodge still has plenty of fun and adventure for the whole family. Hit up the kid-friendly bowling alley! There’s also mini-golf, a ropes course, an arcade, a rock climbing wall, and even a Build-A-Bear workshop!

One of the best day trips from Atlanta is to visit Helen, just one and a half hours to the north of the city. Who says you have to get on a plane to feel like you’re in a different country? When you visit Helen, you’ll feel like you’re taking a vacation in Germany!

The Bavarian village of Helen in the Blue Ridge Mountains is not your ordinary town. Its charm comes from the architecture. Since 1969, city leaders have decided to model the town’s buildings on south-German architecture, creating a quaint Bavarian feeling when you walk through the neighborhoods.

Helen also boasts incredible hiking trails nearby. Of all of the trails, you’re going to want to see Anna Ruby Falls, one of the prettiest waterfalls in Georgia . You’ll find access via a paved trail to viewing platforms. You’ll be so close to the falls you’ll be cooled by the mist from the cascading water!

To get the most German experience, take a carriage ride downtown and visit the quaint shops and restaurants. You don’t want to miss out on the Biergartens either. You can’t go wrong visiting during one of Helen’s extraordinary community events like Oktoberfest or Christmas in Helen!

The town of Helen, GA takes a cue from German architecture to look like a Bavarian town.

Chattanooga, TN

Chattanooga is one of the great romantic getaways in TN . As a small city, it boasts the perfect combination of city life and nature escapes.

The Tennessee Riverpark in Chattanooga is a fantastic example of when city life meets nature. While the Riverpark is nestled in downtown Chattanooga, you’ll also get an up-close view of the Tennessee River, including the flying seabirds and bustling fishing piers.

Other than the Riverpark, Chattanooga also has the breathtaking Tennessee River Gorge, the underground waterfall known as Ruby Falls, and the Tennessee Aquarium. For those looking to experience more of the city side of Chattanooga, there is also the Creative Discovery Museum as well as the many restaurants and shops of downtown Chattanooga.

The bridges that connect the town of Chattanooga, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

Southern Living Magazine voted  Blue Ridge, Georgia  one of the best mountain towns! Located just 90 minutes from Atlanta, it is perfect for a romantic getaway or a family mountain vacation. Don’t forget it when planning one of your day trips from Atlanta!

Known for its Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, wineries, and brewers as well as a more upscale dining and shopping destination. Take a ride on the railway or go trout fishing on the Toccoa River!

Blue Ridge is a great year-round town to visit for the outdoors where you can hike on the Appalachian trail, go tubing, visit a brewery or winery, enjoy a scenic drive or play golf! You can even try whitewater rafting or pick apples at a local orchard in the fall!

The Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the town of Blue Ridge, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

Amicalola Falls

Located near Ellijay, Georgia, this waterfall towers to a height of 730 feet and is definitely a sight to see while you’re in Georgia. The water spills over a cliff onto multiple layers of rock that create the beautiful whitewater visuals, making it one of the best day trips from Atlanta, only an hour and fifteen minutes away.

You can reach this Georgia waterfall from the Amicalola Falls Trail which is located in the Chattahoochee National Forest. The Amicalola Falls State Park is one of the most popular state parks in Georgia, and visitors frequent this park during any season.

From snow in the winter to leaves in autumn, or the bright sun of the summer, this waterfall is a top pick for many hikers. The hike is just over 2 miles round trip, but because of the elevation it is rated as a more difficult hike. Get ready to climb stairs, there are over 620 total!

Water cascades down Amicalola Falls, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

Atlanta Day Trips Over 2 Hours

Providence ridge canyon state park.

Known as Georgia’s ‘little Grand Canyon’, Providence Canyon State Park is located in Stuart County and was formed by poor farming practises in the 1800s with some of the gullies going as deep as 150 feet. It’s unique scenery makes it one of the best day trips in Atlanta!

Just to the south of Columbus and only two hours away from Atlanta, the views are truly breathtaking here. The orange, pink, purple, and red of the soil provide a truly unique scene. And if you visit during July and August, you will see the rare Plumleaf Azalea in bloom.

There’s a number of different hiking options at this southern national park, whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for something more strenuous , or something easier with handicap access there will be something for you. You can even enjoy a picnic area above the canyon as well as a playground!

Oh, and dogs are also allowed on a 6 feet leash!

Providence Ridge Canyon State Park shimmers with its hues of oranges and reds.

If you follow golf, then this next entry on our list of best day trips from Atlanta should seem like a no-brainer. That’s because Augusta is home to a little golf tournament every year called The Masters! Okay, it’s not so little, but there’s more to do than golf here.

The Partridge Inn should certainly be on your list for romantic weekend getaways in Georgia . The mix of luxury and cozy is the perfect spot for a couple to get away from it all. You can enjoy the spacious balcony rooms to enjoy your morning coffee with a view, relax by the gorgeous pool, grab a drink at the rooftop bar, or enjoy a meal on the veranda.

Visit the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area and cruise down the canal in a boat tour! Then take a walk around the museum in the Discovery Center. If that’s not enough history for you, you can visit the Augusta Museum of History and then take a trolley tour.

For the more adventurous, rent a kayak and paddle the Augusta Canal yourself or explore Phinizy Swamp Nature Park! If golf isn’t your cup of tea, then head on over to SRP Park during baseball season and catch an Augusta Greenjackets game!

A bridge in Augusta covers an old, out of commission railroad track.

SAM Shortline

The Blue Ridge Railway has NOTHING on the SAM Shortline Train. One of the best day trips from Atlanta, you can visit Georgia’s only rolling state park! Taking a ride on this train is the best way to see the full beauty of the entire state.

You can board the train at Georgia Veterans State Park in Cordele to enjoy a ride in an air-conditioned, vintage train car! The best part of the SAM Shortline Train is you have multiple options as far as destinations go! Choose between Plains, Americus, or Archery! Each one is rich in history!

The town of Plains is home of 39th President Jimmy Carter. Here you’ll see an inside look at his campaign and his life and get a deeper education in American politics. Archery is the site of President Carter’s boyhood home where you’ll see what rural life was like in the early 1900s!

The ride from Americus to Plains is the shortest option and perhaps the most scenic. However there’s so much to do that your time will fly and you might need to take a second trip! As you sink back in your comfy chair, you’ll enjoy a mix of romantic yesteryear with the excitement of today’s South!

No, we’re not talking about the Albany in New York! In Southwest Georgia, just under 3 hours away from the city, you’ll find the town of Albany, one of the best day trips from Atlanta with a multitude of family-friendly activities.

Everybody simply adores the Flint RiverQuarium. This is one of the few open-air aquariums in the world, focusing on the fish and plant life found in the Flint River. You can also get close to exotic animals at the zoo at Chehaw Park. Make sure to ask about Chloe!

Make sure to visit the Ray Charles Plaza in the center of the Flint River. A life-size sculpture of the soul musician is seated at a Baby Grand piano, resting on a rotating pedestal. You can enjoy a concert as his beloved melodies play at timed intervals while water flows over the pedestal and into a reflecting pool.

For even more fun, visit the All American Fun Park to enjoy two miniature golf courses, a 1/4 mile go-kart track, sixteen bowling lanes, and much more! There are also bumper boats, laser tag, and a roller coaster simulator!

Old stone structures add to the character of the Flint River in Albany, GA, one of the best day trips from Atlanta.

While Atlanta has so much to offer, sometimes you need to get out of the big city and explore. Georgia has a wealth of opportunities for the solo traveler with insatiable wanderlust or the family looking for a new adventure. Just remember that your next day trip from Atlanta is only a short car ride away!

burgers from huntsville alabama on a plate with ketchup

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » United States » Georgia (GA) » 15 Best Things to Do in Milledgeville (GA)

15 Best Things to Do in Milledgeville (GA)

While now the county seat of Baldwin County, Milledgeville Georgia was founded in 1804 as the state’s new capital.

It was built on land cleared of its native American population and largely constructed using slave labor. This perhaps explains why it was stripped of its status as state capital in 1868 during the post-civil war Reconstruction period.

Although temporarily occupied by General Sherman during the civil war, the 200-year-old city survived largely unscathed.

With a motto of ‘capitols, columns and culture,’ you know you can expect plenty of historic southern-style architecture and a great array of attractions, from museums to hiking trails.

Here are the 15 best things to do in and around Milledgeville, Georgia.

1. Milledgeville Historic District

Milledgeville Historic District

Milledgeville Historic District roughly equates to the area laid out during the founding of the city in the early 1800s.

Its streets cover an area of approximately 3,200 acres, with a large number of homes and other structures demonstrating the traditional southern architectural styles favored before the American Civil War.

Listed on the United States’ National Register of Historic Places, the classical Greek Revival style is particularly prominent here. Atkinson Hall at the heart of the Georgia College campus is just one example of around 40 historic structures worth exploring.

2. Old Governor’s Mansion

Old Governor’s Mansion

With an appearance not unlike a peach-colored version of the White House in Washington DC, the Old Governor’s Mansion is hard to miss.

The official residence of the state governor for most of the 64 years that Milledgeville was the Georgia capital, today this mansion has been converted into a historic house museum.

Tours lead through the restored original rooms, which have also born witness to General Sherman. He headquartered himself here in 1864 during the Union army’s March to the Sea.

Its interiors help tell the story of all Georgia’s residents, from the governor down to its enslaved population.

3. Lockerly Arboretum

Lockerly Arboretum

Dating to 1852, the similarly grand structure of Rose Hill at Lockerly Arboretum is another important Milledgeville structure worth checking out.

Inside, original features include its hardwood floors, plaster walls and marble fireplaces. Externally, the house is surrounded by around 50 acres of garden.

Perfectly symmetrical ponds immediately in front of Rose Hill spread out into a landscape of rhododendrons, camellias, shrubs and trees that make the perfect spot for a summer picnic.

More recent additions include several greenhouses able to house species that otherwise wouldn’t survive the Georgia climate, including around 60 different types of orchid.

4. Lake Sinclair

Lake Sinclair

Around 10 miles north of downtown Milledgeville is Lake Sinclair, a body of water with three thin main fingers that work their way through the Georgia countryside.

Edged by native trees, Lake Sinclair was created in 1953 by the damming of the Oconee River. Its more than 15,000 acres of area allow a huge number of leisure activities to take place along its shores and on its surface.

Those who enjoy more tranquil pastimes will relish the chance to relax amid extraordinary vistas, perhaps with a fishing rod in hand. But the adrenaline seekers don’t have to miss out. Boats can be rented from Sinclair marina, and jet skis are also available.

5. William P Wall Museum of Natural History

William P Wall Museum of Natural History

First opening its doors to the public in 2004, the William P Wall Museum of Natural History soon made a name for itself as one of the best museums in the middle Georgia region.

Part of Georgia College, its 2,500 square foot exhibition area covers the long history of life on Earth. Besides more unusual geology specimens are also a diverse range of fossils from mammoth bones to early mammal species.

Next door, visitors will also find a state-of-the-art planetarium, which expands the museum’s remit to the creation of the universe itself.

6. St Stephen’s Episcopal Church

St Stephen’s Episcopal Church

Not only was St Stephen’s Episcopal Church built during the heyday of Milledgeville as the Georgia state capital, but it also plays a central part in the city’s civil war history.

Located in Statehouse Square, the church was constructed in 1843 in the Rural Gothic style, meaning it is rich with woodwork inside and out. It also contains some beautiful stained glass put in place after the civil war.

Had it been in place beforehand, it probably wouldn’t have survived. The church was used as a stable for General Sherman’s horses, while its pews were broken up for firewood. In another deliberate act, its organ pipes were damaged with molasses.

7. Oconee River

Oconee River, Milledgeville

The Oconee River flows along the eastern edge of Milledgeville. It offers a great escape just a few minutes from the city’s downtown districts.

One of the best ways to discover its riverine landscape is by taking advantage of the Oconee River Greenway.

Running for around three miles, the greenway is made up of a combination of wide paths, narrower nature trails and wooden boardwalks.

And if strolling or cycling through the dappled shade of the river banks isn’t enough, the river also provides a playground for kayakers, as well as anglers.

8. Old State Capitol

Old State Capitol, Milledgeville

The Georgia state legislature first met in the Old State Capitol building in Milledgeville in 1807, when the building was still incomplete.

Once finished, it took the form of one of the best examples of Gothic architecture anywhere in the United States, with details recognizable from Europe’s medieval castles and cathedrals.

When the state capital was moved to Atlanta, the building became a court house, before becoming a part of Georgia College. Visitors are able to stroll its grounds, as well as enter a building that has had more than $10 million spent on its renovation.

9. John Marlor Arts Center

John Marlor Arts Center

Part of the Allied Arts Center, the John Marlor occupies one of Milledgeville’s oldest buildings, which dates back to the 1830s.

It lies within a part of town once known as the Strip, which was the focal point for Milledgeville’s African-American community as recently as the 1980s.

Step inside, and you’ll find a small gallery space with a regularly rotating series of exhibitions and artworks which changes every couple of months.

The three buildings that make up the Allied Arts Center also host a long list of workshops and seminars open to all.

10. Memory Hill Cemetery

Memory Hill Cemetery

Part of Milledgeville Historic District, Memory Hill Cemetery is filled with impressive Victorian memorials from the grand dames of the city’s past.

Within its 20-acre landscaping are some of the city’s most important names, including the author Flannery O’Connor, enslaved African-Americans from the pre-war period, and soldiers who died fighting that same war.

This burial place is of such significance that its self-guided walking tour counts 47 different points of interest, and is recommended to last at least an hour.

However, even the shortest stop to Memory Hill Cemetery as part of a larger sightseeing visit to historic Milledgeville will be a worthwhile experience for first-time visitors to the city.

11. Andalusia Farm

Andalusia Farm

This relatively simple structure was the home of Flannery O’Connor for more than a decade, from 1951 to 1964.

Dating back to around 1814, the farm began life as a cotton plantation, worked by slaves. The author moved here after being diagnosed with the autoimmune disease Lupus.

Despite this, it was during her thirteen years at Andalusia Farm that O’Connor wrote the major of her work, with the farm clearly playing at part in her literary world.

Now a museum, the farmhouse helps to tell O’Connor’s life story, including that of her two novels. The first, Wise Blood, was adapted into a movie directed by John Huston.

12. Brown-Stetson-Sanford House

Brown-Stetson-Sanford House

This woodboard structure is typical of the Milledgeville Federal style of architecture. It was constructed in 1825, and was designed by local architect John Marlor, after whom the arts center is named.

Retaining much of its original look in spite of the passage of almost 200 years, its main staircase is particularly majestic, and considered a tell-tale sign of Marlor’s work. In the parlor, visitors can also see the original hand-worked wood.

Brown-Stetson-Sanford House makes an excellent addition to the city’s historic trolley tours, which make use of a vintage trolleybus known by the name of Milly in exploring the likes of Rose Hill, the Old State Capitol and Sallie-Ellis Davis House.

13. Bartram Forest

Mountainbike Trail

On the southern edge of the city about five miles from Statehouse Square, Bartram Forest contains several looping trails for anyone eager to get out on a bike.

Its routes range from beginner friendly 5.5 mile trails to a trickier 10.3 mile track that should only be tackled by those with some experience on a mountain bike.

Two wheels is a great way of discovering all Georgia’s native habitats, including the remains of a vast sea that covered the area around 100 million years ago. The forest also has a plethora of local species of wildlife, while the forest was considered native American territory right up until 1794.

14. Tubman Museum

Tubman Museum

This museum in Macon is named after prominent African-American Harriet Tubman. Born into slavery, she became a key figure in the Underground Railroad that helped slaves escape the southern states. She will soon be honored with a portrait on the new $20 bill.

Forty minutes northwest of Milledgeville, the museum is perfectly named, as it is one of Georgia’s major gallery spaces for African-American art and culture.

Its collection of artifacts range from historic objects to stunningly contemporary pieces of sculpture. Its displays aim to highlight the role of African-Americans in the development of the United States, such as the work of agricultural scientist George Washington Carver.

15. Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge

Red-cockaded Woodpecker

A similar distance due west is the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. It has provided a space for Georgia’s native species since at least 1939, when it was first declared a protected area.

A region of forest interspersed with shallow streams, its ridges are dominated by pines while its beaver-inhabited creeks provide the perfect base for a variety of hardwoods.

Among its rarer species, visitors should look out for the red-cockaded woodpecker, among 200 other bird species and around 50 different types of mammal including the bobcat.

An orientation video can be enjoyed at the visitor center before you head out along the various trails that make the refuge such a delight.

15 Best Things to Do in Milledgeville (GA):

  • Milledgeville Historic District
  • Old Governor’s Mansion
  • Lockerly Arboretum
  • Lake Sinclair
  • William P Wall Museum of Natural History
  • St Stephen’s Episcopal Church
  • Oconee River
  • Old State Capitol
  • John Marlor Arts Center
  • Memory Hill Cemetery
  • Andalusia Farm
  • Brown-Stetson-Sanford House
  • Bartram Forest
  • Tubman Museum
  • Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge

The 11 Very Best Day Trips You Can Possibly Take In Georgia

day trips from milledgeville ga

Marisa Roman

A New Jersey native with over 15 years of writing experience, Marisa has studied at both New York University and Florida International University. She has lived all over the country, including a decade stint in South Florida. Marisa is well-versed in exploration as she travels a good majority of the year in her self-converted Sprinter van. Her articles have been featured in various notable publications over the years, she has a published collection of short stories, and three completed screenplays under her belt.

More by this Author

Life is always busy, but hopefully, from time to time, you are able to plan some fun things to do in order to explore the great state of Georgia. Between waterfall hikes, swimming holes, and farmers markets, Georgia is always chock-full of fun things to do during the summer, or any other season, with the entire family. So, the next time you’re wondering to yourself, “Where are some of the best day trips near me?” we have 11 of the best day trips in Georgia listed below. You’ll want to experience each of them.

1. The Rock Ranch

day trips from milledgeville ga

2. Red Clay Resort

day trips from milledgeville ga

3. Gibbs Gardens

day trips from milledgeville ga

4. Magnolia Springs State Park

day trips from milledgeville ga

5. Panther Creek Falls

day trips from milledgeville ga

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These 14 Unique Day Trips In Georgia Are An Absolute Must Do

These 14 Unique Day Trips In Georgia Are An Absolute Must Do

14 Stunning Natural Attractions In Georgia That Are Great For Day Trips

14 Stunning Natural Attractions In Georgia That Are Great For Day Trips

12 Unforgettable Georgia Day Trips, One For Each Month Of The Year

12 Unforgettable Georgia Day Trips, One For Each Month Of The Year

6. the georgia ice cream trail.

day trips from milledgeville ga

7. Tybee Island Beach

day trips from milledgeville ga

8. Lake Lanier

day trips from milledgeville ga

9. The East Palisades Hiking Trail

day trips from milledgeville ga

10. Zipline Canopy Tours

day trips from milledgeville ga

11. Abernathy Greenway Park

day trips from milledgeville ga

How about that for one heck of an itinerary? Have you ever experienced any of these fun day trips in Georgia? If so, please feel free to share your experience(s) with us in the comments below. Can you think of any other day trips in Georgia that are worth experiencing? If so, please feel free to share those with us as well. No matter where the road takes you, make sure you’re well-fueled for adventure. To help you do just so, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of road trip snacks .

If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during a weekend in Georgia this summer, especially something on the romantic side, then check out this romantic waterside cottage .

The Romantic Waterside Cottage In Georgia That’s Just What You Need For A Weekend Away

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

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American veterans depart to be feted in France as part of 80th anniversary of D-Day

Andy Negra Jr. proudly lays claim to being among the last of what is known as “The Greatest Generation.” (AP Video: Sharon Johnson)

day trips from milledgeville ga

World War II Veteran Hilbert Margol shares how he and his now deceased identical twin brother, Howard, were part of an artillery convoy, which is credited with the liberation of the Nazi concentration camp at Dachau.

World War II veterans Andy Negra, left, and Hilbert Margol, speak to each other during an an event honoring the two on Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Atlanta. Margol is a 100-year-old World War II veteran living in Dunwoody, Ga. He and his twin brother, Howard Margol, were a part of the 42nd Infantry that arrived in Marseille, France, in January 1945. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

World War II veterans Andy Negra, left, and Hilbert Margol, speak to each other during an an event honoring the two on Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Atlanta. Margol is a 100-year-old World War II veteran living in Dunwoody, Ga. He and his twin brother, Howard Margol, were a part of the 42nd Infantry that arrived in Marseille, France, in January 1945. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

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World War II veteran Andy Negra sits in his home in Helen, Ga, on April 10, 2024. He shows a photo of himself during his time with the Army’s 128th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Armored Division. (AP Photo/Sharon Johnson)

World War II veteran Hilbert Margol, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Atlanta. Margol is a 100-year-old World War II veteran living in Dunwoody, Ga. He and his twin brother, Howard Margol, were a part of the 42nd Infantry that arrived in Marseille, France, in January 1945. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

ATLANTA (AP) — Hilbert Margol says he didn’t look on himself as a hero when his U.S. Army artillery unit fought its way across Europe during World War II. But he will be feted in France as one of 60 American veterans of that conflict traveling to Normandy to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings .

“I know my brother and I never looked at it as we were any kind of heroes, nothing like that,” Margol said recently of himself and his twin brother Howard, who served with him. “It was just our time. That we were asked to serve. And we did.”

The 100-year-old Margol, who lives in suburban Atlanta, is among the dwindling band of veterans of the conflict leaving Atlanta on Sunday on a chartered flight for Deauville, Normandy. The veterans will take part in parades, school visits and ceremonies — including the official June 6 commemoration of the landings by soldiers from across the United States, Britain, Canada and other Allied nations on five beaches.

Margol didn’t land at D-Day, but the Jacksonville, Florida, native was among those who liberated the Dachau Concentration Camp on April 29, 1945.

FILE - In this June 8, 1944, file photo, under heavy German machine gun fire, American infantrymen wade ashore off the ramp of a Coast Guard landing craft during the invasion of the French coast of Normandy in World War II. June 6, 2019, marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the assault that began the liberation of France and Europe from German occupation, leading to the end World War II. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP, File)

The trip also includes high school and college students selected to escort the veterans and learn about their experiences. Charter flights also took veterans from Atlanta to France in 2022 and 2023.

On Sunday, the group of 60 veterans, donning customized jackets commemorating the anniversary, arrived at the Atlanta airport to the clapping and cheering from the flight crew and the Dutchtown High School marching band from Hampton, Georgia. The veterans were then guided through the airport to their terminal in a parade headed by the marching band.

World War II veterans Andy Negra, left, and Hilbert Margol, speak to each other during an an event honoring the two on Thursday, March 14, 2024, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

World War II veteran Jake Larson , a 101-year-old American best known on social media under the name “Papa Jake,” said he joined the national guard when he was 15 for the money and landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. Reflecting back on the three years he was in Europe, Larson said he is “no hero.”

AP AUDIO: American veterans depart to be feted in France as part of 80th anniversary of D-Day

AP correspondent Karen Chammas reports on D-Day observances, on the 80th anniversary of the allied assault, in France.

“I’m just a survivor, but I’m here to honor those people who gave their life so I can be here,” Larson said Sunday before the flight.

He also had a message to world leaders: "“Make peace not war.”

Andy Negra of Helen, Georgia came ashore with the 6th Armored Division at Utah Beach on July 18, 1944, about six weeks after D-Day. It is his second trip back to France after also taking part in last year’s flight.

“Well to me, we fought for freedom, and we fought for peace, and we fought for a good life,” Negra, a native of Avella, Pennsylvania, said in a recent interview.

World War II veteran Andy Negra sits in his home in Helen, Ga, on April 10, 2024. He shows a photo of himself during his time with the Army's 128th Armored Field Artillery Battalion, 6th Armored Division. (AP Photo/Sharon Johnson)

The trip is being organized by Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines, the Best Defense Foundation and the North American branch of French tire maker Michelin.

“It is our privilege to celebrate and honor these heroes by flying them directly to Normandy and recognizing their incredible sacrifices and contributions to the world,” Delta CEO Ed Bastian said in a statement.



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