Spring and Summer Break aren’t here yet, but are your kids antsy and are you craving a change of scenery?? Us too!
Pack your bags, load the car (don’t forget snacks for the road!), and head on out for a fun family weekend getaway. We’ve listed some of our favorite winter road trips below that will satisfy your wanderlust…until Spring Break, at least!
Dollywood’s DreamMore Resort
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Driving distance from Atlanta: 4 hours
Although Dollywood is closed from early January through March 31st, don’t let that stop you from making a trip to the Smoky Mountains this winter. The DreamMore Resort, which is a Dollywood property, is the perfect place for a relaxing weekend filled with family time. Our kids love the family-friendly room at the DreamMore – bunk beds for them and a big King bed for the parents! Spend the day swimming in their beautiful indoor pool or exploring the Smokies on a Pink Jeep tour! Sneak in craft time for the kids at DreamMore’s Camp DW, a mommy and me mani/pedi at the beautiful onsite spa, and then wind down the day with the resort’s bedtime stories around a campfire.
Gaylord Opryland Resort
Driving distance from Atlanta: 4 hours
We love visiting Nashville for the music, but this stunning resort is reason enough to make the drive! The Gaylord Opryland Resort is perfect for those wanting to escape the winter weather, but also keep things adventurous. The interior of the Opryland Resort is 9 acres large, and filled with family-friendly activities, onsite restaurants, entertainment, and even a spa (if mama can sneak away for a bit!).
Explore the indoor garden atriums on a Jack Frost-themed scavenger hunt; make a splash at SoundWaves which includes indoor play structures, lazy rivers, pools, and water slides; embrace the season with ice tubing, ice skating, and ice bumper cars; and even watch a live ice-skating show, featuring champion skaters, big jumps, fast spins, and awe-inspiring throws and lifts. At night, wind down with a cocktail, a private horse-drawn carriage ride, and a relaxing indoor riverboat ride through the gardens.
Highlands, North Carolina
Driving distance from Atlanta: 2.5-3 hours
Feeling the need for a little mid-winter adventure? Highlands, NC is a beautiful spot for a family weekend getaway. Spend your day finding nature and breathing in that crisp, mountain air at one of the many beautiful hiking spots in the area – you can’t miss the waterfalls (and maybe even icicles!) at Bridal Veil Falls and Dry Falls or take a 2-mile, inclined hike in search of breathtaking views at Whiteside Mountain. After a day of hiking, warm up with a casual dinner at The Ugly Dog Pub and consider stopping at the Old Edwards Inn for a fancy, post-dinner cocktail and dessert (expert mom traveling tip: bring Uno, Phase 10, or Farkle for a fun way to keep the kids entertained while you enjoy your drink).
Our family has loved staying at The Park on Main and 200 Main in the past, but there is no shortage of sweet little hotels and cabins in the area. And no need to leave your dog behind if you are traveling to Highlands – it’s a very pet-friendly travel spot!
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Driving distance from Atlanta: 1.5-2 hours
We love that Blue Ridge is right down the road – only about 1.5 hours from most of Atlanta! Blue Ridge is the perfect town to rent a cozy cabin for a fun winter weekend away with the family. Bonus if you find one with a hot tub for some post-dinner relaxation!
In our opinion, the perfect weekend in Blue Ridge would combine exploring the great outdoors and exploring their cute downtown area. Favorite family hikes include Falls Branch Falls and the Swinging Bridge trails. Or, if your family wants to hike Georgia’s tallest mountain, head an hour down the road to Blairsville where you will find Brasstown Bald. The steep hike up is worth it, as on a clear day you can see 4 states, even without a telescope. If the hike up sounds exhausting, there’s no shame in taking the shuttle to the top!
Downtown Blue Ridge has two great options to keep kids entertained in the winter – check out 2nd Story Entertainment for a round of indoor mini-golf and Vertigo Pinball for an afternoon of vintage pinball fun. Stop by Das Kaffee Haus for a warm coffee and cocoa or Tupelo Tea for a hot chai. And no trip to downtown Blue Ridge is complete without a stop at Huck’s General Store for a paper bag filled with candy treats.
The Inn at Serenbe
Driving distance from Atlanta: 40 minutes
Have you heard of the sweet Serenbe community located just south of Atlanta? This hidden gem is no further than most of Atlanta’s daily commute to work and a perfect location for a relaxing weekend away with the family. With a large variety of rooms to choose from (Room 21 in the Guest House is our family’s favorite!), The Inn at Serenbe makes for a special place to stay.
We love starting each day with a delicious breakfast at The Farmhouse (included in your stay at the Inn), followed by a walk through the farm to say “good morning” to all the animals. From there, you could spend your day horseback riding on trails, hiking to waterfalls, biking, or golf-carting around the Serenbe community – there are many options for an active day, but regardless of what you choose, be sure to stop for lunch at the adorable Blue Eyed Daisy Bakeshop. While you are out, swing by the General Store for snacks and maybe even a bottle of wine in prep for a relaxing night back at the Inn.
End your day cozied up with your family fireside and playing games at the Inn. Or if you want to brave the cold, stop by Guest Services for a s’more packet and head out to the bonfire by the lake pavilion. We could rinse and repeat this type of day forever!
Asheville, North Carolina
Driving distance from Atlanta: 3.5 hours
This quaint North Carolina town is located in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and is one of our favorite winter road trips. There are plenty of fun things to do during the winter including exploring the famous Biltmore Estate, hiking, shopping, spas, visiting the downtown, eating delicious food, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. Winter trip ideas are all laid out for you here!
While in Asheville, our kids love to go hunting for the Tiny Doors. These “Fairy Doors”, as my kids call them appeared back in 2013 and no one really how or why, but they are a great example of how artsy and quirky Asheville is.
Bonus Winter Road Trip Idea
Have you been back to your Alma Mater recently when there isn’t a football game to go to? One of my favorite trips to take as a winter road trip is back to my Alma Mater, without the distraction of a sports-filled weekend. It makes for a much more relaxed time where we are able to just walk around campus and show off my favorite spots to the kids and reminisce.
What do you think about our winter road trips list? Did we leave any of your favorites off? Let us know!