It’s difficult to imagine ever running out of things to do in Atlanta, but every now and then you just want to get out of the familiar and have an adventure. If you’re anything like me, you might occasionally battle a severe case of wanderlust. As a former full-time wanderer (our family of five traveled the United States in a camper) who is now planting roots in the north metro area, I find myself missing the thrill of exploring a new place and meeting new people. Thankfully, I’ve discovered you don’t have to go far to have a fantastic adventure.
The Atlanta area is perfectly situated as an excellent starting point for all kinds of fun day trips for your family. The city is surrounded on all sides by charming small towns, world-class museums, countless historical sites, and stunningly breathtaking views of nature. I’ve made it my mission to explore as many of them as possible and I’d love to take you along on my journey! Over the next several months, I’ll be on a quest to find the best family fun to be had within two hours drive of downtown Atlanta.
Here’s a sneak peek of the first few day trips!
6 Family Day Trips from Atlanta
Less than 120 miles from downtown Atlanta and spread along the banks of the Tennessee River, Chattanooga offers a wide variety of family activities. Lookout Mountain and Ruby Falls offer natural wonders. The zoo and the aquarium host creatures great and small. With options such as rock climbing, train excursions, and riverboat rides, the only problem might be deciding what to do first. Be sure to check our Chattanooga Moms sister site for things to do!
Just over 40 miles north of the city center, you’ll find charming small-town life. Friendship Square hosts a weekly farmers market and live music. Excellent restaurants, cute boutiques, and nationally recognized museums provide indoor choices. There are also plenty of ways to get outside with Etowah River kayaking, splashing in Allatoona Lake, exploring the Etowah Indian Mounds, or getting wild at Pettit Creek Farms.
About 80 miles south of Atlanta, you’ll find restaurants, galleries, and many fascinating museums. The Tubman Museum is home to Georgia’s largest collection of African American history, culture, and art. The Georgia Sports Hall of Fame is the largest state sports museum in the nation. Just a few miles from town, you learn all about the high-flying adventure at the Museum of Aviation.
Less than 80 miles west, is the “Gateway to Callaway Gardens,” an incredibly stunning sight. While that in itself is reason enough to visit, there is much more to see. F.D. Roosevelt State Park is the largest state park in Georgia and offers miles of adventure with gorgeous hiking. You can also visit Roosevelt’s Little White House or get up close and personal with nature at Wild Animal Safari.
Around 70 miles east of Atlanta, you’ll find the State Botanical Garden of Georgia along with a number of beautiful parks offering hiking, biking, and splashing. You can also visit the Georgia Museum of Art or stroll the Victorian-era downtown. Historical sites and home tours, breweries, music, and of course the University of Georgia campus round out the long list of options.
North of the city, you can lose yourself in the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Choosing one favorite destination here is like choosing a favorite child–impossible! I’ll be highlighting several of my favorite towns and parks scattered throughout this beautiful region. You can expect to see Helen, Amicalola Falls, Brasstown Bald, Blue Ridge, Dahlonega, and Vogel along the journey.
During our years of full-time traveling, we learned many lessons (often learned the hard way) and gained loads of experience. I’m excited to apply those same concepts to exploring on a more local scale and sharing it all with you. I would love for you to feel inspired to discover the incredible places right in our own backyard and hopefully be equipped and encouraged to set out on your own adventure.
Have any tips or suggestions for places to make day trips? Please share them in the comments. Maybe you’ll see them in a future post!