Between gas prices, limited vacation days, and chaotic air travel, taking a local road trip is more appealing than ever this summer. These five destinations are all within 300 miles (round-trip) of Atlanta, Georgia, making them ideal for quick getaways. Spend less time at the pump and more time enjoying the road.
If you’re in an electric vehicle, we’ve noted whether you can expect to find chargers along each route as well.
1. Birmingham, Alabama
Total mileage: 294 miles
Birmingham was an important battleground during the Civil Rights Movement, and it now features many museums and landmarks honoring the fight for equality. Start in the Birmingham Civil Rights District with the exhibits and galleries at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and then visit Kelly Ingram Park, which honors the four Black girls who were killed in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church bombing. Visit the old Birmingham City Jail, where a historical marker marks where Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the “Letter from the Birmingham Jail.” Also consider taking the “In Their Footsteps” Civil Rights guided tour led by a local historian.
Explore more of the city’s museums, like the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame (re-opening soon), which celebrates the city’s jazz history; the Negro Southern League Museum, which honors the history of African American baseball; and the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum, featuring more than 900 motorcycles and cars, and an adjacent track.
Don’t miss: Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy a day at Ruffner Mountain; for live music or a show, check the lineup at the historic Lyric Theatre; and try the “best barbecue in Birmingham” at one of the SAW’s BBQ locations.
Charge: You’ll find plenty of charging stations in the city as well as options along Interstate 20 to and from Atlanta.
2. Senoia, Georgia
Total mileage: 144 miles
Fans of The Walking Dead will recognize downtown Senoia as the show’s fictional town of Woodbury in season three. Located nearly 45 miles south of Atlanta, Senoia offers fans of the show places to shop, eat, and tour filming locations.
Don’t miss: Eat at Nic & Norman’s (owned by The Walking Dead producer and director Greg Nicotero and actor Norman Reedus); shop for souvenirs at The Woodbury Shoppe; and take a walking tour of the town with the Georgia Tour Company and see what you recognize from the show.
Check out a local couple’s front yard for an ever-changing display of naked Barbie and Ken dolls on “Barbie Beach.”
Stay: The Veranda Historic Inn offers nine rooms and is located right off of the town’s historic Main Street. Nearly 20 miles south of the town is the Joe Kurz Campground, popular for hunting and fishing.
Charge: Senoia doesn’t have any charging stations but there are plenty located outside of Atlanta on your way to and from the city.
3. Chattanooga, Tennessee
Total mileage: 236 miles
Located along the Tennessee River, Chattanooga offers a mix of city life and outdoor activities for those looking to visit for a weekend (or longer). Lookout Mountain is perhaps the area’s most well-known attraction, home to an underground waterfall, an incline railway, a swinging bridge, caverns, a National Park Service-managed national military park and trail system, and more.
After your outdoor adventure fix, enjoy the city’s museums, including the Sculpture Field at Montague Park, the Hunter Museum of American Art, and the surprisingly fun International Towing & Recovery Hall of Fame & Museum.
Charge: Charging station options are plentiful in the city, as well as along Interstate 75 to and from Atlanta.
4. Helen, Georgia
Total mileage: 186 miles
For a taste of Bavaria in the Blue Ridge Mountains, visit the touristy but fun alpine village of Helen. The small town makes up for its size in activity offerings, from fishing and tubing in the Chattahoochee River to zip lining, hiking, and rock climbing. There are also wineries and tasting rooms, and of course, plenty of German-themed eateries and shops along Main Street. When the weather cools, visit for the town’s famed Oktoberfest and Christmas village.
Those traveling with kids (or Cabbage Patch Kids fans) can visit the toy company’s Babyland General Hospital in nearby Cleveland, Georgia, and pick out a doll to adopt.
Charge: There’s only one public charging station in Helen with others along routes to and from Atlanta, so plan accordingly.
5. Athens, Georgia
Total mileage: 144 miles
College football fans and state residents know Athens as the home of the Georgia Bulldogs, but there’s plenty to do in this vibrant college city, no matter if there’s a home or away game. Athens is also known as the birthplace of public education in the U.S.; be sure to visit the Historic North Campus to learn more about the University of Georgia’s history.
Don’t miss: Off campus, catch a show at the Georgia Theatre—or eat and drink on the rooftop; bike along part of the Firefly Trail, a regional, 39-mile rail trail currently in development; and try the massive biscuits at Mama’s Boy.
Charge: There are a handful of charging stations around the University of Georgia campus and at hotels in the area.