If you are planning a Georgia road trip, we’ve got 5 great centers to base your Georgia road trips around. These Georgia road trip ideas also work for a larger Southern USA road trip because Atlanta is a major international hub in the region. Another popular option is the Florida to Georgia road trip because the Atlanta to Orlando drive is fast and say on I-75. We suggest cool stops between Atlanta and Orlando because there is so much to see and to do along the way.
Florida to Georgia Road Trip
Although Atlanta is a major international hub, flights from the UK tend to be on Delta Airlines to Atlanta. Unfortunately, British Airways and American Airlines have a strong relationship which leaves Delta out in the cold (ok, Gatwick airport which we find inconvenient from North London).
If you fly into Orlando Florida, you can generally get better flight times and cheaper flights. So we have done a Florida to Georgia road trip quite often. Similar to our Boston to New York road trip you can either zip along on the interstate or take leisurely pace and see all the cool sights along the way on an Orlando to Atlanta drive.
The Atlanta to Orlando drive time runs about 6 hours if you bomb along I-75North. The Atlanta to Orlando distance is less than 500 miles with most of these Atlanta to Orlando miles done on the interstate.
We have gone from Atlanta to Orlando drive time ranging between 2 days to a week, depending on what stops you make on your Atlanta to Orlando road trip.
Halfway between Atlanta and Orlando is Valdosta. Other cool stops to make between Atlanta and Orlando are Macon Georgia, Lake City in Florida and Gainesville in Florida.
On our Atlanta to Orlando road trip, here are ideas for places to visit between Atlanta and Orlando FL.
- My son LOVES airplanes and the Warner Robbins Museum of Aviation is a treat.
- Macon Georgia is a cool university town with two very different yet fabulous museums. The Tubman Museum on African Art and Allman Brothers Band Museum on the rock band.
- The Grand Bay Wildlife Area in Valdosta Georgia
- You will probably get your fill of theme parks in Florida, but children never seem to. Check out the Wild Adventures theme park which has safari animals, adrenaline-rush attractions and a water park.
- Lake City is the gateway to the Osceola National Forest with its thousands of acres of swamps and wetlands that stretch onto the Okefenokee National Park.
- Gainesville Florida is another college town with plenty of attractions including a burgeoning craft beer scene.
Our favorite places to stay between Atlanta and Orlando include Valdosta in Georgia and Lake City in Florida, both of which have extensive hotels right off the interstate.
5 Georgia Road Trip Stops
We associate Georgia with our children being born in Marietta, a northwest suburb of Atlanta. Although Georgia was a brief stop among the many places we have lived in the world, this state will always have a special place in our hearts.
We didn’t see much of Atlanta at the time and we have always promised the kids to plan a trip to Atlanta to see it properly.
The distance from Atlanta to Savannah is 250 miles. From Savannah, the coastal islands are an easy drive. For example, Tybee Island to Savannah is a mere 20 minute drive.
The driving distance from Savannah to Jekyll Island is about 90 miles or a two hour drive. Atlanta to Jekyll Island though is about 290 miles and a 5 hour drive. It absolutely makes sense to make a pitstop in Savannah if you are driving from Atlanta to the Georgia coast.
Plan a Trip To Atlanta
A great stop on any Southern US road trip is Atlanta, Georgia where there is a variety of things to do that will please every traveler. While you can see a lot of Atlanta in one day, a couple days or weekend is best to really experience all the city as to offer.
Stop in Ria’s Bluebird for breakfast with delicious French toast or try Simply Done Donuts with epic mini donuts with unique flavors. Try Mary Mac’s Tea Room for a classic Southern meal where you can try fried chicken, collard greens, fried okra, and more!
Atlanta is full of incredible attractions so you really can’t go wrong. To save a little money on admission prices, check out the CityPASS.
Some of the top attractions in the city are the Georgia Aquarium, rated top in the nation, Atlanta Botanic Gardens, with Alice in Wonderland themed topiary sculptures, or the Atlanta BeltLine, a mural filled pedestrian pathway that circles the city.
Other highlights include the picturesque Jackson Street Bridge where you can catch a glimpse of the Atlanta skyline, made famous by the Walking Dead TV show.
Don’t miss Martin Luther King Jr Historical Park, to learn about MLK Jr. and America’s history of racism and the civil rights movement.
If staying overnight, the Marriot Marquis is one of the best hotels in the center of downtown. You’ll probably recognize its unique interior from movies like The Hunger Games.
by Alanna Koritzke from Periodic Adventures
Plan a Trip to Augusta
When planning a road trip across the Southern states in the USA, Augusta, Georgia doesn’t usually come to mind as a place to stop. However, this military town has a lot to offer travelers.
One of the most famous activities in Augusta is Master’s Week, a major golf tournament that happens every April. Tickets to watch the tournament are hard to come by and require applying for months in advance, but even if you can’t get tickets, this is still a great time to visit Augusta—the city comes alive!
Augusta’s downtown area has the most activities and is the best place to stay. The Riverwalk along the Savannah River provides a beautiful place to enjoy the balmy weather and occasional local events. There is also a local art museum, a plethora of bars and restaurants serving Southern food, and historical sites, from the Augusta Canal to the childhood home of Woodrow Wilson.
Visitors who love the outdoors will enjoy kayaking in the Savannah River, visiting Phinizy Swamp to find alligators, and camping at Mistletoe State Park. This lesser-known state park lines the Clarks Hill Lake, and is great for boating, kayaking, swimming, and hiking. It’s beautiful, secluded, and much less crowded than other state parks in Georgia. There are also many ranger-led activities there during the weekends and throughout the summer.
Whether it’s for the food (Frog Hollow Tavern and Boll Weevil are local favorites!), the outdoor activities, or Master’s Week, Augusta makes the perfect pit stop on a tour of the Southern United States!
– By McKenna Hurd of One More Step Travels
Trip to Jekyll Island
Jekyll Island should be on any southern road trip. This unique little gem is a beautiful island in southern Georgia and feels like a hidden getaway. It has been a vacation retreat for centuries and known for its peaceful calm.
It’s perfect for outdoor activities, walking, kayaking and swimming and there are plenty of opportunities to do this all across the island.
One of the best activities is to hire bicycles and cycle around the whole thing. Over copper colored creeks and trees heavy with the Spanish Moss which are all across the island it’s a beautiful activity to really appreciate the scenery. It’s also the perfect way to stop off at some of the island’s gorgeous beaches as you go, the most spectacular of which is Driftwood Beach.
Regularly named as one of the top beaches in the US this is a special stretch of white sand that is littered with pine and oak tree limbs, bleached by the sun and like a piece of art. This is the perfect spot to watch the sun set from.
There are a number of the great family resorts in Georgia based here in Jekyll Island, the most notable of which is the Jekyll Island Club which is packed full of old world charm and the rocking chairs that line the porch are the perfect place to sit back and relax a while. However long you come for you will wish you had longer, it’s a great place to really unplug and relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
– by Nichola of Family Hotel Expert
Plan A Trip To Savannah
Travelers from all over the country visit Savannah to see its picturesque squares, stroll along the beautiful cobblestone streets, and sample the city’s incredible Southern-style cooking.
The Historic District is very small and walkable, so it’s best explored on foot! Begin along the river, where you can watch the giant container ships sail into port along River Street. Next, head to nearby City Market to shop in the galleries while enjoying live entertainment.
Afterwards, hit up the many shops lining Broughton Street (Paris Market is a must!), and then head deeper into the Historic District. That’s where you can explore the city’s many beautiful squares and stroll along Jones Street, which is considered one of the prettiest streets in Savannah. Make sure to stop by Forsyth Park and snap a picture in front of the famous fountain!
The Olde Pink House is a favorite restaurant amongst both locals and visitors. It offers fine dining inside an elegant historic mansion. For those who prefer something a little more casual, try Vinnie Van Go Go’s Pizza or Treylor Park.
Bonaventure Cemetery and the Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist are two can’t-miss landmarks, while the Owens-Thomas House and Slave Quarters is a top-rated tour. If you’re into the spook factor, a ghost tour is a must! After all, Savannah is considered one of the most haunted cities in the US.
Stay at The Marshall House, which is one of the oldest hotels in Savannah. They’re known for their incredible Southern hospitality.
– Erin Clark from Savannah First Timer’s Guide
Plan A Trip to Tybee Island
Tybee Island should be on the Georgia road trips list because it’s the closest beach for R&R after indulging in all the historic and cultural excitement that Savannah offers.
Although you will plan a trip to Tybee Island to chill out, you will not be bored. There are plenty of things to do on Tybee Island for a small beach destination. For example,
- Enjoy Tybee Island beach which has been recognized as one of the best beaches in the USA
- Engage in watersports like SUP and surfing
- Visit pretty Tybee Lighthouse, the oldest lighthouse in Georgia
- Learn about Coastal Georgia at the Tybee Marine Center
- Take a boat tour to see dolphins and other wildlife
The drive from Tybee Island to Atlanta is nearly 300 miles and a 4 hour drive. Tybee Island to Savannah is much closer and a mere 20 minutes away. You’ll find plenty of accommodation options, including hotels, inns and vacation home rentals, for your trip to Tybee Island.
Map for Georgia Road Trip Ideas
The Georgia road trip ideas mentioned above are mapped out below. The red markers show the Georgia to Florida road trip we take along I-75 connecting Atlanta to Orlando FL.
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