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Georgia's Antebellum Trail in Macon

6 Best Weekend Getaway Ideas from Athens, Georgia (2023)

Athens  in Georgia has no shortage of entertainment, but once in a while, it feels like escaping from the usual. So why not a quick weekend getaway from Athens? Well, since Athens is conveniently located on the map of Georgia, it has multiple places to explore nearby. It is within driving distance from cities like Augusta, Nashville, Ashville, and Chattanooga. At the same time, natural landmarks like Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, Cherokee Forest, and Providence Canyon State too are nearby. Not to forget how Athens acts as a weekend getaway for the popular Antebellum Trail.

Athens is perfectly positioned for quick and easy excursions. Individuals can either drive their own car or take a quick cab ride. Even various affordable public transport options connect Athens with nearby landmarks. So, what are you waiting for? Go and check out the astounding recreational landmarks nearby Athens. Here are some of the finest Weekend Getaway Ideas from Athens, Georgia. Have a look:

6 Best Weekend Getaway Ideas from Athens, Georgia

  1. Go Explore the Antebellum Trail

 Antebellum Trail is a beautiful 100 miles long trail that passes through seven historic communities. And since Athens sits conveniently on its Northern end, it makes for a perfect weekend getaway. The trail winds south on Highway 441, passing through Watkinsville, Madison, Eatonton, Milledgeville, Old Clinton, and Macon. Each of these seven communities is renowned for its historical significance, architecture, beautiful gardens, and southern hospitality. Explorers can enjoy Greek Revival and Antebellum architecture, visit many historic house museums, and learn about different cultures. The antebellum trail also offers a glimpse of life in the South before the American Civil War. It would typically take three whole days to explore the Antebellum Trail from Athens.

  1. Spend Your Weekend In The Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest is a nature lover paradise and a popular weekend getaway from Athens. The National Forest is 1 hour 18 min (65.5 miles) from Athens and covers 867,000 acres of land in northern Georgia. It is home to approximately 850 miles of hiking trails and thousands of miles of clear-running streams and rivers. Also functioning as an outdoor playground, the National Forest features dozens of campgrounds, picnic areas, and other recreation sections. Individuals can swim or boat in Lake Sinclair, hike through the beautiful portion of the Appalachian Trail or explore the rich Flora and Fauna in the woodlands. The most popular activity to try here is fishing and whitewater rafting down the Chattooga River.

Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest

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Or if your adrenaline still craves for more, then hike all the way to Brasstown Bald summit. It is the observation deck here that provides stunning 360-degree views of the entire forest underneath and around.

  1. Make a Trip to Augusta

At a distance of 1 hour and 49 min (100.7 miles), Augusta is a beautiful town overlooking the Savannah River on the eastern border of Georgia. It is one beautiful family vacation spot and ideal for making a weekend trip from Athens. The town is best known amongst golf enthusiasts for organizing Masters Tournament. The game calls individuals from all across the USA every year in the month of April. It is when Augusta’s population almost doubles up, and the golf fever becomes a sight to see.

Besides that, there is so much more to see and do in the city. For instance, visit the Augusta Museum of History and consider joining it with a peaceful walk down to the beautiful Riverwalk. Morris Museum of Art, Boyhood Home of President Woodrow Wilson, and Sacred Heart Cultural Center are more options to consider. To learn about Augusta’s true culture and vibes, do not overlook its beautiful downtown area.

  1. Spend Some Peaceful Time In The Northeast Georgia Mountains

When a load of life becomes too high, the locals of Athens consider escaping to the Northeast Georgia Mountains. And since the mountains are less than an hour from Athens, planning a quick weekend trip here also adds in some convenience. The immense natural beauty and range of recreational opportunities attract lakhs of visitors throughout the year. Some of the towns and cities you can explore include Young Harris, Cleveland, Blairsville, Sautee Nacoochee, Clarkesville, Clayton, Dahlonega, and Gainesville. Talk about Southern Hospitality, and the people of Northeast Georgia are excellent at it. Nature lovers can hike and explore lakes, streams, creeks, waterfalls, and rivers. Or go for winery hopping and taste some refreshing local flavors here.

The local mountain towns of Northeast Georgia also have historical sites to visit from the civil war. These landmarks may appear small but might have a larger historical significance to learn about. Note: Do try different local mountain food and coffee at the local eateries.

  1. Break Your Boundaries and Drive All The Way To Asheville, North Carolina

Even though it is a little far away, Asheville makes a wonderful weekend getaway from Athens. About 2 hours 50 min (157.0 miles) from Athens, Asheville lies far west of North Carolina. Its proximity to mountains, thriving artistic community, and vibrant culinary scene make it a popular choice amongst south travelers. Nature lovers can begin by exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway, a scenic wonderland. For a similar experience, more options like Pisgah National Forest and Botanical Gardens of Asheville add up to the list. If you are into architecture and antiques, do check out the 8,000-acre Biltmore Estate, United States’ largest private home. Other popular attractions in the city include River Arts District, Western North Carolina (WNC) Nature Center, and Pack Place.

Asheville, like many other U.S. Cities, boasts a funky, artsy, and eclectic downtown area. Its friendly Bohemian vibes are definitely something to check for. One can explore the area for shopping, dining, and all kind of entertainment.

  1. Drive All The Way To Lake Hartwell

1 hour 6 min (51.9 miles) from Athens, Lake Hartwell is a beautiful place to check out on weekends. It is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the South and is majorly used for recreational purposes. One of the most popular recreational activities in this southeast jewel is fishing. Fishes like largemouth bass, catfish, smallmouth bass, walleye, and bream naturally appear out here. However, the most popular catch here is the Stripped bass. Though 20 lbs fishes are more common here, to no surprise, you might also get your hands on 60 lbs ones. Lake Hartwell is also surrounded by multiple lake houses and docks that facilitate swimming and boating. There are a few primitive camping options nearby in case you want to stay back overnight or for a weekend. Besides that, there are multiple hiking trails, two playgrounds, and a park store as well.

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