10 Fall Trips You Won't Believe are Just an Hour Outside of Atlanta

Barnsley Resort Fall
Photo: Courtesy Barnsley Resort

Gone are the oppressively hot days of summer, and, if you're anything like us, the cool undercurrent in the air makes staying indoors nearly impossible. The great thing about Atlanta, whether you call it home or you're just visiting, is that it's within driving distance to so many towns, parks, and attractions.

The best part? You don't have to go very far to enjoy them. Many of these things are only an hour (in some cases, just a little bit more) from the city making them ideal for day trips or quick weekend getaways. Whether you want to sip wine, catch an outdoor show, or explore a new town, here are 10 getaways within an hour of Atlanta.

01 of 10


Serenbe, GA
Peachtree Photography

Serenbe is a planned neighborhood south of Atlanta in Chattahoochee Hills, but it feels like a world of its own. The wellness community was designed with preservation in mind and is set among forests and meadows with plenty of walking trails. Plan on timing your visit with an event, such as an architecture tour, wine tasting, or an outdoor ballet performance. You can also enjoy a seasonally-inspired meal at the Farmhouse at Serenbe and spend the night at the Inn.

02 of 10

Barnsley Resort and Gardens

Barnsley Resort and Gardens

European travel is happening again, but if you don't want to whip out the passport and deal with customs, you might want to consider Barnsley in Adairsville, about an hour northwest of Atlanta. In addition to the resort, spa, and golf course, on the property you'll find the ruins of the original estate built by Godfrey Barnsley in the 1800s as well as intricately designed gardens that are worth exploring. Some amenities are only available to guests, so you might just want to book a room for an overnighter.

03 of 10


Fayetteville, GA

Located about 45 minutes south of Atlanta, Fayetteville has old-town charm, but it's also ideal for fans of The Walking Dead as it's one of the filming locations for the show. Visit some of the filming spots and stop at Starr's Mill Park to take in some scenery.

04 of 10

Chateau Elan

Chateau Elan Georgia
Jay Kossman Photography

Located on 3,500 acres in Braselton, about an hour north of Atlanta, Chateau Elan offers a European vibe in a North Georgia setting. The resort offers a spa and fine dining experiences as well as tennis and golf. The real draw is the wine, though. There are over 30 wines to try in the tasting room, including Pinot Grigio, Sauvignon Blanc, and muscadine, and you can also take a tour.

05 of 10

Carters Lake

Carters Lake, GA

By day, Carters Lake is an outdoor-lover's playground with excellent fishing and boating opportunities in the foothills of the Georgia Blue Ridge Mountains. You can also go hiking and have a picnic (when it's warm enough, there's a beach to hang out on). What's really cool, though, is that the lake is an ideal spot to see the stars at the night. It can be hard to stargaze in the city (thanks light pollution) and while there are some truly great dark skies in North Georgia, those require a bit more effort. So, Carter's Lake is a great choice for some day-to-night fun within reach of Atlanta.

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Woodstock, GA
Visit Woodstock GA

The cute town of Woodstock is about 45 minutes northwest of Atlanta. If you're a mountain biker, you'll want to hit up Blankets Creek , a nationally renowned trail system that's great for all levels. Whether you bike or not, you'll want to go to downtown Woodstock where a stretch of eateries and boutiques await you. There's the casual Freight Kitchen & Tap and the elegant-yet-approachable Century House Tavern (yes, it's really an old house!). No trip is complete without a stop at Pie Bar.

07 of 10

Sweetwater Creek State Park

Sweetwater Creek, GA

Sweetwater Creek is practically a straight shot west of Atlanta. It's only 40 minutes away, but feels totally removed. The park has easy to moderate trails that go along the eponymous creek and take hikers to a mill's ruins. There's also a lake if you're up for some kayaking and canoeing.

08 of 10


Covington, GA

About an hour southeast of Atlanta, Covington's square is super charming. There's historic architecture as well as delicious restaurants and treats. This is also another great town to visit if you're a film buff, as Covington has ties to movies like Remember The Titans and the television show The Vampire Diaries. It's also home to a great ghost tour, if you're brave enough.

09 of 10

Arabia Mountain

Arabia Mountain
Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance

Head east of Atlanta and you'll find yourself at Arabia Mountain. The 40,000-acre park offers trails for hiking, biking, and fishing. If you go in the fall, you're likely to be awestruck by fields of yellow daisies. Even though the mountain is made of granite, there's a surprisingly beautiful ecosystem including pools that form on the mountain and a variety of flowers and plants. Because of the delicate nature of this ecosystem, if you do go, please take care to leave no trace.

10 of 10


Madison, GA

Madison's charming tree-lined streets and antebellum architecture provide plenty of eye-candy for a fall stroll. The downtown area has antique shops, cafes, and a bustling square to take in the full experience. While you're at it, see if you can scout out which locations have been used as a backdrop in movies and TV shows.

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