Just a short drive away from Atlanta, Athens and Augusta provide a nice little escape if you need to mix it up. I have just recently visited both cities so I have some recommendations.
Athens: Only 1.5 hours from Atlanta and more black and red than you can shake a stick at, Athens is a great college town that even adults can enjoy. My favorite unsuspecting hotel here is Hotel Indigo if you plan to stay the night but you can certainly make it a day trip. That hotel is so great and trendy inside but it used to be an elementary school so from the outside it’s very unassuming. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover – a Gold Leed Certified Hotel.
For dinner: The National is walking distance and provides great fare and atmosphere. Their website describes it perfectly:
The idea behind The National is simple: to provide a casual neighborhood gathering spot reminiscent of the bars and cafés we’ve enjoyed on travels to Europe. Mediterranean inspired food and wine is served for lunch and dinner in the dining room and throughout the day at the bar. While our menu points to culinary traditions from abroad, we value our local farmers and our dishes reflect the changing seasons in Northeast Georgia.
If you want to make a day of it, plan to go in the summer and tube on Broad River. Just make sure you keep an eye out for those pop up thunderstorms. Lightening + water = danger!
Augusta: A little farther of a drive, Augusta provides that overnight getaway with so many options. Home of The Masters, it has over 30 golf courses from which to choose, but it also lots of other options to keep you busy. The North August Greenway is perfect whether your a walker, runner, or biker (and FREE) but I love the option to kayak on the Savannah River, too. Warning: it’s a slow flowing river so be sure to take that into account when you decide where to drop in.
For lodging, the Augusta Marriott is a personal favorite because it’s right on the river and you can earn/use points. For dinner, the Bee’s Knees is walking distance from the Marriott and offers that local color or drive over to Rhinehart’s Oyster Bar for a casual meal. If you opt for Rhinehart’s, make sure you find a sharpie to make your mark – all the walls are covered with quotes from the patrons. See if you can find mine.
There are so many options in our lovely state of Georgia and I’m sure there are so many like that in other states. Find out what yours has to offer by using the CVB of nearby towns in your area.