Weekend getaways are the unsung heroes of vacationers everywhere, giving us brief glimpses of the world outside our offices. After you’ve exhausted all the destinations close to home, however, it’s time to broaden your horizons. And especially when the weather in much of the United States is downright dreary, heading south sounds like an excellent idea.
Most people think of Florida beaches or Bourbon Street in New Orleans when they think of holidays in the southern US, but there are plenty of options beyond the usual suspects that can make for great weekend getaways. There’s gorgeous scenery, fabulous big cities, and quaint country towns that are often overlooked – and that are easy to explore in a long weekend.
Here, then, are 7 great weekend getaways in the South of the United States. To keep things simple, since you may have to fly cross-country just to get to this part of the world, all of these destinations can be reached easily from Atlanta, Georgia – a major city in the South, as well as a huge airline hub.
Jekyll Island, GA
Nothing beats island life for a weekend getaway, and Jekyll Island is both beautiful and close enough to become an option. It takes just around 5 hours to drive to Jekyll Island from Atlanta, and yes, you can actually drive onto the island itself. If that is a bit too long, then a regional flight to Brunswick with a rental car waiting can save time. Jekyll Island was originally purchased as a resort getaway for the select few Americans that could afford that luxury in the late 1800s, so today, it not only makes for a serene getaway but also a chance to learn a bit about history through visits to the Horton House and the National Historic Landmark District. Of course, there are the stunning beaches that cover 10 miles of the coast to visit. Two known for special beauty are Driftwood Beach and Glory Beach, the latter coming into fame while being used in the film, “Glory”. More water-based fun can be had at the Summer Waves Water Park that covers a good 11 acres of Jekyll Island and is perfect for families and the young at heart. Hotels and cottages are a comfortable retreat on Jekyll Island, but the campgrounds are very much full-service to those looking to do a bit of “glamping” instead of roughing it on their weekend getaway.