4 spring break getaways just a short family road trip from Atlanta by the AJC

4 spring break getaways just a short family road trip from Atlanta

Around 1,000 butterflies flutter freely around the Butterfly Center at Callaway Gardens.

Atlantans live in an area with plenty to do and see, but when it’s spring break, you’ll have time to hit the road and explore some new destinations a little farther away from home.

These fun spring break getaways are all less than two hours from Atlanta, so you and your family will arrive at your destination quickly without being exhausted from a long trip:

“The Walnut Street Bridge, said to be the world’s longest pedestrian bridge, connects downtown Chattanooga to the rejuvenated North Shore neighborhood.” Credit: Blake Guthrie. HANDOUT PHOTO – NOT FOR RESALE Blake Guthrie

Chattanooga, Tennessee,www.chattanoogafun.com

Driving time from Atlanta: About one hour and 45 minutes.

Where to stayChattanooga Choo Choo, 1400 Market St., Chattanooga. 423-266-5000. Located downtown, the aptly named inn was once the terminal station for a Southern Railway line.

Chattanooga has an urban, yet scenic setting that makes it ideal for a spring break trip. Take a stroll or bike along the Riverwalk, which runs along the Tennessee River, or stop at one of the piers and fish. The kids will also enjoy Coolridge Park, which has a restored antique carousel and a floating restaurant, and if they love animals, stop by the Chattanooga Zoo or the city’s Aquarium. You’ll also want to make time for the Creative Discovery Museum in downtown Chattanooga.

Pine Mountain, Georgia,http://www.pinemountain.org

Driving time from Atlanta: About one hour and 12 minutes

Where to stayThe Mountain Creek Villas, 17800 US-27, Pine Mountain. 706-663-2281. These private dwellings are a short walk to Callaway Gardens’ attractions and have one to four bedrooms, each with its own bath, a fully equipped kitchen and washer and dryer.

Visit Callaway Gardens, which has a Spring Break package that’s good until May 20, 2017. It includes lodging, admission to the Gardens and its attractions (including the Butterfly Center), and two hours of bicycle rental, kayak or canoe rental, and tennis court time. Make a stop at Pine Mountain’s Wild Animal Safari, a 500-acre park where you can drive or take a guided tour bus through three acres of exotic animals and walk through an additional section. You can also mix in a little education with your family’s fun at Roosevelt’s Little White House.

Dahlonega, Georgia,http://dahlonega.org

A barn owl, held by Doug Fox of the North Georgia Zoo. Peter Gros, co-host of the original Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, along with some of his animal friends, makes an appearance at the Strong Rock Christian School Friday, September 12, 2014. KENT D. JOHNSON / AJC

Driving time from Atlanta: About one hour and 25 minutes

Where to stay:The Smith House, 84 South Chestatee St., Dahlonega. 706-725-8148, ext. 1. Enjoy family-style dining during your stay.

Named one of Smithsonian Magazine’s “20 Best Small Towns to Visit,” Dahlonega has plenty of small-town charm combined with lots of activities for the entire family. Kids will love panning for gold at one of Dahlonega’s gold mines and visiting the University of North Georgia’s Planetarium and Observatory. Also check out the North Georgia Zoo, which hosts a Springtime Festival with extra kid-friendly activities from March 31-April 12.

Lake Oconee, 1 Lake Oconee Trail, Greensboro, Georgia,  http://www.visitlakeoconee.com.

Driving time: About one hour and 17 minutes

Where to stayThe Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, 1 Lake Oconee Trail, Greensboro. 706-467-0600.

The resort has lots of kid-friendly activities including a nightly s’mores celebration and lakeside bonfire.

The Ritz-Carlton, Reynolds Plantation sits on Lake Oconee in Greensboro, Ga., about 75 miles east of Atlanta. Courtesy Ritz-Carlton

Lake Oconee provides the perfect setting for many water sports, including canoeing, kayaking, jet-skiing, fishing and boating. Hiking, golf and horseback riding are also among the active pursuits your family can enjoy while at the lake. And if you’d like to go on  an off-road excursion, visit Durhamtown, a 6,000-acre facility where you can rent dirt bikes, ATVs and more.

http://www.accessatlanta.com/lifestyles/kids–teens-recreation/spring-break-getaways-just-short-family-road-trip-from-atlanta/VCe8XElrby2oxBFXjGPSKI/