Trip Ideas

Five Quick Trips from Atlanta for Great Food

Hungry for adventure? Take a road trip and discover food worth the drive in these five towns.

  • The Farmhouse at Serenbe

Atlanta is full of great places to eat, but if you're looking for a change of scenery, just a short drive from the city, you will find yourself surrounded by lush green forests, sandy beaches, organic farms, vineyards and lots of delicious Georgia cuisine. Gas up the car, grab the kids and spend the day or weekend exploring flavors around the state.

Serenbe

26 miles southwest of Atlanta

Photo courtesy of Serenbe Farms

Nestled in a little-known region called Chattahoochee Hills is a community planned around sustainable practices, seasonal produce and living more organically. At Serenbe, you'll find farms raising organic produce and a Saturday morning market where you can buy fresh fruits, vegetables, honey and cheeses. Plan your trip around a tour of the Serenbe farm or chef-driven cooking demonstrations. Make time to pick up some freshly baked goods from The Blue Eyed Daisy, and make a reservation for dinner at The Farmhouse at Serenbe for delicious farm-fresh meals.

Make it a weekend: Take in a performance by Serenbe Playhouse and stay at the The Inn at Serenbe.

Dahlonega

90 miles northeast of Atlanta

Frogtown Cellars photo courtesy of Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber of Commerce.

Dahlonega's wine trail makes it the wine capital of Georgia due mainly to the red clay soil similar to that found in the Piedmont region of Italy. You can sample a variety of the region's wines at seven tasting rooms in downtown Dahlonega. Then, head into the hills to visit the vineyards themselves for beautiful scenery along with your wine. Download the Dahlonega Wine Trail Guide & Map to plan your tour.

Wolf Mountain Vineyards & Winery, arguably one of Dahlonega’s premier wineries, resembles a massive Tuscan villa with sweeping views of its rolling vineyards, wine tastings and a lovely brunch. Cavender Creek Vineyards and Winery is owned by a retired Atlanta schoolteacher who makes all the wines himself. Guests can enjoy their wine of choice with local nibbles while listening to live music. With four labels and 25 different kinds of grapes, Frogtown Cellars Vineyards & Winery provides a tasting room to try them all!  At Three Sisters Vineyards & Winery you’ll enjoy French inspired wines, a beautiful mountain view, and even an ice wine made with frozen Vidal Blanc grapes. 

Make it a weekend: Visit for special events like the Winegrower's of Georgia Highway Weekend (March) and the Dahlonega Arts & Wine Festival (May). Take a Savoring the Square Food Tour, and stay overnight at a winery, cabin or hotel in Dahlonega.

Blue Ridge

93 miles north of Atlanta

Catfish at Southern Charm in Blue Ridge, Georgia

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Blue Ridge will help you forget the hustle and bustle of the big city. Start with a ride aboard the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway, and end with lunch of Southern classics at Southern Charm. You’ll find deep-fried dill pickles, as well as chicken and dumplings, and all-you-can-eat catfish and popcorn shrimp on Fridays. For a farm-to-table dining experience, give Harvest On Main a try. The menu is made of garden-fresh ingredients, as well as season vegetables and local Georgia trout. For dessert, stop into The Sweet Shoppe of the South and see why they were a winner of Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.”

Make it a weekend: Plan your trip during the Blue Ridge Mountain Wine and Jazz Festival (June) and the Blue Ridge Blues and BBQ Music Festival (September), and book a room at a mountain lodge or rent a cabin in Blue Ridge.

Savannah

250 miles southeast of Atlanta

Photo courtesy Savannah Waterfront Association

Savannah is the oldest city in the state, boasting gorgeous scenery and an exciting culinary landscape. While you’re exploring the city, be prepared for some serious Southern hospitality from the Hostess City of the South. If you’re interested a little history with your cocktail, then Vic's On The River should be your first stop. Set inside a renovated 1858 warehouse, Vic's has lots of history on display, including a hand-drawn map of General Sherman’s march through Georgia, and Southern cocktail favorites like the bourbon-based Sazerac. The Olde Pink House, known as one of the best restaurants in Savannah, should also be on your list of “must-dos.” Located in a Colonial mansion in one of the many squares in the city, you’ll experience some of the freshest seafood on the coast.

Make it a weekend: Stay at a historic bed and breakfast or a hotel in Savannah’s historic district. Take a food tour – choose a walking and tasting tour with Savannah Taste Experience Food Tours, a walking food tour or a riding food tour – or take a cooking class at Chef Darin's Kitchen Table.

St. Simons Island

312 miles southeast of Atlanta

Southern Soul Barbeque on St. Simons Island

St. Simons Island is one of a string of islands on the Georgia coast that make up the Golden Isles, which include Little St. Simons Island, Jekyll Island and Sea Island. With the perfect mix of fun and sun, the hard-packed sandy beaches and miles of bike paths through the island make this an ideal road trip destination. Arrive hungry because local fare like Southern Soul Barbeque, called one of the secrets of the Georgia coast, The Crab Trap and Crabdaddy's Seafood Bar & Grill are sure to satisfy the biggest hunger.

Make it a weekend: Treat yourself to a stay at the The King and Prince Beach & Golf Resort, go kayaking with Southeast Adventure Outfitters and climb to the top of the St. Simons Island Lighthouse Museum.


Jennifer Hill Booker is Explore Georgia’s Official Culinary Explorer. Find more dining recommendations from Jennifer on the Explore Georgia blog.

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