Even though Atlanta, Georgia offers nearly endless romantic restaurants and hip nightclubs, it can sometimes be challenging to schedule some intimate alone time with that someone special. The hustle and bustle of a large city can keep you busy with other tasks, such as working, caring for a household, and chasing after your children. Fortunately, there are numerous fantastic romantic spots within easy driving distance from Atlanta. During the week, stay at a seaside Atlanta vacation rental or cabin nestled in the mountains, then venture out on the weekend to one of these surrounding cities and towns.

1. Savannah

savannah fountainRomance is always in the air in Savannah. It takes about four hours to drive from Atlanta to this laid-back town on the eastern edges of the state. Wander around Forsyth Park in the late afternoon and enjoy the shade from the large Spanish moss trees that line the walkway. See the bench where Tom Hanks sat as Forrest Gump. If you prefer, meander down River Street but don’t forget to stop at River Street Sweets. Wonderful smells waft out as you open the door, and you can watch in awe as they pour the praline mixture out of massive copper kettles onto the marble tables. For a romantic dinner, Elizabeth On 37 is an upscale eatery nestled inside of a historic home.

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2. Jekyll Island

ocean beachOnce a hideaway to the wealthy, Jekyll Island is a mere five-hour drive from Atlanta and guarantees you a romantic beach vacation. Driftwood Beach offers the stark beauty of dead wood against the sandy beaches and blue ocean waters. It’s a great place to soak up the sun, splash in the water, and collect seashells together. You can learn more about the local ecosystem at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. This center cares for injured sea turtle, and you might get to see some of these incredible animals during your tour. Grab a table on the deck of the Driftwood Bistro for amazing beach views to enjoy with your dinner of Low Country favorites.

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3. Ellijay

forest waterfall
Source: Flickr/US Forest Service – Southern Region

Enjoy the three-hour drive through the Georgia mountains to find your cabin tucked away in the woods in Ellijay. Apples are one of the most popular crops in the area, and each spring, the town hosts a couple of festivals centered around this juicy fruit. However, you can often find roadside stands selling baskets of these treats before you reach the town center. After your tour of the Cartecay Vineyards, settle at a table for two and talk quietly as you sample the vineyard’s various blends. If you prefer to be almost completely alone, go for a hike together in the Oconee National Forests. Spice up your relationship with lunch or dinner at the Cajun Depot Grill with its New Orleans style spices.

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4. Helen

historic buildingTake in the natural beauty that surrounds you as you make the two-hour drive from Atlanta to the mountain town of Helen, passing through quaint southern towns and past forested areas. Helen is designed to mimic a Bavarian village, and in addition to the architecture, many of the shops carry authentic German products. Wander hand-in-hand through the small town, pick up homemade fudge at Hansel and Gretel’s Candy Kitchen, and take a horse-drawn carriage ride. Wake up early on Saturday morning for a romantic sunrise trail ride at Sunburst Stables. At least once, have a romantic meal at Mully’s Nacoochee Grill with its stunning location in a restored farmhouse.

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5. Tybee Island

beach island lighthouseLocated between Savannah and Jekyll Island, Tybee Island is the quintessential southern beach town with mini golf, little shops selling floats, and an amusement park. During the day, soak up the sun on the beach, surf in the ocean, and build a sandcastle together. The perfect spot for a romantic picnic is in the shade of the Tybee Island Light. This lighthouse dates back to Colonial Georgia, and it’s one of the oldest remaining lighthouses on the Eastern Seaboard. For the freshest seafood in town, grab a booth at Tybee Island Fish Camp. This small restaurant sits in a cozy cottage, where you can enjoy a romantic meal.

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6. Athens

sports team stadium
Source: Flickr/Chris Lawrence

Home to the University of Georgia, Athens has the cool, small-town vibe that comes with thousands of young people. Try to schedule your visit to a weekend with a full moon to take part in the Georgia Botanical Gardens monthly full moon tour of the gardens. After dark, a docent takes you through the gardens and shows you a new perspective on plants and flowers that behave differently after the sun goes down. If you visit in the fall, reserve tickets to see the UGA Bulldogs play between the “hedges” at Sanford Stadium. There are some great places to enjoy a romantic meal together, such as the Place, Five, and Porterhouse Grill. Before returning to Atlanta on Sunday morning, stop by Mama’s Boy for brunch.

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7. Augusta

water boat marina
Source: Flickr/Laura LaRose

About three hours from Atlanta to the eastern edge of the state, Augusta is a great vacation destination, especially if the two of you enjoy golfing. This small southern town is home to the Masters Golf Tournament each year. Book a tee time at the Augusta National Golf Club to play on the same greens as some of your favorite golfers and watch your spark rekindle amid a little friendly competition. In the afternoon, take a romantic boat ride at the Augusta Canal National Heritage Area on one of the park’s boats. Romance is in the air at the Abel Brown Southern Kitchen and Oyster restaurant with its upscale Southern dishes.

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