Destination Profile: Places to visit in the Southeast

Fall Break begins in just one week and most students’ bank accounts may not be ready to cover the expenses associated with airplane tickets to faraway warm climates. However, the break does not need to be a long, boring extended weekend at home.

Grab friends and plan out a road trip to one of these five destinations, all of which are relatively close to Atlanta.

Helen, GA

Distance from Atlanta: 86 miles

Time to destination: 1.5 hours


Part of White County in Ga., Helen is home to two major Georgia landmarks and numerous outdoor adventures. Snuggled near the Blue Ridge Mountains, this quaint town was modeled after an Alpine Village and encompasses many village traditions such as the Miss Oktoberfest Pageant and Indian Cultural Festival.

Helen houses Anna Ruby Falls, a 150-foot waterfall. These landmarks provide abundant landscape for hiking, biking and rock climbing. In addition, many tourists visit for water rafting, hot air balloons, creek mines, and horseback riding. Full of thrills, the charming town also offers calming bed and breakfast accommodations, old-fashioned cafes, candy shops and bakeries.

Among the other attractions available in the town are tubing down the Chattahoochee River and dining options ranging from the Hofbrauhaus Restaurant & Lounge, one of several locations that feature German cuisine, to a number of coffee shops.

Asheville, NC

Distance from Atlanta: 208 miles

Time to destination: 3.5 hours


Asheville is home to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Great Smokey Mountains National Park, nationally-known music venues and numerous shopping spots. In addition to the numerous Smokey Mountain and Blue Ridge Parkway’s trails, biking is a key sport in Asheville. The Blue Ride Parkway alone offers over seventy different bike routes. In the daytime, travelers can enjoy the diverse shopping outlets such as Lexington Avenue, Wall Street and Grove Arcade that are home to Asheville’s independent and eclectic owners. Sightseers can even explore one of America’s most popular properties, the Biltmore Estate. At night, downtown Asheville awakens its love for music. Asheville hosts numerous reggae, jazz and hip hop venues and garnered fame due to The Orange Peel which was voted one of the Top Five Rock Clubs in the Country by Rolling Stone.

Myrtle Beach, SC

Distance from Atlanta: 358 miles

Time to destination: 6.5 hours


Myrtle Beach is one of the top golf destinations in the world. Numerous golf resorts, such as Bay View on the Boardwalk and the Prince Resort at the Cherry Pier, provide waterfront hotel and course views.

This coastline, called the “Grand Strand,” is 60 miles of coastline comprised of water sports, shopping and live theatre.

Other than jet skis, surfing and kayaking, Myrtle Beach also offers dolphin tours.

On the coastline, one shopping hot-spot is the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk and Promenade. The 1.2 mile long boardwalk is a miniature downtown consisting of hotels, outlets, restaurants and water slides.

For visual entertainment, Myrtle Beach offers the Carolina Opry. Founded in 1986 with immediate success, it holds 2,200 seats for live entertainment and televised shows.

Savannah, GA

Distance from Atlanta: 250 miles

Time to destination: 4 hours


Known for its Civil War stories, haunted mansions and historic architecture, Savannah, Ga. is home to Southern food, history and goose bumps.  Savannah is home to a wide-range of tourist activities. Upholding the tradition of hearty Southern meals, River Street offers restaurants with American, Cajun, Caribbean and Atlantic seafood. Aligning with Southern tradition, Paula Deen’s The Lady and Sons is one famous restaurant where visitors can enjoy fried green tomatoes, fried chicken, collard greens and peach cobbler. For a scare, visit Moon River Brewery, voted as one of the most haunted places in the United States by the Travel Channel. Constructed in 1821, the brewery is one of the oldest places in town. Previously a hotel with a history of murder and violence, the brewery declares that guests have been pushed and struck by unseen forces. For more daring activities, Savannah offers a three mile beach, Tybee Island, only 18 miles away with surfing, kayaking and jet skis.


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