Updated: May 14
Are you tired of sitting in traffic both at home and on the way to your mountain vacation in the North Georgia Mountains for your stay at Misty Mountain Inn and Cottages? Then why not take a scenic route and spend an extra day exploring the countryside on a road trip from Tampa, Florida to Blairsville, Georgia? This route takes you through some of Georgia's most beautiful countryside, including charming small towns, rolling hills, and lush forests, where you'll explore some fun places and experience southern hospitality at its finest. And best of all the roads are mostly 4 lanes wide with little to no traffic.
Day 1 - Tampa to Macon (4 hours)
We'll start our journey in Tampa, but you can adjust this trip for wherever you depart from as all roads lead to the North Georgia Mountains! Start off by taking I-75 North towards Macon. This highway is a major thoroughfare, but we'll avoid the Atlanta traffic by taking a detour a bit later. Our first stop will be in Ocala, Florida, where we'll visit the Silver Springs State Park. Here, we'll take a glass-bottom boat ride and admire the crystal clear springs. From there, we'll head to Gainesville, Florida, where we'll explore the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Butterfly Rainforest. After exploring Gainesville, we'll take Highway 441 towards Macon. This scenic route takes us through some charming towns, such as Milledgeville, where we'll visit the historic Georgia's Old Governor's Mansion. Finally, we'll arrive in Macon, where we'll spend the night. If you need a place to rest before the next leg, check out (call way ahead!) the 1824 Inn. It is a charming bed and breakfast located in the heart of Macon, Georgia. This historic inn has been beautifully restored to its original elegance. The inn features six spacious guest rooms, each with its own unique character and style. During your stay, you can also take advantage of the inn's convenient location, which is within walking distance to several local attractions, including the Hay House, and the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame.
Day 2 - Macon to Blairsville (5 hours) Highway 441 is a great option! Compared to taking I-75, taking Highway 441 does add some extra travel time, but the benefits are definitely worth it. By taking this route, you'll avoid the heavy traffic and congestion that often plagues the Atlanta area, especially during rush hour. Plus, you'll get to see a side of Georgia that many visitors miss, with its rural charm and natural beauty. Starting from Macon, take I-16 East and then turn onto Highway 441 North. This route will take you through several small towns, such as Dublin, Milledgeville, and Eatonton. Each of these towns has its own unique charm and history, with historic buildings, local shops, and restaurants to explore. Don't be afraid to explore as you travel north! Continuing north on Highway 441, you will pass through the charming town of Milledgeville, which served as Georgia's state capital from 1804 to 1868. The town is home to several antiques shops, including Memory Lane Antiques, The Green Wardrobe, and Pickers Paradise.
Further north, in the town of Eatonton, you can visit the Uncle Remus Museum, which celebrates the life and legacy of Joel Chandler Harris, the author of the Uncle Remus stories. There are also several antique shops and restaurants in the area, such as Yesterday's Cafe and The Plaza Arts Center.
As you near the town of Madison, you'll find yourself in a hotspot for antique shopping. The town is known as the "Antiques Capital of Georgia" and boasts over 50 antique shops. Additionally, the town's historic district features stunning antebellum architecture and several restaurants, including The Madison Chophouse Grille and Ricardo's Kouzzina.
Continuing north on Highway 441, you'll pass through the charming town of Clayton, which is home to several art galleries and unique shops. There are also several restaurants in the area, including the award-winning Fortify Kitchen and Bar. As you make your way North, you'll start to see more and more of Georgia's rolling hills and beautiful countryside. Eventually, you'll enter the Chattahoochee National Forest, one of Georgia's most scenic areas, which will signal that you are close to Blairsville and your much anticipated stay at Misty Mountain Inn and Cottages. Whether staying in a cabin rental or the bed and breakfast, you will be in a central location that will allow you to explore the surrounding area, which includes several state parks, hiking trails, and other outdoor attractions. It's also a great starting point for exploring other nearby destinations, such as Helen, Blue Ridge, and Murphy, NC. Day 3 - Exploring Blairsville and the Surrounding Area Blairsville is nestled amidst awe-inspiring natural landscapes and boasts numerous attractions that are well worth exploring. To kick off your day in the right way, we've put together a list of carefully selected options that are sure to capture your interest, including Helen, a delightful Alpine town with an array of Bavarian-themed attractions, and Blue Ridge. But no matter which direction you go, Blairsville is a fantastic jumping off point for your mountain adventure. Whether you're relaxing on the wraparound porch of your Bed & Breakfast or soaking up the views from your cabin's rocking chair, be sure to take some time to unwind and appreciate the serene surroundings.
This road trip from Tampa, Florida, to Blairsville, Georgia, is a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. By taking the scenic backroads, we'll avoid the Atlanta traffic and explore the countryside at our own pace. We'll also visit some fun places and learn about the local history and culture. So, pack your bags and get ready for a fun-filled adventure!