Travel: 5 Escapes from Atlanta

Published by: Debra Green on Tuesday June 27th, 2017

Debra Green

5 Escapes from Atlanta

5 Escapes from Atlanta

By Jan Schroder

Oh, Atlanta, how I love you and all your many charms. But sometimes, well, we need a break from each other. It’s not you, it’s me. And you know, I’ll always come back and appreciate you all the more.

Here are five places where you can escape from Atlanta – just for a little while. One is an old favorite and two are brand new. One city was a huge surprise to me, and I imagine will be to you as well. One Florida city, a bit farther away, is the #2 most expensive destination in Florida. But I’ve found a place that makes a visit there much more affordable.


5 Escapes from Atlanta

NYAH Hotel in Key West, Florida

Wow, no one ever told me how cute this town was. All I heard about was a crazy festival and six-toed cats. I was charmed by its laid-back attitude, historic homes and nightly Sunset Celebration. But because of its small size and popularity, hotels are super expensive. Not NYAH. This cute property is a bargain because you can customize your own room for 1-6 people, all at the same cost. You’re not going to get super luxury, but you will get four pools, a rooftop terrace with stunning views of Key West, free breakfast and a nightly Happy Hour. Oh, and the location can’t be beat. It’s within walking distance of just about every major attraction


Barnsley Resort

Just an hour from Atlanta in Adairsville, Georgia, Barnsley Gardens is one of my favorite places in the Southeast. I must have been a good girl because I got to go there three times in the space of a month! Two trips were just for the day, but I’ll take any dose of Barnsley I can get.


The property is gorgeous and the food at the restaurants is so good. The beer garden, open seasonally, is a perfect place to relax with a view of the long green lawn. The cottage accommodations are comfortable and cute. I’ve been in the winter when we enjoyed a roaring fire, and in the spring when I could swing on the front porch.


Barnsley has golf, horseback riding, tennis, a spa and swimming pool. The resort recently partnered with Cohutta Fishing Company in Cartersville, so they can offer more fly fishing classes and float trips on the Etowah River. Or try your hand at shooting clays at the SpringBank Sporting Club. Hitting those flying orange disks is definitely a challenge, but there’s no blood involved.  For more on Barnsley, visit Atlanta Weekend Escape: 5 Reasons to Love Barnsley Resort



The Inn at Pursell Farms

This summer is a busy one for the folks at Pursell Farms in Sylacauga, Alabama. The property has been known for its top-rated FarmLinks Golf Club, and is now branching out to attract a wide variety of guests, who can go to the Spring House Spa and shoot clays at the Orvis Shooting Grounds. They recently opened a wedding venue, Hamilton Place at Pursell Farms, with plans for a new inn and more dining options in the fall. Keep this resort on your radar as it continues to evolve.


Valhalla Resort

This upscale resort has just started welcoming guests to its location near Helen, Georgia. It has a pool, spa, a roof top Sky Bar and golf at Innsbruck Golf Club. A concierge can help arrange tours or local vineyards or set you up with a golf cart to go exploring Helen. Dining options include the Abbey Wine Cellar, the pool snack bar and Caledonia dining room.


Columbus, Georgia

Frankly, my dear, it would never have occurred to me to go to Columbus, Georgia. But I'm glad I did and was blown away by how much that small city has going for it. Just about two hours south of Atlanta, Columbus has plenty of opportunities for adventure, with the largest urban whitewater rafting and a zipline that crosses state lines into Alabama! Enjoy a lively downtown area with lots of restaurant options and live music venues. Be sure to visit the city’s array of interesting museums, including the Coca-Cola Space Science Center.  

For more on Columbus, Valhalla Resort and The Inn at Pursell Farms, visit 3 Escapes from Atlanta: Two New Resorts and One Surprising City