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Atlanta to Destin Drive: The Ultimate Guide to Your Road Trip

What to Expect on Your Road Trip from Atlanta to Destin

Want to step away from the hustle and bustle of city life? Take a fun-filled, adventurous trip from Atlanta (ATL) to Destin in Florida and rejuvenate your mind and body. The total driving distance, with Montgomery as the center point, is 316 miles, which takes nearly 5 hours and 14 minutes.


A one-way trip from Atlanta to Destin will cost you around $48 while the fuel cost will be roughly $97. The fuel cost may vary depending on the type of vehicle and mileage. Car rentals can be the ideal way to travel from Atlanta to Destin.


So, pack your bags to warm up in the 72-degree clear waters of Vortex Spring, one of more than 700 springs in Florida. Let’s learn more about your stoppages, fuel stations, outdoor activities, and everything else that you can appreciate on your fun trip to Destin, Florida. 


In this article, we will elaborate on all the wonderful activities that you can experience on your drive down the 30A. 

Your Atlanta to Destin Drive Itinerary

The fastest and the best route is I-85 Southwest to Alabama followed by local highways into Florida. There are three different routes, and you can pick any as per your preference and convenience. 


Starting from Atlanta, Georgia, your destinations will include Panola Mountain State Park, Indian Springs State Park, Pine Mountain, Columbus, Montgomery, and, finally, Destin. 

1. Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta, Georgia is a treasure trove of culture and history, with historical spots including Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta History Center, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. You’ll get a chance to explore many more museums, landmarks, exhibits, and monuments during your time here. 


Kick back and relax at a ball game at the infamous Truist Park. If you are looking to kick off your Atlanta to Destin drive with a bit of fun, Atlanta’s vibrant nightlife is something you’ll enjoy. Not to mention, local breweries offer a massive variety of local brews to beer lovers. 


Atlanta is home to scrumptious eateries, such as the Ponce City Market or Krog Street Market, or you can dive deeper down the Buford Hwy for culinary offerings from Mexico, Central America, Korea, and other countries. 


Looking for the best car rental deals for your next family vacation? An 8 Passenger SUV rental is all you need for a comfortable family getaway. 

2. Panola Mountain State Park 

Starting from Atlanta, the drive time to Panola Mountain State Park is only 26 minutes. Get the feel of an oasis in a metro city and take some time to shred the burden of everyday life. Discover, explore, and unwind in the cultural heritage and natural wonders of the piedmont region. 


You need to plan around two to three hours if you want to explore the hidden adventures of the Panola Mountain State Park. It’s a quiet place near the crowded city with beautiful trails, picnic facilities, and clean amenities that you must explore while you’re on the Atlanta to Destin road trip. 


Once you reach Panola, you can visit hiking trails at Cerro Tute, Cerro de La Cruz, or Cerro Azul highlands and enjoy the spectacular scenery. 

3. Indian Springs State Park

Indian Springs is a state park within driving distance from the city of Atlanta that you can visit with kids during weekends. An amazing stop during your road trip to Destin from Atlanta, this location houses hiking trails, rustic cottages, and aquatic adventures like swimming and boating. 


If you take some time to stroll down the nature trails in the Indian Springs Village, you’ll get the opportunity to interact with Native Americans. You can have a walk around the adventure playground, free library, rose garden, botanical garden, historical society, and more. 


Located in middle Georgia, Indian Springs is one of the oldest state parks in Georgia. The drive time is just 54 minutes from Panola Mountain State Park in good road conditions if you are traveling via I-75.  


Worried about putting miles on your vehicle? AVR has you covered with 7-seater SUVs, 15-passenger vans, luxury cars, and more to offer you the comfort you deserve while exploring the country. 

4. Pine Mountain, Georgia 

Pine Mountain is a small town in Western Georgia with scenic destinations. Situated in the northeast part of Harris County, the town is home to the largest state park in Georgia and is an amazing getaway vacation spot.


Enjoy adventurous recreational activities or just relax under the canopy of trees. The museum showcases artifacts, historical documents, and photographs that explain the heritage of Pine Mountain. Take a stroll in the Meadowlands Garden to explore flora and fauna.  


Pine Mountain in Georgia is a full-fledged travel destination with a lake, a golf course, flower gardens, and much more. Callaway Resorts and Gardens can be the best place to sit back and watch marvelous tourist spots on your way to Destin. 

5. Columbus, Georgia

The travel time from Atlanta to Columbus is 1 hour and 45 minutes, and the road trip is packed with fun-filled activities. This place, just a short drive from Pine Mountain, has much more to offer than just its exciting aquatic adventures and sports. You will find many nearby places to go for white water rafting, which will amplify the joy in many ways. 


If you love historical sites, visit Historic Westville, Coca-Cola Space Science Center, The Ma Rainey House & Blues Museum, and more. Other than that, Columbus boasts outdoor attractions like Heritage Park, Columbus Dragonfly Trail, and so much more.  


If you are a water sports enthusiast, take some time to enjoy the Chattahoochee Riverwalk. Enjoy the opportunity to walk and hike the trails while admiring nature. 


Want to explore the country but worried about road conditions? Airport Van Rental’s SUVs are equipped with the latest security features that give you comfort and peace of mind even when you are driving the toughest terrain in the country. 

6. Montgomery, Alabama

The travel time between Atlanta and Montgomery is 2 hours and 23 minutes in normal road conditions. If you’re making your way from Columbus, Georgia, the travel time will be cut down to 1 hour and 27 minutes. Spend time enjoying recreational activities while you’re in Montgomery. 


Looking for a kid-friendly location? Explore Montgomery Zoo, Alabama Safari Park, and Riverfront Park. If you want to spend time near the interstate, Wright Brothers Park can be the place you are looking for. Visit the Alabama Department of Archives and History if you want to explore the extensive collection of artifacts.  


Montgomery is a central location that houses hundreds of museums and memorials. You will find a number of historical places and churches that witness millions of visitors each year from national and international locations across the continents. 

7. Destin, Florida 

Your destination, Destin city in northwest Florida, sits on Panhandle. Known for the Gulf of Mexico beaches, Destin is popular for its outstanding golf courses, emerald coasts, plentiful fishing activities, white sandy beaches, mouth-watering cuisines, parasailing, theme parks, aquariums, and more.


If you have enough time to explore different destinations in Florida, you can drive to the mystical Panama City. Or if you want to explore the U.S. beyond Destin, you can take a flight to Orlando or Miami with a flight time of more than 3 hours. Alternatively, for a shorter journey, you can take a flight from Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport to Nashville in Tennessee. Leave your car in Destin for the trip back and grab a rental car as you explore Florida. 


Looking to explore scenic destinations near Destin, Niceville might be the place you are looking for. The best thing about Florida is that you will find scenic locations in all driving directions, and you can explore multiple tourist spots in one day. 

Explore Southern USA with Airport Van Rental

Book a rental car to enjoy your Southern USA tour to Florida from any driving distance in the country. All our car rentals are well maintained and have proper insurance in place  


Book an 8-seater SUV from AVR Van Rentals for a comfortable journey with the family.