Georgia is a state of cultural extremes, which a trip with many stops on I-16 from Atlanta to Savannah demonstrates. Emerging from the bustling business center that is Atlanta and traveling east, visitors to the area experience changes that are, in a word, dynamic. Visiting this great section of the country brings you to famous cities, small roadside communities, and slumbering hills that gradually emerge among the incredible charm of Savannah. Stopping along the way means you and your family will get to experience lots of fun.
Georgia has two national historical parks, both of which are along the I-16 corridor. The designation as a national historical park is separate from that of a national park. While national parks preserve areas of fundamental importance, national historical parks protect sites of cultural significance. The two national historical parks in Georgia demonstrate the preservation of places important to prehistoric Native American cultures and our present society.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park
Martin Luther King Jr. created change utilizing his voice as an enabling factor in the struggle for equal rights in the 1960s. Sitting in the center of Atlanta, where a large part of the battle to integrate took place, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park includes dozens of buildings spread over 38 acres of the “Sweet Auburn” section of the city. The Ebenezer Church where he preached and the home in which he grew up are among the incredible number of restored buildings that make up the park. A visit to this historical park is a return to a time when the reaction to the continuous and oppressive forces of segregation prevailed. No family should leave Atlanta without a visit to this landmark.
Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park
About an hour into your Atlanta to Savannah road trip, you will come across the Ocmulgee Mounds National Historical Park in Macon, GA. Among these incredible mounds, archeologists found evidence of the Native American presence dating back to 17,000 years ago. The mounds were built around 900 C.E. by a culture that valued its leaders. These mounds are the result of the appreciation that the Native Americans felt for excellent leaders who put the lives and health of their communities first. Check for events as Native Americans gather here at times throughout the year to celebrate their long history in this area of the country. Trails throughout the Park give you the chance to explore the findings from the most extensive archeological dig ever attempted in America.
Fort Yorga State Park
Before leaving the greater Atlanta area on your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah, visit a couple of the high piedmont area state parks. One of the most interesting is Fort Yorga State Park. It is located within the city limits of Winder, GA, about 47 miles to the northeast of Atlanta. The hour drive takes you from Atlanta into the Piedmont region of Georgia along a scenic highway. Fort Yorga was originally built by settlers in 1792 to provide a strong defensive point against Native American attacks. Today, Fort Yorga State Park attracts multitudes of visitors for its historical value and campsites. The park offers 46 RV campsites for you and your family. Taking a day or two here lets you hike the 20 miles of trails, fish the two stocked ponds, or take a swim in the small lake.
Victoria Bryant State Park
If you choose to explore the Georgia Piedmont area more deeply before taking off on your Atlanta to Savannah RV road trip, then extend a bit further into the country and visit Victoria Bryant State Park. Nestled in the hills, this park is one of Georgia’s best-kept secrets. It offers 27 RV sites for you and your family to stay overnight. Two fishing ponds and a swimming hole allow the kids to experience some fun while you take a relaxing stroll along a perimeter trail that passes through a hardwood forest and crosses small creeks. A more significant stream passes through the park, providing a beautiful calming sound as you explore.
High Falls State Park
After exploring the Piedmont area, it is time to begin your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah. Just 47 miles outside of Atlanta, you will find an exit from I-16 to Jackson. Taking this exit gets you to High Falls State Park. The park is 1,050 acres in size and includes a 650-acre lake and the highest waterfall in central Georgia. The site was once a prosperous settlement until the railroad diverted in another direction. When that happened, the town was deserted, but the falls and lake, being natural, were left for your enjoyment. Wildlife returned to the area, and during your visit today, you will see squirrels, armadillos, deer, and raccoons.
Skidaway Island State Park
Once you reach Savannah, a visit to Skidaway State Park is an excellent finish for your road trip itinerary from Atlanta to Savannah. Located just 35 minutes from the historic downtown area of Savannah, the park provides exposure to the plants and wildlife of the Georgia coast. A boardwalk gets you to the edge of the ocean, and an observation tower allows you to watch the coastline for migratory birds. The park offers 87 campsites among oaks covered with Spanish moss. Camping here gives you easy access to downtown Savanah as well as plenty of vacation locations up and down the immediate Georgia coastline.
Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge
Just 81 miles along your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah is one of the 550 wildlife refuges scattered around the U.S. The Piedmont Wildlife Refuge covers over 35,000 acres of pristine land preserved as a natural habitat for both land animals and fish. Hiking trails and a wildlife drive are available for your convenience. Some fishing and select hunting are allowed by permit only to maintain a balance within the refuge. The site is open during daylight hours throughout the year.
After visiting the Piedmont Wildlife Refuge, you can stop at the Tubman Museum. The museum is in Macon, GA, just 84 miles into your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah. There is no other museum dedicated to the art and culture of the African American community in the country as large as the Tubman Museum. It features diverse exhibitions that are changed out repeatedly during the year. Innovative educational programs are a significant focus of this institution. Visiting the Tubman Museum provides an in-depth examination of the contributions made to the country by African American artists and community leaders.
Sitting 10 miles off I-16 and located 177 miles into your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah is the small town of Swainsboro, GA. Swainsboro is considered the fruit cake capital of the world. Around the Christmas season, the aroma of fruit, spices, and cake hover around the community of just over 7,000. Aside from that distinction, Swainsboro is the perfect example of Georgian persistence and ingenuity. There was no town here before 1890. One settler thought it an appropriate place to grow roots, and others gradually moved in until a whole village formed. A visit here today lets you and your family observe the slow buildup of a community through the gradual evolution of architectural structures.
Savannah Historic District
Your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah culminates in the busy Savannah Historic District, the most extensive National Historic Landmark District in the country. The Savannah Historic District covers more than 20 city blocks and includes museums, forts from the Revolutionary and Civil War eras, churches, mansions, and monuments. The streets are a well-maintained cobblestone and pass ornately manicured gardens and provide admittance to oak-covered parks with trees covered in Spanish moss. Stopping here takes you back in time.
Your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah takes you through only one city, Macon.
Make sure to stop in Macon during your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah. In this city, you will find unique architecture as well as a rich heritage. In the immediate area are the Ocmulgee Mounds, the Tubman Museum, and the Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge. There are several dump stations close to Macon, making it easy to clear your waste tanks. It is a great idea to stop here and spend a night or two while you explore the area. To find campgrounds near Macon, RVshare’s site is a valuable asset for you to tap.
Taking your road trip from Atlanta to Savannah moves you from a bustling business city to a sleepy community where the sublime reigns. To get from one to the other, consider looking at the rental RVs in Atlanta. If you are traveling in the reverse from Savannah to Atlanta, consider the rentals found on the Savannah page. Regardless of the direction you choose to take, be sure to stop and enjoy the sites. Take your time, and you will create memories that will last a lifetime.