Whether you’re in a hurry or want to take your time to enjoy the scenery, driving from Atlanta to New York is easier than you might think. Our routes take you through stunning scenery, metropolitan areas, small towns and everything in between. Use some of our road trip tips to keep everyone happy along the way. And if you are relocating or ending your journey in New York, think about renting a car one way to travel in comfort.
The Fastest Route
If you are on a fixed schedule and only have a couple of days to get from Atlanta to New York, you’re in luck! The quickest route takes roughly 14 hours to drive 880 miles, which is doable in a couple of days, especially if you have a couple of people to split the driving. You will take multiple interstate highways through portions of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New Jersey before reaching Manhattan. Or if you prefer you can take an alternate route that passes Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Philadelphia. Whichever route you choose, you are sure to have plenty to see along the way.
The Most Scenic Route
There are multiple ways to make your way from Atlanta to New York City, so take this one as a jumping-off point. You will go through several national forests that might also be mountainous, so be sure to check road conditions if you decide to go the scenic way. This route even includes driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is one of the most scenic roads in all of the US.
- First, you will drive on US Highway 23 North from Atlanta to Asheville, NC
- You can take the Blue Ridge Parkway from just north of Asheville to Roanoke, VA, which sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
- Continue east on Highway 460 through Lynchburg, VA, then north on Highway 29 toward Charlottesville
- Pass through Frederick, MD, and then it’s time to enter Pennsylvania on Highway 15 and drive through Lancaster County on Highway 30.
- Head north on I-476 toward Allentown, PA, and then drive east on I-78 to your final destination, New York City.
5 Stops to Make Along the Way
- 1. Lancaster County, PA
- 2. The Biltmore Estate
- 3. Roanoke, VA
- 4. Shenandoah National Park
- 5. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
1. Lancaster County, PA
Why drive through a random county in Pennsylvania? It’s a chance to see how the Amish, also known as the Pennsylvania German, live their lives largely without technology. There is a large Amish population here, so don’t be surprised if you share the road with a horse and buggy!
2. The Biltmore Estate
If you are anywhere near Asheville, North Carolina, it’s worth your while to stop at this opulent estate finished in 1895. It was built as a summer home by one of the Vanderbilts, and walking on its lush grounds and touring its rooms will make you feel like royalty.
3. Roanoke, VA
This town that sits among the Blue Ridge Mountains is worth stopping in just for the scenery. It also sits at the northern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway, so it’s a good place to get something to eat or buy supplies before venturing onward.
4. Shenandoah National Park
This national park runs along the Blue Ridge Mountains and has tons of wildlife, mountainous terrain and waterfalls to enjoy. This is the perfect destination for hiking or camping if you want a bit of the outdoors on your drive.
5. Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
Start the drive off with a bit of history when you visit this historical park in Atlanta. You can see the civil rights icon’s boyhood home, as well as Ebeneezer Baptist Church where he preached.
Road Trip Tips
Make your road trip run smoothly by planning ahead and taking some simple steps.
Pack Non-Perishable Food: This trip goes through a lot of national parks and you might not encounter a ton of quick options for meals. Bring a jar of peanut butter, bread, fruit, granola bars, beef jerky and other items that don’t need to be refrigerated and are perfect for a roadside picnic. Bring a blanket too!
Start the Games Early: No one wants to try to get kids to play a game if they are tired. Start your drive with a couple of games, like I Spy or the License Plate Game, before younger travels lose interest.
Bring an Overnight Bag: Carrying multiple suitcases into a hotel after a long day of driving is a task no one wants. Make your life easier by packing an overnight bag or carry-on suitcase with pajamas, toiletries and some changes of clothing, plus any valuables you don’t want to leave in your vehicle overnight.
One-Way Car Rental
When you choose a car rental for a long journey, you have peace of mind driving a new-model car while also enjoying the comfort of one of our premium sedans or SUVs. A one-way rental from Atlanta lets you choose models to fit your group size and budget. Book an SUV or minivan if you need ample cargo space, while a sedan gives you creature comforts and room for up to 5 people. All of our one-way rentals include unlimited mileage, and you can also choose from optional add-ons like GPS guaranteed, additional drivers and child seats. Whether you need to drive from Atlanta to New York for relocation or a vacation, SIXT offers great rates on one-way rentals for as little as 1 day or for 28 days or more.