We love our palm trees and beaches here in the sunny state of Florida, but every now and then it’s nice to get away to a new environment! And I think most Floridians can agree that it’s nice to visit the mountains and get that fresh mountain air, and see the beautiful views. It kind of makes you wonder where the closest mountains to Florida are so you can plan a trip!
I think the fall is the perfect time to get away and see the mountains because you can also catch those beautiful fall leaves with their oranges and reds. We don’t see a lot of any color but green here in the sunshine state.
Don’t get me wrong! I absolutely love where I live and I don’t want to leave, but to get away for a weekend or a week would be nice to see some different sights. And my kids don’t even know what mountains are! So I want to take them to experience mountains at some point.
Depending on where you are in Florida will depend on how far you are from each mountain destination in my list below. I will list the distance and time from Southwest Florida, of course, because that’s what this site is all about, but I will also list distance and time from a few major cities around Florida.
All of the mountain towns that are close to Florida are in Georgia. There are several great towns in Tennessee as well, but we found that Georgia was definitely the closest. Check out our list of nearest mountains to Florida below.
See the list below to find the closest mountains to Florida.
1. Helen, Georgia
Of all the nearest mountains to Florida, Helen Georgia is the most popular for Florida travelers. I have heard such wonderful things about Helen, Georgia! It’s a sweet, little mountain town with so much to enjoy on your visit. Pick a campground, cabin, or hotel to stay in, but either way you will be 3,143 feet above sea level. That’s a bit of a change from what we are used to here in Florida when we are….at sea level, haha!
There are a lot of fun things to do in Helen Georgia while on your visit. Climb up Mount Yonah or trails run through the Chattahoochee National Forest to the Anna Ruby and Raven Cliff waterfalls that you can hike. It’s also known for it’s tubing! Rent a tube from Helen’s Cool River Tubing and hitch a ride from them to a drop-off location up the river. It’s a great time!
- Distance from Sarasota to Helen, Georgia: 8 hours, 35 minutes (596 miles)
- Distance from Naples, Florida to Helen, Georgia: 10 hours (702 miles)
- Distance from Orlando to Helen: 7 hours, 35 minutes (525 miles)
- Distance from Palm Beach to Helen: 10 hours (686 miles)
- Distance from Miami to Helen: 10 hours, 45 minutes (751 miles)
- Distance from Jacksonville to Helen: 6 hours (433 miles)
If you have been to Helen, I would love to hear what you thought of it in the comments below.
2. Pine Mountain, Georgia
This great mountain town is located in Western Georgia and is one of the mountain vacations closest to Florida. There are some great cabins to stay in during your visit. And there are lots of fun things to do in Pine Mountain.
If you are a hiker, this is a great place for you. There are 40 miles of state park designated to people who hike! And of course along those trails are some gorgeous views! Check out more about hiking at Pine Mountain here.
If you have young kids, hiking might not work, but don’t worry! There are lots of fun things to do in Pine Mountain with kids. There is a Wild Animal Safari you can go on.
There is also the option to just walk around the adorable Pine Mountain downtown area and check out the local shops and restaurants. Pine Mountain is also known for it’s Callaway Resort and gardens. Of all the mountains nearest to Florida, this is a great pick!
- Distance from Sarasota to Pine Mountain, Georgia: 7 hours, 20 minutes (479 miles)
- Distance from Naples, Florida to Pine Mountain, Georgia: 8 hours, 45 minutes (585 miles)
- Distance from Orlando to Pine Mountain: 6 hours, 30 minutes (409 miles)
- Distance from Palm Beach to Pine Mountain: 8 hours, 30 minutes (569 miles)
- Distance from Miami to Pine Mountain: 9 hours, 30 minutes (634 miles)
- Distance from Jacksonville to Pine Mountain: 5 hours (316 miles)
3. Dawsonville, Georgia
The Appalachian trail has several towns that make for a great mountain vacation destination. The southern most town on the Appalachian Trail is Dawsonville. Just one hour north of Atlanta, there are a lot of fun things to do in Dawsonville, including the gorgeous views of the mountains!
If you are a NASCAR fan, this is the place for you. Etowah Valley Sporting Clays Park has hunting, a gun range, golf carts and more. You can stay in a beautiful cabin with the mountain view or in a unique Racers Retreat Bed & Breakfast. That would be a fun experience.
And of course, I suggest hiking the southern part of the Appalachian trail!
Don’t worry, there are lots of exciting things to do in Dawsonville with kids too! There are horse trails and sunflower fields (depending on the season). Plus much more!
- Distance from Sarasota to Dawsonville, Georgia: 8 hours (566 miles)
- Distance from Naples, Florida to Dawsonille: 9 hours, 30 minutes (672 miles)
- Distance from Orlando to Dawsonville: 7 hours (495 miles)
- Distance from Palm Beach to Dawsonville: 9 hours, 30 minutes (655 miles)
- Distance from Miami to Dawsonville: 10 hours (721 miles)
- Distance from Jacksonville to Dawsonville: 6 hours (402 miles)
4. Blue Ridge, Georgia
Voted one of the best mountain towns in Georgia, Blue Ridge is definitely a great place to visit if you want to see mountains. It’s only 90 miles north of Atlanta and it has so much to offer.
If you are wondering where to stay when you visit Blue Ridge there are so many choices. There are bed and breakfasts, cabins in the mountains to rent, creekside retreats, riverfront fishing lodges and more!
Plus there is a lot of mountain activities and things to do in Blue Ridge for families. There are so many amazing waterfalls to see near Blue Ridge, lots of hiking trails, fishing, shopping, wine and brewery tours, and more.
- Distance from Sarasota to Blue Ridge, Georgia: 8 hours, 30 minutes (600 miles)
- Distance from Naples, Florida to Blue Ridge, Georgia: 10 hours (707 miles)
- Distance from Orlando to Blue Ridge: 7 hours, 40 minutes (530 miles)
- Distance from Palm Beach to Blue Ridge: 10 hours (691 miles)
- Distance from Miami to Blue Ridge: 11 hours (756 miles)
- Distance from Jacksonville to Blue Ridge: 6 hours, 30 minutes (438 miles)
5. Ellijay, Georgia
This mountain town is in the north Georgia mountains. It is known as the Apple Capital and is known for it’s apple orchards. During apple season is a great time to visit Ellijay!
There are lots of other fun things to do in Ellijay though. The Springer Mountain area hiking trails are great with gorgeous views! There are also several wineries and breweries like Engelheim Valley and Cartecay Valley.
There are also several lodging options! It’s definitely worth a trip, especially to experience apple picking!
- Distance from Sarasota to Ellijay, Georgia: 8 hours, 21 minutes (587 miles)
- Distance from Naples, Florida to Ellijay, Georgia: 9 hours, 45 minutes (693 miles)
- Distance from Orlando to Ellijay: 7 hours, 30 minutes (516 miles)
- Distance from Palm Beach to Ellijay: 9 hours, 40 minutes (676 miles)
- Distance from Miami to Ellijay: 10 hours, 30 minutes (742 miles)
- Distance from Jacksonville to Ellijay: 6 hours (423 miles)
6. The Smokie Mountains, Tennessee
The Smokie Mountains are the most visited mountains in America. There are so many options for cabin rentals, Air B&B options, amazing resorts and more.
Plus there are so many things to do in the Smokie Mountains with kids! There is always the famous Gatlinburg, Tennessee you can visit with lots of great things to do for the family. Pigeon Forge is very close to Gatlingburg with famous shows, shopping, and more! I could go on and on about the Smokie Mountains. It’s a bit further of a drive from Florida but totally worth the extra hours!
My friend and expert Smokie Mountain fun blogger has a great site all about fun things to do in the Smoky Mountains. Check it out!
Because there are so many great vacation spots in the very large Smokie Mountain region, the distance from each of these Florida cities could very. I will use Gatlinburg as the point of distance, but remember this could be different if you vacation in a different part of the Smokie Mountains.
- Distance from Sarasota to Gatlinburg, Tennessee: 11 hours (700 miles)
- Distance from Naples, Florida to Gatlinburg, Tennessee: 12 hours (806 miles)
- Distance from Orlando to Gatlinburg: 9 hours, 45 minutes (655 miles)
- Distance from Palm Beach to Gatlinburg: 12 hours (798 miles)
- Distance from Miami to Gatlinburg: 12 hours, 45 minutes (861 miles)
- Distance from Jacksonville to Gatlinburg: 8 hours (513 miles)
If you have visited any of these fun mountain destinations, leave a comment below to give your opinion for other families planning a trip!