1. Mahabalipuram: This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, 57kms away from Chennai. A bustling Seaport during the Pallava Kings, it is popularly known as Mamallapuram and famous for the Mamallapuram Dance Festival. Exclusive monuments and sculpture like the Shore temple and massive rocks exhibiting Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna Mandapa, Ganesh Ratha, nd Draupadi Ratha are worth a visit.
2. Pulicat: Located 60kms north of Chennai, this coastal town still reflects the Dutch influences. Pulicat Lake is one of the best attractions that stretches 60km and is known to be the second brackish water body of India. Pulicat lake bird sanctuary is abird lover’s paradise with lots of bird species visible, primarily flamingoes.
3. Kanchipuram: A drive of only 72 kms from Chennai takes you to Kanchipuram, a city which was once the religious and educational centre. It is a religious site with numerous temples, and some of the renowned ones being 8th Century Kasilasanathar Temple, Kamakshi Amman temple spread across 5 acres of land, or the Ekambareshwar temple.
4.Tirupati: 137kms from Chennai, Tirupati is a holy pilgrimage centre of Hindus and an interesting site for archaeologists as well. Pilgrims across the world visit here for Tirumala Tirupati Balajidarshan at Sri Venkateshware Temple, Tiruchanur temple, ISKON Temple, etc. The city remains crowded for the festivals like Brahmotsav, Gangamma Yatra, etc.
5.Vellore: Embracing a profound historical legacy, the city is well known as Fort City. Only 142 kms from Chennai, apart from the Vellore Fort exhibiting fascinating architecture of ancient India, Clock Tower, the French Bunglow, VainuBappu Observatory, Srilakshmi Golden temple, Balamathi Hills in Vellore can keep you busy for the entire weekend.
6. Pondicherry: An exquisite city depicting the French colonial buildings and architecture, Pondicherry is a major attraction of South India, only 170 kms from Chennai well connected by drive route and railways. Notre Dame des Anges, the Sacred Heart basilica or the series of Cathedrals are worth a visit. Sri Aurobindo Ashram is also a prime attraction.
7. Nellore: At a distance of 175kms from Chennai, Nellore offers an exciting range of tourism attractions and is thus a comprehensive tour destination. Religious tourists may visit the 500 years old Narasimhakonda Temple, Golagamudi temple, Jonnawada temple, etc. However nature lovers can delve into the scenic beauty of Mypadu Beach, Kandaleru dam, Sri Harikota Island or the Nelabpattu Bird Sanctuary.
8. Yelagiri: This hill station is 220kms away from Chennai. Yelagiri offers a wide spectrum of exciting tourism scopes. Exploring the fruits and herbal farms is quite relaxing; however for those looking for excitement, a trek to Jalagamparai Waterfall, checking out the Kalavur Solar observatory or the Telescope House can be great.
9. Tranquebar/Tharangambadi: This small town is best known for its distinguished Danish influence and the exclusive artifacts of 17th century, housed in the Danish Fort. Visiting the Bungalow on the beach is exciting, along with a casual stroll by the king’s famous street, which has some exclusive tourist attractions like the Zion Church and the Jerusalem Church. The Karaikal Ammayar Temple and the Kaliamman Temple are also worth a visit.
10. Yercaud: Nestled amongst the spice plantations, orange gardens and coffee plantations, 349kms from Chennai, Yercaud hill station is a top summer destination. A romantic stay in the boathouse of Yercaud Lake can be memorable along with a visit to the Anna Park, exhibiting exquisite bonsai plants, the Servanarayan temple, Killiyur falls, Lady’s Seat, lakes, and other attractions.
11.Nandi Hills: Adventure seekers will fall in love with the charm of Nandi Hills, a hill station 347kms from Chennai. Thrilling experiences of paragliding, cycling on the hilly tracks is fun. Visiting the picturesque site of Tipu’s drop, and a darshan at Yoganandeeshwara temple can be memorable. Do check out the Amrita Sarovar and Tipu’s summer residence as well.
12.Mysore: Considered as the cultural capital of Karnataka, Mysore is located at a distance of 480 km from Chennai. Mysore is famous for its royal palaces, Mysore Palace being the most famous one. This city is not only famous for its royal patronage; it has silk, sandalwood, and paintings too that visitors can check out. Spending some quality time in Brindavan Gardens is a perfect option for every tourist.
13. BR Hills: BiligiriRanga Hills, better known as BR Hills is the corridor that connects the wildlife between Eastern and Western Ghats. It provides one to spend some offbeat time away in the lap of nature as it offers diversified flora and fauna. BRT Wildlife Sanctuary or BR temple, there is an option for everybody. Indulge in activities like trekking, Elephant safari, jeep safari, wild life photography and make every moment memorable.
14. Kodaikanal: The most sought after honeymoon destination in South India, Kodaikanal is a serene hill station with mystic beauty. Witness stunning views from Moir’s Point, Coaker’s walk, and Pillars Rock. Silver Cascade, Bear shola falls are phenomenal waterfalls that are worth visiting. Indulge in rowing and rafting activities or trek through the different routes. No wonder Kodaikanal is known as the princess of hill stations.
15. Meghamalai: Cuddled in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu, Meghamalai is an ideal place for relaxing in the lap of nature. The lofty peaks and the green scenic beauty helps one enjoy the weekend at its best. It’s about 550 kms from Chennai in the lap of clouds. Enjoy the cloud Land falls or the Meghamalai falls that will take away weariness of the city life.
16. Ooty: Chennai to Ooty is a distance of 561km by road, and you would love to travel this distance to feel the cold and mystic air in Ooty, which has been mesmerising travellers since ages. Ooty is always beautiful and one of the most romantic getaways in the Nilgiri hills. Go shopping for Nilgiri tea and coffee, explore the botanical garden, Doddabetta peak, the ooty lake, and many other places here.
17. Rameswaram: Rameshwaram is a religious spot, which has legendary importance for being the stepping stone of Lord Ram’s journey towards Sri Lanka to rescue wife Sita. This small city is on the Pamban Island and from Chennai it’s 559km. The city is full of lots of temples and the most important ones are Dhanuskodi beach, Ramanathaswamy Temple, Ruined Dhanuskodi temple, etc.
18. Nagarhole: One splendid weekend retreat in the jungles for watching wildlife is Nagarhole. Nagarhole in Karnataka, which is 558km from Chennai is famous for the Nagarhole National Park. This is a great nature retreat where you can enjoy amidst amazing flora and fauna staying out of crowded and bustling city life. Enjoy hours of solitude and peace here.
19.Kabini: Kabini or the Kabini wildlife reserve is a great place to enjoy wild life in the open by opting for a jungle safari on a jeep or on an elephant. It is a serene forest with jungle resorts and lodges for comfortable staying and can be reached from Chennai by just travelling 549km.
20. Thekkady: The Periyar National Park in Thekkady is a great holiday option in the jungles as here you can enjoy family trip or romantic stay, nature walk or adventure sports. You can also experience bamboo rafting here, trek through the forest, and enjoy local food in various eateries. Distance from Chennai to Thekkady is 560km.
21. Mudumalai: Mudumalai has a Tiger Reserve, a Wildlife Sanctuary, and a National Park. Altogether here you get the opportunity to explore wild life at its best. You can also spot tigers here, if you are lucky. It’s 571 km from Chennai to Mudumalai. It’s not just the wildlife but the scenic beauty of the park too, which enthralls visitors.
22. Masinagudi: The Biodiversity conservation center at Mudumalai is also called Masinagudi by the local people. You would love to visit Masinagudi for its remarkable greenery, diverse wildlife, and amazing grasslands. Food and lodging facilities are ample for the great number of tourists it receives from important cities nearby. Distance from Chennai to Masinagudi is 581km.
23. Munnar: Visit Munnar and enjoy amidst lush green tea gardens on hilly terrain and great scenery of the Western Ghats. Distance from Chennai to Munnar is 620km, and it’s a joy to spend a day or two in this beautiful hill station, which is perhaps one of the most romantic getaways and also one of the biggest South India tea gardens.
24. Valparai: Travellers seeking new places to explore would love to visit Valparai as this place is much less explored and hence not as crowded as conventional tourist hubs. Yet the beautiful landscapes amidst the Annamalai hills, the Nirar Dam and the Koozhangla river makes this secluded and small hill town really a nice retreat. It’s just 602 km from Chennai.
25. Coorg: Coorg or popularly called Kodagu is a hill station in Karnataka, which is a very popular weekend getaway from Chennai as well, and you will reach it by traveling 576km from Chennai. The main place to visit here is Madikeri which is the main town. Here are coffee plantations, waterfalls, and pleasant views of the hills.
26. Kanipakam: Kanipakam is basically a temple-based village, which is famous for its Ganesha temple known as the Kanipakam Vinayaka temple. This is a very old construction and the small village is a nice place to spend a day or two in peace. The religious village is just 173km from Chennai.
27.Srikalahasti: This is a religious town, which got its name from the Srikalahasteeshwara temple. The other important destinations here are Veyilingala temple, Kodandeswara Swamy temple, and the Bandarupalli Water Tank. Tirupati is also very close to this spot, and Srikalahasti is 116km from Chennai.
28. Tirumala: Tirumala is another temple town of the South, which is 154 km from Chennai. It is a small town on a hill, and is famous for the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple. The scenic beauty of the hilly terrain around it, and the numbers of pilgrims coming here every year makes it a special spot to cover in a weekend.
29. Talakona Waterfalls: Andhra Pradesh is full of many hidden gems, and the Talakona waterfalls is one such place to visit. This falls in the Chitoor district inside the Sri Venkateshwara National Park. The falls has a height of 270 feet. Talakona is just 190km from Chennai that is just 4.5 hrs by road.
30. Balamurugan Temple - Ratnagiri (Near Vellore): This 14th century temple at Ratnagiri is enough to allure tourists from Chennai to visit this amazing spot, which is just 130 km away. If you are a patron of art and culture and love old ancient Hindu temples and structures, then this place of visit is just right for you.
31.Margabandeswarar Temple - Virinjipuram (Near Vellore): Vellore is 138km from Chennai, and further 13km from Vellore is this 14th century Margabandeswarar temple. This is a magnificent piece of architectural exhibiting art and crafts from the Chola period. The beautiful temple and its pillars are utterly picturesque.
32. Sripuram (Near Vellore): Sripuram is also known as the Vellore Golden Temple. It is 152 km from Chennai and is a temple of goddess Mahalaxmi. The temple is laden in gold both inside and outside, and tourists come to visit this exquisite grandeur.
33. V.G.P. Golden Beach: Only 59 minutes from Chennai along a distance of 22.2km, is the V.G.P Golden Beach. This beach resort is a luxury property to pamper your senses by enjoying the sea and the sand in the private beach. If you are in search of a place where you can truly enjoy the weekend then this is closest to the Chennai city and yet away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
34. Arignar Anna Zoological Park:This park is also known as the Vandalur zoo and a great place to hang out and spend a day while basing in Chennai. It’s 31 km from Chennai. The zoo is the largest in the country, and has a rehabilitation and rescue center for endangered animals.
35. Tada Falls / Ubbalamadugu Falls (Near Srikalahasti): Tada Falls is 95km from Chennai and a very pleasant location for a one day getaway or a picnic or team event etc. It’s an important trekking point, and you can start trek from here. You would find rocky and watery way through caves along the trek.
36. Kailasakona Waterfalls (Near Tirupati): You can visit this waterfall from Chennaiby travelling a distance of 92km. The waterfall is special for its rocky origin as the water emits from under the rock. There are small temples of the deities Parvati and Lord Shiva near the falls. The location is picturesque and very nice for a family or group outing and even a romantic getaway.
37. Pulicat Lake & Sanctuary (Near Srikalahasti): This is a bird sanctuary around the Pulicat lake, which houses lots of bird species and also lots of aquatic species in the lake waters. This is a salt water lake and the second largest such lake in India. Pulicat is 60km from Chennai, and a nice place to spend a day or two.
38. Chandragiri (Near Tirupati): Located 145km from Chennai, this fort destination is a smart choice for a weekend retreat for the amazing location cut off from the city life. This is a village in the Chitoor district where there is a fort of the 11th century. The view of the hills is also great from Chandragiri.
39. Thiruttani (Near Kanchipuram): The Murugan temple is the most visited spot in Thiruttani. This place is 78km from Chennai and is a nice temple destination for the people who love religious places exhibiting nice heritage and culture of the olden days. This temple of the Hindu deity lord Shiva has to be accessed by 365 steps.
40. Sadras Beach Resort (Near Mahabalipuram): This beach resort near Chennai is a sea lovers’ relaxing point for the amazing beach facing the beautiful resort at Sadras. It’s just 68km from Chennai and offers tranquility at the sea beach with a resort full of modern amenities. An old Dutch fort and cemetery near Sadras is a prime attraction.
41. Covelong Beach (Near Mahabalipuram): From Chennai this beach is 40 km and is on the way to Mahabalipuram. Originally its name is Kovalam, and it is a smart destination for sea surfing, water sports, and fun activities. Here are lovely hotel accommodations for tourists, and you can enjoy the fishing activities by locals.
42. Vedanthangal Bird Sanctuary (Near Mahabalipuram): Nature lovers would not be able to resist the temptation to visit this awesome location where you don’t just get to see a plethora of birds, but also get a smart and nice weekend retreat from the mundane life. It is only 75km from Chennai and the oldest bird sanctuary of India.
43. Nagalapuram (Near Tirupati): Nagalapuram is great for nature watching, adventures, and trekking. Important points of attractions are Veda Narayana temple, the waterfalls, and the trekking trail. From Chennai the distance to this spot is 70km. You would get nice resorts and lodges for a comfortable weekend stay here and hence people often choose this for a day trip.
44. Arunachala Temple Tiruvannamalai (Near Kanchipuram): This spectacular temple is located at a distance of 195 km from Chennai and is a popular weekend getaway. This is a very popular Shiva temple and has a huge area of 25 acres. The temple was made in the 16th and 17th centuries and has a huge size.
45. Amirthi Zoological Park (Near Vellore): This beautiful zoo spread across 25 acres of area and offers a delightful natural view for the nature lovers. The trekking trails along the area look great. The zoo also has some beautiful waterfalls. From Chennai Amirthi zoo is just a 5.5 hrs drive across 258km.
46. Gingee Fort (Near Vellore): Just 160 km from Chennai, this fort also known as the Senji fort still stands fully erect against forces of nature and time. It attracts lots of tourists every year for the majestic location and nice weekend getaway it offers around Chennai. The fort is on a hill top and offers spectacular view of the valley below.
47. Chidambaram: The nice town of Chidambaram is a beautiful place to escape from the mundane daily life. It is 217km from Chennai and offers beautiful lakes and temples and a peaceful life flow. The Nataraja temple, the Pichavaram mangrove Forest and Neyveli are popular tourist destinations. It’s a perfect family vacation spot.
48. Kolli Hills: Kolli Hills is a small mountainous destination of the Eastern Ghats mountain ranges and offers breathtaking sceneries, lush green meadows, amazing waterfalls, and great picturesque views. It’s a perfect spot, 361km from Chennai, for a weekend with friends and family. The journey to the place is also very exciting and adventurous for the hairpin bends on the roads.