Everybody loves a trip but nothing beats the relaxation and enjoyment offered by a short outing. A day trip is a great way to take a trip without the hassle of packing up, booking rooms, and lugging bags around; only to realize that you left your phone/laptop charger back at home – starting your trip on a low note.
Take a hassle free drive or ride to any of these tourist places near Chennai, and get to sleep in your own bed at the end of it all! Let’s take a look at some of the best places to visit near Chennai.
Places to visit near Chennai: Under 50 kilometers away
A remnant from the history of South India, Dakshinachitra is living museum. A lesson in South Indian art, architecture, craft, performing arts, and every-day lifestyle, Dakshinachitra is one of the most frequently visited picnic spots in Chennai.
For most South Indians, a visit to Dakshinachitra is a strangely disconcerting experience, with familiar aspects of one’s culture mixed with similar reflections from others.
- Distance from Chennai: 25 kilometers
Kishkinta Theme Park was India’s first amusement park. Apart from the rides and games, the park is verdant with greenery and contains a lake. The amusement park boasts of recent technological advancements – including a 3D theatre for a virtual experience.
Kishkinta Theme Park is perfect for a day’s trip – for birthdays, especially of those on the younger side.
- Distance from Chennai: 32 kilometers
3. Vandalur Zoo
This picnic spot near Chennai is especially enjoyable for small children who get to see different species of animals in the zoo. This zoo has separate sections for birds, mammals and reptiles of which it houses some rare species.
Animal lovers especially enjoy the forest safari in the zoo, where you find the animals wandering freely while the visitors are in a cage while looking at them.
- Distance from Chennai: 36 kilometers
Covelong Beach lies on the Coromandel Coast, layered in white sand and surrounded by palm trees. The location appears to be a reproduction from a postcard.
After spending an afternoon at the beach with all your loved ones and favourite picnic items, you could walk along the churches and forts that the area boasts of. Adventure sports, like windsurfing, are available here: for the less adventurous, go for a swim.
- Distance from Chennai: 40 kilometers
Places to visit near Chennai: 50 – 100 kilometers away
If you ever tried carving a chalk piece into a particular shape, you would readily see why a place like Mahabalipuram is so fascinating and even awe inspiring. Stone carvings of chariots, elephants and scenes from the Mahabharata are just some of the attractions here.
Try and catch the Dance Festival or collect souvenirs by buying sculptures from any of the young sculptors who work with rock and sell their wares to the tourists.
- Distance from Chennai: 52 kilometers
This historic 600 hundred year old town is renowned for a fort, a Dutch cemetery, churches and lakes. But its claim to fame is the shallow salt water lagoon, known as the Pulicat Lake.
The lake is home to migratory birds like pelicans, flamingos and many other stunning and rare species of birds. You can indulge in many beach activities and other watersports here.
- Distance from Chennai: 55 kilometers
7. Gudiyam Caves
While the rest of the world is transformed by the progress of man, the Gudiyam Caves, outside Chennai, remain a part of a distant world. The Caves, tucked within a dense jungle, surrounded by birds, are 16 in all.
16 rock-shelters, bearing the marks and shapes of our less evolved counterparts, speak of a world beyond human memory and written record. The caves can reached by trekkers.
- Distance from Chennai: 60 kilometers
A piece of Commonwealth history, Sadras was once a port for the Dutch, and would have been teeming with sailors and merchants, with cartons of tea and spices, the sound of exchanged silver and gold.
Now a picnic spot, the fort and the beach are silent and peaceful, and a make a perfect location for relaxation.
- Distance from Chennai: 70 kilometers
This Bird Sanctuary has existed for over 200 years and is justly adjudged a paradise for bird watchers and other visitors who come here to look at the different species of birds of migratory birds.
The season for their visit is between the months of November and February. Make the best use of the weather conditions during this time to picnic at the sanctuary and enjoy your tryst with nature.
- Distance from Chennai: 88 kilometers
10. Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary
Nelapattu Bird Sanctuary is situated in the Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh and a haunt of bird lovers. Many avid ornithologists camp at Nelapattu for a view of the pelicans which have made this place famous.
This is their largest habitat in Southeast Asia. The sanctuary is also home to many other species of endangered birds.
- Distance from Chennai: 90 kilometers
11. Tada Waterfalls
If you think picnic spots must offer scenic beauty, adventure and wildlife then you need look no further than the Ubbalamadugu waterfalls at Tada. This popular tourist spot offers adventure sports and trekking as well as climbing to attract a number of visitors from Chennai.
Many come here on weekends not just for a picnic as they like to camp here and stay over for longer.
- Distance from Chennai: 91 kilometers
This scenic boating spot is great place for a picnic as you can enjoy the panoramic views offered by the backwaters and sandbanks. You get to see many migratory birds in the brackish waters of this lagoon.
The beach is well-maintained and clean. Enjoy the serenity of the surroundings or go for boat ride in this beautiful place, with the boat houses offering row-boating, pedal boating, speed boating and kayaking. This is very close to Chennai and offers a wonderful location for an idyllic picnic.
- Distance from Chennai: 92 kilometers
Places to visit near Chennai: Over 100 kilometers away
Vellore, often styled the Fort City of Tamil Nadu, is popular for the Vellore Fort and the Sri Lakshmi Golden Temple. A historically significant tourist attraction, Vellore Fort contains a temple and a State Government Museum of repute.
However, Vellore’s Sri Lakshmi Golden Temple is a sight to behold, perhaps across India – the Temple is coated with a layer of pure gold. The Archaeological Survey of India Museum is another place to visit.
- Distance from Chennai: 136 kilometers
Previously a French colony, Pondicherry is a major tourist attraction not just for Indians but also many Westerners, particularly from France. Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Auroville here form a major draw for most of these visitors.
Others enjoy the splendid churches, lovely beaches and the wonderful ambience of Pondicherry. Shop for aroma oils and incense sticks, artificial jewellery and haute couture; steal a deal at the factory seconds store of the locally-made Hidesign leather bags.
Distance from Chennai: 169 km
Go paragliding at this hill station, which boasts of lakes, waterfalls, lush green valleys and even a rose garden and an aquarium. Built in 1964, the hilltop temple of Lord Murugan offers amazing views.
Go boating on the artificial Punganur lake and or frisk around in the Jalagamparai waterfalls. Go trekking and meet the tribals who live in the area to learn about their lifestyle.
- Distance from Chennai: 229 kilometers
As time passes, one finds happiness from memories and experiences, especially those formed with in the company of those one loves. Somehow, short trips offer a great amount of each. If passing by Chennai, or living there, do try to find some time from a tight schedule to relax and be peaceful, a nice trip to a beautiful picnic spot being a great vehicle for both.