MORAY SPEYSIDE - 1 HOUR 25 MINS (TO CRAIGELLACHIE)
Hop in the car, fire up the GPS, and enter destination Moray Speyside. Most of the highlights are within an hour or so from Aberdeen, with castles, distilleries and amazing wildlife to enjoy.
The ever-so-shiny Macallan Distillery is an excellent place to start, where you can experience a distillery tour like no other. If you've volunteered yourself to be the designated driver, don't fret - there are 'driver's drams' to take home and enjoy available upon request! Drive past the gorgeous Craigellachie Bridge on the way to the Macallan and don't miss the other distilleries in the region, including Glenfiddich and Balvenie, and get an insight into the fascinating role of the cooper at the Speyside Cooperage.
Head to the coast in the summer to see the marvellously mischievous Moray Firth dolphins at the WDC Dolphin Centre at Spey Bay and, it's worth stopping for a peek at the astounding geological feature, Bow Fiddle Rock.
ROYAL DEESIDE - 1 HOUR 30 MINS (TO BRAEMAR)
Royal Deeside is also about a one and a half hour's drive from Aberdeen. In Ballater, visit the Old Royal Station. It was originally built for Queen Victoria so the Royal Family could travel to Balmoral by rail. The station has now been transformed into a stunning dining experience called the Rothesay Rooms, with menus bursting with seasonal Scottish produce.
Keep going along the A93 road to the town of Braemar. Check out the Highland Games Centre to learn about the tradition and fascinating history of the Braemar Gathering. Stop for lunch at the amazing Flying Stag, the public bar within The Fife Arms, a luxury hotel with incredible design features and a stunningly extensive art collection.
You'll be in the heart of the Cairngorms, so why not drive part of the epic Snow Roads or North East 250 routes?
FRASERBURGH - 55 MINS
Head north from Aberdeen to the town of Fraserburgh and discover some truly incredible coastal treasures. Learn about the country's coolest lighthouses at the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses and admire Fraserburgh's own Kinnaird Head Castle Lighthouse beside the museum. Check out the town's Heritage Centre to learn more about the rich history of Fraserburgh.
Don't forget to try the fresh seafood. Fraserburgh is the largest shellfish seaport in Europe and there are a handful of excellent seafood restaurants in town to try. If you've got time for one more activity, venture out to Pennan for a meal at the cosy Pennan Inn. This village made an appearance in Local Hero (1983) - why not take a selfie at the red phone box which featured in the film?
See Discover Fraserburgh website for day out itineraries and local tips.