8 fun summer activities in Atlanta
Atlanta summers can be brutal—the heat and humidity are unbearable, and sometimes you just want to stay indoors. But summers here aren’t totally bad. The start of summer also brings longer days, late-night outings, and tons of outdoor activities. Plus, many events and festivals are returning after a hiatus due to the pandemic, so this summer is certainly more promising than last. It’s time to beat the heat and make the most of everything Atlanta has to offer—below are eight fun summer activities in Atlanta:
Shoot the Hooch
Shooting the Hooch is a quintessential summer activity for Atlantans—it’s a great way to keep cool during the hot, southern summers, plus it’s cheap. You can rent tubes for $20-25, or you can use your own. There are four entry and exit points to choose from, the most popular being from Don White Memorial Park to Memorial Park. The route is only 1.5 miles, takes 2-4 hours to float, and is perfect for beginners. Be sure to bring a life jacket (they’re required by law), a change of dry clothes, and most importantly, sunscreen.
Cool down at Six Flags White Water
Another popular summer activity is Six Flags White Water. Located in Marietta, this water park is filled with thrilling water slides, a massive wave pool, and various kid-friendly attractions. One-day tickets start as low as $24.99, so you won’t have to worry about breaking the bank. You must pay for tickets and parking online before visiting the park. Six Flags White Water operates daily through August 1st and weekends through September 26th.
Alive in Roswell
Formerly known as Alive After Five, Alive in Roswell starts July 15th after a year-long hiatus due to COVID. This popular festival is held on the third Thursday of every month from 5pm-9pm. Hundreds of people pack into Canton Street, the Roswell Square, and Roswell City Hall to partake in live music, food trucks, and vendors. There are various parking lots with free shuttles, first-come-first-serve street parking, and paid parking lots near Canton Street.
Castleberry Hill Art Stroll
Castleberry Hill, a historic, vibrant community, hosts an art stroll every second Friday of the month from 6pm-10pm. It also returns after a year-long hiatus due to the pandemic and begins June 11th. You can partake in a free, self-guided tour of art galleries and murals, plus have a bite at one of the many local eateries. Or, you can sign up for a guided walking tour for $20 per person. Castleberry Hill’s art stroll is a popular activity among locals and for good reason—it was named the Best Art Stroll in Atlanta and the community was listed as one of the Top 10 Art Districts in the Country by USA Today. Information sheets and maps for the art stroll are posted the week of the event and are available at 180 Walker Street SW in front of Bottle Rocket the night of the stroll.
If you’re looking for an indoor activity, Painted Pin is the way to go. Located on Miami Circle in Buckhead, Painted Pin is an upscale, boutique bowling alley in a warehouse space that offers bites, bowling, and more, from bocce and ping-pong to Skee-Ball and shuffleboard. Bowling starts at $30/hour per lane on Monday-Thursday and $40/hour per lane on Friday-Sunday. Each lane holds a maximum of six players. The Painted Pin is 21+ Monday-Friday and after 5pm on Saturday-Sunday and is on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Visit a farmers market
Summertime also means the opening of neighborhood farmers markets, and Atlanta has plenty to choose from, like the Green Market at Piedmont Park and the Alpharetta Farmers Market. The Green Market is open from 9am-1pm on Saturdays through November at the park’s entrance on 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue. There are dozens of vendors that offer fresh produce, baked goods, jams and preserves, and artisan goods. The Alpharetta Farmers Market is open from 8:30am-12pm on Saturdays through November at Alpharetta City Center. The farmers market offers nearly 100 vendors, live music, and more.
Take a hike
Atlanta and the surrounding area offers plenty of hiking for all levels with watering holes to cool off afterward. The Vickery Creek Trail at Roswell Mill is a moderate, 4.7-mile trail. It’s scenic and shady, plus meanders through the woods to a covered bridge and the historic Roswell Mill, which was powered by the spillway dam during the Civil War. Vickery Creek’s north bank, next to the waterfall, is the perfect place to stop and take a swim after your hike. Watson Mill Bridge State Park, located just outside of Athens, is home to the largest covered bridge in the state and boasts several miles of hiking trails. You can hike, have an afternoon picnic, take a swim, rent kayaks, and more.
Go blueberry picking
Summer is blueberry season, and there are dozens of places throughout Atlanta and North Georgia that offer pick-your-own blueberries. Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge hosts U-Pick blueberries in June for $12 per person, and DJ’s U-Pick Blueberry Farm offers blueberry picking in June and July. Be sure to call for availability to make sure they aren’t picked over. Once you’ve collected your fresh blueberries, you can make a pie, ice cream, jam, or eat them as-is.