Jun 26, 2019 | Atlanta, GA
When you think outdoor summer activities, your mind might go to beach trips and dips in the pool. But, Jacob Payne wants you to know that there are plenty of other options around Atlanta for getting outside and enjoying the summer.
“I like to bike around and see new places,” said Payne, a second-year master’s student in Aerospace Engineering. “I keep finding great spots in Midtown, like the lounge on the roof of the Hotel Clermont or some of the trails off the BeltLine. It’s fun to have a variety of stuff to do off campus.”
Here are eight of our favorite ways to get outside this summer:
- Stop and smell the roses (or other flowers). Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden where you can wander around 30 acres of outdoor gardens, check out the Storza Woods and Skyline Garden, or take your kids to explore the Children’s Garden. Plus, this summer, check out the Imaginary Worlds: Alice’s Wonderland Exhibit where you’ll find Alice in Wonderland-themed plant sculptures in Skyline Park. Tickets are $22 each, and $19 each for kids.
- Head downtown. At Centennial Olympic Park you can catch a free concert on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m., wheel around the bike track, or watch one of the daily Fountain of Rings water shows. Or, if you’re looking to relax, grab a few friends and a picnic, and enjoy the 22-acre green space.
- Go green. You’ll find fresh fruits and veggies, and other goodies at Atlanta’s many farmers markets. For example, stay closer to campus by visiting the Green Market at Piedmont Park every Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon. Or, if you like to sleep in on Saturday mornings, try the East Atlanta Village Farmers Market on Thursdays from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. There’s also the Grant Park Farmers Market where you can check out free celebrity chef demonstrations on Sunday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Find your wild side. You can walk with the animals at the Atlanta Zoo, which is home to more than 60 different species. Whether you want to spend all day in the reptile room, meet the red pandas, or watch a bird show, there’s plenty to do. Tickets are $24 at the gate with your student ID.
- Check out a festival. During the summer, there’s no shortage of festivals to attend. You can find your new favorite flavor at the Atlanta Ice Cream Festival on July 27, support local art at the Piedmont Arts Festival on Aug. 17-18, or catch some live music at the Grant Park Summer Shade Festival from Aug. 24-25. Entry to all of these festivals is free. Looking for additional options? Visit atlanta.net.
- Catch a movie under the stars. The Starlight Drive-In Theater offers a 1950s aesthetic, and you can see current movies for $9. Visitors can get their tickets at the box office, and then drive right up to their designated screen. (The video is played on the screen, but the audio is on your FM radio, so remember to find the right channel before the movie starts!)
- Visit a spot with a view. At the Roof of Ponce City Market, you can try the festival games and rides in Skyline Park, beat your friends at minigolf, or relax in the beer garden at Nine Mile Station. Or, get some exercise in with an hour of yoga on the roof, which is offered every other Friday beginning July 27.
- Take an art tour. Head to the BeltLine for an official art tour. Even if you’ve walked the BeltLine plenty of times, the murals and statues along the path are always changing. Follow the map of all the public art the BeltLine has to offer, and keep an eye out for the live music and performance art you can see along the way.