Best Outdoor Activities Near Atlanta: An Adventure Guide


Atlanta is an exciting city, boasting a whole lot of entertainment options for residents and visitors who are looking to beat the heat. But did you know that the area also offers a host of opportunities to reconnect with nature? Outdoor enthusiasts won’t have to hang up their active gear just because they happen to be holidaying in a hub city. If you’re lucky enough to call the city home, or you’re mulling over moving to Atlanta, you’ll have plenty of time to sample any and all of the outdoor activities outlined below.

1. Terminus Wake Park

If watersports are what get your motor running, you’ll want to get yourself over to this Cartersville hot spot. The state-of-the-art waterpark has something to offer guests of any age and skill level, from the little ones who’ll have a blast frolicking in the inflatable playground, to adults looking to try their hand at waterskiing or kneeboarding. During the spring season, all-day cable tow passes are available for $35 per adult. Board and vest rentals are also available (note that additional fees apply).

To get to Terminus Wake Park from Atlanta, head north on I-75 until you reach the turnoff for Cartersville. The park is located at 171 LakePoint Parkway, and easy to reach from the main highway. Be sure to arrive early in the day, so you can take full advantage of all the park has to offer.

2. Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain Park offers six trail options, each with its own distinct appeal. Lengths vary, from the five-mile Cherokee trail (with stunning views from the summit) to the easily navigable Nature Garden Trail (at just three-quarters of a mile). During peak season, parking costs $20, but the price drops to $15 in slower months.

The park is located east of downtown Atlanta, off Route 178. Before or after your hike, you can opt to take a cable car ride to view the historic carvings in the side of the mountain, or even play a round of golf. Note that the park can be crowded on weekends.

3. Centennial Olympic Park

This relic of the 1996 Olympics offers fantastic views of the city and serves as the ideal meeting spot. At 21 acres, the park is large, but that doesn’t detract from its lively vibe. A number of community events are hosted here, including Atlanta’s annual Fourth of July celebration. Centennial Olympic Park can be found at 265 Park Avenue West (NW), in the heart of the city.

4. Atlanta BeltLine

A network that comprises 33 miles of multi-use trails—what better backdrop could there be for your daily workout? Whether you prefer running, biking, walking, or yoga, you’ll find a spot here that suits your needs. The BeltLine can be accessed from a number of places, at any time of day. Take your time on the stretch from Ponce City Market to Piedmont Park, so you can take in the murals painted by local artists.

5. Piedmont Park

Located at 400 Park Drive NE, Piedmont Park offers a multitude of recreational options, including a public swimming pool, footpaths, and a dog park. The views of the Atlanta skyline are incomparable, especially at sunset. If you’re visiting between the months of March and November, don’t miss the Green Market, hosted every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm.

6. Oakland Cemetery

Established in 1850, this historic site will give your legs and brain a workout. The gardens are beautiful at any time of year, but you’re in for a special treat if you visit during spring when the daffodils are in bloom. You can find the cemetery at 248 Oakland Ave, SE. While there’s no charge for everyday visits, a small fee may be incurred for special tours.

While you’re in Atlanta, be sure to pay a visit to at least one of these unique gems. You’ll never want for reasons to spend your leisure time outdoors again.

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