Wanna get outside? Try one of Georgia’s fun summer activities.
A healthy dose of outdoor activity can really make your summer shine. Fortunately, Georgia has plenty to offer, from its many parks and mountains to the more than 1,300 acres and 33 miles of trails along the Atlanta Beltline alone. And with the weather just right, now’s the time to grab a water bottle and head outside. It’s fun and good for your health — and not just physically. From reducing stress to improving short-term memory, fresh air and exercise have been shown in numerous studies to improve well-being. If you’re ready to get moving this season, here are 5 summer activities in Georgia to get you started.
Take a hike: Between its historic sites and its many mountains, Georgia is a hiker’s paradise. For one, Springer Mountain marks the beginning of the 2,000-mile-plus northbound journey of the Appalachian Trail, but there are much shorter and easier options, too. Within 40 miles of Atlanta alone, you can check out the waterfalls at Panther Creek Falls or explore the Civil War ruins along the short Sope Creek Trail. Beyond that, be sure to check out the many other great hiking spots in Georgia.
Frisbee with Fido: Take your dog out for some fun at one of Georgia’s many dog parks. Atlanta’s popular Piedmont Park Conservancy dog park has more than 3 acres where pups can frolic. And there are plenty of other local dog park options with pet-favorite features like shade trees, rocks, and water fountains, plus separate sections for large and small dogs. Sit back and watch your furry friend have the time of their life, or join in the fun and run around the track, too. Either way, you’ll both head home feeling happy.
Pick a park with a view: Summer was made for some quality time in the park. Pack a healthy picnic spread, put on your finest sunhat, and head to one of Georgia’s seemingly endless park destinations for some sightseeing. The cascading waterfall at Amicalola Falls State Park in Dawsonville is 729 feet tall, while Harris County’s F.D. Roosevelt State Park hosts an unforgettable mountain vista. Beyond the rural options, urban parks are plentiful, from Piedmont Park in Atlanta to the legendary Forsyth Park in Savannah. The newly completed Roswell Riverwalk is a can’t-miss option for locals as well, with a 4-mile-wide plank path that travels along the Chattahoochee River. It’s designed for all skill levels and accessible all year long.
Stretch in the sun: Summer is all about relaxation, so why not manage your stress with a yoga or meditation session in the sun? And if you’re a baseball fan, consider heading out to The Battery Atlanta by SunTrust Park — home to the Braves — this summer to practice your Downward-Facing Dog. On June 24, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Kaiser Permanente Georgia is sponsoring yoga classes that are open to the public.
Skate the day away: This summer, grab your helmet and pads and soak up some sun on a half-pipe. The time-tested community activity can be fun for all skill levels, and there are plenty of skating destinations to choose from. Try visiting the Historic Fourth Ward, Atlanta’s first public skatepark, which opened in 2011 and features world-class amenities. It got a strong thumbs-up from veteran skateboarder Tony Hawk, whose foundation donated to its development along with other Georgia skateparks in Athens, Blairsville, Columbus, Cordele, Douglas, Pembroke, and Savannah.
Whatever you decide to do outside, protecting your skin is key. Irena Spektor, MD, a dermatologist in The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, Inc., recommends applying an SPF 30+ sunscreen at least every 2 hours. If you’re unsure of which one to try — physical versus chemical, zinc oxide versus titanium dioxide — check out a dermatologist’s guide to picking the right sunscreen for your family. Then, all that’s left to do is have some fun in the sun this summer and enjoy all the wonderful, healthy outdoor activities Georgia has to offer.
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