Come summertime, cooling off in landlocked Atlanta might seem like a pipe dream. All is not lost, though. We have scouted the best outdoor spots to get your water fix, and now we’re sharing them with you.
If you love nothing more than yelling “cannonball” before making a splash, head to one of the city’s public pools. Piedmont Park’s pool is a hot spot through Labor Day. It has four lap lanes, a beach entry and a concession stand. Buying a season pass allows you to have extra access, but day passes are available for a $5 and cover admission fee.
Grant Park also has a pool, and is a bit more low key but no less awesome. If you want something swankier, purchase a Sunday Funday pool pass at the W Atlanta-Midtown. The $45 pass includes access to the pool from 1 to 6 pm, a drink and an appetizer. There are also plenty of Instagram-worthy pool floats to lounge on while taking in the cityscape.
For kids, and the young at heart, splash pads are a free, fun way to quell those heat waves. And Atlanta has plenty to choose from. Popular splash pads include the Fountain of Rings in Centennial Park, where water blasts out of Olympic Rings in the heart of the city.
Outside the perimeter, families love the splash pad at the Battery Atlanta (how else do you cool off after a Braves victory?). The recently opened Sprayground at Elizabeth Porter Park offers kids the chance to run around in a fenced in area, giving parents peace of mind.
Of course, some people can’t resist the call of nature even in the summer. Shooting the Hooch (Chattahoochee River) is a staple of Atlanta summers—it’s a rite of passage to jump in an inner tube and coast down the river.
Have something else in mind? Sweetwater Creek State Park in Lithia Springs (about a 30-minute drive from the city) offers a relatively easy hiking trail that also has access to the creek. It’s not uncommon to go on a weekend and see families, four-legged members included, sprawled out on the rocks and splashing in the water. North of the city and a little farther out, lakes Allatoona (where Netflix’s “Ozark” is filmed) and Acworth offer relaxing kayak experiences. Bring your own kayak, or check out the rental outfitters in the area. However you get your water fix, remember to stay hydrated and slather on the SPF.