6 ways to get outside in Atlanta this summer

Whether you love old-fashioned fun or want something a bit more cutting-edge, there’s lots to do in Atlanta in the summertime
Washington Farms

Photograph by Heidi Geldhauser

Old School Fun
Pick your own
Make your pies extra local this year by picking your own raspberries in June, blueberries and blackberries from June to July, and muscadines in August. The bounty is typically best on early morning weekdays. The Rock Ranch is open from June to October, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday, for blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and muscadines. Washington Farms in Watkinsville and Loganville offers blueberries and blackberries from mid-June through July, with picking Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to as late as 8 p.m. Or find a nearby farm at pickyourown.org.

Make a date to skate
Forget the Rollerblades; rent a pair of quad skates for $6/hour or $18/day at Skate Escape, across from Piedmont Park. Been awhile since you hit the rink? Stop by Powerhouse Skates on the Eastside Trail and take a class with owner and Atlanta Rollergirl Cheri “Wild Cherri” Kresge for $45/hour, with cheaper group rates available.

Float your boat
No boat, no dock, no problem. You can still cruise Lake Lanier by renting a vessel. Canoes and kayaks from Lanier Canoe and Kayak Club start at $20/hour. Don’t miss their moonlight paddles on the Friday closest to the full moon each month. Skipper a sailboat for a half day with Lord Nelson Charters for $200, or take a three-week beginner class for $589. Fancy something faster? Try an 18-foot speedboat, at $249/four hours, or a more party-friendly pontoon that rents for $199/four hours from Lake Lanier Boat Rentals at Port Royale Marina.

Treetop quest
Photograph courtesy of Treetop Quest Gwinnett

New School Fun
Climb up high
Bring tree-climbing to the next level at the Treetop Quest ropes courses in Dunwoody and Buford, with 70 obstacles, 300-foot-long zip lines, and a canopy view from 70 feet up. Adults pay $49; kids start at $22. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the summer.

Fly a fighter jet—virtually
New technology has turned the Dare Devil Dive at Six Flags Over Georgia into North America’s first virtual reality coaster, letting you fend off alien attacks as a fighter pilot. You’ll wear a wireless VR headset to sync the coaster’s corkscrews, 90-degree drops, and 50-mile-per-hour speeds with sci-fi battleground visuals.

Listen to the trees
Scan the QR code on a tree at the Atlanta BeltLine Arboretum and you’ll see videos of artists like Taylor Hicks, Amy Grant, and Chuck Leavell discussing conservation and their favorite species at If Trees Could Sing, an installation from Trees Atlanta and Nature Conservancy.

This article originally appeared in our June 2016 issue.