Best Outdoor Activities in Atlanta, Georgia

Traveling can be a great opportunity to get more in touch with nature and with your own physical self, there are many great outdoor activities in Atlanta! Taking a hike, enjoying the vistas and the greenery, filing your lungs with air that has little to no smog in it. These are all important things which many people forget to do in their day-to-day lives. 

Traveling being a break from the routine, is a great opportunity to do all those things. However, it all depends on your destination, as not every place is good for that, so, in this post we´ll talk about Atlanta!

A city that’s pretty much perfect for outdoors activities, here we´ll see everything from alien looking mountains to mammoths made of living growing plants and even some ruins hidden in the middle of the forest!

 

Related: “Ultimate Travel Guide to Vietnam”

Now before we start it’s important that we talk about transportation, due to their outdoor nature, some of the destinations we’re going to see are a bit away from Atlanta proper, so if you want to see all the places that we’re going to discuss about, it’s important that you have a reliable way to move during your visit to Atlanta as public transport may not be a great option in this case. Renting a car can be a convenient solution, not to mention than it can be really cheap if you know where to look for. Sites such as Miles Car Rental can offer you the lowest prices and help you during the reservation process so that renting the car becomes a far easier experience. 

Now, without further ado let’s begin our trip though Atlanta’s most amazing outdoor activities!

Editors Tip: During our Road Trip in the USA we always stopped for supplies and snacks at Walmart. Eating out constantly in the USA can get very expensive (with the exchange rate, tax and tipping) so having our own food made the budget stretch a little further. We also often stopped at Wholefoods for a meal as they have a food bar with great vegan options!

Piedmont Park

Atlanta has a well-earned reputation for being one of the greenest cities in the United States and for a good reason, compared to other major urban areas, it has a huge amount of trees, this goes to such a wonderful extent that a single look to the  horizon line will reveal you that there is has both a skyline and a canopy. No wonder why Atlanta’s nickname is “The city in a forest”!

Piedmont Park | Outdoor activities in Atlanta

Now Atlanta’s love for trees is quite visible from everywhere, but there is a place where this feature is condensed to its maximum and that place is Piedmont Park, which is located at the heart of the city.  

Here more than in any other part, you can really see how the canopy and skyline merge into one single landscape. Bring your camera as there are some amazing vistas here! And not only that, there is also a lot of things to do in here. You´ll find many spots amenities in the “Sport Oval” and there’s even a center for aquatic activities, great for cooling off in the summer.

Piedmont Park | Outdoor activities in Atlanta

If you’re traveling with your dog you´ll be happy to know that there is pretty good dog park where your canine companion can run without a leash. There are plenty shaded areas, separate enclosure for big and small dogs, water spickets and there is even a popsicle stand especially made for dogs!

Piedmont park is also famous for its green marked which opens on the weekends and features many local and artisanal products, such as freshly bakes goods, jams, and preserves. There are also delicious breakfast and dinner options, live music, and chef demonstrations, even some activities for the kids! 

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Deeper in Piedmont park you’ll find yet another great place to commune with nature, and that is Atlanta’s botanical garden. Just like in every botanical garden, you´ll find an amazing variety of exotic plants of every type, but the way in which these plants are arranged is what makes this garden special as here you´ll find huge sculptures made out of living plants, for example a mammoth where grass simulates the extinct beast’s fur.

Atlanta Botanical Garden | Outdoor activities in Atlanta

You can find an extensive menagerie of colorful plant creatures including a phenix with bright red flowers as plumage, dogs and camels with shaggy grass fur, and many characters from Alice in wonderland.

In addition to the sculptures there are multiple types of gardens featuring different types of plants and some lightshows at night. If you happen to get hungry during your visit to garden, you’re in luck as there’s a pretty good restaurant that uses ingredients grown in the garden itself!

Sope Creek

Parks and Botanical gardens are a great way to unwind from the stress of the city, but sometimes you just have to get away from everything and take a hike! So, we´ll be seeing some of the most amazing hiking trails you can make around the area stating with Sope Creek. 

Sope Creek | Outdoor activities in Atlanta

Sope Creek is right outside of Atlanta, taking a roughly 30-minute drive north. Here you´ll find a great spot for a hike around the many forests and creeks that surrounds the city, it’s easy to moderate, so you shouldn’t have any issue if you’re new in the hiking scene. The trail is dog-friendly so, if your pup isn’t tired after the dog park, you can come and enjoy the trail with your four-legged friend.

In addition to the natural beauty there is also a little historic plus, as you can find and explore the old ruins of a civil-war era paper mill that are located in the area. These ruins give the trail a tremendously unique feel, the images of the forest quietly overcoming and eating away the building gives you an interesting perspective of the world. It’s also the kind of place that lets your imagination run wild, it makes you wonder: If Atlanta was to be abandoned for a century or so, would it look like the ruins at Sope creek?

Arabia Mountain and Panola mountain

By now you should be a little tired of the same forested areas over and over, if that’s the case then I got a couple of places you should go to for a much-needed change of panorama, those are Arabia Mountain and Panola Mountain.

The landscapes you’ll find here are as different from the forests and creeks as they can possibly be, in fact, you can say that they look a little bit alien! Instead of the lush greenery you´ll see a landscape of barren rock full of pools of  water where you´ll find a strange species of plant that’s as red as a ruby, they fill the gray landscape with intense hues of red giving the mountain an otherworldly feel. These odd red plants can only be found here as they have adapted to the harsh mountain climate making them one unique feature of this place that can’t be seen anywhere else in the world! 

Along with its unique vistas, and challenging hikes to the top of the mountains there are also some bike paths and some guided tours that will teach you about the site’s unique history, geology and biology.

There is a 25 to 30-minute drive from Atlanta to any of these amazing mountains, it’s not really a long drive but you’ll definitely need a vehicle to get there, as public transport options are limited to non-existent. So, if you want to include these ones during your trip be sure to rent a car, and remember that by using sites such as Miles Car Rental, you can make reservations much easier and at a lower price.

Shoot the hooch

Outdoor activities don’t always mean big physical efforts, sometimes they can be a great opportunity to just relax and even experience some of the local culture, and for that, there is nothing better than to Shoot the Hooch.

What the heck is shooting the Hooch? You might be asking, well that’s the local expression for tubing down the Chattahoochee River on a hot day, with a floating cooler full of beers and just relax while you let the slow-moving river to carry you downstream. There are many ways to do it, be it by, canoe, kayak or tubes. You can do it by yourself if you have the equipment, but there are plenty of companies that will provide you all the things you need and will even give you a ride back at where you parked.

And with that concludes our little outdoors tour of Atlanta, so next time you are in need of some fresh air or perhaps want some cool hiking destinations, you´ll know where to go! Trust me, this is just the tip of the iceberg, there are is so much more things to see and do, so, what are you waiting for? Go out there and enjoy everything that the “City in a forest” has in store for you!   

That was our top picks for outdoor actvities in Atlanta, Georgia. For a full list of things to do in the USA check out our USA Bucket List.

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