Whether you are just visiting the region or you are a local, you will never have a lack of fun things to do during the summers in North Georgia. North Georgia has a variety of scenic towns, each with distinguished personalities. Check out our suggestions for the top 10 things to do in North Georgia in the summer!
Georgia Wine Highway
North Georgia is home to over 20 vineyards and wineries, boasting a variety of the region’s flavors. There’s nothing more relaxing than kicking back and appreciating a gorgeous Georgia mountain view with a glass of wine in hand. Many bed and breakfasts and luxury inns are located along the wine highway for a comfortable stay as wine connoisseurs explore. Annual winery festivals and events are held every summer, opening the door to tasting weekends, vineyard tours and live shows along the way! All of the North Georgia wineries are located within easy driving distance from one another, so the wine highway can be accomplished in a short weekend. A list of all the wineries in North Georgia can be found here and used during a self-guided tour.
River Tubing and Kayaking
River tubing and kayaking are the best family-friendly outdoor summer activities during the sweltering heat. Kids and adults of all ages will appreciate the adventure that comes from a day on the river. Relax in slow-moving water or hit some rapids in a faster-paced flow.
North Georgia is home to a long list of tubing and kayaking outfitters ready to rent out equipment for a day of fun. Prices are affordable and provide day-long entertainment. See a list of local tubing and kayaking companies below to find the closest one to you.
- Ellijay River Outfitters, Ellijay
- Cartecay River Experience, Ellijay
- Cool River Tubing, Helen
- Toccoa Wilderness Tubing, Blue Ridge
- Rolling Thunder River Company, McCaysville
- Slow Water, Royston
- Broad River Outpost, Danielsville
- The Sandbar, Bowman
- River Ratz Tubing & Kayak, Rome
- River Tubing, Duluth and Macon
- Shoot the Hooch, Roswell
- NOC Chattahoochee Outpost – Powers Island, Sandy Springs
- Coosawatee River Tubing, Ellijay
Early summer is the perfect time to visit the botanical gardens of Georgia. A variety of flora in full bloom makes for a beautiful avenue to enjoy nature’s bounty. Patrons can get up early and pack a picnic for a day of traveling to all the gardens in North Georgia, or better yet, make it a weekend-long activity. A few of the gardens even have play areas for children and short hiking trails for a leisurely stroll through the woods.
The botanical gardens of Georgia double as excellent backdrops for special events like reunions, weddings and anniversary parties. Click through the list below to see what each individual garden in North Georgia has to offer visitors.
- Atlanta Botanical Garden, Atlanta
- Atlanta Botanical Garden, Gainesville
- The State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Athens
- Smith-Gilbert Gardens, Kennesaw
- Hamilton Gardens at Lake Chatuge, Hiawassee
- Hart County Botanical Gardens, Hartwell
Zip-lining is an exciting way to explore the vast mountains, hills and forests of North Georgia in a less traditional way. Safely designed and monitored routes through scenic landscaping and aerial bridges between platforms in trees accent Georgia’s natural outdoor playground perfectly.
This is a great summer activity for families with teens, but people of all ages can find a route that suits their desires. Zip through the woods with one of the reputable zip line companies listed below.
- Zip Line Canopy Tours of Blue Ridge, Blue Ridge
- Sunburst Adventures, Clarkesville
- Nacoochee Adventures, Helen
- Amicalola Zipline & Aerial Adventure Park
- Unicoi Zipline & Aerial Adventure Park
- Daredevil Ziplines, Rome
- Blue Ridge Adventure Park, Blue Ridge
- Lake Lanier Canopy Tours, Buford
The Georgia Guidestones
The Georgia Guidestones, located in Elberton, are an unusual set of granite monoliths. The stones are an enigma for the numerous visitors and locals who frequent the site. Often referred to as “America’s Stonehenge,” the monument soars above viewers at 19-feet high.
The stones have a 10-part message inscribed on them, advocating for the conservation of mankind and future generations in 12 languages. Four ancient languages are marked on the sides of the stones near the top: Babylonian Cuneiform, Classical Greek, Sanskrit, and Egyptian Hieroglyphics. The guidestones also have an astronomical calendar inscribed on them. Every day at noon, the sun shines through a hole in the structure and lands on the current date. The origin of the Georgia Guidestones is mysterious because the identity of the group who sponsored the erection is unknown.
Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park
Visiting the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park is a memorable and sobering experience. The park pays tribute to the 1863 battle during which the Union and Confederate forces fought for control of Chattanooga, the city known as the “Gateway to the Deep South.” The national park crosses over from Georgia to Tennessee.
Hike through the 50 miles of trails surrounding the Chickamauga Battlefield or explore the 30 miles of trails at the Lookout Mountain Battlefield. Most of the trails follow historic road traces that are remnants from the time of the battles. Paddle, rock climb, picnic or even spend the day studying the indoor memorial exhibits.
Drive-In Theaters are the perfect nostalgic summertime escape and there are three great options in North Georgia. Swan Drive-In Theatre and Tiger Drive-In Theatre are remnants of era’s past. Both theaters were opened in the 1950s and still hold the classic charm.
Trenton’s Wilderness Outdoor Movie Theater is a spectacle to behold. Known as the world’s largest outdoor movie theater, it has two ginormous 100′ x 50′ movie screens showing double features. The theater is located on 45 acres in the scenic mountains of northwest Georgia and families are welcome to play and picnic before the movie begins. Tickets range between $7 and $10 per person depending on the theater, so it is an affordable treat for the entire family.
Summer Art Shows and Festivals
The summer in North Georgia brings art shows and festivals nearly every weekend in June and July! North Georgia is home to a culturally diverse population with a knack for fine and folk art. From hand-thrown pottery and stoneware to watercolors and oil paintings, you won’t want to miss the unique creativity of our region. Some of the most exciting art shows and festivals are listed below— add them to your calendar for the summer months!
- Mountain Fling, Blairsville
- Butternut Creek Festival, Blairsville
- Art-tiques Vintage Market, Braselton
- Painted Fern Festival, Clayton
- Annual Arts Festival at Rose Lawn, Cartersville
- Young Harris Art Festival, Young Harris
- Made in Georgia Festival, Young Harris
- Marietta Art in the Park, Marietta
- Creative Arts Guild Festival, Dalton
Summer Music Shows and Festivals
North Georgia is a breeding ground for talented musicians of every genre. R.E.M. and The B-52’s from Athens, Brantley Gilbert from Jefferson, Fiddlin’ John Carson from Cobb County and Blind Simmie Dooley from Hartwell are just a few of the famous musicians hailing from the North Georgia region. Whether you love R&B or bluegrass, North Georgia has it all. Check out the local talent at some of the well-known summer music festivals and strumming gatherings listed below.
- Athfest Music and Arts Festival, Athens
- North Georgia Folk Festival, Athens
- Dillard Bluegrass and BBQ Festival, Dillard
- Georgia Mountain Fair, Hiawassee
- Bluegrass on the Square, Tallulah Falls
Rock City Gardens
Rock City Gardens in Lookout Mountain, Georgia, is a sight to behold. Marvel at unique rock formations, hike down an enchanting trail blooming with flowers, venture into magical caves and see seven states from “Lover’s Leap.” Kids will love the rock climbing wall, the gemstone mine and Mother Goose Village, an impressive landscape of scenes from classic nursery rhymes. There is an activity for everyone in your party at the Rock City Gardens.