For some, another Super Bowl in Atlanta is a dream come true. They'll revel in the crowds, the hype and the partying, even if they didn't score tickets or don't particularly like either team.
But another group will be craving quiet amidst the mayhem. That will be tough to achieve outside a room with dark shades and ambient noise, but it can be done. Not only that, even if you can't leave Atlanta during Super Bowl madness, you can have a great time outside the perimeter.
Whether you'd enjoy soothing, soul-restoring fun without the company of a couple hundred thousand sports enthusiasts or you're looking for new ways to pretend there's no game like you do every other year, here are eight great options for having fun Super Bowl weekend (without the Super Bowl).
For nature lovers
800 Old Snellville Highway, Lawrenceville.
Enjoy the relative peace and quiet at Alexander Park. Even if it's chilly, bundle up for a walk around the lake on the 1.7-mile paved trail and drink in icy lake views. There's also fishing, a playground for the young and lighthearted and an 18-hole disc golf course.
1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs. 770-732-5871, gastateparks.org
One of the best Georgia state parks if you want to fill your lungs full of fresh air on a hectic Sunday, Sweetwater covers 2,549 acres. You can get a hiking fix on the wooded trail and a history fix from the Civil War textile mill ruins along the way.
5343 Roberts Drive, Dunwoody, 770-394-3322, dunwoodynature.org
Part of the Dunwoody Parks & Recreation greenspace, this serene setting is open and free to the public sunrise to sunset, every day.
Bring some binoculars to birdwatch (or just look like you are) and also dress so you can play on the playground, ride a tree swing or geocache, as time allows.
2:30 p.m. Feb. 3, $44-$50
Aurora Theatre, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222, www.auroratheatre.com
What better time to take in a show than when the rest of metro Atlanta concentrates on NFL? This co-production between Aurora Theatre and Actor's Express is a hilarious comedy (and 2017 Broadway smash) that takes the Henrik Ibsen classic characters and has Nora return home for a sequel, this time as a successful author, not a downtrodden wife.
9135 Selborne Lane Suite B, Chattahoochee Hills. 770-463-0880, spaatserenbe.com
Buddy up or head out solo for some premium pampering. The spa at the sustainable pioneering community of Serenbe offers massage, facials, reflexology and many other treatments. As long as you plan at least a week ahead, there should be plenty of Sunday appointments available.
2:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 3, $5 per person or free for overnight guests
100 Rue Charlemagne, Braselton. 678-425-0900, www.chateauelan.com/venue/chateau-elan-winery
An OTP winery tour can help you leave all your cares behind, and this one features a glamorous 3,500-acre winery and resort on rolling north Georgia hills. If you have a group that's going to bond over forgoing the Super Bowl, keep in mind that groups of 12 require reservations.
Thrills far from Mercedes-Benz Stadium and the Super Bowl
Sundays 1-6 p.m., all-day access passes $14
460 Brogdon Road, Suwanee. 770-271-1390, www.adrenalineclimbing.com
Have a blast indoor rock climbing while the rest of Atlanta climbs the stands at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Both guided and independent climbing are available during the same Sunday hours, and this spot caters to all abilities, novice (must be at least 13) to experienced.
Weekends through February 24, daily all-access passes start at $30 for kids and seniors
Margaritaville at Lanier Islands, 7650 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 678-304-3120, www.lanierislands.com/margaritaville/attractions/snow-island
Sneak out of the hubbub and into the snow at Margaritaville resort. Snow tubing, ice skating, a fire pit and s'mores and a couple of carnival rides create the very best kind of winter wonderland.
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