Attention, Atlanta pet parents! Summer is here and it's a great time to get out and bond with your dog.
While it's not quite the same as organizing activities for kids who are out of school, summertime Atlanta offers lots of great options for furry fun.
Check out these eight playdates while the weather's warm. Don't make us beg!
5 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. (dogs under 30 pounds); 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. (dogs over 30 pounds), every Wednesday through at September 5, 3540 Keith Bridge Rd., Cumming, 770-844-7275.
With the motto "Adult dogs like to play, too," this spacious, fenced in, turf backyard becomes a place for dogs over a year old to meet and romp on Wednesdays. Dogs must be spayed/neutered and current on all vaccines to participate.
85 Mill St., Roswell, 770-640-3253.
A great place to start your summertime hiking with (or without!) your dog, the Vickery Creek section of the Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area is in metro Atlanta and features a network of naturally-surfaced trails that descend in places to a tributary of the Chattahoochee. You and your dog can expect pines, waterfalls and wildlife. Just be sure to leash your dog and bring water.
380 Johnson Road, Suwanee, 678-277-0910
One of many great trails in the Atlanta area for dog owners, this park opens at sunrise, a great option if you're trying to beat the heat or if you and your dog are morning people. Settles Bridge Park sits on 268 acres and features 1.6 miles of multi-use paved roads and 2.9 miles of unpaved trails, along with an off-leash dog park.
Various state parks
If you need another reason to get fit with your dog, consider the Georgia's State Parks and Georgia Veterinary Medical Association's Pets RXercise program. Veterinarians write a "prescription" for a healthy walk that you can redeem for a $5 parking pass at select state parks. Trails range from easy to challenging and are featured throughout the Georgia state park system.
2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, June 2, 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, June 10, Sweetwater Creek State Park, 1750 Mount Vernon Road, Lithia Springs, 770-732-5871, admission is $5 (parking is an additional $5), reservations required.
Sweetwater Creek's ranger-led hikes are a wonderful chance to walk the trails of the park with a four-legged companion. Along with prime views of the rapids, hikers will see the New Manchester Mill, which was featured in the film “Hunger Games: Mockingjay.”
1530 Woodbine Ave. SE, 404-546-6813
Your dog will love the chance to walk by your side (or maybe ride in your bicycle basket), but you'll be happy knowing that the Trolley Line Trail is one of 1600 rail trails supported by the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, a nonprofit working to create a nationwide network of trails along former rail and trolley tracks. This Atlanta site dates back to the late 1800s.
The Trolley Line Trail links Georgia State University in downtown Atlanta to Agnes Scott College in Decatur. Along the way: the Martin Luther King, Jr. Historic Site and historic Cabbagetown, East Lake and Reynoldstown neighborhoods.
248 Oakland Ave. SE, 404-688-2107
Play tourist with your dog or let your pup escort you as you show visitors around the historic Oakland Cemetery. You'll discover historic art, architecture and local lore in this extensive public park. Dogs must be leashed in the cemetery and stay off the monuments, but if you can abide by those simple rules (and remember to clean up any doggie deposits) this is an unbeatable choice for calm and shade in the Atlanta summertime.
11 a.m, Saturdays and Sundays, 1402 N. Highland Ave. NE, 678-705-5324
Brunch is going to the dogs and we couldn't be happier about it. The place with the tagline "Sit. Drink. Stay." will welcome you and the pooch for weekend brunch - hey, you can't hike all the time.
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