8 things worth braving the heat for in Atlanta

Aaahhh, summer.

The smell of freshly cut watermelon invites the season of liberated toes where the daily cologne of choice is a mixture of Banana Boat and Cutter.

What starts as a freeing time of outdoor fun laden by hints of cool breezes can quickly turn to days where you question even venturing outside four walls. Plan your summer unreserved with these ideas that will make going outside on a hot Atlanta day worth it.

Shoot the 'hooch

Be part of an annual tradition bringing summer fun and community camaraderie centered around the Chattahoochee River. The Back to the Chattahoochee River Race and Festival, which returns in 2020, is the modern-day, family-friendly version of the now infamous, annual Ramblin' Raft Race of the 1970s.

Credit: Ana Laura Araya

Credit: Ana Laura Araya

Fountain play and King of Pops

Summer brings out-of-town guests and the expected trip to the attractions around Luckie Marietta District and Centennial Olympic Park. Guests assume the trip centers around museums and Olympic history; locals know it's just an excuse to find a King of Pops pushcart or grab a milkshake at Googie Burger.

Summit Stone Mountain

An annual pilgrimage for many Atlantans is the one-mile hike culminating in panoramic views, including downtown Atlanta and Kennesaw Mountain. As you gain altitude and leave the canopy of the woods for the granite face of Stone Mountain, you are off on a scavenger-like hunt for the yellow line that winds over rocks and up the mountain. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, interesting fauna and even shrimp that inhabit the basins at the top of the of the rock.

Celebrate killer tomatoes

Take a summer plate staple that lends props to a B-movie classic and you get the annual Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival this July 14th hosted by Chef Ford Fry. The day of tomato-eating, music and fun benefits Georgia Organics.

Credit: Contributed by Georgia State Parks

Credit: Contributed by Georgia State Parks

Go wild in a Georgia State Park

Throughout the summer, parks around the state of Georgia will be hosting special programs including paddle trips, nature hikes, fishing rodeos, iron pours and so much more. For more information, visit Georgia State Parks.

Sip wine in the woods

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens has a second location on the northside in Gainesville. The last Thursday of the month, May through October, ABG Gainesville hosts the evening "Wine in the Woodlands". Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the gardens under the cover of a cool summer evening.

Credit: Becky Stein

Credit: Becky Stein

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Taste local, fresh items at an Atlanta  farmers market

The warmer weather and life-giving rains of spring and summer bring a bounty of fresh foods. No longer are you relegated to the few, hard-to-find roadside stands. Atlanta metro is home to a growing number of farmers markets with locally grown produce and locally sourced items, such as cheese, meat and honey.

Go extreme on the water

So you've done the usual - kayaking, tubing and water skiing. Try something new this year at a local Atlanta-area watering hole. Somewhere between Iron Man meets dolphin is the water-powered jetpack sport of flyboarding. "Flying lessons" are available on Lanier Lanier on the personal jet boards, created by Franky Zapata of Zapata Racing.

This story has been updated. A previous version included the now permanently closed Acworth Slide.