Cool off at these 8 places in Atlanta and beyond this summer

Some like it hot, but when it’s time to cool off, metro Atlanta locales and a few spots further down the road offer a variety of options. Spend time with family and friends catching waves at water park rides or lounging for beachy vibes. Spend a day-cation at a hotel with a swanky outdoor pool aptly called the Wet Deck. There’s a rotation of climate-controlled activities with social media-worthy skyline views of Atlanta. Whether you opt to indulge in one or more of the following eight hot spots, each can help you beat the heat while taking a break to chill.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Take a look

Keep your cool as the SkyView ferris wheel rotates almost 20 stories above ground, offering panoramic views of Centennial Olympic Park, downtown Atlanta and beyond. Each of the 42 climate-controlled gondolas can seat up to six adults so friends can chill together and beat the city’s heat for 7–12 minutes, which is the average time of each ride. Tickets are $9.50-$14.50 each; children under age two ride free with an accompanying adult. 168 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta. 678-949-9023, skyviewatlanta.com.

Gone fishing

Red Top Mountain State Park, located less than an hour from Atlanta on Lake Allatoona, is great for fishing, water skiing, picnics, hiking and more. There are shady (in a good way) areas on the shore so visitors can catch a cool breeze while casting a fishing line to hook spotted, hybrid or striped bass. Private boats are permissible or visitors can rent one from nearby marinas. 50 Lodge Road SE, Acworth. 770-975-4226, gastateparks.org/RedTopMountain.

Pool party

Soak up summer and languidly lounge on the Wet Deck, a pool at the W Atlanta Downtown featuring beautiful skyline views, chaise lounges, a bar and partially covered zero-edge pool, ensuring visitors catch some rays. Bring a book, favorite tunes or invite friends for the day since non-hotel guests can purchase a day pass to indulge in amenities Fridays and Saturdays throughout summer. Passes, $25-$45 via resortpass.com. W Atlanta Downtown, 45 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. NW, Atlanta. 404-582-5800, marriott.com.

Let’s ride

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, located east of Atlanta, has more than 33 miles of bike trails running from historic downtown Lithonia to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit. Riders can pedal at their own pace and enjoy dramatic scenery, rolling hills and peaceful vistas. Bike racks are located throughout the area so riders can secure their bikes then sit down to a relaxing outdoor picnic. 3350 Klondike Road, Stonecrest. 404-998-8384, arabiaalliance.org.

Another rotation

Eat, drink and watch the world go round at The Sun Dial, a revolving restaurant that offers 360-degree panoramic views of Atlanta 723 feet above the ground in a cool, indoor climate. Farm-to-table food is served, and patrons can enjoy an afternoon or evening of good company — solo or otherwise — and capture some awesome photos without breaking a sweat. 210 Peachtree St. NW, Atlanta. 404-589-7506, sundialrestaurant.com.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Coastal community

Located less than 20 miles from Savannah, Tybee Island is a great destination for beach vacations. Easy breezy activities such as private charter boats for fishing, biking, kayaking, seashell collecting and watching tranquil waves keep visitors entertained. Tybee Island Visitors Center, 802 First St., Tybee Island. 912-786-5444, tybeeisland.com.

Take a dip

Head to Lake Lanier Islands and dive into beach fun, watersports, a zip-line over the lake and cruises with the family. Water and amusement park rides intersect at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands where guests can hop in a gigantic wave pool, ride tubes in a tunnel and enjoy friendly competition while on an aquatic floating course. When it’s time to kick back and relax indoors, hotels, resorts, cabin and RV areas make it easy to stay and play for a few days. 7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford. 770-945-8787, lanierislands.com.

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Outdoor workout

Get an early start on a refreshing workout and avoid Atlanta’s heat by participating in Exhale Spa’s Flow + Chill yoga class, held on the 14th floor terrace at the Loews Hotel Midtown. Through a variety of restorative poses, participants will spend an hour relieving hard-worked muscles and channeling mind and body balance. Single classes for non-members are $30. Classes for members are free; membership is $109-$199 per month. Flow + Chill meets 9:30-10:30 a.m. Saturdays. 1065 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-720-5000, loewshotels.com/atlanta-hotel.