12 Reasons To Visit Atlanta In the Summer

How do we say "summer" in Atlanta? Barbecue, baseball, outdoor dining, roller coasters, music under the stars and more, more, more.
  • Mercedes-Benz stadium rocks during Atlanta United games.
    Mercedes-Benz stadium rocks during Atlanta United games.
  • Nothing says summer like a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia. (Gene Petriello)
    Nothing says summer like a roller coaster at Six Flags Over Georgia. (Gene Petriello)
  • Atlanta Braves take the field at SunTrust Park.
    Atlanta Braves take the field at SunTrust Park.

No matter what you love about summertime – outdoor concerts, patio dinners, barbecue, baseball – Atlanta has it all, making summer one of the best times to go to Atlanta. Here are 12 reasons to spend a few days of summer in Atlanta. 

  1. Music Under the Stars. Atlanta Botanical Garden presents national acts in its Concerts in the Garden series all summer long. Jazz on the Lawn livens up summer nights at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, which brings Atlanta jazz legends performing a mix of classic and contemporary jazz, swing, salsa, fusion and blues. The Wren’s Nest, once the home of author Joel Chandler Harris, presents Jazz Matters from June to September, bringing to  the stage not only different styles of jazz  but also the genres influenced by jazz, like soul, funk, R&B, blues and more.  

  2. Starlit Movies. Grab a blanket, BYO popcorn, sit back and enjoy free outdoor movies in Atlanta.

  3. Dining Al Fresco. When winter hibernates for the summer, it's time to gather friends and head to at least one of these 17 Places to Eat and Drink Outdoors.

  4. Thrills and Chills. Would it be summer without a visit to a theme park? We think not. Do the scream thing on one (or more) of the 16 thrill rides at Six Flags Over Georgia then cool off at Hurricane Harbor.

  5. Required Eating. Seriously, you can’t visit a Southern city without eating barbecue because, well, it's a rule. BBQ and summer go together like, um, ribs and coleslaw. Check our BBQ Smackdown for some of Atlanta’s fave ‘cue spots.

  6. Feeling Festive. Atlanta is a city packed with amazing festivals all year long, and summer is no exception. Three notable summer festivals are the National Black Arts Festival, which presents various programs focused music, dance, film, visual arts, theater and the literary arts; BronzeLens Film Festival, with film screenings, film workshops, master classes and an awards show; and the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, a gathering for chefs, wine experts and foodies. Here's a complete lineup of June festivals, and here’s a look at all the summer fests taking place.

  7. Light Up the Sky. Atlanta loves the Fourth of July, when fireworks light up the sky north, south, east and west.

  8. Boys of Summer. The Atlanta Braves are off to a strong start for the season in this, the team’s second year in SunTrust Park. Head to the game early and treat yourself to eats and drinks at The Battery Atlanta, immediately next door to the ball park. Here's a helpful list of a few places to eat at The Battery.

  9. Five Stripes. Atlanta has gone more than a little crazy over its new Major League Soccer team, Atlanta United. And why not? The Five Stripes set new MLS single-game attendance records of 70,425 and 71,874 in its inaugural year (2017) and then broke its own record when 72,035 attended the 2018 home opener. The success of the inaugural season even contributed to the decision to locate the 2018 MLS All-Star game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta’s home to Atlanta United.

  10. Park It. Embrace the summer at these four must-visit parks within 30 minutes of Downtown Atlanta.

  11. Get Ready. It’s never to early to amp up the excitement about an upcoming college football season. Get in the mood by visiting the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Downtown Atlanta.

  12. Really Big Sendoff. Say goodbye to summer by bringing your inner geek to Atlanta for the annual Labor Day blockbuster, Dragon Con, the largest multimedia, pop culture convention focusing on science fiction and fantasy, gaming, comics, literature, art, music and film on the planet. Don’t miss the parade.

If you are coming to the ATL in June, check out this list of things to do in June.

Journalist Carol Carter writes and edits for Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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