The Chattahoochee River flows right through town. North of the city, the Appalachian rivers call to whitewater boaters, while south of Atlanta quiet-water paddlers will find the mighty Altamaha and other rivers of the Piedmont region.
The Georgia River Network hosted a weeklong canoe camping adventure along the Chattahoochee River, which flows right through the heart of Atlanta, during the summer of 2005. Check out the Chattahoochee Nature Center in Roswell, part of the metro area, for day trips. North of the city, canoeists can find Carters Lake, an unspoiled 3,500 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains with sandy beaches, and boat-in camping east of Carters Dam.
The Georgia coast is a four- or five-hour drive, but it’s worth it to ply the waters around Savannah. Sea kayakers also enjoy the lakes. Allatoona Lake has 270 miles of shoreline and 27 public recreation areas. Lake Lanier was home to the 1996 Olympic sprint kayak races and hosts many world-class canoe and kayak competitions, but it’s also an inviting place for kayakers who are just out for a good time.
Atlanta is within easy driving distance of some of the best whitewater in the country: the world-renowned Chattooga River (of Deliverance fame), the Tallulah Gorge, the Chattahoochee, Cartecay, Chestatee, Amicola, Etowah, Tuckasegee, Hiwassee, and Toccoa. Head north about 110 miles just over the border into Tennessee, and you’ll find the Ocoee River, perhaps the most popular whitewater river in the country and the site for all the slalom events at the 1996 Olympics.
Atlanta sizzles after dark, with numerous music clubs featuring jazz, rock, country, and blues. Buckhead is party central for the frat types; Virginia Highlands draws the professional crowd; downtown hosts a large component of out-of-town visitors and convention goers. And what paddler could resist a meal at Canoe, an elegant restaurant in the historic Vinings area on the Chattahoochee River. Take a heavy wallet.
While You’re There
Piedmont Park has tennis courts, a swimming pool, and paths for jogging, skating, and cycling. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is right next door. Log on to www.atlanta.net for more ideas.