Beaches in Atlanta, Georgia

Photo by Marcus Williams

About Atlanta, GA

Atlanta is the largest city in Georgia and is the trade and transportation hub of the United States’ southeast. Situated in Georgia’s northwest, Atlanta is known for its southern hospitality, music, arts, sports, and air transportation, as well as for being an important location during the civil rights movement.

This city has urban and suburban cityscapes, rolling hills, and a surprising amount of foliage. With nearly half the city containing a dense abundance of tree cover, it’s no wonder Atlanta has been deemed “the city in a forest”. Some of Atlanta’s most common trees are magnolias, dogwoods, Southern pines, and oaks.

Nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountain range’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Atlanta lies atop a ridge just southeast of the beautiful and biologically diverse Chattahoochee River, affectionately referred to as the ‘Hooch’ by locals. This river provides 70% of Georgia’s drinking water (making it Georgia’s most heavily used water resource), and is also a beloved site for water recreation.

The Chattahoochee River has rocky or grassy banks which are often lined with trees. Rushing rapids and rock shoals provide opportunities for recreation or relaxation. Just an hour north of Atlanta by car, Lake Lanier’s sandy beaches are also a favourite destination for those seeking fun or relaxation by the water.

Swimming Water Quality in Atlanta

In Atlanta, water is monitored in three locations by the National Park Service, United States Geological Survey, and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (who updates the data on Swim Guide).

Water Sports and Activities in Atlanta

Popular activities in the Chattahoochee River are boating, canoeing, rafting, tubing, wading, and swimming. Fishing, picnicking, wildlife-watching, hiking the East Palisades Trail, and camping are popular on the water’s shores. In Lake Lanier, many people enjoy swimming, boating and houseboating, canoeing, and jet skiing.

If you’re longing for a saltwater swim on Georgia’s coast, Tybee Island is about a four hour drive from Atlanta and has a sandy beach and lifeguards during swim season. Popular activities here include surfing and fishing. The northern portion of the beach is known for being a great place to spot dolphins.

Weather in Atlanta

Seasons in Atlanta are fairly well defined. Winters are short and mild, and summers are hot and humid. Atlanta is a rainy city, and the precipitation is uniformly distributed during the year, with the slight exception of late spring and early fall which are marginally less wet. In July, the average temperature is 27 °C (80 °F).

While it is a wonderful area for water recreation, certain areas of the Chattahoochee River and its tributaries have had their challenges with water quality due to sewage overflows and spills, urban sprawl, and heavy pollution. The Chattahoochee Riverkeeper safeguards the health of the Chattahoochee River by advocating for sustainable water planning and supply practices, monitoring water quality, carrying out in-stream trash removal, and much more.

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