Here’s the thing about summer — I hate it. OK, I guess I just strongly dislike it. As a pale white guy who sweats more than an obese person on a treadmill, you might as well waterboard me, because that would probably be less torture than living in the sticky, humid South in August.
But, despite all that totally-necessary hyperbole, there are some really great things about summer in the South. For one, we get to laugh at Northerners who freak out about two consecutive 98-degree days in June, like they do to us when we get an inch of snow and shut down the whole city. Ha ha! Joke’s on you, Yankees!
I love a good list of power rankings, so here are my favorite things about summer in Atlanta, in particular order (and yes, if and when I forget an obvious one, please leave me a comment below).
10. Turner Field
If you avoid afternoon games and pick the right seat, you won’t spend much time in the sun at a Braves game, and therefore, won’t boil like a lobster. And when the Braves aren’t totally sucking, they’re an exciting team to watch!
Little-known fact: You’re allowed to take small coolers into the park. So bring a Publix sub and some peanuts, and you’ll only have to spend money on beer!
9. Gorgeous days, almost every day
If it’s going to be hotter than Hades, it might as well be beautiful, and the ATL has plenty of days to take the boat out on the lake and turn your life into a country music video.
This isn’t a traditional big city — every neighborhood and apartment complex in Atlanta has their own pool. So you don’t have to deal with 150 smelly people jumping into the water, you only have to worry about not diving on those two little kids that got ambitious and waded out of the shallow end.
7. Less traffic
Trying to get from Point A to Point B in Atlanta is usually more difficult and time-consuming than Calculus, so any lessening of the beast known as Rush Hour in the Dirty South is welcomed. Getting those pesky soccer moms off the road and onto a pool chair always works wonders!
6. Air conditioning
It’s like Visa — it’s everywhere I want to be. A/C and the South go hand-in-hand.
5. Piedmont Park
Go ahead and take in the views of downtown Atlanta, and hide under a tree to stay cool. There are plenty of restaurants surrounding the park, like my personal favorite — The Nook.
4. The Chattahoochee River
Spring for the $25 yearly pass and you will save a lot of money if you visit the Chattahoochee as much as I do. Enjoy an afternoon tubing down the river, or spend a morning running on the trail. It’s therapeutic, and it’s also cooler than running in the sun, because most of the trails are at least partially-covered by shade from the tall trees!
It seems like more performing acts come through Atlanta in the summer, so go check one out! Amphitheaters are usually toasty, but at least the majority of Atlanta’s concerts occur at night, when it’s cooler.
A lot of the finest Atlanta establishments got on my good side because they have patios. A lot of those patios are partially-covered in the summer. Those restaurants are just the best, y’all. They’re just the best!
1. Beer/Music/Food festivals
It seems like there’s a radio station taking over a downtown park every weekend with live music, lots of beers and an army of food trucks. This is the aspect of an Atlanta summer that taunts me the most, because I work on Saturday afternoons, and most of these fun-filled festivals are on Saturdays. So, go have fun for me … but you don’t have to post a picture of every one on Facebook. That just hurts my feelings.