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Keep Georgia on the mind to beat the heat
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Don’t sweat the heat this summer. Instead, enjoy Georgia’s many opportunities to have fun and stay cool.

June and July feature events across the state designed to keep you cool and having fun. Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain is hosting Summer Beach Fun for the whole family through Aug. 21. Games and special entertainment keep the gardens festive as you relax on beautiful Robin Lake.

If you would rather be a spectator, relax and get splashed at the Augusta Southern National Dragboat Races from July 15-17. On July 30, ease down the Chattahoochee as part of the 4th annual Chattahoochee River Summer Splash from the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. The 6-mile float is followed by entertainment at Powers Island in Sandy Springs.

If you’re interested in something less scheduled, load up the family and head to the waterpark for a day of water-filled fun. The Splash in the Boro Family Waterpark in Statesboro features something for everyone from its lazy river to its inner tube slide. If you’re heading further north, give Lake Lanier Islands Beach and Waterpark a visit. The park, located in Buford, features Georgia’s largest wave pool.

If the waterpark isn’t for you, you can still enjoy the beach on beautiful Lake Lanier. Sun Valley Beach, just outside of Atlanta in Powder Springs, will provide hours of fun with its one and a half acre pool surrounded by sandy beaches. This massive pool includes 11 waterslides! To make a smaller splash, take a run through the fountains at Centennial Olympic Park in downtown Atlanta or Wood Park’s Splash Pad in Augusta.

The beautiful natural landscape of Georgia provides diverse opportunities for cooling down. Nature lovers can paddle their way through waterscapes by way of canoe and kayak. For leisurely flat water, kayak through the Okefenokee Swamp or take a guided kayak tour of Mill Pond in Twin City, outside of Swainsboro, or travel by way of canoe on the Flint, Altamaha, or Chattahoochee Rivers. If you want more of a thrill, try your hand at a guided white water rafting trip along the Chattooga River. The Amicalola, Minnehaha and Anna Ruby Waterfalls also provide a beautiful spectacle and a refreshing splash.

What is better to help you cool down than ice? Throw on your jeans and head to one of Georgia’s year-round ice skating facilities. You can tie up your ice skates at the Cooler in Alpharetta or the Marietta Ice Center. A couple laps around the rink and you’ll forget your summertime woes.

Continue to escape the heat by enjoying the cool comfort of one of Georgia’s historic theatres. The Springer Opera House in Columbus was opened in 1871 and is the official State Theatre of Georgia.  Other charming community theatres include the Historic Holly Theater in Dahlonega, the Lucas Theatre in Savannah, the Morton Theatre in Athens and the Grand Theatre in Cartersville. Be sure to check out the summer line-up at the fabulous Fox Theatre to take in a film or live performance.

When you’re ready to leave the air conditioning again, dive into summer fun at one of Georgia’s pristine lakes. Lakes can be enjoyed from the shore, a boat or by taking a dip. Northwest Georgia features Lake Allatoona and Carters Lake. Carters Lake is Georgia’s deepest and features 60 miles of shoreline. Heading east, travelers can find Lake Winfield Scott in Suches, just south of Blairsville, and Lake Rabun in Lakemont, just north of Tallulah Falls. Lake Acworth, a 260 acre lake is located just outside of Kennesaw.

No summer is complete without a coastal breeze.  Georgia’s coast makes for the perfect escape from those hot days. Georgia’s beautiful beaches and islands make for a relaxing weekend getaway. Visitors to the coast can feast on southern cuisine, play with sea turtles, coast alongside dolphins and surf the waves. From nature hikes on Cumberland Island to sunbathing on Jekyll Island, the Georgia coast provides an opportunity for the whole family to enjoy.

Don’t let the Georgia heat keep you home! Get out and visit Georgia’s best places to cool off. To help get you started on your summer travel plans, Georgia Tourism launched 80 Days of Georgia Giveaways on May 2. Facebook fans and Twitter followers have access to more than 100 prizes through Aug. 23. New prizes will be announced every weekday on www.facebook.com/exploregeorgia and @GeorgiaTourism on Twitter.

Visit www.ExploreGeorgia.org to plan your vacation.