Music, great food or fun in the sun — the experience you’re in search of this summer is waiting for you in Sandy Springs! Here are the highlights you need to know about:
Stars and Stripes
Enjoy sweet and savory food truck fare alongside the multigenre, high-energy stylings of Platinum Band Atlanta before the main event at the Stars and Stripes July 4 celebration. And as dusk gives way to dark, watch the sky light up with the kind of professional fireworks display you’ll never reproduce at home. Bring a blanket or lawn chairs to kick back for a night of entertainment. Opening times: city green, 4 p.m.; food trucks, 6 p.m.; music, 7:30 p.m.; fireworks, 9:30 p.m. Attendees may also bring their own food and should plan to use the event’s free shuttle.
Location: City Green at City Springs; Date: July 4; Website: citysprings.com/starsandstripes
Mutate at Five
Starting now, a Sandy Springs summer won’t be complete without at least one visit to Mutate at Five. This new, free festival puts food, drink and music at the forefront on the City Springs Green. Do bring your wallet, though; you’ll want to peruse the 40+ vendors and the food trucks.
Location: City Green at City Springs; Date: July 6 and Aug. 3; Website: mutationbrew.com
You’ll find numerous options for getting out and enjoying drinks, music and a meal, beginning with Sundown Social on select Thursdays. Sounds this summer include guitar and banjo stylings from Bitsyland and Native American flute and drumming from Jamie and Joe Empert. Fill up on barbecue, woodfired pizza and empanadas from nearby food trucks, and try the featured drink for each night, including the tequila-based spring breeze and the Jamaican rum honey bee.
Location: City Green at City Springs; Date: Select Thursdays at 5 p.m. through October; Website: citysprings.com/sundownsocial
Concerts at the Springs
Purchase a table or spread out a blanket on the ground to enjoy the country and rock stylings of Chuck Martin and the Lineup as they bring forth the sounds of the ‘90s beginning at 7 p.m. at Concerts at the Springs. Make a real evening of it by preordering delicious refreshments prepared by the City Springs culinary team: sandwiches, bento boxes, charcuterie platters and wine. Lawn seating is free.
Location: Heritage Amphitheater; Date: July 16; Website: citysprings.com
City Green Live
Everyone’s a parrothead when A1A is in the house! The Jimmy Buffett tribute band will take the stage after openers Run Katie Run kick things off at 7:30 p.m. Refreshments are available for preorder from the City Springs Summer Concerts menu: try house chardonnay with a cajun turkey sandwich or a seared rare tuna bento box. Reserved tables are sold out, but call the box office to get on the waiting list for released tables — free lawn seating available.
Location: City Green at City Springs; Date: July 28; Website: citysprings.com
Sandy Springs Farmers Market
And when you’re planning a meal at home, swing by the Sandy Springs Farmers Market. This ultimate farm-to-table arrangement brings out local farmers, artisans and food producers through November. Whatever your needs, from honey to home goods to chocolate to … bison, you’re covered! Bring your shopping list and check out the live entertainment and kids’ events, rain or shine!
Location: City Green at City Springs; Date: Saturdays 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m; Website: citysprings.com/farmersmarket
High Country Outfitters Paddle Shack
When you’re ready to get outdoors, Sandy Springs is the place to enjoy the woods and water. Get set to make a splash as you hit the water in a kayak or on a paddleboard at the High Country Outfitters Paddle Shack at Morgan Falls Overlook. June and July hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. August and September hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Reservations recommended.
Location: Paddle Shack; Website: highcountryoutfitters.com
Nantahala Outdoor Center Outpost
Get the Nantahala experience in metro Atlanta! Cool off with the scenic beauty of the Chattahoochee River courtesy of Nantahala Outdoor Center Outpost rentals: tubing, inflatable kayaks and duckies, paddleboards, and rafts. Enjoy them on your own through September or on a guided tour through October.
Location: Nantahala Outdoor Center Chattahoochee Outpost - Powers Island; Website: noc.com
Island Ford Trail
Ready to hit the trails? Spend a couple of hours hiking or birding on the Island Ford Trail, a loop that winds through the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Catch stunning views of the river and the waterfalls in its tributary creeks, along with rock formations and wildlife. Island Ford is also home to the National Park Service Headquarters of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Stop into the visitor center to meet a ranger and learn a little about the park.
Location: Island Ford Trail trailhead; Website: alltrails.com
East Palisades Trail
For one of the best short hikes in the metro area, head to the East Palisades Indian Trail Unit of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. This 4-mile trail Is one of the most scenic trail units, and you can do it running or walking. During less busy times of the day, there’s not too much foot traffic, so you can enjoy the peace and quiet of the woods on this out-and-back route.
Location: East Palisades Indian Trail entrance; Website: atlantatrails.com
Abernathy Greenway Playable Art Park
And finally, an immersive art experience is the perfect way to mix learning and play at Abernathy Greenway Playable Art Park. Pieces include the Spider Walk, a spider-shaped climbable structure, and The Big Imagine, reimagined swings that afford an unparalleled view of the sky. Make an afternoon of it by bringing lunch and enjoying the pavilion and picnic tables.
Location: 70 Abernathy Rd. NE; Website: sandyspringsga.gov