Chattahoochee Nature Center — A privately-funded center with live wildlife exhibits, aviaries, two nature trails, canoes, and activities for kids. 9135 Willeo Rd, Roswell. 770-992-2055.
Chattahoochee River National Recreational Area — The river itself starts up north of Helen, Georgia, runs south through Lake Lanier and Buford Dam, passes to the west of Atlanta and becomes the Georgia/Alabama border, flows through West Point Lake, enters Florida and becomes the Apalachicola just before entering the Gulf of Mexico. In the 48-mile park, stretching from Lake Lanier to Peachtree Creek, you’ll find rafting and canoeing, hiking, picnicing, fishing and horseback riding. National Park Service: 678-538-1200.
Lake Lanier/Lake Lanier Islands (Buford) — Lake Lanier is a 38,000 acre human-made lake located about 45 miles northeast of Atlanta. (On the islands, you’ll find a water park and resort or two, boats and cabins to rent, and a campground to park your RV. One neat thing to do in the summer is to rent a houseboat there, then doodle around and tie up to a different island every night.) They have fireworks on the lake July 4th, and miles of Christmas lights to drive through during the holidays. 6950 Holiday Rd, Buford. 770-932-7200