It’s the beginning of the summer months and most people are headed into “vacation mode.” When the sun is shining and there are fewer commitments at school and work, it’s easier to start daydreaming about getting your toes in the sand or heading off on a road trip adventure! While a getaway from home is a great time to renew and reset, we have no shortage of exciting and fun activities for the whole family right here in Cherokee County. Save money, time, and support your community when you Keep It Local this summer!

The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce’s tourism branch, known as Destination Cherokee GA, is your one-stop-shop for all things local from entertainment and dining to fun! Across the five cities in Cherokee, you’ll find tasty eats & drinks, enjoyable recreation, fabulous shopping, comfortable lodging, and exciting events to keep you busy for days!

Our community is lucky to feature attractions that you won’t find anywhere else. Not only is there retail, dining, and recreation, but you’ll also find beautiful gardens, historic downtown districts, and amazing museums! A perfect way to spend an afternoon is strolling around the botanical gardens in downtown Ball Ground, one of our city’s Farmer’s Markets, or the world-class gardens on 356 acres at Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground. The sky’s the limit – you can actually book a hot air balloon ride that will stun you with views of the Atlanta Skyline, Stone Mountain, Kennesaw Mountain, and Lake Lanier! For history buffs, visit the newly renovated and upgraded Cherokee County History Center, which tells the many stories of Cherokee County’s history from 11,000 B.C.E. to the present.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy here at home. If you’re ready to shop until you drop, each city has a variety of locally owned shops and small boutiques, while Canton features a variety of large retailers at Canton Marketplace, and you can search high and low for big deals at The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock. You can find a full list of area retailers at https://destinationcherokeega.com/shopping/.

Cherokee County is also fortunate to enjoy award-winning restaurants and upscale dining from talented chefs. Experience a mouthwatering menu at J. Michael’s Prime in Canton or Prime 120 in Woodstock. When you’re looking for a more casual night out, visit local hangouts like the Ball Ground Burger Bus or Keegan’s Irish Pub in Towne Lake. For sweet treats, there’s no shortage of options. You’ll find Dulce Artisan Gelato in Woodstock, Sweety’s in Canton, or Jill’s Cakes & Bakes in Ball Ground, just to name a few. Destination Cherokee’s dining page can help you uncover a new favorite spot for date night or family fun.

When it comes to recreation, look no further! You don’t have to visit another state, much less a different county, to experience adventure and summertime fun. Cherokee County boasts miles of hiking and biking trails for the nature lovers in your group. Enjoy the many parks across our community, some of which offer expansive trails systems of varying degrees of difficulty, and some of which offer playgrounds, flat walking paths, and pavilions for playtime! Blankets Creek Mountain Bike Trail System in Woodstock has 14+ miles of single-track trails that are among the most popular in the southeast. Load up the bike and get to pedaling! For the sporty outdoor lover, tee off at one of Cherokee’s many golf courses. It’s guaranteed there’s a beautiful fairway near you to practice your chip shots and drives. When family comes to town, they’ll love that there’s something for everyone to enjoy!

For the water enthusiasts, there’s endless opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery on Lake Allatoona. Several marinas and boating companies offer rentals so you can simply throw on your swimsuit, pack the cooler, and soak up a sunny day on the water! See the lake from a new perspective with sunset paddleboarding with Murph’s Surf. Break out that dusty kayak and float along the Etowah River or paddle around the Hickory Log Creek Reservoir in Canton. Is sunbathing by the swimming pool more your style? There’s fun for the whole family at the Cherokee County Aquatic Center, which also features events for different age groups throughout the summer.

Parents – did you know that Cherokee County is home to two exceptional YMCA locations, the G. Cecil Pruett Community Center Family YMCA and the Cherokee Outdoor YMCA? The outdoor YMCA is a program site only, where children of all ages can have positive outdoor experiences through summer day camps, school break camps, youth sports, and outdoor adventure programs! Speaking of summer camps, several youth programs and camps are also offered through Cherokee Recreation and Parks. Whether your child is interested in technology camps or sports camps, they can find a program that suits their interests through Cherokee Recreation & Parks!

There are endless ways to explore, experience, and enjoy our community right here at home, no matter what your interests are or what your family enjoys doing! The Keep It Local initiative encourages you to appreciate all that Cherokee County has to offer and continue supporting the local economy and local organizations who thrive on community participation. This summer, stay up to date on community happenings at DestinationCherokeeGA.com and during the month of June, participate in the Tastings Tour which offers a variety of tasty experiences across our county for all ages!