Summer in the South

June 7, 2024

Sparks Insurance Summer in the South Blog

Summer in the South is a magical time that offers warm weather, extended days, and a plethora of activities that are fun for the entire family. Whether you are southern born or  here for a visit, there is no shortage of things to do this summer. At Sparks Insurance, we are proud to serve customers all over the South. Here is a glimpse of a few things to add to your summer bucket list if you find yourself in Knoxville, Atlanta, Birmingham, or Tampa.

Knoxville, Tennessee—A Gateway to the Great Outdoors

  1. The Great Smoky Mountains: Just a short drive from Knoxville, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park offers a stunning backdrop for hiking, picnicking, and wildlife watching. Don’t miss out on trails like Alum Cave or the scenic views from Clingmans Dome. Take time this summer to explore the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  2. Take a Float Down the River: The Tennessee River and nearby Little River are perfect for a lazy summer day spent tubing or kayaking. Companies like River Rat Tubing provide rentals and shuttle services, making it easy to enjoy the water.
  3. Visit the Knoxville Zoo: Zoo Knoxville stands out as a top zoological attraction in the southeast. Dedicated to providing engaging and educational experiences, the zoo is home to more than 800 animals. It is a family-friendly destination offering various summer activities and events, including night safaris, animal encounters, adult zoo camps, zip line adventures, and more.

Atlanta, Georgia—Where City Life Meets Adventures in Nature

  1. Piedmont Park: Piedmont Park, spanning over 200 acres in the center of Atlanta, welcomes more than 6 million visitors annually and hosts numerous events. This renowned park is an ideal spot in Atlanta for a summer picnic, playing frisbee, or taking a relaxing walk. Additionally, it features outdoor concerts and festivals during the summer months and a full calendar of events and programs year-round.
  2. Atlanta Botanical Gardens: In the heart of Midtown, there lies an urban oasis known as the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. With 30 acres of outdoor gardens featuring an award-winning Children’s Garden, the serene Storza Woods highlighted by a unique Canopy Walk, and the picturesque Skyline Garden, it’s a must visit item to add to your summer adventures in Atlanta. Whether you are on a family adventure, flying solo, or looking for a unique summer date experience, you can use the Garden Guide to plan your path which may include Alice’s Wonderland, garden playtime, evening cocktails, or even cooking demonstrations.
  3. Six Flags Over Georgia: For thrill-seekers, Six Flags offers roller coasters, water rides, and live entertainment. It’s an exhilarating way to spend a summer day with family or friends. During June, you can immerse yourself in a kaleidoscope of color during the all new Summer Vibes Festival. In July, make plans to end your adventure filled day with an evening of fireworks on display celebrating Independence Day. In August, make plans to attend Six Flags Coaster Fest where you can go beyond the steel with behind-the-scenes tours, lift hill walks, exclusive ride times, and more!

Birmingham, Alabama—Rich History and Vibrant Culture

  1. Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum: The Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum fulfills every motorcyclist’s fantasy, showcasing the largest assortment of motorcycles and Lotus racecars globally. With its creative architecture and great attention to detail, the museum is home to over 1,800 motorcycles that span more than a century of production. On any given day, visitors can view over 1,000 bikes, representing 200 manufacturers from 22 countries.
  2. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute: The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, part of the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument and an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, serves as a cultural and educational research center dedicated to promoting a thorough understanding of Birmingham’s pivotal role in civil rights history. This historic museum documents the journey of civil rights advocates from the 1950s and 60s who significantly influenced American history.
  3. McWane Science Center: Curiosity knows no age at the McWane Science Center. This interactive science museum and aquarium inspires curiosity through hands-on exhibits and educational programs. It features an array of exhibits on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), along with an IMAX dome theater. The center also houses a variety of aquatic life, making it a vibrant destination for families all summer long.

Tampa, Florida—Sun, Sand, and so much to Explore

  1. Tampa Riverwalk: Enjoy a beautiful waterfront view and feel the warm sun along the Tampa Riverwalk. This 2.6-mile path follows the Hillsborough River to the Garrison Channel. Begin your adventure at the lively Heights Market at Armature Works, take a break at the vibrant Curtis Hixon Park, and keep going until you reach Sparkman Wharf. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, you can stroll, cycle, or scoot along the Riverwalk, pausing at various attractions, bars, or restaurants. At night, witness the colorful lights that bring the Riverwalk to life.
  2. Clearwater Beach: Just a short drive from Tampa, Clearwater Beach offers pristine white sand and clear blue waters. Sunseekers discover pure joy on the sugary sand here year-round. The gentle Gulf waters are perfect for swimming and for water sport enthusiasts. This vibrant and colorful beach offers ample space for you and your family to relax on the sand. You’ll find parking, restaurants, hotels and much more nearby.
  3. Florida Aquarium: Discover marine life from around the world at the Florida Aquarium through engaging exhibits and interactive experiences. From a Journey to Madagascar through the Mosaic Exhibit Hall to a Stingray Feeding Experience and a Penguin Encounter, you are sure to experience the wonder of sea life this summer. There are also educational programs and summer camps which offer immersive learning about ocean conservation and marine ecosystems.

No matter where you find yourself in the South this summer, there’s an abundance of activities to keep you entertained and create lasting memories. From the natural beauty of Knoxville to the vibrant urban scenes in Atlanta, from the culturally rich history of Birmingham to the sun and sand of Tampa, each city offers its unique charm and endless opportunities for adventure. So, pack your sunscreen, grab your sunglasses, and get ready to enjoy all that a Southern summer has to offer!


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