Stone Mountain Park in the Summertime

Every year, over 4 million visitors enjoy this "eighth wonder of the world!"
Stone Mountain Park in the Summertime
Stone Mountain, GA
Summer's here and there's nothing like being outside. Swimming, family barbeques, and spending time together with friends and family. Sometimes we forget what's in our very own backyard…Stone Mountain Park!

Just 16 miles east of downtown Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park stands majestically on 3,200 gorgeous acres. The mountain itself is the world's largest mass of exposed granite (25 million square feet) with the world's largest high relief carving on its North side. The carving, depicting three heroes of the American Confederacy, is the well-known centerpiece of the Park. The entire carved surface measures 3 acres, larger than a football field and the carving of the three men towers 400 feet above the ground. It measures 90 by 190 feet and is recessed 42 feet into the mountain. Surely the South would, indeed, rise again if President Jefferson Davis, General Robert E. Lee and Lt. General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson could spring to life from the mountainside carving? Instead, over 4 million visitors enjoy this "eighth Wonder of the World," as well as the park's breathtaking scenery, pristine lakes, forestland, beautiful gardens and miles of nature trails.

The summer months provide the perfect opportunity to visit Stone Mountain Park, for a day or even a week! Campground, you say? Of course there's a campground for everyone, combining the splendor of nature with as much or little modern convenience as you like! The grounds include 441 wooded campsites with both full and partial hook-ups that include water and electricity and 43 "primitive" tent sites as well. In fact, the Park has become one of America's favorite campgrounds, with many guests returning each year for a relaxing vacation that offers so many wonderful entertainment options. Recreational and entertainment facilities, including family oriented attractions, tennis, golf, fishing and hiking!

Georgia's Stone Mountain enjoys a long and storied past. The enormous granite rock alone has inspired awe and reverence ever since man first laid eyes on it thousands of years ago. The land surrounding the mountain has seen many important events and changes.

In 1790, American settlers began moving into the area of the giant mass of granite, first named Rock Mountain. In 1825, the Rev Adel Sherwood, of Mercer University, Macon, renamed it Stone Mountain, but it wasn't until years later that the Georgia Legislature changed the name of the town, New Gibraltar, to Stone Mountain. This area now provides entertainment to millions and also offers a glimpse into the region's history and its evolution from wilderness to urban center. AND, there's always something new and FUN to explore!

All aboard! Take the Stone Mountain Scenic Railroad on a beautiful, five-mile journey around the base of the world's largest mass of exposed granite in open-air train cars. It's the perfect way to get a real perspective on this truly majestic natural wonder. Not to mention, taking a load off! However, don't let your guard down. Lately, the Bolin Brothers, Alf and Ralf, have been robbing the train, trying to make off with a full safe of money. Luckily, no one ever gets hurt and the Bolin Brothers provide lots of laughter and excitement and never manage to make off with any money!

New this year is Stone Mountain Park's $30 million attraction, "Crossroads," that sends you further back in time to an 1870’s Southern town. You meet fascinating characters and colorful crafters who show you what life was really like 130 years ago. The townspeople still work the old trades, dress in the fabrics and styles of the time, and invite you to join them in this celebration of the past. The town itself includes a gristmill & bakery, a blown glass shop, candle shop, blacksmith, large general store, and a boarding house restaurant featuring the best of Southern cuisine. What else? Oh, and there's a candy and ice cream production facility just in case you got a hankerin' fer it! The "past" is brought to life in a way that consumes your senses with street entertainers, such as the Rain Wizard and a sure-fire singin' sheriff. Southern charm is everywhere…but the centerpiece of "Crossroads" is the magnificent Tall Tales of the South 4D Theater. In this amazing multi-sensory adventure, you'll not only experience the magic of 3D film, but the rest of your senses will be engaged by Spectacular 4D special effects!

However, it's the Mountaintop Skylift that has become the most popular attraction for over 30 years, giving its passengers a breathtaking view of the Confederate Memorial Carving. The Swiss cable cars climb 825 feet above the surrounding area to the top of the mountain. From there, visitors enjoy an incredible view of Atlanta, the Appalachian Mountains and surrounding countryside.

The park has many amenities, including a half dozen restaurants, two hotels, picnic areas, and two family campgrounds. The Carving and the stunning natural beauty aren't the only things drawing visitors however. A Lasershow Spectacular, scenic railroad, sklift, and Antebellum Plantation & Petting Farm are wildly popular with Park patrons.

Have you ever imagined what it must have been like in the days of the mighty riverboats with Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer swimming on the banks while the elite sipped root beer on the sun deck? You can revisit the glory days of the mighty Mississippi on Stone Mountain Park's Riverboat, the "Scarlet O'Hara," an authentic, 150-passenger side-wheeler. This famous riverboat will take you on a scenic cruise of the 363-acre Stone Mountain Lake as you catch a cool breeze off the water!

It's been known to get a bit warm in Georgia from time to time. They don't call it the "deep South" fer nuthin! When those times hit, there's a great solution at the park. Splashing down one of the four waterslides. How does the Mountain Screamer or Southern pipeline sound to you? The slides make for cool summer fun for the whole family and the white sand beach is available for sunbathing!

Tennis anyone? The Stone Mountain Tennis Center was built for the 1996 Olympics and has multiple lighted courts, plus an 8,000 seat stadium-go ahead, invite a few of your BEST friends! The Tennis Center is quickly becoming the premier tennis tournament venue in the Southeastern United States. It's also open to the general public for recreational play!

The Great Barn is Atlanta's newest and most exciting children's attraction. This 1870's barn is filled with four floors of fantastic 21st Century FUN. Rope nets to climb, mazes to explore and super slides that whisk you from ceiling to floor. You can even become a character in the world's coolest computer game, Harvest Quest. You can play alone or as a family. Either way, you're sure to create memories worth repeating!

The children will also enjoy the Antebellum Plantation & Farmyard, comprised of original buildings, built between 1870 and 1845, which represent an authentic, pre-Civil War Georgia plantation. After years of research and planning, buildings from around Georgia were chosen because of their authenticity and historical value, moved to Stone Mountain Park and then carefully restored to their original condition. A strolling tour through the scenic complex provides a realistic view of the lifestyle of Antebellum Georgians. In the Plantation’s Farmyard, kids can pet animals as they roam around the shaded yard while Zoo Atlanta professionals teach them about animal behavior and the roles the animals played on the farm.

Stone Mountain Park. Come early and stay late, or stay overnight in the campground! It's a wonderful park brimming over with history, art, attractions, exciting rides and adventures. Absolutely something for everyone in the good ole summertime!

The park gates open daily from 6AM until midnight. Most park attractions open daily at 10AM, weather permitting. For park information call 770-498-5690 within the metro Atlanta area or 1-800-317-2006 outside metro Atlanta. ENJOY!

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