Free Things to Do in Cumming – Forsyth County, Georgia

by Guest Author

From its pristine lake to its mountain peak, Cumming-Forsyth County, Georgia welcomes families with affordable adventure at every altitude

Scenic Georgia 400, which runs from the outskirts of Atlanta to the front door of the  North Georgia Mountains, is also known as the ‘Hospitality Highway’ - and right in the midst of all that amity is the town of Cumming in Forsyth County. Although it is in spitting distance of the city, Cumming sits in the lower foothills of the Appalachian Mountains and feels more like Mother Nature’s personal stomping grounds. It is home to Sawnee Mountain, a 1,600-acre parks and recreation system, a six-mile stretch of the Forsyth County Big Creek Greenway, and 30 percent of Lake Lanier’s 600-plus miles of shoreline - and is the perfect place to take an old-fashioned summer family vacation with uptown élan. Visit www.cummingforsythchamber.org to see all the ways families are made to feel welcome.

With more than 200 miles of Lake Sidney Lanier’s fabled shoreline, there is plenty of boating and water fun to be had, including at Port Royale Marina one of only two marinas with boat rentals available to the public. Other Cumming-Forsyth County amusements: rafting, canoeing or tubing the Chattahoochee River; dropping a fishing line into the lake or river or visiting the Buford Trout Hatchery, a trout farm whose fish are raised to stock Lake Lanier; biking the six-mile stretch of the Forsyth County Big Creek Greenway; spending mad money at The Avenue® Forsyth; catching a children’s theatre production at History Cumming Playhouse; thumbing through the new and used books at Humpus Bumpus, a homey bookstore tucked inside an old brick house with fireplace, hardwood floors and sunlit children’s room; playing up to 27 holes of disc golf at Central Park; exploring Sawnee Mountain Preserve and its new Visitors Center on Sawnee Mountain, where the monumental bronze sculpture of Cherokee Chief Sawnee stands as a sentinel; and flying several thousand feet above the treetops with Balloons Over Georgia.

FREE Cumming-Forsyth County attractions include 17 parks with a variety of amenities, including playgrounds, sports fields, walking trails and picnic pavilions; the Forsyth County Big Creek Greenway; window shopping at The Avenue® Forsyth; trout fishing below Buford Dam; visiting the Buford Trout Hatchery; and touring the Cumming Fairgrounds with its antique steam engines and Indian Village. NOTE: The Fourth of July Fireworks and Steam Engine Parade is a free event with fireworks on Friday night (July 2) and the parade on Saturday (July 3) and featuring the largest antique steam engine parade in the Southeast.

Families can dig in at some fun eateries like Jim ‘n Nick’s Bar-B-Que and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers (both at The Avenue® Forsyth), Coo Coo’s Nest, located in the hills at Lake Lanier and known for a comfy atmosphere, and Norman’s Landing, a charming fish-camp style log cabin restaurant. Families can tuck in for the night at Holiday Inn Express or Comfort Suites or one of several campgrounds, including Shady Grove, a 126-site that lives up to the promise of its name and where all hills lead right down to the water - that being the pristine Lake Lanier. 

You don’t need to pack much for an old-fashioned summer family vacation to Cumming, Georgia - just sneakers, sunscreen, swimsuit, souvenir money and sense of adventure.

TIP: ”The Music Man” runs July 9-31 at the Cumming Playhouse. Thursday Night Special – All tickets: $12.50. Friday, Saturday and Sunday matinee: $20/adults; $15/students, seniors, veterans and groups of 25 or more. Tickets may be purchased online: www.playhousecumming.com.

Special thanks to Kathy Witt of TravelinTales.com for providing this information to assist travelers in planning affordable vacations. You can follow her on Twitter @KathyWittLRC.

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