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Hit the beach, watch a moon rise in July
3 things to do as things heat up in North Georgia
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A crowd gathers at the 'beach' in downtown Gainesville made from 100 tons of sand during the third annual Beach Bash in Gainesville, on Friday, July 7, 2017. Officials say the event will relocate to Lake Lanier Olympic Park. - photo by David Barnes

It’s July, Gainesville, and you know what that means: Being outside is getting a little painful. If you’re in the same boat, you’re in luck — because this month there are three fun ways to get you outside and stay active that won’t give you a heat stroke or a sunburn.

Beach Bash 2018

When: 7-10 p.m. Friday, July 6

Where: Gainesville Square, 301 Main Street S.W., Gainesville

Cost: Free

Setting sun? Check. Cold drinks? Check. Sand? Not yet, but soon! Forget the road trip to the beach, because the city of Gainesville is bringing the beach to you.

Beach Bash returns to the square for its fourth year on July 6. Slip into your favorite beach attire and a pair of flip flops, bring a beach chair, and prepare to sink your toes into the sand because 100 tons of it will be trucked in just for the night. Grab dinner downtown or bring a picnic. Adult beverages will be available for purchase. If you’re feeling a little competitive, there will be a limbo contest in addition to several other beachy activities (think hula hooping and sand toys for the kids).

What’s a night at the beach without a little live music? They’ve got that covered too. A1A, the official and original Jimmy Buffett tribute show, will be on-hand playing some tunes beginning at 8 p.m.

Glow Light Paddle

When: 8:30-10 p.m. Saturday, July 7

Where: Don Carter State Park, 5000 North Browning Bridge Road, Gainesville

Cost: $15 with personal kayak/canoe, $25 solo rental, $40 tandem rental, $5 parking

More info: 678-450-7726.

We’ve got a Georgia State Parks twofer this week. Since the one thing missing from Beach Bash is deep water, this next event at Don Carter State Park will get your feet wet. It may not be an ocean, but hey, Lake Lanier is almost just as great.

As if kayaking or canoeing isn’t fun enough in the daytime, Glow Light Paddle will take you out on the water under the cover of total darkness. You get to decorate yourself and your boat with any sort of glowing items you can think of. Glow sticks, glow bracelets, you name it!

While adorning yourself with pretty, glowing neon isn’t required (although, who wouldn’t want to do that?), a flashlight, water shoes, and registration are required. The event is open to anyone who can swim, and kids are also welcome but must be 8 years or older and accompanied by an adult.

Full Moon Suspension Bridge Hike

When: 9-11 p.m. Thursday, July 26

Where: Tallulah Gorge State Park, 338 Jane Hurt Yarn Drive, Tallulah Falls

Cost: $5 admission, $5 parking

More info: 706-754-7981.

Keeping with the theme of fun after the sun goes down, Tallulah Gorge State Park is offering full moon hikes to the gorge suspension bridge this summer.

Bring your walking shoes, because this hike will go down 310 stairs to the suspension bridge where you will hang out with your guide and other hikers as the moon rises above the gorge. While you’re there, you’ll also learn some interesting information about the moon.

Space is limited, so reservations are highly recommended. If you can’t make it to the July hike, don’t worry, you’ll have two more chances coming up on Aug. 26 and Sept. 23.

Regional events