Burning up? Check out these five way-cool ways to beat the heat when summer sizzles.
Burgess Falls State Natural Area, Sparta
The park’s three rumbling, tumbling waterfalls about 12 miles south of Cookeville are among the most scenic (and accessible) in Tennessee.
Don’t miss: The Native Butterfly Garden, near the park’s upper parking lot. Filled with native wildflowers used to attract nearly 30 species of butterflies, the garden is an ideal spot for resting up before heading home.
No entrance fee; 4000 Burgess Falls Drive, sparta, 931/432-5312 or tn.gov/environment/parks/BurgessFalls
Nashville Shores Waterpark
You can walk into rolling waves, float on a lazy river, or cruise across a placid lake—all just 15 minutes east of downtown Nashville. Set on the banks of the 14,000-acre J. Percy Priest Lake, Nashville Shores Waterpark offers the state’s biggest variety of ways to get wet.
Don’t miss: Kowabunga Beach includes a four-story tree house with 70 cool interactive features.
$24.99-$29.99 for a daily park pass, $59.99 for a season pass. Cabins from $150 (single cabin, sleeps six) to $300 (double, sleeps 12). 4001 Bell Road, Hermitage nashvilleshores.com
The William G. Raoul Boathouse, Chattanooga
Based in one of the South’s most enthusiastic rowing cities, two Chattanooga organizations offer adults and teens the chance to learn the wave-riding, muscle-making sport.
Don’t miss: The Lookout Rowing Club’s Chattanooga Head Race, October 8, when the best college teams in the country compete—a treat for rowers and nonrowers alike. The Walnut Street Bridge offers the best views of the race.
Lookout Rowing Club, $200 for 10 classes. lookoutrowingclub.com. Chattanooga Junior Rowing’s fall season runs mid-August through November, $225 to join. 1001 Riverside Drive, chattanooga chattanoogajuniorrowing.org
Live At The Garden Summer Concert Series, Memphis Botanic Garden
Staged on a lawn in a corner of the 96-acre Memphis Botanic Garden, the summer music series offers some of the city’s best concerts. You can bring a picnic and a lawn chair, or reserve a table seat and preorder a meal from one of the Garden’s catering services. The gates open at 6:30 p.m., but the concert doesn’t start until 8:30 p.m., giving you time to wander through 25 specialty gardens before settling down for music under the stars.
Individual tickets are $44; table seats, $68. 750 Cherry Road, Memphis, 901/ 636-4107 or liveatthegarden.com
The Ice Chalet, Knoxville
Ice skating instructors help beginners learn to glide on ice, while more advanced skaters can practice on their own or join a pickup game of hockey.
Don’t miss: Curling. (It’s actually a pretty exciting sport!) Members of the Great Smoky Mountains Curling Club curl at the Chalet Sundays starting in September, and they’re always looking for new players. If you’re interested, visit the Web site curlknoxville.com.
$5.50 for a public skate session ($3.50 for skate rental). $21 for a private lesson. 100 lebanon street, 865/588-1858, chaleticerinks.com