Atlanta Botanical Garden, Piedmont Park
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Atlanta has one of the loveliest botanical gardens you can visit, world-class, with its beautiful canopy walk, winding paths under giant trees, sculptures and whimsical gates, tropical conservatory, and imaginative children's garden.
High above the trees, the canopy walk enchants you and gives you an aerial view of the gardens. Below, the tall trees are magnificent, accentuated by pretty decorations and curved garden gates everywhere. A raised walkway with brightest green giant leafed plants leads to the children's garden. Here kids find colorful sculptures galore, including a tree-like Sunflower Fountain with spaghetti branches to hang on. In the summer months it sprays out water. There are tunnels to scurry through- one is blue and yellow striped, right out of a Dr. Suess book. Glistening gates decorated with stainless steel butterflies or shells add delight. A statue of Mr. Toad sits on a bench. There is a sand pit and a stepping stone game. Daisies and pitcher plants with insect traps surround a lily pad pond. Kids slide down a twisty slide from a treehouse-style playground. Gnomes squirt water inside a little alcove. The Green Man fountain, made of Indiana limestone, displays a Father Nature-type of character.
Parterre gardens with hedges and a chihuly sculpture at their center provide a nice spot for weddings. The sculpture is lit at night, and in spring, tulips burst forth all around the fountain!
A sunny lawn provides space to run, with views of the city skyline. The tropical conservatory has all manner of plants and flowers in its humid clime, with an amazing plant that hangs long strands down for what looks like several hundred feet! Listen to the trilling sounds of the frogs and the mating calls of geckos. Little frogs from South America are in glass cases in the lobby.
Walkways wind past flower beds and wispy tall grasses catching the light, to the edible garden. A very modern area, the herbs are arranged in a pleasing design, some displayed on the side of a wall. Surrounded by airy tropical flowers, the Frog Baby sculpture in the Frog Baby Pool emits the pure joy of childhood.
In front of the conservatory is a huge lily pond with some pads reaching 5 ft wide! A garden of dwarf conifer trees adds beauty to this charming area.
Come in May-June to see the peak bloom of the rose garden and the blues and pinks of the hydrangeas. Come in spring to see the striped purple and white cobra lilies in the Woodland Shade garden, daffodils and tulips galore, and the Orchid Daze with thousand of orchids on display. In winter, from mid-November to the first week of January, the Garden Lights Holiday Nights displays turn the garden into a wonderland. May-October is the best best time to come, when giant sculptures made of leaves and flowers fill the gardens! This exhibit is called Imaginary Worlds and includes sculptures of butterflies, orangutans, gorillas, strawberries, rabbits, fish, cobras, an amazing ogre, frogs, and a unicorn. The piece de resistance is the Earth Goddess, a 25-foot tall bust with tresses of greenery, sitting above the Cascades garden. Also from May-Oct, Four Seasons the four gigantic fiberglass busts with lifelike oversized fruit and twigs by Philip Haas sit on the Great Lawn. What pure delight! The curator of this garden must be someone full of awe and wonder, because it is magical!
The gift shop, like the gardens, is also magical! There are so many lovely things inside.
If you're hungry, grab a snack at the cafe and enjoy it on the sunny patio by the fountain.
After your visit, walk around beautiful Piedmont Park, the Central Park of Atlanta!
Another great place to visit with kids is Stone Mountain, half an hour east of Atlanta. You can ride a gondola to the top of the amazing granite dome, climb the play areas, and watch a glass blowing demonstration.
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Atlanta Botanical Garden is located within Piedmont Park at 1345 NE Piedmont Ave, Atlanta GA 30309, call (404) 876-5859.
You can park in the SAGE lot for $2 an hour or for free along the streets that border the park.
Open Tues-Sun. Closed Mondays but open on Mondays that are a special holiday. Closed on Jan 1, Thanksgiving (fourth Thurs in Nov), and Dec 25.
Hours are: 9-5 Jan-Mar, 9-7 Apr-Oct (and open till 10pm on Thursdays from Apr-Oct), 9-4 Nov-Dec.
Admission is $19 for adults, $13 for children aged 3-12, and free for children under 3.
This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.
Overall Visitor Rating: Unrated.