While Atlanta may be best known for its urban sprawl, it’s also a city that’s rich in lush, expansive green spaces. Whether you want a shady spot to unwind after a run, a convenient picnic spot, an al fresco venue to see a cool live performance or simply an escape from the bustle of city life, Atlanta’s parks have it all.
Arguably Atlanta’s most beloved park, the sprawling 180-acre Piedmont Park is a true urban playground with a green market, community garden, dog park, public pool and splash pad, playground and plenty of open green space. Complete with a postcard-worthy view of Midtown Atlanta’s skyline, this picturesque spot regularly hosts plenty of free events to enjoy, from the Dogwood Festival, Jazz Festival, Pride Festival and Screen on the Green. Families are welcome to picnic on the park’s beautiful green spaces, but a number of cafes, restaurants and pubs are all within walking distance for a more formal sit-down experience. Piedmont Park is also home to a variety of intramural sports that take place year-round.
Atlanta’s oldest municipal park, Grant Park is an oasis on the city’s historic east side. With over 130 acres of lush green space, the park is home to miles of walking and jogging paths and public amenities that include a pool, tennis courts, playground, and fishing pond. Atlantans across the city love this local gem, but perhaps none more so than the animals that call it home. After all, the park is home to Zoo Atlanta, where furry and four-legged creatures — including pandas and tigers — are visited by hundreds of people every day. This diverse park is also where you’ll find the Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum, the Grant Park Farmers’ Market every Sunday between April and December, and some of Atlanta’s most anticipated festivals including the Summer Shade Arts & Music Festival, Halloween Lantern Parade and Pic’n in Grant Park BBQ & Music Festival.
Lace up your running shoes and get ready to experience the city of Atlanta in a whole new way. The 210-acre Freedom Park is where you’ll find beautifully-landscaped walking, jogging and biking trails that run through the heart of Atlanta and past some of the city’s most prominent landmarks and installations, including the Martin Luther King National Historic Site and the One Woman Rising monument. And don’t forget to check out the park’s incredible art installations — both permanent and temporary — or visit the Freedom Farmers’ Market, which offers a wide range of local products and live music and is open every Saturday morning from March through December. And on days where you just need to get where you’re going, Freedom Park connects locals to many of Atlanta’s top neighborhoods and attractions including Inman Park, Old Fourth Ward, Candler Park, Poncey-Highland, Virginia Highland, Little 5 Points and the Atlanta BeltLine.
Chattahoochee Nature Center
The Chattahoochee Nature Center is just a short drive from Atlanta proper, but you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a whole other world with its 127 acres of lush forest and river. A visit to the park promises hours of fun, with a river boardwalk, woodland trails, butterfly and native plant gardens, ziplines, fishing opportunities and a Discovery Center with a birds-eye view of the nature reserve from the rooftop. Don’t miss your chance to “shoot down the hooch” while floating down the Chattahoochee on an inner tube and keeping an eye out for local residents that include hawks, owls and vultures.
Chastain Memorial Park and Amphitheatre
At 268 acres, Chastain Memorial Park and Amphitheatre is Atlanta’s largest city park, packing in an array of fun activities for people of all ages including horseback riding, a golf course, softball and more. For more casual outings, the park is also home to countless walking and jogging paths, playgrounds, tennis courts, a public swimming pool, its own restaurant and an impressive amphitheatre, which draws the likes of world-class artists including Lauryn Hill and Lenny Kravitz.