A sunny Atlanta, Georgia afternoon is best spent in the green spaces the city has to offer. The Atlanta Botanical Garden, adjacent to Piedmont Park, opened in 1976 and has sought to preserve unique plant species ever since. In addition to this thirty-acre site, there is a second campus in Gainesville, near Lake Lanier, that opened in 2015.
What to See at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
What makes the Atlanta Botanical Garden so special is that the plants are just one part of the appeal. Glass artist Dave Chihuly, known most for his ceiling at The Bellagio in Las Vegas , has many pieces throughout the gardens, including the one you see above.
Kids will love the Canopy Walk, which allows guests to see the trees from above. There’s also a playground area and splash pad. The Japanese Gardens are another favorite, transporting you abroad with a few steps. The Edible Garden focuses on the important plant species we use for food.
The Conservation Lab mimics the climates of rain forests and deserts. There are even frogs, birds, and turtles inside. The Fuqua Orchid Center is also a must-see, especially for the diversity within the plant species. Don’t miss the Earth Goddess, a plant sculpture made up of 18,000 live annuals.
Events and Exhibits at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Activities at the gardens vary by season. Cocktails in the Garden is held on weeknights and features live music and cash bars set throughout the garden. Chef demonstrations take place in the outdoor kitchen. There are also kids’ activities like readings and lessons, along with classes on horticulture.
A lights exhibit starts in December and the scarecrows scatter among the property in the fall. There are also concerts during the spring and summer months. Outdoor artwork also rotates throughout the year. Past exhibits include an Alice in Wonderland-themed display of topiaries.
Tips for Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is located adjacent to Piedmont Park at 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, Georgia, 30309. Call (404) 876-5859 or see the website for reservations. The gardens are open Tuesday through Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm and closed on Mondays but stays open later for special events.
Tickets are $19.95 for children 3-12, $22.95 for adults, and free for children under 3 and garden members. Book a Small Group Tour to Atlanta Botanical Gardens before you go. Parking is available for a small fee, but taking public transportation is usually easier. Take Bus #27 to Piedmont Avenue.
Where to Eat Near the Atlanta Botanical Garden
The garden has dining options onsite, so you don’t have to leave the fun. Longleaf Restaurant is set in a greenhouse-inspired glass building in the heart of the garden. The hours vary by season and reservations are recommended. The menu includes sandwiches and salads inspired by the garden.
There’s also a cafe attached to Longleaf with grab-and-go items along with the Snack Bar near the Japanese gardens. It also has quick service food items like sandwiches, catered by MetroFresh, a nearby restaurant.
Outside the Atlanta Botanical Garden, you’ll find many restaurants just a few blocks away. Among them are The Nook, known for its “tot nachos” and fishbowl drinks, and Bantam and Biddy, a fast-casual fried chicken restaurant in Ansley Mall.
Colony Square is a few blocks further and has a number of dining options including Politan Row, a food hall, along with chains like Moe’s Southwest Grill, Starbucks, and Chick-fil-a. Cut across Piedmont Park to dine at Park Tavern, a beloved Atlanta watering hole with wings, burgers, and sandwiches.
Where to Stay Near the Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Midtown neighborhood of Atlanta has multiple hotel options, all close to public transportation and restaurants. They’re also a short walk away from the Atlanta Botanical Garden and other attractions. W Atlanta – Midtown is the closest and has stylish rooms with views of the park as well as an in-house restaurant and bar.
The Loews Atlanta Hotel is another option (review here), where many celebrities stay during their visits. It has an incredible fitness center and spa with a hammam and barre classes, a restaurant and bar, and spacious suites.