Atlanta’s gentle climate makes it ideal for growing a large variety of beautiful and interesting plants. If your thumbs aren’t the greenest, you can still enjoy the natural wonders of the city by heading out to one of the many botanical gardens. The main gardens on Piedmont Avenue are a popular and impressive spot, but there are several others located in and around town that merit a visit. The gardens also make great event spaces for your formal gatherings, too!
Atlanta Botanical Garden
1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
Atlanta, GA 30309
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is the city’s premiere spot to enjoy a bit of natural beauty without leaving town. The recent addition of the gigantic topiary creatures, from the magnificent Earth Goddess to whimsical frogs and butterflies, has given the grounds an even more magical feeling. Adults will enjoy the Cocktails in the Garden evenings on Thursdays during the summer. The Holiday Lights extravaganza is a must-see event for locals and tourists during the month of December, where the entire park twinkles with a seemingly endless array of LED lights.
1987 Gibbs Drive
Ball Ground, GA 30107
Located about an hour outside of Atlanta, Gibbs Gardens is a truly beautiful and peaceful place to spend the day. The gardens comprise over 200 acres, and there is a small train to take you around if you prefer not to walk. Gibbs Gardens has also recently begun opening the gardens on Saturday evenings, so if you want to experience the grounds at night, that is a fun new opportunity. The gardens make the perfect romantic day trip as the size allows for plenty of opportunities for privacy, and they are also available for party rentals.
Cator Woolford Gardens
1815 S. Ponce De Leon Ave.
Atlanta, GA 30307
The Cator Woolford Gardens are a lesser-known gem located near the heart of Atlanta. The gardens make a unique setting for corporate events, weddings and other parties, and the rental includes access to the grounds as well as an internal atrium space, which comes in handy during the rain. The gardens will help you choose caterers and decorators to make planning your party as stress-free as possible. The proceeds from event rentals go towards the Frazer Center’s overall mission of helping developmentally disabled adults and children.
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The Atlanta History Center
130 W. Paces Ferry Road N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30305
The Atlanta History Center is a great spot to take the kids to learn about the origins of the city, but it also has 22 acres of beautiful gardens to explore. The area around the beautiful Swan House is an especially popular spot for event rentals in the summer (while the house itself must be preserved as a historical landmark). The Cherry Sims Asian American Garden gives visitors an opportunity to explore the East-meets-West theme expressed through landscaping, with exotic and local plants living together in a serene setting. Fans of simply pretty flowers will want to be sure to check out the Frank Smith Rhododendron Garden.
2382 Pine Mountain Road
Kennesaw, GA 30152
Located just outside of Atlanta in Kennesaw, Georgia, the Smith-Gilbert Gardens are another excellent day trip for couples or families. With 16 acres to explore, you may want to come back several times to try to see everything on the grounds. The center of the estate is the Hiram Butler House, dating back to 1880, but there are plenty of different gardens, including a rose garden, a perennial garden, a Japanese maple grove and a camelia garden, among others. There are also several impressive sculptures located throughout the estate. The gardens are closed Mondays, so plan your trip accordingly.
Keely Herrick is a freelance writer. Her work can be found on Examiner.com. “