One of the coolest things about Atlanta, is that, tucked within its borders (or not too far beyond), is a treasure trove of green space carved out for residents and visitors to find respite and fun. These areas offer everything from traditional playgrounds and athletic fields to public pools and splash pads and even a world-class skate park. Many also host events such as a weekly farmers market or festival. Here are seven parks to visit on your summer vacation in Atlanta.
Nestled among the high rises and homes of Midtown Atlanta is 185-acres of green space. Piedmont Park is one of the most popular outdoor spaces in the city, offering numerous activities and events year-around. There are tons of amenities, such as playgrounds and dog parks, playing fields, a community garden and aquatic center. One of our favorite summer offerings is the green market, which runs from March through November. It is more than just a farmers market, as it offers baked goods, jams, prepared foods, artisanal goods, live music and more. Love festivals? There are numerous festivals at Piedmont Park in the summertime, featuring various genres of music, art and more. Visit the Piedmont Park pool and take a swim for a nominal fee of $5 per person. Save money by purchasing a pass for multi-visits. Check out the website for general admission hours.
Insider’s Tip: Keep cool for free at the Legacy Fountain Splash Pad from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Restrooms and picnic tables are available nearby.
Centennial Olympic Park
While Centennial Olympic Park “only” encompasses 22-acres, it is located right in the middle of Downtown Atlanta and is a visitor’s must-see. Opened in 1996, it served as the world’s gathering spot during the 1996 Summer Olympic Games and now serves as anchor of redevelopment in Atlanta. Home to many festivals and events, Centennial Olympic Park is most known for its iconic Fountain of Rings. This must-visit park is the most photographed landmark in all of Georgia and is a great location to watch the synchronized music and water show, as well as play among the jets on a hot summer day. Visitors will also want to explore other corners of the park, enjoy the gardens and get plenty of photos.
Insider’s Tip: SkyView Atlanta, just across the street from Centennial Olympic Park, is worth the splurge for the one-of-a-kind, thrilling look at Atlanta from atop a 200-foot-tall Ferris wheel. Experience SkyView's luxurious, climate-controlled gondolas as you circle high above the park. You won’t want to miss it at night.
Stone Mountain Park
One of the most visited parks in Georgia is Stone Mountain Park. This 3,200-acre park surrounds its namesake, Stone Mountain-a huge quartz monzonite dome monadnock. Stone Mountain Park is part wilderness and part theme park, offering nature trails for hiking and biking, camping, fishing, boating and even golf. Whether you prefer to rough it by camping or stay in a luxurious hotel, Stone Mountain has options available. Kids and adults alike will find a myriad of activities and attractions to entertain and delight. Stone Mountain Park is home to festivals, special events, rides, a scenic mountain train, a cable car, ropes courses and so much more.
Insider’s Tip: A variety of attraction passes are available. Buy tickets online to gain special pricing and see the calendar of events. Guided tours are available.
The oldest park in Atlanta, Grant Park sits in an established neighborhood of beautiful Victorian and Craftsman-style homes. This 131-acre green space is home to Zoo Atlanta and features miles of walking and jogging paths that meander through beautiful, shaded groves. Grant Park hosts many of Atlanta’s famed festivals including the Summer Shade Arts & Music Festival and the Pick'n in Grant Park BBQ & Music Festival.
Insider’s Tip: Some of Atlanta's most popular restaurants are nearby. Don't go hungry when you visit Grant Park.
Chastain Memorial Park
Located in Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood is the 260-acre Chastain Park. This jewel is chock-full of beautiful space for joggers, kids, picnickers and more. Chastain is home to tennis courts, a beautiful swimming pool, amphitheater and even a horse park, making it a great location for every member of the family. During the summer, you can pack the entire family off for a picnic and a few hours of swimming. Adventurous types might like to take some horseback riding lessons at Chastain Horse Park.
Insider’s Tip: Cadence Bank Amphitheatre at Chastain Park is one of the most popular venues in Atlanta and offers entertainment on a nearly weekly basis during the warm months, with shows ranging from comedy and symphony to mainstream musical acts and more. Visit Live Nation for a list of shows and to purchase tickets.
This amazing park in Atlanta boasts an outdoor museum full of unique and historical sculptures, permanent and temporary installations making it a great spot for art lovers. Located at the intersection of Oakdale Road and North Avenue, the 200-acre Freedom Park meets up with the Atlanta BeltLine along the Eastside Trail. It is convenient to access via MARTA bus and rail, bicycle or foot.
Insider’s Tip: Bring your bike and don’t pack a lunch. Freedom Park is close to both Krog Street Market and Ponce City Market, making it easy to pick up food to go or dine at one of the trendy market spots.
Historic Fourth Ward Park
Don’t let its small size fool you. The 17-acre Historic Fourth Ward Park was born from an abandoned lot as a symbol of regrowth in Atlanta and is bursting with fun things to do. Let your kids play at a topnotch playground, blow off steam at the athletic field or pop Ollies at the skatepark. Enjoy the outdoor theater, lawns and two-acre lake.
Insider’s Tip: This park resides directly along the Atlanta BeltLine, making it convenient to access by walking, biking and MARTA and connecting to it miles of useable trail.
If you've got little ones and are planning to spend your summer vacation here, you'll want to check out this list of the best playgrounds in Atlanta. There are even some options for those days it's raining or just too hot to be outdoors in Atlanta.
Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. On the weekends they enjoy going into the city for family fun and exploration. Joleen is the family travel and lifestyle blogger behind Love, Joleen.