To provide a respite from the concrete jungle of skyscrapers and interstate roadways, Atlanta is blessed with numerous leafy locales for watching the colors change from summer greens to a beautiful array of yellows, oranges and browns in fall.
For a bird’s-eye view of one of the few remaining hardwood forests in the city, walk through the treetops on the 600-foot-long Kendeda Canopy Walk at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. With feet back on terra firma, head to WildWoods at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This new outdoor experience opening in late September connects to the undisturbed 65-acre Fernbank Forest. The Atlanta History Center is home to 22 acres of tranquil gardens and trails showcasing the Atlanta region’s horticultural history, and the grounds of The Carter Center offer a bucolic setting for leaf viewing as well as the Saturday Freedom Farmers Market for purchasing fresh seasonal produce and other local products.
Atlanta’s diverse neighborhoods – each with its own distinct charm -- afford visitors many leaf-viewing vantage points. Stroll through the curving tree-lined streets and open park areas of Inman Park, Atlanta’s first planned community and one of the country’s first garden suburbs following the Civil War. Experience the winding roads and picturesque landscape of Druid Hills, created by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead. Ansley Park, designed in 1903 for Atlanta’s wealthiest families, is an oasis in the middle of the city with wide streets and tree-filled parks. And Buckhead delivers spectacular leafy views within its many parks and along streets lined with stately mansions.
Park the car and explore one of the city’s numerous tree-filled parks. In Piedmont Park in Midtown, guests can take in the view while attending special events, enjoying the playground or traversing the miles of trails, fishing or shopping the Saturday Green Market. Dwarfed by surrounding skyscrapers, downtown’s Woodruff Park offers a leafy lunch break for downtown office workers and visitors, and the Atlanta BeltLine connects guests to several in-town neighborhoods for a new foliage-filled view around every bend.
Karen Lopez writes for Atlanta Now magazine.