A Visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden


Even though TripAdvisor only ranked it at #6, I consider the Atlanta Botanical Garden the one thing you absolutely must do when visiting Atlanta, Georgia, USA. With 30 acres of land and 10+ types of gardens, there is no shortage of things to see. Trying to decide whether or not to add it to your Atlanta itinerary? Read all about my visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden!

A Visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden

 

Tour of the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Kendeda Canopy Walk

When we first stepped into the Atlanta Botanical Garden, we decided to head to our right towards the Kendeda Canopy Walk. Standing 40 feet high and 600 feet long, the Kendeda Canopy Walk is considered one of the only tree canopy-level walkways of it’s kind in the United States. As you walk along, you can get an aerial view of the woodland garden below, which is full of azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, and perennials. It’s a great way to get an overview of what to expect as you enter the garden.

Kendeda Canopy Walk

Kendeda Canopy Walk

 

Azalea Walk, Water Mirror, Glade Garden, and Bridges

At the end of the canopy walk, I suggest heading to the left. This way, you can explore the few things that are on the right side of the park before heading back over to the main road and onto the rest of the garden.

You have two options for getting to the Glade Garden and Water Mirror, both of which involve walking over beautiful bridges. I suggest strolling through the Azalea Walk before taking the John Imlay Bridge to the Glade Garden, because it gives a nice view of the water mirror before you actually make it there. You can take the Woodland Ramble path as you make your way back to the end of the canopy walk. From there, you can take the Garden Tunnel on to the rest of the garden.

John Imlay Bridge

John Imlay Bridge

Atlanta Botanical Garden Water Mirror

Water Mirror

 

Cascades Garden and Earth Goddess

Complete with a beautiful waterfall and pond along with several benches underneath a vine covered lattice, this garden is probably one of the most serene. The centerpiece of the garden is the Earth Goddess, a 25-foot sculpture that was originally part of the Imaginary Worlds exhibit. After the cold and frost lift and spring returns, the sculpture will be filled with 18,000 individual plants of all sorts of different colors.

If you can manage to visit when the plants are in full bloom, this place is truly a sight to see. Unfortunately, I went in mid-April, before the planting of the sculpture, but even without the plants, it was still very impressive!

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Earth Goddess

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Cascades Garden

 

Southern Seasons Garden, Lou Glenn Children’s Garden, and Trustees Garden

Once you leave Cascades Garden, you’ll end up back where you first entered near the beginning of the canopy walk and can explore the Southern Seasons Garden. I suggest heading right at the Longleaf Restaurant and up towards the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden. On the way, you’ll pass over another bridge with a beautiful dome-shaped lattice.

In the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden, you’ll find a fun snake path as well as stone frogs scattered throughout the surrounding ponds and waterfall. In the area, you’ll also find a fun rope walk as well as a try house disguised as a birds nest.

Next to the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden is the Trustees Garden. It’s a nice little patio area and on each end are benches with windows into the forest behind it.

Lou Glenn Children's Garden

Lou Glenn Children’s Garden

Trustees Garden

Trustees Garden

 

Alston Overlook and Levy Parterre

After you’ve had your fill of the Lou Glenn Children’s Garden and Trustees Garden, head back towards the entrance (this time going left at the Longleaf Restaurant) and you’ll find yourself at my favorite part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Alston Overlook and Levy Parterre. The whole place is beautiful, but for whatever reason, looking at the Levy Parterre garden from the Alston overlook was just stunning. I felt like the blue center piece and the frame of the lattice around the overlook made a picture perfect scene.

Atlanta Botanical Garden, Georgia | Footsteps of a Dreamer

Levy Parterre

 

Rose Garden and Japanese Garden

Hidden over by the Day Hall and through a decent sized opening in the cement is the Japanese Garden. It’s quite small and compact, but most Japanese gardens are. It does well imitating the traditional water, stone, and other earthy materials typically found in Japanese gardens (although it doesn’t compare to the real Japanese gardens in Tokyo). From there, you can stroll through to the wonderful Rose Garden.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Japanese Garden

Japanese Garden

 

Perennial Garden, Edible Garden, and Outdoor Kitchen

Just behind the Japanese garden is the pathway that leads back through the Perennial Garden. There, you can not only find some beautiful flowers, but also a cute pond with a little boy statue (my mom and I just loved the look on his face and frogs in his hands!) and nice benches to sit and relax.

Keep following the path and you’ll eventually reach the Edible and Outdoor Kitchen Gardens. Personally, I enjoy gardens for the aesthetics, so vegetable gardens don’t particularly interest me. However, I was impressed by the size of these gardens and how many different types of fruits and vegetables there were. No doubt cooks would have really enjoyed this garden.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Perennial Garden

Perennial Garden

Edible and Kitchen Garden

Edible and Kitchen Garden

 

Anne Cox Chambers Flower Walk, Robinson Gazebo, and Skyline Garden

Before heading into the conservatory, cross over the great lawn and make your over to the left side of the conservatory to catch the last outdoor garden. As you make your way over, you’ll pass through the Anne Cox Chambers Flower Walk, a beautiful walkway filled with particularly colorful flowers. As you near the Skyline Garden, you’ll quickly realize how fitting the name is. In the background of the garden is a decent view of the Atlanta skyline (although the trees do obstruct it slightly).

Once you arrive at the skyline garden, I suggest standing at the top of the steps under the Robinson Gazebo to get a bird’s eye view of the cool tree-shaped plants that seem to float on the water of the pond.

Skyline Garden

Skyline Garden

Skyline Garden

Skyline Garden

 

Fuqua Conservatory and Orchid Center

We chose to stop by the conservatory last, that way we didn’t loose track of which of the outdoor gardens we had yet to see. Since we had visited in mid-April when the weather was still a little brisk, it was nice stepping into the warm conservatory.

Inside, we chose to head through the main doors in front of us and into the rain-forest like garden. Here, we found ourselves completely surrounded by all sorts of tropical plants. Although, I think my favorite part was walking over the bridge with the vines hanging down. I felt like I had stepped straight into the Amazon.

Further into the conservatory was the “Desert House” which was a garden full of plants found in the more desert like conditions of Madagascar and Southern Africa. Despite the fact that many of the plants have thorns like cactuses, they are not actually cacti. Cactuses are only found in the Americas, but the same desert like conditions have caused the plants in the Desert House to evolve similar thorns.

In the back part of the conservatory is the Fuqua Orchid Center, which is arguably the most beautiful part of the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The brick walking paths, reflecting ponds, and bright flowers really make the place absolutely stunning. As part of the recent “plant giant” exhibit, there is also a large peacock shaped plant located near the entrance.

Fuqua Orchid Center

Fuqua Orchid Center

Plant Giants

Plant Giants

 

Atlanta Botanical Garden General Information

Phone Number: 404-876-5859

Address: 1345 Piedmont Avenue, Atlanta, GA, 30309

Atlanta Botanical Garden hours vary by the time of the year and events.

Time of Year Hours
April Tues – Sun: 9AM – 7PM
May – October Tues – Wed: 9AM – 7PM
Thurs: 9AM – 9:30PM
Fri – Sun: 9AM – 7PM
Nov 1st – Nov 9th Tues – Sun: 9AM – 5PM
Nov 17th – Jan 13th Tues – Sun: 9AM – 4PM

The garden also has special hours during most holidays. Dates and times can be found on their website.

 

How Much Are Tickets to the Atlanta Botanical Garden?

All pricing information is accurate as of May 2018. Please check their website for the most up-to-date information.

Ticket Type Price in USD
Adult $21.95
Child ages 3 to 12 $15.95
Child under 3 Free

For those that are located in the Atlanta, Georgia are (or are frequent visitors), the Atlanta Botanical garden also offers membership rates.

Special rates are also available for group and school tours.

 

When is the Best Time to Visit?

Personally, I visited during the middle of April and found that I wished I had visited a little later in the year. When I went, many of the flowers hadn’t quite started to bloom yet, so I feel like I didn’t get to see the Atlanta Botanical Garden in its full glory. I’d recommend visiting more at the end of spring or early summer. The Atlanta Botnical Garden website has more information about what’s currently in bloom.

I visited the garden on a Sunday because that’s how my Atlanta itinerary happened to fall, and pretty much had the garden to myself. I only ran into a few other people. This might change during the summer after the flowers are in full bloom, but I don’t think there is necessarily a day of the week you should avoid visiting. I would just check the schedule of events to make sure this isn’t a special event that would interrupt normal operating hours.

 

Where is Parking for the Atlanta Botanical Garden? Do I Have to Pay?

The entrance to the garden and parking lot are marked with a big Atlanta Botanical Garden sign next to the road, since the parking lot and garden are hidden behind some trees and hard to see.

Time Period Cost
Drop-off period (0 – 30 minutes) Free
31 – 60 minutes $2.00
Each additional 30 minutes $1.00
Maximum daily rate $15.00

There is also legal street parking in the surrounding neighborhoods.

 

Events at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden also hosts special events such as wine and cocktails, features from great landscapers and designers in the Atlanta area, and various concerts with famous performers like Sheryl Crow.

During the winter time, the entire place is lit up with Christmas lights for their event, “Garden Lights, Holiday Nights.”

Various sections of the Atlanta Botanical Garden can also be rented out for large events like weddings and banquets.

 

Ready to Visit?

What do you think of the Atlanta Botanical Garden? I definitely think it’s well worth a visit! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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A Visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden

 


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1 Response

  1. The canopy walk looks lovely Kiyoko. Being above the green – especially as all things bloom in Spring – is one of the best ways to enjoy a botanical garden. Good to know too; I had no idea the ATL had such a garden. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Ryan

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