Atlanta Piedmont Park
I really am not sure how we’ve ended up in Atlanta so many times, but we do. And frankly, I like it more every single time (especially when we aren’t driving)! This time we took the MARTA to Midtown (both the red and gold lines work).
Midtown is absolutely adorable in a very diverse and wonderful way. Everyone we met was friendly (probably didn’t hurt that it was 79 degrees in the middle of November) but it was SO WONDERFUL. We wandered through Piedmont Park, walked through neighborhoods of million dollar homes, ate some amazing food at Fado’s Irish Pub, and then saw some great live music with cheap drinks at Smith’s Olde Bar. Hard to say a best part, but Piedmont Park is pretty amazing, especially when the weather is perfect.
The Scoop on Midtown Atlanta & Piedmont Park:
For starters, I would walk from the MARTA Midtown Station toward Peachtree Street (everything in Atlanta is on various forms of Peachtree). There is shopping and great places to eat. After you have a full belly (and maybe a drink), walk down 10th to Piedmont Avenue and head North (left). Wander through the park, pretty much any path that veers north will work. This is a decent walk– maybe 1 1/2 miles, but it is truly lovely (and free). It is as good as Golden Gate Park and rivals Grant Park.
At the north end of Piedmont Park, is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This thing is not cheap ($22 a person +parking at the time of writing this). Your pass doesn’t include any extras… SO EITHER… Use your local Botanic Garden / Arboretum Membership or buy a membership at the reciprocal level (so you can use the pass at other Botanical Gardens around North America). I’ve toured MANY botanic gardens and frankly love them all, but Atlanta is in the very top. I can’t tell you how beautiful it was. Food / drinks were available but not cheap. You must not miss the overlook walk or the conservatory. Both were unreal.
When you are ready to leave, keep walking North / West. You walk along the entrance road, cross Piedmont Avenue, and the bus stop is RIGHT THERE. Use your MARTA Breeze card, hop on the 27 bus and get off with everyone else at the 10th and Peachtree MARTA station. At this point, you can either grab another something to eat in Midtown or you can hop back on the MARTA and head out. If you are spending the whole evening, way up Piedmont Street, about a mile North of the Botanic Garden is Smith’s Olde Bar, the music upstairs that started at 8p was truly awesome, the 27 bus drops you about a block away. If you are kid free, love good music up in a dark attic, and surrounded by the nicest non-smoking crowd, I highly recommend!
My point, I’ve been to Atlanta at least 8 times, Midtown and Piedmont Park are at the very top of what to do in Atlanta. Plan to spend the day or book your rooms there!
Miscellaneous Planning Advice, Tips, Randomness, and Minutia:
- Parking and driving in Atlanta is the worst. The Atlanta Public Trans System (MARTA) is clean, safe, and cheap. Buy an unlimited MARTA Breeze pass for the time you are there
- Midtown is diverse and integrated and LOVELY. It feels like a cross between Oak Park and SanFrancisco
- If your family loves Christmas lights, consider the Botanic Gardens. The display is amazing but it is an additional $15 a person (not included in the pass– so we just looked at them from the outside)
- I have 4 free passes to the Botanic Gardens if anyone wants them and is going to Atlanta in the next year. Just let me know!
- Downtown Atlanta to Midtown is less than 30 minutes on the MARTA
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