Atlanta’s Best Kept Secret – Atlanta Botanical Garden


This post was kindly written for us by Abigail Golder.


There’s an emerald hidden in Atlanta — a beautiful gem of the deepest green. That emerald is the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The kind of place where, if you’re from Atlanta, you’ve probably heard of it, but have never gone. That’s a shame, because it’s an incredible place! Located right in the heart of Atlanta, adjacent to Piedmont Park, the Garden spans a whopping 30 acres, and it’s packed with amazing sights you can’t see anywhere else. It’s the perfect place to bring your date, your kids, or yourself, if you’re looking for something to do in Atlanta.


Now, I know Valentine’s Day is coming, and it can be hard picking a place to go.There’s a lot of pressure.You need someplace nice, romantic, and unique. It’s important that the night is memorable, but not over-the-top.You need something that, hopefully, won’t destroy your wallet and won’t come across as cheap. Valentines in the Garden is where you want to go. For a modest ticket price you get a night of dancing, music, great treats, and cocktails among one of the most romantic spots in Atlanta.


Imagine walking through one of the most expensive orchid gardens you’ve ever seen as you move from one dance floor to the next, hand in hand with your beloved. At each one, a different DJ is playing, and you seem to come upon them just as your song is starting. The canapes are crafted by the best chefs in Atlanta, and the macaron’s melt in your mouth. You steal your lover away from the dance floor, and go walking among the trees, until you come upon the Earth Goddess.


Because it’s not all orchids and lilies in the Botanical Garden. The art that’s placed about the Garden is simply breathtaking. The Earth Goddess, created by Mosaicultures Internationales De Montreal, is probably one of the most serene sights in Atlanta, but there’s so much more hidden amongst the trees. Head toward the Southern Seasons Garden and you might spot the timid Deer hiding behind the leaves. Or you might find Isobel playing in the flowers behind you.


Some of the most stunning, intricate pieces come from Dale Chihuly, who ran an entire exhibition out of the Garden in 2004. While most of the pieces have moved on from Atlanta, The Nepenthes Chandelier and the Parterre Fountain can still be found in the Botanical Gardens. Their delicate swirls and tangled tendrils almost make them look like plant life from another planet.


With 30 acres of garden for you to explore, you can work up quite the appetite. Luckily, the Botanical Garden has you covered. The Longleaf Restaurant is located right next to the Gardenhouse. It’s two stories tall, and contains everything you’d need for a day trip to the Garden.  If you just want to stop to refuel before going back out among the orchids,you can run by the Quick Cafe for a quick bite. If you’re tired from trekking and want a longer rest, you can stop by the Snack Bar and enjoy a sandwich in the sun. If you want the full experience, though, book a table at the restaurant.


From the second floor and rooftop terrace, you can take in the full splendour of the Storza Woods, the Southern Seasons Garden, The Anne Cox Chambers, and the Levy Parterre, while taking in some of Executive Chef Jason Paolini’s fine cuisine. The service there is almost as good as the food. You should probably book ahead, but the food, ambience, and service really make that worth doing (I hear the wine list is fantastic, as well).


One of the most unique aspects of the Botanical Garden is something you wouldn’t even think a garden would have. On Saturday and Sunday, at 11:00 and 11:30 am respectively, you can watch the feeding of the frogs. The Garden keeps over 400 frogs from about 50 different species, many of which are either endangered or near-extinct. Not only is this an incredible chance to see some animals you may never be able to see again, but the feeding habits of frogs is surprisingly fascinating. Not all frogs feed the same. Some can shoot their tongue out so fast that you’ll see nothing but flies disappearing. Others are more deft, jumping on their prey and shoveling it into their mouths with huge paws. It’s a mesmerising sight, watching these amazingly colored amphibians gorge themselves. See for yourself.  


If you’re worried that the calm, serene nature of botanical gardens might be a bit much for a hyperactive child, don’t. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens have a Children’s Garden set aside just for them. Not only do they have a jungle gym and playset that would have made a younger me jealous, but an entire splash pad too. This is the perfect excuse to get some much-needed time off your feet while your child safely plays in the water. I’m sure they’ll love it, too.


There’s much more to the Children’s Garden than a play-place, though. There’s a bunch of hands-on activities for them to work with and learn from. There’s a water “painting” wall, where your child can evoke a temporary masterpiece from the special stone. There’s even a construction area where kids can play with balsa wood and construct grand architecture. The real value, though, is in all the kids programs that are on offer at the Botanical Gardens. There are educational programs where the Educational Horticulturist can teach them the basics of gardening to some of the simple science behind plant life. AND there are weekly readings, painting and drawing workshops, and an entire summer camp devoted to instilling kids with a love and respect for mother nature.


If you’ve never been to the Atlanta Botanical Garden, you should go. The whole place is an incredible experience, the likes of which you probably can’t find anywhere else. If you have been, you should go back. There’s so much packed into those thirty acres I couldn’t fit in this article (like the landmark canopy walk), that you’ve almost definitely missed something. This is a fantastic place for couples, families, and children to learn about, and love, Mother Nature.


Our experts can help you navigate not only Atlanta’s beautiful homes, but also the many activities and attractions our amazing city features. Contact us today with any question you might have. If you visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden, visit the gift shop and check out the book written by Angel Knight titled Love Letter’s in the Gardens. Angel Knight published a unique Collection of Love Letters inspired by the botanical gardens. Atlanta Botanical Gardens is the best real estate in the city and that makes it Atlanta’s best kept secret. 


Enjoy Your Valentine’s Day!