Atlanta is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. As the city continues to grow and high rises are built, Atlanta has managed to keep a large amount of greenery intact in order to keep it in touch with nature. The south, being agriculturally based, has always been surrounded with lush forestry and to keep it natural Atlanta has integrated many green spaces to balance its booming urban landscape. Many parks and systems to facilitate outdoor experiences are laiden within the city-- some not as well known as others. In this top 9 we will list some of the best parks that the city of Atlanta has to offer.


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#1 Carter Center

This area is a nationally funded landmark built to honor the work and continued charitable causes that ex-president Jimmy Carter has done in his lifetime.Many people know it as a historical monument or place of interest because its connection the 39th president-but did you know that there is a beautiful park and lake located on the backside of the property? Most people don’t realize that this exists making this consistently a low key park that is usually occupied by few people. There are beautiful flowers  that inhabit a gorgeous lake along with cattails and marsh like water foiledge. During certain times of the year many geese and ducks come to this hidden gem of a lake and are seen casually enjoying the water. The landscaping is immaculate and is pleasantly nested within a large forested area of very old trees that are the main shield from the bustling city life just yards away.It’s like a hidden slice of picnic paradise that only few know about. Now you know!

#2 Tower Park

This park is located closer to the north side of the city--but is quite possibly the most unique and urban parks in all of Atlanta. Surrounded by tall skyscrapers and office parks this area provides a place to relax amongst the buzzing area of uptown. Water features that shoot up from the ground allow kids to frolic and cool off on a hot summer concrete day. Many statues and other water fountains can be found amongst plenty of benches to relax on. Immaculately manicured landscaping offer seasonal flowers constantly in bloom make for an amazing juxtaposition between the metal,glass and concrete of the immediate surroundings. Truly one of Atlanta’s unique gems that most don't know exist.

#3 Bessie Branham

Bessie Branham park is located in the Kirkwood neighborhood on the east side of downtown Atlanta. This park has a huge open field with baseball diamond balanced evenly against a forested that provides large amounts of shade. The trees are old and the span of shade covers far enough to house a swing set ,playground and -- get this -- and urban tree house!  This park has a unique feature as it is a treehouse of sorts -- that has a ramp for handicapped access and isn't  as high up as it is wide and massive.There is even a picnic table in it so you can definitely have lunch amongst the shady old oaks. The playground is relatively new and has an all rubber flooring and new stylized slides and swings. However -- this park has one thing that none other does in atlanta -- a permanent outdoor ping pong table!!  All table tennis fans have got to love being able to play it outside in this amazing park.

#4 Historic Fourth Ward Park

Another very urban construct, the Historic Old Fourth Ward park is one of the newest additions to this area. Quiet uniquely shaped it has a canyon or quarry type feel with a lake in the middle with surrounding concrete built up to a pretty high level. In this quarry, laden with marsh like terrain, plenty of aquatic plants live off this lake and fountain feature. There is a stone amphitheatre built in to perfectly shape this large urban canyon, where small events are held from time to time. Connected to this park is a very large and freshly constructed playground. The rubberised flooring and artistically unique activity sets and swings make this part look cartoonish for kinds of kid fun. There is also a water park area for kids to run and splash in with safely rubberized floors as well. Bonus! As Old Fourth Ward Park easily connects to the Atlanta Beltline, there’s a whole nother level of leisure, activities and ways to access this park.

#5 Candler Park

Candler Park is one of the older parks in Atlanta,where some of the oldest trees still provide plenty of shade over a super kid friendly playground area. This park also offers a public pool, tennis/basketball courts and soccer field. This park is also connected to its own golf course and has plenty of walking/running paths encircle the entire area. Birthplace of the now mega festival, the Sweetwater 420 Fest, this area of town is pretty laid back but still offer other festivals and other activities throughout the year. With tons of parking this is one of the easiest parks to access and get kids and dogs in and out in a flash. The walking trails at the far end of the golf course connects to The Path which leads all the way to Stone Mountain- if you are into long bike rides.This peaceful place should not be missed on your list of parks to see.

#6 Centennial Olympic

The most popular and well known park in Atlanta is probably Centennial Olympic Park. Its namesake given as it was built when Georgia hosted the Olympics in 1996. This area of town is generally populated with tourists as its connected to Skyview Atlanta ,The CNN Center,The Coca Cola Museum, Phillips Arena and the Georgia Aquarium. Sprawling green flat area is great for frisbee or picnics amongst the center of the most active part of town.The Fountain of Rings is the centerpiece of the whole park and is one of the most highly photographed locations in the state -- and kids LOVE IT. Other water features that commemorate the 96 olympics are nestled amongst a tree area with plenty of places to relax and sit. With its connection to its own MARTA train station-make sure to park outside of town and take the train to this park as parking can get tricky in that area.

#7 Piedmont Park

The Central park of Atlanta-Piedmont park is probably one of the largest in the whole state.Many festivals are held here like The Dogwood festival and the Atlanta Jazz Festival that showcase a wide variety of the population of this great city. Piedmont has huge flat fields with winding paths and boasts a unique dog park on the back side. There is also a community pool-tons of soccer fields and plenty of playground for the kids.With close by bike and skate rentals many people use some form of exercise based transportation around this giant park. Also linked to the park is The Atlanta Botanical Garden that has some of the most amazing flowers and art exhibits combined in pure natural beauty.

#8 John C. Howell Park

If you are looking for a more private and intimate small park then this one is for you. John C Howell Park is located in the Virginia Highlands neighborhood. Known to be one of the most sought after neighborhoods for families this part of town hosts restaurants and a small retail district very close to this park. This park is also central to when they have one of the longest running outdoor art festivals-the Virginia Highlands Fest.

#9 Grant Park

This park is fourth largest in Atlanta and is comprised of 131 acres of green rolling hills and activity area. This park established in 1883 is also one of the oldest in the city of Atlanta. It has been the home of Zoo Atlanta since 1889! The Summer Shade festival has been a staple to this area and been happening annually for over 15 years. Once home to The Cyclorama  this area of the  is currently undergoing more renovations to the Milliadge Triangle section of the park that will revitalize the water feature and clear overgrown parts for future picnic tables and playgrounds. Currently there are gazebos that can be rented out to host any type of private party and with enough room in the entire park there is usually plenty available. Grant park totally holds a lot of historical value and you can feel it in the area as the trees are massive and unwavered by the passing of time and modernization of this metropolis around it.

There so many things to do outdoors in Atlanta. The urban landscapes continuing to be created in this city are all being designed with an eco-friendly mindstate. The need for places for leisure have shown to be just as important as the growth of the infrastructure and business in this massive city. The creation of new parks are matching the bulging beltline of the city of Atlanta as it continues to boom and knowing the prime spots are key to getting the most out of the Atlanta experience. Enjoy!

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