Although I was in Atlanta for a few days, I unfortunately wasn’t able to do much sightseeing. By the time we got into Atlanta, got checked-into the hotel, and got lunch (at Chick-a-Biddy) it was already pretty late in the afternoon on my first day and I had plans in a few hours with my cousin. Luckily during my trip I got to check out a few good Atlanta restaurants (check my earlier posts), but there were quite a few things I was disappointed I didn’t get to do. I really wanted to check out the High Art Museum, especially since they had a collection of classic cars on display, and I was interested in possibly checking out the Coca-Cola Museum (even though I don’t really drink soda) and the Aquarium. There were a couple other things I had found interesting, like the Atlanta History Center, but they were too far/inaccessible from Midtown.
On Friday morning I had a few hours, but the High Art Museum didn’t open until 10 AM. I instead decided to focus on the other thing tied for first on my list- Piedmont Park. It was about a fifteen minute walk from my hotel and from the pictures looked like Atlanta’s version of Central Park.
Even though it was a little more humid than it had been the rest of my trip (an amazing breeze and what felt like no humidity to me), the walk over wasn’t too bad, especially when you consider the humidity I am used to in Miami. I really like the neighborhood around Piedmont Park, which seems like a combination of both historic and newer (but classic) homes and buildings. The first part of the park that I hit was mostly sloping lawns and paths, but I saw Lake Clara Meer on Google Maps so I headed that way.
As I approached the lake some of the tall buildings in Midtown (north of my hotel) began to appear out of the trees. This is where it looked strikingly like Central Park. One of my favorite parts of Central Park was the ability to “escape” to the calm and serene outdoors, but still glimpse the Manhattan skyline. I really enjoy that contrast. Piedmont Park has a similar effect (check out the pics below). Unfortunately it was a little cloudy this morning, but it still was a great view.
I took a walk around the lake to explore. On one side there are a number of benches and wooden swings that overlook the lake. On the other side I came across a little gazebo near the Piedmont Park Aquatic Center. The Center looked like a pretty nice country club, but in fact is a public pool. As I made my way back west I was going to head back to my hotel, but I then saw a few buildings in the distance that looked pretty cool. I headed across some baseball diamonds towards the buildings set on a little hill.
The building that caught my attention the most reminded me a bit of a Southern plantation house. It in fact was the Piedmont Driving Club. It looked just as impressive as the Aquatic Center, but the Driving Club is a private club. Next to the Driving Club is the Orchid Center and Conservatory, but I didn’t have a chance to explore those besides taking a quick look.
After walking around the Driving Club I came to the western edge of the park. This still left about half the park to be explored, including the Atlanta Botanical Garden on the other side of the Conservatory, but it was time for me to heading back. As I walked back along the edge of the park I thought it was really cool that there were several buildings that bridged the city and the park, including a community center with some restaurants. It made the park feel more livable and a part of the larger city.
From the small amount of time I spent in Piedmont Park I really liked it. It’s a beautiful part of Atlanta and a great escape to be enjoyed. I’d be really interested in exploring the rest of the park and the Botanical Garden especially (on the map it looks very extensive and impressive). Farther north is a creek I know I’d probably enjoy following. I’m also curious if the landscape is similar to the lawns of the southern part of it changes up a bit.
Check out the pics of Piedmont Park below and I highly encourage a walk through if you’re visiting Atlanta!
Piedmont Park- 1320 Monroe Dr NE Atlanta, GA