Visiting Beautiful Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia

Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia, has over 185+ acres of beautiful green space for recreational fun, and the park is also host to many festivals and events. Walking your dog, flying kites, reading books, picnicking, roller staking, playing tennis, and swimming are some of the few activities you can do at Piedmont Park. And it is also a great place to take photos of architecture, people, plants, and animals.

You’ll see many people in the park – tourists, volunteers, vendors, and locals out on their morning jog. I sometimes wish I lived in a city where I could lace up my tennis shoes, walk out my door, and go for a run in a large, urban park. If you like people-watching, this is a great place.     

The photos in this article are from our visits in late February and again in early May. Recently receiving an awesome gift (a Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8!), we drove to Piedmont Park to try the new camera lens by shooting some pictures inside the park with downtown Atlanta in the background.

This article shares our experiences at Piedmont Park and provides helpful visiting tips and information. If you have time to explore another park in Atlanta, you might want to also check out my article on Atlanta’s newest park, the Westside Park.

Lake Clara Meer and the Piedmont Park Gazebo

Quick Facts and Information about Piedmont Park

  • Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia, is maintained by Piedmont Park Conservancy, a nonprofit group dedicated to keeping the park beautiful. They’ve restored and preserved many of the older structures within the park; walking through it, you might see a glimpse of the past. Previously a forest, then a farm, to a fair and exposition grounds, Piedmont Park has had quite a progression from the 1800s to now!
  • Have you heard of Frederick Law Olmsted? If so, you might know that he was the designer of Central Park in New York City. Much of the landscape design for Piedmont Park is based on the original plans drawn by the Olmsted brothers, sons of the very same Frederick Law Olmsted.
  • If you love history like me, you will want to check out their Guided Walking History Tours. Reservations are required, and you can view more information and availability at their website.
  • Are you planning a wedding or event? Piedmont Park can host it! You can also rent out the community pool to take a break from Georgia’s summer heat.
  • Bring your dog! Piedmont Park has off-leash dog parks with free doggie bags if needed. More information on bringing your dog can be found here.
  • Every Saturday morning (9am to 1pm) from March to November, Piedmont Park has a Green Market where you can come and buy local, fresh goods! Some businesses and vendors will have free samples for you to try. The food and drinks are always delicious.
  • Piedmont Park is next to the Atlanta Beltline, which is popular for walking, bicycling, dining, and shopping.

When to Visit

My favorite season to visit Piedmont Park is fall. There are usually festivals and events occurring, and I love the fall foliage with the city backdrop. Summer is nice, but have you been to Atlanta before in summer? It is sticky and humid, so I generally avoid going during this time unless early in the morning.

Spring is beautiful as more things come to life. Flowers are blooming, and trees are beginning to sprout their leaves. Unlike spring, winter is my least favorite as it is usually rainier and less eventful. You won’t see as many people in the park during the winter, but it is still a nice place to take a break from the always busy city.

Hours and Location

Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia, is open daily from 6am and 11pm, and you can plug the following address into your GPS:

1320 Monroe Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30306

There are multiple entrances into Piedmont Park, and you will see signs indicating the location when you arrive.

Late afternoon sunlight coming through the trees at Piedmont Park. Shot on a roll of Kodak Ektar 100.

Parking at Piedmont Park

There are various places to park. I find the easiest place to park is the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Piedmont Avenue parking garage. Plus, it’s a great spot for your vehicle if you plan to visit Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The parking garage also feels more secure, but I still wouldn’t leave any valuables in your car no matter where you park! Prices aren’t too bad – the maximum daily rate is $15. More information about the parking prices can be found here.

You can find the Garden’s Piedmont Avenue parking garage by typing in Atlanta Botanical Garden’s address:

1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30309

Also, we sometimes park at the parking garage located on the corner of 14th St. NE and Juniper St. The garage is convenient for us when we cannot park at the gardens for some reason. Parking is rarely cheap in cities; I think we paid around 21 dollars for 3 hours. However, it is only about a five-minute walk from the parking garage to Piedmont Park.

If you plan to eat at Park Tavern, a restaurant in Piedmont Park, you can also park there. Park Tavern is located at 500 10th Street NE, Atlanta, GA 30309. Be prepared to answer your intended destination from the parking attendant. They asked if we were going to be patrons at Park Tavern (and we were).

If you don’t want to drive, you can opt to use the subway, Marta, via the Midtown or Arts Center stations.

A Look Inside Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia

A map of Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia, can be found here.

Walking down 14th Street going east, you will see the large stone gate to Piedmont Park. As soon as you enter, you will be in the giant Active Oval of Piedmont Park. The name fits the area; there are soccer fields, baseball fields, and a place to play volleyball.

View of downtown Atlanta from the Active Oval. Shot on Ektar 100 in February 2021.

If you walk straight through the Active Oval from the entrance, you will reach Greystone (a venue where events are sometimes held), a playground, restrooms, and a community swimming pool.

Continue through the Active Oval and take a left going north. Your path will take you past the tennis courts and towards the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Promenade lawn.

Atlanta Botanical Garden in the not-so-far distance. Shot on a roll of Kodak Ektar 100.

If you veer to the right when you walk through the Active Oval, you will head towards Lake Clara Meer, where we usually spend most of our time. You can walk along the lake in some areas, and it is very picturesque, especially when the trees are in full bloom. At the lake, you will find the best spot to take a picture of downtown Atlanta.

There is also a lovely gazebo, Clara Meer Gazebo, and the Clara Meer Dock. Both are popular for pictures, weddings, and other events.

Lake Clara Meer with downtown Atlanta in the background.
The Clara Meer Gazebo is a popular hangout spot and a place to take pictures. Shot on Kodak Ektar 100.
People laying down on Oak Hill at Piedmont Park
Oak Hill at Piedmont Park

Don’t miss Oak Hill next to Lake Clara Meer if you are here for a wedding or engagement shoot. It is the best place to get gorgeous images of the sweeping green lawn of Piedmont Park with the Atlanta skyscrapers in the background. The lawn is not as green in the winter, but still lovely. Plus, wouldn’t it make a great hill for sledding if it actually snowed in Atlanta?

A fabulous spot to have a picnic or lay down on the hill and watch the clouds drift by, I can easily spend hours at Oak Hill. We often see many people doing different activities on Oak Hill: reading a book, napping, taking pictures like myself, and playing frisbee.

Opposite direction going east from Oak Hill is the area known as the Meadow. It is a giant field that takes you right up to Park Tavern Restaurant. Many festivals and events are held in this area, such as the Atlanta Hot Air Balloon Glow Festival.

A giant oak tree on Oak Hill in Piedmont Park. Shot on a roll of Kodak Ektar 100.
Having a bit of fun on Oak Hill! Shot on Kodak Ektar 100.
The expansive Meadow at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Park Tavern is in the distance (center of the image with the tower). Shot on a roll of Kodak Ektar 100.

Food and Visiting Suggestions

You can easily spend a whole day in Piedmont Park if you want to, especially if you take as many pictures as me.

My ideal day trip to Piedmont Park includes visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden, as they are adjacent to each other.

Visit Atlanta Botanical Garden in the early morning for cooler weather and fewer crowds. You can then hop on over to Piedmont Park for a picnic or late lunch. A few places to eat within the park are Willy’s Mexicana Grill, King of Pops, and Sean’s Heart of the Park.

If you’re lucky, you’ll be there on the day when they have multiple food vendors and carts in the park. Of course, this is weather permitting, but when the food vendors are there, it is always food heaven for me! You can also stop by Park Tavern, a restaurant inside Piedmont Park that overlooks the Meadow. I’ve been there twice for dinner and live music, and I enjoy the food and atmosphere each time.

Rent a scooter or bike through if you don’t feel like walking around Piedmont Park. It is perfect if you want to cover more distance for exploring!

Have you been to Piedmont Park in Atlanta, Georgia? If so, what was your experience? Please comment below!

A lonely scooter in Piedmont Park. Shot on a roll of Kodak Ektar 100 film.

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