Atlanta Botanical Gardens (ABG) is one of the most impressive collections of plants, trees and exotic flowers on its side of the Mississippi. The 30-acre site across from Piedmont Park in downtown features multiple stunning gardens and different seasonal exhibitions that run the gamut from Chocolate themes to Critter Tours. There’s even a foreign sculpture of Niki de Saint Phalle whose mosaic sculptures came all the way from France and Germany! ABG has an outstanding collection of flora and fauna that will tickle anyone’s fancy. Don’t miss the following attractions at ABG next time you’re in town.
The Garden offers many educational programs for children throughout the year: kids can join in fun camps and activities that range from live performances to storybook time. Summer Camp for Kids is one of the most popular activities; enroll your child in a summer day camp full of discovery, adventure and nature exploration. Camp sessions include fun and educational activities in the Children’s Garden, Fuqua Conservatory, Canopy Walk, Edible Garden and more.
Children will be immersed in the natural world through stories, games, experiments, arts and crafts. They can also run down an itinerary including way more fun stuff including a Scavenger Hunt, a Carnivorous Plant Hunt and a Critter Crawl, which makes kids comfortable with the four-legged friends who call ABG home!
Orchid Center and Fuqua Conservatory
The Orchid Center provides an exciting opportunity for visitors to see the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s distinguished and stunning orchid collection. Unique in the United States, its mission is the display and conservation of orchids and the education of visitors about orchids. The glasshouse complex showcases the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s existing tropical orchid collection and provides specialized facilities for a new collection of montane orchids that grow at high elevations. The lush green backdrop spotted with white, purple, orange, maroon and more colors is an amazing display and is often used for weddings and events at the Garden.
Equally exciting is the 16,000-square-foot, glass-walled Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory, housing rare and endangered tropical and desert plants – and a fascinating exhibit of poison dart frogs (more about them later). With acres of irreplaceable rainforest being bulldozed every minute, the plant species in the conservatory seem all the more special. Approached via an arbor promenade and fronted by a lily pond, the entrance to the conservatory has a revolving globe showing the many regions of the world where plant life is endangered! This is one cool place you have to put on your must-see list in A-Town!
The five-acre Upper Woodland features a paved path, a Fern glade, Camellia and Hosta gardens, gurgling streams, beautiful statuary, and a habitat designed to show visitors how to attract wildlife to their own backyards. Still more rustic is Storza Woods, 15 acres of natural woodlands and one of the few remaining hardwood forests in the city. To see and hear everything, you simply have to visit the Orchid Center and Fuqua Conservatory yourself.
Chocolate: Seed to Sweet Exhibition Show
This inventive exhibition takes visitors behind the scenes of chocolate creation, from the roots of the cacao (cocoa) tree to candy factory confections. The interactive journey features a giant cacao pod and a 20-foot flower dome that bring to life the history, production and uses of chocolate around the world. The fun, educational experience wraps up inside a miniature factory that showcases the candy-making process.
In addition to the interactive chocolate displays and weekend discovery stations, there are chocolate classes and activities for everyone throughout the exhibition. Look for Chocolate Sundays, Schakolod Chocolate Factory, Spooky Chocolate for Kids, and more!
Showcasing the farm-to-table concept of farming feeding fresh, local and sustainably grown food, this $2 million project converts the one-acre asphalt parking lot into green space and demonstrates that fruits and vegetables make beautiful landscape plants! The garden’s centerpieces are an amphitheatre and outdoor kitchen where
Atlanta’s top chefs present cooking demonstrations using garden ingredients. Any food not used in the exhibition’s educational programs gets sent to food banks and other charities! The garden boasts colorful vegetables to eat 365 days a year, from orange caulflower in spring to purple beans and burgundy okra in the summer to a kaleidoscope of apples, pears, persimmons, figs, blueberries, blackberries and raspberries in fall.
A tour through one of the city’s last remaining urban forests, the Canopy Walk is renowned and oft-reviewed among locals, out-of-towners and other tourists. From 40 feet high, you can observe the amazing woods, and all flora and fauna therein. Extending 600 feet from a bluff in the Garden into the branches of oaks, hickories and poplars, the unique reverse suspension bridge is the only tree canopy- level walkway of its kind in the United States. By linking the 15-acre existing Garden to the adjacent Storza Woods, the Canopy Walk doubled the visitor’s experience, providing an amazing 30 acres of formal & informal gardens to explore! This is a can’t-miss attraction at ABG!
While walking the 12-foot-wide pathway, visitors will feel like they are floating through leafy clouds of storied hardwoods, thanks to the bridge’s four large masts, which ostensibly disappear amongst the treetops. The vibrant yet virtually invisible structural system creates a suspension bridge that affords visitors an aerial view of the highly patterned woodland garden below. There, understory trees, native azaleas, camellias, hydrangeas, perennials and seasonal bulbs put on quite a show, enhanced by hundreds of new plantings.
So next time you’re in Hotlanta, take a stroll through one of its hottest attractions, the Botanical Garden. You won’t be disappointed!
1345 Piedmont Avenue Northeast
Atlanta, GA 30309