Everything you need to know about Atlanta's Piedmont Park

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Everything you need to know about Atlanta's Piedmont Park

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JOHN SPINK / AJC
Charlie Saye took in the great view of midtown at Piedmont Park's Lake Clara Meer Friday.

You’ve been there, you love it, but do you really know how to expertly navigate Piedmont Park? 

With its more than 180 acres of open space, walking trails, tennis courts and playgrounds, Atlanta’s most central park is a lot to take in.

Though it’s now known as a frequented park in the heart of Midtown, Piedmont has lived many lives −first as a farmland then fairgrounds and now a the go-to Atlanta park for outdoor happenings in every season.

For the Piedmont Park map, hours and directions, click here.

So, with all the space, grandeur and things to do at Piedmont Park, it’s hard to narrow down the best way to spend your day at Piedmont.

You’re in luck. We’ve created a list of five best things to do while you're there:

Located in Midtown, Piedmont Park is just one of many off-leash dog parks found throughout the Atlanta metro area. Terrell Henderson, Piedmont Park Conservancy

Take your dog along

Unlike other areas in the city of Atlanta, you can legally let Fido run free in a special off-leash area of Piedmont Dog Park. He or she will have nearly three total acres to play in, with separate enclosures for large and small dogs. Benches are available for owners who need a break.

And if you want to get some more exercise with your dog, you can both line up for the Doggie Dash 5k Run/Walk. Dogs must be leashed for this event, which will be held on March 12 with an 8 a.m. registration and 9 a.m. start time.

Fresh fruits and vegetables are available from March 19 through Dec. 10 at Piedmont Park. SPECIAL

The Green Market opens for the season on March 18 inside the 12th Street gate, offering fresh local food, handmade goodies, chef demonstrations, live music and more.

The market is held Saturdays from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. through mid-December, and you can sign up here to find out more about the weekly vendors, chefs and music.

Fans greet James Bay performing Sunday at Music Midtown. (Akili-Casundria Ramsess/Special to the AJC) Akili-Casundria Ramsess

Attend a festival

Piedmont Park is the site of many annual Atlanta festivals, which become plentiful in warm months. Food, music, crafts and more fill the park during festivals, which include the following:

Festival Peachtree Latino, August, specific dates to be announced

Music Midtown, September, specific dates to be announced

Go for a run or walk

Runners and spectators walk on a hill at Piedmont Park with the bulkhead skyline in the background during the 46th running of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race Saturday morning in Atlanta, Ga., July 4, 2015. JASON GETZ / PHOTO Jason Getz

The park has plenty of places to run or walk, including the following popular trails:

  • Active Oval: Circle the ballfields at a moderate grade, and you'll log a little over a half a mile.
  • Lake Loop: Circle Lake Clara Meer at a constant grade for a .96-mile run or walk.
  • Lake and Active Oval: This trail circles both the lake and ballfields at a moderate grade for a total of 1.15 miles.
  • Park Loop: This circuit combines the Lake and Active Oval circuit with a loop around The Meadow. You'll log 1.68 miles on this trail, which has the greatest change in elevation.

If you love to run, you can also join in several organized runs at the park, including the AJC Peachtree Road Race, which ends at Piedmont Park, and the 5k Firefly Run.

Enjoy a drink or a bite to eat

Grab a juice at Nectar by the park's pool, or try a special brew at Blue Donkey Coffee, located near the bocce courts. You can also head to Park Tavern at the park's southeast corner to enjoy sushi, a burger or drinks on the patio to get a great people-watching view of the park.

Other restaurants, such as Zocalo Mexican Kitchen & Cantina and Flying Biscuit Café, are within a short walking distance from Piedmont Park.

How (and when) to get to Piedmont Park

The park, which runs along 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, is open every day from 6 a.m.-11 p.m.

On MARTA: Use the Red or Gold rail line and get off at the Midtown station.

Walk east on 10th Street, and you'll reach the park in a few blocks.

By bus: Take the 36 N Decatur/VA Highland-Avondale and 99 Boulevard/Monroe/GA State routes travel along the park's south side. The 27 Cheshire Bridge route runs along the west side of the park.

By foot: Pedestrians and cyclists can access park entrances including Park Drive Bridge, 10th Street and Charles Allen, and Piedmont Avenue and 12th or 14th Street.

By car: Follow these directions and park in the SAGE Parking Facility, where fees start at $2.

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