Everything you need to know about Atlanta's Piedmont Park


Everything you need to know about Atlanta's Piedmont Park

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

You came, you saw, but did you conquer? Stretching more than 180 acres in the heart of Midtown, Piedmont Park offers everything from walking trails and tennis courts to children's playgrounds and picnic areas. Here's what you need to know the next time you're planning to spend a day at the park.

Location: Piedmont Park in Midtown Atlanta runs from 10th Street north to Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive.

Hours: 6 a.m.-11 p.m. daily

Take MARTA to the park

Street parking around Piedmont Park is extremely limited and heavily regulated. Walking, riding your bike or taking public transportation is recommended, especially on days when the park hosts a festival.

From MARTA rail lines, take the red or gold line. Get off at the Midtown station and walk east on 10th Street a few blocks to the park.

By bus, the 36 N Decatur / VA Highland-Avondale and 99 Boulevard/Monroe/GA State routes run along the south side of the park. The 27 Cheshire Bridge route runs north along the west side of the park starting at 14th Street.

From the southeastern corner of Piedmont Park (10th Street at Monroe Drive), you can connect to the Atlanta Beltline's Eastside Trail. From there, go north on the interim hiking trail or head south on a paved route, which will take you past Ponce City Market and through the Old Fourth Ward.

Inside the park, visitors can grab a bite at Nectar at the Aquatic Center, open seasonally during Atlanta's warmest months. Near the bocce courts, Blue Donkey Coffee is open limited hours each weekend. Food carts and concession stands are open when weather permits.

Just outside the park, you'll find local favorites Varuni Napoli, Madre & Mason, HOBNOB and ONE midtown kitchen on the northeastern side of the park. Orpheus Brewing is also a close walk from the interim eastside Beltline trail.

On the southeastern corner of the park is Park Tavern, with its outdoor dining options and frequent festival and concert events. Grabbing a summertime drink on the patio is practically an Atlanta rite of passage.

The southwest side of Piedmont Park is a short walk from Flying Biscuit Café, Willy's Mexicana Grill, Zocalo and 10th & Piedmont.

Pack a picnic

Oak Hill is the perfect spot for unpacking a picnic and spending an afternoon lounging in the sunshine. Remember, glass containers are not allowed in the park, and grilling is permitted only in designated areas.

Beware of festivals

There are few things Atlantans love more than festivals, and there's one practically every weekend in the spring, summer and autumn at Piedmont Park. Among the biggest festivals are the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Piedmont Park Arts Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Music Midtown and the Atlanta Arts Festival.

Most festivals set up on the south side of the park near Charles Allen Drive and around Lake Clara Meer. To get to the festivals, you'll often hear promoters tell festivalgoers to arrive via the Charles Allen Drive Gate at Charles Allen Drive and 10th Street.

From early March through mid-December, the Green Market sets up inside the park at 12th Street and Piedmont Avenue. The farmers market-style event runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday.

Watch out for weddings

On weekends, the area around Lake Clara Meer, Greystone, Dockside and Magnolia Hall can become congested because of weddings. Both during the week and on weekends, you'll also likely see couples and families taking professional engagement and family photos in the park, especially near Lake Clara Meer and on Oak Hill.

Bring your pooch

The city of Atlanta requires that dogs be on a leash in areas that are not designated as dog parks. However, inside the three acres of Piedmont Dog Park on the east side of the park, pups of all sizes can run free. Remember, local ordinances also require you to clean up after your canine companion.

Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden

While the grounds of Atlanta Botanical Garden are within Piedmont Park, visitors will need to enter the garden from the main entrance on Piedmont Avenue. Guests also must pay a fee to visit the grounds.

Take a bathroom break

From 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, public restrooms are open near Greystone, Noguchi Playscape, the tennis center, Piedmont Dog Park, the Charles Allen Gate and behind Magnolia Hall.

Go on a tour

The Piedmont Park Conservancy offers free Historic Park Tours every Saturday from March to December. Each two-hour walking tour covers nearly two centuries of the park's history. Reservations are not required.

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