The Georgia countryside is naturally breathtaking. Lush and verdant landscape covers much of the region. Cascading waterfalls and awe-inspiring mountain gorges abound an hour or two’s drive from Atlanta. For a large capital city, metro Atlanta is home to some impressive natural treasures. Here are five bucolic and serene Atlanta locales where you can enjoy a nature retreat.
Managed by members of Atlanta’s Kirkwood neighborhood, this unique seven-acre green space is an urban paradise. Walking trails meander through hardwood forest, along a spring-fed creek, and across a frog pond. It’s hard to fathom the land this garden sits on was once an illegal dump. The Kirkwood Urban Forest Community Garden is a 10-minute drive from the luxury Intown Lofts at AMLI Parkside.
Wildlife sightings are a dime a dozen on Atlanta’s 154-acre Lullwater Preserve, teeming with nature trails. Eastern moles, short-tailed shrews, white-tailed deer, coyote, barred owl, red-tailed hawk, and blue heron are some of the animals you might spot here. A long, beautiful suspension bridge built over a lake is one of the preserve’s highlights. Others include Lullwater House, a 1926 mansion built for a son of Coca-Cola’s founder, and the ruins of a 1920s powerhouse. Dogs on leashes are welcome. Emory University owns and maintains the Lullwater Preserve, a 10-minute drive from AMLI Lindbergh. Although on private property, Lullwater Preserve is open to the public.
Designed by an award-winning Kyoto architect, the Japanese Zen Garden at Grand Hyatt Atlanta is one of the country’s most impressive Japanese gardens. A 32-foot waterfall spills into a green oasis of yin and yang. Native rocks and plants are seamlessly incorporated into the garden’s classic Japanese design. Prominent features include a main gate, tea house, Japanese well-type basin, and bamboo fencing. Guests staying at Grand Hyatt Atlanta can visit the garden as an amenity—so, keep this in mind the next time you splurge on a staycation. The Hyatt is just two miles north of AMLI Lindbergh.
If you’re itching to escape Atlanta but don’t have the time to drive out to the Blue Ridge Mountains, Morningside Nature Preserve is a good compromise. And it should hardly feel like a compromise. The 30-acre park is home to running and hiking trails, creeks, beaches, bridges, and hundreds of species of native flora. It’s easy to forget downtown Atlanta is just a few miles away. Morningside Nature Preserve and Botanical Garden is a five-minute drive from AMLI Lindbergh. Dogs are welcome.
Designed by the Olmsted brothers, sons of the celebrated architect of New York’s Central and Prospect Parks, Springvale Park is an aesthete’s sanctuary. Located in the middle of Inman Park, Springvale is home to a large pond, playground, and short walking trail. Ducks, geese, and turtles like to hang out in and around the pond. Springvale Park is a five-minute drive or 20-minute walk from AMLI Parkside.
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