Picnic in the Park – CSOA’s Summer Bucket List

Grab a blanket, your favorite foods and some friends and head to one of Atlanta’s amazing parks.  Find a quiet spot in the middle of this busy city to enjoy everything around you.  CSOA has put together this list of well-known parks and a hopefully a few new ones too!


Brook Run Park – Dunwoody
Located at 4770 North Peachtree Road, at 110-acres, Brook Run Park is the largest park in not only Dunwoody, but the region. This signature park features a large playground, 2-mile loop multi-use trail, skate park, dog park, community garden, and event pavilions. Dunwoody Senior Baseball is now proud to call Brook Run Park home. Parking for the baseball fields is located at Peachtree Charter Middle School at 4664 N. Peachtree Road, Dunwoody, Georgia 30338.


Chastain Park  – Buckhead
Chastain Park is Buckhead’s premier park, as well as Atlanta’s largest city park, covering 268 acres. The wide variety of competitive and recreational activities include a swimming pool, a musical amphitheater where both pop and classical musicians entertain audiences outdoors, an arts center, tennis, gymnasium,walking trails, playgrounds, softball diamonds, a golf course and even a horse park – any of which appeal to athletic types and Sunday morning strollers alike.


Piedmont Park – Midtown
Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s Central Park, or at least a mini version of it. Among all the skyscrapers in the Midtown area, this is a beautiful piece of green. There are paved trails that many like to come and roller blade on a weekend afternoon. There’s even a dog park for fido. Besides the green space, there’s a beautiful pond, a swimming pool, tennis and basketball are available too. People of all different types play at Piedmont Park, so everyone is welcome and no on is out of place. There are lots of free events, so check online sites to see the latest about events at the Park.

Lullwater Park – Emory Area
Visit the beautiful paths at Lullwater, and you’ll soon find out why it is one of the most popular parks in Atlanta. This park is actually on the campus of Emory University. While it is for the students, faculty and staff of Emory, many Atlanta residents do visit to enjoy it as well. Many photographers gush about the terrific photo opportunities that are available here. Walk through a huge field and then you’ll come to a serene lake. There is also a suspension bridge that connects to even more trails in another area of the park. One of the nice things about this park is that there aren’t lots of little kids around – it is more peaceful than other parks.

Centennial Olympic Park
 – Downtown Atlanta

Located Downtown, this park provides spectacular views of the Downtown skyline. It was created for the 1996 Olympics and there are plenty of spots for picnics. Visitors can also be entertainted by free music and lots of public art. Those who enjoy photography should take advantage of all the photo opportunities the park affords you. One of the big draws, at least for children in the summer, are the fountains. Kids love splashing around in these fountains on hot, humid summer days. Sometimes there are free concerts and movies in the park. Located near transit, so parking isn’t an issue.
Grant Park – Downtown Atlanta
Located near the Downtown area, the historic Grant Park neighborhood is home to multiple area attractions including Oakland Cemetery, the Cyclorama, Turner Stadium, Zoo Atlanta, Grant Park Pool and Grant Park–the oldest park in Atlanta. Full of historic charm, a leisurely walk around the neighborhood makes for a fabulous impromptu tour of 1920s and ’30s-style bungalows and Victorian homes dotting the landscape. The lush, leafy Grant Park offers abundant trees and rolling hills for a leisurely escape. There are also swings, a free swimming pool (opening Memorial Day weekend) and a basketball court. Get your bearings and take in the park’s rich history with a free walking tour. The Sunday Grant Park Farmers Market brings together local farmers and purveyors and is a unique way to experience the neighborhood–and to stock up on the week’s groceries.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield – Kennesaw 
This site near Marietta is where the historic Battle of Kennesaw Mountain was fought. Nearly 70,000 men died, were wounded or captured during this battle, which was won by the confederates. The site once belonged to the Cherokee Nation, forced into exile after making the “Trail of Tears.” Today many serious hikers enjoy the miles and miles of wooded trails. There are mulitple entrances to the park and a variety of trails, so visitors won’t easily be bored. Besides hiking, find many enjoying a picknick or even horse-back riding through the trails. Visit off peak times to easily land a parking spot.

This 3200-acre park surrounds the world’s largest granite mountain. Located just 16 miles east of Atlanta, Stone Mountain is well worth a visit for families. The five square mile park is Georgia’s most visited attraction. The mountain features Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson carved onto the front of the stone. Stone Mountain Park visitors can choose to hike up to the top of the mountain. During summer months, a laser show is projeceted onto the granite along with choreographed music. Make sure to bring a blanket to sit on while you enjoy the laser show.

Sweetwater Creek – Lithia Springs
Located of Interstate 20, it is a surprise to find a large state park so close to commerce. The highlight of the trails here are the ruins of when there was a mill here. It is a beautiful and peaceful place to go hiking. Some trails are rather difficult so maybe not suitable for youngsters or Grandma. Make sure to check the length and difficulty of each trail before committing. There is also the creek, hence the name. Some like to walk across the water for fun (only safe when the water is rather low). The 215-acre George Sparks Reservoir is popular with anglers and provides a pretty setting for feeding ducks and picnicking. Dogs love to run around and splash in the water.



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