Atlanta History Center’s Swan Garden

Visit some of the area’s most beautiful gardens, where you’ll find plenty of fall color. Play in children’s areas, picnic on lawns and be sure to bring a camera.

For a Fee:

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Flowers in bloom vary throughout the year, so each visit brings new colors and smells. Autumn includes beautyberry, mums, tea olives, autumn crocus and more. Stop by the children’s garden with a bird’s nest-shaped playground, hands-on building areas and water play. 1345 Piedmont Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-876-5859. Adults, $21.95; ages 3-12, $18.95; ages 2 and younger, free.

Atlanta Botanical Garden Gainesville 

Walk through trails lined with fall color and see mums, mountain sage, liberty apple trees, and more. Kids will love the weekly storytelling and craft time as well as discovery stations throughout the garden. 1911 Sweetbay Dr., Gainesville. 404-888-4760. Adults, $8; ages 3-12, $5; ages 2 and younger, free.

Atlanta History Center

The property is covered with 33 acres of gardens, woodlands and trails. Visit the Smith Family Farm Garden and see late-blooming old-fashioned flowers and fall produce in the vegetable garden. Fall colors abound in the Swan Woods Garden, along with plants native to Georgia. 130 West Paces Ferry Rd. NW, Atlanta. 404-814-4000. Adults, $21.50; ages 4-12, $9; ages 3 and younger, free.

Callaway Gardens

Explore 2,500 acres of gardens and trails; you’ll find lots of autumn blooms, including pineapple sage, beautyberry, lantana and cosmos. The sourwood, maple, oak and hickory trees along the scenic drive show off their fall colors. Combine your garden-viewing trip with the butterfly center and birds of prey shows. 4500 Southern Pine Dr., Pine Mountain. 844-512-3826. Adults, $24.95; ages 6-12, $14.95; ages 5 and younger, free.

Chattahoochee Nature Center

Enjoy wildlife programs, hiking, environmental education, horticulture and more at this Roswell nature destination. The native plant garden features over 600 Georgia plant species. There are plenty of events for children, families and adults year-round. 9135 Willeo Rd., Roswell. 770-992-2055. Adults, $10; ages 3-12, $6; ages 2 and younger, free.

Gibbs Gardens

This world-class garden is famous for its daffodils, but a visit any time of year is memorable. In the autumn months, enjoy wildflowers, water lilies and the maples in the Japanese garden; check the garden’s website for their fall ColorFest schedule. 1987 Gibbs Dr., Ball Ground. 770-893-1881. Adults, $20; ages 3-17, $10; ages 2 and younger, free.

Smith-Gilbert Gardens

Smith-Gilbert Gardens are a blend of history, art and horticulture; the perennial garden has blooms through late fall. Visit the Conifer Garden, Bonsai Exhibit, and the Japanese Maple Grove.  A Pollinator Garden features a children’s area complete with smell-good plants, vegetable beds, a weaving station, dirt pile and animal topiaries. 2382 Pine Mountain Rd., Kennesaw. 770-919-0248. Adults, $10; ages 3-17, $5; ages 2 and younger, free.

For Free:

Oakland Cemetery

Historically, flowers were added in honor of loved ones, and the Cemetery now includes many flowers popular during different time periods. Depending on the season, your visit may include thousands of heirloom daffodils, flowering trees or garden mums. 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-688-2107.

Lake Claire Community Trust

The community-run garden relies on visitor donations and is built piece by piece over time, resulting in something new each visit. Artistic installations, ponds, paths and a variety of flower beds bring the area together, including a child-focused garden. Don’t forget to visit Big Lou the emu and feed him raw fruits, vegetables and crackers. 270 Arizona Ave. NE, Atlanta.

Cator Woolford Gardens 

Hidden in a 39-acre forest full of hardwoods, this garden is an oasis in the heart of the city. Tour the lush estate full of beautiful flowers and grassy areas. Donations to the gardens support the Frazer Center for children and adults with developmental disabilities. Tours are available by appointment only. 1815 Ponce De Leon Ave. NE, Atlanta. 404-377-3836.

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