If you're like me, when spring finally hits Atlanta you're already planning out all the fun things to do outside before the summer heat creeps in. Hoping that the pollen count behaves, your spring bucket list is most likely filling up with many outdoor activities around Atlanta.Will you visit different parks with your family? Stroll new trails with your pups? Coordinate spring portraits with the ones you love?You name it, your spring bucket list is filling up and deciding where to have each adventure is the next to-do. That's where my awesome location list comes in handy!Whether you're scouting places to have your next family portrait or your upcoming engagement session, or looking for a location to occupy your Saturday with the added bonus of cute Instagram opportunities, here are the top photo-worthy spots you need to visit around Atlanta:
PARKS AND TRAILS
There are endless opportunities for outdoor activities and photo backdrops on all four segments of the Atlanta Beltline. Their website is super helpful in breaking down the locations of different parks and restaurants, as well as events happening at each segment. Take a peek here.
You’d never expect to find this 120-acre nature preserve sitting in the middle of urban Southwest Atlanta! It’s a great site for engagement sessions or family photos - if you are up for a 2-mile round trip hike, there’s a gorgeous tranquil waterfall, need I say more? Cascade Springs is a worthy prize if you’re hiking it with family, friends and your doggies.
Known for its fun and energetic vibe, Centennial Olympic Park is fun to just walk around and enjoy, or you can visit restaurants, attend events or ride the SkyView Ferris wheel. Kids love the fountains, which make for wonderful “in the moment” photos. As an added bonus, the pretty spring landscape is a great backdrop for some added color.
Just southeast of Atlanta, there’s a lot of history rooted in the trails, granite and rivers that occupy the national heritage area. If you only have an hour, an afternoon or a weekend to plan something fun with the family, their website gives you fantastic ideas to make your time worthwhile. My favorite photography spot is on Mountain Top Trail.
If greenery is the goal for your photo backdrop, the Dunwoody nature scene is a favorite for portrait sessions. The swings, gardens, creek and a park piano are just a few of the many neat things found here. Additionally, the Dunwoody Nature Center hosts summer camps for kids and has an events calendar filled out each month so you can easily choose your outdoor plans for the next weekend.
Though it’s a recent addition to the Atlanta community, don’t let this new kid on the block fool you - it’s impressive. If you want an Urban appeal in photos as well as the option of some greenery, this park is perfect. It’s nestled off the beltline and has a lot to offer with its modern designed pond, foliage and structures. For playtime, there’s a splash pad and playground for the kids.
I have a thing for cool doors in photos, and this historic city has many! Its hometown appeal is attractive for family and engagement photos or for spending an afternoon during one of the many awesome events this city holds each season. The square’s signature statement is a middle courtyard/park home to a chic fountain and gazebo.
Piedmont Park is a classic Atlanta park at the heart of the city! It’s a favorite for a reason because there’s always something to do. There is a giant dog park, multiple playground areas, a public pool, a running/walking trail and a huge lawn for relaxing or for activities. In addition, wherever you are on the grounds there’s always an awesome view for photos.
For all my OTP family and friends or those who want a quick escape outside the city, this Cobb County hidden gem is quaint and picturesque. With over 3,000 species of plants, multiple outdoor sculptures and the historic Hiram Butler House, there is plenty to see. You can even have a picnic while you’re there.
If you can’t venture OTP for a dose of nature, Atlanta Botanical Gardens is your local fix. From visiting as a guest, going to a concert in the gardens to attending a wedding, the 30-acre garden is definitely a must see. For photography guidelines, visit here.
Whether you’re a history buff or not, Kennesaw Mountain is worth a visit. See the location of the Civil War battleground of the Atlanta Campaign, or enjoy over 18 miles of trails in this 2,965 acre National Park. Family photos work great here if you’re looking for an open space, nature-filled background.
It’s one of the most popular bridges because of its perfect Atlanta skyline view. You might also recognize it from the TV series “The Walking Dead.” When I drive over this bridge, there’s almost always people taking photos on it. I find it’s very popular for couple photo sessions and engagement sessions.
Water Tower at Old Decatur Water Works - Decatur, GA
(Aka “The Ruins” in Mason Mill Park)
If you’re interested in cool street art, raised boardwalks and greenery to enhance your photos, these popular ruins have you covered. This waterwork facility was abandoned back in the 1940s and is situated in Mason Mill Park. So in other words, it’s really, really neat! And last but not least...
YOUR OWN HOME
A client’s home is one of my favorite spots to photograph them because of the built-in relaxed atmosphere. Cliche or not, home is where the heart is. It’s also an ideal location to enjoy a gorgeous day outside!