You know Atlanta’s best museums, top hikes for families, and the city’s most popular playgrounds. But even if you’re a local, we bet you might not have visited our favorite hidden gems in Atlanta. These little known spots are worth a look, especially when you bring the kids along. They’ll love the slightly creepy (but cool) found art trail and the seemingly magical secret doors that you’ll find hidden around the city. All that’s left is to find these amazing Atlanta hidden gems everyone in the family will enjoy.
Doll’s Head Trail
Drive a few miles outside downtown Atlanta, and you’ll find yourself at the Doll’s Head Trail entrance. Cutting through Constitution Lakes Park, this trail is dedicated to found art. The 125-acre preserve surrounding the path is great for bird and wildlife watching. The original artist, Joel Slaton, encouraged visitors to contribute to the doll art with their own found pieces such as bottles, truck parts and bricks. See what you can find and add to this hidden trail that’s just as fascinating for kids as it is for their grownups.
Constitution Lakes Park
1305 S. River Industrial Blvd. S.E.
Blue Heron Nature Preserve
Nestled in the North Buckhead neighborhood, Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a true Atlanta hidden gem, and home to the three-mile Blueway Trail, which allows families to experience 30 acres of woodlands, wetlands and wide open green space–all without leaving the city. The preserve offers tons of nature programs for kids of all ages. But the best part is that they’ll even create a custom program if you can’t find what you want.
4055 Roswell Road. N.E.
Tiny Doors ATL
Follow #TinyDoorsATL to discover more than 20 little doors throughout the city. Look for these Atlanta hidden gems along the BeltLine near some amazing wide-open views of the city and 33 miles of urban trails. Create a fun family scavenger hunt to see if you can find all the tiny doors. Because these little doors are hidden in plain sight, it’s fun to stop and examine each one while you enjoy the sights and sounds of Atlanta.
Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi built one playground in his entire life, and it is in Atlanta. In 1976, the artist created bright and severe modern art as a fun playground area for kids to enjoy. After years of fun (and graffiti), a local group restored the playspace to its original glory in Piedmont Park. The artist designed the space to invite open-ended play without specific purposes for each area. Today, the site is used by a summer camp run by the Piedmont Park Conservancy, and there is a weekend farmer’s market nearby.
Active Oval Loop
Who doesn’t love a good family photo op? We found the perfect spot where bright rainbow stripes stretch across an intersection of Atlanta’s Piedmont Avenue. The colorful lines serve as a symbol of unity and acceptance. It both honors the tragedy of the Pulse shooting in Orlando, Florida and playfully marks the Piedmont area as the hub for Atlanta’s LGBTQ culture.
Insider Tip: This is a busy city intersection, so try and visit during quieter times of the day.
991 Piedmont Ave. N.E.
Stop by this small Mexican grocery store with all the meat, fresh vegetables and herbs you need to whip up a fiesta dinner of your own. The main dish is mouth-watering smoked chicken. You’ll need to go to the meat counter to order. The chicken comes with two small salsas that taste amazing. You’ll find everything you need inside the market to create the perfect Taco Tuesday.
3020 Buford Hwy. N.E.
With everything going on in the world over the last two years, our little ones are more curious than ever about viruses and germs. Visit this unique museum to learn how modern-day scientists turned into detectives to unearth what we all want to know about mystery diseases. In addition, learn about CDC history and public health initiatives at this free museum.
1600 Clifton Rd. N.E.