Atlanta Botanical Garden's "Earth Goddess" topiary is massive. (©Eric Sonstroem/Flickr)
Founded in 1976, the 30-acre garden has bloomed steadily over the years into a veritable Eden. Located adjacent to Piedmont Park, it offers formal Japanese and rose gardens, two woodland areas, a whimsical children’s garden, the Fuqua Conservatory with indoor exhibits of plants from tropical rainforests and deserts (not to mention tropical birds, turtles and poison dart frogs), plus the Fuqua Orchid Center, home to the largest collection of species orchids on permanent display in the U.S. A large-scale expansion in the spring of 2010 also added a new visitor center, an edible garden and the 600-foot-long Canopy Walk allows visitors to tour one of the city’s last remaining urban forests from 40 feet in the air. Longleaf Restaurant helmed by executive chef Jason Paolini is also onsite. Tickets: adults $21.95, ages 3-12 $18.95, ages 3 and under free. Closed Mondays.