53-56. Off-the-beaten path picnic spots


Oakland Cemetery With its elaborate, sentimental monuments and verdant walkways, this nineteenth-century gem is the quintessential Victorian rural garden. After a picnic lunch, visit the graves of famous Atlantans such as Margaret Mitchell and Maynard Jackson. oaklandcemetery.com

Arabia Mountain Paved trails in this Lithonia nature preserve lead visitors over swells of granite and through pine forests. In spring, come early to watch the sunrise light up the red pools of blooming Diamorpha plants. arabiaalliance.org

Chattahoochee River The raucous days of the infamous Ramblin’ Raft Race are long forgotten, and shooting the Hooch is now a more peaceful sport. But you can still tether up a six-pack and sip as you drift along.

Sweetwater Creek State Park Pair lunch with an easy hike past bubbling rapids and the ghostly ruins of the New Manchester textile mill, burned during the Civil War. Just twenty minutes west of Downtown. gastateparks.org/sweetwater