How to make the most of autumn in Atlanta

Students cut across the Burger Bowl Field on their way to class as the trees around campus begin to lose their leaves as fall weather sets in. Taking in the beautiful changing leaves is a great way to slow down and enjoy the season at the end of the semester. // Photo by Caitlin Aycock Student Publications

It is autumn in Atlanta. An uncharacteristically cold year has brought chilly weather and autumn leaves earlier than usual in the state of Georgia, so Atlanta has more time to take in the grace of fall. Make the most of the season with these cozy autumn activities.

If you are looking to get outside and enjoy the rich colors of fall, Gibbs Gardens offers an immersive nature experience.

Red, yellow and orange leaves paint the scenery of the Monet Bridge, bringing to life the famous Water Lilies painting of its namesake. Stroll through the picturesque forest and take in the brightly colored foliage of the over 3,000 Japanese maple trees, or rainbow-colored rolling hills of the fall wildflower meadow.

Gibbs Gardens spans over 300 acres and offers 16 different gardens, so it offers something for everyone to enjoy.

While the city of Atlanta does not have many hiking options, the metro Atlanta area has hiking trails and parks galore for the adventurous type.

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park offers scenic views of forest and mountain across over 15 miles of trails. The park’s main feature is the Kennesaw Mountain trail — a hike to the peak of Kennesaw Mountain that overlooks Atlanta, Stone Mountain and the expansive tree canopy that gives Atlanta the moniker “city in a forest.”

The Kennesaw Mountain Trail is also the most challenging of the park trails, deemed a “moderately difficult, but relatively short hike” by Trailful Outdoor, because of its mildly steep and rocky slopes. For the less adventurous, Kennesaw Mountain also offers historical, environmental and scenic trails suitable for casual rambles and jogging.

If you dream of experiencing autumn as a character for Gilmore Girls, you should get to know Decatur Square, located fifteen minutes away from Tech. This suburb of Atlanta offers the aesthetics of small town Americana in a new way. The indie stores and restaurants are almost enticing enough to distract from the gentrification of a once richly diverse city.

Gather all your friends for fun and a fall-themed photoshoot at the Buford Corn Maze. Get lost in the corn maze, or engage in other corn-themed activities such as the Cornball Slider. Beyond corn, the maze offers farm animal petting zoos, a pumpkin patch and hayrides, and they have an antique tractor designated specifically for photos.

While apple picking season has come to a close, plenty of apple orchards remain open for visits and continue to sell homemade products and fresh produce all season. The city of Ellijay, known as the Apple Capital of Georgia, has an overwhelming selection of apple orchards to choose from.

The B.J. Reece Orchard was selected as one of the best apple picking spots by Explore Georgia. Visitors are welcome to walk the over-120 acre grounds with some apples still available for limited picking and a fresh market that offers a variety of local, in-season produce.

For those looking to stay closer to campus, you can witness the change of the seasons on full display in Harrison Square.

The red, orange and yellow colors in the heart of Old Campus creates a picturesque break from the monotonous modernity of the rest of campus.

As the chaos of finals approaches, it is important to remember to take a break, get outside and breathe in some fresh air.

Autumn in Atlanta also brings brightly colored sunsets, which can be best viewed from Piedmont Park.

Just a five minute drive from Tech, Piedmont Park offers the perfect view of the city against the bright pink, purple and orange skies of fall evenings. Bring some friends and take in the beauty of the Empire City of the South.

When you need a pick-me-up after a long day of fall-themed fun, Dancing Goats, located across from the Midtown MARTA station, offers a wide selection of coffee, tea and baked goods. Known for their specialty blends and indie aesthetics, Dancing Goats has plenty of space to study and hang out with friends over coffee.

Students who are unfamiliar with Atlanta can also get to see more of the city outside of Tech Square without straying too far from campus.

Fall is also flu season. Nothing says cozy autumn vibes more than immunizations. Flu shots are available at Stamps Health Service, as well as local pharmacies.

Fall in Atlanta brings plenty of seasonally-themed fun, but it is also a great time to take a break from campus and explore.

Whether you enjoy spooky season or Christian girl autumn, autumn in Atlanta has something for everyone.