Alpharetta, Georgia, nestles close to the North Georgia Mountains with Atlanta’s city center just 22 miles to the south, and the Atlanta airport 35 miles away. Many free things to do are outdoors, and a few invite families inside for affordable vacation experiences. And the city’s distinctly pedestrian friendly. Here are the free things to do while visiting Alpharetta.
Alpharetta calls itself “awesome” and the local residents – easy to encounter in city parks or along art, history and music trails plus outdoor free festivals and concerts – act like they think so too.
Free stuff to do can introduce visitors to all parts of Alpharetta and Avalon, the city’s luxury planned community, and the many green spaces in between. Details here are a good start but know there’s more to do, whether Alpharetta’s your destination or a stop on a road trip from Atlanta.
1. Explore 25 Parks!
Twenty five parks. Wow. They range from 110 acres to tiny and sport designations like active, passive, community and pocket. This is a list to peruse to plan different kinds of outdoor fun. Total land? 775 acres. Sports fields and playgrounds, paths and trails, pavilions and lawns, streams and trees — family-friendly categories in each one.
Waggy World Paw Park gives dogs some off-leash time in Wills Park. Wacky World is the kids’ playground name in this park. The 110-acre Wills also features lighted tennis courts, walking trails, 18 holes of disc golf, equestrian facilities (yes, bring your horse and your dog!) and 24 teaching trees – labeled with native plant insight and ideas for urban landscaping. Keep an eye out for the painted Play Me Again piano, and sit down to make some music.
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2. Take a Walking Tour
Close to two dozen big outdoor works and always expanding: that’s the evidence of Alpharetta’s joy in public art. Find them all with a Arts Walking Tour print brochure, digital easy link and even with the City Tours app. Some of the sculpture moves and some make music.
3. Enjoy an Arboretum
Alpharetta Arboretum at Cogburn Road Park is the smaller of Alpharetta’s arboretums — home to seven tree varieties. This is a place to find one of the five “play me again” pianos — painted with personality, and inviting fingers on the keys. Playground space is designed for kids two to five and then for five through age 12. Capture a watering lesson here with the eco-friendly water capturing system.
Another arboretum grows in Brooke Street Park where a concert might just pop up under the covered bandstand. These five acres behind City Hall include a landscaped spring, concrete walkway, open lawn and a dozen trees which flower in the spring. Parking’s free, and so are the restrooms on the first floor exterior of City Hall.
SheBuysTravel Tip: Looking to make the most of your travel budget while maximizing the fun? With a wide range of deals on local activities, dining, and experiences, Groupon helps you stretch your budget by offering discounted options near you.
4. Honors for Vets
Veteran honors include Walk of Memories — the only memorial of its kind in Georgia. Eight thousand bricks form the tribute pathway with the names of veterans, family and friends who served. The names of all Georgia residents killed in service in World War II or later are inscribed. A separate section is reserved for those who served in the military and survived. A tank, gun and helicopter are on display in the American Legion Post 201 memorial.
Another Alpharetta tribute to veterans is the seven-foot bronze memorial titled “The Defenders” behind City Hall in Brooke Street Park. City Hall is also the spot to find the history museum.
5. Stroll the Alpha Loop
Alpha Loop is ready for walking and biking, and it’s also a work in progress. Stroll the paved mile connecting downtown Alpharetta and Avalon, complete with permanent public art sculpture.
6. Step Back in Time
Seventy people tell their stories of community through a kiosk in the Old Milton County History Museum inside City Hall. Exhibits from Cherokee original residents to today’s high tech exuberance round out the history. The history walk with 25 architectural sites adds more context with a print brochure and easy-access web version. Another seven history sites are a short drive from downtown.
7. Bike the Big Creek Greenway
The Big Creek Greenway meanders 10.2 mostly level miles through a flood plain. Twelve-foot wide paved pathway plus a half-mile wood chips path welcome mountain biking, walking, running, biking and inline skating. Songbirds, wild turkeys and deer use the Greenway too. Check Parks and Recreation social media for possible flood closings.
8. Geocache in Alpharetta
To geocache, all you need are the Alpharetta zip codes (30004, 30005, 30009, 30022, 30023) to access hidden treasure clues along the Greenway and in downtown. Plug Alpharetta coordinates in to the geocache app on your device: N 34&<76; 04.242 W 084&<76; 17.78 Treasures include patches, beads, pins and stickers. Maybe even the patented Geocaching Travel Bug which can be registered and followed from other caches to other people.
9. Go Window Shopping
Avalon and Alpharetta welcome window shoppers for free looks into the latest duds and necessities. While looking, consider the fact Avalon was designed for sustainability as an 86-acre community with 500,000 square feet of retail. Places to live, play, work, dine, shop and visit were all part of the master plan.
10. Check out the Arts Center
The Play Me Again painted piano here is a baby grand! Invite yourself to play and then peek in working artist studios. Free rotating gallery exhibits are a focus plus paid events in the black-box theater.
Plus Music Events and Festivals
Tallying a total would be tough because many free events come in seasonal categories (like every Friday night or each Saturday morning).
SheBuysTravel Tip:Check the web for Alpharetta and Avalon music city details.