Atlanta, Georgia is a bustling metropolis known for its extensive history, lively culture, and varied options that make it an appealing tourist spot. Regardless of your interests – sports, nature, arts, or history, there are countless things to do in Atlanta.
From world-class museums to lush green spaces, and exciting sports events to delicious food, Atlanta has something for everyone. As one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States, Atlanta has become a popular destination for tourists from all over the world.
Atlanta’s diversity is undoubtedly one of its most alluring features. The metropolis boasts a myriad of distinct neighborhoods, each exuding its personality and allure. Whether you’re looking for things to do in Atlanta and are drawn to the chic boutiques and high-end dining establishments in Buckhead or prefer to explore Old Fourth Ward’s vibrant streets adorned with striking murals, Atlanta has something for every type of visitor.
Visitors are attracted to the city’s abundant history. Atlanta had a noteworthy contribution to the American Civil War, and guests have the opportunity to discover various historic destinations and monuments that reveal knowledge about its past.
The civil rights legend is remembered with emotion at The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, whereas interactive displays that investigate Atlanta’s history can be found at The Atlanta History Center.
Atlanta is not only a destination for history enthusiasts, but it also boasts a flourishing arts and cultural sector that includes exceptional museums, theaters, and music locations. Some of the famous cultural establishments in Atlanta are The High Museum of Art, Alliance Theatre as well as Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Atlanta is a paradise for sports enthusiasts, boasting several major teams such as the Atlanta Falcons (NFL) and Atlanta United FC (MLS). With top-notch venues like Mercedes-Benz Stadium or State Farm Arena, fans can revel in the dynamic atmosphere that defines this city. Additionally, Atlanta’s culinary offerings cater to all tastes.
The diverse gastronomic scene features classic Southern dishes as well as international fare guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding palate. Mary Mac’s Tea Room offers their famous fried chicken while The Varsity serves up delicious hot dogs; those seeking upscale dining experiences can find many highly-rated restaurants throughout town.
In this article, we will explore the top things to do in Atlanta, highlighting the best that this city has to offer. If you’re someone who enjoys learning about the past, admiring art pieces, supporting sports teams, or indulging in various cuisines, Atlanta will create a memorable experience for you. Prepare yourself and your luggage to explore all of the amazing activities that this city has to offer.
2. What is Atlanta Known for?
Atlanta is a popular travel destination known for its rich history, diverse culture, and world-class attractions. If you’re searching for things to do in Atlanta, top options include visiting the Atlanta History Center for indoor and outdoor exhibits showcasing the city’s heritage, exploring Piedmont Park for green space and outdoor activities, discovering the Atlanta Botanical Garden for a botanical oasis of plants from around the world, and checking out Zoo Atlanta with its collection of animals from all over the globe. Sports enthusiasts can watch exciting games played by both Atlanta United FC and the Atlanta Falcons.
Centennial Olympic Park, National Center for Civil and Human Rights, Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, and Ebenezer Baptist Church are significant landmarks in Atlanta’s civil rights history. Ponce City Market offers diverse shopping and dining options while World of Coca-Cola showcases the famous drink’s culture. For theater enthusiasts, Fox Theatre is a must-see with its stunning interior and top-notch performances.
Atlanta is also known for its street art, High Museum of Art, Center for Puppetry Arts, and the Atlanta Beltline. The city also has historic sites like Oakland Cemetery and Inman Park. For families, there’s the Children’s Museum of Atlanta and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Sports fans can visit the College Football Hall of Fame and Delta Flight Museum too. Music festivals such as Music Midtown and Atlanta Pride attract visitors from across the country to this vibrant city in Georgia.
3. Things to Do in Atlanta
Atlanta, the capital of Georgia, is a vibrant city full of rich history, culture, and diverse offerings that cater to visitors of all ages. With so many exciting activities and attractions, planning your itinerary can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Atlanta that showcase both its famous landmarks and hidden gems while emphasizing cultural institutions.
By visiting the Atlanta History Center, wandering around Piedmont Park, witnessing the acclaimed Georgia Aquarium, and walking along the Atlanta Beltline, there’s an array of things to do in Atlanta. Regardless if you’re keen on history, art, or sports or just relishing in the energetic ambiance of this city – we have it all covered. Be prepared to embark on a thrilling adventure through one of America’s most captivating cities – Atlanta!
3.1. Spend a Day on Atlanta’s Famous Attractions
There is a diverse range of things to do in Atlanta for tourists with different interests. Tourists can dedicate one day to discovering the city’s renowned sites such as the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, and Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park.
3.1.1. Georgia Aquarium
Located downtown, the Georgia Aquarium is the biggest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. It boasts a stunning collection of over 100,000 marine animals from as many as 500 species that include manta rays, beluga whales, giant pandas, and a whale shark. With its wide range of underwater habitats on display, it serves as an ideal place for families to gain insights into aquatic life and observe their activities up close.
3.1.2. World of Coca-cola
The World of Coca-Cola is a well-liked destination in Atlanta that presents the past and traditions surrounding the globally renowned soda. Tourists can engage with hands-on displays, taste diverse Coca-Cola beverages from different countries, and have an encounter with the emblematic polar bear of Coca-Cola.
3.1.3. Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park
If you have an interest in civil rights and history, it is highly recommended that you make a trip to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park when looking for things to do in Atlanta. This park boasts various landmarks such as Dr. King’s childhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he delivered his sermons. In addition to the park, visitors can also explore the National Center for Civil and Human Rights which showcases displays on both the American Civil Rights Movement and global human rights movements.
3.2. Explore Piedmont Park
For those seeking a break from the busy city life, Piedmont Park, the biggest public park in Atlanta, is an ideal spot to visit. Spanning 189 acres of lush greenery, this stunning park provides infinite options for outdoor pursuits such as cycling, strolling, running, and enjoying a picnic.
Aside from its stunning landscape and calm surroundings, Piedmont Park hosts various occasions and festivals annually. The Atlanta Dogwood Festival is a prominent example that attracts masses across the city. This festivity takes place in April, honoring springtime in Atlanta by featuring live performances, art exhibitors, and delectable food and beverages for all ages to relish.
Piedmont Park hosts Music Midtown, which is a well-liked occasion. This yearly music festival draws in some of the most renowned artists in the music business like Billie Eilish, Post Malone, and Travis Scott. It’s held for two days during September and those who adore music should not miss out on attending this event when visiting Atlanta. Piedmont Park offers both peace and excitement. Bring a picnic, bike around, and explore this beautiful Atlanta gem.
3.3. Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden
For those who adore nature, a visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden is essential. Positioned in Midtown Atlanta, it is among the most extensive botanical gardens spanning 30 acres of land within the United States. Featuring numerous indoor and outdoor displays, this garden presents an idyllic setting that highlights some of the world’s rarest plant species showcasing beauty and tranquility at its best.
The Canopy Walk, found in the Atlanta Botanical Garden, is a top attraction among visitors. This skywalk lifts guests 40 feet above the ground and grants them an aerial outlook of the garden’s beauty as it navigates through Storza Woods‘ treetops. Additionally, the Edible Garden is another noteworthy aspect of this green space that allows people to interact with vegetables, fruits, and herbs via touch and smell while even sampling some produce. Those keen on cooking or sustainable agriculture will particularly appreciate this section of the garden.
The Fuqua Orchid Center is also a must-see exhibit at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. It showcases a variety of orchids, including rare and exotic species, making it the largest collection in the Southeastern United States. Visitors can experience their beauty up close in the tropical conservatory. The Atlanta Botanical Garden has seasonal events and exhibitions like Garden Lights, Holiday Nights, and Orchid Daze. The annual light show transforms the garden into a winter wonderland with over one million lights and festive displays. Orchid Daze celebrates thousands of blooming orchids throughout the garden.
If you are someone who enjoys nature or just wants to get away from the fast-paced city life, visiting Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the top things to do in Atlanta. Its breathtaking displays, informative activities, and special occasions throughout the year make it an ideal destination suitable for people of all generations.
3.4. Discover the Civil Rights Movement
Atlanta played a crucial role in the American civil rights movement, and there are multiple things to do in Atlanta throughout the city where individuals can gain insight into this pivotal era. The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park, situated in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward neighborhood, is among the most noteworthy sites to visit.
This park serves as a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr., who was one of the most influential figures associated with this movement. Various structures and landmarks within the park hold significant historical value since they were essential parts of King’s life journey- these include his birthplace, Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he served alongside his father), and his final resting place at the King Center.
For those intrigued by the civil rights movement, a stop at Ebenezer Baptist Church is obligatory. This notable church served as both the King family’s sanctuary and a platform where several civil rights advocates delivered speeches and directed demonstrations. Tourists have the option to attend services or participate in guided tours that recount their significance and past events.
The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is also a significant location that displays the worldwide human rights movement. Interactive exhibits at the museum emphasize pivotal events from both American civil rights history and global struggles for human rights. Guests can delve into exhibits covering subjects such as segregation, sit-in protests, and Freedom Rides. Additionally, visitors can view rotating exhibitions in a designated space or visit a permanent gallery dedicated to Coretta Scott King‘s life and impact.
A trip to these historic civil rights sites presents a one-of-a-kind chance to discover the fight for equal rights and fairness in America, while also contemplating the advancements achieved and the efforts that still need to be exerted.
3.5. Experience Atlanta’s Sports Scene
Atlanta’s lively sports scene presents a multitude of chances for supporters to witness their beloved teams competing. Atlanta caters to all sorts of individuals, be it those fond of football or soccer devotees.
For those who love football, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta is a remarkable sports and entertainment venue that cannot be missed. Its advanced features include a retractable roof that can open or close in as little as seven minutes, making it an ideal location to enjoy things to do in Atlanta no matter what the weather may be like. Apart from hosting Falcons matches, this stadium also presents various events including concerts and festivals throughout the year.
Atlanta United FC is a soccer team representing Major League Soccer that should not escape any fan’s attention. They hold their home ground at Mercedes-Benz Stadium and have loyal supporters attending matches from all corners of Atlanta city. With fervent fans creating an electrifying atmosphere, going to see an Atlanta United game will undoubtedly create memories you’ll treasure forever.
If you have an interest in college football, then the College Football Hall of Fame is a necessary tourist destination. Situated in the heart of Atlanta’s downtown area, this hall commemorates and honors both the past and present great players of college football through interactive exhibits and displays that appeal to visitors spanning all ages. Moreover, make sure not to miss out on attending Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl if your travels coincide with bowl season as it ranks among one of the most thrilling collegiate games held each year.
There are plenty of things to do in Atlanta for sports enthusiasts, regardless of their interests. If you’re a fan of football, whether it’s rooting for the Falcons at Mercedes-Benz Stadium or discovering college football’s past at the Hall of Fame, every fan is catered to in this city. Soccer fans can witness Atlanta United FC’s goal-scoring prowess, making it a perfect destination for sports lovers.
3.6. See the Atlanta Zoo
Atlanta Zoo, which is also called the Zoo Atlanta, is a must-visit destination for families and animal enthusiasts who are exploring Atlanta. Situated in Grant Park, this zoo houses more than 1,000 animals that represent over 200 species from various parts of the world. One exhibit that attracts plenty of visitors is the African Savanna where guests can observe different kinds of creatures such as ostriches, zebras, and giraffes thriving within an environment resembling grasslands found in Africa. Another notable attraction here is the Ford African Rainforest exhibit wherein one can get close to gorillas, chimpanzees, and other primates while enjoying its lush tropical setting.
The Scaly Slimy Spectacular display is a must-see for individuals fascinated by reptiles and amphibians. It showcases an extensive assortment of cold-blooded animals, including snakes, lizards, frogs, and more. Guests have the opportunity to gain knowledge about these creatures’ crucial ecological functions as well as conservation initiatives implemented in their favor.
This zoo is famous not only for showcasing animals but also for its endeavors in preserving wildlife and providing educational opportunities. The zoo engages in multiple local and global preservation schemes, enlightening guests about these endeavors while encouraging their involvement in protecting threatened animal species.
Families with children have the opportunity to benefit from educational resources provided by the zoo, including summer camps, animal interactions, and excursions. These experiences enable youngsters to gain unique insights into nature while also comprehending why conservation is crucial. The broad array of animal displays, preservation endeavors, and learning opportunities make it among the top things to do in Atlanta.
3.7. Enjoy Local Food and Drink
Atlanta provides plenty of options for individuals looking to savor genuine local delicacies and drinks. Featuring a vast array of dishes, the culinary landscape in Atlanta appeals to diverse tastes spanning from classic comfort foods with Southern flair to an assorted mix of international fusion cuisines.
Since 1928, The Varsity has been a famous fast-food restaurant that offers delicious hot dogs, burgers, and fries. This emblematic eatery is highly recommended for both tourists and residents who appreciate its rich history and mouth-watering dishes. It has multiple outlets across town.
Atlanta offers an array of upscale dining options for those seeking a refined gastronomic adventure. In addition, the city’s diverse culinary landscape is showcased in numerous high-end restaurants. Furthermore, local breweries are widely favored and present an opportunity to savor distinctive craft beers.
For a less formal dining experience, consider visiting Krog Street Market. Situated in the charming Inman Park area, this fashionable food court boasts more than 20 sellers presenting various cuisines and beverages, including Southern-style barbeque and handcrafted cocktails. It is an excellent location to enjoy some food and socialize with pals while immersing oneself in the local ambiance.
Atlanta offers a diverse range of food and beverage options to cater to all preferences, making it a must-visit destination for foodies. Whether you have an appetite for fast-food staples or crave upscale dining experiences at gourmet establishments, the city has something to offer for everyone. Additionally, Atlanta boasts several local breweries that are worth exploring for their unique selection of drinks, making it an ideal place for beer enthusiasts.
3.8. Explore the Atlanta Beltline
For those seeking an outdoor excursion that combines beauty with practicality, a trip to the Atlanta Beltline is essential. This inventive system of green spaces, paths, and transportation links various districts in the city and provides tourists with a simple and environmentally conscious approach to discovering Atlanta’s assorted neighborhoods.
The Atlanta Beltline boasts of its captivating open-air artworks that enhance the already stunning scenery. Several art installations are interactive, offering visitors a distinctive opportunity to interact with them. Furthermore, guided walking tours are provided to provide an in-depth insight into the past and traditions of the surrounding communities linked by the Beltline.
Another popular attraction along the Atlanta Beltline is Skyline Park, a rooftop amusement park located in the historic Old Fourth Ward neighborhood. From here, you can take in breathtaking city views by taking carnival-style rides, playing mini-golf, or attempting your luck with games at this location.
In general, the Atlanta Beltline presents a fantastic opportunity to explore various neighborhoods of the city, admire open-air artworks, and indulge in leisure activities. So don’t miss out on this unique and exciting attraction when planning your list of things to do in Atlanta.
3.9. Visit the High Museum of Art
If you seek a cultural immersion in Atlanta, visiting the High Museum of Art should be on your to-do list. This museum showcases an extensive assortment of more than 17,000 art pieces hailing from different parts of the globe such as American and European art, contemporary art, and African art.
The High Museum of Art not only features its collections but also presents a range of changing exhibitions annually. These displays exhibit the creations of both well-known and up-and-coming artists, giving viewers an assortment of artistic viewpoints and forms.
This museum offers diverse programs and events, including guided tours and family-friendly activities. It caters to art lovers as well as those seeking an engaging educational experience. Conveniently located in the heart of Midtown amidst a vibrant cultural scene, visitors can easily explore their surroundings. If you’re searching for fun yet enriching things to do in Atlanta, don’t forget to include the High Museum of Art on your itinerary!
3.10. Tour Oakland Cemetery
If you’re interested in history and architecture, touring Oakland Cemetery should be on your list of things to do in Atlanta. This historical graveyard spans 48 acres that were established way back in the year 1850. With over 70,000 graves on its premises – including those of numerous famous Atlantans – this cemetery also boasts impressive gardens, sculptures, and architectural marvels that stand as a testament to the city’s cultural heritage.
The cemetery’s guided tours are a favorite among visitors and can be availed throughout the year. They provide an interesting insight into Atlanta’s past, with several tour options available such as the General History Tour which features prominent figures buried in the cemetery and their significant contributions to Atlanta’s growth, and the Gardens of Oakland Tour which showcases its exquisite natural scenery and distinctive plant life.
Oakland Cemetery is also recognized for its distinct events, like the yearly Capturing the Spirit of Oakland Halloween excursion. Throughout this occurrence, guests can be escorted on a night tour of the cemetery and listen to eerie tales about some notable inhabitants. Moreover, other than Halloween activities, cultural functions including concerts and festivals are also held in the cemetery annually.
There is truly an abundance of things to do in Atlanta. The city offers a variety of experiences, one can discover the extensive past of Atlanta by visiting attractions such as Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park and Oakland Cemetery, or engage in outdoor recreation at Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Beltline, or they can even spend their time by checking out some works of Jim Henson.
There are plenty of things to do in Atlanta for those looking to explore the city’s diverse dining and beverage scene. From classic hot dog stands to modern food courts, visitors can indulge in a range of culinary delights during their stay. Art aficionados will appreciate the must-visit attractions that include the Atlanta Botanical Garden and High Museum of Art. Sports enthusiasts can indulge in their passion at both the College Football Hall of Fame and Mercedes-Benz Stadium without disappointment.
Atlanta’s combination of traditional southern hospitality, rich history, and contemporary attractions make it a prime location in the United States. Whether you are passionate about food, sports, cultural heritage, or artistry, Atlanta offers an ideal destination to visit and discover for a remarkable holiday brimming with stimulating activities.
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