Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and the largest city in the state, with a population of over six million people. The city is a major tourist destination with attractions like the Georgia Aquarium, the World of Coca-Cola, and the CNN Center. Atlanta is also home to several professional sports teams, including the Atlanta Braves, the Atlanta Falcons, and the Atlanta Hawks. This means that there are plenty of attractions in Atlanta, whether you’re a tourist or a resident.
I had the opportunity to visit this city recently, and I was impressed with all the things it had to offer. I toured most of the tourist attractions, and I also got to experience the nightlife. And in this article, I’m going to share with you the 20 best things to do in Atlanta. Read on!
1. Marvel at the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world, and it’s a must-visit attraction in Atlanta. It houses over 100,000 animals in more than 10 million gallons of water. The aquarium has several exhibits, including a dolphin exhibit, a beluga whale exhibit, and a penguin exhibit.
One of the most popular exhibits at the aquarium is the Ocean Voyager exhibit. This exhibit features a massive tank that is home to whale sharks, manta rays, and other large fish. Visitors can walk through an acrylic tunnel that goes through the center of the tank and view the fish from all angles.
Another highlight of the aquarium is the opportunity to dive or snorkel in the tank with the sharks. However, it should be noted that this experience is not for everyone, and there are some strict requirements that must be met in order to participate. For example, you must be a certified diver and at least 18 years old.
And while the Georgia Aquarium is one of the best things to do in Atlanta, GA, it’s also one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. So, it’s best to buy your tickets in advance to avoid long lines.
2. Explore the World of Coca-Cola
You can’t visit Atlanta without learning about the city’s connection to Coca-Cola. The World of Coca-Cola is a must-visit for any fan of the popular soft drink.
The World of Coca-Cola is an interactive museum that chronicles the history of the world’s most popular soft drink. You’ll learn about the origins of Coca-Cola and how it became a global phenomenon. The museum also features a collection of more than 1,200 artifacts, including the world’s largest Coca-Cola bottle.
In addition to the museum, the World of Coca-Cola also has an interactive bottling plant where you can see how Coca-Cola is made. And no visit to the World of Coca-Cola would be complete without a stop at the Coca-Cola Store, where you can purchase souvenirs.
You don’t have to be a fan of Coca-Cola to enjoy the World of Coca-Cola. But if you are a fan, this is one of the top tourist attractions in Atlanta you must visit.
3. Take the kids to Zoo Atlanta
Kids need also to enjoy their time, and what better way to do it than by visiting one of Atlanta’s best tourist attractions-Zoo Atlanta. This world-class zoo is home to over 1,500 animals from more than 200 species.
Some of the zoo’s most popular residents include the giant pandas, gorillas, lions, and tigers. The zoo also has a petting zoo where kids can get up close and personal with some of the animals. A behind-the-scenes tour is also available that provides an insider’s look at how the zoo operates.
In addition to the animals, the Zoo Atlanta also has a number of educational exhibits. These exhibits teach visitors about the importance of conservation and what they can do to help protect the environment.
4. Take a CNN Studio Tour
If you’re looking for things to do in Atlanta that are unique, be sure to check out the CNN Studio Tour. This is your chance to see how the news is made and get an inside look at one of the most popular news networks in the world.
The CNN Studio Tour is a behind-the-scenes look at how the news is produced. You’ll get to see the control room, studios, and set of CNN’s popular shows. The tour also includes a stop at the CNN Store, where you can purchase souvenirs.
One of the best things about the CNN Studio Tour is that it’s free. However, tickets are required and must be reserved in advance. Tours are offered Monday through Friday and last about 45 minutes.
5. Centre for Civil Human Rights
The Center for Civil and Human Rights is one of the best places to visit in Atlanta. This museum is dedicated to the civil rights movement and the ongoing struggle for human rights around the world.
The museum offers a powerful and emotional experience as you walk through the galleries and learn about some of the key events in the civil rights movement. You’ll see artifacts, photos, and films that document the struggles of those who fought for equality.
One of the highlights of the museum is the lunch counter sit-in exhibit. This interactive exhibit allows visitors to experience what it was like to participate in a lunch counter sit-in during the civil rights movement. You can also listen to personal accounts from some of the individuals who were involved in the movement.
A tour of the Center for Civil and Human Rights is one of the best things to do in Atlanta for those who want to learn more about the civil rights movement and the struggle for equality.
6. Tour the High Museum of Art
Do you want to see some of the best art collections in the United States? Then you need to visit the High Museum of Art. This museum is home to a collection of more than 18,000 works of art, making it one of the largest collections in the Southeast.
The museum has a wide variety of art, from traditional paintings and sculptures to contemporary works. The museum also has an extensive collection of photographs, prints, and drawings. In addition to the permanent collection, the museum also hosts a variety of temporary exhibitions. These exhibitions showcase the work of both local and international artists.
Highlights of the museum are the 19th and 20th-century American art, 19th-century French paintings, the African art collection, and the contemporary art collection. Therefore, take a break from sightseeing and enjoy some of the best art in Atlanta at the High Museum of Art.
7. Atlanta Botanical Garden
There’s no better place to appreciate the beauty of nature than at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This 30-acre oasis in the heart of the city is home to a wide variety of plant life, as well as sculptures by renowned artists.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is divided into different gardens, each with its own unique character. The Fuqua Orchid Center is one of the best places to see rare and exotic flowers. The Japanese Garden is a tranquil spot that’s perfect for a peaceful stroll. And the Desert House is home to a variety of cacti and other desert plants.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden also offers a variety of programs and events throughout the year. You can take a yoga class in the garden, go on a guided tour, or attend one of the many concerts and performances held in the garden.
Whether you’re a plant lover or just looking for a place to relax, a visit to this botanical garden is one of the best things to do in Atlanta.
8. Enjoy the best views of Atlanta from the SkyView Ferris Wheel
For breathtaking views of Atlanta, take a ride on the SkyView Ferris Wheel. This Ferris wheel is 200 feet tall and offers stunning views of the city from its 42 climate-controlled + private gondolas.
The ride lasts between 7-12 minutes, and each gondola can accommodate up to 6 people. This is perfect for couples or small groups who want to enjoy the views together. The ride is smooth, and the gondolas are climate-controlled, so you can enjoy the views even on hot summer days.
And being one of the most popular tourist attractions in Atlanta, expect long lines during weekends. So, it’s best to buy your tickets online in advance or visit on weekdays.
9. Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics and is now one of the best places to visit in Atlanta. The 22-acre park features lawns, walking paths, fountains, and several monuments.
The centerpiece of Centennial Olympic Park is the Fountain of Rings, which is a towering fountain that features the Olympic rings. The park also has a playground, a walking trail, and a statue of Olympian Muhammad Ali. In addition to the attractions, the park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year. These events include concerts, festivals, and sporting events.
A visit to this park is definitely one of the best things to do in Atlanta for anyone who loves the Olympics or just wants to enjoy a beautiful park. The park is also a great place to take the kids, as there are several family-friendly activities and programs available.
10. Have Fun at LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta
If you have kids who love LEGO, a visit to the LEGOLAND Discovery Center Atlanta is a must. This attraction is located in Phipps Plaza and is geared towards kids ages 3-10.
At the LEGOLAND Discovery Center, kids can enjoy 4D cinema, LEGO rides, LEGO builds & play zones, and a Duplo farm. The highlight of the attraction is the LEGO Factory Tour, where kids can see how LEGO bricks are made.
In addition to the attractions, the LEGOLAND Discovery Center also has a cafe and a LEGO store. The cafe is a great place to take a break from all the fun and grab a bite to eat. And, at the LEGO store, you can purchase LEGO sets to take home with you.
11. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame
If you’re a fan of college football, then a visit to the College Football Hall of Fame is a must. This museum is located adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park and is dedicated to preserving the history of college football.
The museum features a number of interactive exhibits that tell the story of college football. You can also see artifacts from some of the most famous college football teams, like the Heisman Trophy and the national championship trophy. In addition to the exhibits, the College Football Hall of Fame also has a theater where you can watch videos about college football.
A visit here is definitely one of the best things to do in Atlanta if you’re a fan of college football. Even if you’re not a fan of the sport, the museum is still worth checking out as it’s a great place to learn about the history of college football.
12. Watch a movie at Fox Theatre
For a truly unique movie-watching experience, visit the Fox Theatre. This historic theatre was built in 1929 and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Atlanta. The theatre has a capacity of over 4,600 and is one of the largest movie theatres in the country.
The Fox Theatre is best known for its grandiose design and architecture. The theatre’s interior is designed to look like a Moroccan palace and features a domed ceiling. The theatre also has a Mighty Mo organ that is played before every movie. In addition to movies, the Fox Theatre also hosts a variety of live events such as concerts, ballets, and Broadway shows.
During my last visit, I watched the classic film “Gone with the Wind.” The experience was unlike any other, and I would highly recommend it to anyone visiting Atlanta.
13. Explore the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
We can’t talk about the best things to do in Atlanta without mentioning the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park. This park is dedicated to the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and to telling the story of the Civil Rights Movement.
Tours of the park take you to some of the most important sites, including King’s childhood home, the church where he preached, and his grave. The park is also home to the King Center, which has a museum with exhibits on King’s life and the Civil Rights Movement.
The park is located in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, which was once home to a number of notable African Americans. Today, the neighborhood is still an important part of the Atlanta community and is home to a number of businesses and cultural attractions.
14. Enjoy the outdoor at Stone Mountain Park
If you’re looking for outdoor adventure, Stone Mountain Park is the place to go. This 3,200-acre park is located just outside of Atlanta and features a wide variety of activities to enjoy.
One of the most popular things to do at Stone Mountain Park is taking the Summit Skyride to the top of Stone Mountain. This Aerial Tramway takes you to the top of the mountain for stunning views of the city. You can also hike to the top of Stone Mountain if you’re feeling adventurous.
Other activities at Stone Mountain Park include canoeing, horseback riding, miniature golf, and gem mining. The park also has a playground and a carousel for the kids.
One of the best times to visit Stone Mountain Park is during the Christmas holiday season, when the park is decorated with over two million lights. This is one of the events that make Atlanta one of the best places to visit during Christmas.
15. Shop at the Lenox Square Mall
Lenox Square is one of Atlanta’s best shopping malls and a popular tourist attraction. This four-level indoor mall is home to over 198 stores, including high-end retailers like Neiman Marcus, Macy’s, and Bloomingdale’s.
In addition to the wealth of shopping options, the Lenox Square Mall also has a food court with over 20 different dining options. And, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Atlanta with kids, the mall also has a number of kid-friendly attractions, including an indoor carousel and a play area.
What’s also great about the Lenox Square Mall is that it’s located in Buckhead, one of Atlanta’s most popular tourist areas. So, if you’re staying in this part of the city, you won’t have to go far to enjoy some of the best shopping in Atlanta.
16. Enjoy the outdoors at Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park is one of the best places to visit in Atlanta if you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors. This 189-acre park is located northeast of Downtown and is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The park has something for everyone, with a playground, basketball courts, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a lake. Piedmont Park is also a great place to take a walk or go for a run, as it has miles of trails. And, if you’re visiting Atlanta with kids, they’ll be sure to enjoy the park’s playground and splash pad.
I visited this park last summer and enjoyed taking a walk around the lake. The park was bustling with activity, and there were plenty of people out enjoying the beautiful weather. In addition, there are two dog parks located within the park, so it’s a great place to bring your furry friend.
17. Tour the Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is a must-visit for history buffs and anyone who wants to learn more about the city of Atlanta. The center is located in Buckhead and features a museum, historic homes, and gardens.
This museum is one of the best places to learn about the Civil War, as it has an extensive collection of artifacts from the conflict. The museum also covers other aspects of Atlanta’s history, from its founding to present. Each section explores different aspects of Atlanta’s history through artifacts, photos, and videos.
In addition to the museum, the Atlanta History Center also has two historic homes– the Smith Family Farm and the Swan House. These homes are furnished with period furniture and offer a glimpse into what life was like in Atlanta during the 19th century.
The Atlanta History Center also has six historic gardens that are perfect for a stroll. The most popular garden is the Frank A. Smith Rhododendron Garden, which features different varieties of rhododendrons.
All in all, the Atlanta History Center is a great place to learn about the city’s past and present. And, with its convenient location in Buckhead, it’s also a great place to spend a day if you’re looking for the best things to do in Atlanta.
18. Historic Oakland Cemetery
I know you’re probably thinking, “A cemetery? Does that really sound like a fun thing to do?” But, trust me, Oakland Cemetery is one of the best places to visit in Atlanta.
This burial ground began operation in 1850 and is the final resting place for some of Atlanta’s most notable citizens. However, this changed dramatically after the Civil War when Oakland Cemetery became a burial ground for Union soldiers.
Today, Oakland Cemetery is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Atlanta and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1976. The cemetery is beautiful and a great place to take a walk and learn about Atlanta’s history. The cemetery is also home to a number of beautiful sculptures and monuments, as well as the city’s first public mausoleum.
19. Truist Park Tours
If you’re a baseball fan, you’ll want to add a tour of Truist Park to your list of the best things to do in Atlanta. This baseball stadium is home to the Atlanta Braves and can accommodate up to 41,084 fans.
The tour to Truist Park takes you behind the scenes of this world-class stadium. You’ll get to see the press box, locker rooms, VIP lounges, and seating. You’ll also learn about the history of the Atlanta Braves and get an insider’s look at how the ballpark operates.
If you happen to be in Atlanta when the Braves are playing, be sure to catch a game. Tickets can be purchased in advance or on the day of the game. And, if you’re looking for a souvenir, there’s a Braves Team Shop located inside the stadium.
20. Have fun at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area is a great place to visit if you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors. This 48-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River is located just outside Atlanta and is a popular spot for fishing, kayaking, and tubing. Swimming in the recreation area is also allowed, but there are no lifeguards on duty.
There are also plenty of hiking trails located within the recreation area. And, if you’re looking for a challenge, you can try your hand at rock climbing. The recreation area also has a number of picnic areas where you can enjoy a picnic lunch.
These are just a few of the best things to do in Atlanta. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure, educational fun, or just a place to relax, you’ll find it in Atlanta. And since you can’t do everything in one trip, you’ll just have to come back and visit again. Pick four or five of these activities and create your own Atlanta itinerary.