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18 Best Things To Do In Atlanta

Victoria Green

There are a lot, really, a lot of things to do in Atlanta.

Every weekend, it seems, there is a festival someplace in Atlanta. Some concentrate on the arts, while others prepare delectable meals. 

Others are responsible for Atlanta’s notable music events. But, aside from the special events, Atlanta has more than enough attractions to visit and things to do.

Atlanta has so many best things to do and so much to offer that you must return several times to see and experience everything. 

On the same day, you may drink Coca-Cola from across the globe, visit the world’s largest aquarium, ride a 200-foot Ferris wheel, or immerse yourself in arts and culture.

Due to Atlanta’s location in the south, the climate is often pleasant. Even if you visit during the winter, you will likely be able to go for a walk, trek, or bike ride. 

Whether you’re spending a week or a weekend in Atlanta, come and taste the Southern flavors at the many eateries around the city.

Where To Stay in Atlanta

Below are some of our favorite accommodation options in the city. Still, we wrote in more detail about where to stay in Atlanta.

The Artmore Hotel – This historical 1924 Midtown Atlanta boutique hotel features a lounge with an adjoining garden and free WiFi. The hotel is 5 minutes walk from the High Museum of Art and 0.8 mi from Piedmont Park, home to the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Click here to book!

The Candler Hotel Atlanta – Located in Atlanta, a 13-minute walk from The World of Coca-Cola, The Candler Hotel Atlanta, Curio Collection by Hilton provides accommodations with a restaurant, private parking, a fitness center, and a bar. Click to read reviews and book!

Urban Glass Tree House – this architectural gem is located in West Midtown and you’re within walking distance of several stores and restaurants. It’s very spacious and quiet. This Glass and Steel home sits on a pie shape lot between GA Tech and Atlantic Station. Great Location. Click here to book!

Get The Atlanta Citypass And Save On Your Visit

The Atlanta CityPass has a great offering to save 44% on admission tickets to five of the best activities while visiting the city. Still, we listed the six admission activities included in this offer. So you would have to leave one out.

Your tickets are valid for one year from the date of purchase. So as soon as you start visiting any of the attractions, you have nine days to visit all five attractions.

Good to know: with the Atlanta CityPass, you ski the ticket lines!

Visit these three compulsory attractions:

  • Georgia Aquarium
  • Zoo Atlanta
  • World of Coca-Cola

And choose two of the following:

  • College Football Hall of Fame
  • National Center for Civil and Human Rights
  • Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Buy the Atlanta CityPass here.

Best Things to Do in Atlanta 

Start At The Centennial Olympic Park

Dancing water fountain in Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta

Built for the Summer Olympic Games in 1996, the Centennial Olympic Park has monthly free concerts, a dancing water fountain for children, and a memorial quilt honoring the victims of the 1996 Olympic bombing.

This vast park is currently the site of many of the city’s festivals and is a favorite place to soak up the sun and, on hot days, cool down in the Fountain of Rings. 

You’ll be interweaving this gorgeous park to get to all the museums and areas of interest included in this post. In addition, numerous relics of its Olympic glories make for great photos.

Whether you want to celebrate, explore, learn, or remember, the Centennial Park District has a variety of world-class activities that will leave you wanting more. 

With over 20 million visitors yearly, there is always something new to see at Downtown Atlanta’s Centennial Park District. That’s why visiting Centennial Park is hands-down one of the best things to do in Atlanta.

Learn More At The Center For Human And Civil Rights Movements

National Centre for Civil and Human Rights
National Centre for Civil and Human Rights- Derek Olson Photography/ Shutterstock

One of Atlanta’s newest museums is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, which opened in 2014 and serves as a museum and a human rights organization. 

The museum’s interactive exhibits and event spaces are spread out on three levels: Through a journey that begins in the 1950s, visitors may see first-hand the devastation of Jim Crow laws and institutionalized racism in the United States of America.

The Center aims to inspire action and change by celebrating the accomplishments of both the American civil rights struggle and the global human rights movement. 

Educational programs and community interactions are critical to the museum’s mission. 

The building got designed with aspirational architectural qualities such as a clean glass façade and two aggressive, curving walls that look like hands holding it.

It looks at small community fights for equality and questions what systems in the United States have yet to be overturned. A visit to this place is, without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Atlanta.

Enjoy The Atlanta BeltLine

People jogging and biking along the Atlanta BeltLine
Atlanta BeltLine – Christopher V Jones/ Shutterstock

One should not visit Atlanta and not experience the BeltLine. The Atlanta BeltLine started with a 1999 thesis project. 

Although that thesis sparked an ambitious urban rehabilitation project, the Atlanta BeltLine is now the city of Atlanta’s most significant undertaking to date. 

Still, the circle around downtown called the belt has since grown into one of Atlanta’s most popular attractions.

In 1870, the West Point and Atlanta Railroad ended in East Point, just west of the town. Then, between 1871 and 1908, a wheel of railroads encircled the city center, linking the various railroads. The consequence would be the “beltline,” as it is currently known.

This project uses the historic 22-mile railway loop around the downtown area to transform it into a multi-use paved route bordering natural flora and artwork. 

BeltLine’s purpose is to link the many communities surrounding downtown Atlanta by providing a location for people to enjoy the numerous paths and stores along the way.

Several portions of the trail are already complete. This urban redevelopment project, which is expected to be completed by 2030, will connect 45 in-town communities, featuring 33 miles of trails, and incorporate 2,000 acres of parks.

In other words, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Atlanta, you must come here.

Taste The History And Impact Of The Coca-Cola Company

Huge Wold of Coca-Cola in Atlanta
Wold of Coca-Cola – 4kclips/ Shutterstock

Discover the history of the world’s most renowned and beloved beverage brand. 

You’ll be immersed in more than 135 years of Coca-Cola memorabilia in approximately 200 objects from across the globe. A typical visit lasts about two hours.

Expositions such as “Taste it!” It gives you the most incredible taste that Coca-Cola products have to offer. 

In addition, you’ll learn a lot about the world’s various drinks as you try them all out and compare them. 

Finally, you may discover a new favorite beverage after learning about the connection between fragrance and flavor.

In Scent Discovery, guests may discover the link between scent and taste, debuting on September 23, 2020. You can buy some Coke souvenirs at the on-site gift shop.

Bring your family, and feel free to take photos and videos of your trip to share with your loved ones. The World of Coca-Cola is hands-down one of the funniest things to do in Atlanta.

Pssst: Discounted entrance included in the Atlanta Citypass!  

Experience The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

Giant Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta – JustPixs/ Shutterstock

You cannot miss the Giant Football shape entrance, where Atlanta offers the best College football fan experience. 

The College Football Hall of Fame moved from South Bend, Indiana, to Atlanta, Georgia, in 2009 to improve its prominence. 

According to tax documents, only two years after moving to Atlanta, the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-A Fan Experience produced $19.9 million in revenue.

Visitors enter through a recreated stadium tunnel and emerge into “The Quad,” a three-story atrium with a massive wall of more than 700 football helmets representing every Division I, II, and III school and the NAIA. Let’s win, for the Gipper is etched on the atrium floor.

The Hall’s cutting-edge technology has an augmented reality booth to see the Georgia Bulldogs run onto the field or LSU’s marching band. Wear a VR Oculus headset to experience 14 collegiate football stadiums. 

In addition, the Hall honors college football’s best, adding to the stories every year through interactive College Football Hall of Fame exhibits.

Good to know: The Football Hall of Fame is near the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is one of the best things to do in Atlanta, especially if you’re a sports lover! 

Explore The Georgia Aquarium

Massive aquarium in the lovely Georgia Aquarium,

When it opened in 2005, the Georgia Aquarium was cited as having more aquatic life than any other aquarium. 

With the inclusion of dolphin and sea lion displays, as well as new species of fish and sea life, the park has continued to expand. 

As a result, the Georgia Aquarium is now one of the world’s best and most extensive non-profit conservation-focused aquariums. The Georgia Aquarium is by far one of our favorite things to do in Atlanta.

Enjoy an overnight stay within one of the aquarium’s displays or swim with whale sharks, manta rays, and other marine life with a wet suit. 

An astonishing 1.2 million gallons of saltwater fill the 185-foot shark gallery. In addition, visitors may get up and personal with these most enigmatic and misunderstood inhabitants swimming past the floor-to-ceiling acrylic windows.

Bring tour toddlers to meet and greet with an animal. Costumed figures, storytime, a craft section, and snacks add to the Toddler Time experience that lasts an hour and a half.

Pssst: Discounted entrance included in the Atlanta Citypass

Observe The High Art Museum

the amazing High Museum of Art in Atlanta
High Museum of Art – f11photo/ Shutterstock

If you want to see pieces of art from around the world, the High Museum of Art in Atlanta is the place to go. 

With more than 16,000 works of art on display, including a permanent collection, Atlanta’s High Museum of Art is one of the best art museums in the U.S.

The High in Atlanta has something for every art fan: a vibrant calendar of special exhibits, a substantial permanent collection, creative educational and family programs, meeting and event spaces, and various eating options.

The collection’s 19th and 20th-century American art, including works by Mary Cassatt, John Singer Sargent, Henry Ossawa Tanner, and many more, is particularly remarkable. 

The museum also has an excellent collection of European works from the 1300s to the 1900s. In addition, the African diaspora masks, figurative sculptures, pottery, and more is enough to delight anyone, which is why visiting this museum is one of the best things to do in Atlanta.

Stroll Through The Atlanta Botanical Garden

Beautifully sculpted plants in Atlanta Botanical Garden

The Atlanta Botanical Garden at Piedmont Park is one of the rare sites that will steal your consciousness of time and space. 

As you stroll around the green spaces, your senses will be overwhelmed by various smells and sights. The delicious scents pull you through flower-lined walks to each exhibit, and time seems to stand still.

Plants (usually evergreen shrubs and trees) get trained into elaborate or stylized patterns and forms in the topiary. You can see this in larger-than-life exhibitions like Alice’s Wonderland Re-Imagined, the Earth Goddes, and Shaggy Dog, to name a few.

Delight in the seasonal exhibits on display, walk through the edible garden, and see where the fruit and veggies come from when you eat at the restaurants. 

The Kendeda Canopy walk bridge provides breathtaking views of the Storza Woods, and after a short stroll, you’ll arrive at the Cascades Garden. All of this and more at Atlanta Botanical Garden! This is hands-down one of the best things to do in Atlanta.

Oh, and it’s good to know that Piedmont Park gets a lot of special events, too. So keep an eye out for their special events calendar.

Enjoy The Museum Of Natural History Fernbank

Life-like Dino sculptures in The Museum Of Natural History Fernbank in Atlanta
The Museum Of Natural History Fernbank – Rob Hainer/ Shutterstock

If you are an avid Dinosaur lover, you will enjoy the area’s larger-than-life exhibits of dino fossils. 

In addition, you can see various displays of nature and animal life in their indoor and outdoor exhibits. 

There is also no reason not to visit more than once since the unique and travel exhibits change from time to time.  

Throughout the year, special exhibitions and huge screen movies vary, providing more opportunities for your children to experience “A World of WOW.” 

In addition, there are several educator-led programs available, giving a completely immersive experience. So plan your next field trip now.

A 900-gallon saltwater aquarium, children’s discovery rooms, a rose garden, and a dining area with a view of a 65-acre hardwood forest are all available, making it one of the funniest things to do in Atlanta. 

Don’t forget that NatureQuest is a cutting-edge children’s wing that includes contact with real animal habitats and investigating ecosystems around the state and in your neighborhood.

Dream Along At The Martin Luther King Jr National History

Well preserved Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site – alisafarov/ Shutterstock

If you have a dream, you should visit Atlanta’s best human rights activist story. Atlanta’s Martin Luther King National Historic Site is tremendously inspirational. The King Center was established by Coretta Scott King in 1968.

Aside from King’s childhood house and the old church, see several displays of the civil rights fights of the 1950s and 1960s, a civil rights walk of fame, a vivid mural, and a Gandhi monument.

The 35-acre area comprises The King Center, the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, outdoor monuments, and a playground and amusement spaces. Formerly a National Historic Site, it was designated a National Historical Park in 2018.

Take the time to see the Children of Courage exhibit in The King Center Visitor Center, whether you have children or not. 

It’s a fantastic approach to bring history to life and remind ourselves that the activities of children and students frequently initiate change.

This is, by far, one of the best things to do in Atlanta.

Visit Zoo Atlanta

Cute panda eating bamboo at Zoo Atlanta

As one of the things to do in Atlanta, the Zoo offers remarkable intimate experiences with over 1,000 creatures worldwide, ranging from well-known native wildlife to severely endangered species on the verge of extinction. 

The Atlanta Zoo is home to the largest population of Western Lowland Gorillas in North America, with family groups in five natural habitats.

Highlights of the Zoo include giant pandas, notably Ya Lun and Xi Lun, twins born to Lun Lun on September 3, 2016, one of North America’s most significant zoological populations of great apes, and a global center of excellence for reptile and amphibian care and research.

One of the Zoo’s most popular attractions is the Zoo Train, a reproduction of an 1863 engine. 

In addition, your kids can interact and touch goats, lambs, and other animals in the petting zoo, climb the rock wall, or traverse the treetop trail.

Pssst: Discounted entrance included in the Atlanta Citypass!  

Have Fun At The Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market rooftop
Ponce City Market rooftop- Nicholas Lamontanaro/ Shutterstock

When locals look for the latest, most fabulous event or the city’s best food and shopping, Ponce City Market or PCM has become a hot gathering place on the BeltLine. 

So, throughout our travels, we found that one must go where the locals go, and Ponce Market is where they go.

Ponce City Market has begun reopening the fully rebuilt historic Sears & Roebuck building, which dates back to the 1860s, with retail, office space, and romantic restaurants

Ponce City Market features a variety of events and activities throughout the year, from Mardi Gras and Halloween festivals to workshops and networking events.

Skyline Park, located atop Ponce City Market, offers boardwalk-style activities, an 18-hole miniature golf course, and traditional carnival cuisine for children and adults. 

The carnival-style rooftop attraction pays homage to the historical site’s former reputation as Ponce de Leon Amusement Park, often known as the “Coney Island of the South.”

Good to know: Krog Street Market in Atlanta’s Inman Park neighborhood is also a wonderful place to visit on the BeltLine. 

Ride On The SkyView Atlanta

Amazing view of Skyview Atlanta and the Atlanta skyline

The SkyView Ferris wheel, which towers over 20 floors above Centennial Olympic Park, offers 42 climate-controlled and private gondolas that provide visitors with some of the most incredible panoramic aerial views of downtown Atlanta and the surrounding metropolitan region. 

Those wanting an even more luxurious experience will like the VIP gondola, which features Ferrari-style seats, a glass floor, and a longer trip time.

Make it a field trip and bring your students to the 360° spinning classroom that is the ideal environment for your children to learn about science, technology, art, engineering, and math in a fun and engaging method that supplements your regular classroom education. 

A complete Study Guide for Grades 3-5 and 6-8 is available for download to complement your field trip experience.

Each gondola can easily accommodate up to 6 full-grown individuals. However, the VIP gondola can only accommodate five. Each ride typically lasts 7-12 minutes. Unfortunately, they do not allow outside food or beverages, but they have the fantastic Carlo’s Pizza stand where you can buy food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Spot A Movie Location

The Swan house- President Snow's Residence in Hunger Games
Swan House in Atlanta History Center – 4kclips/ Shutterstock

There are various movie locations in and around Atlanta that you can go and visit. In addition, movies like The Hunger Games and some scenes of the Walking dead series get filmed in Atlanta.

The property, located on the Atlanta History Center’s grounds, was utilized as President Snow’s residence in “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “Mockingjay: Part 1.”

The Atlanta Marriott Marquis featured in films like “Flight” with Denzel Washington and “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” also has a scene in the elevator of the Marriott Marquis.

Here is a link to more information about movies shot in Atlanta with location sites.

Stay At The Stone Mountain Park

The imposing Stone Mountain Park in Atlanta, Georgia

Stone Mountain Park is home to Georgia’s biggest family campsite, the full-service Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Resort, and the historic Stone Mountain Inn. Stone Mountain Park, spread across 3,200 gorgeous acres, is Georgia’s most visited attraction.

Take your entire family to see the Stone Mountain Lasershow Spectacular. The breathtaking pyrotechnics lights up the night sky while enjoying the choreographed music. 

The excitement never stops at Stone Mountain Park, where family activities abound throughout the year, from hiking to shopping. Everything got built around the world’s most enormous exposed slab of granite (Stone Mountain).

You will need to plan for at least two days to experience everything Stone Mountain offers. 

There is a hotel as well as an RV park. So whether you prefer a rural refuge or a luxurious apartment, you’ll discover the ideal housing option for your summer vacation.

Go Around The City to Taste The Best Food In Atlanta

Free seafood mussels dish- a popular dish in Atlanta

Whether you come to Atlanta for its warm Southern hospitality or vast musical and cultural heritage, you will not be bored or hungry.

Food Tours Atlanta exclusively works with locally owned and run companies that provide more diversity and James Beard award-winning chefs than any other cuisine tour in Georgia, so you know they’re serious about their food.

BiteLines invites you to enjoy Atlanta’s most popular walking route, the Atlanta Beltline. You will find known eateries, new openings, and hidden gems in the city’s revitalization emblem.

Flavors of Atlanta’s delicacies will transport you to the native cuisine of the South and Midtown. In addition, their Atlanta Peachtree Food Tour will take you through the diverse food in stylish Midtown Atlanta.

Find The Tiny Doors

Red painted Tiny Doors Atlanta
Tiny door in Atlanta Georgia

While moving through the city and experiencing its wonders, remember to search for the tiny doors scattered across Atlanta. 

Karen Anderson is the creator of the #TinyDoorsATL initiative. Small doors that only an action figure can fit through may be found spread over Atlanta if you know where to look.

The 7-inch doors are sculptures that are meant to represent the spirit, architecture, and other distinctive aspects of the rest of the city. The numbered doors across Atlanta are always free to visit and open to individuals of all ages.

They appear in unexpected locations, leading you on an urban treasure hunt around Atlanta neighborhoods – there are a couple on the Atlanta BeltLine and even one at the Georgia Aquarium.

Drink Some Beer

A flight of Craft beers

In Atlanta’s craft beer industry, each of the city’s microbreweries and brewers offers a distinctive taste and innovation. 

As a result, this town boasts a plethora of brews to drink, ranging from beers and breweries like SweetWater to locations like New Realm.

If you enjoy stouts, inquire about Atlantucky’s Imperial Rye Stout at Monday Night Garage. It is matured in Kentucky bourbon barrels for ten months with Ugandan vanilla beans.

While you’re drinking local brews, make sure to look at the beautiful beer label art. Local Atlanta breweries have taken beer label art to new heights by taking inspiration from the city’s artistic community. 

As a result, extraordinary designs for beer labels, cans, glasses, and, of course, murals and street art have been created by artists.

More Places Worth Visiting in Atlanta

  • Michael C. Carlos Museum
  • Fox Theatre
  • Westside Park
  • Delta Flight Museum
  • Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
  • Fernbank Science Center
  • Center for Puppetry Arts, including Sesame Street exhibitions

Final Thoughts on What to Do in Atlanta

The most pleasing thing to do in Atlanta is to take in all the sights and sounds this beautiful city offers.

Enjoy nature and science in all of their grandeur before sampling the finest cuisine. Then, look at some of the most influential people in history and feel inspired. 

After that, go on a culinary tour and eat some more. Finally, when genuinely exhausted, find a relaxing bed at the aquarium or stone mountain. And start all over tomorrow.