The “City of Trees,” Atlanta, is the most densely populated city and the capital of Georgia, USA. Located in the foothills of the Appalachians, the city is roofed by an outsized number of forests with an elevation above most of the southeastern cities around the Mississippi River.
It’s famous for its hospitality and diverse cultural influence. It attracts people of all ages because of the progressive festivals, art, museums, hyped music scenes, recreation parks, and amazing food.
The hustle and bustle begin even before dawn, and the vibrant city lights have the magic to captivate you even on a dull day. A fun trip in a city like this could turn into one of the most memorable times of your life!
Here is a list of attractions and many of the best things to do in Atlanta.
1. A Guided Tour of the World of Coca-Cola
Address: 121 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
It is more like a museum- presenting you with the history of the famous beverage brand Coca-Cola. The tickets are affordable, and they also do a VIP guided tour.
You can watch a movie about the history of Coke in 3D theatre, explore the vault where they keep the key formula of the soft drink, get an experience of the method of scent discovery, and check out a wide range of Coca-Cola flavors from all around the world, free of cost.
The World of Coca-Cola is also famous for holding grand events downtown. The picturesque setting is ideal for capturing jolly photographs, and the Coca-Cola store also has a broad range of Coke merchandise and exquisite souvenirs.
Overall, The World Of Coca-Cola has a family-friendly environment, making it one of Atlanta’s most visited attractions.
2. Delightful Parks and Recreation Areas
2.1. Visit Piedmont Park, Atlanta
Address: Atlanta, GA 30309, United States
Located between Midtown and Virginia Highland, Piedmont Park has green spaces and is the center of many fun activities. It is well known for planned festivals and sports events like volleyball, tennis, and soccer.
You can go on a bike ride, get access to the swimming pool, and explore the Atlanta Botanical Garden, which is simply walking distance from the park. Take a soothing walk through the long trails of pretty flowers & trees while admiring a wide lake filled with ducks.
It has a Japanese-style play area for kids. The park is animal friendly, especially for dogs, a good place for a picnic with family and kids, good maintenance, and a nature-friendly environment.
2.2. Centennial Olympic Park in Downtown Atlanta
Address: Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
This park was built for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Georgia. It is a 22-acre open space downtown and one of the city’s memorable parks.
You can explore remarkable Greek sculptures in honor of the athletes. The famous memorial quilt was built to commemorate the victims of the 1996 Olympic bombarding. It has highly maintained expensive lounges and also holds weekly concerts.
The center of attraction is the dancing water fountain, shaped in a ring pattern. There is also an artificial water garden near the five Quilt Plazas, perfect for clicking selfies.
The Centennial Olympic Park is merely a street from The World Of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium.
2.3. Explore the Stone Mountain Park, Atlanta
Address: 1000 Robert E Lee Blvd, Stone Mountain, GA 30083, United States
Yes, this is the “Stone Mountain” from the famous speech “I Have A Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The Stone Mountain Park brings in more than 2 million tourists every year.
Stone Mountain, shaped like a gigantic tomb, is one of Atlanta’s major attractions. It has quartz and granite as its core minerals. You can take a self-guided tour with friends and family.
The best time to visit this park is during the evenings. You can’t miss the spectacular Laser Show, which illuminates the entire area with lasers, fireworks, 3D lighting, and music. The park provides luxurious hotel facilities and restaurants that serve local food.
It’s an excellent idea to have fun at the Summer SkyRide at the mountain’s peak. This park is great for hiking and camping as well. Since the park remains open till 10:00 p.m., you can end your evening by watching the magnificent sunset.
If you visit around November, you’ll get to enjoy an unforgettable Halloween festival as well!
3. Explore the Nature in Atlanta
3.1. Visit Georgia Aquarium in Downtown Atlanta
Address: 225 Baker St NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
Built in 1977, the Georgia Aquarium has been Atlanta’s most pleasing tourist attraction. Make the most of your tour by exploring over thirty thousand marine creatures.
A number of them include whale sharks, crabs, sea otters, penguins, and a whole variety of exceptional aquatic animals. You can expect a 3D dolphin show in the aquarium, which also displays the tunnels and tanks in detail.
They also make it possible to dive with the dolphins and whales behind the scenes, making it an exciting and fun experience for you. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, tackling into the shark cage will prove to be a thrilling adventure!
The staff is very maintained and well-informed of the whereabouts of the aquarium. You can walk to the shop nearby to collect unique souvenirs.
The Georgia Aquarium also has food amenities- the menu in Café Aquaria includes pizza, pasta, and a variety of desserts. It’s open from morning till 10:00 p.m. and is kid-friendly as well.
3.2. Atlanta Botanical Garden in Midtown Atlanta
Address: 1345 Piedmont Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, United States
Visit this garden near Piedmont Park in midtown Atlanta to marvel at nature. There are various plants grown for research purposes and fun for adults as well as kids. This is the most family-friendly attraction in Atlanta. The tickets are free for kids under three years of age.
There are beautiful gardens, such as the rose garden and the Japanese garden. The Lou Glenn garden is perfect for children to play and have fun. You can walk through the unique Alice in Wonderland sculptures and the Glass Art in Bloom, and look at different shrubs and flowers.
Do not miss the lively canopy walk, the colorful Earth Goddess, and a stroll through the orchid garden. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is also available for specific events in the city.
You can go to the Longleaf restaurant or the Snack Bar for quick bites. There are plenty of bars providing food services throughout the garden.
The number of exciting attractions in this city never disappoints- they are abundant!
3.3. Zoo Atlanta Self-Guided Tour
The zoo preserves more than sixty species- different apes, elephants near mini waterfalls, lions near caves, and unique reptiles like lizards and snakes. You’ll find beautiful flamingos at the entrance of the zoo.
The famous Panda exhibits include Red Panda and Giant Panda- yes, there are many adorable pandas, and the visitors can enjoy indoor and outdoor access.
They also preserve several species of birds that have become extinct worldwide. It is an exciting place for adults as well as for kids. The best rides for kids are the merry-go-round, zoo train, and rock wall climbing.
The Zoo Atlanta volunteers and management staff help with extra information regarding the location. They offer clean restrooms. Food prices are high, but the menu contains delicious snacks.
Major zoo areas are wholly shaded, which aids during a comfortable walk, no matter the season. Evening events include live music, tasting beer samples, and observing different animals.
Zoo Atlanta is the best place to get in tune with nature and your wild side!
Hotels near Zoo Atlanta are The Social Goat, Modern Bungalow Near Downtown, and The Peach House.
3.4. Trip to the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, Georgia
Plan a fun trip to one of Atlanta’s top attractions- and escape from the monotony of city life.
The river has a 48-mile stretch filled with rocky streams, scenic forests, and clear water, ideal for adventurous activities.
Take a walk to enjoy natural beauty, and have a picnic with family and friends! The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area offers leisure activities related to river rafting, fishing the clear waters, and exploring the river’s banks.
You can catch extraordinary views from pebbly cliffs and visit ancient relics of the mill. One part of the river has transparent, placid water stretches, and the other has effervescent, stormy water, offering exciting activities.
Youngsters find running and free hiking events as the most common activity. Do not miss taking pictures of the sunset near the lakes and at the spillway waterfall!
The riverbank also contains wild plants and animals, which are native inhabitants of the area. The most commonly spotted animal is the river otter.
4. Know the History, Art, and Explore Museums
Regarding arts and culture, the list of attractions in Georgia continues. Let’s find out which museums are worth exploring!
4.1. Visit Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta
Address: 767 Clifton Rd, Atlanta, GA 30307, United States
Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a 75-acre museum exhibiting natural records on a different level.
It presents the prehistoric fossils of the largest dinosaurs that ever existed in the world, including the Argentinosaurus and Giganotosaurus. These were from the Mesozoic era- around 48-foot-long fossils.
The museum also features Fernbank Forest and Wildwoods, which specialize in the natural art of the world through scenic beauty and live demonstrations.
A few outdoor adventures like caves, galleries, and 3D flicks in the large theatre are more interesting. It has many activities, especially for kids, like Nature Quest, where they experience practical, engaging circumstances and live animal shows.
4.2. Tour of Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta
Address: 1404 Spring St NW, Atlanta, GA 30309, United States
Watch live shows, exhibitions, and events with your family in Atlanta’s Center for Puppetry Arts. This museum has great samples of puppets from different places for lovers of art and puppet production.
One of the best things to do in Atlanta’s Center Of Puppetry Arts is to participate in the Create-A-Puppet workshop, which is very interactive and provides hands-on experience in puppet fabrication. You can arrange a tour guide for the museum, each group with twenty members.
Some iconic exhibits include Jim Henson’s Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, very popular with people of all ages. You’ll also find the original puppet of SkekUng from The Dark Crystal, Corpse Bride, monsters, goblins, and a few adorable puppets.
The staff is extremely knowledgeable and entertaining. They also enlighten the general public regarding the cultural backgrounds of puppetry in several continents- Asia, Africa, and Europe.
Restaurants near Atlanta’s art museum are Vespucci’s, DaVinci’s Pizzeria, Silver Skillet, and Twelve Eighty.
4.3. Trip to the High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Address: 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, United States
If you’re a keen observer and lover of art, this place is something you’ll always remember.
The campus is aesthetically stunning, filled with over a thousand paintings, sculptures, and historical works of artists who influenced worldwide culture. You can check out the work of current self-taught artists, enlighten yourself about modern and abstract art, and enjoy several famous photographs.
Aside from modern art, the High Museum of Art reflects on the diversity of artists’ work in history. They have a separate African-American art collection to contemplate the culture’s deep history, ranging from contemporary to ancient art forms.
From all the attractions in the city, this is the only museum with such rich exhibits of decorative arts and design, along with the largest collection of European art. It symbolizes the continent’s progress in scientific innovations, religion, and growth in social status over the last seven hundred years. The museum also offers event planning in the city.
Don’t miss out on this one gem of a place during your tour to Atlanta!
4.4. Take a Tour of the Atlanta History Center in Georgia
Address: 130 W Paces Ferry Rd NW, Atlanta, GA 30305, United States
Remember to visit the Atlanta History Center while you’re in the city! It is the foremost important landmark of Atlanta, which is also a research center situated in Buckhead district.
It is a package of everything significant in the history of Atlanta. Start with the Swan House, built under Italian architecture, featuring antique items and classic car models.
There are multiple activities for kids, including school kids who visit the museum for an educational tour, such as exploring the Smith House and Farm; there’s a lot of play area outdoors, and they can interact with poultry animals at the farm.
The most eye-catching is the Cyclorama, which displays the Battle of Atlanta, a 360-degree fresco with a 3D background and figurines representing the Civil War. The Atlanta History Center also exhibits the life and achievements of Georgia’s famous golf player, Bobby Jones.
You can also walk around the house of the famous award-winning author Margaret Mitchell and examine the literary criticism of her award-winning novel, Gone With The Wind.
Atlanta History Center also supports open discussions and debates about the content of the book and the film and the personal life and achievements of Margaret Mitchell. It is a must-see for students, even if they’re in for a vacation.
There is free parking. Do check out the menu of the Souper Jenny café and Bash coffee shop while you’re on the premises.
4.5 National Center for Civil and Human Rights and Importance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Address: 100 Ivan Allen Jr Blvd NW, Atlanta, GA 30313, United States
Located right next to the Georgia Aquarium, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights has various exhibits related to civil rights, global human rights, and the actions taken for these rights worldwide.
You can experience the most informative tourist place in the city and learn about the American Civil Rights movement and the efforts of well-known personalities like Jimmy Carter and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Visitors can view Martin Luther’s papers and items and participate in open debates about human and civil rights. They are filled with true stories and happenings with the African American people in the Civil War and their contribution to the Civil Rights Movement.
4.6. Legoland Discovery Center, Atlanta: The Best Place for Kids to Play
Address: 3500 Peachtree Rd NE Suite G-1, Atlanta, GA 30326, United States
Legoland is a playful indoor family attraction where you can have fun with your kids and build Lego toys.
The Legoland Discovery Center is built inside a posh shopping arena called Phipps Plaza. It has models of neighboring landmarks portrayed in Lego bricks. Visitors are given demonstrations of the method of Lego bricks manufacturing. It is one of the best things to do in Atlanta if you’re on vacation with kids.
Famous for hosting birthday parties and educational events, the 4D movie theatre is a must-see. They even have fun rides for kids, along with Pirate Adventure Island and Duplo Park.
5. Other Things to Do in Atlanta
5.1. Visit the Fox Theatre
Address: 660 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, United States
Popularly referred to as the Fabulous Fox Theatre, it is famous for live entertainment. The interiors of this attraction are mostly a mixture of exotic ancient Egyptian, Islamic, and Moroccan designs. The historic architecture is gorgeous and lavish, starting from the lobby to the bathrooms as well.
Regardless of what it is- the first family trip, with or without kids, the first date, the first get-together, or just a local hangout plan, this theatre is the epitome of bringing people together!
The theatre has 4,678 seats and is booked for more than 200 performances per annum. The theatre conducts stage shows and performances of genres like comedy, ballet, Broadway, and rock shows; it also features popular artists.
No matter the events, there is a special aesthetic ambiance within the theatre that attracts tourists worldwide. The staff is friendly too.
If you would like to book tickets, the best solution is to buy them from the Fox Box Office rather than the ticket counter at the entrance. There are several options to eat outside, on Peachtree Street, although snacks are offered inside the theatre premises.
5.2. Ebenezer Baptist Church
Address: 101 Jackson St NE, Atlanta, GA 30312, United States
Another major landmark of Atlanta is the Ebenezer Baptist Church, close to the Martin Luther King Jr. House. It is considered the final resting place for Dr. Martin Luther King and his beloved wife, thus making it an important attraction in the city.
The red-brick structured church was founded in 1886 by an African-American congregation, and it still plays records of Dr. King’s influential and wise sermons.
It also has an outdoor area where people respect and honor Dr. King since he served as a senior pastor back in his days.
5.3. A Walk through the Oakland Cemetery
Address: 248 Oakland Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30312, United States
As the name suggests, the cemetery is covered with oak trees all around and is also regarded as Atlanta’s oldest local park.
Being the largest cemetery in Atlanta, it is the final resting place for famous people like Maynard Jackson, the former mayor of Atlanta. Other personalities include authors, soldiers, and pioneers.
This Victorian-style cemetery serves as a reflection of the progressive culture of the city. You’ll also come across remarkable monuments when you visit the Oakland Cemetery.
5.4. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Address: 1280 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30309, United States
If you enjoy music, this is the right place for you. This place holds the best classical concerts ranging from Bach to Beethoven. Robert Spano is the current leading director here.
Overall, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has high-class acoustics and an elegant choir full of trained classical musicians.
You can try different snacks from the lounge inside the orchestra center, although there are several restaurants across the street as well.
5.5. Ponce City Market
Address: 675 Ponce De Leon Ave NE, Atlanta, GA 30308, United States
It’s located near the Atlanta Beltline Trail and comprises several national retail shops and food halls with an exquisite menu. It also has an amazing rooftop recreational area where people can have fun or chill out in the open.
Famous hotels near the market are The Georgian Terrace, Loews Atlanta Hotel, Renaissance Atlanta Midtown Hotel, and Hyatt Centric Midtown Atlanta.
Well, this is just a short guide about things to do in Atlanta. Hurry up and book your tickets for your next vacation to this wonderful city!