Ready to explore Atlanta, Georgia? This article is your ultimate guide to the top 40 things to do in this vibrant city. From iconic attractions like the Atlanta Botanical Garden and the Georgia Aquarium, to must-see historical landmarks such as the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park and Centennial Olympic Park, there's something for everyone. Get ready to delve into local history at the Atlanta History Center, experience art at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, and enjoy outdoor activities like paddling along the Chattahoochee River. Foodies can indulge in local flavors, sports fans can cheer on their favorite teams, and there are even unique experiences like searching for tiny doors scattered across the city. It's time to discover all that Atlanta has to offer!
Walking the BeltLine
One of the most popular outdoor activities in Atlanta is walking the BeltLine. The BeltLine is a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails that connects various neighborhoods throughout the city. As you walk along the BeltLine, you'll be immersed in the vibrant culture and urban scenery of Atlanta. You'll pass through charming neighborhoods, parks, and even public art displays. It's the perfect way to stay active while exploring the city and getting a glimpse of its unique character.
Exploring Piedmont Park
Another must-do outdoor activity in Atlanta is exploring Piedmont Park. This 189-acre urban park is a beloved gathering spot for locals and visitors alike. With its lush green spaces, walking paths, and beautiful views of the city skyline, Piedmont Park offers the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. You can take a leisurely stroll, have a picnic, play sports, or simply relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance. The park also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, so be sure to check the calendar for any upcoming happenings during your visit.
Paddling along the Chattahoochee River
For those who love water activities, paddling along the Chattahoochee River is a fantastic option. The Chattahoochee River flows through the city, offering a picturesque setting for kayaking, canoeing, or stand-up paddleboarding. You can rent equipment from one of the many outfitters in the area and embark on a peaceful journey down the river. As you paddle, you'll be surrounded by serene natural beauty, with lush vegetation and abundant wildlife. It's a great way to connect with nature and experience a different side of Atlanta.
Sightseeing and Parks
Visiting the Atlanta Botanical Garden
A visit to the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a feast for the senses. This 30-acre oasis is home to an incredible variety of plants, flowers, and trees from around the world. As you wander through the garden, you'll encounter stunning displays such as the Orchid Display House, the Tropical Rotunda, and the Japanese Garden. The highlight for many visitors is the Canopy Walk, which takes you on a suspended walkway through the treetops, offering breathtaking views of the garden below. Whether you're a nature lover or simply looking for a serene escape, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is a must-visit attraction.
Touring the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
Atlanta holds a special place in American history as the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the epicenter of the civil rights movement. A visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is a powerful and educational experience. You can explore significant sites such as the King Birth Home, where Dr. King spent his early years, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he preached. The park also includes the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, which houses exhibits and archives showcasing the life and legacy of this influential leader. It's a must-visit for anyone interested in learning about the history of the civil rights movement and honoring Dr. King's remarkable contributions.
Exploring Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a central gathering place in downtown Atlanta and a lasting legacy of the 1996 Olympic Games. The park offers a beautiful green space where visitors can relax, have a picnic, or enjoy various events and festivals. One of the park's most iconic features is the Fountain of Rings, a dazzling interactive fountain that delights visitors of all ages. During the summer months, you can cool off in the fountain's water jets or simply sit and watch as the water dances to synchronized music. The park is also surrounded by several notable attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola, making it a convenient starting point for exploring the heart of Atlanta.
Museums and History
Visiting the Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest and most impressive aquariums in the world, home to a vast collection of marine life. With over 10 million gallons of water and thousands of species, a visit to the aquarium offers a truly immersive underwater experience. You can marvel at majestic whales, playful dolphins, colorful tropical fish, and even dive into a tank with the opportunity to swim alongside gentle giants like whale sharks and manta rays. The aquarium also offers educational programs, behind-the-scenes tours, and special exhibits, making it an ideal destination for families, marine enthusiasts, and anyone curious about the wonders of the ocean.
Learning about local history at the Atlanta History Center
To delve deeper into Atlanta's rich history, head to the Atlanta History Center. This sprawling complex houses numerous exhibits, historic homes, gardens, and even a Civil War battlefield. You can explore the fascinating stories of Atlanta's past through displays that cover topics such as the Civil Rights Movement, the Civil War, and the city's cultural heritage. The Atlanta History Center also includes the Swan House, a stunning mansion that serves as a symbol of Atlanta's elite in the early 20th century. With its extensive collection and engaging programming, the center offers a comprehensive understanding of Atlanta's past and its importance in shaping the region.
Visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Another important museum in Atlanta is the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This thought-provoking institution is dedicated to promoting the understanding of civil and human rights through engaging exhibits and interactive displays. You can explore important chapters in history such as the American Civil Rights Movement and gain insights into ongoing struggles for equality and justice around the world. The museum also encourages visitors to become active participants in the fight for human rights, inspiring action and empathy. A visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a powerful experience that challenges and educates visitors about the importance of equality and social justice.
Exploring the College Football Hall of Fame
Sports fans, particularly those with a passion for college football, won't want to miss the College Football Hall of Fame. This interactive museum celebrates the history and heritage of college football and pays tribute to the game's greatest players and coaches. You can immerse yourself in the sport's rich traditions through interactive exhibits, memorabilia, and even a chance to test your skills in the Indoor Playing Field. The Hall of Fame provides a fun and engaging experience for both die-hard fans and casual observers, celebrating the impact of college football on American culture.
Discovering art at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
Art enthusiasts will find plenty to love at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia. This museum is dedicated to showcasing the work of Georgia artists, providing a platform for local talent to shine. You can explore a diverse range of contemporary art, including painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media. The museum also offers educational programs, artist talks, and workshops, allowing visitors to deepen their understanding and appreciation of the art on display. Whether you're a seasoned art lover or simply curious about the local art scene, a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia is sure to inspire and engage.
Watching a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts
For a unique and family-friendly experience, make sure to visit the Center for Puppetry Arts. This institution is dedicated to the art of puppetry and offers a wide range of performances, workshops, and exhibits. You can catch enchanting puppet shows featuring beloved characters, classic tales, and even original productions. The center also houses a museum that showcases an impressive collection of puppets from around the world. Whether you're young or simply young at heart, a visit to the Center for Puppetry Arts will transport you to a magical world of storytelling and creativity.
Visiting the Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Nature lovers and science enthusiasts won't want to miss the Fernbank Museum of Natural History. This fascinating museum takes visitors on a journey to explore the wonders of the natural world. You can wander through immersive exhibits that showcase Earth's diverse ecosystems and learn about the animals, plants, and geology that shape our planet. The museum also includes a world-class collection of dinosaur fossils, giving you the opportunity to come face-to-face with creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago. With its interactive displays, educational programs, and beautiful surroundings, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a captivating destination for all ages.
Shopping and Dining
Shopping and dining at Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market is a vibrant mixed-use development located in the historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building. This sprawling space houses a wide range of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and even offices. You can peruse unique stores offering everything from fashion and home decor to artisanal goods and handmade crafts. When you need a break from shopping, you can indulge in a culinary adventure at one of the many eateries, ranging from casual food stalls to upscale restaurants. Ponce City Market also hosts regular events, including art shows, pop-up markets, and live performances, ensuring there's always something new and exciting to discover.
Exploring Buckhead Village District
For a more upscale shopping and dining experience, head to the Buckhead Village District. This luxurious neighborhood is known for its high-end fashion boutiques, designer shops, and upscale dining establishments. You can explore renowned fashion houses, browse exquisite jewelry stores, and discover unique art galleries. After a day of shopping, you can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the district's many gourmet restaurants, which offer a variety of cuisines and dining styles. The Buckhead Village District is the perfect destination for those looking to indulge in a bit of luxury and pamper themselves with a shopping spree and a delectable meal.
Finding tiny doors around the city
One of the most charming and whimsical experiences in Atlanta is the hunt for tiny doors. These miniature art installations can be found scattered throughout the city, often hidden in unexpected places. From tree trunks and brick walls to garden fences and storefronts, these tiny doors add a touch of magic to your surroundings. Each door is unique and beautifully crafted, inviting you to imagine the stories and worlds that lie behind them. Finding these hidden gems requires a sense of curiosity and a keen eye, making it a delightful adventure for all ages.
Visiting the Trap Music Museum
Music lovers, particularly fans of hip-hop and trap music, should make a point to visit the Trap Music Museum. This immersive museum celebrates the genre's cultural impact and pays homage to its pioneers and artists. You can explore interactive exhibits, installations, and memorabilia that showcase the evolution and influence of trap music. From tribute rooms dedicated to influential artists to a reimagined trap house experience, the museum offers a unique and engaging way to learn about this influential music genre that originated in Atlanta. Whether you're an avid fan or simply interested in learning more about the cultural significance of trap music, a visit to the Trap Music Museum is a must.
Walking the rainbow crosswalk in Midtown
Midtown Atlanta is known for its vibrant and inclusive atmosphere, and one of the most iconic symbols of the neighborhood is the rainbow crosswalk. Located at the intersection of 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, the rainbow crosswalk is a colorful celebration of diversity and LGBTQ+ pride. Walking across this vibrant symbol is a powerful and affirming experience that highlights Atlanta's commitment to equality and inclusion. It serves as a visual reminder of the city's vibrant LGBTQ+ community and their contributions to the cultural fabric of Atlanta. Whether you're part of the community or an ally, taking a stroll across the rainbow crosswalk is a meaningful way to show support and solidarity.
Taking a tour of famous filming locations
Atlanta has become a major hub for film and television production, with countless movies and TV shows being filmed in the city. Film and TV enthusiasts can take advantage of this by embarking on a tour of famous filming locations. You can visit iconic spots from popular shows like "The Walking Dead" or movies like "The Hunger Games" and "Baby Driver." A tour will take you to places that you've seen on the big screen, allowing you to step into the shoes of your favorite characters and see the magic behind the scenes. It's a fun and unique way to experience the city and get a taste of Hollywood right here in Atlanta.
Cheering on the Atlanta Falcons
If you're a sports fan, a trip to Atlanta wouldn't be complete without cheering on the Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons are Atlanta's professional football team and regularly compete in the National Football League (NFL). Attending a game at the iconic Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an exhilarating experience, as you join thousands of fans in rallying behind the team. The stadium offers state-of-the-art amenities, incredible acoustics, and a lively atmosphere that will have you on your feet, cheering and celebrating the Falcons' every move. Whether you're a die-hard football fan or simply love the excitement of live sports, catching an Atlanta Falcons game is a must-do activity in Atlanta.
Supporting Atlanta United FC
For soccer enthusiasts, Atlanta United FC offers an electrifying atmosphere and top-level competition. As Atlanta's professional soccer team, they compete in Major League Soccer (MLS) and have quickly gained a passionate following. Attending a match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium is an unforgettable experience, as you join the team's fervent supporters in cheering on Atlanta United FC. With energetic chants, colorful displays, and an incredible sense of camaraderie, the stadium comes alive with soccer fever. Whether you're a longtime soccer fan or new to the sport, embracing the electric atmosphere of an Atlanta United FC game is a fantastic way to immerse yourself in Atlanta's sporting culture.
Indulging in local flavors at various restaurants
Atlanta's food scene is a vibrant mix of flavors and cuisines, offering a culinary adventure for every palate. From soul food and Southern favorites to international fare and innovative fusion dishes, Atlanta's restaurant scene has it all. You can savor the mouthwatering smokiness of barbecue, sample delicious fried chicken, indulge in Southern-style comfort food, or explore the diverse array of international flavors. The city is also home to numerous award-winning restaurants and celebrity chef establishments, ensuring a memorable dining experience. Whether you're a foodie in search of culinary excellence or simply looking to satisfy your taste buds with delicious flavors, Atlanta's restaurants will not disappoint.
Zoos and Animals
Visiting Zoo Atlanta
For an unforgettable animal experience, head to Zoo Atlanta. This world-class zoo is home to a diverse collection of animals, with a particular focus on conservation and education. You can encounter giants like elephants and gorillas, marvel at playful otters and meerkats, and observe magnificent big cats and birds of prey. Zoo Atlanta is also renowned for its commitment to wildlife preservation and participates in breeding programs for endangered species. In addition to the animal exhibits, the zoo offers educational presentations, animal encounters, and behind-the-scenes experiences, allowing you to deepen your understanding of the animal kingdom. Whether you're visiting with family or exploring on your own, Zoo Atlanta promises a day of wonder and discovery.
Exploring the Porsche Experience Center
Car enthusiasts and speed lovers won't want to miss the opportunity to explore the Porsche Experience Center. Located adjacent to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, this state-of-the-art facility offers a range of thrilling experiences for Porsche enthusiasts. You can take a spin on the purpose-built test track, putting your driving skills to the test as you handle the precision and power of a Porsche sports car. The center also includes interactive exhibits, showcasing the history and innovation behind the Porsche brand. Whether you're a longtime Porsche fan or simply appreciate fine automotive craftsmanship, a visit to the Porsche Experience Center is sure to get your heart racing.
In conclusion, Atlanta offers a wide array of activities and attractions that cater to every interest and preference. From outdoor adventures and sightseeing to museums, shopping, and unique experiences, there's something for everyone in this vibrant city. Whether you're immersing yourself in the rich history and culture, indulging in mouthwatering cuisine, or cheering on the local sports teams, Atlanta is sure to leave a lasting impression. So pack your bags, put on your walking shoes, and get ready to explore all that this incredible city has to offer. Your Atlanta adventure awaits!