Atlanta is a city that should be on every traveler's bucket list. With a rich history, vibrant culture, and endless entertainment options, it's no wonder that millions of visitors flock to this southern gem each year. From world-class museums and art galleries to mouth-watering cuisine and legendary music venues, Atlanta has something for everyone.
Atlanta's National Center for Civil and Human Rights features exhibits that highlight the American Civil Rights Movement and the struggle for human rights that has occurred elsewhere in the world, like South Africa. The center boasts many interactive exhibits as well as collects speeches, newscasts, and other mediums that chronicle civil rights history. Located in downtown Atlanta, the center is an inspiring venue to visit. Besides its permanent exhibits, the center also features temporary exhibits that you won't want to miss when you're in town.
The renowned Georgia Aquarium is home to well over 100,000 aquatic creatures that include everything from alligators to whale sharks. The aquarium features a wide array of permanent exhibits like its River Scout, which showcases animals like electric eels and piranhas. The Tropical Diver features creatures like jellyfish, clownfish, and seahorses. The dolphin exhibit continues to be a fan favorite.
No matter what time of year you visit, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is sure to enchant you with its colorful blooms and thoughtful exhibits. Located near Piedmont Park, the garden features many highlights that are popular with visitors, like its Orchid Display House, Desert House, and Japanese Garden. The garden is situated on 30 acres. If you don't have time to explore it all, be sure to check out the 600-foot-long skywalk to get a dazzling view of the surrounding landscapes.
Piedmont Park is the city's largest and oldest metro park. It features many different highlights that include its swimming pool, playgrounds, lake and fishing piers, running trails, and always-popular Green Market. The park was created in 1895 and has continued to serve as one of the city's most popular green spaces. At any given time, you're likely to find organized sports games and other forms of recreation happening in the park. If you want to take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, be sure to relax in this park.
Discover the history and evolution of one of the world's most favorite beverages at the renowned World of Coca-Cola. The first incarnation of this beloved soft drink was invented back in 1886. Today, it continues to be popular worldwide. You can visit this venue to enjoy the contributions that Coca-Cola has made to popular culture while perusing its wealth of Coca-Cola memorabilia and fun exhibits.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium is home to the NFL's Atlanta Falcons. It's also the home of the Atlanta United FC. When you're in town, you can try to get tickets for a football or soccer game at this world-class stadium. The stadium also hosts major concerts and events. Be sure to check the schedule when you're in town.
Devoted to showcasing natural history in exciting and innovative ways, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History features both permanent and temporary exhibits as well as popular features like an observatory, planetarium, and IMAX theater. Some of the highlights of the museum are its Dinosaur Plaza, A Walk through Time in Georgia, Giants of the Mesozoic, and Reflections of Culture. This world-class museum is a fun destination for people of any age.
Atlanta's Fox Theatre first opened its doors in 1929. Today, it features everything from touring Broadway shows to the Atlanta Ballet. Famously located on Peachtree Street, Fox Theatre is a popular destination among visitors to the city. It sometimes hosts special concerts or other events in its auditorium. With its lavish exterior and ornate interior, the theatre is definitely a glamorous destination.
The High Museum of Art is located on Peachtree Street and attracts throngs of visitors each year with its permanent and temporary exhibits. The permanent collection includes more than 14,000 works of art that range from European masters to contemporary folk art. When visiting, you can expect to see works by painters and sculptors like Bellini, Corot, Rodin, Pissarro, and many more.
Peachtree is easily Atlanta's most famous street, so why not take the Peachtree Trolley Tour when you're in town? They tour major sites on the street that, include Centennial Olympic Park, the Fox Theatre, and other tourist hotspots. Learn about the history of various landmarks as you take in the many sounds and sights of bustling Peachtree Street.
Atlanta's coolest neighborhood will feed you burgers in restaurants with glowing skull facades, tempt you with vintage treasures at stores like Junkman's Daughter, inspire a future skateboarding hobby, and expose you to the city's best street artists and graffiti. Music lovers can while away time at Criminal Records or catch a live show at The Variety Playhouse. You'll also find some fine tattoo artists, so if you've been contemplating getting inked, you can get high-quality body art on Euclid Avenue.
Stans of Netflix's Stranger Things will get a kick out of a private-themed tour of the "Upside Down' filming locations. See where the families you know and love live, check out the studios where the magic happens and catch a glimpse of Hawkins High School and other hangout spots that make up this fictional world. Tours last about three hours, and you'll learn interesting facts about Atlanta along the way. It's an expensive outing but worth it if you're obsessed with the show.
Sweet Auburn was at the heart of African American life in the city before the Civil Rights Movement. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born here, and there's a parade to honor him every year. You can learn more about black history and culture in the area at the Auburn Avenue Research Library. The neighborhood also hosts Sweet Auburn Springfest, a highlight on the local calendar which promises fun for the whole family and always delivers excellent food and music.
The sound effects, projections, and vibrations at Illuminarium Atlanta are immersive and will make you feel like you've been dropped in the middle of the savannah. Interactive elements leave footprints in your wake. The experience takes place in one main room and doesn't take much longer than half an hour, so you can judge whether the ticket price is worth it. Kids aged six and above will get the most out of Illuminarium.
In between toing and froing, you can dial it down a notch at Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park. Here, you can learn more about the icon's struggle to further the African American cause, work that cemented his status in modern history alongside such luminaries as Nelson Mandela and Gandhi. You'll find the church where King and his dad were both pastors, where he lived as a child, and his and Coretta Scott's resting places.
If a scavenger hunt sounds like a good time, you'll have a blast looking for these 7-inch doors dotted around the city. Each door is adorable, decked out differently to reflect the local community, and has a story to tell. The artist Karen Anderson Singer wanted to sprinkle a little joy and creativity around Atlanta, and these colorful doors will, indeed, put a smile on your face. The doors have an augmented reality feature, so you can enter and see what lies beyond your phone.
The David J Sencer CDC Museum is affiliated with the Smithsonian Institution, and admission is free, but you have to have a State ID to enter, and your vehicle will undergo inspection before entry. Go prepared to read because the exhibits are text-heavy, with some videos and displays on disease outbreaks. There's a floor for permanent exhibits and a floor for temporary ones, and pictures aren't allowed. You'll come away knowing much more about public health and various fights to contain pandemics.
Hip-hop culture and trap music get their dues at this expertly-curated venue. You could easily spend two hours here, and breaking out of the Escape Room is a must with energetic actors that enhance the experience. There's a full-service bar for cocktails, a food truck, and merch available for buying. You'll be whipping your camera out because this place is flush with photo opps.
Keen to go kayaking, tubing, fishing, or rafting? You can do all this and more at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. With scenic trail systems, including a lofty bamboo forest, this is the perfect place to get active, enjoy what nature has to offer, and just breathe in an urban green space.
Puppetry is an art and one you'll become well-versed in when you visit the largest organization dedicated to the craft in the whole country. You can look forward to interactive puppet shows, a muppet exhibit, and a gift shop. And you'll feel super nostalgic about your childhood and may want to come back for more during Christmas when Rudolph the Reindeer is in the house.