Things To Do In Atlanta
In the heart of the city and adjacent to Piedmont park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden boasts 30 acres of flowers, landscaping, and beautiful topiaries. Kids can play and learn in the award winning children’s garden with hands-on activities like the “painting wall,” outdoor instruments and, in warmer months, the interactive splash pad and the honeybee exhibit. Adults can also enjoy cooking and gardening classes, visit the Garden Gift Shop, and dine at Longleaf for a sit-down meal or a cup of coffee. The gardens are never the same twice; from live concerts in the park to wondrous lights at Christmas time to colorful flowers in the spring, there’s something new and beautiful every season!
For the kids and the kids at heart, the Center for Puppetry Arts is the place to visit. It has the biggest collection of Jim Henson puppets and movie props in the world. From the well known Muppets and Sesame Street, to the cult classic Dark Crystal you’ll be amazed by the sheer imagination that started with one man. Not only do they have a great museum, but they also offer some of the world’s best puppet theatre with a rotating show season and a puppet art class to match the story. The Center For Puppetry Arts even offers some fun date nights for adults. They say it’s not easy being green, but here Kermit will take you on a journey into your childhood and imagination!
Looking for a bit of everything? The Atlanta Beltline has you covered. This beltline is 33 miles of trails, 22 miles of transit and over 1,300 acres of public parks. It’s a great place to go on a walk, run, or ride your bike. You can make a pit-stop to take in beautiful nature, eat at one of the many restaurants at Ponce City Market, and see awesome urban art in the tunnels and sculptures along the way. So grab a coffee and let the Beltline show you a connected city full of art, parks, food, and fun in an urban landscape.
Arguably the most beautiful view in all of Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park is where you can see the city from 1,686 feet above the ground. The park offers history alongside nature trails and parks. For those in the mood to achieve a big feat, you can actually (with some good pacing and breaks) climb this mountain. For those looking for the views without breaking a sweat, you can pay to ride a cable car to the top. It’s a view that will take your breath away (if you haven’t already lost it climbing the mountain). The park offers different festivals during the year and on some nights, an incredible laser light show. Pack a picnic and enjoy some Atlanta history and stunning views at this beautiful park.
Keep your eyes peeled while adventuring in Atlanta and you might discover one of the eighteen tiny doors hidden across the city. Each door highlights an iconic Atlanta area or attraction. This one-of-a-kind, real-life scavenger hunt will bring you to some fun places and show you a city full of art and architecture. Our favorite door is the one in Grant Park (go to this door, open it up and look inside to see something cool!). If you post a picture, be sure to include the hashtag #tinydoorsatl in your caption to join in spreading the joy of this whimsical project!
Muchacho combines two incredible things: tacos and coffee. A local favorite and hidden gem, Muchacho is located in downtown Atlanta along the Beltline. This quirky taco shop has some serious retro west coast vibes and indoor and outdoor seating, making it a great place to hang out with family and friends. Their menu includes breakfast tacos, lunch tacos, coffee, fresh poke bowls, amazing avocado toast, and did we say tacos? If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, Muchacho is the place to go!
Looking for camping in the city? Look no further than Ladybird Grove and Mess Hall! Located in the Old Fourth Ward, this venue is Atlanta’s first outdoor oriented restaurant and bar to open along the Beltline. Ladybird offers a variety of campfire inspired foods for lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch, and has on shareable, family-style dishes. If you go with a large group we suggest ordering the “Woodsman’s Breakfast”- a variety of classic breakfast delights with an indulgent twist. Come sit around the campfire day or night and enjoy this local hotspot.
Home to the resting place of more than 70,000, the Historic Oakland Cemetery is a place you should visit to soak in the history of people who helped change the city of Atlanta. Some famous resting places include Selena Butler (Georgia Women of Achievement honoree and cofounder of the national PTA) and Margaret Mitchell (Pulitzer prize winner and writer of Gone with the Wind). You can visit the grounds for a self guided tour for free, or you can buy tickets for a guided tour. No matter how you choose to visit the cemetery, you will leave understanding more about those who inhabited Atlanta and made it what it is today.
If you don’t go to Ponce City Market when you visit Atlanta, you’re missing out! The historic building has been renovated as a lively community center with the Central Food Hall, various shops, flats and offices. The Food Hall has something for everyone’s taste buds- fried chicken, ramen, Korean, Italian, seafood and more. Ponce is filled with unique shops, including one of our favorites- Citizen Supply, where you can find local and international artisan goods. If you want a unique dining experience, check out the weekend rooftop brunch (we suggest making a reservation ahead of time here).
There is only one place in the world where you can enter the secret recipe vault of a world famous drink: the World of Coca-Cola. Learn about the history of the iconic brand through interactive exhibits like the Coca-Cola theater, Milestones of Refreshments,Pop Culture Gallery and more! The highlight of the tour is tasting over 100 different flavors of Coca-Cola around the world. If you want a good laugh- try the “Beverly” drink. If you’re a coconut fan, try “Bibo” from South Africa. You can even meet the world-famous polar bear mascot and take pictures with him! You’ll leave the World of Coca-Coca with your soda cravings satisfied and lots of fun photos.
It is our pleasure to introduce you to the home of the first Chick-fil-A! This old-school, diner-style restaurant is built on old brick and has a unique red roof- making it look like an old home. It’s outside of the city, but close to the International Airport, so it’s the perfect place to eat before or after your flight to or from Atlanta. The Dwarf House is open 24 hours, 6 days a week, and serves food that is not on the normal Chick-fil-A menu. Some staples are the chicken and waffles, BLT sandwich, and the famous “Hot Brown.” Make sure to walk through the tiny, “dwarf” red door to start your adventure at the first of over 2,000 Chick-fil-A restaurants.
The largest aquarium in the western hemisphere, the Georgia Aquarium is educational, exciting, and adventurous for guests of all ages. With more than 10 million gallons of water, 500 different species, you’ll be impressed by the exhibits and animals- including four whale sharks! Come see the adorable bond between the dolphins and their trainers in the entertaining Dolphin Show. If you have a favorite sea animal, upgrading your ticket to an animal encounter is something you won’t ever forget! The perfect day-time activity with family or friends, watch, learn, and interact with some amazing aquatic creatures at one of the world’s best aquariums.
Zoo Atlanta is one of only four zoo in the United States to see pandas and is home of the only set of twin pandas in the US. Not only will you fall in love with the pandas, but also the other 200 species from all over the world. The Zoo offers different fun events throughout the year, so be sure to check their website around the time that you visit. You can visit during the annual “Brew at the Zoo,” stroll through the African Savanna, or enjoy your kids doing the different hands-on activities. If it’s on your bucket list to meet and feed an African elephant, giant panda, lemurs, or the Aldabra tortoises, upgrade your ticket for a “wild encounter!”
Located next to Trust Park and home of the Atlanta Braves, The Battery Atlanta is a walking-friendly center like no other providing everything from baseball, shopping, dining, and entertainment. Open 365 days a year with some of the best nightlife, events and entertainment in the city, visit The Battery for special events or simply a walk around the block with your family (and grab some ice cream at Häagen-Dazs!). If you are feeling adventurous, ride the mechanical bull at PBR. If you’re feeling elegant, have a glass of wine at Cru. For shopping, head into Dress up and Baseballism. Check out the calendar here for year round events, markets, and festivals. The Roxy hosts musical artists from around the world. The Battery is also home to Atlanta’s #1 escape room- The Escape Game Atlanta.
A piece of important US history sits in Atlanta- the birth house of Martin Luther King Jr, who inspired and changed history with his words and vision of a better world. You can visit the tomb of MLK and his wife at The King Center as well as listen to some of Dr. King’s sermons in the Ebenezer Baptist Church. Gathering here sparked the SCLC (Southern Christian Lutheran Church) which became the core of the civil rights movement. The park is a great way to learn, remember, and reflect on Dr. King’s impact for a world with more justice, peace and equality.
Home to more than 15,000 works of art, the High Museum of Arts will take you on a journey through history and visual transformation. The High is dedicated to collecting artwork from the South. Some of the favorite exhibits include art from the American 19th and 20th century, the growing collection of African American art, photography and folk art. There is art for every type of art lover here. The High is a place for you to learn, engage in the world of art and the artist who made the art itself.
Looking for a place to shop till you drop? Lenox Mall is the place for you. There are 198 stores in this huge four story mall. Some top brands include Apple, Nike, Prada and Free People. When you need a shopping break, Lenox Mall is home to several restaurants including The Cheesecake Factory, Corner Bakery, Chipotle and an East coast exclusive, Zineburger. If you are a window shopper or are bored on a rainy day, a walk around Lenox Mal is a fun and free indoor activity.
If you are a fan of comedy clubs, this is a great date night. Grab a juicy burger (they serve burgers on a funnel cake!) and themed cocktails at The Vortex downtown, then walk over to the Laughing Skull Lounge for a hilarious night of comedy. Keep in mind, The Vortex and Laughing Skull Lounge are 21 and up only, so get a babysitter and have a night of great food and laughs!
Open since 1982, J.R. Crickets is an original Atlanta wing company and has served over 60 million wings. For the wings lovers, J.R. Crickets is simply the best in town. They also have other options on the menu like burgers and phillys. Some of J.R. Crickets more unique flavors include Lemony Pepper and Dirty Bird (BBQ topped with Lemony Pepper). On Braves game days, J.R. Crickets has some awesome specials so check their website for any great deals! If you want to take a bite out of an Atlanta classic, J.R. Crickets is the place to eat.
The Fox Theatre is a historic theatre located in the heart of Atlanta. The theatre puts on more than 250 performances a year from concerts, to Broadway shows and movies. The beautiful theatre has some of the best architecture and decor around. It boasts the world’s second largest theatre organ and the lounge areas that are straight out of the Jazz Era. Visiting the Fox is like stepping back in time. Check the event schedule for upcoming shows. We strongly encourage buying tickets earlier before your favorite event sells out. Visit the Fox Theatre and enjoy world class entertainment in a world class theatre!
This world class venue is home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United (the most recent winner of the US Open Cup). Whether you are a soccer fan or have never been to a game- we highly suggest going to an Atlanta United Game! The Atlanta fans enthusiasm is unmatched and even if you’re not a soccer fan, you’ll have fun being entertained by their energy and enjoying the stadium hot dogs, popcorn, and sodas. Grab some face paint, pick up a jersey, arrive early to join the Golden Spike ceremony, and cheer on the best soccer league in the United States.
The Escape Game is an epic adventure filled hour full of teamwork and challenges that are fun for the entire family! Located in The Battery near The Braves stadium, it is the number one escape room in the entire city. The reviews speak for themselves, check them out here! Not only do they offer epic adventures but their hospitality is like no other. Their games are like stepping into the middle of an epic action movie. Whether you’re on the hunt for gold or escaping from a 1950’s prison- you’ll forget you’re in Atlanta. After your game, grab a meal or dessert and laugh about your 60-minute adventure with your family and friends.
The quaint Southern downtown has several homegrown restaurants, antique stores and other unique shops including Eddie’s Trick shop (a local magic and costume shop), Doodlebugz (a trendy home and knick knack store), and Rocket Fizz (a candy and soda shop). If you are looking for a bite to eat, step into the Marietta Food Hall with over 20 vendors or visit a Marietta classic- The Marietta Local for some delicious home cooked Southern food. There is something for everyone here as you explore the culture, food and fun of Marietta.
The Olympics were held in Atlanta in 1996 and the Centennial Olympic Park was made for visitors and locals to enjoy during the Olympics. See the iconic Olympic rings, sit and reflect by the Utility Plaza or in the warmer months, enjoy the splash pad. Pack your favorite lunch and picnic in the park with family and friends. If you’re downtown, make sure to walk through this historical park!
“What’ll ya have?” is first thing you hear here as soon as you step up to the cash register. The Varsity has been open since 1928 and has been serving the same menu since opening day. The Varsity became an instant classic with its hot dogs, burgers, fries and onion rings. Since then, it has become a local tradition for many local college students to visit on game days. If you are feeling adventurous, be sure to sit in the classroom or by the highway as you watch the city zoom by. For those with a sweet tooth, try the famous Frosted Orange Shake. For an authentic experience, we also recommend you grab one of the Soda Jerk Caps and take it home as a free souvenir.
The Chattahoochee River and the surrounding areas remind locals that Atlanta has more to offer than just city life. The Chattahoochee has plenty of free trails to hike, but we recommend doing some research as most have a small parking fee that directly supports the National Park Trails. If you visit during the warmer months, take advantage of this natural resource and cool down or as locals say, “shoot the hooch.” Stop at one of the outposts, pack some snacks and drinks (no glass), put your phone in a waterproof bag, and float down the river. It’s fun, relaxing and definitely not something you do every day. Whether you hike or float, you’ll make some fun memories visiting the Chattahoochee!
TOUCHDOWN (and the crowd goes wild)! If you are a college football fan, the Hall of Fame is a must see. With over 30,000 feet of exhibits and hands-on activities, you can start your experience by selecting your favorite college football team with the wall of 770 different football helmets. Channel your inner football player and kick a field goal on a 45 yard playing field and step behind the GameDay desk with Chris Fowler and Desmond Howard. Fun fact- only 0.02% of college football coaches or players ever get inducted, so come meet the few and learn about their successes!
The Atlanta History Center brings history to life. The Center has 33 acres that house a history museum, gardens, two historic homes, a family farm, and several walking trails. Some may even recognize the Swan House as it was the filming location for the movie The Hunger Games. The center hosts plenty of events so if you’re with your family or just on a date night, there is an event for everyone. The museum offers a great look at the Civil War, African American heritage, and Southern Folk Art. The Center also runs the Margaret Mitchell House which shows where Margaret wrote Gone With The Wind. The tour is a separate ticket but you can make a whole day out of the History Center, so wear comfortable clothes as you may be outside at some exhibits.
Jackson Street Bridge
If you want an iconic Atlanta picture, visiting the Jackson Street Bridge is your best shot. The bridge isn’t heavily trafficked and has the best view of the Atlanta skyline. You may see photographers at this location or locals trying to catch the sunrise or sunset. Enjoy the free views and get some great Instagram content. Please remember: safety first!