Top 50 Things to Do in Atlanta for Tourists

Atlanta, the bustling capital of Georgia, is a city rich in history, culture, and modern attractions. With its blend of southern charm and vibrant urban energy, Atlanta offers a plethora of activities and sights for tourists to enjoy. Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, a foodie, or someone looking to explore the arts, Atlanta has something for everyone. This guide will delve into the top 50 things to do in Atlanta, providing a comprehensive look at what makes this city a must-visit destination.

Exploring Atlanta’s Historical Landmarks

Exploring Atlantas Historical Landmarks
Exploring Atlanta’s Historical Landmarks

1. Visit the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park is a profound place to start your journey. This site includes Dr. King’s childhood home, the original Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached, and his final resting place. It offers a deep dive into the life and legacy of one of America’s most influential civil rights leaders.

2. Tour the Atlanta History Center

Located in the upscale Buckhead neighborhood, the Atlanta History Center is a vast complex featuring exhibits on the Civil War, Southern history, and the history of Atlanta itself. The center also includes the Swan House, a grand historic mansion, and beautiful gardens.

3. Explore the Oakland Cemetery

As Atlanta’s oldest public park, Oakland Cemetery is the final resting place for many notable figures, including Margaret Mitchell, the author of “Gone with the Wind.” The cemetery’s beautiful gardens and Victorian architecture make it a peaceful place for a leisurely walk.

4. Step into the Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum

This museum houses the Atlanta Cyclorama, a massive panoramic painting depicting the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. The museum provides a detailed account of this significant period in American history.

Cultural and Artistic Attractions

5. Discover the High Museum of Art

The High Museum of Art, located in the heart of Midtown, is renowned for its extensive collection of classic and contemporary art. The museum’s striking architecture, designed by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, is a masterpiece in itself.

6. Experience the Fox Theatre

A historic landmark in Atlanta, the Fox Theatre is an architectural marvel with its opulent interiors and Moorish design. It hosts a variety of performances, from Broadway shows to concerts, making it a cultural hub of the city.

7. Visit the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center

For those interested in modern art, the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center offers rotating exhibitions featuring works by emerging and established artists. It’s a great place to experience the cutting edge of the art world.

8. Explore the Center for Puppetry Arts

Unique to Atlanta, the Center for Puppetry Arts showcases an extensive collection of puppets from around the world and offers performances and workshops for all ages. It’s a whimsical experience that’s sure to delight both children and adults.

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

Atlantas Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities
Atlanta’s Natural Beauty and Outdoor Activities

9. Stroll Through Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park, often referred to as Atlanta’s “Central Park,” is a sprawling green space perfect for a leisurely stroll, picnic, or outdoor sports. The park offers stunning views of the Atlanta skyline and hosts numerous events throughout the year.

10. Visit the Atlanta Botanical Garden

Adjacent to Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden features stunning themed gardens, a tropical conservatory, and the renowned Fuqua Orchid Center. Seasonal exhibitions, such as the holiday lights display, add to the garden’s charm.

11. Hike Stone Mountain Park

A short drive from downtown Atlanta, Stone Mountain Park offers outdoor enthusiasts a range of activities, including hiking, cable car rides, and historic exhibits. The park’s centerpiece is the massive granite monolith with a Confederate memorial carving.

12. Enjoy the Atlanta BeltLine

The Atlanta BeltLine is an urban redevelopment project transforming old railway corridors into a network of public parks, multi-use trails, and transit. It’s an excellent way to explore different neighborhoods and enjoy public art installations and pop-up events.

Family-Friendly Attractions

13. Visit the Georgia Aquarium

One of the largest aquariums in the world, the Georgia Aquarium is home to thousands of marine animals, including whale sharks, beluga whales, and manta rays. Interactive exhibits and shows make it a hit with visitors of all ages.

14. Explore the World of Coca-Cola

A trip to Atlanta isn’t complete without visiting the World of Coca-Cola. This interactive museum traces the history of the iconic beverage and offers tastings of Coca-Cola products from around the world.

15. Spend a Day at Zoo Atlanta

Located in Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta is home to over 1,000 animals from around the globe, including giant pandas and African elephants. The zoo’s focus on conservation and education makes it a fantastic family outing.

16. Discover the Children’s Museum of Atlanta

Designed for kids aged 0-8, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta offers hands-on exhibits that encourage learning through play. It’s an excellent destination for families with young children.

Unique and Offbeat Attractions

Atlantas Unique and Offbeat Attractions
Atlanta’s Unique and Offbeat Attractions

17. Explore the Atlanta Underground

The Atlanta Underground is a network of subterranean streets and storefronts that were once the heart of the city. Today, it offers a mix of shopping, dining, and entertainment venues, providing a unique glimpse into Atlanta’s history.

18. Visit the Krog Street Tunnel

Known for its ever-changing graffiti art, the Krog Street Tunnel is an urban canvas where local artists showcase their work. It’s a vibrant, colorful spot that’s perfect for photography enthusiasts.

19. Take a Ghost Tour

For a spooky experience, consider taking a ghost tour of Atlanta. Various tours explore haunted sites around the city, including historic cemeteries and old buildings, providing a chilling yet fascinating perspective on Atlanta’s past.

20. Check Out the Tiny Doors ATL

Tiny Doors ATL is a public art project featuring miniature doors installed throughout the city. Each door is uniquely decorated and offers a whimsical way to explore different neighborhoods.

Sports and Entertainment

21. Catch a Game at Truist Park

Home to the Atlanta Braves, Truist Park is a state-of-the-art baseball stadium. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, the surrounding Battery Atlanta entertainment district offers plenty of dining and entertainment options.

22. Visit Mercedes-Benz Stadium

This modern architectural marvel hosts Atlanta Falcons football games and Atlanta United soccer matches. The stadium also serves as a venue for concerts and major events, offering a dynamic entertainment experience.

23. Enjoy a Performance at the Alliance Theatre

Part of the Woodruff Arts Center, the Alliance Theatre is a premier regional theater offering a variety of performances, from classic plays to innovative new works. It’s a cultural gem in Atlanta’s arts scene.

24. Explore Atlantic Station

Atlantic Station is a vibrant mixed-use development featuring shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With its pedestrian-friendly streets and regular events, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.

Shopping and Dining

Atlantas Shopping and Dining
Atlanta’s Shopping and Dining

25. Shop at Ponce City Market

Housed in a historic Sears, Roebuck & Co. building, Ponce City Market is a bustling marketplace with a variety of shops, eateries, and even a rooftop amusement park. It’s a must-visit for foodies and shoppers alike.

26. Explore the Shops at Buckhead Atlanta

For a more upscale shopping experience, head to The Shops at Buckhead Atlanta. This chic shopping district features luxury brands, high-end boutiques, and fine dining restaurants.

27. Discover Little Five Points

Little Five Points is Atlanta’s bohemian neighborhood, known for its eclectic shops, indie music venues, and unique dining options. It’s the perfect place to find vintage clothing, records, and quirky souvenirs.

28. Visit the Sweet Auburn Curb Market

This historic market in the Sweet Auburn district offers a variety of fresh produce, meats, and prepared foods. It’s a great spot to sample local flavors and enjoy a meal from one of the market’s many vendors.

Education and Innovation

29. Tour the Georgia Institute of Technology

Known as Georgia Tech, this prestigious university is renowned for its engineering and technology programs. The campus is also home to the Georgia Tech Research Institute and numerous innovation centers.

30. Explore the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Dedicated to the 39th President of the United States, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum offers exhibits on Carter’s life, his presidency, and his ongoing humanitarian efforts. The surrounding gardens provide a peaceful place for reflection.

31. Visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

This interactive museum connects the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s global human rights issues. It’s a powerful and educational experience that inspires visitors to think about social justice in a broader context.

32. Check Out the Fernbank Museum of Natural History

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers exhibits on dinosaurs, Georgia’s natural history, and cultural artifacts from around the world. The museum also features an IMAX theater and beautiful nature trails.

Festivals and Events

Atlantas Festivals and Events
Atlanta’s Festivals and Events

33. Attend the Atlanta Jazz Festival

Held annually in Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Jazz Festival is one of the country’s largest free jazz festivals. It features performances by renowned jazz musicians and up-and-coming artists.

34. Experience Dragon Con

Dragon Con is a massive multi-genre convention held annually in Atlanta, celebrating science fiction, fantasy, gaming, and pop culture. The event includes parades, panels, and an array of cosplay.

35. Visit the Atlanta Dogwood Festival

This annual festival in Piedmont Park celebrates the blooming of dogwood trees and features art exhibitions, live music, and family-friendly activities. It’s a springtime tradition for many Atlantans.

36. Enjoy the Taste of Atlanta

Taste of Atlanta is a food festival that showcases the city’s diverse culinary scene. Visitors can sample dishes from some of the best restaurants in Atlanta and participate in cooking demonstrations and workshops.

Day Trips and Excursions

37. Visit the Georgia Renaissance Festival

Located just outside Atlanta, the Georgia Renaissance Festival is a fun-filled event featuring medieval-themed entertainment, jousting, artisan markets, and plenty of food and drink.

38. Take a Day Trip to Serenbe

Serenbe is a picturesque community located about 30 minutes south of Atlanta. It offers farm-to-table dining, scenic trails, and charming inns, making it an ideal destination for a relaxing day trip.

39. Explore Callaway Gardens

Callaway Gardens, located about an hour and a half from Atlanta, offers beautiful gardens, a butterfly conservatory, and recreational activities such as golf and zip-lining. It’s a great place for nature lovers to unwind.

40. Visit the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area offers outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and kayaking. It’s a perfect spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the natural beauty of the region.

Nightlife and Entertainment

Atlantas Nightlife and Entertainment
Atlanta’s Nightlife and Entertainment

41. Experience Atlanta’s Music Scene

Atlanta is known for its vibrant music scene, especially in hip-hop, R&B, and indie rock. Venues like The Tabernacle, Variety Playhouse, and Eddie’s Attic host performances by both local and national artists.

42. Visit the Clermont Lounge

The Clermont Lounge is an iconic Atlanta dive bar and adult entertainment venue known for its quirky atmosphere and legendary performers. It’s a unique spot that’s become a local institution.

43. Explore Edgewood Avenue

Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward is a bustling nightlife district with a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants. It’s a great place to experience Atlanta’s energetic nightlife.

44. Enjoy a Rooftop Bar

Atlanta boasts several rooftop bars offering stunning views of the city skyline. Popular spots include the SkyLounge at the Glenn Hotel and the rooftop bar at Ponce City Market.

Sports Enthusiasts

45. Visit the College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame in downtown Atlanta is a must-visit for football fans. The interactive exhibits and memorabilia celebrate the history and excitement of college football.

46. Explore the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame

This attraction features interactive exhibits that celebrate the history and traditions of college football. Fans can immerse themselves in the sport’s storied past and enjoy hands-on activities.

47. Attend an Atlanta Hawks Game

Basketball fans should catch an Atlanta Hawks game at State Farm Arena. The venue offers a lively atmosphere and exciting NBA action.

48. Visit the Atlanta Motor Speedway

Located just south of the city, the Atlanta Motor Speedway hosts NASCAR races and other motorsport events. It’s a thrilling experience for racing enthusiasts.

Relaxation and Leisure

Atlantas Relaxation and Leisure
Atlanta’s Relaxation and Leisure

49. Unwind at a Spa

Atlanta has numerous luxury spas offering a range of treatments to help you relax and rejuvenate. The Spa at the Four Seasons and the St. Regis Atlanta are among the top options.

50. Enjoy a Scenic Drive

For a leisurely day, take a scenic drive through the North Georgia mountains or along the Georgia coast. These routes offer beautiful landscapes and charming small towns to explore.

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