Atlanta is a city that is not only modern but also full of culture and history. There are so many things to do in this amazing city, it can be hard to know where to start! That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top 15 things to do in Atlanta. From exploring the city’s beautiful parks to sampling some of the best food in the south, Atlanta has something for everyone. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today!
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History of Atlanta
Atlanta is full of history. From its beginnings as a small Native American village to its current status as one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Atlanta has always been a city that is constantly changing and growing. If you’re interested in learning more about Atlanta’s history, there are plenty of museums and historical sites that will give you a deeper understanding of this fascinating city.
Atlanta was first founded as the terminus of a major railroad company, but grew into a city among many different railroad companies. Near the end of the Civil War, almost the entire city was burned down by the Union army. After this, it was rebuilt and became the state capital a few years later.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Atlanta was an important player in the civil rights movement, with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. being a prominent person from the area. The 1996 Olympics were held in Atlanta. This is when the Centennial Olympic Park Bombing occurred.
Atlanta is now one of the biggest cities in the US and has one of the busiest airports in the world. If you are interested in learning more about the history of Atlanta, there are many historical sites you can visit around the city, including some of the ones listed below.
Top 15 Georgia Attractions
1. Georgia Aquarium
The Georgia Aquarium is one of the top tourist destinations in Atlanta, and for good reason. This massive aquarium is home to tens of thousands of animals, including blue whales, beluga whales, dolphins, and even a new shark exhibit. The aquarium includes seven different galleries. Get up close and personal with animal encounters, including the beluga whale, dolphin, seal, penguin, sea lion, or shark. The Georgia Aquarium also hosts special events, including some adults-only after-hours events. It’s a must-see attraction for anyone visiting the city.
Address: 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
2. World of Coca-Cola
The World of Coca-Cola is another top tourist destination in Atlanta, and for good reason. This museum is all about the history of one of the most popular drinks in the world. Learn about how Coca-Cola was created, see exhibits showcasing Coke advertising throughout the years, and even taste different flavors from around the world. They currently have an exhibit called Scent Discovery where you can learn and guess the origins of various scents used in Coca-Cola products. The World of Coca-Cola is a must-see for any Coca-Cola fan.
Address: 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
3. Centennial Olympic Park
Centennial Olympic Park is a 21-acre park in the heart of Atlanta that was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics. It’s now a top tourist destination and home to various events throughout the year, including Music Midtown, an annual music festival, and The College Football Playoff National Championship Fan Fest. The park is also home to attractions like the Fountain of Rings, the SkyView Ferris Wheel, and a playground. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon or evening in Atlanta.
Address: 265 Park Avenue West NW, Atlanta, GA 30313
4. Atlanta Botanical Garden
The Atlanta Botanical Garden is a 30-acre garden located in Midtown Atlanta. It contains various gardens, including the Children’s Garden, Japanese Gardens, and Rose Garden. The garden also has a conservatory with different botanical exhibits and a greenhouse. The Atlanta Botanical Garden contains one of the largest permanent collections of Chihuly’s creations. They offer special events throughout the year, like the Jazz & Jive Garden Party and the Garden Lights, Holiday Nights exhibit. The gardens also offer storytime and other events specifically for kids. The events are always changing, so be sure to check out their events calendar!
Address: 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30309
5. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park
The Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is a historical park located in Atlanta that celebrates the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The park contains various attractions like Dr. King’s birth home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he was baptized and preached). Take a guided tour of his birth home with a park ranger or visit Fire Station No. 6, where you can learn about the desegregation of the Atlanta fire department. You can also visit King’s final resting place. There are exhibits about Dr. King’s work during the Civil Rights Movement. The park is free to visit and open every day of the year.
Address: 450 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta, GA 30312
6. Piedmont Park
Piedmont Park is a large park located in Midtown Atlanta. It’s home to various events like the Dogwood Festival, Music Midtown, and the Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon. The park also has a lake, walking trails, playgrounds, and a fitness center. Take a walking history tour and learn about the history of the park and the surrounding area. There are bird walks, a honey bee exhibit, a butterfly garden, and self-guided tours available. There are also several restaurants and bars located in Piedmont Park.
Address: 400 Park Drive NE, Atlanta, GA 30306
7. Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is a museum and research center located in Buckhead that tells the story of Atlanta and the surrounding area. The museum has three floors of exhibits, including an exhibit about the Civil War and Reconstruction, an exhibit on Native Americans, an exhibit on Martin Luther King Jr., and an interactive children’s history museum. The exhibits are changed throughout the year and have also included subjects such as Women and the Right to Vote, the history of the railroad in the area, and an exhibit on the Olympics and Paralympics. The museum also has a library and archives with over 15,000 titles.
Address: 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta, GA 30305
8. Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum is a presidential library and museum located in Atlanta. It was established in 1986 to preserve and make available the papers, records, and artifacts of President Jimmy Carter. The library has various exhibits on President Carter’s life and career, including an exhibit on his work with Habitat for Humanity. The museum also has a large replica of the Oval Office, a theater, and a walk-through cabin that simulates the Camp David meetings.
Address: 45th Street and University Boulevard NW, Atlanta, GA 30332
9. Atlanta Braves Stadium Tour
Take a behind-the-scenes tour of Truist Park, the home of the Atlanta Braves. The Atlanta Braves is the longest continuously operating franchise in the MLB. The tour lasts for around an hour and a half and has 10 different stops. The stops include visits to the press box, rooftop, luxury suites, and clubhouses. You can also take a walk on the field.
Address: 755 Battery Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30339
10. Skyview Atlanta
Skyview Atlanta is a Ferris wheel located in the heart of downtown Atlanta. It’s the tallest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere and offers stunning views of the city. The ride lasts around 30 minutes and takes you up to heights of over 200 feet.
Address: 168 Luckie Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
11. Mercedes-Benz Stadium Tour
Take a tour of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC. The tour lasts for around an hour and takes you to various areas of the stadium, including the locker rooms, press box, suite level, and field. You can also take a walk on the field.
12. Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta is located in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta. It is home to over 200 species of animals from around the world, including giant pandas, red pandas, gorillas, elephants, and lions. Zoo Atlanta also works to help with animal conservation and protection. The zoo also has a variety of exhibits and activities for children, including a petting zoo, a carousel, and a train. You can even get up close and personal with the Wild Encounters, including rhinos, elephants, lemurs, giant pandas, and tortoises.
Address: 800 Cherokee Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
13. College Football Hall of Fame
If you are a college football fan, you have to check out the College Football Hall of Fame. The museum has exhibits on the history of college football and showcases memorabilia from some of the greatest players in the sport’s history. Try to kick a field goal or be Quarterback for the day on the indoor playing field. The museum also has a three-story Helmet wall and a theater, where you can watch a film about college football.
Address: 250 Marietta Street NW, Atlanta, GA 30303
14. Fernbank Museum and Science Center
The Fernbank Science Center is a museum and research center located in Atlanta. It was founded in 1990 as the science education division of Fernbank Museum of Natural History. The science center has various exhibits on earth and space sciences, physics, chemistry, biology, and more. Visit the planetarium to see the stars or enjoy the view at home with live planetarium shows. See the Apollo 6 Command Module and the live animal exhibit that includes a wide range of animals.
At the Fernbank Museum, you can wander through 75 acres of forest that have walking trails, a canopy, and even nature playgrounds. They have many different exhibits inside the Fernbank museum, including dinosaur fossils, a STEAM lab, and the world of shells. You can easily spend a full day or two here just exploring what all it has to offer!
Address: 156 Heaton Park Drive, Atlanta, GA 30307
15. Historic Oakland Cemetery
Oakland Cemetery is a historic cemetery located in the Grant Park neighborhood of Atlanta. The cemetery was founded in 1850 and contains over 700,000 graves. It is the resting place for many important figures in Atlanta’s history, including Civil War generals and Mayors of Atlanta. The cemetery also has a number of beautiful gardens and interesting exhibits. Currently, there is an exhibit running on prominent women buried in the cemetery. These women include the founder of the Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority, the founder of the Atlanta Art Association, and the founder of the Atlanta Women’s Club. Other famous people buried here are Margaret Mitchell, Kenny Rogers, and Carrie Steele Logan.
Address: 248 Oakland Avenue SE, Atlanta, GA 30312
If you are looking for a city that is both modern and full of historical and cultural attractions, Atlanta is the city for you. This post has given you the top 15 things to do in Atlanta, Georgia. There are so many things to do here that it can be hard to narrow it down. Start with this list and see which one is your favorite. And be sure to come back and visit again, there is always something new to see in Atlanta.
Have you ever been to Atlanta? What is your favorite thing to do or see? If you have never been, what are you most looking forward to seeing? I would love to hear in the comments!
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