Atlanta is more than just a bustling commercial hub. It is a treasure trove of cultural and historical attractions that will delight any sightseer. Art enthusiasts can indulge in award-winning performances at the ornate Fox Theatre or admire unique sculptures at the High Museum of Art. For history buffs, The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum and the Atlanta History Center offer a fascinating glimpse into the city’s rich past, from the culture of the Cherokee and Muscogee nations to life during and after the Civil War.
Atlanta’s pivotal role in the civil rights movement is also celebrated at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, where visitors can tour the birth home of the iconic African American leader. Make sure to add these must-visit sites to your itinerary when exploring Atlanta.
Downtown Atlanta is an excellent destination for all types of travelers, offering a diverse range of activities and sights. In addition to the impressive skyscrapers, visitors can explore picturesque green spaces, such as the mixed-use Atlanta BeltLine and vibrant Piedmont Park, where special events are often hosted.
Culture lovers can indulge in the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s sprawling 30-acre displays and exhibitions, and sports enthusiasts can experience the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame and the iconic Centennial Olympic Park, the venue for the 1996 Olympic Games. Furthermore, Buckhead’s boutiques and bars cater to the most luxurious shopaholics and night owls. For family-friendly activities, the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, and World of Coca-Cola offer engaging exhibits that will captivate even the youngest travelers. Rest assured, Atlanta has something for everyone.
The Fox Theatre transcends being just a mere performance venue – it stands tall as one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. The good news is, tickets to a show aren’t compulsory to appreciate its elaborate interiors. Initially conceptualized by Atlanta’s Shriners society, the theatre’s design amalgamates inspiration from the Karnak Temple Complex in Luxor, Egypt and the Alhambra in Granada, Spain.
An informative tour showcases the distinct architectural features of the building, taking visitors through over 10 captivating locales. Moreover, you’ll be able to witness Mighty Mo, one of the largest theatre organs in the world. While some past visitors did note a few points of improvement, with issues like poor acoustics and uncomfortable seating, audiences have largely applauded the top-notch performances and the remarkable design. Evidently, the building itself is regularly commended as a masterpiece.
Discover the captivating performances gracing the stage during your stay in town. A visual spectacle awaits you within the theater’s walls – a lively ceiling adorned with painted clouds and stars, vivid hues and intricate architectural details. Admission to the shows vary in price, while guided tours lasting 60 minutes are priced between $15 to $25 per person. Schedule a tour on Mondays, Thursdays or Saturdays for an immersive experience of this stunning landmark. Situated in Atlanta’s Midtown district, limited and costly parking options are available, however, accessing the theater via MARTA’s North Avenue station or various bus lines is hassle-free.
The Atlanta BeltLine, a thriving urban network, comprises 22 miles of streetcar rails, 33 miles of walkways, bike lanes and more, 5,600 units of affordable residential housing, and over 1,000 acres of verdant greenspace.
This incredible system, boasting brand new cityscapes and decontaminated lands, is being deployed in incremental phases, with completion anticipated by 2030. As of the winter of 2023, visitors can relish in 10 parks and 8 trails fully accessible to the public, with some unfinished elements accessible as well. The Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark prides itself on its selection of obstacles tailored to novice and expert skateboarders, while the Historic Fourth Ward Park offers 17 acres of green and entertainment, including water pads for children.
Music events, temporary artwork, and free exercise classes are all available at the Gordon White Park, and visitors can savor the Perkerson Park’s sports offerings, including tennis courts and disc golf. With 280-acres of playgrounds and event spaces, the Westside Park is the latest accomplishment! Whether it’s a walk through nature, touring piedmont park, or biking past Ponce City Market, the trail is ideal for recreational pursuits. Those interested in learning about the Atlanta BeltLine and its neighboring communities can also take part in bike or walking tours.
The BeltLine’s scenic paths have garnered unanimous praise from avid travelers as an exceptional destination for a refreshing exercise routine. A particular favorite among visitors is the Eastside Trail, thanks to its easy access to local bars, restaurants, and vibrant street art. Once fully developed, this urban trail network will encircle Atlanta’s bustling city center.
Open 24/7, access to the BeltLine is available year-round, though opening times may vary for businesses located along the length of the route. With an array of parks and numerous access points scattered along the north, south, east, and west sectors of Atlanta, the BeltLine is easily accessible. Planning your trip has never been simpler thanks to the BeltLine’s interactive map feature.
The Georgia Aquarium is truly a marvel, showcasing thousands of marine animals from diverse species across eight stunning galleries. From freshwater species in the “Southern Company River Scout” exhibit to the magnificent whale shark tank – holding over 6 million gallons of water – in “Ocean Voyager,” this aquarium offers a range of breathtaking marine life encounters. Recently added to its list of galleries is the “Sharks! Predators of the Deep” exhibit, featuring multiple shark species in a 20-foot tank holding 1.2 million gallons of water. While popular among tourists, expect crowds during visits, but don’t let this deter you from experiencing this incredible facility.
Admission tickets and reserves seating for the dolphin and sea lion show and 4D theater are available online in advance. Visitors rave about the free dolphin show and recommend the thrilling opportunity to swim or dive with whale sharks, but make sure to book quickly as these experiences fill up fast. The Georgia Aquarium offers an unforgettable experience that is truly unmatched.
World of Coca-Cola
World of Coca-Cola is a distinguished museum dedicated to the iconic soda that bears its name. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with historical exhibits chronicling the drink’s legacy, its influence in popular culture, and the intricate bottling process. A captivating Portrait Wall meticulously documents the brand’s far-reaching impact on a global scale. Boasting both a Coca-Cola Theater and a 3-D Theater, visitors are bound to be enchanted by the diverse offerings.
While the museum’s emphasis on the company’s roots appeals to the older generation, younger visitors are sure to be captivated by the Taste It! zone where a range of Coke flavors can be savored. The on-site gift shop offers a varied selection of Coke memorabilia for enthusiasts to take home. While some may find the museum to be crowded and subject to long lines, the overall intrigue of this site remains a must-visit for devotees of the beverage.