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Top Things To Do In Atlanta

Over the last few years, Atlanta introduced a new streetcar, invested in culinary tourism, and built the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. This city is all about investing in the future while staying true to its southern roots. History buffs, shopaholics and night owls will likely all find something to pique their interests. Whether you’re a lifelong resident, a visiting family, or an adventurous tourist, here are some of the best things to do in Atlanta.

When visiting Atlanta, be sure to explore the Virginia-Highlands and Little Five Points neighborhoods. The former is one of the best areas for shopping and dining. The latter is known for its indie businesses and hipster lifestyle.  

The best things to do in Atlanta include:

  • Adventure through fresh water river scenes and brightly colored coral reefs inside the Georgia Aquarium
  • Enjoy a taste of authentic Southern food with a contemporary twist at Watershed on Peachtree
  • Eat your weight in Georgia barbeque at places like Fat Matt’s, Bone Lick, or Daddy D’s
  • Visit the vault where the legendary secret formula for Coca Cola is kept at Pemberton Place
  • Explore miles of garden and trailway out the Atlanta History Center after spending an afternoon inside its galleries

This southern city is all about hospitality. If frugality is important, tour one of Atlanta’s many museums. Then, pack a picnic and enjoy it on the lawn at one of its 342 parks.

Cheap or free things to do in Atlanta include:

  • Learn all about 3D printing and coding at the Atlanta Museum of Design
  • At the Michael C. Carlos Museum, admire one of the largest ancient art collections in the Southeast
  • Walk amongst T-rex and raptors at the Dinosaur Plaza inside the Fernbank Museum of Natural History
  • Run through 48 acres of flowers, shrubs, and intricate mausoleums at the Oakland Cemetery
  • Snap that Instagram-worthy sunset photo of ATL’s skyline from Freedom Parkway

Explore a temporary exhibition at the Atlanta History Center, which includes the Atlanta History Museum, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Smith Family Farm, Swan House, Kenan Research Center, and six historic gardens.

Popular attractions near Atlanta include:

  • Take a guide tour from Martin Luther King Jr’s historic home through 35 acres of park at The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site
  • Dine on smoked catfish, handmade chocolates, or vintage sodas at one of the many unique restaurants at Krog Street Market
  • Live your favorite blockbuster on an Atlanta Movie Tour of the city’s film locations
  • Learn your favorite footballer’s story at The College Football Hall of Fame
  • Take an in-depth look at the American Civil Rights movement and human rights struggles across the world at the Center for Civil and Human Rights

There’s always fun things to do in Atlanta. During the summer, visit Dragoncon, Music Midtown, or the Atlanta Film Festival. When schools are in session, watch the Braves play at Turner Field or the Falcons at the Georgia Dome.

Exciting activities near Atlanta include:

  • Fulfill your fresh seafood craving with sushi from Wagaya Westside
  • Watch the 251 water jet show at Centennial Olympic Park’s Fountain of Rings
  • Learn something new about history at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
  • Eat a Holeman & Finch Cheeseburger with a side of deviled eggs
  • Cheer on the United Soccer team at the Mercedes-Benz stadium while they take on their rivals

Looking for things to do in Atlanta at night? The city is famous for its nightlife. Explore the Atlanta art scene, catch a broadway musical at the Fox Theater or a play at the Atlanta Civic Center.

Nighttime activities near Atlanta include:

  • Attend an award-winning performance at the historic Fox Theatre
  • See the city light up from above on the ferris wheel at SkyView Atlanta
  • Hear live blues at Northside Tavern or Blind Willie’s
  • Groove to an emerging indie music performer at Apache or The Masquerade
  • Visit the High Museum of Art on a Friday evening and enjoy an art opening

Atlanta is known for its eclectic cuisine, so why not try some barbeque or a bottomless mimosa brunch this weekend.

Things to do in Atlanta this weekend include:

  • Enjoy brunch at Murphy’s restaurant, a local favorite for decades
  • See where the magic happens on a tour of SweetWater Brewing Company before tasting a fresh batch of beer in the tasting room
  • Devour the famous hot wings at J.R. Crickets
  • Drink a rare beer where there are dozens to choose from at The Porter
  • Get a glimpse behind the curtain of live TV on a tour of the CNN Center

Visiting with family and looking for things to do in Atlanta with kids? Make a stop at the Centennial Olympic Park. The CNN Center, World of Coca Cola, College Football Hall of Fame, and Georgia Aquarium are all located near the park.

Family-Friendly things to do near Atlanta include:

  • Venture to Midtown and catch a live puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts
  • Meet Mei Lun and Mei Hwan, the giant panda twins at Zoo Atlanta
  • Explore a mini fortress inside the Legoland Discovery Center
  • Imagine the possibilities at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta in the Centennial Park area
  • Discover more than 100,000 animals and over 700,000 species at the Georgia Aquarium

This city exudes both cosmopolitan thrill and Old World charm, making it a great location for romance. Enjoy Hotlanta’s food scene, then book an intimate spa treatment.

Romantic things to do in Atlanta include but are not limited to:

  • Stroll hand-in-hand through Decatur while shopping at its many unique boutiques
  • Book a couples spa treatment at Jeju Spa, which offers 24/7 treatments and hot whirlpools and a dining area
  • Race one another at the Porsche Experience Center before enjoying a latte at the Carrera Cafe that overlooks the track
  • Take a couple’s glassblowing class from the instructors at Decatur Glassblowing
  • Instead of going out to dinner, sign up for a course to cook your own from The Cooking School at Irwin Street

Bring the group for a hike at Stone Mountain Park, located thirty minutes east of Atlanta proper. On the way back to central Atlanta, stop by Decatur for live music at Eddie’s Attic.

Things to do with your friends near Atlanta include:

  • Learn about local history on a 90-minute trolley tour from Peachtree Trolley Tours
  • Walk on the wild side and book a Decatur Ghost Tour, where you’ll tour haunted houses and Decatur’s Historic Town Square
  • Try the melt-in-your-mouth pancakes from Ria’s Bluebird during a group brunch
  • Cruise the city while learning about its culture on an ATL-Cruzers Electric Car and Segway Tour
  • Go roller skating at Cascade Fun Center

For those days when indoor activity is all you want, Atlanta offers shopping, live theater, and professional sports game to keep you entertained.

Indoor things to do in Atlanta include:

  • Stop by Criminal Records and buy that vinyl you’ve had your eye on
  • Race around a ¼-mile indoor karting track at Andretti Indoor Karting and Games
  • See a broadway play before it hits broadway at Alliance Theater
  • Laugh away your worries at one of the comedy shows at Dad’s Garage Theater Company
  • Get in on the basketball action at Philips Arena while the Atlanta Hawks and Atlanta Dream take compete

The City in a Forest has more than 300 parks, gardens, and green spaces. With 189 acres, Piedmont Park is Atlanta’s largest recreational area.

Outdoor activities and things to see in Atlanta include:

  • Escape the hustle and bustle without leaving city limits at Piedmont Park
  • Explore more than 3,200 acres of forest and the world’s largest piece of exposed granite at Stone Mountain Park
  • Awaken your inner plant lover at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
  • Float the Chattahoochee river that runs through ATL proper
  • Venture to the outskirts of East Atlanta and camp at Stone Mountain Park Campground

If you’re looking for a local hideaway to escape the tourists, Atlanta is home to a number of hidden gems.

Must-see places near Atlanta include:

  • Find the Land Trust, a hidden commune near Chandler Park and Lake Claire
  • On your walk through Krog Tunnel, tag your name on the wall to immortalize it amongst hundreds of others
  • Release the hounds on heavy metal karaoke night at Metalsome
  • Explore the weird and wild Junkman’s Daughter, a store full of unusual items in the center of the city
  • Order a Mai Tai at Trader Vic’s, one of the country’s original tiki bars