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Things to do in Atlanta

Things to do in  Atlanta

Welcome to Atlanta

Rich in history and sunny in disposition, the southern city of Atlanta, Georgia mixes family fun with big-city amenities. While visitors flock to the most popular things to do—such as the Georgia Aquarium, Centennial Olympic Park, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, and Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site—they would be remiss to overlook the city’s charms, expressed in the distinct character of each of Atlanta’s 242 neighborhoods. From historic Buckhead’s grand homes and tree-lined boulevards to the skyscrapers etching the skyline of the industrial downtown, Atlanta’s flavors are as complex as the soul food binding the city together.

Although sometimes still looked upon as the sleepy southern town of Gone With the Wind fame, contemporary Atlanta has more to offer visitors than bevvies of Southern belles. Today’s sightseeing tours emphasize Atlanta’s core character, as expressed through street art, public parks and gardens, and civil rights history.

You might recognize some areas of the city from the many movies and TV shows filmed around town, such as The Walking Dead and Captain America, leading some to call Atlanta the new “mini-Hollywood.” And even though it was filmed here, don’t expect the streets to look like they did in 8Driving Miss Daisy;* it’s easier to have a guide navigate the city’s massive highway system for you.

Top 10 attractions in Atlanta


Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park

The historic Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site commemorates the life, work, and legacy of the Civil Rights leader. The center takes up several blocks, which include King’s boyhood home and the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where both King’s father and grandfather served as ministers. Before you begin your stroll around the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, stop by the visitors center for a map and brochure of area sites and exhibits. Inside the visitor center is a museum that chronicles the American Civil Rights movement, and Dr King’s role in it. You can also visit the two-story house where Dr. King was born. Across from the visitors center, the King Center for Non-Violent Social Change has more information on Dr. King's life and work, and a few of his personal effects, including his Nobel Peace Prize. His gravesite, between the church and center, is surrounded by a long reflecting pool and can be viewed anytime.More

World of Coca-Cola

Celebrating the world’s most popular soft drink, the World of Coca-Cola showcases all things Coke. The museum is an absolute must-see for every visitor to Atlanta. The highlight of the visit is sampling Coke products from around the world. But there are also Andy Warhol pieces to view, a 4-D film to catch, company history to learn, and what seems like 20 billion promotional materials to behold. The World of Coca-Cola is divided up into two levels, called “The Hub.” On the lower level, a short film introduces visitors to the magic behind a bottle of Coke. After watching the film, visitors can browse a number of attractions, including the Milestones of Refreshment exhibit, which traces the history of Coke. The second level is where visitors will be completely immersed in the world of Coca-Cola. At the Secret Formula 4-D Theater, you can watch a film about an eccentric scientist on a quest to uncover the mysterious secret formula for Coke.More

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

The Center for Civil and Human Rights is a cultural center in downtown Atlanta that seeks to connect the American Civil Rights Movement to today’s Global Human Rights Movements. Their purpose is to create a safe space for visitors to explore the fundamental rights of all human beings. The Center's goal is to inspire and empower visitors to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights in their own communities. The Center has both permanent and temporary exhibitions on different topics relating to civil and human rights. Exhibitions explore the history of the civil rights movement in the US during the 1950s and 1960s. Others focus on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and work in the fight for equal rights. Some exhibitions focus more on present-day issues of human rights and how certain groups are depicted in the media. These exhibits aim to help visitors gain a deeper understanding of human rights and how they affect the lives of every person.More

Atlanta CNN Center

The Atlanta CNN Center is the headquarters of the cable-TV news service. A visit here will give you a behind-the-scenes glance at the 24-hour news organization in high-tech action, including a visit to production areas not accessible to the general public. Your first stop at the Atlanta CNN Center is in the lobby, where you can have a videotape made of yourself while reading news stories from a CNN anchor desk. Next, you’ll learn about the history of CNN through interactive kiosks and CNN memorabilia. In the special-effects studio, see how global news is produced via modern technology. The highlight of the a visit to the Atlanta CNN Center is watching the action of the main CNN newsroom from a glass-walled observation tower. You’ll see writers composing new scripts, camera operators positioning cameras, and maybe even a live broadcast.More



Zoo Atlanta

Founded based on a need for space for former circus animals, Zoo Atlanta has been a mainstay attraction in Atlanta since 1889. Today, it houses more than 1,500 animals and has the largest number of gorillas and orangutans of any zoo in the United States. Additionally, Zoo Atlanta is one of only four in the U.S. that houses giant pandas. The 40-acre zoo features seven exhibits, including the popular Ford African Rain Forest and the giant pandas exhibit with its two inhabitants, a male and a female, both on loan from China. Children love the petting zoo, where they can interact with sheep, goats and pigs.More

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

A quintessential field trip experience for Atlanta students, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History allows children the opportunity to explore the planet and its people with both hands-on and hands-off exhibits. These explore everything from modern, foreign world cultures to prehistoric earth, and the Fernbank NatureQuest exhibit is by far the most popular. This interactive experience allows children to explore various ecosystems around the world, while the A Walk Through Time in Georgia exhibit walks through the state's natural history in the context of the development of the planet. In addition to exhibits, Fernbank also has an impressive IMAX theater with a five-story-high, 72-foot-wide screen, making it the largest movie screen in Atlanta. While most of the films shown are educational, Fernbank does sometimes host special events and programming in the theater.More

College Football Hall of Fame

The College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta honors the greatest players throughout the history of college football. Their stories and achievements are commemorated here in a one-of-a-kind experience. Visitors can learn about exceptional players and the records they broke by exploring the exhibitions in the Hall of Fame. Permanent, etched-glass representations of each Hall of Fame player are on display. There are also 10 augmented reality displays where visitors can view images and video of players and coaches from their favorite school. More than 750 helmets representing each college football team are on display, as well as larger than life images from 11 conference champions that are updated each season. Visitors can also see historical game-worn uniforms. Other exhibitions explore the dedication, passion, and sacrifice that goes into being a college football player.More

Atlanta Beltline

An ambitious “rails-to-trails” project, the Atlanta Beltline transforms the city’s trash-collecting tracks into more than 22 miles of footpaths for bikers, runners and pedestrians. The Beltline, a work in progress, merges the city's parks and green spaces, connects neighborhoods to each other and makes public transit more accessible. The Beltline shows off the very best parts of Atlanta. The popular Eastside Trail and the Historic Fourth Ward Park are two projects, among many others, that have been completed. A planned streetcar is in the works, an addition that will connect the furthest reaches of the Beltline to more popular, central attractions in Atlanta. Some of the other highlights include 33 miles of multi-use trails, 1,300 acres of parks, more public art and historic preservation efforts.More

Centennial Olympic Park

The 1996 Summer Olympic Games live on at Atlanta's Centennial Olympic Park, a 21-acre site that remains one of the city’s premiere public park spaces. The park's main icon—and one of Georgia’s most photographed landmarks—would be the Fountain of Rings, an interactive play area that uses computer-controlled lights and jets of water to display the Olympic Rings. The fountain water show is synchronized to music, and in the warmest months, kids—and even adults—run through the jets to cool off. Also noteworthy are the park's stone paths, comprised of inscribed, dedicated bricks that line the walkways. The bricks, bought by Atlanta and Georgia natives, as well as by people all over the world, even helped fund the games in 1996. The city hosts an online brick-locator tool to help people find their own bricks or those of friends and family. The dedicated ones make up a significant portion of the nearly 800,000 bricks used to build the park.More

Trip ideas

TV and Film Locations in Atlanta

TV and Film Locations in Atlanta

How to Spend 1 Day in Atlanta

How to Spend 1 Day in Atlanta

How to Spend 2 Days in Atlanta

How to Spend 2 Days in Atlanta

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