30 Best Things to Do in Atlanta — From Art Museums to High-end Shopping
If you're looking for a big-city getaway with a dose of Southern charm, it's hard to beat Atlanta, Georgia. Home to incredible museums, several professional sports teams, and one of the world's busiest airports, there are plenty of things to do in Atlanta that travelers of all ages will enjoy. Here, we've gathered 30 of the best things to do in Atlanta, ranging from presidential libraries to aviation museums, so you can start planning your next trip to ATL.
Walk the BeltLine.
Born from unused railroad tracks surrounding Atlanta, the BeltLine offers miles of trails to walk, skate, and bike around the city. Visit the website to find trail maps and details about the BeltLine's art collection.
Stop and smell the flowers at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
Indoor and outdoor gardens comprising plants from around the world include nationally recognized collections of magnolias, maples, and more. Plus, you can take classes to learn how to up your at-home gardening game.
Marvel at marine animals at the Georgia Aquarium.
One of the largest aquariums in the world, this Atlanta attraction has thousands of animals, including beluga whales, dolphins, penguins, sea lions, and even a whale shark. Visiting the Georgia Aquarium is an ideal activity for rainy or super-hot days.
Sip on a famous soft drink at the World of Coca-Cola.
Founded and still headquartered in Atlanta, The Coca-Cola Company is an American institution, and you can learn all about the brand and taste soda flavors from around the world at the World of Coca-Cola.
Learn about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and impact.
A visit to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park is one of the best things to do in Atlanta. Highlights include Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birth home, Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he was a pastor), and The King Center.
Visit Centennial Olympic Park.
Built for the 1996 Summer Olympics, this park is located near several other notable Atlanta attractions, including the World of Coca-Cola and Georgia Aquarium. Make sure to snap a photo with the Olympic rings when you visit.
Shop and eat around Ponce City Market.
With great shops, an expansive food hall, and a rooftop with a restaurant, bar, games, and more, Ponce City Market is a solid place to spend an afternoon shopping and admiring the Atlanta skyline.
Learn local history at the Atlanta History Center.
Located in the Buckhead neighborhood, the Atlanta History Center has a mix of indoor and outdoor exhibits, from the 1928 Swan House to a cyclorama depicting the Battle of Atlanta.
Visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.
You can learn about Atlanta's role in the civil rights movement at many spots throughout the city, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Here, you'll find exhibits about the U.S. civil rights movement, the global human rights movement, and key figures in both.
Dive into sports history at the College Football Hall of Fame.
The Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame honors the sport's famed players and features an indoor playing field, college football history, and more, making it a must-visit for sports fans.
Check out The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.
Born in Georgia, the 39th president of the United States, Jimmy Carter, has a presidential library and museum featuring an exact replica of the Oval Office and exhibits about his life and achievements.
Stroll through Piedmont Park.
With wide-open spaces and skyline views, Piedmont Park is the place for a morning stroll or afternoon picnic. The park also hosts many events throughout the year, like Music Midtown, a massive festival drawing A-list artists.
Play around at the Children's Museum of Atlanta.
If you're traveling with kids eight years old or younger, head to the Children's Museum of Atlanta for hands-on, educational exhibits — another great family-friendly, rainy day option.
Climb aboard a 747 at the Delta Flight Museum.
Travelers who love all things aviation should visit the Delta Flight Museum for a look at the airline's history. Visitors can get a look at vintage aircraft, tour the first Boeing 747-400, and experience a flight simulator.
Chow down at Krog Street Market.
From dumplings to chocolate to pizza, Krog Street Market is the perfect place to stop for a casual bite while exploring the city.
Spot some street art.
While you're in the area, head down to Krog Street Tunnel to see some of the city's street art. The tunnel is filled with graffiti and murals, making it a cool spot to snap a few photos for Instagram.
Learn about Jewish history and culture at The Breman Museum.
At The Breman Museum, you can learn about Jewish life in the South, as well as the Holocaust through the powerful stories of Atlanta-area survivors.
Admire works by local artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.
This Atlanta museum features Georgia artists through a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions. If you're still searching for an artsy experience, head to the High Museum of Art on your trip, too.
Catch a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts.
That's right, this center is devoted to all things puppetry, so catch a show or visit the Worlds of Puppetry Museum, which offers a look into the art form's history and some key players, including a Jim Henson exhibit featuring puppets and props from Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, and more.
Paddle the Chattahoochee.
Between museum visits, get outside and go for a paddle or tube ride along the Chattahoochee River National Water Trail. This can be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day — just don't forget your sunscreen.
Cheer on the Atlanta Falcons.
Depending on the time of year, you could plan to cheer on one of Atlanta's professional sports teams, like the Atlanta Falcons or Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Keep an eye out for tiny doors.
Tiny Doors ATL is a local project by artist Karen Anderson Singer. You can find the tiny doors (inspired by the location, neighborhood, or community) located around the city, including at some of the spots on this list.
Get a taste of local flavors.
There are plenty of fantastic restaurants around Atlanta. Fried chicken, biscuits, sweet tea, barbecue, and The Varsity's famous chili cheese dogs should all be added to your must-eat list.
Catch a show at Fox Theatre.
Fox Theatre hosts great comedy, dance, and music shows throughout the year, but its unique design — influenced by Egypt and the Middle East — makes it worth checking out alone.
Visit the Madam C.J. Walker Museum and WerdStudio.
Known as America's first female self-made millionaire with a successful cosmetic and hair product business, Madam C.J. Walker's legacy lives on at this museum. In the same building, you can also find the home of Werd, the first Black-owned radio station.
Walk the rainbow crosswalk.
At 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue, find the brightly colored rainbow crosswalk, a symbol for the LGBTQ+ community.
Visit the Trap Music Museum.
Atlanta is the hometown of many famous musicians, and the Trap Music Museum pays homage to the culture and history of trap music. The museum also offers private tours with complimentary Champagne on Thursdays.
See Atlanta from above.
Take a ride around the 20-story SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, located in Centennial Olympic Park, to enjoy a bird's-eye view of the city.
Shop around Buckhead.
Looking for some swanky shopping? Head to the Buckhead Village District, packed with designer stores and restaurants.
Tour famous filming locations.
Did you know that lots of famous movies and TV shows have been filmed in Atlanta? The Hunger Games, The Walking Dead, and more feature prominent Atlanta locations — you can even take a DIY tour to see them.