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How To Plan a Weekend in Atlanta as a First Timer

November 3, 2023 By CityPASS

If you've never been to Atlanta, there's no better time to start planning your first getaway. A buzzing metropolis that retains much of its southern charm, Atlanta is known for its vibrant cultural scene, variety of dining options, and rich history to discover.

There's so much to see and do, so here are the things you simply can't miss during your first weekend trip to Atlanta.

Must-Visit Attractions To Include in Your Atlanta Itinerary

One of the best things about this city is how much diversity there is when it comes to activities in Atlanta. Whether your perfect afternoon consists of hitting up a museum followed by a stroll through the park or indulging in shopping and local cuisine, there's something for everyone.

Here are some no-fail ideas to add to your weekend itinerary.

Experience Atlanta's Skyline From Piedmont Park

Stretch your legs and take in the incredible views of the city's skyline at Piedmont Park. Just a mile north of downtown, it covers nearly 190 acres of land and is one of the city's main green lungs. Piedmont Park is a popular spot for biking, walking, running, and picnicking.

However, what really makes it special is the unbeatable view of the city's most recognizable buildings just behind the lake in the park. On a clear day, the skyline reflects onto the shimmering water. It's a view unlike any other in Atlanta.

Explore Aquatic Habitats in the Georgia Aquarium

If you're looking for family-friendly activities to do in Atlanta, make a stop at the Georgia Aquarium, which houses hundreds of aquatic species in more than 11 million gallons of water. While you're sure to see a plethora of colorful fish from around the world, you'll also get to observe creatures like belugas, sharks, sea lions, and penguins.

Be sure to check out the aquarium's calendar during your trip for any special events or activities for visitors.

Get Close to Your Favorite Animals at Zoo Atlanta

Strolling through the zoo is one of the most relaxing things to do in Atlanta on Sunday. You'll take a walk on the wild side as you spot creatures from around the globe, like giant pandas, gorillas, African elephants, lions, and so many more. Immersive habitats transport you to places like the African savanna or the Asian rainforest.

Zoo Atlanta offers a wide variety of experiences and activities that both kids and adults will love. On its website, you can find the complete list of what's happening at the zoo during your trip.

Enjoy Savory Food at the Atlanta Breakfast Club

Looking for some Southern hospitality in downtown Atlanta? Stop in the Atlanta Breakfast Club for a Southern breakfast that will fuel you up for a full day of sightseeing. To get a taste of authentic Southern food, try a signature dish like Crispy Fried Chicken and Waffles, Gulf Shrimp and Grits, or the special Southern Breakfast.

Atlanta Breakfast Club is open for breakfast and brunch, so this could be a fun way to celebrate a birthday weekend in Atlanta with an unbeatable breakfast.

Elevate Your Fandom in the College Football Hall of Fame

Sports fans, assemble! One of the most fascinating museums in town for those who like football is the College Football Hall of Fame, a shrine for anyone passionate about this game. Visitors get an all-access pass to discover thrilling highlights and unique experiences. Whether you're a casual fan or a hardcore football lover, this football museum is popular with all ages.

Dive Into the History of the World of Coca-Cola

One of the most popular things to do during weekend getaways in Atlanta is to stop at the famous Coca-Cola museum. World of Coca-Cola takes you behind the scenes to learn more about the company's history, the bottling process, and how the product has grown and changed. You'll also get the opportunity to sample Coca-Cola products from all over the world in the Taste It! exhibit.

Grab Lunch at Ponce City Market

Craving real Southern food in a unique setting? Head to Ponce City Market for brunch, lunch, or dinner to sample a wide variety of dishes in the Food Hall. More than just a foodie's paradise, Ponce City Market often has fun activities and events on weekends, including a Lululemon yoga series, art classes, and cocktail-making classes.

Go Back in Time at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Make time to stop at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History during your getaway in Atlanta to learn more about the Earth and its mysteries. This museum features artifacts that span both the globe and the Earth's history, including dinosaur fossils, live animals, and remnants of ancient cultures. Full of immersive galleries and activities, Fernbank has something to offer everyone when it comes to family fun.

Get Inspired at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights

One of the most significant things to do today in Atlanta is visit the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Here, visitors can take a deep dive into the civil rights movement and Atlanta's role in it. This meaningful museum explores not only the history of this movement but also looks at the global human rights movement as a whole. Inspiring, educational, and suitable for all ages, you won't want to miss this incredible museum.

Make Your First Visit to Atlanta Unforgettable With a CityPASS® Ticket

The first thing you should do when organizing your Atlanta trip is go online and buy an Atlanta CityPASS® ticket. This ticket gets you into five of Atlanta's top things to do, all of which are on this list, and saves you both time and money. There's no better way to get the most out of a weekend getaway to Atlanta.

Lodging in Atlanta

To get the most out of your stay in Atlanta, we recommend finding lodging near Atlanta's top attractions. Use this map to find the right lodging for you:

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