Top Things To Do In Atlanta

Save 39% on admission to the top 5 Atlanta attractions with CityPASS.

There's a reason why Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport leads the world in moving passengers: Atlanta is hot, and not just in summertime. It's a hot tourist destination. The city's deep Southern roots are evident in its offerings, but Atlanta is every bit a modern metropolis with world-class attractions, entertainment, and food. Below you'll see our list of some of the best things to do in Atlanta.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium has a simple claim to fame: it is the largest aquarium in the world! Georgia Aquarium boasts a 10-million gallon playground for all types of aquatic animals including dolphins, beluga whales, penguins, sharks and more. Not only that, but it's also home to one of the largest living reef exhibits in the world.

What to Do
Go underwater! Experience a view usually reserved for divers in a signature tunnel in the Ocean Voyager exhibit. You'll see the animals in the aquarium from a very different perspective and you'll feel just like a scuba diver, without having to learn how to breathe from an oxygen tank.

What to See
More than 60 exhibits showcase an immense variety of marine life, including playful belugas, massive whale sharks, frolicking otters, and ethereal jellyfish. Popular exhibits include Aquanaut Adventure, AT&T Dolphin Tales, and Topical Diver presented by Southwest.

>> Learn more about the Georgia Aquarium.

World of Coca-Cola

Few could have dreamed that Dr. John S. Pemberton's "headache remedy" of the late 1800s would become the world's most recognized beverage. At World of Coca-Cola you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process, taste test more than 100 beverages from around the world, and also get as close as possible to the vault containing the "Secret Formula."

What to Do
Visit the Taste It! gallery, which offers free sampling of more than 100 beverages marketed by Coca-Cola in nations around the world. There are five tasting stations that feature drinks from Europe, Asia, Africa, Latin America and North America. You can also taste all of the different Coca-Cola Trademark brands such as Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Cherry Coke, Coke Zero, and more.

What to See
Revel in the history of Coca-Cola and view the galleries devoted to advertising campaigns, the bottling process, and Coke in pop culture. For example, did you know that prior to 1931 there was no consistent depiction of Santa Claus? Coca-Cola changed all that with their advertising images of Santa done by illustrator Haddon Sundblom. In the gallery you can also create your own Coke art with the interactive "My Coke Art" exhibit.

>> Learn more about World of Coca-Cola.

CNN Studio Tours

CNN Center, world headquarters of the international news channel, offers an inside look at news production. CNN Studio Tours is a 50-minute guided walking tour that gives you a behind-the-scenes look of the global headquarters of CNN.

What to Do
Take a ride on the world's longest freestanding escalator, which starts the tour. Try your hand at "cold reading" the news in Studio 7E. How will you do? It's not as easy as the pros make it look!

What to See
Watch a newscast as it occurs. Also, check out the station's control room on the studio tour – complete with real-time direction and an explanation of technology used (including "blue screen"). After touring the heart of CNN Worldwide you'll never look at news the same.

>> Learn more about CNN Studio Tours.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Surrounded by a 65-acre (26.3 hectares) forest, the Fernbank Museum of Natural History offers an observatory, a planetarium, an IMAX movie theater, and oodles of fascinating exhibits. Home to the biggest movie screen in Atlanta as well as the largest dinosaurs ever discovered, Fernbank Museum excites visitors of all ages.

What to Do
Participate in Sensing Nature’s hands-on activities that helps visitors become aware of how their senses interpret the world around them. This interactive exhibit will help you understand how your senses can lead to false perceptions about the world, and also how those same senses work together to better understand your environment.

What to See
Discover virtual waterfalls and the insides of a mighty red oak tree at NatureQuest, which lets kids explore the nooks and crannies of a multi-level clubhouse. The experience turns kids into explorers and scientists as they discover the natural world.

>> Learn more about the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is a cultural attraction located near the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coca-Cola that seeks to connect the American Civil Rights Movement to today's Global Human Rights Movement. The whole goal of the center is to create a safe place for people of all ages to explore and learn about the fundamental human rights of all human beings and inspire everyone to join the ongoing dialogue about human rights.

What to Do
Learn more about The American Civil Rights Movement and it's significance in helping to progress human rights around the world. You'll also learn about how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed and the improvements it has made in the lives of Americans with disabilities.

What to See
The exclusive rotating exhibition of over 13,000 personal artifacts from the Morehouse College Martin King, Jr. Collection. Through these artifacts you'll get a great look at the man behind the movement.

>> Learn more about the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Zoo Atlanta

Occupying nearly 40 acres (16 hectares) in Grant Park, Zoo Atlanta's lush natural habitats showcase more than 1,000 animals representing some 200 species from around the world. Zoo Atlanta is Atlanta's oldest cultural attraction and is still a favorite.

What to Do
If you have kids, visiting Zoo Atlanta is one of the best family things to do in Atlanta. From interactive wildlife shows, the Zoo train, a petting zoo featuring goats and sheep, and the activity-packed KIDZone kids of all ages will have all sorts of fun exploring Zoo Atlanta.

What to See
The zoo is best known for its gorillas – more reside here than anywhere else in the United States – and for being one of four U.S. zoos that house giant pandas. Lun Lun, a giant panda at Zoo Atlanta, gave birth to twin cubs on July 15, 2013 - the first twins born in the United States since 1987!

>> Learn more about Zoo Atlanta.

College Football Hall of Fame

Do you have college football fans in your family? Then you won't want to miss Atlanta's most interactive attraction, the College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-a Fan Experience.

What to Do
Kick a field goal or play quarterback on the 45-yard replica football field. The Playing Field spans over 15,000 square feet and every day features different games and activities for visitors to participate in.

What to See
Watch the ultra-high-definition 4K feature film The Game of Your Life, a behind-the-scenes look into game day on a college team. Also, look for the helmet of your favorite college team on the Helmet Wall Presented by Southwest Airlines.

>> Learn more about College Football Hall of Fame.

Centennial Olympic Park

Created to be a gathering place for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games, Centennial Olympic Park is a verdant oasis that serves both locals and tourists. The park hosts various activities including charity walks, concerts, and more.

What to Do
With a children’s playground, eateries on-site, and its prime downtown Atlanta location, the park can be either destination or way station. It's also one of the most photographed landmarks in Georgia, so snap a picture or two while you're there.

What to See
Be sure to time your visit with one of the pop-up water fountains' "performances." The Fountain of Rings is the centerpiece of the park and features an interactive fountain in the shape of the Olympic Ring symbol.

>> Learn more about Centennial Olympic Park.

Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

Visitors can pay tribute and learn about Martin Luther King Jr. at this National Historic Site. The site was established in 1980 to commemorate the work of Dr. King. The King Center, completed and dedicated in 1982, houses the tomb of Dr. King.

What to Do
Hear recordings of Dr. King's sermons and speeches that play inside the church, bringing his message – in his own voice – to new generations of listeners. Stop by the visitor center to learn about what exhibits are currently being featured in the D.R.E.A.M. Gallery.

What to See
His childhood home; his crypt, with eternal flame; Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as pastor; and showcases of his important civil rights work.

>> Learn more about the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

Piedmont Park

Since 1904, Piedmont Park has encouraged visitors to engage with nature. The park is also a popular wedding destination and hosts a wide variety of events including fitness camps, festivals, and other activities.

What to Do
Explore the sports fields, skating and biking paths – separated from well-marked jogging and walking paths – and a dog park where four-legged friends romp leash-free invite both casual and organized play.

What to See
The Noguchi Playscape, an intersection of shape, color and texture designed for active and enthusiastic interaction. Make your way over to the Promenade and sit by the Legacy Fountain. The fountain features more than 70 jets and is capable of showcasing more than a million lighting configurations.

>> Learn more about Piedmont Park.

Fox Theatre

Sometimes known as "The Fabulous Fox," this historic venue opened its doors to Atlanta patrons in 1929 as a movie theatre. As the years wore on, the Fox Theatre became the go-to cultural center for Atlanta residents and tourists to see live plays, attend the ballet, or even catch a live concert by current bands.

What to Do
Broadway touring companies frequently play the Fox Theatre – a must for a taste of the Great White Way in the metropolitan south. The Atlanta Ballet also performs at the historic theatre. Silver screen lovers can catch one of the numerous movie festivals hosted at the Fox Theatre – view a classic film on the big screen as it was meant to be seen! Or see if your favorite band is playing live while you’re visiting Atlanta. Nearly anyone who is everyone plays the Fabulous Fox!

What to See
Stellar entertainment aside, the Fox Theatre is a site to behold. Its architecture pulls in aspects of grand Middle Eastern and ancient Egyptian architecture alongside the grandeur of ‘20s art deco. View a movie or see a show inside the Fox’s vast auditorium, which is designed to look like courtyard straight out of Arabian nights. You’ll even see twinkling "stars" that are part of the ceiling’s design.

>> Learn more about the Fox Theatre.

Atlanta Professional Sports

Atlanta is home to numerous major league sports teams. Depending on the time of year you visit Atlanta, you can cheer on the MLB Braves, the NFL's Falcons, or the Hawks of the NBA. Fun for a family outing, enjoying the game as a couple, or just fly solo and see sports in a live setting.

What to Do
Each of Atlanta's major sports venues has something unique to offer fans. Turner Field houses a Braves Museum & Hall of Fame – which has such sights as Hank Aaron’s legendary 715th home run ball, as well as the Braves' 1995 World Series Trophy. Football fans can take a stroll through the Georgia Dome and see the site of the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. And basketball fans may have their chance to dance with Harry the Hawk, the NBA team's hilarious mascot.

What to See
See the "boys of summer" in action! Pay a visit to Turner Field to watch the Atlanta Braves play Major League Baseball. Get your picture taken next to the statue of baseball great Hank Aaron!

Enjoy live NFL action at the Georgia Dome, home of the Atlanta Falcons. The brisk Atlanta fall and winter makes it a comfortable atmosphere to see a live football game.

Basketball fans will want to head to the Philips Arena to see the Atlanta Hawks take to the court.

>> Learn more about Atlanta Professional Sports.

Eat at The Varsity

The World's Largest Drive-In Restaurant, The Varsity has been an Atlanta fixture since 1928. Its Downtown Atlanta location is able to fit over 600 cars – but has 8 other locations throughout the city, too!

What to Do
Eat! Enjoy a juicy hamburger, beefy hot dogs, and The Varsity's famous homemade chili. You can even dine on the delicacies the diner makes in-house such as French fries, onion rings, and pimento cheese. For desert, tempt your palate with ice cream or their famous homemade fried apple pies and fried peach pies. Yum!

What to See
Enjoy delicious drive-in fare served by car hops, making you feel like you've gone back in time. These car hops deliver your food right to your car on roller skates! After you’ve had your fill of fresh drive-in delights, make sure you check out The Varsity gift shop to take home some souvenirs.

>> Learn more about The Varsity.

Self-Guided Tour of Oakland Cemetery

Get a taste of history and enjoy one of the biggest green spaces in Atlanta at the city's Oakland Cemetery. Established in 1850, it's the oldest cemetery in Atlanta. These beautiful Victorian funerary grounds the 1864 burning of Atlanta and stands as a historical beacon that tells the story of change throughout the city's history.

What to Do
Get started on your journey by stopping by the vistors center and picking up a map. You'll find numerous sights to see and where they're located within the cemetery gates. If you're visiting during Halloween, you can opt for a guided tour that lends a delightfully spooky touch to this picturesque place of eternal rest.

What to See
Observe the beautiful Victorian botanical gardens throughout the cemetery. It's a stark contrast against the modern Atlanta skyline, but a striking one, no less. See the final resting places of some of the most famous native sons and daughters of Atlanta, such as professional golfer (and lawyer) Bobby Jones and Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell.

>> Learn more about the Oakland Cemetery.

To visit the top attractions in Atlanta, use an Atlanta CityPASS and save nearly half off combined admission costs. Plus, CityPASS holders avoid some ticket and entry lines, which means less time waiting and more time doing. Atlanta's CityPASS includes admission to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, CNN Studio Tours, and your choice between Zoo Atlanta or National Center for Civil and Human Rights, and Fernbank Museum of Natural History or College Football Hall of Fame and Chick-fil-a Fan Experience. Some special exhibits are not included with the CityPASS and may require an extra fee.

CityPASS can be purchased online or at any of our participating Atlanta attractions. Use our Atlanta City Pass and discover these top places to visit and things to do in Atlanta.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights Photo Credit - ©Gene Phillips Photography
Fox Theatre Photo Credit
The Varsity Photo Credit

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