Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and is a cosmopolitan city filled with diversity. The largest city in Georgia, Atlanta is rich in cultural history and visitors are charmed by the Southern hospitality and countless attractions this bustling city has to offer. From world-class news headquarters and beautiful historical landmarks to sporting events and civil rights museums, Atlanta is a hip city that is also family-friendly, making it a premium destination for visitors of all ages.
Where to Stay in Atlanta: Check Out Atlanta's Great Vacation Rentals
For a more enjoyable and relaxing experience that feels like home, book an Atlanta rental. Tripping.com offers a variety of options that are perfect for the individual traveler and large groups, from high-rise condos located in the heart of Downtown to spacious historic homes located in some of Atlanta’s best neighborhoods.
What to do in Atlanta: Top 10 Things to Do While Visiting
1. Visit the Georgia Aquarium
Home to tens of thousands of diverse animals, the Georgia Aquarium offers visitors a fun and engaging learning experience through its exhibits and various activities that include behind-the-seas tours, watching dolphin training, and after-hours cocktail parties for adults. The Aquarium also offers sleepovers for families and adults alongside their world-class exhibits. General admission costs $40.95 for adults and $34.95 for children ages 3 to 12.
2. Take a Stroll Through Centennial Olympic Park
Located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Centennial Olympic Park is a 21-acre public park that was originally built as a gathering spot during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. Nowadays the lasting legacy is host to free community events that include a Fourth of July Celebration, festivals, and fundraisers. Cool off during a hot Atlanta afternoon by taking in a Fountain of Rings show, which runs four times daily, 365 days a year. Afterwards, grab lunch at the on-site Googie Burger, which cooks up tasty Southern fare including hand-battered fried chicken breast and double-fried fries.
3. Explore the Coca-Cola Museum
For all you Coca-Cola lovers, Atlanta’s World of Coca-Cola Museum offers visitors an interactive experience with one of the world’s most famous brands. Take a seat in the Coca-Cola Theatre and watch a screening of Moments of Happiness, a six-minute film that celebrates memorable moments around the world. Snap a selfie with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear, explore the brand’s exciting history by walking through the Milestones of Refreshment, and visit the Vault of the Secret Formula to create taste and flavor combinations. General admission costs $16.
4. Ride the SkyView Ferris Wheel
Soar to new heights while riding in one of SkyView Ferris Wheel’s 42 climate-controlled gondolas that offer incredible views of downtown Atlanta. For those seeking a little more luxury, upgrade to one of their VIP gondolas that feature glass floors and a longer riding time. The 20-storey Ferris wheel is open daily and is located in Centennial Olympic Park. General tickets are $13.50 and VIP tickets are $50 per person.
5. Pay Respects at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site
Located in Midtown Atlanta, east of the CNN Center, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site features 35-acres of fun and education. Stop by the famous African-American civil rights leader’s gravesite and tomb, take a guided walking tour of his childhood home, walk in the authentic shoe print footsteps of heroes at the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame, and visit the King Center–which houses preserved writings, audio and video of Dr. King. Entry to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site is free.
6. Go Behind-the-Scenes at CNN
The world headquarters for CNN news channels are located in Atlanta, and are the largest of all 48 bureaus. Go for a 50-minute guided walking tour, which departs every 10 minutes, to catch an exciting glimpse of the news and broadcast teams in action. Visitors also have the option of exploring the CNN Center at their own leisure. Entrance to the building is free, and a public area includes a food court and retail stores. Ticket prices vary; call 404-827-2300 72 hours in advance for reservations.
7. See Wildlife at the Atlanta Zoo
Check out the wide assortment of wildlife at the Atlanta Zoo, including Chinese pandas, Sumatran tigers, and the first-ever black rhino born in Atlanta history. Your ticket to the zoo includes wildlife shows, a petting zoo, zoo keeper talks and training demonstrations, and Zoo’s Clues–interactive mysteries for the children to solve. General admission is $22.99 for adults, an $17.99 for children ages 3 to 11.
8. Discover Natural Beauty at the Atlanta Botanical Garden
Stop and smell the flowers at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, located adjacent to Piedmont Park. A popular site for weddings and other private events, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is home to a lush variety of flowers and plant life. Visitors may also join one of the guided garden tours, and the garden also hosts plant sales, enabling guests to take home some of the beautiful botanical wonders. Admission to the Atlanta Botanical Garden is $18.95 for adults and $12.95 for children over the age of 3.
9. Cheer On the Atlanta Braves Baseball Team
Based in Atlanta since 1966 after being relocated from Boston, the Atlanta Braves are the professional baseball team of Atlanta. Join other fans for a home game at Turner Field, order a hot dog, and celebrate the community’s athletic spirit. Take home a team jersey or other Atlanta Braves merchandise as a souvenir to add your memories of Atlanta.
10. Take a Tour of Margaret Mitchell House & Museum
The former home of Gone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell, the Margaret Mitchell House has since been converted into a historic museum. Visitors can sign up for daily guided tours of the three-story Tudor Revival building, which has been beautifully restored and also features a gift shop that offers a variety of Gone With the Wind collectors items. Tickets are $13 for adults and $8.50 for youth visitors.
Atlanta is an extremely convenient city to get around in, and although a car is helpful, it is not mandatory. The most popular method of transportation around Atlanta is the citywide rail system known as MARTA (Metropolitan Rapid Transit Authority). MARTA runs daily from 5am to 1am and even has a rail station inside the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, offering visitors a quick and inexpensive way to get to downtown Atlanta.
This article was written by Kamala Kirk.