Things to do in Atlanta

Atlanta, capital of the state of Georgia, is one of the principal cities of the American South. Atlanta was originally planned as a railway junction and today stands as a major economic and cultural powerhouse, as well as being one of the world’s busiest airport hubs.

Much of Atlanta’s Southern roots remain evident today but the city is every bit the modern, thriving metropolis, with world-class attractions, entertainment, food and nightlife.

Below are some of the top attractions and essential places to visit for travelers to Atlanta.

Parks & Green Spaces

Stone Mountain

Stone Mountain is located 16 miles east of Atlanta in a five square mile park and is Georgia's most visited attraction. The mountain features famous civil war figures - Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson carved onto the front of the stone.

Visitors can hike up to the top of the mountain or take the Skylift. You can also take the Sky Hike, which involves miles of bridges suspended in the treetops,
as well as scenic railroad tours. The big draw is probably the laser show choreographed with music, creating an awesome light display projected directly onto the surface of the mountain.

Piedmont Park

Piedmont Park is the oldest and largest park in the Atlanta metro region. A beautiful oasis of peace amongst the city skyscrapers, the park has paved trails with rollerbladers and plenty of green space, a beautiful pond, swimming pool, tennis and basketball courts and hosts a variety of different events throughout the year.

Oakland Cemetery

This 48 acre site less than a mile from downtown Atlanta, is a testament to the city's role in the Civil War and the civil rights movement and is also a beautiful green space, with its winding paths, shade trees and flowers amongst elaborate mausoleums and intricate sculptures.

Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Another peaceful space with several beautifully maintained and well laid out gardens such as the Fuqua Orchid Center, the Rose Garden, the Winter Garden, the Japanese Garden, the Conservation Garden and the Desert House.

Centennial Olympic Park

Created for the 1996 Olympics, this park provides spectacular views of the Downtown skyline with plenty of fountains and spots for picnics or a leisurely stroll. The park has sculptures and many other items commemorating the 1996 Olympics. Various concerts and events also take place at the park, some of which are free, so it’s always worth checking the calendar.

Fox Theatre

The historic Fox Theatre was built in the 1920’s with an Arabian-themed design and has always been a much loved landmark of the city. The interior of the theatre has seen considerable restoration work over the years in an attempt to maintain its original elegance.

Performances at the Fox include operas, ballet, rock concerts, and movies. There are two ballrooms, the Egyptian Ballroom and the Grand Salon. Both of which are sometimes used for weddings and special events.

World of Coca Cola

Here you can learn all about the history of one of the world’s largest companies. See the world's largest collection of Coke memorabilia; visit the tasting room where visitors can sample over 60 flavours of Coke from around the world. The World of Coca Cola is naturally a favourite with kids of all ages.

Center for Civil and Human Rights & Martin Luther King Jnr National History Site

Located right in the heart of downtown Atlanta, the Center for Civil and Human Rights is a truly inspiring cultural gem. The centre features exhibits which allow visitors to Interact with touch-screens and listen to original recordings of stories of true courage.

The Martin Luther King Jnr National Historic Site includes the birthplace of the civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr which dates from 1895, and the Ebenezer Baptist Church at 407-413 Auburn Avenue in which he and his father were ministers. The Freedom Hall Complex is his final resting place and The Martin Luther King Jr Center for Nonviolent Social Change is also in the same area.

Inside CNN Tour

See news in the making in this special behind-the-scenes tour. Visit a simulation of CNN's main control room to get the inside track on special effects and what else goes into creating a professional news broadcast. Tours also includes a glimpse of the newsroom, where you can potentially catch part of a live newscast.


High Museum of Art

One of the top art museums in the Southeast United State, the High has more than 12,000 pieces of art in its permanent collection with an extensive collection of 19th and 20th-century American art, as well as a growing collection of African American art and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary artworks.

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

The Fernbank portrays the natural history of Georgia as well as technical and scientific phenomena. Highlights include the huge dinosaur statues at the entrance and the dinosaur skeletons in the Great Hall, while the floors are made of limestone tiles with embedded fossils.

Atlanta History Centre

The Atlanta History Center is a large complex comprising the Atlanta History Museum, Centennial Olympic Games Museum, Swan House, Smith Family Farm and the Kenan Research Center, along with a number of historic gardens. The History Museum features a variety of exhibitions, as well as a permanent collection with a focus on topics such as the American Civil War.

Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium is an absolute must-see and holds the title as the largest aquarium in the world. Top highlights include the mesmerizing Ocean Voyager, providing visitors with a breathtaking experience, as an array of underwater giants swim overhead. You can also enjoy an interactive experience petting horseshoe crabs, sea stars and stingrays or take part in the dolphin, sea otter and penguin encounter programs.

Zoo Atlanta

The zoo is home to endangered animals such as rhinos, orangutans, gorillas and elephants while the Children's Zoo has a playground and petting area. The Masai Mara is home to lions, zebras, giraffes, gazelles and other African animals and mimics the plains of Africa with similar trees and vegetation, as does “The Rainforest”, which is home to several species of gorilla.


There are festivals and special events going on throughout the year in Atlanta but October is possibly the biggest month with 3 huge annual events.

First comes Atlanta Pride, one of the oldest Pride parades in the USA. Following hot on the heels is the Little 5 Points Halloween Festival and Parade, while foodies everywhere will adore the Taste of Atlanta festival, with over 90 of the city’s top eateries joining in the fun. Finally if you are visiting in May, be sure to catch the Atlanta Jazz Festival which runs all throughout the month.