30 best things to do in Atlanta – from art museums to high-end shopping

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If you’re looking for a big-city getaway with a dose of Southern charm, it’s hard to beat. Atlanta, Georgia. Welcome to the incredible museumsseveral professional sports teams and one of busiest airports in the world, there are plenty of things to do in Atlanta that travelers of all ages will enjoy. Here, we’ve rounded up 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.

USA, Georgia, Atlanta, downtown view

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Travel the BeltLine.

Born from unused railroad tracks surrounding Atlanta, the BeltLine offers miles of trails for walking, skating and biking 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 featuring 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 home gardening game.

Admire marine life 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. Visit the Georgia Aquarium is an ideal activity for rainy or very hot days.

Sip on a famous soft drink at the World of Coca-Cola.

Founded and still based 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.

Discover the life and impact of Martin Luther King, Jr.

A visit to Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Park. is one of the best things to do in Atlanta. Highlights include Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthplace, Ebenezer Baptist Church (where he pastored), and the King Center.

Related: 15 inspiring places in the United States to learn about black history

Morning view of Centennial Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Morning view of Centennial Park, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Dan Reynolds Photography/Getty Images

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 the Georgia Aquarium. Be sure to take a photo with the Olympic rings during your visit.

Shop and eat around Ponce City Market.

With great shopping, an expansive food hall and a rooftop with a restaurant, bar, games and more, Ponce town 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 features 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 places around town, including the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. Here, you’ll find exhibits on the American civil rights movement, the global human rights movement, and key figures from both.

Immerse yourself in sports history at the College Football Hall of Fame.

the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame pays homage to famous players of the sport and features an indoor playing field, college football history, and more, making it a must visit for sports fans.

Discover 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 accomplishments.

view of piedmont park in Atlanta, GA

view of piedmont park in Atlanta, GA

Take a walk in Piedmont Park.

With its wide open spaces and city views, Piedmont Park is the perfect place for a morning stroll or an afternoon picnic. The park also hosts many events throughout the year, such as Music Midtown, a massive festival attracting top artists.

Play at the Children’s Museum of Atlanta.

If you are traveling with children aged eight or under, go to Children’s Museum of Atlanta for hands-on educational exhibits – another great option for families on a rainy day.

Board a 747 at the Delta Flight Museum.

Travelers who love all things aviation should visit the Delta Flight Museum for an overview of the airline’s history. Visitors can view vintage aircraft, tour the first Boeing 747-400, and experience a flight simulator.

Eat at Krog Street Market.

From chocolate balls to pizza, Krog Street Market is the perfect place to stop for a casual bite to eat while exploring the city.

Spot street art.

While in the area, head to the Krog Street Tunnel to see some of the city’s street art. The tunnel is filled with graffiti and murals, making it a cool place to snap a few photos for Instagram.

Learn about Jewish history and culture at the Breman Museum.

AT The Bremen Museumyou can learn about Jewish life in the South, as well as the Holocaust through the harrowing stories of survivors from the Atlanta area.

Admire the works of local artists at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

This Atlanta Museum presents Georgian artists through a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions. If you’re still looking for an artistic experience, head to Top Art Museum during your trip too.

Watch a puppet show at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

It’s true, this center is dedicated to all things puppetry, so catch a show or visit the Puppet Worlds Museumwhich offers insight into the history of the art form and some key players, including an exhibition by Jim Henson featuring puppets and props from Sesame Street, The Muppet Showand more.

Paddle the Chattahoochee.

Between visits to the museum, get out and take a paddle or tube ride along the Chattahoochee River National Water Trail. It can be a great way to cool off on a hot summer day, but don’t forget your sunscreen.

Cheer on the Atlanta Falcons.

Depending on the time of year, you might consider cheering on one of Atlanta’s professional sports teams, such as the Atlanta Falcons or Atlanta United FC at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Keep an eye out for small doors.

Small ATL doors is a local project by artist Karen Anderson Singer. You can find the Small Gates (inspired by location, neighborhood, or community) located throughout the city, including some of the locations on this list.

Taste local flavors.

There are plenty of fantastic restaurants around Atlanta. Fried chicken, cookies, sweet tea, barbecue, and The Varsity’s famous chili and cheese dogs should all be added to your must-have list.

Catch a show at the Fox Theater.

Fox Theater hosts great comedy, dance, and music shows throughout the year, but its unique design – influenced by Egypt and the Middle East – makes it worth it.

Visit the Madame CJ Walker Museum and WerdStudio.

Known as America’s first self-proclaimed female millionaire with a successful cosmetics and hair products business, Madame CJ Walker’s legacy lives on in this museum. In the same building you can also find the house 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 of 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 champagne offered on Thursday.

See Atlanta from above.

Take a tour around the 20 floors SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel, located in the Centennial Olympic Park, to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the city.

Go around Buckhead.

Fancy some fancy shopping? Head to the Buckhead Village area, which is full of designer shops and restaurants.

Visit famous filming locations.

Did you know that many famous movies and TV shows were filmed in Atlanta? The Hunger Games, The Walking Deadand others feature important Atlanta sites – you can even take a DIY tour to see them.

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