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Top Things to Do in Atlanta

A Dozen Fun Things to Do and See When Visiting Atlanta, Georgia


There are so many more things to do in Atlanta thanks to the downtown revitalization movement, which received a significant boost in preparation for the 1996 Olympic Games. Now a much more visitor friendly city with new and enhanced attractions, convenient public transportation and better downtown hotel options, Atlanta of today offers many unique, interesting and fun things to see and do for visitors of all ages.

This list of popular Atlanta attractions includes an array of options and most are located either downtown, midtown or are easy to reach by public transportation. Also, if you are planning a lot of sightseeing, the Atlanta City Pass (Shop Direct) is well worth considering.

1. The Georgia Aquarium

The Georgia Aquarium, located in downtown Atlanta, opened to the public in 2005. With more than eight million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium, it is the largest aquarium in the world. Instantly becoming one of Atlanta's top attractions, the Georgia Aquarium was visited by more than 3.6 million people during its first year.

Location - 225 Baker Street NW, Atlanta - Across from the north end of Centennial Olympic Park.
Telephone - 404-581-4000
MARTA Transportation - A ten to fifteen minute walk from: MARTA stops W1 Dome / GWCC/ Philips Arena / CNN Center and N1 Peachtree Center. Also, the convenient A to Z Bus runs from Georgia Aquarium to Zoo Atlanta via Route 97.

2. World of Coca-Cola

The new World of Coca-Cola opened in 2007 in the heart of downtown Atlanta across Baker Street from Centennial Olympic Park. About twice the size of the previous facility, the new World of Coca-Cola is a uniquely Atlanta attraction with more than 1,200 artifacts, interactive exhibits and more. Highlights include:
  • A Coke and pop culture gallery
  • A 4-D theater
  • A bottling line that produces commemorative 8-ounce bottles of Coca-Cola
  • A tasting lounge featuring 70 beverages at tasting stations arranged by continent
Location - 121 Baker Street NW, Atlanta
Telephone - 404-676-5151 or 800-676-COKE (2653)
MARTA Transportation - About a ten minute walk from W1 Dome / GWCC / Philips Arena / CNN Center and / or N1 Peachtree Center.

3. Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

Drawing visitors from the around world, this living memorial complex was established to preserve the places where Dr. King was born, worked, worshipped and is buried. Several facilities, operated in partnership by the National Park Service, Ebenezer Baptist Church and The King Center, provide visitors the opportunity to pay tribute to Dr. King and to explore his life's work and legacy.

Address - NPS Visitor Center - 450 Auburn Avenue NE, Atlanta
Telephone - Information: 404-331-6922 / Park Headquarters: 404-331-5190
MARTA Transportation - Five Points to Route 3 Auburn Avenue

4. Centennial Olympic Park

Developed for the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta and later redesigned for daily public use, this 21-acre downtown oasis is popular with visitors and residents alike. Park features include the world's largest interactive fountain featuring the Olympic Ring symbol, exhibits, garden walks, water gardens, children's play areas and more. Many annual festivals and special events take place in the Park and an ice skating rink provides seasonal winter fun.

Location - Downtown across from the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola
Telephone - Recording: 404-222-PARK (7275) / Park Administration: 404-223-4412
MARTA Transportation - W1 Dome / GWCC/ Philips Arena / CNN Center or N1 Peachtree Center

5. Woodruff Arts Center / The High Museum of Art

The heart of the Atlanta cultural and arts scene and one of the top visual and performing arts centers in the nation, the Woodruff Arts Center includes the High Museum of Art, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Alliance Theatre, Young Audiences and 14th Street Playhouse. For exploring the arts in Atlanta, this world renowned complex is a must see.

Location - 1280 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta - Midtown between 15th and 16th Streets
Telephone - Woodruff Arts Center: 404-733-4200 / Woodruff Box Office: 404-733-5000 / High Museum of Art: 404-733-4400 / Alliance Theatre: 404-733-4650 / 14th Street Playhouse: 404-733-4754
MARTA Transportation - N5 Arts Center Station: Exit at the top level and follow signs.

6. Inside CNN Studio Tour

This popular behind the scenes walking tour offers a backstage look at the CNN global headquarters. The tour, which is open daily except on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, lasts about 55 minutes with tours departing approximately every ten minutes. Reservations are highly recommended.

Location - One CNN Center, Atlanta, Georgia - downtown at the corner of Marietta Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive
Telephone - 404-827-2300 or 877-4CNNTOUR
MARTA Transportation - W1 Dome / GWCC/ Philips Arena / CNN Center

7. Atlanta History Center

Allow plenty of time to explore the Atlanta History Center, which connects people, history, and culture. History exhibit topics include the Civil War, Atlanta's development, folk arts of the South and more. Two on-site historic homes, a living history farm complete with sheep and two children's playhouses add to the experience.

Location - 130 West Paces Ferry Road, Atlanta - Buckhead District
Telephone - 404-814-4000
MARTA Transportation - NE7 Lenox Station to Bus #23 - Exit the bus at Peachtree and West Paces Ferry Road. Walk three blocks west on West Paces Ferry Road to the pedestrian entrance in front of the Atlanta History Center. Most visitors prefer to drive to this attraction if possible.

8. Margaret Mitchell House

Part of the Atlanta History Center, but situated at a separate location in midtown Atlanta, this former family home, converted into an apartment building in 1919, explores the life of author Margaret Mitchell and her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and the movie, Gone With the Wind.

Location - 990 Peachtree Street, Atlanta - Midtown
Telephone - 404-249-7015
MARTA Transportation - N4 Midtown Station - Located one block from the station at the corner of Peachtree Place and Peachtree Street.

9. Atlanta Botanical Garden

Located in midtown Atlanta adjacent to Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden features 30 acres of gardens, one of the best orchid displays in the nation, fragrant rose gardens, a children's garden and more. The Canopy Walk, which opened in May 2010, extends through an urban forest 40 feet above the ground. Special and ongoing educational programs and tours are available for all ages, including nighttime walks, concerts and family activities.

Location - 1345 Piedmont Avenue NE, Atlanta - Midtown adjacent to Piedmont Park on Piedmont Avenue, between 14th Street and Monroe Drive
Telephone - 404-876-5859
MARTA Transportation - N5 Arts Center Station: Transfer to the #36 North Decatur bus. On Sunday, take the #27 Monroe / Lindbergh bus.

10. The Fox Theatre

A premiere Atlanta entertainment venue, the Fabulous Fox offers an array of performances from Broadway shows to concerts, opera, movies and sometimes the sounds of Mighty Mo, the second largest theater organ in the world. Attracting over 750,000 annual visitors, this opulent mosque-like structure was originally designed in the late 1920s as headquarters for the Shriners organization, and shortly thereafter with minor alterations became a movie palace. In addition to performances, tours of this unique Southern jewel are conducted by the Atlanta Preservation Center.

Location - 660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta
Telephone - 404-881-2100
MARTA Transportation - N3 North Avenue Station - Walk 2 blocks east to the theater.

11. Atlanta Cyclorama and Civil War Museum

This unique attraction tells the story of the 1864 Battle of Atlanta with an immense cylindrical painting, surround sound music, sound effects and narration experienced from a rotating platform. The oil painting, which measures 42 feet high x 358 feet in circumference, is the largest in the world. It has been on display in Atlanta since 1893, making this the nation's longest running show. The museum features Civil War artifacts, weapons, photographs, uniforms and videos.

Location - 800 Cherokee Drive SE, Atlanta - Next to Zoo Atlanta
Telephone - 404-658-7625
MARTA Transportation - Five Points to Bus Route #97 or take Bus #97 from the Georgia Aquarium downtown, the route known as the A to Z (Aquarium to Zoo) Bus.

12. Atlanta's Fantastic Professional Sports Teams

Not many cities in the nation can boast being home to as many professional sports teams as Atlanta. For baseball fans, going to an Atlanta Braves game if possible is a must and if you are visiting out of season, Turner Field offers year round tours. Football fans will enjoy seeing the Falcons play in the unique and conveniently located Georgia Dome. Basketball and hockey fans who are staying downtown will be just steps from Philips Arena, the home game venue, for the Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Thrashers.

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