Things to do in Atlanta

Eclectic eats, a diverse music scene, and the world’s largest aquarium await in this peach of a city.

Our most recommended things to do in Atlanta

Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium Skip-the-Box-Office

1. Atlanta: Georgia Aquarium Skip-the-Box-Office

Skip the purchase lines at the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, and spend the day enjoying the aquarium's seven different areas and interactive 4D theater. The Aquarium features a variety of places to eat and drink, and parking is made easy in the connected parking garage. Learn about whale sharks, manta rays, giant groupers, and stingrays as you watch them from a huge window or walk through the clear underwater tunnel running through the giant tank. Discover the exciting energy of dolphins and their behavior from experienced trainers. Explore the world's coldest oceans with wildlife like the weedy seadragon, beluga whale, giant Pacific octopus, and Japanese spider crab. Introduce yourself to the charismatic nature of California sea lions before checking out one of the largest living reef exhibits of any aquarium in the world.

Atlanta: Zoo Atlanta General Admission Ticket

2. Atlanta: Zoo Atlanta General Admission Ticket

Connect with wildlife and visit over 1,500 animals with this ticket to Zoo Atlanta. Discover why Zoo Atlanta is one of the best zoological operations in the US. Enjoy a day with the whole family as you see the pandas, visit the the African Savanna, and interact with the animals at the petting zoo. Upon arrival, enter through the Advance Ticket entry line. Visit the twins, Ya Lun and Xi Lun, at the giant panda habitat. Then, head to one of Zoo Atlanta's largest expansions, the African Savanna.  The new elephant habitat is designed with elephant well-being in mind. Plains zebra, giraffes, and ostriches live together in a mixed-species setting. See an upgraded habitat for warthogs and meerkats. Enjoy Scaly Slimy Spectacular: The Amphibian and Reptile Experience. Explore a new amphibian and reptile complex featuring over 70 species and 100 individual animals. See over 65 animal habitats, including a windswept desert, Australian billabong, mangrove swamp, Georgia tidal creek, and more. Join a range of educational conversations with animal experts, many of which include an opportunity to watch animals during their feeding times. During the Wildlife Presentations, watch animals' natural behaviors in dynamic wildlife presentations. See mammals, birds, reptiles, and other animals.  Make sure to visit the KIDZone and Naked Mole Rat Playgrounds with your children, with plenty of opportunities to play, climb, and explore. In the summer, cool down at the Splash Fountain. The Petting Zoo, or also Treetop Trail for an additional fee, are both great options for more fun.

Atlanta: SkyView Ferris Wheel Ticket

3. Atlanta: SkyView Ferris Wheel Ticket

Tower nearly 20 stories above Centennial Park with this ticket to the SkyView Ferris wheel. Choose from a standard ticket for 7-12 minutes or extend your ride to 20 minutes with skip-the-line tickets that grant you access to the VIP gondola that has leather seats and hardwood floors. Hop aboard the the conveniently located downtown SkyView Ferris wheel for the perfect Atlanta skyline picture opportunity. With seating for up to six, you can easily elevate your date night, or a night out with friends with exceptional city views and a thrilling Ferris Wheel ride. Avoid sitting with strangers or getting too hot or cold in a private and climate-controlled gondola. Upgrade your experience with a longer ride in the luxury VIP gondola and time-saving skip-the-line tickets.

World of Coca-Cola: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Entry

4. World of Coca-Cola: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Entry

Welcome to World of Coca-Cola in Atlanta! Spend the day interacting with multiple exhibits, learning about the history of the iconic brand, and sampling more than 100 different beverages from around the world. With artifacts from yesterday and today, experience the real stories behind the world’s most famous beverage brand. Get a behind-the-scenes view of the bottling process in Bottle Works. Don't forget to take your selfie with the Coca-Cola Polar Bear before leaving! Enter the new exhibit, Scent Discovery, and use your nose to guess the origin of a variety of scents led by your small group docent. At World of Coca-Cola, inspiration is around every corner - from the vault where the secret formula is secured to world-class art and memorabilia. Located near beautiful Centennial Olympic Park, the World of Coca-Cola is right in the heart of downtown Atlanta’s bustling entertainment district and a must-see while in Atlanta. Advance ticket purchases will allow you to proceed directly to the main entry line.

Atlanta CityPASS®: Save 44% at 5 Top Attractions

5. Atlanta CityPASS®: Save 44% at 5 Top Attractions

Your Atlanta CityPASS® includes admission to Atlanta’s most famous attractions and is valid for 9 days from first use, giving you plenty of time to see all of the great sights. See amazing animals, fun pop culture, inspiring history, fascinating natural science and more with the Atlanta CityPASS, which provides you line-skipping privileges at select attractions.   The Atlanta CityPASS includes admission to 5 attractions: 1. Georgia Aquarium Experience 10 million gallons of awe-inspiring wonders at Georgia Aquarium. Visit and learn about whale sharks, beluga whales, manta rays, penguins, and sea lions. Don’t miss the sea lion presentation and Dolphin Celebration presentations, The 4D Fun believable Theater, and the daily penguin Waddle Walk. 2. World of Coca-Cola Learn the story behind the world’s most famous and most loved beverage brand at the World of Coca-Cola and get closer than ever before to the vault containing the Secret Formula. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the bottling process, take a trip around the world in a thrilling 4D movie experience, and tempt your taste buds with more than 100 beverages from around the globe. 3. Zoo Atlanta Explore the natural world with more than 1,000 animals at one of Georgia’s most beloved destinations. Don’t miss the all-new African Savanna, featuring new and expanded habitats for African elephants, giraffes, and more. Other highlights include one of North America’s largest populations of great apes, as well as several giant pandas. 4. Your choice of 2 from the following 3 attractions: 4.1 National Center for Civil and Human Rights A powerful and uplifting journey that highlights the power of people—and our shared responsibility to take the rights of all humans personally. Sit at an interactive lunch counter and experience what heroic protestors braved, stand face-to-face with global human rights champions, view items that changed history, and see MLK’s personal papers & artifacts. Feel the Power at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights. 4.2 Fernbank Museum of Natural History Discover a world of wow at Atlanta’s science and nature experience. Explore 75 acres of the great outdoors and three levels of immersive indoor exhibits featuring hands-on science, dinosaurs, live animals, and cultural artifacts. 4.3 College Football Hall of Fame Take your fandom to the next level at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame with interactive, immersive and entertaining exhibits. Explore the game’s most legendary experience filled with fun for everyone from families to college football fanatics.

Atlanta 5 Hour City Tour by Air-Conditioned Bus

6. Atlanta 5 Hour City Tour by Air-Conditioned Bus

Tour Atlanta from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus. Visit everything from Downtown to Buckhead with stops at Civil War Battleground sites and the Swan House. Take a walk along the BeltLine and admire the Buckhead mansions. From Peachtree Center, head to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park for an in-depth look at the life of Dr. King. Continue to Krog Street Market and witness the reinvention of Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods. Walk along the BeltLine trail and admire the public art installations. Stop at the booming Ponce City Market - the area's largest adaptive reuse project which houses the Central Food Hall and various shops. Treat yourself at the CNN Center before continuing to Buckhead. Relax on the bus and let your guide take you on a tour of the homes of the rich and the famous in this beautiful neighborhood. See other historical sites, including The Swan House which was featured in "The Hunger Games."

Atlanta: 1.5-Hour Highlight Trolley Tour

7. Atlanta: 1.5-Hour Highlight Trolley Tour

Explore all the most popular and historic areas of Atlanta, the capitol of the south on this guided trolley tour. Discover top attractions like the area where Martin Luther King was raised and greenspaces like Inman Park and Ansley Park. Hop aboard the Trolley in Atlanta’s downtown and hear the stories and history of this southern metropolis. This trolley tour is an excellent way to get the lay of the land and open your eyes to all the things you can do in Atlanta. Cuise by the Old 4th Ward, the neighborhood where Martin Luther King Jr. grew up, which is now filled with artisanal restaurants and stores. Discover areas such as Centennial Olympic Park, Inman Park, and Ansley Park.

Illuminarium Atlanta: Waking Wonderland Morning Family Show

8. Illuminarium Atlanta: Waking Wonderland Morning Family Show

Bring the whole family along to the immersive Waking Wonderland experience, a 40-minute adventure that follows a storyline, and includes interactive components both on the floor and on the walls. Join Alice’s granddaughter, Anna, on an adventure to a magical forest full of colorful characters, as you tumble down the rabbit hole. Journey through the multiple immersive environments that are all part of Waking Wonderland. Encounter surreal settings and colorful characters. During your adventure, greet the Cheshire Cat and chase it through the magical forest. Help the Mad Hatter in his chaotic tea factory. Even tiptoe into the throne room to awaken the Queen of Hearts as you brave the hero’s quest to breathe life back into a dormant Wonderland. Illuminarium Atlanta allows you to be transported to this all-encompassing magical world using 4K laser projection. Combined with state-of-the-art audio, in-floor haptics, and even scents, your whole family can experience a fully immersive and shared entertainment journey. Visit the onsite retail shop and indoor/outdoor cafe featuring food, drinks, and artisanal gifts to cap off your experience.

From Atlanta: Half-Day or Full-Day Wine Country Tasting Trip

9. From Atlanta: Half-Day or Full-Day Wine Country Tasting Trip

Leave the hustle and bustle of Atlanta behind and discover the North Georgia Wine Country by bus on a wine tasting trip. Choose between a half-day or full-day trip and visit two or three local wineries to sample around 9-12 different wines. Head out of Atlanta and make your way to visit Chateau Meichtry and Ott Farms and Vineyard. Marvel at the green rolling hills and the sprawling vineyards around you before you try the wineries' wines. As you savor your wine tastings amongst the lush natural landscape of the area, learn about the region's grapes and flavors from local wine experts. If you chose the full-day option, you will visit Fainting Goats Winery, Chateau Meichtry and Ott Farms and Vineyard & visit The Outlet Shoppes at Atlanta in Woodstock for shopping before returning to Atlanta.

Atlanta: Black History and Civil Rights City Driving Tour

10. Atlanta: Black History and Civil Rights City Driving Tour

Drive around the home of the modern Civil Rights movement and discover the rich African-American heritage of Atlanta. Visit the most iconic and significant neighborhoods and landmarks while learning their historical significance and hear the stories of leaders and activists, past and present. Explore the major heritage sights of African-American Heritage by driving around Atlanta. Visit the heritage district of Sweet Auburn Avenue, a famous black neighborhood lined with iconic churches and black-owned businesses. Learn important stories from your guide and discover Atlanta's many close ties to great African-American leaders and activists such as W.E.B Du Bois, Madam CJ Walker, Booker T. Washington, Stokely Carmichael, Maynard Jackson, and many more. Drive through the Downtown, West End, Castleberry Hills, Vine City, Atlanta University Center, Downtown Atlanta, and the birth home and last residence of Dr. Martin Luther King. Despite its past challenges, Atlanta is a vibrant city that has emerged as a center for black culture, education, political influence, and business — a testament to its power, strength, and undefeated spirit.

Frequently asked questions about Atlanta

What top attractions are a must-see in Atlanta?

The must-see attractions in Atlanta are:

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Atlanta

One of the cultural epicenters of the American south, if not the entire United States, Atlanta is one of the country's most exciting cities to visit. We've asked our friends at 365 Atlanta Traveler to give a rundown of the things you can't miss in the A. Read below to make the most of your next trip to Atlanta.

What should I do on my first trip to Atlanta?

Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the nation and with 10 million gallons of fresh and saltwater, it is home to the largest aquarium habitat in the world. You can see dolphins, go behind the scenes with the whale sharks, or do a cage dive with a few Great Whites. For a more leisurely experience try Atlanta Botanical Gardens. From the Fuqua Conservatory featuring the foremost collection of species orchids in the U.S. to its canopy walk and award-winning children’s garden, ABG is sure to delight visitors of all ages.

What are some hidden gems to see in Atlanta?

Unexpected Atlanta offers great tours that many people don’t know about, but that we highly recommend. Their food and history tours give you a taste of the regional cuisine while also sharing little-known stories about Dr. King and the Civil Rights Movement. Oakland Cemetery is another great attraction. While a visit to a cemetery might not top most people’s “must do” list, this circa-1850 cemetery far from ordinary. It is beautiful, peaceful, and educational; a showplace of sculpture and the final resting place to many of Atlanta’s founders and noted citizens such as Margaret Mead, Maynard Jackson, and Bobby Jones.

How much time should I spend in Atlanta?

If you're hitting the primary attractions with a CityPASS, then 3 full days should allow you to see the sights. Add two additional days to see the lesser-known (but not lesser quality) attractions and tours, do a little shopping at Ponce City Market, and get your fill of the award-winning restaurants. Feel like traveling into the metro area or the mountains? You'll want to take on another week - or come back for a second visit.

What food is Atlanta known for?

Atlanta is known for its Southern dishes like "meat and three" from Mary Mac's Tea Room, opened in 1945, which is the last of sixteen tea rooms that once dotted Intown Atlanta in the 1940s. Paschal's also serves great Soul Food like fried chicken, braised short ribs, smothered pork chops, and their famous peach cobbler. The food is delicious but the history is even more interesting: Paschal's became the 'meeting place' for some of the most notable people of Atlanta, including Aretha Franklin, Dizzy Gillespie, Andrew Young, Maynard Jackson, Vice President Al Gore, and Dr. Martin Luther King just to name a few.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Atlanta?

The best neighborhood to stay in Atlanta is Midtown. It's the city’s cultural epicenter, offers easy access to Atlanta's transportation options, is brimming with restaurants, parks, and boutique shopping locations. It's also where you'll find the Arts District's entertainment like High Museum, Fox Theatre, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

What is the best way to get around Atlanta?

Buses, a subway, and even a trolly are available to get you around the city, but Atlanta's public transportation systems are designed more for the locals to get to work than for tourists to get to the best attractions. Renting a car is almost a requirement when you're visiting Atlanta.

What are the best months to visit Atlanta? 

Spring in Atlanta is the best time of year. The city offers multiple festivals and outdoor concerts. It's warm enough to dine on outdoor patios, bike, or walk the Beltline, and see the trees of this "city in a forest" blooming with colors of white, yellow, and pink. The mosquitoes that the South is known for are not yet hatched, and the heat and humidity are still slumbering.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

West Midtown is where foodies will flock. Here you'll find James Beard chefs, delightful rooftop patios, and fine dining with a casual flair (think JB nominated restaurants with putt-putt back lawns). The breakfast restaurant scene is strong here, and independent coffee shops and ice cream eateries are plentiful.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping? 

Old Fourth Ward's trendy retail district beckons the shopper. The layout is pedestrian-friendly, so you can hop from shop to shop with ease. You'll find an eclectic mix of art galleries, gift shops, jewelry, clothing, and more. It's also home to Ponce City Market, situated in a revived historic Sears, Roebuck & Company building, and directly adjacent to the Atlanta Beltline.

What is the best family-friendly thing to do in Atlanta? 

Fernbank Museum is Atlanta's best attraction for families. Besides the free parking, we love the indoor playground called NatureQuest, the larger-than-life dinosaur exhibits, IMAX movies, and more. Outside, kids will love WildWoods and Fernbank Forest. Fernbank Forest is 65-acres of old-growth forest you can hike in. Between this forest and the museum is an educational pathway with climbing structures, nature play areas, and a water feature.

What is the best thing to do in Atlanta for solo travelers? 

Solo travelers will love exploring the High Museum of Art if they're looking for a little introspection. This leading art museum in the Southeastern US offers contemporary exhibits, a taste of Southern artisans, workshops, events, and more. Have dinner at the museum and take in the building's architecture under a full moon. If you're looking to see the city and meet new friends, try a segway tour with Atlanta Cruizers. All of their tours are great, but the segway tour gives you an intimate dive into the neighborhoods with fewer kids on the tour.

What is the best thing to do in Atlanta for couples? 

Couples will want to check for the regular adult-only events at the major attractions like Sips Under the Seas at the Georgia Aquarium, Friday Jazz Night at High Museum, or Fernbank After Dark at Fernbank Museum. There is no shortage of live museum options, speakeasies, and romantic restaurants in the city, as well.

What are the best annual events in Atlanta? 

Atlanta's most popular festivals include the Dogwood Festival in Spring and DragonCon in Fall. Shaky Knees, Shaky Boots and Imagine Music Festival are the most popular annual music events. Finally, the Peachtree Road Race is the annual event for runners across the nation - it's the world's largest 10K and beloved in Atlanta since 1970.

Other Sightseeing Options in Atlanta

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What people are saying about Atlanta

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 3,055 reviews

The aquarium was absolutely incredible. The Ocean Voyager was my absolute favorite because of the Whale Shark, Manta Rays, and the sea turtle named Tank. But I will warn you, you’ll spend a lot of time in that room. It’s so captivating. The only issue that we did have is that if you buy your tickets through a third party vendor, you’ll have to pay for parking. Make sure you purchase your tickets through the aquariums website to avoid the confusion at the parking machines.

it was amazing. the best time to go is the first thing in the morning and i mean as soon as they open if not be in line before opening. the later it gets the more crowded and uncomfortable it gets. plus if you want decent pictures you want to go early

Great aquarium. Not super crowded like the National Aquarium and the New England Aquarium can be. Loved the sharks and the beluga whales. Only reservation was about the ethics of having sea lions do shows.

It was very nice. The scenery was great. The weather was perfect. It was my birthday and I had the best birthday on this trip.

A fascinating experience; You get to see creatures you never thought of seeing in real time. A place worth visiting.