Being the largest city and the capital of Georgia, Atlanta has a lot to offer. No matter if you’re there for business or pleasure, you should definitely take some time to see what this great city has to offer. Considering it spreads on over 340 km2 and that the Atlanta metropolitan area is home to over five and a half million people, my suggestion is to do your homework before you starting an official tour, because it’s quite easy to get sidetracked.
Naturally, you should visit spots that are relevant to your interests primarily, and then move to other landmarks and venues if there’s any time left. That is exactly why I formed this guide in such a manner; so you can easily find what you want to do or see.
Getting to Know Atlanta
When in Rome – in order to get to know the locals and their lifestyle, you should get in touch with their history and learn about their roots. Once you figure out where they derive from and find about their cultural background, I’m sure you’ll have more quality experience of your staying in Atlanta.
With over 32 acres of surface, the Atlanta History Center consists of various gardens and woodland areas other than the History Museum, which is one of the largest Southeast’s history museums. You should also look forward to seeing the Swan House, which dates back to 1928. If you’re a fan of The Hunger Games, you should know the Swan House was used for filming “Catching Fire”.
The center is always up to something – they constantly organize lectures for both, toddlers and adults. So, make sure to check their program for that particular day you plan on visiting it and enjoy listening to award-winning authors.
Natural History Museum
If you’re lead by the “go big or go home” motto, you should definitely take a trip to the past and see the largest dinosaur in the world, which is showcased as a part of “Giants of Mesozoic” exhibition. If you lack time to make a thorough tour of Atlanta, you can take “A Walk through Time in Georgia”, which is one of the permanent exhibitions at the Natural History Museum.
Have no doubt that children will be absolutely fascinated by this museum – floor tiles are crafted out of limestone that have fossils, there’s a huge saltwater aquarium, and they can enjoy very interesting discovery room designed especially for kids.
Gone with the Wind
Atlanta is a place many distinguished people called home, including Margaret Mitchell – but of course, if you’re a fan of “Gone with the Wind” you probably already know that. Well, you can explore the life of this Pulitzer Prize winning author by taking a tour of her apartment where you can connect with this brilliant woman and, perhaps, get to understand the book on a deeper level of by standing where she once stood.
Martin Luther King
Speaking of great people – if you’re in Atlanta, there’s one more home tour you should take. Dr. King’s childhood home, Fire Station No. 6 and Ebenezer Baptist Church are all equally important venues of this civil rights fighter’s life.
You should also take time to pay your respect on Dr. Martin Luther King’s gravesite and – of course – visit The King Centre, where you can learn more about his nonviolent policy and be inspired by his work. You’ll be able to check out different video, audio and written materials, some of which are preserved in the original form, while others were created in his honor and educational purposes.
With over thirty acres of land, this venue is a paradise for families and nature enthusiasts. You can participate in their shows and lectures and even do Yoga in the Garden. I bet you’ll charge your batteries and have a lot of fun here.
Open Air Smart Cars
As far as I’m concerned, this is the fastest way to get to know Atlanta – by taking two different open air smart car tours, you’ll be able to learn about historical venues and landmarks in ninety minutes. It’s like looking at the preview of Atlanta and my suggestion is to start with it. That way you’ll be able to orient with ease and make a list of priorities of which spots to visit and in which order.
A Rush of Adrenaline
Feeling adventurous? Well, you’ll be happy to know that Atlanta has a special daredevil offer that you won’t be able to say no to. These people obviously enjoy adrenalin rushes, because there are so many interesting places to visit and experience, but I somehow managed to create the top five list. I’m absolutely positive you’ll enjoy each and every of my suggestions.
If you’re a sport fan, this is the one venue you absolutely need to visit – you can be sure that the atmosphere Falcon fans create will get you on your feet. Probably the best game you could possibly catch is when the Saints – their greatest rivals – come for a match.
As far as I’m concerned, you should go either way – whether you’re a sports fan or not – because I’m sure you’ll have a lot of fun experiencing one of Falcon’s games.
If you’re a car enthusiast, you must experience the greatest test drive in the world – Porsche Experience Center. Their offer consists of over seventy five different models, which are all new and waiting to be driven.
As a guest of Porsche, you’ll be able to learn a lot about their principles and engineering techniques within ninety minutes, and you’ll leave the center with further developed driving skills. There’s another very interesting thing you must do while visiting – Porsche has developed a virtual program where you can race with other visitors on the most famous racing venues in the world. Just make sure to reserve your spot in time.
Do you function well under pressure? Well, there’s one great way to find out – by visiting a quest or an escape room in Atlanta. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re traveling with coworkers, friends or family, doing something adventurous like this is a great bonding method.
Usually, you have about sixty minutes to complete an interesting quest or to escape a spooky room by discovering clues left for you to find. I’m sure that you’ll have a lot of fun, even if you don’t succeed in completing your mission.
Swimming with Whale Sharks
With over ten million gallons of water, the Georgia Aquarium contains many treasures for you to explore. There are many exhibitions you can visit including “Cold Water Quest”, “River Quest” and “Ocean Voyager”. The aquarium consists out of 60 different habitats that are homes to over five hundred species that come from all over the world.
The dolphin show and exhibit definitely won’t leave you indifferent, but the thing that will get your blood flowing are whale sharks whom you can examine from up close, because you can swim with them! You can also look forward to other personal encounters with penguins and sea otters, for example.
If escape rooms don’t manage to get you screaming, you can be sure that the Atlanta’s water park will. “Six Flags Over Georgia” waterpark has – amazingly – eleven different roller coasters all differently shaped and sized, so make sure to arrive there early to have enough time to visit them all.
If this didn’t convince you, I’m sure that the next fact will; “Six Flags Over Georgia” has “Batman: The Ride”, which is an interesting waterpark version of Gotham. We can all agree that anything that has “Batman” in its name is worth visiting, but there are also other things to look forward to, like the Skull Island and Tsunami Surge, an exciting five-story drop.
Entertainment, Shopping & Walking
If you’re not really in the mood for adrenalin rushes or learning about Atlanta’s history, I guess you’re looking for something a bit more casual, like catching a tour or going on a shopping spree, you should know that there’s a whole lot to choose from. This great city is the birthplace of cult musicals, extremely popular TV shows and a home to a luxurious shopping complex.
If you’re a fan of “The Walking Dead”, ATLwood is the place to go – catching a movie tour here will bring you a lot closer to this popular TV show than you have ever hoped for, and this is just one show filmed there out of many.
Within a three hour long tour, you’ll be guided through ATLwood by extras and actors and learn about your favorite characters and see how they were created. It doesn’t really matter what genre you’re into, because ATLwood crew is more than capable to create a perfect tour for you.
Being a home to over 1,400 different animals, Atlanta’s zoo is the perfect setting for some great family fun. Naturally, you’ll want to visit the pandas first – this is one of the four zoos in the whole world that are proud to be home to them. Make sure to visit the Amphibian and Reptile exhibition – I guarantee it will raise the hairs on the back of your neck.
Another place you’ll find interesting for sure is the Asian Forest – home to the orangutans. Gorillas are also a part of the Atlanta’s zoo community, and you’ll be able to find them in the Ford African Rain Forest.
If you’re a theatre enthusiast in general, then you probably already know that the Alliance Theatre is the most important one in the Southeast – you can see shows there before they even arrive to Broadway. There are over seventy different productions that originally came from this theatre – which is amazing, but that’s not all. American cult musicals like “Sister Act: The Musical” proudly call Alliance theater their birthplace.
Another interesting fun fact is that “The Color Purple” by Alice Walker premiered there. This wondrous theatre is known for its diversity and the fact that there’s no such thing like a bad seat.
If you’re up for spending time outdoors and walking or bike riding, you mustn’t miss Atlanta’s Beltline. This amazing outdoors venue offers a lot to its visitors. First of all, it’s pet friendly, so you can spend the whole day having fun with your furry little friend. You should also expect to see public art exhibitions all around you, so have no doubt you’ll enjoy some soul food.
All that walking can tire you and make you hungry, but have no worries – some of the best restaurants in Atlanta are located right here, in its Beltline. One of the spots on this venue is a skate park, so you can be sure your kids won’t be bored – there’s something for everyone.
Well, this place is a real treat for brand lovers – Buckhead spreads out on eight blocks filled with highly luxurious shops and the world’s finest places for dining. It will be a real adventure and my suggestion is to visit it either way, even if you can’t really afford it. This level of comfort and luxury is something you need to see.
Atlanta has many landmarks to visit, a lot of entertaining venues to experience and a whole lot to offer to visitors of any age with practically any area of interests, so I’m sure you’ll have a lot of time there. One last piece of advice – make sure to plan your day and make reservations upfront, so you don’t get anxious waiting instead of doing something you actually enjoy. So, check the weather (although the chances are it won’t surprise you), fill up your bag with snacks and water bottles, and get ready to fall in love with this great city.