Top 12 Attractions in Atlanta

Last Updated on February 6, 2024 by Emily Johnson

As the capital and largest city in Georgia, Atlanta serves up iconic attractions spanning history, arts and culture, sports plus delicious Southern cuisine.

AttractionHighlights
Georgia AquariumOne of the world’s largest aquariums.
World of Coca-ColaMuseum dedicated to the Coca-Cola brand.
Atlanta Botanical GardenExpansive garden in Midtown Atlanta.
Piedmont ParkCentral urban park with scenic views.
Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic SiteMemorial site for MLK Jr.
Atlanta BeltLineRecreational path encircling the city.
Centennial Olympic ParkLegacy of the 1996 Olympics.
High Museum of ArtLeading art museum in the Southeast.
Fox TheatreHistoric theater with live performances.
Zoo AtlantaOne of the oldest zoos in the U.S.
Fernbank Museum of Natural HistoryMuseum of natural history with IMAX theater.
CNN Studio ToursBehind-the-scenes look at news production.

Civil War landmarks rub shoulders with world-class museums, aquariums and zoo habitats while modern cityscapes tower beside leafy green parks. This diversity of experiences rewards visitors to Hotlanta with memorable destinations to fill any vacation.

Explore the Atlanta Beltline

Name and Location: The Atlanta Beltline is a 22-mile loop of trails, parks, art installations, and historic sites circling Atlanta’s core neighborhoods and downtown connecting 45 neighborhoods.

History and Significance: The Atlanta Beltline follows old railroad corridors and provides an important sustainable reuse of the space to better connect Atlanta communities. Development of the complete loop began in 2005 and is still underway in phases.

What to Expect: Visitors can walk, run, or bike the Atlanta Beltline trails and stops to experience public art displays, parks, food and entertainment hubs, and views of the city’s changing landscape. Trail surfaces, lighting, and safety vary.

Visitor Information: The Beltline loops through the city with multiple access points. Hours vary by section from 6am-11pm daily. Use is free, with paid parking at some trailheads. Beltline.org has maps.

Among the city’s crown jewels for recreation and views, the Atlanta Beltline transforms old railways into 33 miles of landscaped walking and biking trails dotted with art installations. Two finished Eastside and Westside sections with access points throughout town allow locals and visitors to walk, run or bike past trendy shops and restaurants in repurposed warehouses interspersed among lush gardens and green space. The trails also connect Piedmont Park with hip areas like Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward.

Visit the World of Coca-Cola

Name and Location: The World of Coca-Cola museum is located in downtown Atlanta at 121 Baker St NW, next to Centennial Olympic Park.

History and Significance: Open since 2007, the museum lets visitors experience the history and global reach of the iconic Atlanta-based brand Coca-Cola through interactive exhibits and attractions.

What to Expect: Guests can view Coca-Cola memorabilia, see how bottles are made, sample flavors from around the world, see a 4D film, meet the Coca-Cola polar bear mascot, and more family-friendly experiences.

Visitor Information: The World of Coca-Cola is open daily with extended summer hours. Ticket pricing varies. Advance purchase recommended. Parking garages nearby.

No trip to Atlanta is complete without a pilgrimage to the temple of the world’s most iconic beverage brand invented here in 1886. Located beside Centennial Olympic Park, this shrine to Coke contains historical exhibits exploring soda fountains plus a thrilling 4D film. Guests can sample Coca-Cola products from around the world, view a gallery of vintage advertising and snap selfies with the famous polar bear mascots. An on-site retail shop overflows with branded merch from retro signs to plush toys to customize your piece of pop culture history.

See the Georgia Aquarium

Name and Location: The Georgia Aquarium is a large indoor aquarium located near Centennial Olympic Park at 225 Baker St NW in downtown Atlanta.

History and Significance: Open since 2005, the Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums globally, known for state-of-the-art aquatic exhibits and marine research focused on education and conservation.

What to Expect: Visitors can observe and learn about whales, dolphins, beluga whales, manta rays, sea lions, sharks, and more marine life through a variety of immersive, entertaining habitat exhibits.

Visitor Information: Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ticket prices vary. Advance tickets recommended. Onsite paid parking garage available. Combination tickets with World of Coca-Cola available.

With over ten million gallons of aquatic exhibits, the Georgia Aquarium holds the esteemed title of largest aquarium in the entire western hemisphere. Observant visitors can peer into lush tropical reef habitats, an ethereal beluga whale enclosure, sunny African penguin coves and the show-stopping manta ray and whale shark gallery. This world-class facility also offers shark cage diving, animal interactions like sea otter or penguin encounters and special programs like weekend sleepovers. With thousands of scaley inhabitants to discover, experiencing this must-see aquatic wonder easily fills an entire day.

Tour CNN Studio

Name and Location: The CNN Studio Tour is located at 190 Marietta St NW in downtown Atlanta within the CNN Center complex.

History and Significance: CNN first started broadcasting from Atlanta in 1980 and has offered studio tours since 1996, giving behind-the-scenes access to patrons curious about the world of 24-hour cable news.

What to Expect: The 55-minute walking tour lets visitors see working CNN studios, newsrooms, control centers, and sets while learning about CNN’s history from expert guides. Variousinteractive exhibits showcase broadcast journalism.

Visitor Information: The CNN Studio Tour runs daily 10am-5pm, timed entry. Advance ticket purchase required. Self-parking available at CNN Center garages for a fee.

Go behind-the-scenes into the nerve center of a 24-hour cable news network by touring the studios of CNN. Located downtown in the impressive Omni Hotel, this hour-long walking tour lets visitors explore high tech studios guiding global broadcasts along with exhibits showcasing major news events covered by the network since starting up in Atlanta during the 1980s. Tours run daily taking guests down hallways traversing operational control rooms, studios, makeup and wardrobe areas plus highlight chances to virtually dance with Anderson Cooper.

Stroll Through Piedmont Park

Name and Location: Piedmont Park is a 189-acre urban park located at 1071 Piedmont Ave NE in Midtown Atlanta, west of the Beltline’s Eastside Trail.

History and Significance: Originally the site of 19th century gentleman’s estates, Piedmont Park was established in 1895 and expanded in phases with facilities, attractions, and walking paths to become a cultural icon for Atlanta.

What to Expect: Visitors can enjoy expansive green space in the heart of the city with lush lawns, scenic walking trails, Active Oval and swimming complex, two playgrounds, dog park, picnic sites, and popular events.

Visitor Information: Piedmont Park is free and open daily 6am to 11pm. Public parking decks offer paid parking nearby.

A beloved “Common Ground” for locals and visitors alike, sprawling Piedmont Park unfolds over nearly 200 acres in Midtown. Michelin Green Guide rates it among the top urban parks in America thanks to scenic walking trails circling Clara Meer Lake plusActive Oval with tennis and basketball courts. The park’s north end contains the visitor center alongsideCatch spectacular city views from the bridge and watch boats sailing on the lake. The park also hosts year-round cultural events like food and arts festivals.

See the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

Name and Location: The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum is located at 441 John Lewis Freedom Parkway in Atlanta.

History and Significance: Opened in 1986, this library and museum houses President Jimmy Carter’s archives from his 1977-1981 administration along with exhibits highlighting his life of leadership and service.

What to Expect: Visitors can explore exhibits about US relations during President Carter’s term, including foreign policy achievements like the Camp David Peace Accords between Israel and Egypt. Interactive displays make history engaging.

Visitor Information: Open daily. Admission fee required with discounted rates available. Free parking onsite. Café and gift shop on premises. Archives research by appointment.

Detailing his 1977 to 1981 term in office, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library chronicles our nation’s 39th President’s upbringing in Plains, Georgia along with campaigning and major events from his presidency. Permanent exhibits relay Carter family history alongside displays on Georgia’s state and local government with artifacts like personal possessions in the Oval Office. Visitors gain insight into historic Camp David Accords between Egypt and Israel negotiated during Carter’s leadership through photographs, news footage and even a full-scale replica of the Oval Office.

Watch the Atlanta Braves at Truist Park

Name and Location: Truist Park is the current home baseball stadium of the Atlanta Braves, located at755 Battery Ave SE in the Cumberland area northwest of downtown.

History and Significance: Truist Park replaced Turner Field as the Braves’ new world-class stadium when it opened in 2017 to great fanfare, returning the team to metro Atlanta from the suburbs.

What to Expect: Fans flock to Truist Park during Braves’ MLB season from April to October to take in games and enjoy entertainment in a lively atmosphere. The site also hosts tours, events, restaurants and bars in The Battery Atlanta.

Visitor Information: Truist Park hosts paid attendance MLB games and other ticketed events. The Battery area offers free public spaces as well. Parking fees apply.

Catch America’s pastime in style while cheering on the Atlanta Braves at their scenic Truist Park stadium in Cobb County. This impressive 2017 stadium designed to evoke old-style ballparks features open-air promenades where fans can interact using “Braves Chop” rally towels plus deep secluded center field seating. Museums like the Braves Hall of Fame and Hank Aaron exhibits entertain early arrivers. Fans delight in classic peanuts and Cracker Jacks or choose from dozens of gourmet southern food options perfectly paired with local Georgia craft beers as the Braves take the field to the nostalgic melody of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”.

See Oakland Cemetery Historic Burial Grounds

Name and Location: Oakland Cemetery is a historic garden cemetery spanning 48 acres at 248 Oakland Avenue SE in Atlanta’s Grant Park neighborhood.

History and Significance: Established in 1850 and containing over 70,000 graves, Oakland Cemetery is an early “rural” Victorian cemetery landscape that both entombs and commemorates generations of Atlantans with monumental art and architecture.

What to Expect: Visitors today can take self-guided tours to discover Atlanta history reflected in the evolving cemetery landscape and its many notable citizens’ gravesites decorated with stunning memorial art and sculptures.

Visitor Information: Oakland Cemetery is open daily with rotating hours by season. Tours are self-guided. Guided tours offered for fees. On-street parking available near entrances.

Covering over 88 acres adjacent to the Sweet Auburn historic district, historic Oakland Cemetery inters nearly 70,000 Atlantans spanning every walk of 19th and 20th century life. Grounds overlooking the city skyline create a garden-like space adorned with captivating memorial artwork and diverse architectural monuments dotted beneath mature oak and magnolia trees. Free walking maps guide guests to gravesites of famous former Atlanta residents likeGone With the Wind author Margaret Mitchell and golf legend Bobby Jones. Interpretive displays share tales of yellow fever epidemics and Civil War destruction influencing the cemetery’s role commemorating Atlanta history.

Explore the Atlanta Botanical Gardens

Name and Location: The Atlanta Botanical Garden features 30 acres of outdoor gardens and arched tropical houses located adjacent to Piedmont Park at 1345 Piedmont Ave NE.

History and Significance: Opened in 1976, the garden’s stunning permanent and seasonal horticulture displays, programming, and sculpture exhibitions have made it an oasis for beauty, education and event space within the city.

What to Expect: Visitors can wander through the Dorothy Chapman Fuqua Conservatory’s tropical environments, visit the Children’s Garden, observe Chihuly art and Springs sculpture exhibitions among evolving outdoor gardens featuring fountains, pathways, and horticulture.

Visitor Information: The Garden is open Tuesday through Sunday with hours varying by season. Admission fees apply. Alternate free-access days offered monthly. Onsite parking available.

Unfolding across 30 acres adjacent to Piedmont Park, the stunning Atlanta Botanical Gardens inspire visitors to reconnect with nature through an impressive mosaic of plant life. An indoor skywalk house leads to the Fuqua Orchid Center’s humidity-controlled tropical zones filled with rare vivid orchids. Outdoors, guests stroll through the Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Southern Seasons Garden and children’s area containing fun fountains, tunnels, treehouses plus storybook trails. Seasonal displays like imaginative Chihuly glass sculptures or the holiday Garden Lights event attract locals and tourists alike.

See the World of Puppetry Museum

Name and Location: The World of Puppetry Museum is located just north of Atlanta in the Johnny Mercer Theater building at 301 N Lee St in Kennesaw, Georgia.

History and Significance: Founded in 2021, this one-of-a-kind museum celebrates the art, history and magic of puppetry traditions from around the globe through special rotating exhibits and performances using parts of the vast Center for Puppetry Arts collection.

What to Expect: Museum displays feature puppets of all kinds from stage shows, television, and movies while tracing the evolution and cultural impact of puppetry. Interactives make exhibits lively for all ages to enjoy.

Visitor Information: Open Friday through Sunday only. Admission fee covers both the museum and Create It! Lab. Limited free parking; paid decks nearby. Special events scheduled regularly.

The Jim Henson Collection making a permanent home here cements this intriguing Atlanta museum as an international center for puppetry arts. Located in Midtown, rotating exhibits feature historic puppets from Asia, Indonesia shadow puppets, African tribal masks, Muppets characters and more alongside a fun hands-on area to create your own puppet prototype. Visitors gain tremendous respect for the ancient worldwide artform of puppetry while kids delight in the famous Kermit and Miss Piggy figures on display in their protective cases as a testament to the legacy of their creator.

Showcasing an eclectic blend of historical sites and modern attractions, Atlanta delivers vacation memories spanning performing arts, cultural touchstones, green escapes and culinary indulgences. Iconic downtown destinations intermix seamlessly with emerging neighborhoods south of town as this New South capital continues gaining acclaim as a world-class destination.

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