For too many people, Atlanta is merely a connection point on a flight, rather than a destination.
Not surprising, considering Atlanta’s very existence is linked to transportation. The city’s location was selected not because of a river or a major body of water, but because it was at the end of a major rail line (hence the city’s original name: Terminus).
From the Civil War to the Civil Rights Movement to the 1996 Summer Olympics, the “Gate City” has always found itself at the forefront of global events. Despite its size and geographic footprint, it is possible to take in the city’s must-see attractions in a few short days.
Don’t Miss Sights: In Town
Downtown Atlanta is one of three business districts within the city of Atlanta and is home to many of the city’s popular tourist attractions. Located south of Midtown and Buckhead, the four-square-mile Downtown is home to more than 26,000 residents.
Midtown is the second largest business district in Atlanta. Located between Downtown to the south and Buckhead to the north, the Greater Midtown is home to more than 41,000 residents and attracts an estimated six million visitors annually.
Buckhead is one of three business districts within the city of Atlanta and is located north of Downtown and Midtown. The district, home to more than 78,000 residents, is known for its post shopping and upscale eateries.
Atlanta Attractions (Intown)
|Atlanta Botanical Garden||The 30-acre garden is home to a number of exhibits, including an edible garden, a rose garden and rare orchid display. In 2010, the Atlanta Botanical Garden opened the Canopy Walk, a 600-foot-long walkway that towers 40 feet above the ground and gives visitors a chance to view a woodland garden from above.|
|Atlanta History Center|
|Centennial Olympic Park|
|Georgia Aquarium||The world’s largest aquarium is home to tens of thousands of marine animals. More than 10 million visitors have passed through the aquarium since it opened in November 2005.|
|Grant Park||Dating to 1882, Grant Park is the oldest city park in Atlanta and is home to Zoo Atlanta and The Cyclorama. The latter features a painted depiction of the Battle of Atlanta on July 22, 1864, and a rotating theater to give visitors the opportunity to see the entire 42-foot-tall painting.|
|High Museum of Art|
|Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour||For those interested in how modern newsrooms operate, the 55-minute Inside CNN Atlanta Studio Tour gives a behind the scenes look at what goes in to the making of a newscast watched by 2 billion people globally.|
|Jimmy Carter Library & Museum|
|Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site||As part of the 35-acre Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, visitors can see King’s boyhood home, Ebenezer Baptist Church and the grave sites of King and his wife, Coretta Scott King.|
|Piedmont Park||The 189-acre Piedmont Park hosted the Piedmont Exposition of 1887 and the Cotton States and International Exposition of 1895. Much like Central Park is to New York City, Piedmont Park is a centerpiece greenspace for the city of Atlanta.|
|William Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum|
|World of Coca-Cola||The 35,000-square-foot exhibition features the largest collection of Coke memorabilia, a 4-D theater and a bottling operation that produces eight ounce commemorative bottles for guests.|
|Zoo Atlanta||Located in the Grant Park neighborhood, Zoo Atlanta features more than 40 exhibits that are home to 800 animals from 200 species. Highlights include a five-acre African Plains and The Asian Forest that is home to the zoo’s giant pandas.|
Don’t Miss Sights: Regional/Metro
- Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History (Kennesaw)
- Marietta Museum of History
- The Smyrna Museum (Smyrna)
Don’t Miss Eats
- Muss & Turner’s (Vinings)
- Local Three
- The Varsity
- Empire State South
- Kevin Rathbun Steak