19 Must-See Atlanta Tourist Attractions You Don't Want to Miss

January 24, 2020

If you're searching for the top Atlanta tourist attractions, look no further.

We've listed the best family-friendly attractions that showcase the best this Southern city has to offer. Read below to gain the perfect travel itinerary ideas.

Zac Wolf / WIkimedia Commons

1) Georgia Aquarium

The largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Georgia Aquarium is a must-see Atlanta tourist attraction. With over 100,000 aquatic animals such as whale sharks, dolphins, penguins, and beluga whales, you'll feel complete immersed by the aquarium's massive tanks. Furthermore, guests can solo-tour the aquarium through a free tour app, as well as experience shows, animal encounters and interactions, and "Behind the Seas" tours.

2) High Museum of Art

This gorgeously designed art museum was constructed with white concrete, glass, and steel, a composition of art on its own. Inside, visitors can explore a world-renowned collection of over 13,000 pieces representing European art, African art, contemporary and modern art, American photography, and more. In addition, temporary displays circulate through the museum as well.

In 2022, visitors can expect to see President Obama's and First Lady Obama's National Portrait Gallery paintings by artists Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald.

3) Zoo Atlanta

Considered one of the best zoos in the nation, Zoo Atlanta dominates as one of the top Atlanta tourist attractions. With more than 1,000 animals from around the globe such as the giant panda and elephant species, Zoo Atlanta serves to preserve and study animal populations while educating the public about conservation practices. Additionally, kids can ride the Zoo Train and enjoy rides on the Endangered Species Carousel.

4) SkyView Atlanta

Climb aboard the SkyView Ferris Wheel downtown to capture fantastic views from the wheel's climate-controlled gondolas.  Taking riders almost 20 stories high, guests can also request to sit within the VIP gondolas that feature more plush seats and glass floors.

5) The Center of Civil and Human Rights

The Center of Civil and Human Rights aims to connect the American Civil Rights Movement with today's human rights movements around the world. Atlanta played a significant role in the American Civil Rights Movement, and continues that legacy through institutions such as the Center and its affiliated institutes. Galleries showcase moving imagery, artifacts, and storytelling to encourage empathy, ongoing conversation, and progressive change.

6) World of Coca-Cola

There's no argument in Atlanta: Coca-Cola is the drink of choice over Pepsi. If you wish to pay homage to the soft drink's history, tour the World of Coca-Cola downtown. The museum features classic ads exhibits, a replica of the bottling process and soda fountain, 4D theater displays, and a behind-the-scenes peak at the vault containing the secret formula. Furthermore, the museum offers over 100 variations of Coke to try, so don't leave without trying a novel flavor.

Atlanta Tourist Attractions

Rob Bixby [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]

7) Atlanta Botanical Garden

Enclosed within Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden features 30 acres of beautiful outdoor gardens, an acclaimed children's garden, and even an edible garden. Further, Fuqua Orchid Center boasts a stunning collection of orchids never before grown in the Southeast. Additionally, guests can journey through the 600-foot Canopy Walk through Stores Woods. This unique exhibit enables guests to walk through oak, hickory, and poplar treetops on a footbridge suspends 40-feet above gorgeous gardens of hydrangeas and perennials. One of the best Atlanta tourist attractions, you don't want to miss perusing the garden's vast collection.

8) College Football Hall of Fame

Calling all college football fans: you need to stop by the College Football Hall of Fame. This immersive museum includes larger-than-life exhibits like a giant indoor playing field, a massive helmet honoring over 750 schools, memorabilia exhibits, and much more.

9) Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site

The birthplace of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Atlanta honors his legacy and continues to serve as a leader in the struggle for civil rights. Thousands travel each year to see Dr. King's birth home on Auburn Street before paying respects at his nearby grave and Ebenezer Baptist Church where he preached. We suggest stopping by the Visitor Center beforehand to garner more information and historical context.

10) Historic Oakland Ceremony

The final resting place for Morris Brown College's founder, Bishop Wesley John Gaines, golfing legend Bobby Jones, and Gone with the Wind author, Margaret Mitchell, Historic Oakland Cemetery is Atlanta's oldest public park. In addition, the 48-acre cemetery also provides serene views with natural green spaces and remarkable stone structures.

If you wish to receive a tour, weekend tours are offered March through October. Moreover, visitors can check the calendar for special events.

11) Jackson Street Bridge

Made famous by The Walking Dead, the Jackson Street Bridge gives visitors incredible views of the downtown city skyline. A popular spot for photos, it's one of the most popular Atlanta tourist attractions.

12) MoDA

The Museum of Design Atlanta seeks to educate visitors on how design acts as a merging of artistic creativity and functionality through education, programs, and engaging exhibits. Located in the heart of the Midtown Arts District, MoDA features exhibitions on how design of different mediums can change the world through its visual messaging.

Delta Museum / Facebook

13) Delta Flight Museum

Located in the center of Delta's Atlanta headquarters, the 68,000 square foot museum allows visitors to explore aviation history Delta Airlines' ascension as a major airline. With engaging exhibits and restored aircrafts on display, guests can take a look behind-the-scenes in Delta's original 1940s-era aircraft hangars.

14) Six Flags Over Georgia

Who doesn't love theme parks? A premier family destination, Six Flags Over Georgia is the largest regional theme park in the Southeast United States. Located west of Atlanta, Six Flags hosts over 40 rides and attractions as well as its seven acre Hurricane Harbor water park. Fan favorites include coasters like Goliath, the Great American Scream Machine, Georgia Cyclone, and BATMAN: The Ride.

15) Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

The Presidential Library and Museum aims to honor Georgia-born President Carter's legacy with exhibits detailing his life from childhood to his presidency and onward. The Presidential Library lies surrounded by two lakes on 30 acres, representing Carter's peaceful worldviews. Moreover, guests can see memoribilia from the Carter administration, including his personal diary, as well as exhibits on his effort to promote peace around the world. There is also a full-scale replica of the Oval Office and a dramatic "Day in the Life of the President" presentation.

performers holding up puppets on stage at Center For Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

16) Center for Puppetry Arts

This one-of-a-kind, hands-on museum celebrates the art of puppetry. Since 1978, visitors of all ages have felt the magic of beloved puppet characters throughout the years through charming exhibits and delightful performances. See your favorite Sesame Street characters, step into the world of Jim Henson's The Dark Crystal, and see how puppets have been used in major ads throughout the years. Further, the Center hosts education programs, special events, and workshops.

17) Atlanta History Center

Centered on preserving Atlanta's fascinating history, the Atlanta History Center features educational programs, exhibits, historic houses, and vibrant gardens suitable for guests of all ages. Visitors can see such destinations as the Margaret Mitchell House, Swan House Mansion, Smith Family Farm, and Centennial Olympic Games Museum.

18) Centennial Olympic Park

Built for the 1996 Olympics, this 21-acre downtown park showcases expansive views of the downtown skyline while providing respite from the hustle of the city. Further, the park hosts several festivals each year as well as multiple exhibits commemorating the park's Olympic history.

Fernbank Museum / Facebook

19) Fernbank Museum of Natural History

The Fernbank Museum of Natural History is known for its impressive dinosaur exhibits, including a life-scale brontosaurus skeleton. Additionally, the museum houses hands-on science exhibits, cultural artifacts, and 75-acres of outdoor adventures complete with boardwalks and elevated tree pods.

Make Atlanta Your Next Vacation Destination

Atlanta tourist attractions reflect the city's vibrant, diverse history and are worth exploring. Where will you go first?

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Written By Talena


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