Places to Visit in Atlanta – 21 Must-See Spots

It’s the home of Coca-Cola and the country’s busiest airport, known for its hip-hop scene and its role in the Civil Rights Movement. If you’re making your way to the city endearingly known as the Big Peach, we have a few recommendations up our sleeves!

Art museums, aquariums, and historical landmarks just scratch the surface of the many Atlanta attractions. This culturally rich, historically significant metropolis is brimming with family-friendly activities sure to please.

On your way to the Atlanta, Georgia, attractions below, don’t forget to enjoy some of the famous street art splashed throughout the city. Grab a bite of Southern soul food while you’re at it — mac and cheese, fried chicken, and sweet potato pie finished off with some creamy banana pudding!

Now, onto your trip schedule. Follow along as we fill you in on fan-favorite Atlanta attractions to make the most of your time as an Atlanta tourist!

Georgia Aquarium

Serving as the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere, the Georgia Aquarium is a must-see Atlanta tourist attraction. Encounter 10 million gallons of water brimming with sealife!

With over 100,000 aquatic animals such as whale sharks, dolphins, penguins, and beluga whales, you’ll feel completely immersed in the world of marine life. Gaze in awe at the aquarium’s massive tanks! This aquarium makes the list of great Atlanta attractions for families.

Moreover, guests can tour the aquarium on their own through a free tour app, as well as experience shows, animal encounters, and “Behind the Seas” tours. Cafe Aquaria is at your ready once you work up an appetite!

Additionally, there are Georgia Aquarium discount tickets AAA for AAA members.

two alligators on a rock next to water at the Georgia Aquarium
Photo Credit: Georgia Aquarium via Facebook

High Museum of Art

As one of the top tourist attractions in Atlanta, this gorgeous art museum was constructed with white concrete, glass, and steel — a composition of art all on its own. Inside, visitors can explore a world-renowned collection of over 13,000 pieces representing European art, African art, contemporary art, and more.

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The High also offers a digital tool called Heartmatch that allows visitors to create a custom museum map based on which paintings they love and which they don’t care for. Talk about a personalized art museum experience!

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 giant pandas and elephants, this zoo shows off a diverse population of animals.

Zoo Atlanta exists to study and preserve animal populations while educating the public about conservation practices. Additionally, kids can ride the Zoo Train and enjoy the Endangered Species Carousel.

close up of panda bear at Zoo Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
Rob (Flickr profile) [CC BY 2.0 (]

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 well-known tourist attractions in Atlanta.

SkyView Atlanta

Climb aboard the SkyView Ferris Wheel in downtown Atlanta to capture fantastic views from the wheel’s climate-controlled gondolas. This Ferris Wheel takes riders almost 20 stories high! Guests can also request to sit within the VIP gondolas that feature more plush seats and glass floors.

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Moreover, if you’re looking to kick the experience up a notch, you can embark on a private tour that takes you by must-see landmarks, such as Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, and ends with a ride on the Ferris Wheel. Experience Atlanta tourism at its finest!

close up of SkyView Atlanta Ferris Wheel on a summer day in Atlanta, Georgia, USA
photo credit: SkyView Atlanta via Facebook

The Center for Civil and Human Rights

As one of the Atlanta top attractions, the Center for 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.

Fun Spot America

When you’re ready to get your adrenaline going, Fun Spot America is ready to help! This is the perfect place for the kids to expend extra energy. The adults will have a good time, too!

Friendly competition awaits on the mini-golf course or go-kart tracks. A miniature Ferris wheel and arcade are perfect for the littles who may be looking for some tamer thrills. No matter how you choose to play, the whole family is guaranteed to have a blast here.

Additionally, this is one of the best fun things to do in Atlanta for teens!

two women on a theme park ride screaming at Fun Spot America Atlanta
Photo Credit: Fun Spot America Atlanta via Facebook

World of Coca-Cola

There’s no argument about it in Atlanta: Coca-Cola is the drink of choice over Pepsi. If you wish to pay homage to the soft drink’s history, which started right in Atlanta, tour the World of Coca-Cola downtown. Add this to your list of Atlanta vacation ideas now!

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The museum features classic ads and exhibits, a replica of the bottling process, 4D theater displays, and a behind-the-scenes peek 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 Botanical Garden

Enclosed within Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is one of the top attractions in Atlanta and features 30 acres of beautiful outdoor gardens, including an acclaimed children’s garden and even an edible garden.

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Further, Fuqua Orchid Center boasts a stunning collection of orchids never before grown in the Southeast. Guests can also journey through the 600-foot Canopy Walk and Stores Woods. This unique exhibit enables guests to walk through oak, hickory, and poplar treetops on a footbridge suspended 40 feet above gorgeous gardens of hydrangeas and perennials.

As one of the best Atlanta tourist attractions, you don’t want to miss perusing the garden’s vast collection.

exterior view of Hardin Vistor Center Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Atlanta, Georgia, USA

College Football Hall of Fame

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

Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site

As 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.

Be sure to add this historic site to your list of must-visit Atlanta, Georgia, tourist attractions.

brick sign at entrance to Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site in AtlantaHistoric Oakland Ceremony

As the final resting place of 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.

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In addition, the 48-acre cemetery provides serene views with natural green spaces and remarkable stone structures. If you wish to take a tour, weekend tours are offered from March through October. Moreover, visitors can check the calendar for special events.

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. Additionally, the park hosts several festivals each year as well as multiple exhibits commemorating the park’s Olympic history.

While you’re there, don’t miss the Fountain of Rings! Moreover, if you can’t get enough of the outdoors, make your way to Stone Mountain Park, located just outside of Atlanta.

fountains with lights and ferris wheel in the background at twilight dust at Centennial Olympic Park in Atlanta, Georgia, USAMoDA

On the list of Atlanta indoor activities, the Museum of Design Atlanta seeks to educate visitors on the way 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, this museum of Atlanta features exhibitions that show how design using different mediums can change the world through visual messaging.

Delta Flight Museum

Located in the center of Delta’s Atlanta headquarters, this 68,000-square-foot museum allows visitors to explore aviation history, including Delta Airlines’ ascension as a major airline.

With engaging exhibits and restored aircrafts on display, guests can take a look behind-the-scenes at Delta’s original 1940s-era aircraft hangars.

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.

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Fan-favorites include coasters like Goliath, the Great American Scream Machine, Georgia Cyclone, and BATMAN: The Ride.

kids on the Joker Funhouse Coaster with Funhouse in the background at Six Flags Over Georgia in Atlanta, Georgia, USAJimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

This Presidential Library and Museum aims to honor Georgia-born President Carter’s legacy with exhibits detailing his life from childhood to presidency and onward. The Presidential Library is surrounded by two lakes on 30 acres, representing Carter’s peaceful worldview.

Moreover, guests can see memorabilia 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.

Center for Puppetry Arts

This one-of-a-kind, hands-on museum celebrates the art of puppetry. Since 1978, visitors of all ages have experienced the magic of beloved puppet characters throughout the years with 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 educational programs, special events, and workshops.

Close up of the some of the puppets used in the show Fraggle Rock with a blue wall behind them at the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, Georgia
photo credit: Center for Puppetry Arts via Facebook

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 destinations such as the Margaret Mitchell House, Swan House Mansion, Smith Family Farm, and the Centennial Olympic Games Museum.

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.

Fernbank Museum - Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Ponce City Market

Enter a wonderland of shops and restaurants located inside a 2.1-million-square-foot building. Formerly serving as a Sears store, the building now holds a host of stores so you can shop ’til you drop. In the lineup are West Elm, J. Crew, and Anthropologie. This is one of the best things to do indoors in Atlanta!

Head to Skyline Park, located on the roof of the building, for mesmerizing views of the city. Entertainment combines with delicious eateries, ensuring you’ll never be bored.

Fill Your Vacation Itinerary with the Best Atlanta Attractions

Tourist hotspots and hidden gems alike exist in abundance throughout the city of Atlanta. Experience the history, art, and cuisine of this beloved metropolis while Atlanta sightseeing.

Plan your trip before you go to make the most of your time! Tripster is here to help you book activities and hotels, in addition to offering need-to-know travel advice.

What’s Your Favorite Spot to See in Atlanta?

Tell us which places to visit in Atlanta that we need to check out in the comments!

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Written by Michaela Satterfield

Michaela is a journalist who views every story she writes as an adventure, leading her to explore new places and meet new people....

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