What are the best things to see and do in Atlanta?

Answers from Our Experts (4)

The five best things to see and do during your time in Atlanta include everything from exploring marine life to paying reverence to a Civil Rights hero. Here’s our list of the five best:

1. Georgia Aquarium. In the heart of downtown Atlanta, an under-the-sea adventure awaits you at the Georgia Aquarium. As the largest aquarium in the world, its 8 million gallon tanks are home to more sealife than any other aquarium. You can spot hundreds of species--and they can spot you--through the tanks and glass, and in some cases, you can even touch them. Weave through the 60-plus exhibits and snap loads of refrigerator-worthy fish-face pics. Be sure to check the aquarium’s website for tickets and reservation times. Bring extra cash for the gift shop that's teeming with plush pets and vibrant gear.

2. The World of Coca-Cola. A few blocks away, you can dive into another water world--The World of Coca-Cola, the unofficial soft drink of Atlanta. The downtown museum is situated on a 20-acre complex with a 4-D theater, pop culture gallery, polar bear photo station and the world’s largest Coke memorabilia collection. Delightful as the museum is, it’s the sampling room that adds the most flavor to the tour, literally. Here you can sample more than 60 varieties of Coca-Cola products from all around the world, and you'll receive a free commemorative bottle of Coca-Cola that's bottled right at the museum.

3. High Museum of Art. For those interested in more classic works of art, head to the High Museum of Art, a modern building that is home to classic and contemporary art. Galleries include works from 18th- and 19th-centuries paintings, as well as ultra modern, photography and folk art collections. The world-renowned museum is often the custodian of remarkable exhibits you’d have to trek the globe to see elsewhere.

4. Stone Mountain Park. Nature-lovers and recreation-seekers should check out Stone Mountain Park, the world’s largest piece of exposed granite and its surrounding 3,200 acres. You can travel climb among the treetops on a Sky Hike, the nation’s largest adventure rope course, or you can take a Swiss cable car to the top of the mountain for a stunning view of the Atlanta skyline. Take the scenic train around the mountain or camp, picnic and gather with friends and family at the main lawn's covered pavilions. Top off your day by taking in the world’s largest laser light show, which features a fireworks finale.

5. Sweet Auburn Historic District. To the east of downtown Atlanta is a piece of Civil Rights history. Sweet Auburn is home to the birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Martin Luther King, Jr., Center for Nonviolent Social Change (where he and his wife Coretta are laid to rest), and the Ebenezer Baptist Church. It's a National Register of Historic Places and covers several city blocks. Admission is free, but maps are helpful, so check out the visitor’s center first.

My favorite things to do in Atlanta are:

1. Take a good long run, especially now that the Beltline is intact.

2.  I’m a huge baseball fan, so I think going to Turner Field. It’s a great stadium, and if you’re here in season, that’s something that’s pretty special.

3. Go to Westside Provisions. I think that’s a good little day trip, especially with my wife, who has an obsession with Anthropologie, which is right across the street. I mean, you’ve got Taqueria del Sol, you’ve got Star Provisions and Bacchanalia, you have all those little boutiques and you’ve got Billy Reid, the men’s clothing shop over there now.

Now we have the Beltline, which is really cool. High Museum is awesome. The Botanical Gardens are great.

  • Ford Fry

  • Chef, Restaurateur

  • Atlanta, US

The best things to do in Atlanta are:

1. Eat pizza at Antico Pizza.
2. One of my favorite experiences was at the Fox Theatre when I saw the Hendrix Experience. That was awesome.
3. Grab the burger late night at Holeman & Finch.
4. I’m a fan of the Fernbank, too.
5. The best thing of all time is the Attack of the Killer Tomato Festival. Whoever came up with that was brilliant.

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