Atlanta sits at the intersection of Southern charm, creativity, and sophistication. Beyond the city's core, Atlanta's intown neighborhoods are packed with personality, and each is known for something different. So if you're planning a trip and looking for things to do in Atlanta for kids, adults, couples, or groups, it's a destination that's not only easy to get to but has something for everyone.
Eighty percent of the U.S. population lives within a 2-hour flight to Atlanta, and its Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is the busiest in the world, offering many flight options no matter where you live. So whether you come for a weekend getaway, a week vacation, or longer, Atlanta offers many things to do.
Things To Do in Atlanta Georgia
When people think of Atlanta, towering steel and glass buildings may come to mind. But Atlanta is truly a city in the forest, dotted with expansive green spaces. It is easy to fall in love with this vacation spot – its world-class attractions, award-winning dining from fine to casual, and tons of hidden wonders. Perhaps that's why Atlanta was the only U.S. city included in the Lonely Planet Best in Travel list for 2022.
1. Centennial Park
Suppose you want a fun day outside, head to Centennial Park. This park offers a variety of activities for people of all ages. Also, it is free, open to the public, and a safe place that has been home to beautiful artwork and grassy fields since it once hosted the 1996 Olympics.
If you are visiting during the summer months, check out the Fountain of Rings – it's one of the largest water displays in North America and a fan favorite of kids that like to splash around in them. Be sure to pack bathing suits or an extra set of clothes.
2. The Fernbank Museum
Science lovers will be in heaven at the Fernbank Museum in this beautifully restored building. Catch a rotating roster of special exhibits and a calendar of events that change – so there will never be a dull moment!
The website boasts that it is “home to the world's largest dinosaurs, Atlanta's biggest movie screen, and one of the largest assemblages of urban Piedmont forest in the United States.” So get ready for a whole sensory experience. The museum features interactive exhibits that allow visitors to see, hear and touch preserved native habitats.
Though you might need a degree in paleontology to know this, I'll tell you a secret: the bones at the Fernbank are not real. Instead, they are replicas of the originals.
Located at 767 Clifton Rd, The Fernbank Museum is open to the public from 10 AM to 5 PM. It takes roughly an hour and a half to get through the museum. If you want to catch an IMAX movie, tack on another hour. Visitors have to buy tickets ahead of time.
3. The Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world. According to WorldAtlas.com, it is the largest in the United States. Making it very worthy of a spot on your travel bucket list. You'll get to see some of the coolest animals on earth, like penguins, sea lions, dolphins, and other magnificent creatures. See unique events like Yoga by the Water or watch how the trainers work with beluga whales.
Depending on how busy it is, it can take roughly 3-4 hours to get through the aquarium. Purchase tickets online or over the phone for $39.95. Admission is free for kids two and under or if you are a Georgia resident going on your birthday.
4. The World of Coca-cola
With so many things to do in downtown Atlanta, GA, it is customary to mentally debate in your head if the World of Coca-Cola is worth going to see.
When I first heard of this place, I wondered, “What do you do in the World of Coca-Cola?” Is it the soda version of Charlie in the Chocolate Factory? Though the chances of getting a golden ticket were slim, I thought I'd snoop around on their website a bit to see what's there.
If you like soda, you might be awe-struck by the number of flavors in the Tasting Room. They are serving over 100 to satisfy or disappoint your tastebuds. Either way, you will at least walk away knowing your preferences better, no matter what.
Though they are not handing out the soda's secret recipe, feast your eyes on the vault where it's stored. Enter inside to learn about its history and enjoy the fascinating facts about its origin story.
5. The Center for Civil and Human Rights
See art installations, displays, and interactive exhibits at the Center of Civil and Human Rights. View metal fragments artistically cobbled together to display words and phrases by Martin Luther King, Jr. Also, catch a glimpse of the human rights mural made up of protest posters sliced into triangular-shaped pieces that form a mural. Experience interactive displays such as an exhibit that shows what it was like to be a part of a sit-in.
If you're wondering how long it takes to get through the museum, their website explains that most people stay between 90 mins to 2 hours. Tickets for adults cost $19.99, while tickets for kids are 15.99 and $17.99 for seniors. Check the ticket section on CivilandHumanRights.org for the most up-to-date information and special promotions. You can also see if there are any valid discount codes on the internet to save a few bucks. If visiting is not an option right now, consider watching a virtual tour on their site to see the many exhibits.
6. The Children's Museum of Atlanta
The Children's Museum of Atlanta is geared toward kids ages 0-8 years old. There are many fun-filled permanent and featured exhibits to explore. Pretend to be on a farm for the Fundamentally Food section. Hop on a tractor or forklift, play with the toy produce, and pretend away. Also, check out Gateway to The World or Step Up to Science while there for a fun-filled day. Online ticketing is a hassle-free way (and the only way) to get a ticket. Tickets are $15.95 apiece for non-members. Just pick your date and time, then purchase!
Also, note that they sometimes offer Family Free Days a few times a year. Subscribe to their newsletter to keep it on your radar, or follow them on social media. Atlanta local and Author of The Debt Escape Plan Beverly Harzog believes that visitors should take advantage of free museums and other events to enjoy themselves while sticking to financial goals such as paying off debt. You can plan an affordable activity with kids without having to break your budget.
7. The Skyline Ferris Wheel
For $13.50 a ticket, take a 7-minute-ish ride on the Skyview Ferris Wheel and bring your sense of adventure to greater heights. If you want a slightly longer ride with glass floors and Ferrari-style seats, purchase a pricier VIP ticket. No matter what you choose, thrill-seekers can head to 168 Luckie Street NW to take a ride 20 stories high and catch a fantastic view of Atlanta's skyline. It's one of the most exciting things to do in downtown Atlanta at night! It's also one of the best bucket list ideas to scratch off your list.
8. Take a Walk on the Beltline
If you want a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, grab your most comfortable shoes and take a walk on the Beltline. Atlanta local and Co-host of The How to Money Podcast Joel Laarsgard explains that “this walking and biking trail has dramatically changed the face of Atlanta over the last decade. And it's also one of the best ways to see and experience the city as it connects most of Atlanta's most vibrant neighborhoods to one another.” He also adds that it's the perfect place to go if you want some exercise, fresh air, and some artwork to view, such as murals and installations.
Larsgaard also points out that The Eastside trail is one of the most popular sections of the Beltline right now, with many restaurants along the way to take a break and grab a bite to eat. One of the best benefits is that it's totally free!
9. The College Football Hall of Fame
College football fans have a pilgrimage to make. Check out the helmets from every team in the Quad, run along the indoor playing field, or explore the exhibits that pay tribute to the players.
The College Football Hall of Fame is open from 10 AM to 5 PM in Atlanta, Georgia – 94k square feet worth of history awaits you! Tickets for adults cost $24.99. Kids aged 3-12 cost $17.99. Admission is free if you are a kid under three or a part of the military with a valid ID. There are also discounts for students and seniors. It takes roughly 2 hours to see everything.
10. Martin Luther King, Jr Historical Park
If you want a way to honor Martin Luther King, Jr. and his extraordinary legacy, a visit to Martin Luther King, Jr. Historical Park is definitely in order. Head to 450 Auburn Ave. NE. See the birth home of one of America's most influential Civil Rights leaders. Snag a time entry ticket and catch a free guided tour.
Also, stop by the Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he once preached. While there, also check out the King Center, which Coretta Scott King established after her husband's assassination. The park is a meaningful tribute to one of America's most iconic and influential figures.
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This article was produced and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.
Image Credit: Pixabay.
As a busy working parent, Karen Cordaway struggled to find free time & money for herself. Once she discovered how to reclaim both, she infused more fun into everyday life.
She has written for US News Money, Huff Post & Clark Howard & now combines her money know-how with bucket list topics.
As the author of The Everyday Bucket List Book, she shows her step-by-step process to turn dreams into reality.