You can find Georgia in the southeast region of the United States. Of the 50 states, it is the eighth-most populated one. Georgia is also known as the “Peach State” and the “Empire State of the South.” Of all of Georgia’s cities, arguably the most popular is Atlanta, which many people affectionately refer to as “Hotlanta.” This the most populated city in Georgia as it has a population of over 498,000 people as of 2018. It is no surprise then that the city is the economic and cultural center of the Atlanta Metropolitan area.
A big part of the reason that Atlanta is so popular is that there is no shortage of fun things that the city offers. Whether you are a visitor, or you are a local, there is always something exciting available. In fact, many of the activities and landmarks offer first time experiences that help to create memories that last a lifetime. You are not limited, no matter what kind of fun you are looking for. Are you on vacation with your family? Are you taking a trip with a significant other? Are you just backpacking? Whatever your reason for visiting may be, Atlanta welcomes you with open arms, and it promises not to disappoint you.
As there are so many things to do, you run the risk of missing out on some of the best ones without the proper guidance. Therefore, this is a list that contains the top 10 fun things you can do while you are in the city.
10Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is found in the Buckhead neighborhood, and it occupies 33 acres of space. If you are looking to get acquainted with Georgia’s history, this is the place to do so. The center allows you to learn while you enjoy intricate exhibitions, homes with historical significance, and gardens and trails that go on for miles. The Atlanta History Museum is the center’s central facility. Within the museum, you can find various exhibits that provide information on the history of the region. This information is very comprehensive and includes things such as details on life in the antebellum south and data on the culture of Native Americans.
The center is also home to the Swan House. This building is an estate that was built in 1928; however, it has been restored as an attraction of the center. It has a certain mystique about it as the experience is not offered as a part of the regular house experiences. The 45-minute Swan House tour allows you to explore attics, basement rooms, and numerous special collections spaces.
There is quite a bit to see and enjoy at this attraction, so it is recommended that you prepare to spend at least three hours at the facility. Tickets are sold at $21.50 for adults, $18 for students and seniors, and $9 for children four to 12 years old. Children under four years old are not charged. Note that tickets grant you access to all attractions that are available, which include a gift shop, a couple of eateries, and a coffee shop.
There are not many better places to spend a relaxing afternoon than Piedmont Park. The park spans a 200-acre area, and it is filled to the brim with activities and attractions to make it worth your while. Piedmont Park’s numerous offerings include tours, sightseeing packages, aquatic areas, camping, various sports, etc. The large size of the park makes it one of the most sought-after venues for event hosting. This is the reason it is a go-to location for spectacles such as the Atlanta Jazz Festival, Atlanta Pride, and the Atlanta Dogwood Festival.
The park is a highly appreciated location for its relaxing vibe. While there is no shortage of places to enjoy an easy-going day in Atlanta, this one is widely regarded as one of the city’s best parks. Past visitors have even drawn parallels between Piedmont Park and the famed Central Park of New York City.
The park’s opening hours are between 6 AM and 11 PM daily, which is a wide enough bracket to accommodate just about any kind of activity you are interested in doing. The best part is that there is no charge to enter the park, so it is highly recommended to those who are looking for some diverse fun on a budget. Note, however, that it costs $5 to use the swimming pool, but it is very much worth the cost. Just in case you get hungry, there is no shortage of concession areas such as Willy’s Mexicana Grill and Sean’s Heart of the Park.
One of the biggest and most iconic attractions in Atlanta is the Fox Theatre. While tickets are required to attend the various events that take place in the theatre, it costs nothing to look around and marvel at the building’s well-designed interior.
The design is one of the theatre’s biggest selling points as it is a testament to the cultural diversity that exists within the United States. The Atlanta Shriners organization is credited with the intricate design, which has clear influences from both Egypt and Spain. The easiest influences identifiable are those of Luxor’s Karnak Temple Complex and Granada’s Alhambra.
Should you decide to take a tour, a well-informed guide provides you with an in-depth tutorial on the building’s architectural specifications and more. These tours are typically done on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. You should note though that this landmark is enjoyed most by those who like an eccentric, historic aesthetic. If you do not fall into that category, you may find the design to be a bit dated.
The name of the attraction naturally clued you in on the fact that it is a place of entertainment. It is highly recommended that you visit Fox Theatre not only for the tour and admiration of the design but also for one or more of the productions that are done by talented staff. Be sure to head to the theatre’s website and check out what is showing whenever you’re passing through. Chances are there’s something just for you. You may also find out about tour times and purchase your tickets on the site.
The Atlanta BeltLine is one of the largest attractions available in the city. It is an in-progress development of about 2000 acres of parks, over 30 miles of trails that can be used for activities such as walking and biking, and over 20 miles of streetcar rails. Currently, the plan is to open the BeltLine in numerous phases. The entire system is projected to be completed by 2030. Starting in the summer of 2019, seven parks and five trails that sit along the BeltLine are open for public patronage. These include Perkerson Park and the Historic Fourth Ward Skatepark.
If your interest lies in understanding the BeltLine’s network and in knowing about the communities that surround it, you are welcome to take a free tour that provides this information. According to prior visitors, the Atlanta BeltLine is a great place to view art, enjoy food and drinks, and exercise.
The attraction’s website is a huge help in planning your day. There is an interactive calendar on the site that you can use, which includes the various events that are planned for each day. These events include workshops, fitness activities, farmers’ market sales, and more.
The sections that are already open accommodate visitors at any time as they are open 24/7. However, the businesses that lie along the route are not governed by these opening hours, so you need to be mindful of that if you are planning to visit any of them. There is nothing quite like the Atlanta BeltLine, and it is highly recommended as part of your visit to Atlanta.
6Centennial Olympic Park
The Olympic Games have always been one of the greatest sources of competition and entertainment for countries around the world. Construction has always been synonymous with the games, and this had led to the building of some of the most iconic locations that exist today. This is the story of Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park.
The 1996 Summer Olympic Games were hosted by Atlanta from July 19 to August 4, 1996. It was during this time that the park was built, and it was a central part of the festivities. This was the work of the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which was established to develop the Georgia World Congress Center, which includes the Centennial Olympic Park.
Though the bout of competition is long gone, the park continues to be a tremendous attraction to both locals and visitors. One of the most popular features of the park is the famed Fountain of Rings that not only form the shape of the Olympic rings, but it is also made up of over 250 individual water jets. Feel free to stop by and check out one of the four daily water shows that display the beauty of the fountain. These shows are choreographed to various songs, which always help to add a touch of freshness. Audio tours are available for free with maps that are easily downloadable. Opening hours run from 7 AM to 11 PM daily.
5Ponce City Market
The Ponce City Market is a large facility that features attractions of all kinds. On a trip through the market, you can find education centers, restaurants, coffee shops, boutiques, and various offices. There was a time in the past when this building held the Southern Sears, Roebuck & Co. headquarters. In 2014, the building was renovated and repurposed to what it is today. The marketplace itself is at the heart of the Ponce City Market, and it is an ideal location for people to meet, eat, and get some shopping done.
To this end, it is a connecting point for some of the adjoining neighborhoods such as Midtown, Virginia-Highland, Morningside, etc. Apart from all the things to do within the building, the roof is also a very popular attraction for two reasons. The first is the 9 Mile Station, which is a premier rooftop beef garden. The second is Skyline Park, which is loads of fun. This park offers slide riding, mini-golf, Skee-Ball, and more. Imagine doing all this on the roof of a building.
The real draw of the Ponce City Market is the variety that it offers. Whenever people visit an unfamiliar city, one of the most interesting things to do is to simply walk through a market and enjoy the offerings. This market is no different, and past visitors have stated that the food options are both diverse and delicious. You may visit the market’s website for a comprehensive list of the offerings and vendors located within.
There’s a serene vibe associated with the flow of water and marine life. This is the reason that people enjoy visiting attractions such as aquariums. If you also enjoy this, why not pay a visit to Atlanta’s own Georgia Aquarium? Georgia Aquarium is widely regarded as one of the largest aquariums in the world. Its large size means that it has the capacity to house numerous species of aquatic life. This capacity is well utilized as the aquarium is home to over 700 species of aquatic animals, which are in various galleries. The number of animals across these 700 species totals over 100,000.
One of the largest attractions both literally and figuratively is the Ocean Voyager Gallery’s whale shark tank. This incredible structure is a 6.3-million-gallon tank that is simply awe-inspiring. As the location is such a spectacle, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the entire city, so don’t be surprised if you show up to a bit of a crowd. Be that as it may, this doesn’t interfere with your ability to enjoy the place.
There are activities to make your visit even more fun, such as a free dolphin show. You can also pay to do swimming or diving with whale sharks; however, you must book tickets in advance as they sell very quickly. Purchasing tickets early is recommended as doing so allows you to save with each purchase. Online purchases also offer further discounts.
3World of Coca-Cola
When you hear the name “World of Coca-Cola,” you probably imagine a museum with exhibits and an environment that is dedicated entirely to the fizzy drink. If that is the case, then you aren’t off the mark. The World of Coca-Cola is a two-level building that covers all things Coke, from its bottling process to its pop culture influences, and its historical milestones.
The cool thing about this attraction is that it can appeal to people of all ages. Older patrons tend to be more interested in the history and the events that led to Coca-Cola’s ascent to where it is today. Children, on the other hand, have a sweet tooth and can’t wait to get their hands on some soda. There’s no better place than the World of Coca-Cola to do so as there are numerous varieties of Coke available for tasting. In fact, the museum provides samples of over 100 kinds of Coke from places such as Latin America, North America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. The sampling is unlimited, so you or the kids can have as much as possible.
There is a gift shop on the site that offers various kinds of Coke memorabilia for sale, so you can preserve the memory of your amazing tour. If you’re stopping by the museum, you can kill two birds with one stone as it is close to the Georgia Aquarium that was discussed above. Parking is available for $10 daily if you choose to drive Note, that the location is accessible by train, bus, and streetcar as well.
Whenever people go on vacation or a tour of a foreign place, viewing wildlife is always a pleasant way to spend time. Zoo Atlanta is a perfect place to visit if you enjoy doing so. There’s the “Wild Encounter” that allows you to get close to some of the facility’s wildest occupants in a behind-the-scenes type experience. Some of the animals that you can see as a part of this experience are the Aldabra Tortoise, the African Elephant, the lion, and the lemur.
Another great way to spend your time is to enjoy the “Scaly Slimy Spectacular” experience. This involves an incredible tour that introduces you to the magnificent natural wonders of the world. Prepare to see an impressive display of some of the ecosystems and the creatures that are central to the planet’s “wild places.” One of the things that sets the zoo apart from others is that it is one of the few that houses giant pandas. There’s no doubt that these are a favorite among tourist, but that’s not all the zoo has to offer. The experiences described above, and others are made possible because Zoo Atlanta has over 200 species roaming its space.
The entertainment present isn’t all about animals though as there is a carousel, a rock-climbing wall, a train ride, a rope course, and more that are guaranteed to provide endless fun. Note, however, that these are not a part of the cost of admission.
East of the Centennial Park is one of the largest and most majestic attractions in Atlanta. There is a reason why it is known as SkyView Atlanta. The Ferris wheel stands at almost 20 stories above the park and offers a breathtaking view of downtown Atlanta, as well as of the surrounding metropolitan area. Guests who have visited the location fondly describe the view as panoramic. Nighttime is when the beauty of the city really comes to life.
The SkyView Ferris wheel features 42 gondolas, which are all air-conditioned. They move at a reasonable speed which strikes a perfect balance between being fast enough to avoid boredom and being slow enough to allow the patrons to enjoy the “Hotlanta” view. For those who are looking for something even more unique, the attraction offers access to the VIP gondola experience. This experience offers a longer flight time, and it takes place in exquisite gondolas that have Ferrari style seats and glass floors.
If you’re heading to the facility as a couple, it is recommended that you check out SkyView’s date night package, which is bound to give you a night to remember. SkyView Atlanta is open to the public on Sundays to Thursdays from noon to 11 PM. It opens at noon on Fridays and closes at midnight. On Saturdays, it opens at 10 AM and closes at midnight.
As the city that is widely regarded as the cultural and economic center of the state of Georgia, Atlanta has quite a bit to offer its visitors and locals in the way of enjoyment.
The city comes highly recommended as there are tons of attractions that guarantee a fun time that can never be forgotten. As there is such an overwhelming number of fun things to do, this list covered the top 10 that you should ensure are on your itinerary. This is not to say that the other attractions available are not up to par. In fact, it is recommended that you check out others as well, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. However, if you want the best experience you can get, then you should prioritize the 10 entries on this list.
Atlanta is a dream for visitors. There are incredible places of entertainment such as Fox Theatre, scenic places such as Piedmont Park, and incredible wildlife experiences such as Zoo Atlanta. Whether you’re a party goer, a shopaholic, a food connoisseur, or a backpacker, chances are that Atlanta has something unique to offer. You can head to the city alone, with your significant other, or with your family and have the time of your life.
Just remember that Atlanta is a well-known tourist attraction, and it is a huge draw to many people, so plan your days well to avoid long lines and frustrating experiences. Once you do that, prepare to have the time of a lifetime!