Visit Georgia's capital city for an endless array of entertainment and activity. Here are a few quick tips for things to do, places to stay, great restaurants and events you'll love.
The capital of Georgia and one of the most influential cities in the Southern United States, Atlanta is a destination like no other. In fact, National Geographic selected Atlanta as one of the top destinations to visit in the National Geographic Best of the World 2022 list, and Lonely Planet included it in the Best in Travel list for 2022, the only U.S. city on the list.
There are so many reasons why Atlanta is the place to visit. Its collection of world-famous attractions, historic sites, diverse neighborhoods, award-winning restaurants and unique events make it an exciting place to visit any time of year. It has been a hub for the arts over the years, home to notable authors like Margaret Mitchell and Joel Chandler Harris, and musicians from OutKast to The Black Crowes. Today, it’s a melting pot for dozens of cultures.
The Atlanta History Center in Buckhead offers a fascinating look at the city's history through exhibits that include pieces from the 1996 Summer Olympics, memorabilia from golf legend Bobby Jones, relics from the Civil War and a multi-media experience interpreting The Battle of Atlanta cyclorama painting. Tour the historic home known as the Swan House, familiar to fans of "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" as President Snow's mansion, and the Smith Farm, Atlanta's oldest surviving farmhouse built in the 1840s.
Atlanta Botanical Garden
One of the most beautiful places in the city, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is constantly changing - from what's blooming to special exhibits. Kids will adore the award-winning Children's Garden, and the summertime Cocktails in the Garden events are the place to be for adults. The Fuqua Conservatory features the foremost collection of species orchids in the U.S., and the canopy walk gives visitors a unique perspective of the native plant life within the city.
High Museum of Art
View works of art from all eras at the High Museum of Art, one of the region’s best art museums. With more than 11,000 pieces in its permanent collection, visitors can see 19th- and 20th-century American works, African art, European paintings, decorative arts, photography and contemporary works.
Get tickets for a show at the historic, 1920s-era Fox Theatre, which offers regular programming including Broadway musicals, concerts, film screenings, and guided tours. Be sure to save time to relax on the rooftop Marquee Club overlooking busy Peachtree Street before or after the show.
Originally built in 1924, Hotel Clermont was a defunct property for many years before reopening as a stylish boutique property. It has a rooftop bar, French restaurant, and a casual cafe.
Atlanta Marriott Marquis
The Atlanta Marriott Marquis has long been a part of the Atlanta skyline, the John Portman-designed property has a unique shape. The hotel has more than 1,600 rooms just steps away from the city’s top attractions.
The American Hotel
Another historic spot is The American Hotel, which was built in the 1960s downtown as a desegregated hotel where guests like Elvis Presley, Martin Luther King Jr., and James Brown stayed over the years. Stylish rooms have a mid-century style, and the hotel has a bar and restaurant.
Kimpton Overland Hotel
At the Kimpton Overland Hotel, rooms have a view of runways at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and driveways at the Porsche Experience Center. The hotel’s decor is inspired by the luxury vehicle company that has its North American headquarters next door.
Hyatt Regency Atlanta
Call it a night at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Once called the "hotel of hope," it was one of the only hotels to welcome civil rights activists like Xernona Clayton and Martin Luther King, Jr., who hosted the annual convention of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference there in 1967. Today, it has all the expected modern amenities and a blue-domed restaurant with a view, Polaris, featuring menu items made with local ingredients and drinks that include throwbacks to its early days, like the peach daiquiri.
Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center
Set in the building with the worldwide news leader’s headquarters, the Omni Atlanta Hotel at CNN Center is in the heart of it all for downtown museums and sporting events. It’s also the city’s only four-diamond convention hotel with more than 1,000 renovated rooms.
Formerly the Ritz-Carlton Buckhead, The Whitley is one of the city’s most luxurious accommodations. The 500 rooms and suites have views of the skyline as well as flat-screen televisions and feather beds. Indulge in a treatment at the in-house spa.
The Glenn Hotel transformed a historic post office building into a boutique hotel with vintage decor, artwork and comfortable rooms. The hotel also has a restaurant, fitness center and rooftop lounge.
The Inn at Serenbe
Located south of the airport in Peachtree Hills, The Inn at Serenbe is a rustic respite away from the city noise. The 900-acre property has hiking trails, two pools and endless opportunities to connect with the great outdoors.
Equal parts neighborhood favorite and historic landmark, Paschal's Restaurant in Castleberry Hill has hosted civil rights leaders, musicians, actors and politicians, their pictures still covering the walls. Don’t miss their fried chicken, some of the best in town.
Mary Mac's Tea Room
Another soul food favorite is Mary Mac's Tea Room, which has served hungry diners for over 70 years and officially named "Atlanta’s Dining Room." Enjoy Southern dishes like fried green tomatoes, Brunswick stew, and fried chicken.
The Busy Bee Cafe
Another favorite historical Southern-style restaurant, The Busy Bee Cafe, was founded by self-taught cook with a heart of gold Lucy “Momma Lucy” Jackson in 1947; it's a must-stop for anyone who loves soul food. Expect a warm greeting and flavorful grub as you indulge your taste buds with hearty dishes like candied yams, cornbread dressing, collard greens and black-eyed peas.
Known as the World’s Largest Drive-In, The Varsity first served local college students before sporting events. They still appeal to sports fans, along with politicians and celebrities for its carhop service and items like chili slaw dogs and the Varsity Orange.
Taste an eclectic mix of cuisines at Colony Square’s elegant Politan Row food hall, complete with a hidden cocktail lounge and curated tasting experience that raises the bar of communal dining — think ponzu tuna bowls, chutney-topped pizzas and oxtail street tacos.
Antico Pizza Napoletana
For a taste of authentic Italian-style pizza, there's nowhere better than Antico Pizza Napoletana on the Westside. The restaurant uses San Marzano tomatoes and bufala mozzarella. The San Gennaro and Diavola are favorite pies.
Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q
Known for its brisket and ribs, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q is inspired by the meat-heavy dishes of Texas, including sides and appetizers like Frito pie, chili mac, and "Fox-a-roni." Save room for dessert of homemade banana pudding.
The Municipal Market
The historic Municipal Market opened in 1924 as a fresh food market, which it still is. But the building also has food hall-style outposts including Venezuelan arepas, New Orleans-style pralines, British pies, and everything in between.
Named Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant in 2016, Staplehouse Market is unique in that it benefits The Giving Kitchen, an organization that helps struggling food and beverage industry workers, inspired after the loss of Ryan Hidinger.
Heavy on flavor, Slutty Vegan uses herbs and spices and the founder’s secret sauce on its Impossible Patty – a meatless burger that fools even the most devout meat eater. Founded in 2018 by entrepreneur Pinky Cole, the eatery was first a food truck that quickly garnered a following easily selling 500 burgers a day and having line wait times as long as five hours. A store location opened in January 2019. Try the musically named Dance Hall Queen or stick with their take on a classic, the PLT – plantain, lettuce and tomato, and of course, special sauce.
Made up of dozens of restaurants that represent the cuisines of every corner of the globe, the Buford Highway area of Chamblee is where to go for authentic global fare.
Every spring since 1936, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival has brought together artists and vendors to set up in Piedmont Park, the city’s most beloved green space. The free event also includes live music and family-friendly programming.