Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta

Stand face to face with the most misunderstood creatures in the sea at the Georgia Aquarium's new shark gallery.

Iconic Atlanta

When you're visiting Georgia's capital city, here are the attractions you just can't miss.

Smart. Beautiful. Fun. Words that might describe a great date can also apply to this Southern capital city. Home to leading industries, natural charm, elegant structures and an array of amusements, Atlanta is where you can make lasting memories. Here are some top tourist attractions in Atlanta.

Due to COVID-19, some destinations might have changed their visitation information. This list may not reflect the most recent updates. Before you go, check social media, the venue's website or call to confirm your plans. For more information, visit Explore Georgia's COVID-19 travel information page.

Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Photo by mseeley
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Photo by mseeley

Georgia Aquarium

Countless creatures call the Georgia Aquarium home, including beluga whales, whale sharks, manta rays, penguins and sea otters. Each ecosystem gets its own gallery, and visitors can even go scuba diving in one of the tanks. Visitors to Georgia Aquarium embark on an aquatic adventure around the globe, and are sure to gain a greater understanding of these aquatic ecosystems and the animals who inhabit them.

Grab some Southern hospitality with the Atlanta CityPASS, your ticket to saving 45 percent on admission to five attractions, including the Georgia Aquarium and nearby attractions like the World of Coca-Cola, which showcases the brand's history, bottling and global products; and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights.

Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Photo by @benjamingalland
Piedmont Park in Atlanta. Photo by @benjamingalland

Midtown Atlanta

Both the 30-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden and 211-acre Piedmont Park offer the respite of green space in all seasons.

“What’ll ya have?” is the battle cry to squash thirst and hunger at The Varsity, the world’s largest drive-in restaurant, which is nestled between Downtown and Midtown and has been serving customers since 1928.

“Gone With the Wind” was composed in Midtown, and the Margaret Mitchell House preserves where the author lived while writing the book.

For contemporary arts, take in a performance at the historic Fox Theatre and peruse exhibits at the High Museum of Art.

Child at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. Photo by @kodysworld2
Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta's Sweet Auburn Historic District. Photo by @kodysworld2

Sweet Auburn Historic District

Honor the life and teachings of a great leader and explore Atlanta's role in the civil rights movement at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park located in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood, just one of 18 significant historic sites and parks in Georgia. Explore more sites of historic and modern significance in the Historic Sweet Auburn District

From there, you can follow the Freedom Park Trail through the Inman Park neighborhood to Little Five Points and all the way to Ponce de Leon Avenue and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History.

Bicyclists near Ponce City Market in Atlanta
Bicyclists near Ponce City Market in Atlanta

Ponce de Leon Avenue

This 16-mile road is home to everything from tattoo parlors to underground nightclubs, upscale furniture shops, the latest dining spots, churches and historic homes. Connecting a number of Atlanta communities, Ponce de Leon Avenue is a life source for the city.

You can spend hours exploring Ponce City Market, a historic mixed-use community hub focused on artisanal food, fashion and technology. The rooftop features an amusement park and unbeatable skyline views.

Jump on the Atlanta BeltLine to walk or bike to shops and restaurants, admiring artwork along the way. 

Nearby, venture to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library & Museum to learn about the 39th U.S. president from Plains, Georgia.

Giraffes at Zoo Atlanta
Giraffes at Zoo Atlanta

Grant Park

“Ooh” and “aah” at adorable giraffes, pandas, elephants, gorillas and much more at Zoo Atlanta.

Stroll through garden-like Historic Oakland Cemetery, keeping an eye out for the names of famous residents, including author Margaret Mitchell, golfer Bobby Jones and Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first African American mayor.

Swan House at the Atlanta History Center
Swan House at the Atlanta History Center

Buckhead

Time-travel in Buckhead at the Atlanta History Center's 33 acres of exhibitions, historic houses and gardens, including the Swan House, also known as President Snow's manion in The Hunger Games. Then, go shopping for modern fashions and goods the Buckhead Village District, Lenox Square Mall and Phipps Plaza.

Published: February 2021