Plan Your Trip to Super Bowl LIII in Atlanta
Tips for where to play, where to eat and where to stay in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII.
In February 2019, Atlanta will host the nation's largest sporting event: Super Bowl LIII. The city loves its sports fans, hosting dozens of sporting events throughout the year, but this one is the big one. Set in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United, you won’t want to miss a minute of the festivities.
The big game will be at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which is a short walk from the heart of downtown Atlanta. Attendance generally exceeds 100,000 fans.
Parking decks and lots are located near the stadium, but to avoid driving, take MARTA trains to the Vine City, Georgia World Congress Center or Peachtree Center stations. The Atlanta Streetcar, Relay Bike Share and rideshares are other transportation options.
Refer to the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee's Know Before You Go resources for more information, including road closures and detours.
Where to Play
When visiting Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII, give yourself some time to explore some of the city's most popular attractions. While you're out, you're sure to notice some of Atlanta's many murals. Many new ones will be appearing as part of the Atlanta Super Bowl Host Committee's "Off the Wall" initiative. See the proposed designs and locations here.
Centennial Olympic Park
Many of the city’s major attractions are downtown and around Centennial Olympic Park, which was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics. Admire the sculptures modeled after athletes.
World of Coca-Cola
Head to the World of Coca-Cola, which is equal parts museum and attraction devoted to the world’s most well-known brand, which started as a pharmacy headache remedy. Sample more than 100 flavors from around the world.
Across the park is the Georgia Aquarium, one of the largest in the world. Get up close to species from around the globe, including whale sharks, otters and penguins.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
A visit to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is an important one, as it educates about the civil rights movement as well as modern struggles for equal rights.
Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame
If you also follow college football, don’t miss the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, which has interactive games and exhibits about your favorite teams.
Children's Museum of Atlanta
Just outside the park, bring young sports fans to the interactive exhibits at The Children's Museum of Atlanta.
You can also see the city from above aboard Skyview Atlanta, a Ferris wheel with glass pods that provide unobstructed skyline views.
The CNN Center is home to the worldwide news provider's headquarters and is where shows like Morning Express are filmed. The Inside CNN Studio Tour takes you behind the scenes.
Don’t forget about tours for every interest. Atlanta Movie Tours visits the city’s notable filming locations, while Atlanta Food Walks weaves history with the city’s best dishes. Bicycle Tours of Atlanta and ATL-Cruzers Electric Car and Segway Tours showcase the landmarks on wheels. And for a bike tour that brings everyone together, check out the party bike tours with Southern Pedaler!
Where to Eat
Downtown Atlanta is chock full of fantastic restaurants for every taste.
Near Centennial Olympic Park
The Centennial Park District has sports bars popular with sports fans, like Stats, Der Biergarten and Twin Smokers BBQ. Max’s Coal Oven and GameX are also nearby favorites. The CNN Center Food Court also has everything imaginable from salads to tacos to wings.
Near Peachtree Center
Visitors here have their pick of everything from the Peachtree Center food court and surrounding restaurants. Hsu’s has authentic Chinese fare, while Aviva by Kameel is a workday favorite for Mediterranean dishes. Pittypat's Porch Restaurant down the street is one of the area’s top Southern cooking restaurants. The views at the Sun Dial Restaurant Bar & View at the The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta and Polaris at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta can’t be missed.
Near Georgia State University
Broad Street has plentiful options at a good price. Dine on Indian at NaanStop, Italian at FIGO, Mexican at Taqueria on Broad, and Vietnamese at Dua. Continue toward the Georgia State University campus and you’ll be in Sweet Auburn, home to Sweet Auburn Curb Market, a popular food market and food hall with burgers, arepas and soul food.
In Castleberry Hill
Other can’t-miss restaurants are in nearby Castleberry Hill, just across the train tracks from Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Smoke Ring serves up barbecue with all the fixings. No Mas Cantina has been a neighborhood staple for decades with their all-day Mexican options. Paschal's Restaurant serves the best fried chicken in town and was a favorite of civil rights leaders organizing marches.
It wouldn’t be an Atlanta sporting event without a trip to The Varsity, the world’s largest drive in! Take MARTA to the North Avenue station and then walk one block to the iconic Atlanta restaurant.
Where to Stay
Downtown and Castleberry Hill
Downtown and Castleberry Hill are great neighborhoods to stay in if you want to be in the heart of the action. This is where you’ll find the major hotel chains as well as a few boutique hotels. The Omni Atlanta Hotel At CNN Center is newly renovated and steps away from the city’s attractions and restaurants, not to mention the news organization’s offices. The Embassy Suites Atlanta - at Centennial Olympic Park overlooks Centennial Olympic Park. The Atlanta Marriott Marquis is an iconic hotel downtown designed by John Portman, as is The Westin Peachtree Plaza Atlanta.
If you’re looking for a hotel with its own personality during your Super Bowl stay, check out The American Hotel Atlanta Downtown - a DoubleTree by Hilton that has been redesigned to look like it did during the 1960s. In fact, it was the city’s first desegregated hotel and played a role in the arrival of the Braves baseball team.
If all of the downtown hotels are booked, stay in one of the neighborhoods serviced by MARTA.
Midtown and Buckhead
Midtown’s hotels are approximately 10 minutes by train on MARTA's gold or red lines, while Buckhead is another 10 minutes. Both have luxury hotel options like The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta and W Atlanta Midtown as well as mid-range options.
Caroline Eubanks is a freelance writer, travel blogger and film geek from Atlanta. She writes about travel in the South and beyond for BBC Travel, Afar, AAA, and her websites, This Is My South and Caroline in the City.