Must See Atlanta Attractions
Day One: Downtown and Around
Start your day at the Georgia Aquarium, where you can see more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species in more than 8 million gallons of marine and fresh water. The world's largest aquarium also houses the world's largest fish: whale sharks and much more.
Head to the World of Coca-Cola, where the famous soft drink's story is told through fascinating exhibits, classic ads and an imaginative replica of the bottling process. Featuring a multisensory 4-D theater where viewers can join the "Search for the Secret Formula" and an opportunity to taste more than 60 beverages from all around the world, the World of Coca-Cola entices visitors of all ages. When exploring, be sure to step inside the Vault of the Secret Formula. This immersive experience showcases the legend and lore surrounding one of the world's most-beloved beverages. Highlights include the Virtual Tastemaker, a full-body interactive game and mobile storytelling option created with QR codes.
Visit Centennial Olympic Park, the world's gathering place during the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The park offers concerts, festivals, seasonal activities, a playground, and the world's largest Fountain of Rings. The Park also offers seasonal activities such as Fourth Saturday Family Fun Days, free concerts April-September during Wednesday WindDown and Music at noon every Tuesday and Thursday. Cozy up for the holidays in December with ice skating and during Holiday in Lights.
For casual cuisine, head to nearby Ted's Montana Grill, created by Atlanta mogul Ted Turner, for bison burgers. Lunch on classic American fare like a rock star at the Hard Rock Cafe while surrounded by authentic rock memorabilia. Mellow Mushroom started in Atlanta in 1975 and is the city's local take on pizza.
Get behind the camera at CNN Center, the world headquarters of CNN, CNN International and HLN networks. The Inside CNN Studio Tour offers three guided tours where visitors can sit at an authentic news anchor's desk, and go behind the scenes of their favorite daytime shows.
Just across the street, The Children's Museum of Atlanta features hands-on exhibits and activities where kids ages 8 and younger can learn and explore.
Atlanta really was built on top of Underground Atlanta. Today this urban marketplace boasts shops and restaurants as well as a rejuvenated night life scene. Visitors also can take several different walking history tours, and purchase half-price tickets to concerts, plays and attractions at AtlanTIX!, in the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau Underground Atlanta Visitors Center.
Underground hosts annual events such as the New Year's Eve Peach Drop, and the Heritage Arts Festival, the official vendors market of the National Black Arts Festival (July).
For seafood and an award-wining wine list, visit Ray's In the City. Ruth's Chris Steak House at Centennial Park serves its Signature Steak with a lovely view of the park below. New to Peachtree Street but filled with vintage conversation pieces and heirloom recipes, Meehan's Public House and Sweet Georgia's Juke Joint are two great spots to unwind, whether you're in the mood for a pint or barbecue. Two other classy newcomers are White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails featuring upscale southern cuisine and cocktails and modern Mexican at Alma Cocina. If hand-crafted beer is your idea of the perfect dinner drink, head over to Max Lager's Wood-Fired Grill & Brewery for great food and seasonal brews.
Evening option #1: From April to October, catch line drives and maybe even a foul ball at Turner Field during an MLB Atlanta Braves game, and visit the Braves Museum & Hall of Fame. Don't miss the action at Philips Arena during an NBA Atlanta Hawks or a WNBA Atlanta Dream basketball game. Beginning in September, enjoy fierce gridiron battles at the Georgia Dome during an NFL Atlanta Falcons game.
Evening option #2: Catch the local buzz with tasting tours of SweetWater Brewing Company and Red Brick Brewery. Both microbrewery tours feature behind-the-scenes information and a chance to taste the latest local brews.
Day Two: Get Cultured in Midtown
Visit the Midtown Arts District and gaze at more than 12,000 works in the High Museum of Art, a division of the Woodruff Arts Center. Journey through time and across the globe with pieces from 19th century and 20th century American and Decorative, Modern, Contemporary, African and Folk art, plus photography. Also at the Woodruff Arts Center, you'll find the Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre.
Just across the street, Museum of Design Atlanta presents unique, urban exhibitions that examine the effects of design in day-to-day life. This boutique gallery is a work of art itself; the naturally lit exhibition space is on track to be a Platinum LEED Design-certified building.
For an authentic Atlanta treat, try a chili dog and Frosted Orange at The Varsity, the world's largest drive-in. Grab a sandwich or indulge in something sweet at Highland Bakery-Midtown.
Piedmont Park boasts more than 200 acres of lush lawns, Lake Clara Meer, a public swimming pool, scenic walking and jogging paths, playgrounds, athletic courts and an off-leash dog park. It's also home to many seasonal activities, such as Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Atlanta Jazz Festival, Gay Pride Festival and Music Midtown.
Adjacent to the park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is an urban oasis of seasonal blooms and mesmerizing water features. Wander through the treetops on the Canopy Walk, a 40-foot high suspension walkway offering a birds-eye view of the city, or find your new favorite food at the Edible Garden, featuring chef demonstrations each weekend May through October.
Down the street, delight the kids (and the kid in you) at the Center for Puppetry Arts. The Center is home to the nation's largest interactive museum devoted to puppetry. Visit "Puppets: The Power of Wonder" to see a few of Jim Henson's most-beloved characters. The Center also offers weekly performances for kids and also an adult series. The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum next door is home to exhibition galleries, the Weinberg Center for Holocaust Education and the Cuba Family Archives for Southern Jewish History.
For artisan cocktails and regional, seasonal dishes, visit Ecco. One of the city's favorite neighborhood hangouts, Shout is a two-tier restaurant with an expansive outdoor patio that serves an eclectic, global fusion menu of the city's favorite foods. Just two streets over, South City Kitchen is the go-to for sophisticated Southern dishes. For fresh food concepts and historic architecture, head to West Midtown. This newly revitalized district offers decadent dining and tons of walkable shopping. For some of the best burgers and milkshakes in town, head to FLIP Burger Boutique, created by "Top Chef All-Stars" winner Richard Blais. At Miller Union, the menu changes weekly based on the week's harvest, featuring simple ingredients in a rustic preparation.
Evening option #1: The Fox Theatre offers live performances, including Top 40 concerts, Broadway productions by Broadway in Atlanta and Theater of the Stars, and the Atlanta Ballet's annual presentation of "The Nutcracker." The Alliance Theatre is one of the largest regional theaters in the nation and has produced more than 50 world premieres, bringing the world's best talents to Atlanta.
Evening option #2: Check out Atlanta's hottest nightlife at Opera Atlanta Nightclub, Compound, Halo and the Koo Koo Room. For hot house beats and delicious drinks, relax at Whiskey Blue, Sutra Lounge and Door 44.
Day Three: Shop 'Til You Drop in Buckhead
Canvassing 33 acres in the heart of Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center (AHC) features two historic houses, six signature exhibits and the largest collection of Civil War memorabilia in the world. Great for the entire family, the AHC also offers gorgeous gardens and two delicious on-site dining options.
Visit one of the Buckhead design and cultural areas that include Miami Circle, Peachtree Decorative Arts Plaza, Galleries of Peachtree Hills and Bennett Street. The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA-GA) permanently houses more than 600 works by local artists in contemporary mediums.
At Buckhead Diner, enjoy inventive Americana dishes such as Marinated Hanger Steak & Knife & Fork Caesar and Maryland Soft Shell Crab B.L.T. Souper Jenny - an Atlanta sensation - serves, you guessed it, soups. Homemade daily from local, sustainable ingredients and heirloom recipes, this cafeteria-style restaurant has some of the tastiest soups, salads and sandwiches in town.
From luxury stores to unique boutiques, Buckhead shopping has everything for the chic, savvy and fabulous. At Lenox Square, visit more than 200 stylish stores including Kate Spade, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton.
Next door at Phipps Plaza, get the season's hottest trends from Giorgio Armani, Jimmy Choo, Versace and more. Also at Phipps is LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Atlanta. Head to the MINILAND exhibit which re-creates landmark buildings from the Atlanta skyline. Filled with hours of hands-on, interactive fun, kids will love playing inside one of the world's biggest boxes of LEGO bricks. At the LEGO Racers: Build & Test station, craft a car then speed down the racetrack.
After a great shopping adventure, reward yourself with an expertly executed steak dinner at Ruth's Chris Steak House - Buckhead. Considered one of the most romantic spots in town, Anis Café and Bistro takes its cuisine cues from Paris, serving chic French dishes in a cozy atmosphere. The local, sustainable menus at Restaurant Eugene helped spur the city's infatuation with farm-to-table freshness.
Sip and see in Buckhead's lavish lounges and upscale clubs, such as Gold Room. Amp up your night with hot beats and hotter locals at Havana Club and Tongue & Groove. Looking for a high-energy evening but only want to valet once? Visit the Andrews Entertainment District, where you can enjoy small plates at Cellar 56, grab a drink at Prohibition, catch the latest score at Stout Irish Sports Pub and show off your moves at 8Traxx, all in one hot spot.
See & Do
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