It’s officially summer, the perfect time to plan that staycation you’ve been meaning to take. With Atlanta reopening restaurants, attractions and hotels with new safety precautions in place, you can venture out worry free for a day, a long weekend or a even longer. For a true getaway experience close to home, treat yourself to a hotel package with exclusive deals and perks. Learn more at Expedia.com/discoveratlanta.
Check out Atlanta’s top attractions. Then take a stroll on the Atlanta BeltLine for a look at some of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Or venture just outside the metro area and hike a mountain trail to see the most amazing vistas. Here are some fun and safe ways to have an Atlanta staycation or weekend getaway this summer.
Attractions, Tours and Activities
- Make friends with a sea lion. Georgia Aquarium is open with new safety protocols in place. The aquarium is offering limited, timed block admissions to allow visitors space. Deep cleanings occur daily. Tickets must be prepurchased. For hours and safety protocol guidelines please visit the aquarium website.
- Take the kids on a safari. Zoo Atlanta, located near Downtown in Grant Park, is now open with prepurchased and timed tickets to keep visitors and employees as safe as possible. Plan a fun day safari for you and the kids.
- See Atlanta’s top 5 attractions and save up to 40% or more on combined admission prices. CityPASS ticket booklets are valid for 30 days* beginning with the first day of use so you can stay and play at your own pace. Buy with confidence: CityPASS offers 365-day risk-free returns. *30-day validity applies to CityPASS tickets activated by Feb. 28, 2021.
- Ride the Ferris wheel. Why not head Downtown? While some attractions remain closed, there still is still plenty to enjoy. SkyView, the 20-story Ferris wheel, is now open, offering fantastic views of the city. Visit the website for updates on how SkyView is managing patron safety.
- Stroll through the gardens. Stop and smell the flowers at Atlanta Botanical Garden. Now is a great time to visit the gardens, which are open via timed entry and with safety protocols in place. Relish in the lush surroundings, blooming flowers and unique displays. Reserve your tickets and review safety guidelines on the website.
- See an art exhibit. Love art? The High Museum of Art is scheduled to reopen to the general public on July 18. Visit the website for updates and information on upcoming events and exhibitions and to participate in a multitude of programs for all ages via Zoom.
- Explore the best street art. A staycation is also a great time to explore the amazing art adorning the streets and walls of Atlanta. Check out Street Art Map for your guide to more than 900 murals created by Atlanta-based and visiting artists. Kids especially will love exploring the Tiny Doors of Atlanta located around town. Check out the tour and make a list of places to find these wee works of art.
- Tour famous Black history sites. Take a walk down Atlanta’s historic Auburn Avenue, world famous for its place as the heart of Black enterprise and the civil rights movement. From the home where Martin Luther King Jr. was born to The King Center, discover just how much history is packed into this famous thoroughfare.
- Enjoy shopping again. Discover the trendiest of fashions and a variety of popular brands at Lenox Square and Phipps Plaza, top shopping centers in Buckhead.
- Treat yourself to takeout or dine-in restaurants. Restaurants continue to offer takeout or dine-in service. Enjoy local favorites, many which are cooking up innovative menus. See restaurant options and support Black-owned restaurants.
- Test your knowledge of college football (and learn a thing or two). Deep dive into the history of college football at the Chick-fil-A College Football Hall of Fame, which submerges you into the sights and sounds of college ball. Choose your favorite team as you enter the exhibit and get the most out of the interactive experience.
- Spend the day at an amusement park. Visiting Six Flags over Georgia is a great way to spend a day locally with the entire family. The park is open for thrilling rides and White Water adventures with pre-reserved booking through the website. Be sure to check out the robust safety protocols before visiting.
- Experience Atlanta history. The beautiful Goizueta Gardens are open and ready to welcome visitors as Atlanta History Center prepares to open July 3. The history center is chock-full of unique and inspiring historic artifacts, exhibitions and experiences that could even span more than a one-day visit.
- Share a Coke. World of Coca-Cola is preparing to reopen on July 15, welcoming visitors to step into the vast history of this popular beverage. View unique ephemera, enjoy interactive exhibits, sample Coca-Cola beverages from around the globe and shop in the expansive Coca-Cola gift shop for a true experience. Review the website for the latest on safety protocols and ticketing.
- Immerse in natural history. Walk among dinosaurs at Fernbank Museum of Natural History. Learn about the giant creatures that used to roam the earth, experience live animals, prehistoric cultures and more. Family members of all ages will love a visit to Fernbank with so much to see and do. The Fernbank Museum, Wildwoods and Fernbank Forest are open with prepurchased, timed tickets and safety precautions.
If you're looking for specific things to do for your staycation, based on the date, check out our Events Calendar or things to do this weekend.
Explore Parks and Outdoors
- Cruise the Atlanta BeltLine. Whether you prefer to travel via bike, skates, skateboard or on foot, the Atlanta BeltLine offers an abundance of opportunities to stop and view art, take selfies or play. On Saturday mornings take the connector path to Piedmont Park, where you can pick up fresh produce at Piedmont Park’s Green Market at the temporary location behind Park Tavern. The market offers in-market shopping or preorder and pick up. Be sure to check out the safety precautions online.
- Get out and explore nature. If getting out in nature sounds like a good time, you might enjoy a visit to Stone Mountain Park. Hiking, biking, fishing and golfing are just a few of the activities you can still enjoy in this 3,200-acre oasis. Want to extend the fun? The campgrounds are still open with options for RVs, tents, safari tents and yurts. A little too rustic for you? Check out the Stone Mountain Inn or Evergreen Marriott for hotel options.
- Spend a day on the farm. Having recently reopened with new guidelines, The Rock Ranch still offers tons of wholesome, outdoor fun for everyone in the family. Running, climbing, fishing, jumping and pedaling are just a few of the fun things to do. If you want to make a weekend of it, check out Conestoga Wagon Camping for a night on the range or rent a “Southern Living” farmhouse for a relaxing stay.
- Hike a mountain for spectacular views. The North Georgia mountains boast some of the most gorgeous and unforgettable views. Hike one of multiple trails at Brasstown Bald for amazing views of the rolling, lush Appalachian Mountains or get a close-up look at the beautiful waterfalls you’ll find on the Waterfalls Trail at Cloudland Canyon State Park. Check out these Georgia hikes with amazing views, all within a three-hour drive from Atlanta.
- Relax in one of Atlanta's many parks, trails and green spaces. There is plenty of space to spread out in this City in the Forest. See more ideas.
Have a Fun and Safe Visit as Atlanta Reopens
As Atlanta continues to carefully reopen attractions, restaurants and hotels, here is a collection of resources for how to enjoy Atlanta safely and responsibly. While how we visit may be a little different, by following safety practices and social distancing we can still enjoy this beautiful City in the Forest.
Safety and operation procedures following COVID-19
This is your one-stop portal to learn about safety measures from CDC and local government organizations along with updates on Atlanta hotels, restaurants, attractions and transportation, including MARTA and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
Stay up to date on what’s open in Atlanta
Check the status of what is open in Atlanta and plan accordingly to account for changes to hours, operating procedures and safety measures.
Joleen Pete lives outside Atlanta with her husband and their son. Joleen is the family travel and lifestyle blogger behind Love, Joleen.