Atlanta is the capital of Georgia and one of the top tourist cities in the United States. Atlanta is known for its southern hospitality, award-winning restaurants, great nightlife, historical attractions, and unique culture.
Atlanta has everything that visitors want in a city. You can unwind in one of the beautiful green spaces, have fun at some of the best amusement areas, or learn about the history of various local products, the Civil Rights Movement, and America itself.
1. Sink Into Georgia Aquarium
Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in America and the only one to house whale sharks. The museum also has African penguins, beluga whales, sea lions, dolphins, and more. If you are feeling adventurous, join an encounter with sharks.
2. Visit the High Museum of Art
The High Museum of Art is one of the largest museums in Southeast America. There are roughly 17,000 works of art in the permanent exhibit alone. Doris and Shouky Shaheen’s newest collection includes Claude Monet, Henri Matisse, and many more.
3. Explore the World of Coca-Cola
Atlanta is the home of Coca-Cola, and visitors of all ages will enjoy exploring its World of Coca-Cola museum. Visitors can learn about the history of the iconic drink and taste beverages from all over the world. There are 60 different flavors of soda to try and five different stations throughout the building.
Visitors can try beverages from Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America, and North America. There are also exhibits on the secret recipe for Coca-Cola and a fun 3D movie. At the end of your visit, enjoy a snack or meal at Bottle Cap Café.
4. Get Lost in Piedmont Park
To get in touch with nature, head to Piedmont Park and explore over 200 acres of green space. If you are lucky to enjoy visiting Atlanta, Georgia, during one of its many festivals, chances are this park will be hosting it.
The Atlanta Pride Festival, the Atlanta Dogwood Festival, Music Midtown, and the Atlanta Jazz Festival are just a few of the fantastic events held in Piedmont Park each year. If you want to catch a flick, Swim-in Movies are hosted at the park’s pool. There are also guided history tours almost every Saturday. Check out the Piedmont Park schedule to see what is happening during your visit.
5. Visit Animals at Zoo Atlanta
Zoo Atlanta has 40 acres with over one thousand animals and two hundred species. The whole family can enjoy walking through the zoo founded in the late 19th century.
Zoo Atlanta has an array of animals: elephants, giraffes, alpacas, bears, and lions. It is also one of the few zoos in America to have giant pandas and the largest population in America of great apes.
6. Explore the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park
The Martin Luther King Jr. National Park has many attractions to explore. It is one of a few dozen National Parks on the East Coast.
Start your journey at the Visitor Center, where guests will get a short introduction to the historical sites located around the park. The Visitor Center also has exhibits like the “Children of Courage,” “Courage to Lead,” and “Freedom Road.”
Outside of the Visitor Center, guests can view the BEHOLD monument and the “I Have a Dream” World Peace Rose Garden. The Historic Fire Station No. 6, Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, and The King Center are three historic buildings onsite. Fire Station No. 6 allows visitors to learn about the desegregation of the Atlanta Fire Station and has a 1927 firetruck on display.
The Ebenezer Baptist Church was where Martin Luther King Jr. was baptized and where he later became ordained a minister. The National Park also has daily tours to King’s birth home.
These tours can be a bit hard to get, as there are no pre-registered tickets, and you can only get them on the day of the tour. The tour is free and led by a ranger, but only fifteen can tour simultaneously. Get to the Visitor Center early to reserve tickets for that day.
7. Learn at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Center for Civil and Human Rights opened its door in 2014 to celebrate and connect America’s Civil Rights movement to today’s Human Rights Movement. The museum building itself is a modern structure with an all-glass front and two curved walls holding it together.
The permanent exhibit takes visitors on a walk through the American Civil Rights, starting in the 1950s and ending with today’s challenges in Human Rights. This museum is perfect for a family with older kids.
8. Walk Around Atlanta Botanical Garden
Atlanta Botanical Garden mixes beauty, design, and education. This 30-acre garden includes an orchid house, an edible garden, and a 600-foot walkway suspended within the trees.
The Atlanta Botanical Garden also houses many conservation efforts, which include the Orchid Conservation and the Greenhouse of Endangered Plants. After a morning of strolling through the gardens, visitors can enjoy a meal at Longleaf, the Botanical Garden’s restaurant.
9. Have Fun at Legoland Discovery Center
LEGOLAND Discovery Center in Atlanta is a Lego enthusiast playground! The center includes a 4-D cinema, Virtual Reality experience, LEGO playground, and over 12 attractions and rides. Younger kiddos can enjoy Merlin’s Apprentice Ride, Kingdom Quest, and The Great LEGO Race VR Experience.
The whole family can enjoy a LEGO factory tour, building LEGOs at DUPLO Village, or on an Earthquake table. There is something for everyone at the LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
If you have a LEGOLAND amusement park Gold-level season pass, admission is free!
10. Visit the Atlanta History Center
The Atlanta History Center is 33 acres of historic houses, gardens, and exhibitions. Visitors can explore the exhibits to learn about Atlanta, Georgia’s culture, people, and history.
There is an extensive collection of Civil War artifacts and art, including a large Cyclorama: The Big Picture. This impressive piece of art is 49 feet tall and 371 feet long. Once outside in nature, explore the Goizueta Gardens with trails and woodlands. Make sure not to miss the Swan House, formerly the home of one of the wealthiest families in Georgia. The Atlanta History Center is an excellent place for those that love history and nature.
11. Watch a Game or a Show at Mercedes Benz Stadium
Mercedes Benz Stadium is impressive no matter what the reason for visiting. The modern stadium was built in 2017 and is unique because it is one of the few football stadiums with a retractable roof. The stadium’s design gives homage to its football team, the Atlanta Falcons, as its roof is a falcon wing. The Mercedes Benz Stadium houses the football team. It also hosts the Atlanta United soccer games and large music shows.
12. Catch a Baseball Game at Truist Park
Sports fans will love to catch an Atlanta Braves game at Truist Park. This baseball field can hold 41,000 spectators and has many modern amenities. If you visit Atlanta during an away game, you can still get behind the scenes of the park with a year-round tour.
13. Shop at Ponce City Market
Ponce City Market, an indoor shopping mall, prides itself as Southeast America’s largest brick structure. Visitors can spend the day shopping at the local boutiques, dining at over 20 restaurants and food vendors, and having fun.
With just a small fee, customers can ride the elevator to the rooftop to play carnival games and get some of the best views of Atlanta, Georgia. Check out any classes the market may be hosting, like candle-making, wine-tasting, and cooking classes.
14. Get the Best View in Atlanta at the Skyview in Centennial Park
SkyView Atlanta is a massive Ferris wheel that towers 20 stories above Centennial Park. The ride includes 42 private gondolas that provide guests with the best views of the Atlanta skyline. The Ferris Wheel is similar to many others worldwide, like the London Eye, the IconPark in Orlando, and the Centennial Wheel in Chicago.
If you want the ultimate VIP experience, make sure to book the VIP gondola, which includes Ferrari-style seats, a glass floor, and a longer riding time.
Atlanta is a vibrant, modern city that still remembers its past. You can dig deep into history, visit museums and historic homes, or enjoy all the best of modern Atlanta with Ferris Wheels, LEGOLAND, and Coca-Cola. Or you can do it all and understand why Atlanta is such a fantastic vacation spot in the U.S.
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.